How to avoid getting banned on SSi

[+Bit about a petition for funding for S4C down at the bottom…]

A few forum users have contacted me recently to say that the ‘feel’ of the forum has been less welcoming and friendly of late - and I agree with them.

We’ve just had to implement a temporary ban (on an individual) for the first time in several years, which is very disappointing.

So, just for clarity’s sake, here’s a bit of a recap:

We expect politeness and friendliness in every post.

Even if you’re disagreeing about something - in fact, ESPECIALLY if you’re disagreeing about something, because that’s exactly the kind of situation that can lead to bickering.

We have had recent instances of bickering - if it continues, we will have further (and permanent) bans.

But we have also had a number of posts which would be entirely acceptable anywhere else, but which do NOT reach our requirements for friendliness.

If being overtly and deliberately friendly feels forced and artificial for you, we understand - it’s not the normal tone of the internet - but nonetheless, that is what we require for membership of this forum.

Thank you… :slight_smile:

And if you’re new to the forum and live outside Wales, Jackie @henddraig has a petition going to maintain proper funding for S4C - see:


I’m lifting my current hiatus with regard this. I still read the forum despite my lack of posting. I do hope where i have overstepped the mark people know it was with the best of intentions and never aimed at an individual.

What i would ask everyone to consider is whether the persona they display in anonymity is the persona they have in real life.

There are, worryingly, studies done that show the internet can be very destructive. Facebook, twitter and forums can lead to depression and behaviours that are far from positive.

We all joined SSIW to learn the language. Not to argue. Admittedly it has formed very strong views for me regarding welsh nationalism. Equally and possibly more important to me is the real sense of community on here.

I am still in touch with many on here and when i feel well enough to return i hope to do so in the friendly place it is :slight_smile:


You know I was very sorry to see you go and felt partly responsible. I often think I get away with more because I’m an - well, ‘old biddie’ comes to mind! I state over and over that I’m an unreconstructed Nationalist. So others sort of shrug and mutter, “Her again!”
[redacted by Aran, final warning]
@aran we care about Cymraeg.or we wouldn’t be here. Yes, it is possible to value the language and not the culture or the people, but … er… it isn’t something I find easy to deal with. I hope all those who jibe at my views will read your book and come to understand a little!

1 Like

Jackie, that kind of running commentary on who you see as right and who you see as wrong does not help create the friendly environment we’re looking for.

This is NOT a place for arguments, for siding with or against people, for making personal comments, or behaving in ANY unfriendly way. We do NOT make exceptions about this for anyone.

I fully agree with you about Facebook and other social media sites being pernicious and suspect.

1 Like

I would like to quickly point out that, being autistic, I’m rather bad at judging the tone of my posts. While I don’t expect to be an exception to the rules, I would definitely appreciate being told if any my posts are getting a bit unfriendly or unwelcoming, as it has never been my intention.


Same thing!

I usually just hope that adding smileys will make it clear that I’m trying to be nice :smile:

1 Like

What a relief to read this thread. I felt so welcome when I nervously asked my first beginners’ question, and have felt so supported since, that I can’t bear to think of newer forum users being scared off by bad-tempered linguistic and political arguments, or indeed by an increasing amount of brilliant, incomprehensible Welsh.

Aran, I hope that this reminder to us all is enough for the exceptionally friendly tone of this forum to be fully and permanently restored.


I can’t think of a single soul more passionate over the Welsh language culture or political situation than Aran - so if he can set the tone here as a calm and friendly one and keep off the politics himself then it should be downright easy for the rest of us!

Lots of us are in touch on other non-SSIW media - those are the platforms for campaigning and debating, not this one. (And indeed I do so vigourously!)

I usually catch myself when stepping near the line and normally step back again but a friendly reminder never hurts!


What a hard topic to deal with delicately. I think you do a great job of highlighting the tone you hope to set as distinctly different from other internet forums. I also hope that anyone who has been warned does not feel shamed or take it personally. As an outsider, I always love to get insight into conflicting political opinions. I hope that those who have felt the power of the ban-hammer know that their opinions, in another setting, have value. And I hope they understand where you are coming from – because I get it. Language learning has to be a safe place.

1 Like

Thanks for clarifying Aran. Some of the posts lately were making me slightly apprehensive.


I’m glad to see this brought up. I don’t pop by the forum half as much as I used to because of a thread a long while back which left me feeling like an outsider to the community. The welcoming tone of Aran and Iestyn’s creation is a very delicate flower and no one wins if its damaged.


I too have sensed a bit of hostility here of late, which is a shame because the forum I joined last year was such a friendly and welcoming place. I would not be in the position I am in terms of the language without the kindness and support of all here. Hopefully we can return it to that atmosphere that was so welcoming and encouraging.


I’m exceptionally sorry to hear that, Steve - please accept my personal reassurances that I have always seen you as a very valuable, supportive and enthusiastic member of the community. Do please contact me if anything makes you feel that way again - and for everyone else reading this, please be aware that our CENTRAL concern here is to be welcoming.

If for ANY REASON you don’t feel welcome in this community, PLEASE contact me personally.

Yes - it’s tough to get corrected, particularly when it happens in public, and it takes strong characters to be able to accept that and continue to contribute. When it comes to political opinion, we strongly sympathise with the urge to discuss, and encourage people to do so on other platforms when they don’t feel they can stay within the boundaries on this forum.

