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How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 04:14:03


Post by: Yodhrin


There's no arguing that social media platforms - chiefly facebook and instagram - have become the primary way of interacting with the wargaming hobby for a lot of folk, but I've had several interactions recently that have left me concerned and I can't really think of a way to address that concern.

Forums, for all their faults, have tended to be fairly open places. There are rules of civility and content(which could often stand to be a little bit more explicit...), but with a few game or faction specific exceptions they have in my experience tended to be more interested in facilitating discussion and sharing of hobby content than with attempting to influence what discussions are had and and what content is shared. With the shift to social media - Groups on facebook more specifically - however, that seems very much to be changing. The more focused nature of many groups has resulted in a tendency for there to only be one or two active ones for a given area of interest, and the more niche that interest the more likely there will only be a single one. That has given a fairly substantial amount of power and influence to the admin teams of those groups, and frankly in my view it is often being abused.

When a particular Group is the major or even only hub for a section of the community, I'd contend the people running that group have a responsibility to the community, but while many of the individuals and teams running these groups will claim they are of and for the community, more and more the reality is that they are trying to shape the community to fit their own personal preferences and opinions. Groups who's admins have appointed themselves as corporate guardians which ban fanart, scratchbuilds, or third party miniatures. Groups that arbitrarily exclude certain content because it doesn't fit within the narrow conception of a system held by the admin team. Given many of these Groups are serving a niche of a niche, I think the people running them appointing themselves as arbiters of what content is acceptable - not on the basis of civility or to preserve focus, but whim and personal preference - is genuinely damaging.

The problem is what can you actually do about it? Raising concerns politely and in private is, in my experience, met with dismissal and even outright hostility. Some will say "just start a rival Group", but due to the way social media works that's a losing proposition; when someone searches for the topic they're interested in and they see a Group with thousands of members and one with whatever handful of people are willing to put in some effort to get a new one going, they follow the numbers. The bigger a group gets, the more likely it will become the home of any given new person who goes looking for a group. For more active subjects you can sometimes get a handful of groups going if they each have their own "hook", but for niche-of-a-niche subjects it's rare to see more than one active one and attempting to rival that won't get you far unless the admins of the big group(who are often big not based on any merit but simply due to having been first to set one up and get the membership snowball rolling) do something truly egregious. Raising specific concerns publicly is pointless, since the way Groups are set up those in charge have absolute control and can simply prevent any attempt to start a debate or voice a complaint, and as a result if someone falls foul of these self-appointed arbiters of the hobby they remain isolated and may not even be aware that others also disagree with the way things are being done.

And that question is not rhetorical - what, if anything, can be done about it?


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 04:30:58


Post by: Azreal13


When the terms of a group I belong to were recently rewritten to include this..



5) Constant complaint threads will be removed, for any Issues contact ..... (Link at the bottom of the thread)



It was a bit of a red flag for me, and for a few others.

The facts are that the company in question aren't currently known for red hot response times since their dedicated CSR left over 12 months ago, and staff, right up to and including the founders, frequently post and comment. Most grievances were real, as opposed to just whining, and therefore an attempt to catch their attention was understandable if not always justified. Complaining on FB isn't likely to get your missing component any quicker, but when you've waited three weeks for a response, the need to vent can be seen as reasonable.

Now, a few members did perhaps take it too far, crossing the line into disruptive behavior, but my question was if this was (as admitted by admins) a minority, why not deal with the minority rather than artificially restrict discussion on what could be a genuine issue? (It's not been a good year for production issues and delays, there's grounds for a great deal of legitimate discussion there.)

Ultimately though, I think social media is perhaps one of the most direct democracies we have, if the admins of a group to the point where it cause people enough issues, then those people will turn away and seek out a new place to communicate, and the internet will allow them to find each other.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 07:54:36


Post by: Pink Horror


In my opinion, if someone has a problem with Group X because they aren't letting people address Topic Y, there's one thing that has to be done if that person is serious about solving the problem: naming Group X and Topic Y.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 08:58:45


Post by: AndrewGPaul


I think in that case the best bet is to ignore the group and invest your efforts in building your local community.

I'm in the Necromunda 2017 and Adeptus Titanicus 2018 FB groups but they're irrelevant to my gaming. Most of the members are dozens if not hundreds of miles away, after all; what relevance is that to me? I'm only there to post and look at photos of minis.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 09:10:44


Post by: OrlandotheTechnicoloured


I'd say that if a group is really squashing a bunch of discussions there will be enough disenchanted folk to make a new group that doesn't viable,

but of course setting up and running a group isn't an insignificant task, nor is policing it to keep out the bots selling fake sunglasses etc

that said i'm a member of a number of facebook groups related to minis and I've seen some change from relatively free and relaxed to much more likely to restrict discussions/stamp on complaints etc

and that's usually been because some users have started complaining about something (often legitimately) but started dragging it into almost every post about anything vaguely related which begins to make the group feel toxic and people start to leave

so the folk who run the group start to tighten the screw on the rules as an alternative to booting out members


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 09:34:30


Post by: AndrewGPaul


I can understand why the "no complaining" rules come about. I used to be a member of a group for local 40k players, until it disintegrated over the course of a weekend because one member took offence and it devolved into him issuing threats of physical violence and/or legal action against others. He got kicked out, but that wasn't what did for the group; it was some random hanger-on (who I wasn't aware even played 40k; I think he was just in the group to "build his brand") who started haranguing the mods the following day; "I didn't see the posts in question, but deleting posts and banning people is against free speech" was his argument, and the whole thing flared up again, to the point that the original group creator left. What was a fairly successful group for bringing together local players across the city for casual games and discussion dropped to two or three people having the same old conversations about "tournament meta" as every other forum and group.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 09:50:32


Post by: stroller


Start your own group, with your rules (and restrictions). People over time do vote with their feet.

Stay in group toxic, with a link to your group in your sig (if allowed).

At the end of the day it's their group - they can run it how they like.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2111/01/28 10:08:51


Post by: lord_blackfang


I am totally not accusing OP of anything, but MOST bannings I have seen on Facebook were over two reasons, either narcissists stirring up drama repeatedly over some perceived slight, or alt right troglodytes complaining about how there are too many wamens and minorities in their games nowadays.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 10:37:52


Post by: YeOldSaltPotato


Honestly, forums only stopped being exactly what you describe after their back was broken by social media's relative ubiquity. Now you can have all your little manipulative cliques in one app, so much more effective at garnering the attention you desire. But that's old resentments of mine speaking, no idea what the general facebook community is like as I don't bother with it.

That said, I'll absolutely go with AndrewGPaul and say focus local if you can. Folks who actually have the chance of playing the game with you are generally far kinder than people interested in maintaining their online community. The only facebook community I'm part of is the one for my local store, it's a handy way to keep tabs on events and see who wants to play what, or occasionally show some stuff off. It does suck when you can't get the game your looking for locally, but honestly I'm realizing I'll play a lot of things if there's a local community for them.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Azreal13 wrote:
Now, a few members did perhaps take it too far, crossing the line into disruptive behavior, but my question was if this was (as admitted by admins) a minority, why not deal with the minority rather than artificially restrict discussion on what could be a genuine issue?


Hey, a use for my resentment!

Because that minority has friends, lots of them or a couple very loud ones who will constantly complain, threaten to leave and generally cause havoc in the community until they're let back unless you can conclusively point to a rule that you booted their disruptive friend over. And will do so to a lesser extent even if you do, but if you give them a rule, particularly one about complaining about the rules, you direct them out the door on their own. And get called a jackbooted fascist because you didn't want to read yet another tirade on a topic that has been rendered horse mist months prior.

And frankly, when your community starts spending a certain amount of time being completely negative things just start to spiral into a social drama hellscape no one wishes to engage in and ultimately you're at the mercy of moderators being willing to put up with the crap. Most would rather avoid that even if it means cutting off some viable discussion, because at some points a community is not really capable of having that discussion without imploding and leaving you to clean up yet another mess. Give it a few weeks or months, let the screamers leave, and then ask if you can broach the topic again in a constructive manner, preferably specifically limiting it to identification of problems discussions of solutions a solution rather than pointless complaining. Take some ownership of the discussion and let the complainers know you want to take it seriously rather than just vent. That's the only way you can take some of this and make it constructive. And if you want to identify the complainers, wait for the folks who immediately start complaining that you're constraining their ability to speak about the topic with your constructive limitations. There'll be plenty.

Otherwise you'll just be stuck with what the mods are willing to tolerate. It's really, really depressing to wake up to 20 pages of unrestrained drama and a pile of reports telling you to read the entire thing.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 11:26:18


Post by: Yodhrin


 lord_blackfang wrote:
I am totally not accusing OP of anything, but MOST bannings I have seen on Facebook were over two reasons, either narcissists stirring up drama repeatedly over some perceived slight, or alt right troglodytes complaining about how there are too many wamens and minorities in their games nowadays.


Well, I'm not going to name any names because then the topic just becomes a mudslinging match between pro and anti that group/person, but I will say I actually wasn't so much talking about the recent trend towards "no complaints/negativity" diktats(which, personally, I dislike and think are counter-productive - there's a reason it's called "venting", pent up frustrations tend to explode and create a much bigger mess than an occasional thread of complaining - but can at least see the reasoning for), or political stuff, I was genuinely referring to hobby-related gatekeeping. I'm not even referring to bannings, per se(both of the incidents that prompted this line of thought were thread locks intended to shut down a subject, not outright bannings - another thing that makes forming alternative groups difficult, in that admins have largely twigged to the fact that being too heavy-handed will drive people away and so use other tools unless & until someone gives them a plausible excuse to resort to banning).

I'll lay out a fictional scenario to illustrate the kinds of things I'm talking about:

One day the DakkaDakka admin & mod team wake up and decide, collectively(and, they stress, after a thorough and fair - internal only - debate) that in their view, the Tau don't fit the lore and tone and themes of 40K. Discussion of Tau is prohibited as off-topic, threads that mention Tau are locked, anyone who questions this new policy or urges they reconsider it is rebuffed with platitudes and, eventually, threats of banning.

The next day, the team wake up and decide - again collectively and after a spirited internal debate - that poor Company X is being taken advantage of by the meanie-weenie community, and they are no longer going to limit themselves to prohibiting outright and demonstrable copyright infringement as they are legally required to do to indemnify themselves: Third party miniatures that too closely approach the aesthetic popularised by Company X are banned(what, exactly, constitutes "too close" is of course ill-defined, nebulous, and seemingly down to how bad of a mood a given mod is in when they see it). Drawn, sculpted, or digitally sculpted fanart relating to Company X's IPs are banned. Scratchbuilds of models that Company X sells are banned. Anyone posting them will be given one warning/threadlock, and then banned.

Now - would Dakka be within its rights to do those things? Yes, the people who run it are, ultimately, the only ones who get to decide what it's used for. They may well find a portion of the userbase firmly agree with their own personal interpretations of 40K lore and of what constitutes an unfair usage of an IP you don't yourself own. But frankly I think it's unquestionable that exercising their rights in such an arbitrary and petty way is a detriment to the community and should be opposed - via reasonable and polite means only - if possible.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 11:33:56


Post by: Turnip Jedi


 AndrewGPaul wrote:
I think in that case the best bet is to ignore the group and invest your efforts in building your local community.

I'm in the Necromunda 2017 and Adeptus Titanicus 2018 FB groups but they're irrelevant to my gaming. Most of the members are dozens if not hundreds of miles away, after all; what relevance is that to me? I'm only there to post and look at photos of minis.


I'm with AGP on this, most of the FB groups I belong to are just to pick up theory and look at nice paintjobs, my local community is fairly small so if you're the only player for a faction you are sort of limited to self theorycrafted trial and error

Lurking for a while without posting can help as shirt-klaxons and attention addicts are easy to spot and mentally filter out


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 0013/11/28 12:07:12


Post by: Overread


This is honestly no different to forums, its just people.

The only difference is that its on Facebook instead of being on Probards/VB/Reddit or any other forum or social media site. In fact one big bonus of being on Facebook is that you can remain a member of the site itself and just shift to another group effortlessly. This, of course, does take the sting of out of many bans and thus can increase the chances of trolling; but by and large it can work.



In general I agree with the above that if a group starts to police itself into the extreme it will eventually kill itself and create enough of a vacuum of members and disgruntled people that another group can start up on its own. Of course a new group requires advertising, policing, moderating, work and such to form so its never a simple thing.

