How to avoid getting banned on SSi

I think part of the issue is that text based discussions have very little indicators in the way of tone, so often directness can be read as abruptness or even aggressiveness. It’s the big problem with medium transfers. I’ve learned to alter my wording to sound more polite, and when all else fails, smileys are pretty clear. :blush:


You have made a very interesting and important point, @Matilda. It’s certainly true in my own experience!

I was born in South Africa and grew up in the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). My mother tongue is English. When I settled in England 37 long years ago, I found that my communication style differed quite a bit from the “natives”. I found them to be a bit like your Japanese - talked “around” a subject and frustratingly, took forever to get to the point. Whereas they found me like your Russians - blunt and “call a spade a spade”, sometimes to the point of rudeness.

I was horrified when it was pointed out to me how I was coming across - my upbringing always put great store by straight talking, honesty and “what you see is what you get”. It took me a while to change my ways - these things don’t happen overnight .But I honestly feel that all these years later, I’ve become 90% “English” in the way I communicate. I’ve become so thoroughly “de-tribalised” that I now feel that the “English” way is the “correct” way…to the extent that I find my ex-countrymen a bit “Russian” (in the sense that you describe).

The advantage of verbal communication, of course, is that you can more often than not tell from a person’s accent that they originally come from “somewhere else” - and make allowances accordingly. This doesn’t apply with electronic communication such as forums!


There is an interview with Michael Sheen in which he mentions social media turning into exchange of insults instead of sensible discussion-

It is a shame if folk get so worried about seeming rude that discussion is prevented and exchange of views cut off. That can lead to frustration. In the world at large - we get Brexit votes and D J Trump, here we could get people leaving the Forum, which, surely, would be sad? :sob:


I don’t think the issue is so much with avoiding discussions for fear of being rude, it’s just about learning to write in such a way that doesn’t sound aggressive. But of course, it cuts both ways - I think we all have to realise that the tonelessness of text based communication can make others come across in ways they don’t intend, and give them the benefit of the doubt. Knee jerk reactions don’t help anyone. :slight_smile:


It is a shame if folk get so worried about seeming rude that discussion is prevented and exchange of views cut off. That can lead to frustration. In the world at large - we get Brexit votes and D J Trump, here we could get people leaving the Forum, which, surely, would be sad?

Sorry, I don’t understand, but I am feeling a little slow this morning. You may prefer to PM me what you mean - or not, of course. :slight_smile:

You evidently don’t live in Yorkshire.


I’m sure you are not slow, it must be me who hasn’t expressed myself clearly. What M Sheen says is that on social media, people can end up very rude, which we all agree is a bad thing. He says we need proper discussion, and if someone says something with which we disagree or don’t seem to understand, we need to discuss it calmly and this may end up with a change of opinions, or a compromise or a friendly agreement to differ. Not discussing is as bad as rudeness, because the understanding never happens, the friendliness is lost just as much if folk turn away from discussion as if they shout or are rude to each other. I don’t think anyone on this forum is deliberately rude to anyone else, it is all intended as friendly, but if discussion just stops, maybe the friendliness is lost too? I don’t think I have the words to expain any better. Truly sorry. :sob:

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Partly for that sort of reason, I think it should be standard practice for people to put their location (country), and perhaps native language, in their profile, to give a bit more context, especially in a language-oriented forum. However, what with modern concerns about privacy, coupled with unfamiliarity with the technical aspects of a forum that is new to one, it tends not to happen.

In 7 years, I haven’t seen that happen on the forum. The only thing I’ve seen happen (VERY occasionally) is people who aren’t willing to make the unusual effort (for the internet) to be pointedly polite and friendly in the their discussions - and those people eventually have to leave us.

But we have hosted deep and interesting discussions on a number of thorny topics over the years - and the only thing necessary for that to continue to happen is for people to understand that (especially for thorny topics) they need to contribute with overt friendliness and respect for the other person. When that happens, everything else is okay.


Many thanks for taking the time to reply @henddraig

I just couldn’t follow your link between not being rude and “brexit” and “he-who-shan’t-be named.”

I agree, of course, that disgreements and misunderstandings can and should be resolved by discussion, but I much prefer to do this face to face. In my long experience of using the internet and its precursors, I have very rarely found that issues can be resolved or clarified via digital media. (Witness this post :wink:)

I have far more often seen prejudices reinforced, hatred promoted and inanity amplified. (Which, to my mind, is more likely to lead to disastrous voting)

I fully realise that my opinion is not shared by everyone or perhaps anyone, and I realise also that my jealous view of this forum as a haven from contention may well be a minority one. If I’m in too small a minority, I’ll do the honourable thing … again :laughing:


No, it’s not - it’s the majority view, and it’s the management view too, and it’s how things will be…:slight_smile:

We’ve always tried to make room for a wide range of discussions - but the bottom line for us is that this is a support forum for Welsh learners, and no discussion in here is more important than that.

