The aggressive nature of the forums: any way of getting rid of it?

This is partially inspired by the current hot UI debate, but this has been a problem for a longer time:

Blender Artist is getting more and more unfriendly to be on. People are turning everything into them versus us, using nasty debating techniques, then accusing others of using nasty debating techniques. Everyone is insulted left and right, and it’s becoming harder and harder to just enjoy reading threads.

I can handle some stuff, but I know I’m not the only one feeling that Blender and Cg discussions is turning out to be only good for becoming stressed than you know, actual Blender and CG discussions.
People have already left the forum because it’s too stress inducing, and more people are considering leaving.

And I’m not saying we should all get along and go all daycare-mother on everyone, but if we disagree can we at the least be relaxingly disagreeing? I’m posting this here because it’s an issue, and I have no solution, but I would like to hear others opinion on how to solve this.

I have been wandering long enough at the internets that I know that there is no point taking anything personally said at forums. I also encourage to read Don miguel Ruiz’s book “The four agreements.” It really tells you how to live happy life. The core are the four agreements:

agreement 1

Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2

Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3

Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4

Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

mmm, actually I find BA an extremely friendly and even courteous forum compared to other forums. Sure, the debate on UI reforms is heated but I wouldn’t call it uncivil or anything.

you do have a point though that some discussions are getting more ‘them vs. us’ which is unhelpful and certainly worth pointing out to the participants but I personally don’t feel any discomfort following the debates.

It’s rare to find a forum with such a high number of people who put others down and generally abuse without getting kicked off or at least warned.

It used to be a place where we could come to get information, but it’s turning out that Blender Nation and YouTube fulfill that role far better these days.

It is always a few that show up to defend their position, even though it isn’t worth the fight. I don’t mind reading contrasting opinions, but it does get aggravating to read someone refer to another forum user as ‘stupid’ ‘ridiculous’ or whatever else. Seems to me they should focus on the argument, not the arguer.

As far as I know, there are a few core types of people on this forum which together might stir up tension and/or trouble.

  • There are the people who unconditionally agree with those who appear as one who is very experienced and successful (ie. they are swayed and affected by ‘star power’ or so to speak), these people can stir up tension when they aggressively defend against criticism of their favorite mentor or user.

  • There are the people who say that the Blender software should feel like an exclusive realm, by deciding that any UI improvements aren’t needed or even make it harder for beginners or people from other software to get into it. (this also includes the small group who still prefer the old 2.4x interface with all of the small buttons over the 2.5 design). These people are usually capable of getting reactions from those who have tried to move to Blender and are turned off by what appears to be a ‘country club’ mentality.

  • There are those who invest in taking an aggressive stance on disagreement and call out users on perceived issues of semantics, oftentimes the part that can easily cause trouble is that they do not offer competing or alternative suggestions on how the issue being discussed in Blender can be resolve and/or how a certain area can be improved.

I know when I go into those threads, there are some proposals that I like less than others, but I try to balance that disagreement with ideas of my own as well as not unconditionally disagreeing with all of it, because as much as some people hate Andrew’s proposal (or Andrew as a person in some recent cases), he did have some good points throughout his series. A lot of other people have made good points as well, but there’s a few who find fault with one or two things the person is stressing and they decide to throw those points out as well without thinking just because they don’t like the person. I’m not saying that I am not susceptible to getting overly emotional or aggressive at times, everyone can fall to this, but it would help if people at least try to make an effort to think what they are about to post and change the message if needed or not post at all.

Also, I would disagree with this forum being as bad as YouTube, there are many places on YouTube where the comments section of seemingly innocuous videos devolve into ad-hom attacks, name-calling, heavy profanity and religion-bashing (which in many cases can seemingly happen for no reason whatsoever). I don’t recall seeing things quite that bad here on BA (or mods lock the thread before the floodgates of incivility open up, which for some reason civility is apparently frowned upon in many areas of society these days).

It isn’t just the ui threads - and not just the Andrew proposal talk. It seems as of late there are way too many threads that are turned into ‘verbal shoving matches’, even over anything that the poster can divert from blender to comparing to anything else that they can.

