War & Politics? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know where to post this- I just wanted to post & let you guys know that I am really sad to see the N&CE & Politics forums go... I was here when they first opened- & they really helped me so much- in 2001 I was a conservative sheep- & reading here really, truly taught me so much. I no longer take what ANYONE says at face value, I read & learn & dig- & I am more tolerant of all races, creeds, religions, sexual orientations...

I feel like I am losing a piece of myself- & I know I haven't posted a lot in those forums recently but I had been reading & it always made me feel good just knowing they were there- thinking of the other women like me, who "when they knew better, did better." Without these forums, I might not have ever learned to do better...

Thanks to the mods over the years who have tried to keep these forums open for us. I hope there is a way to bring them back- moms need a place to discuss the important, current world issues- not just diaper rash & cosleeping, you know?
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#2 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Thanks for your input joesmom.

It is hard for a lot of us who have enjoyed those forums for several years now. I think a lot of us learned things.

I would also like to see them come back just different.

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#3 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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I would like to second this sentiment. I have learned a LOT and whenever I hear different opinions than my own, they craft me a little. They make me more tolerant, and heaven knows we all need more of that. I think there are a lot of mamas here who have their eyes and their minds open, and N&CE has been a great resource for many of us.

I respect that it has been a terrible drain of resources.
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#4 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Another member here whose political and social beliefs have been deeply influenced and supported by the rousing discussions in the Politics forum. I'm very sad and disappointed that it has been closed.

I only learned about the planned nation-wide protest against the anti gay marriage laws here at MDC, specifically the Politics forum. I then got my daughter involved in making protest signs, and I took my kids down to the capitol and we participated in the march that day. My kids' consciousness was 'raised', they learned about social responsibility and political activism and how it's important to stand up for people whose rights are diminished, even if their own have not. All because I learned in the MDC politics forum that a nation-wide protest was coming up at the end of the week.

Abimommy, what changes would you like to see if the Politics forum came back?

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#5 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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I have different opinion, I feel N&CE and politics should be merged into TAO. The reason for this is that the same relatively small group of posters tend to dominate N&CE and politics which makes it easy for only one view or a handful of posters to dominate all the discussions. This effectively chases other people and diverging views out and makes the conversations less diverse. If these issues were discussed in a more populated and less segmented section of the board, a lot more voices would join in.
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#6 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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I have different opinion, I feel N&CE and politics should be merged into TAO. The reason for this is that the same relatively small group of posters tend to dominate N&CE and politics which makes it easy for only one view or a handful of posters to dominate all the discussions. This effectively chases other people and diverging views out and makes the conversations less diverse. If these issues were discussed in a more populated and less segmented section of the board, a lot more voices would join in.
This is a fantastic idea! s I agree about needing more diversity in the discussions and more diverging points of view.
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#7 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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I agree that the Politics forum would have benefited from a more diverse range of opinions. But it isn't the job of the moderators to cultivate the quality of a particular forum.

Can the politics forum return in a way that significantly reduces the amount of work created for the moderators? Maybe a daily posting limit?

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#8 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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I have different opinion, I feel N&CE and politics should be merged into TAO. The reason for this is that the same relatively small group of posters tend to dominate N&CE and politics which makes it easy for only one view or a handful of posters to dominate all the discussions. This effectively chases other people and diverging views out and makes the conversations less diverse. If these issues were discussed in a more populated and less segmented section of the board, a lot more voices would join in.
I like this idea-- except maybe skip the Politics at first and try it out with N&CE and see how it goes.

I can totally understand why the N&CE section needed to be closed; I certainly wouldn't want to moderate one of those forums! Yikes!

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#9 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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Another member here whose political and social beliefs have been deeply influenced and supported by the rousing discussions in the Politics forum. I'm very sad and disappointed that it has been closed.

I only learned about the planned nation-wide protest against the anti gay marriage laws here at MDC, specifically the Politics forum. I then got my daughter involved in making protest signs, and I took my kids down to the capitol and we participated in the march that day. My kids' consciousness was 'raised', they learned about social responsibility and political activism and how it's important to stand up for people whose rights are diminished, even if their own have not. All because I learned in the MDC politics forum that a nation-wide protest was coming up at the end of the week.