Another avenue is open discussion. Sometimes you've got to send the organiser a private message and just have a chat with them. Sometimes people don't realise the full impact of their rules or statements; or they can't see the damage they are doing. Or sometimes you might see damage being caused because, for example, all your friends are being banned, but a chat with the group organiser might reveal to you that its just coincidence that your friends on that group were also trolling it and destroying it and that the group was, in other ways, improving quite significantly.

Of course diplomacy is a skill, charging in and slinging insults or accusations or "if you don't I'll leave and I'll take loads of people with me" only makes it into a fight. Calm honest and non combative comments and questions will oft get a better reply and you've far more chance to change someone's opinion; esp online where physical and body language cannot take place.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 13:11:02


Post by: Daedleh


And frankly, when your community starts spending a certain amount of time being completely negative things just start to spiral into a social drama hellscape no one wishes to engage in and ultimately you're at the mercy of moderators being willing to put up with the crap. Most would rather avoid that even if it means cutting off some viable discussion, because at some points a community is not really capable of having that discussion without imploding and leaving you to clean up yet another mess.


This, so much.

I used to moderate a large kings of war group and the topic of multibasing, namely model counts, was a nightmare. Mantic put up some extremely lax rules for unit model counts; a unit's has to have over 50% of the "correct" models, preferably more. So a unit of 20 had to have at least 11 models on the base.

Very reasonable.

But not to a vocal few.

This required endless thread upon thread about how requiring 50% model counts was just like Nazi Germany. Mantic had become (peak anti-consumer) GW. Mantic was pure evil.

It wasn't just their own threads, every single thread needed at least a dozen comments about how awful these minimum model rules were. If someone posted a thread asking what the minimum models are for x unit, that thread needed to be turned into an extended toxic argument about how authoritarian these minimum model counts are and how anyone answering the question is pure evil.

So, the admin team decided to ban the topic.

If someone asks a question about what the rules on model counts are, answer them. We don't care if you think a 50% required model count is literally Nazi Germany, rant about it elsewhere.

Someone, naturally, started a separate group where people could discuss anything and us Nazi moderators couldn't ban topics of conversation.

Within a couple of months they admitted that it was better for the health of the group if such topics were banned discussion and toxic little trolls weren't allowed to drag the group down with their ridiculous crusades.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 13:26:37


Post by: Overread


Many forums ban politics and religion discussions for the very same reason of avoiding building toxic atmosphere within a community.

Photography forums around the time when digital started to change the landscape form film into digital also banned Digital VS Film debates for the same reason that it could so easily end up in a fight.


In my experience stopping it before it becomes an issue is far better than wading into fights all the time. Once people get fixated on a topic they are not changing nor sharing views but trying to impose theirs on others. Get a handful like that and peopel who otherwise get on well with each other, will be at each other's throats the whole time. It will lose members both new and old; it will make the site nasty to be on and it can pull a site apart. Far better that the topic is banned (forever or just for a period of time - eg most photo forums now don't have the ban or if its there in the rules its not enforced) - and perhaps one or two people are lost over that; than the whole site is torn to bits.


I must say many times when I see people who complain of being banned or being regularly banned from forums there is often (not always) more of an issue with them and the way they conduct themselves; than with moderators. Yes there are bad mods out there, and there are mods out there who have a very blinkered view or who are very specific with enforcing rules etc... Ergo yes there are bad mods; but in general most larger communities tend to have fairly capable mods and the issues are oftne user rather than mod based (broadly speaking)


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 13:32:53


Post by: Polonius


 Daedleh wrote:

It wasn't just their own threads, every single thread needed at least a dozen comments about how awful these minimum model rules were. If someone posted a thread asking what the minimum models are for x unit, that thread needed to be turned into an extended toxic argument about how authoritarian these minimum model counts are and how anyone answering the question is pure evil.


I remember that. I was drifting away from KoW anyway, but that was the final straw that lead to me leaving the group. It seemed that MMC was literally all anybody discussed.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 OrlandotheTechnicoloured wrote:

and that's usually been because some users have started complaining about something (often legitimately) but started dragging it into almost every post about anything vaguely related which begins to make the group feel toxic and people start to leave

so the folk who run the group start to tighten the screw on the rules as an alternative to booting out members


Yeah, I've seen a few instances where people either kept flogging a dead horse, or kept bombarding the group with their super obscure pet projects. It's one thing to be obsessed with something ultra-niche, but its another to post daily or more, with very little content, about that obsession.



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 15:41:44


Post by: Yodhrin


I mean, again, you're continuing to debate against something I'm not taking issue with.

I don't expect to go to a hobby FB group and discuss politics. I don't blame the volunteers running a FB group for trying to shut down "negativity" even if I think it's mostly a counter-productive response and is often used as a tool by people too invested in a brand who see fair & reasonably presented criticism of that brand as a personal assault on them. I do expect to go to a hobby FB group dedicated to a specific game system and be allowed to discuss and post about all the aspects and factions of that system, rather than having the admins arbitrarily declare things that are *in the rulebook* as off topic/barred because they don't fit with their own "grimdarkier than thou" outlook. I do expect to go to a hobby FB group that purports to promote and support the hobby and see them promote and support *all* aspects of it, not impose ludicrously narrow "official Company X miniatures or GTFO" constraints and see admins coming in to threads where someone has posted their work to actively gak on it because it's not an official model(even when said model is far enough outside even their ridiculous idea of "copyright infringement" that they can't ban it). I do expect to go to a hobby FB group and not see admins promoting or supporting the notion that if you're not playing the system in a certain way, you're playing it wrong.

If you ran into people doing this IRL you would surely consider them a colossal That Guy who was actively damaging the appeal of their community, but for some reason when that kind of person gets themselves an admin/mod badge on a FB page people start making excuses.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 16:15:15


Post by: Polonius


I think at this point, without tangible examples, it's going to be hard to continue the conversation.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 16:19:47


Post by: StygianBeach


Yeah, it is a tricky one.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 16:54:08


Post by: aldo1234


I am in a facebook group with strict rules on IP infringement and in order to join it i had to read the rules (which stated these things) and then tick a box saying i have read all the rules and agree, so all these issues are well laid out BEFORE i even joined so i had a chance to see what would and would't be moderated/bannable before even considering to join.

If you don't like the rules join another group that has rules you do like, or start your own group thats what i think. In this day and age its easier than ever to start a facebook group or other social networking and make your own rules to cater to your views and outlooks


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 17:55:22


Post by: Easy E


The real question this topic bring sup in my mind is the ongoing and always changing discussion of who "owns" a hobby?

Is it the manufacturers for it or the people who participate in it?

There is no good answer to this question and it is the heart of many issues we see arise such as Yodhrim is expressing. We know where the Manufacturers answer is, but as the participants should we settle for that answer?


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 17:59:02


Post by: Elbows


Yep, signing up for any group or forum - you're agreeing to post by their rules. Simple as that - don't like it? Leave. I've left numerous forums and facebook groups because the tones took turns I didn't agree with.

A forum (moreso than a Facebook group) is someone else's property. A property they've put up to generate discussion - and it's not a matter of free speech, etc. It's a property I'm using and agree to its limitations and regulations set forth by the owners.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 18:25:04


Post by: Luciferian


An "anything goes" atmosphere can be time-consuming for group admins, and even leave them open to claims of liability. At the least, it can get the group shut down and everyone's work on that group wasted. For that reason it's understandable that admins sometimes err on the side of caution in terms of any issue that might have legal implications.

Apart from those legitimate concerns, gatekeeping is just the way things are done, unfortunately. That is not by any means relegated to hobby related groups, it's the general rule. Practically all of Reddit is rife with it no matter what the topic of the subreddit. When human beings are running an online community, their personal opinions, politics and values are going to color the way they moderate that community. It's not fun if your views don't align with theirs, but your only recourse is to go somewhere else. If you want a more open hobby group that is accepting of things like proxies or scratch builds then starting one yourself may be your only option. However, you might be surprised how many people who share your opinions could join in if it's truly the only place for them to go.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 19:31:21


Post by: Llamahead


Frankly if I post images of Heresy Trench Coat gangers in an official GW Necromunda Facebook thread or the new Delaque Gangers on Heresy Miniatures Facebook thread then yes I do feel they have a right to censor it. It's an advertising space for that company and a marketing tool for them. I would however be mildly miffed if I was banned from posting them on an independent Necromunda facebook group as that is not an official marketing tool but instead an unofficial place to discuss stuff.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 19:37:04


Post by: Pacific


 Easy E wrote:
The real question this topic bring sup in my mind is the ongoing and always changing discussion of who "owns" a hobby?

Is it the manufacturers for it or the people who participate in it?

There is no good answer to this question and it is the heart of many issues we see arise such as Yodhrim is expressing. We know where the Manufacturers answer is, but as the participants should we settle for that answer?


I assume we are talking about non-corporate groups here, rather than ones made for and expressly run by a company?

Well.. it should be obvious that if you want something properly open, with as much discussion as possible (so that it doesn't funnel or compress the discussion) then it needs to be as far away from the manufacturer as possible.

Anything (like this hobby) which is facilitated by artistic expression, by imagination, would suffer the more for having very strict rules on content. And would probably be quite a boring place to be.. (unless you want to just look at new releases from said manufacturer of course, in which cases there are few hobby companies these days that don't have some sort of FB, Twitter feed etc.).


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 19:41:18


Post by: Sqorgar


I think the solution is to belong to more general purpose forums like Dakka rather than a closed group dedicated specifically to a single game. Since we are gathered here together based on our collective interest in miniature gaming (in general) rather than in a specific game, if we have anything negative to say about a specific game, generally people don't go, "If you don't like it, why are you here?" and then ban you.

This does have the effect of making Dakka a more generally negative place, since we don't all like the same things or the same games, but it makes certain conversations possible that you can't have in a place where conformity of opinion is more expected. For instance, I've seen (and been a part of a few) conversations about boob armor here that have allowed both sides of the issue to make their points and have a real conversation about it. The conversation eventually devolves once the discussion has run out and only emotions remain, but at least the conversation was had.

You couldn't have that kind of discussion over on the Pathfinder boards - you'd get the thread locked because it wasn't relevant or because the discussion must necessarily relate to how Pathfinder deals with the issue, which is not community led but instead dictated from on high (so why bother discussing it, not being able to affect the outcome?).

I'm also against Facebook groups in general because they tend to be walled gardens, which doesn't make a community seem welcoming or open. For instance, Monsterpocalypse's premier community, where developers are admins and post frequently, is a Facebook community that you must belong to in order to see any of the content. And apparently (I don't have Facebook), the breadth of discussions is very limited there, with lots of threads closed before they even start. That community has a 0% chance of promoting interest in MonPoc, and comes across as more of a masturbatory exercise than a community.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 19:53:03


Post by: Polonius


So, it's common to assume that allowing everybody to say everything allows for the best conversations. That's true in the marco sense, meaning that society needs to allow all conversations, but rarely true in a micro sense.

A forum or FB group is really just a series of conversations, and if the conversations are monopolized or diverted by certain actions, it really can be for the good of the overall discussion to squash those actions. Yes, in a perfect world, everybody would be a wise adult and not respond to trolling or simply ignore things they do not like. But that's not realistic. Time, and more critically, attention, is a finite resource. Pruning discussion so that the fruits can grow, not the weeds, is a sad fact of life.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 19:55:57


Post by: Sqorgar


 Easy E wrote:
The real question this topic bring sup in my mind is the ongoing and always changing discussion of who "owns" a hobby?

Is it the manufacturers for it or the people who participate in it?
That's easy. Just look at the comic book industry right before its big crash (or now, before the impending next one) to see what a hobby looks like where the manufacturers own it and the people have left.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Polonius wrote:
Pruning discussion so that the fruits can grow, not the weeds, is a sad fact of life.
Nobody is arguing against this, just that maybe certain communities are using a criteria for pruning that selfishly favors appearances over the health of the plant.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 20:02:10


Post by: Luciferian


 Polonius wrote:
So, it's common to assume that allowing everybody to say everything allows for the best conversations. That's true in the marco sense, meaning that society needs to allow all conversations, but rarely true in a micro sense.

