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Author Topic: Private discussion areas on the site for Controversial Topics and other topics  (Read 609 times)

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Offline Dena

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We have a disagreement over what free speech is. To attempt to resolve this issue, we have created an area called Controversial Topics. Currently this area contains areas to discuss topics in politics and transgender medicine. Should it be needed, we will add areas for additional topics. You are free to explore most any topic you desire however personal attacks are not permitted and the staff will take action should one occur. As the staff works through the existing posts, some of them will be moved to this area.

Two additional areas have also been created for MTF and FTM surgical images. We would prefer that you discuss your surgery in the public areas and link to the images in the appropriate area. This will allow many to view your progress while still keeping your images out of public view.

These areas are private and will not be scanned by the spiders. These areas will only become visible to you by requesting membership from a staff member.

If your not ready to lose an argument or engage in a hard core argument, it's suggested that you don't join Controversial Topics as discussions may be more hardcore than in the public area.

Update Feb 5.2020
A change has been made to these feature. Controversial Topics is now user settable. Profile>modify profile>Group Membership will take you to this setting. Joining the group will give you immediate access to this section of the site. Should you decide your not comfortable with the discussion, you may also remove yourself from the group.

You will also find MTF and FTM surgical images as a selection. Clicking on these makes a request to become a part of the group subject to the approval of a staff member. We left the staff member in the group to ensure somebody didn't join the site just to view the images.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2020, 05:17:41 PM by Dena »

Online zirconia

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A free speech zone, removed from the public? I feel that to be sad... but I guess that's the definition of free speech now...

Offline Complete

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That is what totalitarian gov'ts do.
They limit free speech and segregate the "trouble makers".
They do this because in order to maintain control, they must control the narrative, ie: the accepted "truth"

Offline Kirsteneklund7

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 Hi Complete,
              is it possible to PM you with a question about transition as a teenager ?
As a child prayed to be a girl and now its happening, - 40 years later !

Offline Complete

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Hi Complete,
              is it possible to PM you with a question about transition as a teenager ?
It is now. I've been in bureaucractic limbo as of late, but that", issue" has been resolved....for now

Offline Katie

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The issue was a setting in the user group that was assigned to access this area. It would have effected all members in the group. It has been corrected.

As for totalitarianism, nobody is endorsing that. Even in our own nation there are limitations on speech. As a site we realize there is a need for people to be able to have serious discussions about sensitive topics without being harassed by people who stumble into a conversation and make assumptions and generalizations. The purpose of this area is not to segregate and isolate members, but to protect their ability to discuss important sensitive topics without interference.

Sent from my SM-A205U using Tapatalk

"Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell".
C.T. Studd

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and shall be till I die".
William Cowper

Offline Dena

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Think of it as a decision between wanting to watch only CNN or Fox News. If you want to join the area, we will be glad to let you in. If you don't want to join, that's fine as well. We aren't preventing free speech but we are allowing you a choice.

I think of it like my sister. She doesn't want us to discuss politics around her. This means when we have a family function,  no politics when she is in the room. Most of the time it's easer just to avoid politics all together. This approach provides a way that people like my sister can avoid the topics they would prefer not to hear about.

Online zirconia

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A secret society of deep and controversial thinkers
hidden away in their secluded, invisible hideaway,
pondering scary subjects unsuitable for consumption by the general public...?

(*⁰▿⁰*)

I think I do understand what the administrators wish to accomplish. However, the difference between a conversation within a room and one in a forum is that while voices enter our ears regardless of whether we want to hear them or not, written words don't enter our eyes unless we ourselves choose to read them.

If I were the one needing to find a solution to public outcry, I'd create tags that posters or administrators could use to clearly show the tread to be "At your own risk" or "Safe." That would allow every individual choose whether or not to read it. And possibly an account setting for users who wish to render themselves blind to anything other than safe space subjects. Otherwise—unless the restriction only applies to members—guests and such will always be shut out...

To someone like me to whom "hard core" items have turned out to be most helpful and stimulating this solution would be more desirable. The reason I think so is that I'm pretty sure that there must be at least a few other people in the world who feel like I do... and I hope the discussions might help them find their way instead of getting stuck in a quagmire like I did.

But then, maybe I am the only one... which would make me feel very lonely... Or just weird and different.
At the very least the latter, I guess, because I've never felt comfortable or safe in any safe space... 

Edit: Clarity
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 03:24:10 PM by zirconia »

Online OzGirl

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My take on this is a place where we can discuss topics which could be confronting or upsetting to most members, so they would have to accept that they could be exposed to such conversations before joining that forum. The forum would still be moderated and personal attacks, people trying to 'win' a discussion by shouting others down, deliberately trying to sabotage a topic, or being generally disrespectful to others would be warned and face moderation.

