These two points aren’t accurate. We weren’t aware until quite recently that the option to disable the automated e-mails had arrived, and the editing thing I was personally quite on the fence about for ages.
Haven’t been able to engage with the thread again today but just saw this and wanted to clarify.
Btw, going back to some earlier points in this thread about users being included in decision making etc, these are some examples off the top of my head of when users have been asked for input on bigger or smaller things around the forums:
And from listening to the community I am no longer attached to this (definitely a hoarder mentality that is probably related to some things in my personal life) and no longer have the sense that it’s something many people feel but it does also mean it’s hard to rake back over old ground without being able to refer back.
I think that one of the reasons these forums aren’t as awful as most of the internet is tied to the culture here and a sense of thinking before posting and having to discuss what you said or apologise, rather than act like a Tory MP and just delete & pretend it didn’t happen. This is partly because it’s not easy to erase what you said and it creates an approach to posting that’s a little different and often allows conversations to evolve.
It’s also fostered a sense that there are so many posts that what any comment is going into messy nest and rarely easily attached to any real world identity.
I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time on social media and tried using other forums and Reddit (and once looked at 4chan for about 3 minutes and felt distrusted), but there’s something very different about this place that creates a warm huddle most of the time. There’s an openness and acceptance of others, in all the complicated ways we are as human beings and in this thing called life together.
In all honesty, I’d expect this to be his priority - at the end of the day he’s got bills to pay and a business to keep going - even if it’s been dormant for part of the time we’re talking about.
I agree with the idea that there’s also a social responsibility beyond any legal requirements such as GDPR and I don’t think it’s been met at times in the past. I think when Sean hears about things that have happened in the past there’s also a natural instinct to defend what he’s built - it’s human instinct.
Many things probably didn’t have the same impact on him that they did on others and won’t be as memorable and some would have been dealt with my mods or other admins; I certainly made my fair share of mistakes that distressed people that Sean’s almost certainly unaware of and while I bear responsibility for my actions, it happened under his banner. We’ve also all changed a lot over the lifetime of DiS - more than once I’ve seen stuff posted by myself in the past that I looked at aghast that it was under my name - if I hadn’t seen the evidence with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed that twenty-something year old Zeal would post xyz.
If there’s also stuff that you know for sure he should know about and you feel is misrepresenting then it could be simply because he has that other perspective that means he genuinely doesn’t remember things the same way, although it could of course be something else.
In the end though these boards don’t actually exist for our benefit - even though they’re largely funded by donations, managed day-to-day by posters and so on. While we may have turned this enclave of the interwebs into what it is today, we’ve effectively been allowed space by Sean to do that and done so in that knowledge. And so as others have said, no matter what Sean chooses to do in terms of how he decides to maintain these forums as part of the DiS brand and there’ll always be an inherent tension between the brand and part of the community, because some day there’ll be another Patrick Wolf bio or something where us taking the piss causes real world impact for him.
I asked for the input because deleting a user would delete all their threads and replies. And I wanted to get a sense as to whether it was time to nuke the entire archive if this was going to be a recurring topic.
If I deleted the old forums without consulting the community… well, just imagine how well that would go down.
Given that this is a thread about the community wanting to have more say over the governance of the forum, do you not agree with this and believe the decisions should be left to me?
It’s a big difference between running a business and running a community that collectively sets a lot of the norms and rules and have made this space their own. It’s why people are so angry when I switch the default colour scheme slightly or add new functionality that seems useful (but impossible to tell without setting it live as a trial) without consulting the users before introducing the trial period. Plenty of things have been rolled back after audience reaction.
I’ve spent about 15 hours this week responding to this thread, and that isn’t time I have have when working full time jobs and managing artists in recent years. And anything major has been addressed either here or with the mods.
I only posted about some of these issues as there are a lot of smart people here who might have a better solution/workaround or a weird amount of knowledge about GDPR because of their dayjob (there are GDPR compliant ways of doing things from what I understand).
I’ll be totally honest, when someone threatened legal action over this I was in a panic as the developer gave me an hint how expensive it would be (and I had already had months of money issues) and we were trying to work out if there was an alternative to a nuclear option. Like, one idea is as consider was people paying a small donation to delete everything, in a pay what you want style to help contribute toward the cost.
You’re totally right it isn’t something I should have discussed so openly but I don’t think doing so is out of character for other users to do so. And I certainly wouldn’t have ignored legal obligations because of opinions of the community.
I think you’re right to note that there’s been a shift in thinking, on certain matters, over time.
With reference to the following comment, from a couple of posts up, which is a repeat of prior claims (not tagging in the user, due to their apparent wish to disengage):
my recollection was there were numerous discussions about the old boards and I don’t remember any strong attachment to keeping them, everyone thought for numerous reasons it was time to let them go
On that specific point, my recollection is rather different. I recall, pretty much right up to the point we jumped ship to Discourse, a fairly substantial cohort leaning toward the presumption that the archive/threads generally should be maintained rather than torched (with deletions being facilitated, but not the presumed norm).
But since moving to Discourse, there’s certainly been a collective shift in attitude toward the priority on retaining things.
For that reason, I can understand why @sean has provided the responses he has, then and now.