A forum or FB group is really just a series of conversations, and if the conversations are monopolized or diverted by certain actions, it really can be for the good of the overall discussion to squash those actions. Yes, in a perfect world, everybody would be a wise adult and not respond to trolling or simply ignore things they do not like. But that's not realistic. Time, and more critically, attention, is a finite resource. Pruning discussion so that the fruits can grow, not the weeds, is a sad fact of life.


Even assuming there are no bad actors involved, a group or community could still end up with a headache if anything goes. A tech company like Facebook is much more likely to humor the complaints of a major corporation than it is the interests of a small group of its users.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 20:12:25


Post by: Polonius


 Luciferian wrote:
 Polonius wrote:
So, it's common to assume that allowing everybody to say everything allows for the best conversations. That's true in the marco sense, meaning that society needs to allow all conversations, but rarely true in a micro sense.

A forum or FB group is really just a series of conversations, and if the conversations are monopolized or diverted by certain actions, it really can be for the good of the overall discussion to squash those actions. Yes, in a perfect world, everybody would be a wise adult and not respond to trolling or simply ignore things they do not like. But that's not realistic. Time, and more critically, attention, is a finite resource. Pruning discussion so that the fruits can grow, not the weeds, is a sad fact of life.


Even assuming there are no bad actors involved, a group or community could still end up with a headache if anything goes. A tech company like Facebook is much more likely to humor the complaints of a major corporation than it is the interests of a small group of its users.


Right. I was careful to avoid ascribing motive or normative value. A person might just be overenthusiastic, and lead to a low signal to noise ratio. Or they may have genuine beliefs, and not enough self regulation or social awareness to separate those beliefs from unrelated topics. The point is, it doesn't take bad people, or even bad actions, to derail productive conversation.



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 21:08:18


Post by: OrlandotheTechnicoloured


 Yodhrin wrote:


I'll lay out a fictional scenario to illustrate the kinds of things I'm talking about:

One day the DakkaDakka admin & mod team wake up and decide, collectively(and, they stress, after a thorough and fair - internal only - debate) that in their view, the Tau don't fit the lore and tone and themes of 40K. Discussion of Tau is prohibited as off-topic, threads that mention Tau are locked, anyone who questions this new policy or urges they reconsider it is rebuffed with platitudes and, eventually, threats of banning.

The next day, the team wake up and decide - again collectively and after a spirited internal debate - that poor Company X is being taken advantage of by the meanie-weenie community, and they are no longer going to limit themselves to prohibiting outright and demonstrable copyright infringement as they are legally required to do to indemnify themselves: Third party miniatures that too closely approach the aesthetic popularised by Company X are banned(what, exactly, constitutes "too close" is of course ill-defined, nebulous, and seemingly down to how bad of a mood a given mod is in when they see it). Drawn, sculpted, or digitally sculpted fanart relating to Company X's IPs are banned. Scratchbuilds of models that Company X sells are banned. Anyone posting them will be given one warning/threadlock, and then banned.

Now - would Dakka be within its rights to do those things? Yes, the people who run it are, ultimately, the only ones who get to decide what it's used for. They may well find a portion of the userbase firmly agree with their own personal interpretations of 40K lore and of what constitutes an unfair usage of an IP you don't yourself own. But frankly I think it's unquestionable that exercising their rights in such an arbitrary and petty way is a detriment to the community and should be opposed - via reasonable and polite means only - if possible.


On the IP issue it could be that the group organiser has had a 'legal' letter from the company in question (or even a warning from the social media site). If they're not a lawyer, and don't know any lawyers who can objectively look at the letter and say it's safe to ignore it they may well feel it's safer to follow whatever it says they need to do (and quite possibly go further just in case), after all this is meant to be fun for them, they're not making any money from the group (probably) so why take any risk?

now I'm not saying this is what's happened, they may indeed just be following their own biases, but it wouldn't surprise me if the process started with some sort of warning or legal threat


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 21:28:41


Post by: AndrewGPaul


I'm pretty sure I know what group Yhodrin's talking about; it's got a few GW staff lurking on it, and presumably the group admins are trying to ingratiate themselves. Mind you, another very similar group seems to be more tolerant of 3rd party models, and just makes do with the odd snide comment from the GW staffers there about a lack of imagination.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/28 21:32:01


Post by: YeOldSaltPotato


 Llamahead wrote:
Frankly if I post images of Heresy Trench Coat gangers in an official GW Necromunda Facebook thread or the new Delaque Gangers on Heresy Miniatures Facebook thread then yes I do feel they have a right to censor it. It's an advertising space for that company and a marketing tool for them. I would however be mildly miffed if I was banned from posting them on an independent Necromunda facebook group as that is not an official marketing tool but instead an unofficial place to discuss stuff.


This raises the interesting point, if it's some place 'official' or even sponsored by the company I'd also expect them to come down on things like this.

If folks are being uptight about bits and kits on an unofficial group, I'll happily go find one more modeling focused because they almost certainly won't be.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/29 04:25:39


Post by: Dreadclaw69


Simple solution; start your own group with blackjack and hookers.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/29 11:18:03


Post by: Da Boss


I have noticed discussion moving on to Facebook, but I am a bit of an outlier. I hate Facebook and other social media because I have a problem with what I guess I would term "unread message anxiety" where if I see I have messages unread I get very stressed out and avoidant. I manage this in my personal life by rigorously clearling my email inboxes, though when work is stressful I really struggle due to the volume. Facebook is just the worst for having a million notifications and things for me to check, and I find it really hard to ignore. So I have mostly stayed on Fora where this psychological aspect is not present, but I have seen more and more conversation move onto facebook.

I think these issues exist on fora as well, and always have. I think it comes from people defining their identities partially around their corporation brand loyalty, and therefore feeling the need to defend the corporation as part of their identity. That is diluted on Dakka because of the number of companies represented here, but still present to a degree. The other aspect is that a persons RL identity is much more part of who they are on Facebook than on fora like Dakka where people utilize pseudonyms.

For me, this just means I do not at all engage with what is happening on Facebook, which probably means I miss out on some cool stuff, but I can live with that for a less stressful time.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/29 18:28:30


Post by: Elbows


I have found a good way to use Facebook (though I'm likely their worst user). I was not a fan for a long time till I finally took the effort to go in and turn off...everything. Every game invitation, every notification from anything other than groups I subscribe to. I actuall "unfollow" everyone on my friends list (and keep my friends list tiny). I've blocked people adding me, linking me, tagging me etc.

Basically I'm Facebook's worst customer - coupled with some quality adblock on my computer I've reduced my Facebook feed to solely hobby related stuff. I don't see what my friend gave their 2 year old for breakfast or what garbage inspirational poster my friends have posted. I just have a feed of hobby groups and notifications when I have responses to posts. I have a few hobby chats going on, etc.

It's become a valuable asset but you just have to turn off all of the bs.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/29 18:53:41


Post by: Turnip Jedi


Stop doing FB correctly


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/29 20:03:53


Post by: Kriswall


 Elbows wrote:
I have found a good way to use Facebook (though I'm likely their worst user). I was not a fan for a long time till I finally took the effort to go in and turn off...everything. Every game invitation, every notification from anything other than groups I subscribe to. I actuall "unfollow" everyone on my friends list (and keep my friends list tiny). I've blocked people adding me, linking me, tagging me etc.

Basically I'm Facebook's worst customer - coupled with some quality adblock on my computer I've reduced my Facebook feed to solely hobby related stuff. I don't see what my friend gave their 2 year old for breakfast or what garbage inspirational poster my friends have posted. I just have a feed of hobby groups and notifications when I have responses to posts. I have a few hobby chats going on, etc.

It's become a valuable asset but you just have to turn off all of the bs.


I do the same thing. For me, Facebook is an event scheduling app that also shows me pictures of well painted models and articles about 3D printers.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/11/30 14:07:14


Post by: Stevefamine


Instagram has been great for the painting side of the hobby


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 11:55:04


Post by: Rayvon


Welcome to the internet, this is why I hardly say anything to anyone, even here on dakka there are tossers waiting to jump in and have a go, people just suck balls thats about the long and short of it.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 15:51:23


Post by: SamusDrake


"Someone on the internet is wrong...it will be dealt with immediately."

I gave up on internet forums for a few years due to my favourite forum being taken over by toxic moderators. Maybe I was just young at the time, but I felt the whole thing had become too personal - like they would be ready to leap on you if your view or facts didnt match theirs.

Some forums are better than others. Dakka, for example, where the topic is a hobby, is very nice and pleasant. The worst we might disagree with is the expense of our hobby or what game should be released. But if you take part in a forum that includes a more professional aspect - photography or body building etc - then people will feel threatened if your opinion goes against their "professional facts". I've actually caught a few professionals out in my time, but I never made them feel small. On the other hand, they have done so to me when I have been wrong( see, it does happen to even the best of us! ).

Also, you are talking to complete strangers 99% of the time. If we all met in person we would not say half the things we do online! In my experience the ones who seem tough are most likely not, but the quiet and polite probably are.

Anyway, Dakka and Oldhammer are great sites and I have been made to feel welcome since joining.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 16:07:02


Post by: Yodhrin


 OrlandotheTechnicoloured wrote:
 Yodhrin wrote:


I'll lay out a fictional scenario to illustrate the kinds of things I'm talking about:

One day the DakkaDakka admin & mod team wake up and decide, collectively(and, they stress, after a thorough and fair - internal only - debate) that in their view, the Tau don't fit the lore and tone and themes of 40K. Discussion of Tau is prohibited as off-topic, threads that mention Tau are locked, anyone who questions this new policy or urges they reconsider it is rebuffed with platitudes and, eventually, threats of banning.

The next day, the team wake up and decide - again collectively and after a spirited internal debate - that poor Company X is being taken advantage of by the meanie-weenie community, and they are no longer going to limit themselves to prohibiting outright and demonstrable copyright infringement as they are legally required to do to indemnify themselves: Third party miniatures that too closely approach the aesthetic popularised by Company X are banned(what, exactly, constitutes "too close" is of course ill-defined, nebulous, and seemingly down to how bad of a mood a given mod is in when they see it). Drawn, sculpted, or digitally sculpted fanart relating to Company X's IPs are banned. Scratchbuilds of models that Company X sells are banned. Anyone posting them will be given one warning/threadlock, and then banned.

Now - would Dakka be within its rights to do those things? Yes, the people who run it are, ultimately, the only ones who get to decide what it's used for. They may well find a portion of the userbase firmly agree with their own personal interpretations of 40K lore and of what constitutes an unfair usage of an IP you don't yourself own. But frankly I think it's unquestionable that exercising their rights in such an arbitrary and petty way is a detriment to the community and should be opposed - via reasonable and polite means only - if possible.


On the IP issue it could be that the group organiser has had a 'legal' letter from the company in question (or even a warning from the social media site). If they're not a lawyer, and don't know any lawyers who can objectively look at the letter and say it's safe to ignore it they may well feel it's safer to follow whatever it says they need to do (and quite possibly go further just in case), after all this is meant to be fun for them, they're not making any money from the group (probably) so why take any risk?

now I'm not saying this is what's happened, they may indeed just be following their own biases, but it wouldn't surprise me if the process started with some sort of warning or legal threat


It's definitely not that, the group in question's admin team seem to consider it a moral issue, ie any use of Company X's IP by anyone other than Company X, for any reason, in any context, is tantamount to recasting in their eyes, even things that most normal and reasonable people would consider fair use, fanart, or utterly harmless.

Similarly, the group that bars things they don't consider "appropriate" for their vision of the setting are not acting to any rational or objective standard, they just don't like the thing they've barred. Frankly this latter one is more of an issue, in the other case there's a wider community that predates the new group even though it is the largest, in this there is only this one group and no reasonable prospect of founding an alternative.

And since people keep circling back to this: I'm not arguing for "anything goes". I'm not arguing for people to make themselves legally vulnerable. I'm arguing that - and this is a hypothetical example - if a 40k group that purports to be about the system and setting entire decides to ban discussion of or even reference to, say, Orks on the basis that the admins don't care for them, that is ludicrous. And that, if such a group is the primary or only group on a platform for that system and setting, such behaviour is damaging to the community. EDIT: And I don't know where people talking about GW's official FB group has come from.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 17:04:59


Post by: Polonius


 Yodhrin wrote:


It's definitely not that, the group in question's admin team seem to consider it a moral issue, ie any use of Company X's IP by anyone other than Company X, for any reason, in any context, is tantamount to recasting in their eyes, even things that most normal and reasonable people would consider fair use, fanart, or utterly harmless.

