Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Plain ole user
Joined
·
11,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Recently, there have been several discussions about why the traffic at Home Theater Shack has dropped significantly. Some have suggested it is because we are so restrictive about language and about bashing manufacturers and other posters.

So I think it is time to refresh on who we are, why we have the rules we do, and why Home Theater Shack does not allow certain use of language. Also, we need to be very clear about what censorship is and about "rights."

We have very strict restrictions on profanity and swearing for two reasons. The founder of the forum, to whom we all owe so much, Sonnie Parker, is a devout Christian. Any form of swearing, profanity, or using the Lord's name in vain or even remotely getting close to such is not OK in his view. Now that Sonnie is no longer owner, there are still many here who share this view. Personally, I am not so rigid on the matter, but it has served to promote a higher level of discourse, which is the much more important second reason for these rules, IMNSHO. I have no problem loosening up the rules a bit, but the fact is that swearing and profanity is shorthand for expressing feelings and opinions. Making a little extra effort to express oneself only make the discussion better, and I believe, makes us better people, as language is one of the things that makes us most human. Any improvement in how we communicate is of value in my opinion.

Now is this censorship? In the most strict interpretation, perhaps. Our position has always been that we are not really censoring anyone, because there are millions of other places where one can post whatever is desired, dozens with similar topics. What we "censor" is some limited manner of HOW people say things that might not make others feel safe, valued, or welcome. We do not allow posting that is condescending or vitriolic, nor do we allow bashing of manufacturers or individuals. What we do not censor, and highly encourage, are the IDEAS that one has or the OPINIONS and EXPERIENCE that our users bring. As long as those are expressed in ways that do not harm or attack others they are welcome. And understand that being civil does not mean agreeing, nor does it mean that some will not be offended at the ideas of others. Again, as long as those differences are focused on the ideas, experiences, or or opinions and not the individual, a vigorous debate is welcome.

We will never allow ideas to be restricted from discussion simply because they are unpopular among the users or moderators. This is one of the primary differences between HTS and other forums. Our moderators respect the right of our users to bring differing perspectives than their own. One will never be belittled or censored for having a different experience or opinion from staff, unless that difference has to do with the rules and expectations as described above.

Have those expectations for a higher level of respect and discourse limited the number of users and posts here? Probably. Has it been the primary reason for the decline in activity here? I do not believe so, but if it is, then I say so be it. We do not intend to substantially change those expectations, though as I said above, I don't have a problem relaxing the restrictions on certain words a bit. Just a bit.

If you get it, you are welcome here. If you don't then please accept our thanks for coming by.

I, personally, am thankful for a home theater forum that has higher ideals about how people can communicate. More of the internet should be like this, IMO.

Leonard Caillouet
Home Theater Shack Administrator
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts
I think that a negative point can be made without using any fowl language. I still dont see where the idea came that we sensor posts in such a way that we dont allow negative comments about a particular product or service. I for one have talked about many products that I dont think are a good buy or are simply junk and never had any deleted to my knowledge.

I vote to keep the HTS as is. It worked for years without issues. The slowdown in traffic is related to a much more serious issue in the ownership and where the support is.
 

·
Plain ole user
Joined
·
11,121 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Oh, it is not so, but when someone who thinks they should be able to say x brand is junk (or some profanity) or who gets called out for attacking some individual carries a grudge to other forums or wants to argue the point with our moderators and gets the posts removed, others can get the wrong idea. The fact is, that it is far more common to get run off of other forums because you run afoul of a headstrong mod who does not like his facts challenged. We always say bring it on when it comes to challenging facts and ideas. But it is not OK to attack people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,784 Posts
Thank You Leonard, very well written.
As one of the members that has been involved in some vigorous debates I can honestly say that HTS has been incredibly fair in how they approach these discussions. Even when things get a bit heated the mods will warn first before anything is done. If things stay out of the lines, then some editing is done or if the post is hateful, it may be removed. I am truly glad how this site works, even when we get our hackles raised. Having been lucky enough to meet several of the mods I can also say that to a man, no ladies yet, they are most excellent human beings with a very strong love of this hobby.