The advantage of that is that the other forums can be moderated to a higher degree, providing a safe and welcoming space for those with heightened sensitivities. And in this space, we have our fair share of people with heightened sensitivities who really need forums like this. For them, it may be life and death. Also this Is a way to grow this site, while still allowing the hard subjects to be tackled.

The only problem I see is that it might attract combative people who wouldn't confine their behaviour to the restricted forum, and would require constant moderation in the other forums. It would also require moderators with very thick skins, and they couldn't get drawn in to debates and take sides. Do we have staff who could handle this? I have seen staff drawn into diversionary comments on important threads, and this can't happen in the restricted forum. If we think we can control it, I say go ahead, but it will be challenging.

Allie
Knew I was a girl in 1958, told my mother. Dressed regularly at home from 2000, started HRT March 2019, Full time April 2020, GRS scheduled for January 2021

Offline Linde

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and would require constant moderation in the other forums. It would also require moderators with very thick skins, and they couldn't get drawn in to debates and take sides. Do we have staff who could handle this? I have seen staff drawn into diversionary comments on important threads, and this can't happen in the restricted forum. If we think we can control it, I say go ahead, but it will be challenging.

Allie
Allie, this is a very important question!  I for example, would have a very hard time not to partake in a hot button discussion, and for that reason I will use my "powers" absolute only if I am sure to do the right thing.  Most of the time I will not operate the moderator button, and just watch. We have very qualified people here who can do this moderating stuff way better than I can do it.

Hugs
Linde
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Offline Iztaccihuatl

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What is the process for requesting membership to the controversial topics area from a staff member? Do I need to click on the "Report to Moderators" link?

Offline Complete

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Allie, this is a very important question!  I for example, would have a very hard time not to partake in a hot button discussion, and for that reason I will use my "powers" absolute only if I am sure to do the right thing.  Most of the time I will not operate the moderator button, and just watch. We have very qualified people here who can do this moderating stuff way better than I can do it.
Linde

Linde. The very important point that you are missing is that.."[I will use my "powers" absolute only if I am sure to do the right thing/."
The way l understand this means that you will push the "moderator button" only if YOU think you are right.
What that means if you disagree with the comment, or think it is wrong, you will moderate it.
That's called censorship.
That is tailoring ideas, arguments or discussion to your POV.

Not good.

Offline Linde

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Linde. The very important point that you are missing is that.."[I will use my "powers" absolute only if I am sure to do the right thing/."
The way l understand this means that you will push the "moderator button" only if YOU think you are right.
What that means if you disagree with the comment, or think it is wrong, you will moderate it.
That's called censorship.
That is tailoring ideas, arguments or discussion to your POV.

Not good.
You are wrg Complete.  If something is questionable, we discuss it among the team and try to make team decisions.  We are a very mixed team, I am on the rather liberal side, others are not.  This ensures that any moderator action would be pretty fair, and we try to stay as far away from censorship as we possibly can.
I think you will find that this is the least tailoring ideas, arguments, or discussion trans forum you can find!  You can stop looking over the shoulder, no mod or Admin is after you!

Hugs
Linde
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Offline Linde

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What is the process for requesting membership to the controversial topics area from a staff member? Do I need to click on the "Report to Moderators" link?
Write a PM with your request to Jessica.

https://www.transrefuge.org/index.php?action=profile;u=20

Hugs
Linde
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Offline Complete

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You are wrg Complete.  If something is questionable, we discuss it among the team and try to make team decisions.  We are a very mixed team, I am on the rather liberal side, others are not.  This ensures that any moderator action would be pretty fair, and we try to stay as far away from censorship as we possibly can.
I think you will find that this is the least tailoring ideas, arguments, or discussion trans forum you can find!  You can stop looking over the shoulder, no mod or Admin is after you!
GREAT!!! THIS is GREAT 😁😎😊👌 news!

Offline Margrit

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Write a PM with your request to Jessica.

https://www.transrefuge.org/index.php?action=profile;u=20

Hugs
Linde

So I will do too.
Jessica, you got a PN from me.
If a man can make you smile,
even if you don't want to,
then you love him.

Offline Moni

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I think this  is a very sensible way to handle this. It is thus a choice to participate or not.

Offline Dena

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A change has been made to these feature. Controversial Topics is now user settable. Profile>modify profile>Group Membership will take you to this setting. Joining the group will give you immediate access to this section of the site. Should you decide your not comfortable with the discussion, you may also remove yourself from the group.

You will also find MTF and FTM surgical images as a selection. Clicking on these makes a request to become a part of the group subject to the approval of a staff member. We left the staff member in the group to ensure somebody didn't join the site just to view the images.