Similarly, the group that bars things they don't consider "appropriate" for their vision of the setting are not acting to any rational or objective standard, they just don't like the thing they've barred. Frankly this latter one is more of an issue, in the other case there's a wider community that predates the new group even though it is the largest, in this there is only this one group and no reasonable prospect of founding an alternative.


Really, until you stop being coy and just lay out the actual facts, it's going to be hard to have any sympathy. All you keep doing is restating these very vague transgressions, like "they just don't like the thing they've barred." Well, that presumes that we trust you implicitly to understand their thought process, as well as the appropriateness of whatever the barred.

In short, your complaint boils down to "some people are doing something I don't like. I won't say what, but you don't you all agree that it's terrible?"



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 17:31:54


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


I’d just call them a self absorbed dill weed.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/02 18:17:10


Post by: Overread


 Yodhrin wrote:


And since people keep circling back to this: I'm not arguing for "anything goes". I'm not arguing for people to make themselves legally vulnerable. I'm arguing that - and this is a hypothetical example - if a 40k group that purports to be about the system and setting entire decides to ban discussion of or even reference to, say, Orks on the basis that the admins don't care for them, that is ludicrous. And that, if such a group is the primary or only group on a platform for that system and setting, such behaviour is damaging to the community. EDIT: And I don't know where people talking about GW's official FB group has come from.


The GW official FB page came from evolution of the topic as a result of discussion, partly because you've not given a named situation so people are more likely to branch off away from the area that specifically interests you.


As for the first part I don't see anyone disagree that shutting down conversation on a core element is a bad thing. What many have said is that sometimes shutting down conversations can help avoid fights within the community on certain "hot topic" subjects (eg I recall AoS VS Fantasy being banned on a few forums when AoS was launched because it only ever led to a fight). Others agree that some topics are best outright banned, such as politics and religion.

Meanwhile others don't get riled up as easily (or enjoy it) and don't care.

In the end unless there's a specific example you want to discuss its going to be generic replies which will either agree with you on principle; or aim to potentially agree or disagree based on context, whilst citing examples of other contextual situations where a single behaviour (eg topic banning) can have multiple reasonings.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 12:11:59


Post by: AndrewGPaul


I'm pretty sure he's referring to the Adeptus Titanicus 2018 Facebook group, and its stance on 3rd-party and 3D-printed weapons and models. I can't say I noticed much on there, except for when someone posted some "forumware" Lucius-pattern Warlord knockoff, but maybe all the drama happens on US time and I'm asleep.


Personally, I find all the posts about "forumware" Epic minis to be very annoying, but only in the same way that I find people showing off their limited-edition minis annoying, because I can't get them myself.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 12:26:25


Post by: H.B.M.C.


 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I’d just call them a self absorbed dill weed.
Do that here and you'll be banned for being "impolite". Dakka cracks down on even pre-school level insults.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 12:32:09


Post by: Techpriestsupport


Um, I know this is a radical idea, but couldn't we just ignore the gatekeepers and not feed their efforts?

I know in today's world whenever anu8ken says anything someone doesn't like the immediate reaction is to get the person banned, harass them, see if you can find out where the work and get them fired, etc.

Couldn't we just, you know, not pay attention to them instead of trying to crush them into silence?


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 12:38:24


Post by: Turnip Jedi


but that would be doing the internet wrong, remember there is no middle ground (or least no clicks and/or profit in it) and everything is a fight all the time


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 13:52:11


Post by: YeOldSaltPotato


Seriously, my suggestion sits on starting "Adeptus Titanicus 2018 Modeling" group if that is the issue. If it's a big enough thing you'll get people.

What you can't do is just storm off and start an otherwise identical community that's totally better, watched it happen three times, it never worked, and what you probably shouldn't do is stick around the other community and sulk or push the mods whenever you get the chance. They're people, they'll notice, and they'll start getting testy and it'll just make the entire community worse off. A focused community serving the section you're concerned about though, that can grow. It's the only offshoot communities I've ever seen work well.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 14:36:41


Post by: Talizvar


The good thing about "the age of social media" is it levels the playing field immensely.

The biggest difficulty is usually when a favored communication point gets taken over by the self-serving.
Usually though, many people who are sufficiently motivated to involve themselves ARE in it for the "glory".

Those who are initially involved as idealists tend to get dissatisfied when in-fighting and rude behavior crops up.

Clearly laid-down rules, somewhat consistent moderators and a few of them make for a better experience.
Dakka for instance I find to be the "least offensive" and a somewhat civil environment that I keep posting at and look for information.
Not near "the hive of scum and villainy" I hear occasionally claimed.

I feel it is harder for those to corner the market when it comes to communication.
Warning signs for me is when a location tries to prevent / make difficult direct communication between it's members.
Facebook allows largely unfettered communication so I do not see gatekeeping as much of an issue as in the past.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 15:02:16


Post by: Platuan4th


 Polonius wrote:
 Yodhrin wrote:


It's definitely not that, the group in question's admin team seem to consider it a moral issue, ie any use of Company X's IP by anyone other than Company X, for any reason, in any context, is tantamount to recasting in their eyes, even things that most normal and reasonable people would consider fair use, fanart, or utterly harmless.

Similarly, the group that bars things they don't consider "appropriate" for their vision of the setting are not acting to any rational or objective standard, they just don't like the thing they've barred. Frankly this latter one is more of an issue, in the other case there's a wider community that predates the new group even though it is the largest, in this there is only this one group and no reasonable prospect of founding an alternative.


Really, until you stop being coy and just lay out the actual facts, it's going to be hard to have any sympathy. All you keep doing is restating these very vague transgressions, like "they just don't like the thing they've barred." Well, that presumes that we trust you implicitly to understand their thought process, as well as the appropriateness of whatever the barred.

In short, your complaint boils down to "some people are doing something I don't like. I won't say what, but you don't you all agree that it's terrible?"



How dare the owner of a group run the group how they want!


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 15:37:52


Post by: Sqorgar


 Platuan4th wrote:
How dare the owner of a group run the group how they want!
Common misconception and likely the source of all the issues here. As someone with some experience running a rather large forum (300,000 registered users), I can say with absolute certainty that the owner of the forums is not the owner of the community, and any attempt by them to force their will upon that community will create disastrous drama.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 16:24:51


Post by: Polonius


 Sqorgar wrote:
 Platuan4th wrote:
How dare the owner of a group run the group how they want!
Common misconception and likely the source of all the issues here. As someone with some experience running a rather large forum (300,000 registered users), I can say with absolute certainty that the owner of the forums is not the owner of the community, and any attempt by them to force their will upon that community will create disastrous drama.


But as groups expand, you eventually have to make decisions that will upset some members. Some things are really zero sum. So, a decision might alienate a few people, like the OP, but be very welcome by a majority of members.

Even a decision that is made to benefit a small handful of influential members can be for the benefit of the group. Say, banning discussion that a small elite finds distasteful might benefit the community, if the admin figures that allowing the discussion to continue will fracture the group anyway. In short, piss off the malcontents that can't really hurt the community by leaving, not the influencers that could cause a genuine split.

Outright abuse of power will generally grind a group to a halt. Which is why that doesn't seem to be what's happening here.



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 16:46:53


Post by: Overread


Spoiler:



It's like herding cats. You guide them toward change, and sometimes you have to put your foot down which will cause a few to cry out loud and you'll lose a few here and there. Often the only ones you lose over a normal change are those who were on the out anyway and likely butting heads with mods the whole time or causing issues.

Ergo those you lose tend to be those you were going to lose anyway.

Of course this assumes normal change, sometimes mods/admin make what appear to be daft changes for no reasons (eg the PP idea to strip their entire forums back to the bare bones). Then you can get push back and hostile reactions.




How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 16:56:10


Post by: Sqorgar


 Polonius wrote:
But as groups expand, you eventually have to make decisions that will upset some members. Some things are really zero sum. So, a decision might alienate a few people, like the OP, but be very welcome by a majority of members.
Generally speaking, you want to avoid those as much as possible, as each disgruntled member that leaves has the potential to become a major pain in the ass. They'll sign up under different names and cause trouble, get other communities to start posting horrific images in the wee hours of the morning when your mod team is closed, or generally go off and create/join an anti-community - a place that exists purely out of contempt for your community. This is never helpful.

A better approach is to create a sort of forum philosophy that this is a forum for discussions, and as long as the discussions don't become mean, exhausting, or off topic, they are allowed and anyone who has a problem with a particular discussion should just not join it. This has the effect of making discussions possible, and the people who have a problem with those discussions understand that it is not their responsibility to police what other people say or do. It's not the moderator's job to interpret people's internal thoughts or assume their intent, only to intervene when a rule has been clearly broken - which is why it is important for the rules to be free and clear of judgment or explicit ideology.

For instance, Dakka banning general politics discussions is fine because Dakka is not a political forum, but it should allow discussion where politics overlaps with Dakka's subject matter (like censorship, Brexit's effect on GW, or ideological denunciations of boob armor or Slaanesh). Where those discussions happen, they should be in the appropriate location, conducted with dignity and respect. When the discussion starts to go astray, the moderators should attempt to steer the discussion back on course with appropriate warnings, and then if the posters don't heed the warnings, enact punitive measures. There are some forums where you are banned without warning, sometimes permanently, for an on-topic post that the moderators have deemed too "alt-right" based on a very unfavorable interpretation of your words.

Even a decision that is made to benefit a small handful of influential members can be for the benefit of the group. Say, banning discussion that a small elite finds distasteful might benefit the community, if the admin figures that allowing the discussion to continue will fracture the group anyway. In short, piss off the malcontents that can't really hurt the community by leaving, not the influencers that could cause a genuine split.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you give me an example of a discussion that should be banned purely because of the discussion itself (and not because it is off topic)?

In my opinion, far too many communities try to dictate the opinions of the people who post in them, and when those bastards refuse to be enlightened, they get excommunicated and unpersoned - and I think this has an overwhelmingly negative effect on the community, individually, and society, as a whole.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Overread wrote:
It's like herding cats. You guide them toward change, and sometimes you have to put your foot down which will cause a few to cry out loud and you'll lose a few here and there. Often the only ones you lose over a normal change are those who were on the out anyway and likely butting heads with mods the whole time or causing issues.
There's a management book called, I think "herding cats", and the lead programmer at a studio I worked at had it, and my wife had a boss with that book on her shelf too. And these two people are, without exception, the absolute worst bosses either of us have ever worked for in our entire life. Like, I now understand why "going postal" is a thing bad.

Now, I don't know what's in that book, but I've always been really wary of people who say management is like herding cats.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 17:08:05


Post by: Overread


eh a lot of managers can become what they are because they are promoted up from other positions that had nothing to do with management and then find themselves with no training or experience or, sometimes worse sometimes better, one weekend of paid-company training on how to manage


But management of employees shouldn't be like herding cats; its management of forum people that is. Partly because there's far less hierarchy structure; almost no criteria to become a member; no annual performance reviews; no monitoring; no required standard or output -- its the wild west of management!

(fact: if your forum is the "wildwest" something has probably gone wrong unless your forum IS about the wildwest


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 18:54:04


Post by: Polonius


 Sqorgar wrote:

A better approach is to create a sort of forum philosophy that this is a forum for discussions, and as long as the discussions don't become mean, exhausting, or off topic, they are allowed and anyone who has a problem with a particular discussion should just not join it.


I think we're broadly in agreement on the theory of the manner. The question is, when do things get mean or exhausting? That's a question up to the community, but really means the most influential members, starting with the admins/owners.

For instance, Dakka banning general politics discussions is fine because Dakka is not a political forum, but it should allow discussion where politics overlaps with Dakka's subject matter (like censorship, Brexit's effect on GW, or ideological denunciations of boob armor or Slaanesh). Where those discussions happen, they should be in the appropriate location, conducted with dignity and respect. When the discussion starts to go astray, the moderators should attempt to steer the discussion back on course with appropriate warnings, and then if the posters don't heed the warnings, enact punitive measures. There are some forums where you are banned without warning, sometimes permanently, for an on-topic post that the moderators have deemed too "alt-right" based on a very unfavorable interpretation of your words.