To the extent that people can discuss matters in a calm and friendly manner, showing respect for everyone involved in the discussion, and making it all clear enough to get over the ‘text only’ barrier, we’ll continue to host and enjoy those discussions.

But we do not see them as a primary focus of this community, and we will not risk any of the core values of the community in order to allow discussions which fail to maintain these unusually high standards. :slight_smile:


Point taken. If anyone goes, me!

I hope that won’t happen… :slight_smile:

Debate is healthy. Insults are.not. I’m not saying I always get it right. For sure I dont.

However lack of debate is surely destructive also.

The key word is i think respect. People have diferent opinions on many things. My own tongue in cheek nationalism was clearly not to some people’s tastes. No problem. I have another outlet for that.

A sugar coated forum may well be what some want. A more open forum may be what others want. Somewhere in the middle lies the balance.

Ultimately the person who runs the forum is entitled to do with it as they see fit and i’m sure takes the views of all into consideration.

However, i am of the opinion that there have been a few (not many) instances where some very contentious opinions have been aired and some very innocent views resulted in new posters getting flamed. One poor soul once got a great deal of criticism for complaining about the cost of SSIW. I believe it was a genuine mistake. I ask that those of you who are championing respect ask yourselves whether or not you too (as indeed I) have ever posted something others may take umbrage over.

We all can learn and move forward. But lets please not get too sanctimonious about things. 99.9% of the time there are no problems. Lets not get too carried away and cause more problems than are being solved.

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12 posts were split to a new topic: The gradual slide off-topic in the ‘banned’ thread (and some interesting stuff about autism)

I hope that won’t happen…

Me,too :smile:

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A sugar coated forum may well be what some want.

Has anyone proposed this?

Interesting you should mention its precursors. Were you in academia or research? I worked for a public sector scientific research lab, closely connected with academia, and by the nature of things, we were early users (pioneers even) of computer networks, whose use soon branched out beyond pure data transfer and into personal communications, including email and interactive chat, newsgroups and the like. Janet, Bitnet, Earn…may be names familiar to you.

Anyway, it soon became very apparent that it was extremely hard to “set the right tone” in text-based discussions. This was what led to the invention of the smiley - now much more sophisticated of course, but with the same end in view.

Some people were quite good at adapting to this sort of electronic communication, and others less so. When this sort of communication was limited to academic scientific etc, circles, the “problem” was more containable. Of course, things have moved on a long way since then, in some ways for the better, but better technology has not solved the basic problem that anything other than face to face communication can be so easily misunderstood, and problems can soon escalate.
(Skype is an excellent compromise, although also not perfect).

Not quite to the point, I note with some regret, that the art of the long, literate and interesting email discussion is dying the death almost more quickly than the art of conventional letter-writing. I assume this can only be because people now email by phone and not sit-down keyboard devices (and are probably doing it “on the hoof”, or almost), and also perhaps in some haste.

And so back to the point, forum response are also now more often made in haste, “on the hoof”, and that also may contribute to some of the problems.


hasn’t been much on the forum of late that I felt I could really contribute too

That’s never stopped me. :laughing:


No, it’s not - not for us, not here. We’ve had longish patches over the years where for one reason or another, there hasn’t been much serious debate going on - which is fine. This is a support forum, first, foremost and always. We can, if necessary, live without debate, but we cannot live without kind, friendly support.

Yes. Sugar-coated is what we have always wanted to be, what we have always (barring brief interruptions) managed to be, and what we will always want to be. Sugar-coated but calorie-free, it doesn’t get much better… :slight_smile:

When you say something like that, Pete, plenty of people will read it and immediately think ‘Am I one of the people he thinks is sanctimonious?’. It brings a kind of accusation into the forum, which is exactly the sort of thing we want to avoid. This sort of stuff needs super-careful phrasing.

I’m leading on this, Pete, and I’m confident that this discussion has arisen because we HAVE had some problems in the forum recently. Here’s hoping I won’t get ‘carried away and cause more problems’, but since what I’m intending to do with this is exactly the same as I’ve been doing with the forum for the last 7 years, it should follow the same pattern that has worked successfully for us in that time (although of course I understand it may well seem different/challenging to anyone who hasn’t been with us for all that time).