Abimommy, what changes would you like to see if the Politics forum came back?
Oh we will host the Prop 8 stuff in Activism.


I think the main issue with Politics was the election and some behaviors. I think it has settled down, N&CE is the bigger mess atm but we need to only have one board, if we decide to go with a board.

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#10 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:34 PM
 
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I agree that the Politics forum would have benefited from a more diverse range of opinions. But it isn't the job of the moderators to cultivate the quality of a particular forum.

Can the politics forum return in a way that significantly reduces the amount of work created for the moderators? Maybe a daily posting limit?
We couldn't get that to work, there was some bugs and some were not getting their 3 posts while others were getting more than that.

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#11 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meowee View Post
I have different opinion, I feel N&CE and politics should be merged into TAO. The reason for this is that the same relatively small group of posters tend to dominate N&CE and politics which makes it easy for only one view or a handful of posters to dominate all the discussions. This effectively chases other people and diverging views out and makes the conversations less diverse. If these issues were discussed in a more populated and less segmented section of the board, a lot more voices would join in.
Thanks for that input meowee, I will note it.


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#12 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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We couldn't get that to work, there was some bugs and some were not getting their 3 posts while others were getting more than that.
Bummer! I'm glad you tried.

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#13 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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Out of curiosity, I decided to look around and see what forums are available for disussing poliics and current events. I clicked on the "big boards" icon on the lower left corner of this page, and then selected "politics" and got a list of 49 politics and current events forums.

As positive as that sounds, when I looked at the list in detail, I became immediately discouraged as to the possibility of ever finding anything even *close* to what we had here.

The level of discourse in the forums here was unmatched, IMO, in any other forum venue I've tried. This admittedly-cursory search (of the largest politics boards out there) only serves to illustrate more vividly what we're losing by shutting them down here.
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#14 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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For those that may not remember we didn't even have a politics forum until 2006, after the closing of War and Politics in 2004. Issues with these topics have been long standing and the admins have tried many different ideas to try and host them and keep them managable.
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#15 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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without News & Current Events, Politics and with TOA being heavily moderated to even get a post on, MotheringDotCommune is really boring now, IMO.

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#16 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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I don't mind that the news section is gone because most of the posts there seemed to be just linking to news stories... I guess there was some 'discussion' on those topics but they seemed to me more like "Hey did you see this atricle here!"

I don't like that the politics section is gone because I liked to pop in there to read the 'discussions' that were going on. I know many of the topics there were links to stories happening too... but it seemed like people talked/discussed things a little more. I really don't talk politics IRL nor on the boards so it gave me a chance to see what others are thinking so that I could get my own thoughts together.

Suggestion... what about putting some sort of constraint on just giving links to goings on ... set something up so that someone could say "I think XYZ" and this is why, how do you feel and why? Or them asking a question "Why is it that XYZ happens?" Or "How does this or that process work?" Something so that folks can either share their own experiences and views or give helpful information without just relying on a link to reword.... .... I don't know, that might be opening a can of worms too...

Having somewhere to at least listen to other folks views would be nice though.
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#17 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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I don't mind that the news section is gone because most of the posts there seemed to be just linking to news stories... I guess there was some 'discussion' on those topics but they seemed to me more like "Hey did you see this atricle here!"
It's interesting, that was one of the things I liked about N&CE. On other places I go, the boards are debate only, and you couldn't get away with posting a link to a news story just for the purpose of sharing...people would be asking what they were supposed to debate. I actually got a lot of my news from N&CE because people posted local stories or stories reported on alternative news sites that I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Sometimes, I would feel that there was benefit in posting even the most tragic stories, because of all of the prayers and positive thoughts that were generated. For instance, if someone posted a thread about a child being killed, I would read it because I felt it was important that as many people as possible could learn about and remember a life, even if it was short.

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#18 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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We couldn't get that to work, there was some bugs and some were not getting their 3 posts while others were getting more than that.
Yea I had problems too.