I think that there are some conversations with so little value, with such passionate views, that simply "banning" them, either explicitly or implicitly, is for the best. The classic conversation in a 40k forum are female space marines, although the ethics of recasting is a more modern twist. (BTW, this is documented in the flame warrior taxonomy of record: http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/howlers.htm)

]I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you give me an example of a discussion that should be banned purely because of the discussion itself (and not because it is off topic)?


Absolutely. A topic such as the fluff/lore behind female space marines. While there is some new hints in BL sources about this, for years this would reignite, with the same tired arguments. Of course, the parties aligned themselves mostly (although not fully) on political partisan lines, and it just got nasty for a discussion that always, always ended with the same conclusion: there is no evidence for them in the official canon, but it's a big universe and anything is possible.

Another example might be an banning "joke" or non-narrative army models. things like the Hello Kitty army, or MLP space marines. Enough people get upset, and after the first chuckle there's not much merit to it.

Basically, what makes people mad out of proportion to the valuable discourse it creates.

Keep in mind, I'm not advocating for banning topics. I just think it could be good for the health of a community in certain cases.

In my opinion, far too many communities try to dictate the opinions of the people who post in them, and when those bastards refuse to be enlightened, they get excommunicated and unpersoned - and I think this has an overwhelmingly negative effect on the community, individually, and society, as a whole.


So this all sounds great. I mean, we all want to be inclusive, and open, and all that. But being told that you can't discuss third party components in a forum about Titanicus Adepticus is not, by any stretch of the imagination, being "unpersoned." Let's keep some perspective here.

Now, I don't know what's in that book, but I've always been really wary of people who say management is like herding cats.


As a rule, the more educated and professional your workforce is, the more it becomes like herding cats. When you're supervising relatively low skill employees, you can tell them the correct way to do things. Even high skill workers can have strict protocols for huge chunks of their work. But when you have employees that have to use their judgment and experience, you have to allow them to use those skills. Even if I know how to do their work (and know how to do it better than they do), they need to work their own way. Computer developers certainly fall into that.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 20:07:44


Post by: Sqorgar


 Polonius wrote:
I think we're broadly in agreement on the theory of the manner. The question is, when do things get mean or exhausting? That's a question up to the community, but really means the most influential members, starting with the admins/owners.
Generally speaking, it is obvious when something gets mean (overt insults) or exhausted (arguments start repeating, people talking past another). In places where it is not obvious (is this person repeating out-tribe talking points? Is this person perpetuating sexist attitudes? Is this person JAQing off?), I'd prefer for the conversation to continue unimpeded - it hurts nothing to let a polite discussion continue and it can have long lasting disastrous effects to shut it down without clear justification.

I think that there are some conversations with so little value, with such passionate views, that simply "banning" them, either explicitly or implicitly, is for the best. The classic conversation in a 40k forum are female space marines, although the ethics of recasting is a more modern twist.
The female space marine debate is a good example of a discussion that should be allowed to continue, as long as it remains polite. For my money, the debate has never been about actual space marines, but about the concern that an outside ideology is trying to force ideological change upon 40k (and the games industry as a whole). I think it would be a simple enough thing to introduce female space marines into 40k such that everyone complaining about the possibility would not only welcome the change, but champion it - but it would be easy to get it wrong too. Only by listening to the discussion can you figure out how exactly to address the worry that is behind the debate.

The problem is that the debate gets too bogged down in minutiae as each counter point is countered itself with increasingly specific, and esoteric knowledge. What is basically a debate about right and wrong ends up becoming a debate about whether or not 2nd century Celtic warriors wiped their ass back to front and which hand they used to do it. And that's when the discuss has run its course and exhausted the spirits and morale of everyone involved.

Another example might be an banning "joke" or non-narrative army models. things like the Hello Kitty army, or MLP space marines. Enough people get upset, and after the first chuckle there's not much merit to it.
Not sure why this would need to be banned, in all but the most extreme cases. Everybody needs a chuckle now and again, and it's important not to start taking your hobby so seriously that you lose sight of its true value.

Basically, what makes people mad out of proportion to the valuable discourse it creates.
Mad people can often produce the most valuable insights, and as long as they are polite about it and willing to enter an actual discussion about it, I see no harm in letting them vent. As exhausting as the conversation surrounding Age of Sigmar was at launch, I was part of a lot of really insightful, enjoyable, and entertaining debates that I very much appreciated.

So this all sounds great. I mean, we all want to be inclusive, and open, and all that. But being told that you can't discuss third party components in a forum about Titanicus Adepticus is not, by any stretch of the imagination, being "unpersoned." Let's keep some perspective here.
If you are banned from the group, you are being unpersoned. If you are being told that a particular topic of yours can not be discussed or shared, you are just being marginalized. Punitive measures against community members for things which are not immoral or bad for the community can have a chilling effect on discussion and result in segments of the population feeling that they (or their views) are being unfairly oppressed.

In the case of third party components, the only place where that discussion should be expressly forbidden is on a GW-run community. It is not in their best financial interests to promote the competition. Their own communities will naturally be more constrictive in nature. But if you are not on a GW forum, or a forum which is directly supported by GW, forbidding that kind of discussion feels a bit like sucking up, and forcing a community to adopt a stance in order for the mods to gain favor with GW.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 20:40:42


Post by: Overread


 Sqorgar wrote:

The female space marine debate is a good example of a discussion that should be allowed to continue, as long as it remains polite. .


The reason its banned is because in the past it has been allowed to continue and in most cases it did not remain polite. It turned personal, insulting, toxic and generally led no where good. Repeated situations like this are what gets topics banned on sites. The mods/admin don't just wake up and go "Female marines, lets ban it." There's typically a legacy of contention around the topic or around the people on the site who discuss the topic. It thus makes it far easier to just say NO to the topic rather than allow yet another fight between, otherwise, friendly people who get on with the entire rest of the site and subject material.

 Sqorgar wrote:
If you are being told that a particular topic of yours can not be discussed or shared, you are just being marginalized. Punitive measures against community members for things which are not immoral or bad for the community can have a chilling effect on discussion and result in segments of the population feeling that they (or their views) are being unfairly oppressed.


It's not your discussion though, its just a topic for discussion. You might start the thread that gets closed, but otherwise its not "yours". The issue here is that you are clearly taking things way too personally and directly and putting them on your own shoulders. You need to step back from all that.
Also you need to respect that any online community has someone who owns and manages it and that it is their choice what topics and subjects can and cannot be discussed. Yes if they shut down too many then the group is likely to die, that's on their shoulders. However the closure of something like 3D printing of parts or talking about politics in a forum about toy soliders etc...These are not stifling to the whole community; they are either small parts of the hobby and there is a whole lot that can be talked about outside of them.

Yes you might want to talk about them, but that is your issue not the sites. You can put in a logical well thought out discussion for consideration of revision of the rules or to ask for more detail on the rules ,but otherwise its the owners choice


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 21:29:37


Post by: Sqorgar


 Overread wrote:
 Sqorgar wrote:

The female space marine debate is a good example of a discussion that should be allowed to continue, as long as it remains polite. .


The reason its banned is because in the past it has been allowed to continue and in most cases it did not remain polite. It turned personal, insulting, toxic and generally led no where good. Repeated situations like this are what gets topics banned on sites. The mods/admin don't just wake up and go "Female marines, lets ban it." There's typically a legacy of contention around the topic or around the people on the site who discuss the topic. It thus makes it far easier to just say NO to the topic rather than allow yet another fight between, otherwise, friendly people who get on with the entire rest of the site and subject material.
So, you're saying that not only is banning this discussion understandable, it is reasonable? If I were to start a subject about why female space marines should (and could) be allowed, it should be shut down before any actual discussion takes place... just because a bunch of other people couldn't handle having a discussion about it previously? Shouldn't the discussion at least get a few pages before such a judgment is reached?

Look, there are certain points of contention in this hobby (female space marines, boob armor, Slaanesh's child friendliness) that are definitely ideological, if not outright morality-based, and I think that flat out disallowing these discussions really does lead people to believe that their viewpoints and opinions are being oppressed by an authoritarian group trying to force their morality/ideology on others. Allowing those discussions, even if consensus is never reached, at least allows those people to feel like their viewpoints are allowed and being heard.

The problem with these threads is that they become about winning rather than having a discussion, and you end up with a WAAC-style attitude towards debate. Anything goes as long as you win, often justified by believing one is on the right side of morality.

It's not your discussion though, its just a topic for discussion. You might start the thread that gets closed, but otherwise its not "yours". The issue here is that you are clearly taking things way too personally and directly and putting them on your own shoulders. You need to step back from all that.

I rarely take things personally, which is why I'm able to have conversations with people I vehemently disagree with and walk away feeling like it was a good discussion. Hell, frequently, I argue against my interests and beliefs, just to make a discussion more interesting.

However, speaking as an ex-forum administrator, most people don't see it that way. Even the most justifiable ban will just cause the banned person to believe it was your fault and fill them with resentment. Nobody ever goes, "gee, thanks for banning me. I was way out of line and for the good of the community, it was smart to remove me." The correct course of action, in my experience, is to avoid outright punitive measures and instead try to coerce a community to moderate itself.

You can talk down a person from a ledge because they've decided to step down on their own, but if you grab them off the ledge, they'll just wait until you aren't looking and jump anyway.

However the closure of something like 3D printing of parts or talking about politics in a forum about toy soliders etc...These are not stifling to the whole community; they are either small parts of the hobby and there is a whole lot that can be talked about outside of them.
I think 3D printing is the single biggest seismic shift in physical games (it is basically behind all the miniatures on kickstarter, and once people start having those high quality printers at a decent price - look out), and I think discussing it is absolutely necessary to the future of this hobby. We can't ignore it and hope it goes away. We ignore it and one day, the entire industry will wake up in an alleyway missing a kidney wondering what the hell just happened. But if we discuss it, we can create community guidelines and best practices before it sneaks up on us.

As for politics, some politics is absolutely necessary. I mean, you can't tell me that Brexit won't impact a major part of the hobby miniatures market. Like 3D printing, politics is something that seem peripheral until it doesn't. But I agree that complaining about Trump and Russian collusion in the election is a little off topic and should be treated as such.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 21:46:01


Post by: Overread


 Sqorgar wrote:


Look, there are certain points of contention in this hobby (female space marines, boob armor, Slaanesh's child friendliness) that are definitely ideological, if not outright morality-based, and I think that flat out disallowing these discussions really does lead people to believe that their viewpoints and opinions are being oppressed by an authoritarian group trying to force their morality/ideology on others. Allowing those discussions, even if consensus is never reached, at least allows those people to feel like their viewpoints are allowed and being heard.


Being heard by whom? You make it sound like its a crusade and that people are being oppressed.
It's just admin/moderators on community websites who want to have an evening where they spam=ban a few bots, move a few threads and otherwise carry on enjoying the site. They don't want to spend an hour going through a dozen reports on insults flying back and forth in a topic that has no "conclusion" save for people shouting and arguing at each other.
They don't want to see people leaving the site or the site getting a hostile reputation for such fights; they don't want ot have to hand out bans to people who otherwise are often good, sane, sensible contributing members.

Furthermore most of the community doesn't want fights. No seriously they don't. When a debate is just airing opinions back and forth over and over with insults there is no ground to cover, no viewpoint to express that hasn't been expressed before and thus its FAR easier and better to just ban the topic and move on.

This isn't human rights or the right of women to equal pay on a government website; its a FLUFF argument that people get way too heated about. Esp considering that no amount of forum arguing will "win".






You can talk down a person from a ledge because they've decided to step down on their own, but if you grab them off the ledge, they'll just wait until you aren't looking and jump anyway.


And how many free hours were you wiling to talk people down off the edge on forums over, what are otherwise, totally pointless debates? I've been there and done that and in general you have a few worth the time, most are not going to listen and many just go off in a huff and ignore you. Or they make a lot of noise about how sorry they are and that they won't do it a gain and then next time that topic comes up they are fired up once more.
As you say some people are calm and able to debate, others get fired up WAY too easily and not only get really into the debate, but start insulting and slinging accusations and generally being obnoxious. And once they start others react in kind and suddenly it becomes a brawl.


As for politics, some politics is absolutely necessary. I mean, you can't tell me that Brexit won't impact a major part of the hobby miniatures market. Like 3D printing, politics is something that seem peripheral until it doesn't. But I agree that complaining about Trump and Russian collusion in the election is a little off topic and should be treated as such.


