Forum Flames

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Online forums are really cool. The evolved from bulletin boards and now have some pretty wild features which make them all the more interesting. I first got really involved in a forum known as Mangareaders while searching for some manga. all of us came from all over the world sharing a common interest; manga. However, we grew to be a community who enjoyed interaction with others even though it was a half-way round the globe. I still keep in contact with some of the members. I've moved on from there, but I am still very fond of the site... as well as forums in general.

Ever since it was formed as a means for people to interact, forums have been plagued by a group of people who although do not cause real harm, still pose a problem to other users as well as the administrators and moderators. Flaming is the act of posting something deragatory or malicious with the intent of defaming or to cause mental harm to another person. Simply put, it is an online argument which degenerates into personal attacks, insults and the like. Flaming is not constructive as it serves only to feed on a person's ego at the expense of another person. Unfortunately, this happens most of the time because being only human, people tend to take things the wrong way, either personally or otherwise. Such thinking cannot neccesarily be faulted because although personal, is very much dependent on the personality and character of a person; something we cannot make others stop doing. Thankfully, there are people around who are actually level headed enough to smooth the matter over for the good of everyone else.

Flaming can occur to an individual or to a group. Moderators generally disallow flames and instead ask people to settle their differences through other means, not by posting again and again in a forum. A forum can be private or public, but it is never a chat room for only two people, or two GROUPS of people to squabble. There is always the third party who is uninvolved and yet have to put up with such incidences simply because it is posted in the forum. Such things are inefficient and unneeded. Forums are places with rules, and they differ from one forum to another. It is important to abide by them so that the maximum capability of the forum and the community can be brought out. Discussion is the most important focus, not squabbles. Accept different views and be objective, choosing what to agree with and what not to. We all have our own mindsets, so don't impose yours on others. The goal of a forum is to have people come together to share these views and discuss them, hopefully for the betterment of the issue at hand.

By firmly keeping this thought in place, and by not losing sight of the fact that these are just opinions, we can actually make logical and coherent points instead of resorting to personal attacks. Be open minded and don't take things personally... it would help make ANY forum a better place.

Posted by Gerald at 4/08/2006 02:34:00 PM