I also get a lot of my news from this forum. And honestly I never really followed elections very closely before this one. I CERTAINLY didn't follow the primaries. I learned a lot about the election process on this board. Things I either slept through or didn't learn in Government class in school.
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#19 of 32 Old 01-22-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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I think the best way to handle this, if and when TPTB feel the time is right, is to have the forum fully moderated. Just like in TAO or Q&S, when you post a thread, you need to wait for a moderator to put it through.

Then you don't need fancy technical solutions to things like "there are already too many threads about this topic" or "this topic has been getting too heated so we'll hold off on posting this one"- the moderator uses his or her judgement and doesn't put everything through.

We'd also need enough moderators so that there are always at least 2 moderators at a time, and they rotate through. Would it prevent burnout if you moderated Politics (or whatever the new forum might be named? How about we call it George?) for a month, then moderated something else for a month, then went back and moderated George for another month, etc? Then you'd need at least 4 mods (and preferably 6 or 8) who were capable of moderating George, and it may take a while for that to happen.

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#20 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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I have different opinion, I feel N&CE and politics should be merged into TAO. The reason for this is that the same relatively small group of posters tend to dominate N&CE and politics which makes it easy for only one view or a handful of posters to dominate all the discussions. This effectively chases other people and diverging views out and makes the conversations less diverse. If these issues were discussed in a more populated and less segmented section of the board, a lot more voices would join in.

That's a great idea!

I really don't like the idea of parenting "in a box" - I think it's so important that we keep mothers flourishing as fully rounded individuals. It makes me so sad to feel like I can't go into TAO and talk about something as important as war or politics. MDC is one of the few places where I felt like there was respectful (for the most part) discourse between many points of view. And even when things got heated, I never saw anything that was out of line. I really hope N&CE and Politics is welcome back to MDC in some form or another.

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#21 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 02:25 AM
 
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I think the best way to handle this, if and when TPTB feel the time is right, is to have the forum fully moderated. Just like in TAO or Q&S, when you post a thread, you need to wait for a moderator to put it through.

Then you don't need fancy technical solutions to things like "there are already too many threads about this topic" or "this topic has been getting too heated so we'll hold off on posting this one"- the moderator uses his or her judgement and doesn't put everything through.

We'd also need enough moderators so that there are always at least 2 moderators at a time, and they rotate through. Would it prevent burnout if you moderated Politics (or whatever the new forum might be named? How about we call it George?) for a month, then moderated something else for a month, then went back and moderated George for another month, etc? Then you'd need at least 4 mods (and preferably 6 or 8) who were capable of moderating George, and it may take a while for that to happen.
I'm not moderating George. It's time for him to retire. He's on his own.

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#22 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 04:32 AM
 
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without News & Current Events, Politics and with TOA being heavily moderated to even get a post on, MotheringDotCommune is really boring now, IMO.
: I get the need for a hiatus and re-evaluation, but the thought of N&CE and Politics being gone permanently makes me really sad. I'm another person whose worldview and politics were dramatically changed by the education I've received here at MDC.
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#23 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 04:58 AM
 
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This news makes me sad as well, and I have to admit...feeling a bit bored now!

I participated in many of the heated discussions and perhaps I'm missing something but the worst I saw was sarcasm. I saw no threats, nothing that was an obvious violation to ME (maybe it got moderated out). I have to admit sometimes I'd see a thread closed and I knew it was heated but wasn't quite sure what tipped the balance. It seemed to me that as some other posters have mentioned "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and that if there was a complaint, then there was action (I understand that it would be impossible to "pro-actively"
moderate these threads...). Sometimes I would get a response that was sarcastic and offensive on so many levels but I would continue discussing, understanding that our viewpoints are passionate and diametrically opposed.