In reality it is not hard to go around cussing and being predatory in our remarks. Disagreements are common and expected but this is not the place to be evil about it, remember these discussions are truly not life and death. Imagine if you will, having these discussions in public in the hallway of a local library or in someones living room after a nice listening session. I have learned the hard way, be reasonable folks and the site will hopefully not need the hall monitors to interfere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Profanity needs to die. There is zero need for it.. I'm very happy to know that the founder of this site is a Christian.
Like my wife always tell me (USE YOUR WORDS). We should be able to disagree about subjects and have the ability to express our opinions in a clear manner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,975 Posts
I was looking for mech's goodbye thread, (gone?)where toward the end of it, the defense seemed to be for crusty behavior being justified for those attacking/defending certain manufacturers. I personally COULD NOT CARE LESS which OEM you want to butter up. Profanity doesn't offend me either. My dad was in the army and later a well driller so I've heard everything. My issue with other places is the condescending attitude, and the 3rd grade name calling, and belittling. I read through stuff at avs, but I get extremely frustrated with bullying, and personal attacks. Tell me my gear sucks, I don't care. But leave the personal stuff out. It's easy to throw out insults when you have no idea who's on the receiving end. I love HTS. I never have to worry about what I write,(unless I'm the one pushing it) for fear of a blindsided childish attack on myself or stuff, or thoughts. As stated above, there is no reason you can't make a statement without being childish and disrespectful. Long live HTS.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
lcaillo...good post. i agree that excessive moderation is not good for forums. i also think discourse is good. the heated discussion draw the most traffic. im not sure what people think profanity is. I am not condoning people drop the F bomb or personal attacks but there is nothing wrong IMO with calling out manufactures, customer service, engineering of products, CIVIL DISCOURSE etc. im no christian but i know how to respect people and the ideas they have... im not someone who needs to read a bible to just be nice and put myself in other people shoes. To rebuild things will be tough but it can be done. however it seems that if the issue lies with the 'owner' then its going to be their call. i dont post much right now. new job, in school, toddler ... but I lurk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
Well I am a Christian and way back when I joined, it was Sonnies' philosophy/Christianity & how it impacted the site that prompted me to join (this is the only forum that I frequent regularly). They have lead to the fine group of people that I have come to consider friends, even though I have never actually met the majority of you. I have met Sonnie personally, he is a laid back kinda guy & he doesn't push is religion on you. But he is not going to let you behave counter to those beliefs when you are in his domain (pardon the pun :)). I was truly saddened to see Sonnie move on, I wish him only the best in his new endeavors. In the spirit (ok, maybe the puns are a bit much :)) of all of this, my vote is to keep the rules as they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I'm sad to hear the recent news. The shack was a great spot with nice folks.

My activity stopped here when one of my posts was edited for hilariously mild language. That level of censorship is not permittable for me. The word that was censored hinted at way too religious rules. :)

Not interested in having a discussion where language ok in a "G" Disney movie isnt permitted.
 

·
HTS Sponsor
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Leonard, thanks for the great post/thread. I have always appreciated all of HTS rules and have never had any difficulty in expressing my opinions regardless of how opposed they have been in discussions. I enjoy the courtesy rules and in fact, using proper language has helps make the point without any rudeness or unacceptable words.

I post a lot of technical information in an easy to understand way and have never felt or been "censored" in any of my posts.

HTS is a better place because of the posting rules and I don't think the reduced traffic is caused by any of the rules. AVS Forum has enjoyed the benefits of a beautiful site redesign and updated SEO advancements.

HTS, AVS Forum and other a/v advanced user websites are all very helpful in educating the public on our beloved passion and hobby.

I'll PM Leonard to express some of my thoughts on the traffic and sponsorship reductions.

-Robert
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
169 Posts
I'm sad to hear the recent news. The shack was a great spot with nice folks.

My activity stopped here when one of my posts was edited for hilariously mild language. That level of censorship is not permittable for me. The word that was censored hinted at way too religious rules. :)

Not interested in having a discussion where language ok in a "G" Disney movie isnt permitted.

Yeah its over bearing mod editing for sure. There pretty much can be no opinion expressed unless its absolutely positive.

Heres one example that I was told was way to inflammatory and the mod said they will edit it accordingly.

I suggested on alot of different boards that brand b should upgrade to higher quality woofers and was called everything you could think of by the brand b guys and they really believed that there was no need for "better" drivers. Thats until brand b released this new 6.5" woofer and they go bat**** crazy over them and beg to upgrade all there speakers with them.