The point is whilst things will change, endless debate on forums isn't where the change is happening, that's just airing opinions. Heck go back 20 years and people were predicting that we'd all have home 3D printers by now and we'd be 3D printing Everything. Products would be sold in pouches of materials and you'd home-cast them.

Regardless GW isn't selling 3D prints so you can very much leave htem out of AT discussions. There's the official models, 3rd party parts (on 3rd party sites), tactics, lore, painting, model assembly, converting etc.. there's a whole wealth of things to chat about other than 3D printed parts.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 22:32:11


Post by: Polonius


Sqorgar: you're making valid points, and from an ideal standpoint, I agree with you.

I think that in practice, most Facebook groups are run by a small team of very part time admins, and the discussions can escalate very quickly.

All I'm saying is that while I've never moderated a discussion group, I've inherited enough responsibility in my life to not immediately second guess every decision that's made. There's simply a finite amount of time, energy, and willpower to manage discussions, and sometimes just cutting them off is the only way to stay sane.



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/03 22:55:34


Post by: Voss


I'm just puzzled by the whole debate. To me, gatekeeping is the very point of social media and forum groups.

If it's somehow 'bad,' I have no idea what function those groups serve.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/04 02:09:50


Post by: Sqorgar


 Overread wrote:
Being heard by whom?

The community. Nothing makes you feel more like an outsider than people explicitly telling you that you and/or your views are not welcome there. People who feel like outsiders don't feel obligated to fit in, follow social norms, or even rules.

It's just admin/moderators on community websites who want to have an evening where they spam=ban a few bots, move a few threads and otherwise carry on enjoying the site. They don't want to spend an hour going through a dozen reports on insults flying back and forth in a topic that has no "conclusion" save for people shouting and arguing at each other.
They don't want to see people leaving the site or the site getting a hostile reputation for such fights; they don't want ot have to hand out bans to people who otherwise are often good, sane, sensible contributing members.

I know, man, and that's why I don't run a forum anymore. It is a thankless job and there are times when you are woken up in the wee hours of the morning because of some forum drama that really should've never happened, and yet there you are, wiping sleep from your eye because some jerk decided to spam your forum with gay porn. While I wouldn't want my mods acting out of anger or frustration frequently, I get it.

That being said, there are good ways to host a community and there are bad ways to host a community, and I think the benefits of doing it the good way is, honestly, the reason why we all join forums and participate in discussions. I get that most admins and moderators don't do it for a live, or have any formal training, or do it in their free time - but they volunteer largely because they love the community and want to support it... and they should want to support it in the best possible way. A surprising number of people who want to be mods just want a power trip over the community, and you really have to watch out for those people. Insidious and toxic, they are.

Furthermore most of the community doesn't want fights. No seriously they don't. When a debate is just airing opinions back and forth over and over with insults there is no ground to cover, no viewpoint to express that hasn't been expressed before and thus its FAR easier and better to just ban the topic and move on.
I think you are wrong here. Flame wars are as old as the internet and will pop up in the weirdest places - like whether or not a particular dress is blue or gold. It's the weirdest thing, and the only conclusion I can draw is that people WANT to argue online. I certainly do.

I think nerds, especially, take a thrill from a good debate that should never be underestimated. Why, back in the early days of the internet, when we called forums "usenet", I read literally hundreds, if not thousands, of arguments over whether Picard was a better captain than Kirk. I think a lot of people use the social aspects of online debates to virtue signal, increasing their own standing within the community, or simply out of moral outrage - but nerds are different. They argue because they can and because they want to. That's what I love about being a nerd. Any hour of the day, there is a heated debate going on - right now even - about the Star Wars prequel trilogy. God bless.

And how many free hours were you wiling to talk people down off the edge on forums over, what are otherwise, totally pointless debates?
It doesn't really take that long, and your options are really dependent on whether you are a part of the conversation or not. If you are a part of the conversation, you should never invoke your mod powers - it seems like you are exploiting your powers to cheat at an argument, and it just makes people angry. Have another mod come in and give a warning or two when things start to go off topic or get too heated. If it continues, have the mod lock the thread. People generally don't get as upset when there has been sufficient warning and the locking seem more like an inevitability than a punishment.

If you are a part of the conversation, there are steps you can take to dial back the heat a little bit. Generally speaking, giving a little ground here and there can stave off frustration. Saying things like, "man, you make a really good point here" can go a long way to diffusing a heated argument. Generally speaking, it's easy to calm down a thread before it has heated to a boil, unless there is a peanut gallery "helping" with a bunch of drive-by posts egging on bad behavior. Like if someone posts an insult, someone else will come in with an "Epic burn!" comment or something. When that happens, the discussion has basically been lost and it's now a performative piece - mod action is required.

As you say some people are calm and able to debate, others get fired up WAY too easily and not only get really into the debate, but start insulting and slinging accusations and generally being obnoxious. And once they start others react in kind and suddenly it becomes a brawl.
A good discussion can go south very easily if the wrong mix of personalities are involved, or if in an environment that rewards bad behavior (getting upvotes, for example).

Wargaming, being mostly older men, many with families, limited free time, and enough disposable money to be able to afford wargaming, is in a good place for developing a decent community of like-minded individuals. There are a few hot button topics (feminism, tournament players) which you have to watch out for, and being older, politics is more likely to seep into various discussions, but if you compare it to something like video games, it's a pretty chill community. I ran a forum dedicated to a webcomic, and it was mostly teenagers - and holy hell that was a nightmare.

Heck go back 20 years and people were predicting that we'd all have home 3D printers by now and we'd be 3D printing Everything. Products would be sold in pouches of materials and you'd home-cast them.
30 years ago, I was discussing how annoying Britney Spears was and trying to keep my Tamagotchi alive.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/04 12:18:09


Post by: Rayvon


A lot of those groups on FB have GW employees / jobs worths in them hence why many of the mods seem to have a stick fully inserted. Most of the time these groups follow the same trajectory, eventually the mods get pissed off with so many things escalating, they have to start introducing more and more sometimes ridiculous rules just so they can keep on top of things.


Its inevitable that some people wont agree with some of the rules they come up with, that AT one on FB is particulary bad, I left it pretty early on when they started removing posts and posters mentioning price, it doesnt help that the admins have sly digs at many of the posters as well.



Social media really does bring out the worst in some people.




How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/04 12:36:33


Post by: auticus


Quite honestly - discussion forums and facebook groups have become such a joke in how they moderate that they have all become echo chambers.

They are only good now a days for getting inspiration for hobby related projects.

Any disagreements can result in bannings now, regardless of the language used simply because disagreeing with someone is now considered toxic and negative.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/04 14:11:41


Post by: Overread


Sometimes I think its good to take a step back.

If people find that "every" social group is the issue then either society has huge problems, or it might be that the issue isn't everyone else its the person themselves. Perhaps the language they use; the tone of their written voice (this doesn't just mean swear words).

Another aspect might be their general conduct on a site and the threads they take part in; if a person is continually taking part in the same threads and beating out the same arguments over and over then they might well be seen more as trolling than as a contributing member of the site. More so if most of their posts are more hostile/critical/negative in nature.



Of course a person doing this might not even realise that they are doing it. I know I've dealt with people who can't talk to beginners in any topic online at all. They get irate at "the same basic questions being asked over and over*" and often take out their hostility on the newbies. They also tend to complain that "there's nothing on the site for them" which is a reflection more that they've either outgrown or joined the wrong social group.

Eg above there are people complaining of one or two groups banning 3D modelling discussion. That isn't necessarily an issue with the group, its with the person being in the wrong group. Sure sometimes a good constructive discussion can result in policy change, but if not then its time to either accept that and talk about eveything else or move onto another group. Or heck found and put the effort in to start a group on the subject if there isn't one around. Facebook at least makes that super-easy as you don't have to go through any signup process for new members; you just have to advertise and get the word out.
Heck you might even approach the mods/admin of the group that bans the discussion and say "hey I know you don't allow it, but how about a referral link to my group that does allow it and I'll link back to yours as well - ergo networking.

Heck start talking about Age of Sigmar on Dakka and there's more than a few who will give good answers but also link to or suggest checking out The Grand Alliance forum; plus get into a chat about Tyranids and people might suggest checking out The Hive. Similarly people on those sites looking for more general 40K or wargaming sites might well be recommended to check out Dakka.



*Thankfully wargames don't suffer from this complaining much if at all that I've seen


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/04 15:43:48


Post by: Sqorgar


 Overread wrote:
If people find that "every" social group is the issue then either society has huge problems, or it might be that the issue isn't everyone else its the person themselves. Perhaps the language they use; the tone of their written voice (this doesn't just mean swear words).

Another aspect might be their general conduct on a site and the threads they take part in; if a person is continually taking part in the same threads and beating out the same arguments over and over then they might well be seen more as trolling than as a contributing member of the site. More so if most of their posts are more hostile/critical/negative in nature.
I think it is too easy to blame a person for not properly belonging to a community instead of realizing that a community might be too insular and homogeneous. There's several major obstacles to a new community that is largely insurmountable by most upstarts:

New communities tend to be formed by people from old communities, who suffer from that "I'll treat my children better than my parents treated me" mindset. That is, they had issues with the old community and explicitly want to conduct themselves counter to that, not realizing that many of those policies existed for a reason. The "learning things the hard way" period for a new community can be pretty harsh. And like I said, most new communities are being started by amateurs who have little to no experience running a community, but maybe have experience being a power poster in an old one - the Peter Principle applies here.

Also, if you start a new community on Reddit or Facebook, those communities allow you to "like" or "upvote" posts, which tends to favor a specific kind of drive-by posting. You are more likely to be rewarded for making an amusing quip than to disagree with someone, and as such, the communities tend to move towards forced consensus with punitive measures taken against members who go against the group. Some people call it an echo chamber. Echo chambers aren't communities. They are just places to reaffirm your opinions by having them shouted back at you.

And finally, in this age of social media, bannings and ostracization are seen as the correct course of action when dealing with disagreeable people. There's always a sort of integration period where new posters (and even old posters) adapt to community norms, and it is really difficult for new members to adapt with the fear of banning hanging over their head. It becomes a situation of "follow my instructions or die". There should be a little give and pull to a community, such that people who aren't full integrated into the echo chamber are allowed to test boundaries and even move them on occasion, but with capital punishment with trial or recourse being meted out on the first offense, the community can't grow. It will only shrink as more and more reasonable behavior is considered aberrant and punished.

Eg above there are people complaining of one or two groups banning 3D modelling discussion. That isn't necessarily an issue with the group, its with the person being in the wrong group. Sure sometimes a good constructive discussion can result in policy change, but if not then its time to either accept that and talk about eveything else or move onto another group.
I really don't think "find the echo chamber which best suits you" is really the approach to community building we should be honoring, especially seeing how polarized social media has made our society. We should be more tolerant of those we disagree with, or else we start to see disagreement as a sin.

Or heck found and put the effort in to start a group on the subject if there isn't one around. Facebook at least makes that super-easy as you don't have to go through any signup process for new members; you just have to advertise and get the word out.
The fact that it is easy is part of the problem. A lot of Facebook groups are started by people who aren't fully committed to it, or who just want one very specific thing out of it and try to impose their will on it.

My forum was attached to a webcomic, and it was great when it was relatively small. It was just a few fans who wanted to talk about the webcomic. But as it got larger, I needed to create a government for it - hiring volunteer moderators, creating new sections, policing content, holding trials for racist posters (I'm generally pretty lenient on speech, but I can't have people going around talking about killing "dirty jews"), and even engaging in outright war with other webcomic forums. I didn't sign up for that, and it got to the point where I was spending five or six hours a day moderating the forum and not creating a webcomic. In fact, of the thousands of posts made every day, very few of them involved the webcomic. The forum became its own beast. I would never recommend someone start their own community without knowing (and hopefully planning for) what kind of responsibility they are in for.

Heck start talking about Age of Sigmar on Dakka and there's more than a few who will give good answers but also link to or suggest checking out The Grand Alliance forum; plus get into a chat about Tyranids and people might suggest checking out The Hive. Similarly people on those sites looking for more general 40K or wargaming sites might well be recommended to check out Dakka.
Like I said earlier, the more focused the topic of a community is, the more off topic much of the discussion become. There's a place for them. Like I think TGA largely exists because of how hostile places like Dakka and other established places were towards Age of Sigmar - fans had little choice but perform their exodus and find a new promised land. But there's definitely discussions that I don't think are appropriate for TGA that you can find at a place like Dakka. I think the vast majority of discussions on TGA are rather surface-level.