I feel like I've grown quite a bit since being on MDC, and loved that there was a place that hosted lively discussion from the viewpoint of mothers. Maybe if something gets re-opened we can also have a separate agreement for that forum with more concrete examples/descriptions of what's unacceptable? It seemed like what got threads closed or posts reported was very gray?
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#24 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 05:13 AM
 
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What was most beneficial to me about those boards - both N&CE and Politics - was the discovery of new sources of information. Many moms that come here come here for one thing (like, say bf or anti-circ) and discover other facets of AP to add to their life. Then they branch out into greener living, or the fantastic frugal living board. Or they venture into N&CE and Politics and all the sudden get hit with more news sources than just the mainstream options.

That's what I think will be missing now - the information you can stumble across in that forum.

But having dipped my toe in N&CE in the last two weeks, I understand completely why it had to be closed. Almighty.

Homesteading, unschooling mama of three.
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#25 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 05:22 AM
 
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without News & Current Events, Politics and with TOA being heavily moderated to even get a post on, MotheringDotCommune is really boring now, IMO.
I agree. I think that once your kids are out of the baby stage, there's not as much need for the parenting specific forums on a regular basis. By the time your kid is 3 or so, you don't have all of the questions that you do when they're infants and toddlers. TAO and News/Politics were great forums that allowed people to participate in the community without needing something specific from MDC. I wonder now if membership will drop off if people don't have a reason to check in as often.
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#26 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 06:47 AM
 
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without News & Current Events, Politics and with TOA being heavily moderated to even get a post on, MotheringDotCommune is really boring now, IMO.
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I agree. I think that once your kids are out of the baby stage, there's not as much need for the parenting specific forums on a regular basis. By the time your kid is 3 or so, you don't have all of the questions that you do when they're infants and toddlers. TAO and News/Politics were great forums that allowed people to participate in the community without needing something specific from MDC. I wonder now if membership will drop off if people don't have a reason to check in as often.
Could not agree more.
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#27 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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I wonder if membership dropping feels like a benefit to MDC. Those two forums were the primary place I post anymore now that my children are older. I have effectively just gotten the boot, and a lot of other people have, too.

I'm very disappointed in this decision. As a longtime former mod of a board with over 10,000 members, I can very much appreciate what's required for a mod when things get contentious. I also left that position specifically because I felt like it had become OVER-moderated. The mods were feeling exhausted, the members were feeling frustrated at their inability to have straightforward adult conversations, and it was just hard all around. I think that's happened here.

A major source of conversation and, especially, LEARNING has been discontinued, and that's a sad thing. I regret that MDC has made a choice like that.
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#28 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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I'm very disappointed in this decision. As a longtime former mod of a board with over 10,000 members, I can very much appreciate what's required for a mod when things get contentious. I also left that position specifically because I felt like it had become OVER-moderated. The mods were feeling exhausted, the members were feeling frustrated at their inability to have straightforward adult conversations, and it was just hard all around. I think that's happened here.

A major source of conversation and, especially, LEARNING has been discontinued, and that's a sad thing. I regret that MDC has made a choice like that.
I think Rachel said this perfectly. I came to MDC several times a day to check the various boards, but especially spent time on NC&E because I got so much out of it. Not having NC&E will reduce my visits to MDC, and that will reduce the income to MDC by fewer hits to the page influencing the advertising views the page receives from its sponsors and corporate advertisers.

Could MDC consider taking some of its advertising money (including increasing advertising) and creating some kind of paid position for the moderators of the more conflicted boards? I assume these positions are currently volunteer jobs. I could definitely handle more advertising in the side bars of the page if it meant we got to keep a lively, mature discussion going about current events. My page loads wouldn't drop off, and I daresay other moms in my position would stick around. Also, I can't imagine some of the mods wouldn't welcome the chance at a little extra income. Win/win?
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#29 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm bummed too. Would it help if these forums were for members who had been here a certain period of time and had a certain number of posts like TAO and the trading post? I have no where to discuss issues like Israel and things unless I find another board, and one with such open-mindedness and respect for varying positions like we had here doesn't seem to exist.

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#30 of 32 Old 01-23-2009, 04:49 PM
 
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Looking at all the posters who have commented about the closure of NC&E and politics, I feel like I lost my tribe and we have been banned from MDC and I am feeling pretty sad about this.
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