Worldly Talk Closed - Myth-Weavers

Worldly Talk Closed

Worldly Talk Closed

Our Worldly Talk discussion section is now closed.

The latest election cycle in the US resulted in increased frequency in posting, but more importantly increased vitriol and antagonism. The trend did not abate in the following months. The amount of moderator time spent reading increased, as did the number of warnings, infractions, and bans that were handed down. The problem did not stop. So, we felt it was time to re-evaluate the assumed benefits of Worldly Talk and weigh them against the damage it was causing to the community and to relationships between members.

During our investigation we discovered that Worldly Talk accounted for a minute percentage of overall site activity, and that it was all but dominated by about a dozen participants. What was more interesting was that several of the top participants spent the vast majority of their time and posts in that subforum. Despite the low number of posts, and the even lower number of key players, Worldly Talk accounted for over half of our moderation activity and an even greater percentage of moderation time. We concluded Worldly Talk was not, "Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues," where the community in general participated, and in downtime between game posts; it was essentially a private argument forum for a small group of people who, as a group, could not be civil.

So, after careful and prolonged consideration, both the administration and moderation teams concluded with no dissenting votes that it is not in the best interest of Myth-Weavers as a community to keep it.

Topics that would previously have belonged in Worldly Talk are totally disallowed. Some topics may eventually be allowed in General Discussion, but rules regarding that are pending. Worldly Talk is being left visible, in a closed state, to show examples of the discussion topics and, unfortunately, to show examples of why it was closed.

I come here to escape what is going on in the world. LOL

I can certainly see why this decision was made, and I respect the decision to do so. While open discussion and even debate can be a good thing, this is not really a forum designed for that and it likely would consume an inordinate amount of time.

A large part of the issue was overly specific rules and a very general way of enforcing said rules (despite the specificity). It would take moderators a lot of time to police the forum, let alone correctly and without bias, given how easy it was to even break a rule, many of which were completely arbitrary and in many cases not even written down (such so no memes or emoticons). Either the way the forum would need to be constructed is to be more of a "free speech" zone that just lets people speak their mind (to essentially be a specific debate forum, as well), as long as they don't include obviously inappropriate stuff (such as pro-nazi or racist stuff), where people can basically just say what's on their mind, or to not really have it at all. This isn't a debate sight and so, the time and energy needed to devote to keeping it civil as well as the rules that would be needed probably aren't worth mythweavers time.

Maybe it should just be a news forum, instead.

Originally Posted by Mindcrime View Post
I come here to escape what is going on in the world. LOL


Frankly, I'm not sad to see it go. Just my experience but it wasn't just a small number of people arguing, it was also a small number of people essentially shouting down dissenting views. Including using a threat of reporting you to the mods if you, oh, say, challenged anything in there fundamental premise (meaning there wasn't any room left to say anything other then essentially "Yup your so right." That's not a discussion that's an echo chamber.).

It's something of a pity really. At it's best, Worldly Talk was a way to get the views of not only people from the other side of American politics, but from other parts of the world as well. Unfortunately, WT was rarely at its best, especially in the last 12 months. Still, it was light years ahead of any other discussion forum I know of. Guess it's back the general wilds of the interwebs. I can't say this comes as a surprise, or that I don't understand and support the decision, but I really wish it hadn't been necessary.

I'm with Leon on this. I was one of those users that was very active in that forum and I always did my best to post relevant links and non-partisan content. I hope it is resurrected in some form at some point, because while playing DnD-style games is my primary reason for using MW, that worldly talk forum was easily the secondary reason for coming here for me. I enjoyed the discussions and I loved following the links posted, as I was almost always assured to learn something new from people I didn't know.

Yeah, I too am sad to see it go, but I'm not surprised. The frequency of closed threads has increased and so has general passion/vitriol/what have you.

I was pretty active there, in spurts anyway, and got only one infraction (which I deserved). But as I said in a few posts there, anything that detracts from the core mission of Myth-Weavers is ultimately ancillary.

Sad to see the trolls win. I know the site doesn't do this for ordinary forums, but would some form peer moderation ease the administrative burdens of this kind of forum (such as reddit thumbs or slashdot mod points or the stackoverflow system)? And would it be worth the dev burden to ease the mods' burden?

If it is only about a dozen key players, then limiting the power of those players relative to the rest of the community seems like an obvious answer to the problems outlined.

One thing I don't like to consider is the possibility of paid political trolls. If there are a few accounts who post primarily on the news portion of the site, who are pushing hard on political propaganda of one flavor or another, then those accounts might be paid propaganda artists.

So does "topics that would belong in worldly talk is banned" apply to games too? Because one of my games is heavy on the political satire due to the premise.


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