I guess to put a fine point on it, I have an account and post on Dakka, while I merely read forums and subreddits specific to games like Infinity, Star Wars Legion, Kill Team, and so on.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 12:41:19


Post by: Wayniac


I think the issue is a lot of communities really want to just be a place for fans, not fans who have complaints and want to discuss them. I've seen many forums and groups basically turn into "Negativity is not welcome here, this is a place to say how great everything is" which is 100% an echo chamber and absolutely wrong. Dakka is one of the few places where this is NOT the case; nearly every other forum or Facebook group I'm in has people who are quick to report and mods that are quick to warn/ban someone for saying things they don't like or not thinking everything that comes out is the best thing ever.

Not surprisingly, I see this the most in GW-related communities but not other ones where you often see a bit more leeway in allowing dissent (usually only actual hostility is dealt with but not criticism). But the GW communities seem to have all taken a page from the Imperium itself and squash anything that isn't praise. I remember being banned from a group once because I pointed out that third-party models (not recasts, I mean alternative models) that were similar in style to GW models were not illegal. A moderator who "has mates who work for GW" said yes they are illegal and stealing from GW and you aren't allowed to post/mention them in this group because it's a GW fan group.

If you treat any criticism as being toxic and negative, it shows you really don't want a discussion about things, you want to just stick your head in the sand and follow the GW tactics of old: If nobody can complain, there is no problem.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 13:18:24


Post by: auticus


I think its more that people don't want to debate or have discussions that challenges their viewpoints and ideologies and that if you debate or challenge then that is toxic and negative. People like discussions. Just so long as they aren't challenging their ideologies or viewpoints and the discussion is on the path of mutual agreement.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 13:25:16


Post by: Overread


I think its more that people who ENJOY a hobby want a place to share that enjoyment with others. It's not that they don't want some critical debate, its that they don't want every single 5-10 page thread that dominates the site to be a huge list of negative elements.

Or for people who constantly interject negative elements into every thread.

Eg a discussion on how to best build an army list for a "weak" faction that gets posts which are "well the solution is don't play that army its rubbish" or "eh the game has no value anyway just stop playing" etc...

Ergo they want a positive atmosphere to the community which is closer to what most real life clubs are like, but online. It's why some sites fight back against the negativity, sometimes too much I do agree.


It's not about being an ostrich and burying your head in the sand, its about finding a balance where you're not sitting neither in an echo chamber nor in a complaints chair.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 13:58:40


Post by: auticus


Thats pretty reasonable to say that if you are in a how do I build this army to keep things constructive and not post things like you mentioned, Overread.

In comparison, it is not reasonable for say a complaint thread that someone else starts that one participates in (the topic of that thread) to invoke the wrath of the moderators either



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 14:08:20


Post by: Overread


It's all about balance and sometimes complaint threads have to be shut down too. People get irate or very protective of what they enjoy so a wrongly worded thread or one that just appears to pile hate atop hate (or dislike atop dislike) can appear more hostile than many might intend.

You can also run the risk that those complaint threads keep happening over and over. This can set a tone for the site that is unintended by those who take part in the threads, but does get noticed by people.

Also sometimes many of the complaints are just whining about things that are set in stone or have been like they are for years. At some point the complaints are just an echochamber on their own. Given the choice most people prefer at least a positive echochamber over a negative one. Esp since most game complaints are often at company level where forums and forum members have no power to make actual changes - so often its just a cycle that runs and runs with no possible resolution.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 14:23:19


Post by: Formosa


the gatekeeping can be pretty bad, for example reading the comments here


Be warned


Thankfully the store has closed now and the customers have moved to another store nearby that is more welcoming.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 14:40:04


Post by: Overread


I'd honestly not call that gatekeeping but rather bad management. They weren't gatekeepers to anything but their own store.

Interestingly the positive and negative reviews are so polarized that its actually quite abnormal in itself. Then again its only a small subset of reviews so likely reflects that. Still as a local retailer I'm sure any negative airs would fast spread around the local customer community.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 14:42:37


Post by: phillv85


Interesting all of the negative reviews are from people in different states.... sounds like internet outrage gone wild to me.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 14:52:56


Post by: Overread


Some limited googling seems to show that the store was in financial troubles; however it also got into some controversy around the "Jawbreakers" comic which appears to be a whole messy amount of drama unto itself with multiple stores boycotting it and stuff. I honestly only glanced enough to learn that and have no idea about all the ins and outs of it.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 15:17:55


Post by: Talizvar


I think too many people are willing to work against those who have a differing opinion and do not see it's value.
Hence, the "echo chamber effect".

I really like these quotes:

We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't.
- Frank A. Clark

Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
- Oscar Wilde

I like it when someone tells me 'I don't agree.' This is a true collaborator. When they say 'Oh, how great, how great, how great,' that's not useful.
- Pope Francis

Sometimes people want to control the message, but to what purpose is the real question.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 16:50:42


Post by: Sqorgar


 Overread wrote:
Some limited googling seems to show that the store was in financial troubles; however it also got into some controversy around the "Jawbreakers" comic which appears to be a whole messy amount of drama unto itself with multiple stores boycotting it and stuff. I honestly only glanced enough to learn that and have no idea about all the ins and outs of it.
The Jawbreakers thing is from ComicsGate, which is largely just some guy on YouTube who complains about how terrible Marvel and DC are these days (largely due to its progressive agenda taking the place of actual characters and storytelling), which pissed off a bunch of comic creators who threatened to punch the guy at cons. The YouTuber basically said, I'll put my money where my mouth is and created his own comic book (Jawbreakers) which got an astounding amount of support on Kickstarter (or GoFundMe or whatever). Then a bunch of comic book stores decided they wouldn't carry this comic (which had more preorders than Marvel's most popular book), and the lines were drawn in the sand and, as we've seen in every nerd industry recently, the SJW vs Nazi virtue wars found a new battle front. Last I heard, ComicsGate is still going on.

But basically, those comments are a reflection of this internet drama and not legitimate complaints at all. I mean, they could be, I don't know, but they are definitely biased by this drama.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/05 19:49:05


Post by: Stevefamine


auticus wrote:
Quite honestly - discussion forums and facebook groups have become such a joke in how they moderate that they have all become echo chambers.

They are only good now a days for getting inspiration for hobby related projects.

Any disagreements can result in bannings now, regardless of the language used simply because disagreeing with someone is now considered toxic and negative.


This is basically my conclusion after reading the other pages. Mod abuse + whining + circlejerk + more whining

Instagram seems to avoid most of this and Reddit doesnt seem half bad on the mod end. I havent been on Facebook for years so I assume its a FB specific issue with how the format works




How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/06 12:46:43


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


I'm genuinely torn on this.

First and foremost, there is no gate. Not to The Hobby. And that means there shouldn't be anyone Gate Keeping, trying to dictate what is and isn't acceptable. Even GW themselves do a minimum of this (and most of that is linked to 'our store, our products only). In terms of how one actually Hobbies, they're very hands off.

But. When it comes to social media? That's where your niches start to gather. Where likeminded gamers can chat with each other, without fear of anyone criticising their preferred niche. It's not only ultimately desirable, but necessary.

Slightly wonky example? My Loot Trading Group. We're a teeny tiny niche. And as such, we've very strict rules about what can and can't be sold, and how. Zero Tolerance on scalping. All strictly At Cost. Because that's the entire aim of the Group. Where peeps are looking for general shopping, we let them know of suitable groups, and delete the post.

As someone who's not terribly interested in the high end tournament performance scene, I've little business joining such a group on Social Media. The posts are unlikely to be of interest to me. And that's fine. Because there'll be groups that cater to me elsewhere. And it's definitely right out to join a given niche and then tell people their niche is wrong.

Same with modelling and painting. Most groups I'm a member of in that regard are supportive of all efforts. Constructive feedback is given, even on basics like 'I think you need to thin your paints'. But if there exists a Golden Deamon Serious Competitor group? Excellent. So there should be.

So whilst Gate Keeping within the Hobby itself is undesirable, it's probably to be encouraged within Social Media groups that offer specialised discussion.

In summary? There is The Hobby. There is Your Hobby. And there is My Hobby. Nobody should be telling anyone else how to do the other.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/06 13:14:24


Post by: Formosa


 Sqorgar wrote:
 Overread wrote:
Some limited googling seems to show that the store was in financial troubles; however it also got into some controversy around the "Jawbreakers" comic which appears to be a whole messy amount of drama unto itself with multiple stores boycotting it and stuff. I honestly only glanced enough to learn that and have no idea about all the ins and outs of it.
The Jawbreakers thing is from ComicsGate, which is largely just some guy on YouTube who complains about how terrible Marvel and DC are these days (largely due to its progressive agenda taking the place of actual characters and storytelling), which pissed off a bunch of comic creators who threatened to punch the guy at cons. The YouTuber basically said, I'll put my money where my mouth is and created his own comic book (Jawbreakers) which got an astounding amount of support on Kickstarter (or GoFundMe or whatever). Then a bunch of comic book stores decided they wouldn't carry this comic (which had more preorders than Marvel's most popular book), and the lines were drawn in the sand and, as we've seen in every nerd industry recently, the SJW vs Nazi virtue wars found a new battle front. Last I heard, ComicsGate is still going on.

But basically, those comments are a reflection of this internet drama and not legitimate complaints at all. I mean, they could be, I don't know, but they are definitely biased by this drama.


Cheers for the breakdown, I was wondering what all the hoo har was about around that issue.

I found out about the store from a you tube video on this very subject, about different stores "gatekeeping" for various reasons, I wanted to see what the comic store scene was like in the states since im moving over next year, its a strange one as UK we have clubs in all kinds of places like pubs or scout huts etc. but in the states they all seems to be in LGS, bit of a strange one.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/06 13:22:06


Post by: Overread


Formosa - I figure the USA is just more friendly to small shops than the UK is at present. These days its basically not worth opening small stores in many areas unless you can cater to a wide audience and serve food. A lot of hobby related stores have gone and those that hang on are often struggling; or the owner bought the shop and land years ago and so can at least avoid rent costs (but still have to contend with london set business rates and taxes)


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/06 15:17:54


Post by: auticus


The USA is built around the concept of the small FLGS for hobby areas barring the big cities. And even the big cities will have an assortment of smaller FLGS spread around.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/08 08:59:50


Post by: Panzerkanzler


Stop using social media for your hobby (though stop using them entirely is much better), problem solved.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/08 16:04:21


Post by: Rayvon


Panzerkanzler wrote:
Stop using social media for your hobby (though stop using them entirely is much better), problem solved.



Its not that easy for everyone though is it ?

Some people are confined to their own houses or rooms and / or cannot socialise in person.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/09 10:29:28


Post by: Elemental


 Overread wrote:
It's all about balance and sometimes complaint threads have to be shut down too. People get irate or very protective of what they enjoy so a wrongly worded thread or one that just appears to pile hate atop hate (or dislike atop dislike) can appear more hostile than many might intend.

You can also run the risk that those complaint threads keep happening over and over. This can set a tone for the site that is unintended by those who take part in the threads, but does get noticed by people.

Also sometimes many of the complaints are just whining about things that are set in stone or have been like they are for years. At some point the complaints are just an echochamber on their own. Given the choice most people prefer at least a positive echochamber over a negative one. Esp since most game complaints are often at company level where forums and forum members have no power to make actual changes - so often its just a cycle that runs and runs with no possible resolution.


Heck, I'm sure we can all name posters on this site who have a certain complaint that they'll air every time it's humanly possible or vaguely relevant, and some of them have been doing it for years with no sign of ever getting tired of griping.

And eventually, even if you're sympathetic to the substance of the complaint, the non-stop complaining gets tiresome. They seem to live in mortal fear that someone on the site might not know their opinion on subject X. And eventually....okay, we get it. We fully understand your issue, heaven knows you've explained it enough. But why are you still complaining to us? Do you think we can change anything? If you haven't had anything positive to say on the subject for this long, why are you still involved with it? Unless your pleasure is coming from the complaining itself*, wouldn't you be better off moving on to something you do enjoy?


* Actually, this would explain a LOT about the internet.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/09 12:11:24


Post by: Overread


Eh some people complain lots in real life conversations too - where the chances of a CEO of the company overhearing and responding and changing things is basically 0. On the net some people have a faith that if they repeat a thing enough it will get noticed and it will lead to change.