Part of this could be a side effect of the community getting larger, as Blender grows in popularity, you start seeing a lot more kids and teens than there used to be (which might lead to the appearance of more threads becoming verbal shouting matches ,ad-hom machines or flamefests).

The same grievances have been getting aired on other community sites as well when the namesake software became popular. The Unity community is seeing more or less the same thing just because of how it’s now one of the biggest and most active software-specific communities on the web and you have tens of thousands of kids interested in game design using the free version. That’s another thing to because Blender has the potential to attract a disproportionate number of kids, teenagers, and those with wide variations in philosophies just because of the fact that it is free (in part because a high price point prices-out the young, those with a less than serious interest in doing 3D, and the Linux groupies (that small, radical subset of the Linux community) who believe all software should be free and those that don’t follow be ‘punished’ through software pirating).

And this is why God invented the block feature in forums. Don’t let ppl get to you. I’m not sure why some ppl online try to be mean or hateful. They don’t seem to care or realize they are speaking to real ppl. We all contribute to these forum shouting matches though. If a person is being a dick, just ignore them; diffuse the situation by refusing to be negative. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re having a bad day or for some reason they misunderstood something I said and took it to be rude. But after a while those that rub me the wrong way on a consistent basis just get blocked.

I add my 2 cents in sometimes where it isn’t wanted and I can take it when someone steps up to tell me that. It actually is a lot more uncomfortable to me when a person tells me nicely that what I’m saying is just taking up space and has no bearing on the conversation. I then get pretty embarrassed, but when ppl are obviously trying to piss you off by being all nasty, those kinds of ppl don’t bother me at all. It takes a sad insecure person to intentionally want to hurt other’s feelings. Those types deserve your pity. In my experience they are very unhappy ppl.

At that point, the various UI (more or less) related threads have become so toxic in content that i’m simply avoiding them, i’d like to keep in check my poor old blood pressure and mood and not have it worsened more than they are by reading this kind of “discussions”.

The UI thing has regularly been coming back considering it’s by the interface we interact with the program it’s obvious everyone will have an opinion about it what they like/don’t like.
But really i don’t remember this having reached that point of toxicity it has in the last few weeks.

The only good point is that the problem is only located on the “blender&cg discussion” and none of the other boards.

The moderation team has been discussing this already for quite a while now (before the recent UI shenanigans, actually). We’ll be rolling out some changes in policy soon-ish.

this is good news then, thank you

Well, it’s started back up here again for round 2:!/page4 I’m staying out of it this time. Geez!

Eh, this place is nice compared to what it used to be a few years ago. BA Forums used to be like the wild west at times. Even embarrassing. Thanks to the new owners and staff it’s now a forum I can refer anyone to without reservation. Anyone that knows anything about people know there’s always friction from time to time when you get two or more together. These forums are pretty tame now, IMO.

Here’s my thoughts on the topic anyway…

Maybe we need some sort of a jail forum for off-topic or related topic tit-for-tat arguments to be sent to. Please, no more locking of hijacked threads. Too many good threads have been ruined and locked through the years, usually because of just a few members.

Nasty flames and wars (I never see that here) and political statements should be deleted. Political thread-starters should be deleted not just locked. I think that policy would be a bigger deterrent to serial rule-breakers and political activists than threat of banishment.

I used to frequent a volatile forum (Aces High) where #1 rule is members can’t “moderate” rule breakers. Report only. That seemed to work pretty well. I think they had a jail forum too, but the moved arguments and flames were locked… as a hall of shame. I figure if it’s too nasty to leave open in the jail it should be deleted. Like political activists, trolls and flamers are motivated by having their statements seen by the semi-captive audience of a forum site. Most of the arguments that derail threads here really aren’t that bad on their own. Often they are related to the thread topic. Deletion is a bit harsh for those.

It’s not a job I would want. Moving / deleting is easy. Making the call on what goes and what doesn’t is often difficult.