With personal attacks, of course, it’s a very different matter - in many ways, that’s much easier for us to deal with.

Thank you to everyone who has posted in here - your concern and affection for this community is hugely inspirational for us - and seeing the quiet concern that has been spreading helps us recalibrate slightly on what we do and don’t let slide.

Actually, I’ve always found you a very friendly and calm contributor, quick to help and support others, and exactly the kind of community member we’re eager to see… :slight_smile: :star2:


As I hope @leiafee can attest via the other sites she has mentioned, having miscomprehensions pointed out can lead to productive alterations to view points.

Please do not take corrections personally. Language is so linked to our identity that it is easy to take it as an affront. Also, correcting is a skill (one I have misjudged at times). Remaining constructive is key. It’s also very hard to get across without facial expressions. So now I assume, as @aran pointed out, that everyone is friendly and has good intentions. That’s helped me avoid arguments. At least I hope I’ve done so successfully.


OK, I’m going to butt in and do my impassioned ‘drunk aunt at a wedding’ speech - those of you who know me will be well used to this by now… :wink:

Us Joneses used to dabble in a bit of local politics / ran the voluntary language and housing pressure group Cymuned for 5 years. We were (and still are) very passionate about Wales, its people, communities and above all language. Back then (and until recently) we lived in an area highly dependent on seasonal tourism. Its housing market was crippled by second homes. Its jobs market was poor, and certain pockets of communities within the area suffered from increasing language anaemia. This is why we felt we had to fight.

Our 5 years of Cymuned were filled with passion, enthusiasm, spirit and resistance. Those 5 years were also filled with uncertainty, sacrifice, fear, hate. We marched and protested, stood on streets with placards and received death threat letters. We were having trouble making ends meet. We were even told by a consultant that it was the stress in our lives that was causing our long term fertility problems. I have never in my life experienced so much anger and hatred.

You know that burning feeling you have, the one fuelled by love, feelings of injustice, of sadness and passion? It can be difficult to channel constructively. You fervently want to do something practical and helpful, beyond the keyboard and the odd petition and charity box. But you fear the naysayers and the opposition, pointing fingers and spitting at you in the street, because you’re not sure if your constitution can take it.

My constitution started to suffer. The stress and anxiety was taking over and I couldn’t stand the spitting and the finger pointing any longer.

We eventually let go our tight grip on Cymuned and that’s when our daughter came into being. But our eagerness to want to make a difference to Welsh communities, remained.

SSiW was born alongside our daughter. Aran had spent months doing research, writing course content and exploring marketing and I had spent months baking a baby. We’d had to let go of the mortgage and were living in a bedsit, but our lives were at last basking in a positive glow. The stress had left us and our family was growing.

SSiW is the most positive and fulfilling thing I have ever done. It was born out of love and a need to do good. It was born out of a need to save the Welsh language.

Sorry to be a bit of a hippie, but truth is SSiW is my family. Here on the forum I have so many brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. We’ve shared Bootcamps, meals, drinks, hugs, parties, Eisteddfods, gigs, rugby matches, karaoke sessions, cake and so much more, and boy have we had fun!

The forum has always been a welcoming haven for learners of all abilities who want to join the SSiW family, learners of all backgrounds, of all ages, all religions and races - we don’t discriminate here.

Truth is (and sorry in advance for the swearing) there’s a lot of shit out there and it drives me insane. We live alongside fear and suffering and uncertainty every day, let’s not bring it in here. I’m as much of a keyboard warrior as anyone else (you should see me on Facebook at 12.30am after half a bottle of Pinot), but let’s keep this wonderful forum safe, I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome here, not ever.

Diolch. X


Your’s and Aran’s passion and the way you stand up for the things that matter to you most is truly inspirational . The fact that you actually got death threats is so shocking and sad especially since you were sticking up for something that is so important . What you have done in terms of setting up SSIW has helped so many people and has helped the Welsh language a great , great deal and I for one will be eternally grateful to you both for the way the course is helping me and for all your support :slight_smile:


I, too, have felt uncomfortable with the way the forum has felt lately. @BronwenLewis and @Karla summed up my feelings quite well. I would not be where I am today with my Welsh if it were not for the support and kindness of the people on this forum. I have “lurked” on several forums about various interests I have, but I have never in all those years posted anywhere but here, which speaks volumes about the kind of place this is.

Living in the US and never having been to Wales, I didn’t understand that there were so many issues around the Welsh language in Wales until I came to SSiW last year. I thought most people there spoke the language! “Language anaemia” is bad enough, but it is horrifying to hear about the anger and hatred that @CatrinLliarJones and @aran experienced. Death threats! I just want to cry. Thank you both (and @Iestyn and Cat) for everything you have done and are doing with SSiW. I truly hope that in time, love, as Aran talks about in his book, can change the situation for the better.


:heart: :heart: especially to @CatrinLliarJones and apologies to her husband!


Thank you, Aran, for your intervention.

In the last few weeks I had only noticed an adversarial tone in the discussions of some of the grammar and that felt uncomfortable to me. Goodness knows what was in some of the other threads, but please don’t tell me; I’d rather not know.

I actually feel better about going into the forum already. There are people in there who I’ve spoken to and seen but never met and there are those whose contributions to the discussions have been helpful so I know there are plenty of nice people in there.

1 Like