What many online forget is that the active conversing online community is a tiny faction of most real world communities in hobbies. Even on Steam forums you only get a tiny number who actually interact and give feedback.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/09 17:05:05


Post by: Azreal13


 Overread wrote:


What many online forget is that the active conversing online community is a tiny faction of most real world communities in hobbies. Even on Steam forums you only get a tiny number who actually interact and give feedback.


Which in and of itself means nothing.

The online community is either
- representative of the community as a whole but in smaller numbers, therefore what is happening online is also happening in the world to a similar degree, or
- comprised of the most invested and enthusiastic members of the community who are far more likely to identify issues with your product and offer informed opinions.

Sure, there's noise accompanying that signal, but it's folly to dismiss or diminish the online community because it's "small" (ps is there anywhere that actually backs this up, or is it just an assumption? Warcom has 137k followers on Facebook, that seems substantial to me.) Or do you think it's coincidence that GW's turn in fortunes has been accompanied by a more significant engagement with its customer base, much of it online?


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/10 12:10:30


Post by: TwilightSparkles


I think a key point is that for a lot of hobbyists, first contact with a games system is a forum or Facebook group. A lot of these now suppress any “negativity” but the problem is that this extends into inexcusable defence of the owning company.

I’ve seen on one Facebook group for a newly released licences game where admin defend a certain company that has not , in some apparent cases, sent preorders paid in April whilst releasing the product at retail. Or where mispacks are hilariously out of control - people getting 3 identical figures when it should be 3 quite different figures. Or the fact the company has so many emails coming in that the mailbox has been full for weeks.

All it does is make the admins look like rabid fanboys.

Another issue is unfair standards. Dakka along with other places do not, I believe, allow hosted image leaks or discussion of exact points values. Yet Natfka and reddit are awash with 40k chapter approved scans to the point where you could print all the points changes off.



How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/10 13:34:49


Post by: Wayniac


 TwilightSparkles wrote:
I think a key point is that for a lot of hobbyists, first contact with a games system is a forum or Facebook group. A lot of these now suppress any “negativity” but the problem is that this extends into inexcusable defence of the owning company.

I’ve seen on one Facebook group for a newly released licences game where admin defend a certain company that has not , in some apparent cases, sent preorders paid in April whilst releasing the product at retail. Or where mispacks are hilariously out of control - people getting 3 identical figures when it should be 3 quite different figures. Or the fact the company has so many emails coming in that the mailbox has been full for weeks.

All it does is make the admins look like rabid fanboys.

Another issue is unfair standards. Dakka along with other places do not, I believe, allow hosted image leaks or discussion of exact points values. Yet Natfka and reddit are awash with 40k chapter approved scans to the point where you could print all the points changes off.



I think that's more based on size. I was in a few FB groups that did the same, because they were afraid of being reported for showing images. I've also seen plenty that seem to think GW's points (the actual points) are copyrighttable/IP and don't allow individual points only the totals (Dakka might do this as well I don't remember) when even if GW wanted to go after it, they wouldn't have any leg to stand on as long as it wasn't a scan.

What I dislike the most though are the people who justify it with what is basically "Because we said so and you agreed to our rules" without any actual reason beyond that. It just smacks of knowing that you're wrong, but not caring and feeling insulted that you're asked to justify your position with a rational reason. One FB group I'm in had this recently, the admin was trying to play the old "We said you can't, you can follow the rules or leave" and eventually gave an actual reason (which I didn't quite agree with, but at least it was a legit reason beyond "Because"). People seem reluctant to actually give valid reasons if they feel they don't have to.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/10 20:22:19


Post by: YeOldSaltPotato


 TwilightSparkles wrote:

All it does is make the admins look like rabid fanboys.


To be fair, everyone's talking about how engaged and aware the online audience is. Who do yall think is going to be the kind of person who actually administrates such a community?

I was a bit of an outlier picking a place up rather than letting it die. It was near impossible to find other people who were not absolute fanatics about one thing or another and were still willing to even moderate.

It's rather rare for places to be reasonably well moderated without some serious psychosis on the mod team. Social media made it so every loony could create their own community and leaves the common newbie at the mercy of whoever accidentally wound up at the top of the SEO rankings. Generally that will be the largest community, which after a few years is likely to settle out into a relatively stable one(or one with a mass migration of users on the regular because of nearly unimaginable influxes of new users).

If you meet an admin who isn't a frother, thank them once in a while. It's not a massively thankful job to chide people into being somewhere near civil.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/11 17:55:18


Post by: TwilightSparkles


I’m in non hobby Facebook groups for some stuff people are seriously passionate about and spend way more money on, admins manage fine without being little dictators. At most some groups ban a couple of topics which always result in chaos, so for example an Orlando group bans discussion of taking kids out of school for holiday and animal welfare at Sea World. Everything else is fine.

I always think Privateer Press is a good example of self destroying an online community because they couldn’t handle the negativity.

Inordinately complex rules for a group just scream that someone is unemployed and a jobsworth IMO.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/12 09:44:01


Post by: Mad Doc Grotsnik


There's negativity, and there's constructive criticism though.

Which would you prefer to read?


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/17 08:43:26


Post by: Ben2


If people want to read endless whining screeds then there are specialist forums that already cater to them.

One thing some people can't seem to handle is facebook groups having standards of behavior.

I've seen Hendybadger get attacked for having 'no racist, homophobic or sexist comments' in his skirmish group rules by someone saying he was being 'political'. Again there are specific groups and forums set up already where you can combine the hobby with racism, sexism and white supremacy.

Someone's facebook page was recently taken down because they refused to let someone put white supremacist symbol minis on their facebook group and the person complained to facebook about how they were being oppressed.

Facebook groups have rules and to be brutally honest, the people who can't abide by those rules don't seem to be a big loss. Some things being ok on dakka or 4chan doesn't mean that the rest of the hobby shares those standards, though I know that can be a shock to some people.

The OP was maybe attacking the AT2018 group for not hosting content on 3d printed stuff (is he clear at any point about what he's upset about?), but it's clearly set up as a semi-official group and some of the admins are gw adjacent, ie ex staff, with the writers in the group as well, so it's not a huge surprise that they aren't advertising stuff that is piggybacking on or copying GWs IP.

If people want to advertise IP rip offs why not just do it here? There's a current mod approved thread here for Overwatch rip offs where talking about IP gets your post deleted.

On the Spikey Bits forum a sculptor posting about how as a small business recasting was killing him financially got absolutely shredded by people saying that asking for a price where he made a small profit on his work, rather than actively losing money with everything he produced, meant he deserved to get ripped off.

For people upset about the standards of facebook groups, they have alternatives where there aren't standards to use instead.

Standards of behavior and simple group rules, that are in the most part pretty basic, aren't a shadowy elite gatekeeping the hobby, but something common in the wider community.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/17 17:12:36


Post by: Forar


auticus wrote:
I think its more that people don't want to debate or have discussions that challenges their viewpoints and ideologies and that if you debate or challenge then that is toxic and negative. People like discussions. Just so long as they aren't challenging their ideologies or viewpoints and the discussion is on the path of mutual agreement.


Is it the chicken, or is it the egg?

I won't argue that some Facebook groups and other Forums are becoming rather gunshy about disagreement, but the forums I've called home for almost my entire adult life have remained quite tolerant of opposing views. However, the manner in which people communicate those views often struggle to stay within community guidelines.

Said forums allow for political debates constantly, and while the overall political lean would certainly be to the left, there are a number of right leaning/conservative members. Those who stay around are the ones that find themselves able to communicate their viewpoints eloquently and consistently. Nobody expects 100% agreement on every topic all the time. The snag becomes that most of us have been at this for a decade or two at this point, many of the arguments have been had, re-had, hashed out, and then trotted out again every year or two for good measure. We've been there, and done that, so unless someone is bringing something new to the table, it can get a little exasperating to be literally going over the same points from a year or two ago, even if it's 'new' to someone else in the discussion.

The other side of it is the general acceptance of weaponized communications. We've seen allegations (with what I find to be compelling evidence) of state actor's using troll farms to manipulate political discussions, company's using 'brand ambassador's' and 'influencers' (ugh), and the ever present trolls/donkey caves who are quite eager to continue a crusade against an individual or company for slights as often perceived as they might be real.

I think what I'm trying to get at is that the conversation isn't just about how moderators handle these individuals and topics, but also how the conversation happens, and the individuals that make it up as well. Sometimes having a blanket rule to fall back on can be abused, but sometimes you've just had enough of some fethwits bullgak and it's easier to say that they have failed to uphold the standards set by the community, and then show them the door.

I actually agree that closed echo chambers are often a bad thing, however I have also seen many 'new challengers' wade in to decry said echo chamber... and fail to do anything but fling mud and declare everyone who doesn't immediately appreciate their genius to be sheeple. The ideas and arguments presented should stand on their own, but it's far too common that someone clearly comes in with a chip on their shoulder, or to just troll and stir up muck until they're told off. Some stick around, manage to express their thoughts and concerns eloquently, change minds and perhaps even have their mind changed. I wonder if this doesn't tie to how many of us who have spent a decade or two or more on the internet are just aging? The mind is more open to change and new concepts/ideas in younger years, but that doesn't come as easily later on. I think I was more flexible in some ways in my 20's, less so in my late 30's, and perhaps that comes across digitally as well.

I strive to remain an open minded sort, but when the same gak disturbers start banging on about the same gak they've been outraged over for weeks or months or longer, it's hard to take them seriously or feel particularly put off when they're given a time out. And that's regarding more serious topics like political issues. With a hobby/game, I find it even easier to accept 'the moderator's/admin's house, their rules', because almost nobody is Jean Valjean on the barricades standing against dastardly evil doers, and even if they have a point, many will run it into the ground, losing what little support they might have had.

One of the biggest disparities I see on this is threading of comments. I hate Facebook groups, everything as a nested jumble, which often wanders off topic by the second comment. While a forum, I find Reddit's non-linear approach similarly annoying. Give me forums like Dakka where a topic follows a more measured and chronological pace, with major tangents generally shut down by the moderators over that mess any day.

So, to loop back around, I don't entirely agree that it's a matter of people needing to be in their own little bubbles. That alone is a heavily weighted statement often coming up in political discussions between the US left and right wings, with the latter often condemning the former as 'snowflakes', but in my experience those same groups are no less demanding of their own 'safe spaces' and lack of disagreeing viewpoints (so, same alleged outcome, but with a healthy dose of hypocrisy added on top).


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/17 21:27:52


Post by: Polonius


I'll be honest, I've dipped my toe in a few of the bigger, general interest 40k FB groups, and they're pretty unpleasant. It's a lot of gakposting and just really nasty behavior.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/20 15:28:43


Post by: Elemental


Wayniac wrote:
I think that's more based on size. I was in a few FB groups that did the same, because they were afraid of being reported for showing images. I've also seen plenty that seem to think GW's points (the actual points) are copyrighttable/IP and don't allow individual points only the totals (Dakka might do this as well I don't remember) when even if GW wanted to go after it, they wouldn't have any leg to stand on as long as it wasn't a scan.

What I dislike the most though are the people who justify it with what is basically "Because we said so and you agreed to our rules" without any actual reason beyond that. It just smacks of knowing that you're wrong, but not caring and feeling insulted that you're asked to justify your position with a rational reason. One FB group I'm in had this recently, the admin was trying to play the old "We said you can't, you can follow the rules or leave" and eventually gave an actual reason (which I didn't quite agree with, but at least it was a legit reason beyond "Because"). People seem reluctant to actually give valid reasons if they feel they don't have to.


I think it's more often that you don't want to give an offender a reason which they will endlessly argue about ("it was just banter, sheesh, why is everyone so thin-skinned round here?"). And sometimes you'll have members who are being repeatedly toxic and abrasive while cynically staying juuuuuust within the letter of the law, and they're often more damaging than a random drive-by rager who flames out and gets banned.


How to combat hobby gatekeeping in the age of social media? @ 2018/12/20 16:05:36


Post by: Turnip Jedi


 Polonius wrote:
I'll be honest, I've dipped my toe in a few of the bigger, general interest 40k FB groups, and they're pretty unpleasant. It's a lot of gakposting and just really nasty behavior.


that does seem to be an issue the wider the group is, the more faction focussed FB groups I belong to do seem generally more civil