I just think that you need to have, and to keep, “thick skin.” Remember that the person who wrote the words of a post was “speaking,” and maybe “speaking extemporaneously” … yet, when you read the post, you are “reading.” It will therefore have a completely-different (and much more pronounced) psychological impact, which might not at all be what the “speaker” intended.

Also, “artists present: handle with care.” That means “them,” and that means “you.” If you didn’t wear both your emotions and your pride close to the surface, you wouldn’t be an artist. :slight_smile:

If you were always “diplomatic,” then I daresay, you wouldn’t be an artist either.

So … “forewarned is forearmed.” Participate in the forums with a double-helping of patience and a triple-helping of forgiveness. If something makes you be offended … insofar as possible, merely choose not to be. Decline to accept the feeling; do not allow it inside. Decline to respond in-kind. Let it go.

(Oh, go ahead and say it … “you %#%#@!!ing a**hole!” … ahh, feels good, don’t it … just don’t say it on-line.) :yes:

I never paid much attention to the threads in the general forums but prompted by this thread I checked some that were locked by the moderators. I have to say I was mildly shocked by what I read, I had no idea that people would go at it like that.
But on the other hand, at the end of the day it’s just a few threads and indeed just a few people who keep on going at each others throat. I have no idea how many BA members there are but those people are probably just a tiny fraction. I still would advise people new to Blender to join BA and maybe caution them a little bit that some threads look a bit like a schoolyard : -)

We need to troll the crap out of these UI folks. Make a video outlining all kinds of crazy changes and all you guys come and post in that thread as if you like the ideas a lot. Oh tears. the glorious tears.

IMHO, moderators should reconsider about the rating system for each post.
It feels not fair if someone posted a thread with no ill intention, and then a troll coming in, other members feed the troll, and it end up with flame war and the thread get closed. OP’s thread closed because of other’s fault. That’s not good.

Rating system, i think, has some benefit over this.
If a post received 5 negative response, the post automatically collapsed, but still can be expanded if someone wants to read it.
It can be considered as a sign, or a warning, that the post doesn’t need a reply, because it will only feeding the troll. It’s like saying, “Hey dude, that is rude. Please stop it!”
Sure, at some degree, rating down a post can be considered feeding the troll. But i think it’s potential to create a flame war is less than if someone replying the post directly. Because normally, if someone replying the post, the troll will post some arguments to justify their points, and attacking other’s points as addition.

If a post received 10 (or 15? 20?) negative response, the post automatically deleted (the community decides to remove a trollish post). Moderators don’t have to bother posting a warning to the troll (unless the troll keep posting another offensive post). OP’s thread saved. People can continue the discussion in a constructive atmosphere.

Other benefit is lazy member like me don’t have to bother typing a comment, if i like someone’s post :evilgrin:.

A discussion like the GUI one is a perfect ground for annoyance. As soon as people start talking details, you know there’s gonna be trouble. I like Andrews proposal to remake the GUI, but after stating that, I get attacked for specific details in his video? Wtf people, like I give a sh!t? :wink: I might think the idea is right, remaking the GUI from scratch, but the details gotta be worked out by the people who’s actually gonna do the work. Trying to debate the specifics of a thing like this, that’ll just lead to a lot of whining - it always does…

But start a thread about a problem you have here and you’ll see a whole other side of the forum. There’s a lot of competence here. :slight_smile:


Well, the thing that bother me is that it’s consistently Blender and CG discussions where it happens. Which annoys me a ton, because where do you go to discuss GSOCs, blender meeting notes and new technology: Blender and CG discussions.

No we don’t.

Oh, I know that, but the UI discussions aren’t the only place it happens. There’s been plenty of things before, like the Marketing Blender thread, the sculpting drama, the constant whining about the viewport, entitledment regarding bugs and dev’s time, while not being bothered to report bugs or even contant the devs properly. And then, this compounded by genuine nastiness. People psychoanalysing eachother, calling each other slurs, throwing around words like ad hominem and objective opinion, just because they want to win their little pissing contest.

That the UI discussions are inflamatory is natural, that they are this inflamatory is only a sign of the general mood of the forum.