Also I believe you can't circumvent the language filters. Not sure how someone would be offended by *****

I feel if you want to read nothing but positive comments about everything with little to no negative comments then stay here but I feel AVS and some others give you much more insight on products. Its not perfect and there are a few that get pretty hateful but usually its the ones who get offended that they are not reading 100% positive comments about their equipment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts
Chad, you are a perfect example of someone who does not belong here as you clearly dont want to follow the simple rules. You can feel free to post that stuff over at AVS but not here.

And as you can see I just left a negative post, it can be done here without using any bad language and still get the point across.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
269 Posts
Thank you, Leonard, for your very well stated justification for the rules. As someone from the other side of the table, as it were, I find nothing in a word to take offense. However, that doesn't mean that I think I should be permitted to use language which the operators of this forum do find offensive. This is not the public square, so absolute freedom of speech is not to be expected.

To date, I think I have experienced one censure, which simply prompted me to choose a slightly different word. Why should that bother me? I see it as a challenge, not a restriction. After all, the gist of my statement did not change, only the manner of its expression. If I can't respect the rules of this forum, I am free to leave, and you are free to usher me away.

We don't all share the same sensibilities, and I have no desire to tread on those of the purveyors of this forum. Rules are rules, and the rules governing the language used in this forum are clear enough. They don't even need to be justified, but thank you for taking the time to do that very thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
Leonard, thanks for the great post/thread. I have always appreciated all of HTS rules and have never had any difficulty in expressing my opinions regardless of how opposed they have been in discussions. I enjoy the courtesy rules and in fact, using proper language has helps make the point without any rudeness or unacceptable words.

I post a lot of technical information in an easy to understand way and have never felt or been "censored" in any of my posts.

HTS is a better place because of the posting rules and I don't think the reduced traffic is caused by any of the rules. AVS Forum has enjoyed the benefits of a beautiful site redesign and updated SEO advancements.

HTS, AVS Forum and other a/v advanced user websites are all very helpful in educating the public on our beloved passion and hobby.

I'll PM Leonard to express some of my thoughts on the traffic and sponsorship reductions.

-Robert
A++:T
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,374 Posts
I was attracted to this site because of the rules here. I started my forum journeys as many others did just looking for info about HT and in the beginning the forums I joined did help but fairly quickly I was made to feel like less than because I would be told that my questions were asked too many times before and then would be ridiculed for it. I found HTS and immediately felt at home because even though the question may have been asked many times before people here would answer me and /or direct me to a thread that would. There are some great forums on the net but IMO none are of the caliber of HTS because of the rules that we have here. I would not be apposed to some minor changes if the people that run the forum think they will encourage more traffic to the site but remember quality not quantity is why I believe most of us are here. Thanks Leonard, Keep up the good work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Speaking of "other side of the table," this just in... :)
Less than a year's worth of moderating has taught me many things. One of the more important aspects I still struggle with is how to moderate without alienating fellow members. I feel all our moderators and admins allow ample leeway for free discussion, and provide sufficient warning before clamping down. Drawing the line can be blurry sometimes, and we all make mistakes. But please be aware the mods have their own area for consultation. I've seldom made lone decisions during my "training" and even notice seasoned mods pop up now and again for consensus.

The simple fact is that some people just like to argue or otherwise inject emotional trauma into a discussion. Others like to confuse a discussion by taking it off on many different tangents in a single post. Both tactics are nonconstructive, but are tolerated up to the point where they violate the rules. I try to keep as neutral a tone as possible when engaging in such discussions, but have come to find that practice insufficient to deter the other party from attempting to elicit a negative emotional response. I've hardly ever deleted entire posts, but was recently forced when the other party strongly attacked a certain group of hobbyists. Even then, the posts remained intact until I was sure of the correct course of action. With each action taken, I gain confidence in both recognizing and correcting poor behavior. I make no excuses and offer no apologies for any of the above.

I would wager my fondness of HTS is as strong as most other members' and definitely want to see it flourish. Yet it cannot do so without rules. Those that take issue with them do not belong. Those that wish to troll/flame/etc will be caught and "invited" to do so elsewhere. We want to maintain a safe and positive atmosphere - no apologies, no excuses.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top