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2015.06.25 Morning Coffee: Feedback, Trouble, and Dealing With Assholes

Morning Coffee is a user-created discussion series where Snapzu members can check in with each other in a relaxed environment.
We are experimenting with different formats and ideas, so feedback is very welcome!

Hello, Snapzites!

Apologies for the very late post. It's been a tough morning.

The goal with Morning Coffee has been to give members some talking points every day. As a result, we've had some great discussion on the direction of Snapzu, and it's been a pleasure getting to know this small community. However, this is a user-created series and user feedback is vital. So, tell us what you think about these Morning Coffee posts. Are they useful? Are they unnecessary? What kind of content would you like to see in them? How would you improve them?

Yesterday, there was an incident with an angry user. He felt he had been wrongly censored (he was not), and predicted the downfall of Snapzu due to stifled freedom of speech. This sentiment alone would have been acceptable, but what followed was a verbal rampage in which he insulted other users and threatened (against the rules) our beloved /u/drunkenninja. Ultimately, as per the site rules, he was removed and his posts deleted.

There's no doubt we will see many more like him — users who always find something to complain about, and in the most abrasive manner. They will be absolutely rigid in their beliefs, and oftentimes their intent will not be to solve problems but to cause trouble. Sometimes they will have valid complaints worth discussing, which is fine, but it won't change the fact that certain behavior is not welcome here.

On a larger, more anonymous platform such as reddit, the user may have had considerable support from others. That we Snapzites handled it so well was revealing of a mature community mindset, but it also revealed how easily we can be disrupted by a toxic member. Yesterday was easy because he was one and we are many, but what will happen as the gap lessens? What if members are not breaking any rules but trying their best to be assholes? Would it be so easy to deal with not only disagreement (which is fine and even necessary) but widespread negativity and rudeness? It's an unavoidable part of real life, but is it something we need to come to terms with in this online community?

While we're on the topic, how do you handle assholes in your daily lives?

A reminder that Book Club voting is open for July's nonfiction and fiction selections. Voting will be open through the last day of this month, after which the reading begins.

For those who haven't, check out new tribes or share your own over at /t/newtribes.

6 years ago by Moderator with 37 comments

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Conversation 12 comments by 8 users
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  • spaceghoti
    +8

    So, tell us what you think about these Morning Coffee posts. Are they useful? Are they unnecessary? What kind of content would you like to see in them? How would you improve them?

    I think they're very useful. At the very least they provide the impression that the people in charge are engaging with the community, even if their response is "no, for reasons." The idea is not to concede to every user demand but to establish an open dialogue where people know they're being heard. I've done similar things before to great success, and I think you've got it right.

    So for the moment I have no suggestions for changes or improvements in the Morning Coffee posts.

    While we're on the topic, how do you handle assholes in your daily lives?

    I give them enough rope with which to hang themselves. Then I kick open the trap door.

    Figuratively, of course!

  • drunkenninja (edited 6 years ago)
    +8

    Apologies for the very late post. It's been a tough morning.

    I hate hangovers too, but coffee does help! :D

    The goal with Morning Coffee has been to give members some talking points every day. As a result, we've had some great discussion on the direction of Snapzu, and it's been a pleasure getting to know this small community. However, this is a user-created series and user feedback is vital. So, tell us what you think about these Morning Coffee posts. Are they useful? Are they unnecessary? What kind of content would you like to see in them? How would you improve them?

    Personally I think the "Morning Coffee" series is a fantastic idea and I find myself thoroughly enjoying each post. I think at this point in our community's story these posts bring us together a lot more effectively than other type of "niche" content that not everyone can engage in based on personal interests or lack of knowledge of the subject matter. Being able to get together and discuss subjects that we can all get involved in is really important as niche content tends to spread us too thin (at least at this point).

    Yesterday, there was an incident with an angry user. He felt he had been wrongly censored (he was not), and predicted the downfall of Snapzu due to stifled freedom of speech. This sentiment alone would have been acceptable, but what followed was a verbal rampage in which he insulted other users and threatened (against the rules) our beloved /u/drunkenninja. Ultimately, as per the site rules, he was removed and his posts deleted.

    This situation was obviously the case of someone that was either mentally unstable or someone that made an attempt to troll and harass other members to get a raise out of us. The good advice given by our community was not only ignored but returned with threats and harassment. In addition to this I was targeted by this member prior to this situation but was soon presented with an excuse blaming his roommate got a hold of his account. When...

    ... Read Full
  • trendkill
    +7

    Heh, that all went down in the thread I started. Oops...

    I definitely think that banning him was the right way to go. Being a dick is one thing, actually threatening someone is not acceptable. I thought that /u/drunkenninja handled the conversation with grace the whole time. Very professional.

    As far as how I handle assholes in my daily life: I don't generally run into many offline except for some customers that contact me. For random people I see on the street, I usually just avoid them unless they're doing something that could actually harm someone. For customers, I just pour niceness on them until they either rage quit or calm down and listen to what I have to say.

  • ObiWanShinobi
    +6

    I do enjoy the Morning Coffees, even if I don't drink coffee in the morning.

    As for the daily assholes in my life? Either ignore them, or stifle them with kindness. Nothing makes an asshole feel like an asshole when you won't rise to their bait.

    In other words, don't feed the trolls / assholes!

  • BlueOracle
    +6

    I was wondering what the hell happened! I only saw that thread after the offending posts were removed. What kind of an idiot threatens a /u/drunkenninja? That's a terrible idea, and I don't support it! This is precisely how I feel.

  • Nelson
    +5

    Keep em coming. It's a nice read and let's me catch up on each days highlights, especially if I wasn't around for a day or two.

    • ubthejudge
      +5

      Yeah the votes also speak for themselves. It's usually one of the highest voted posts.

  • Gozzin
    +5

    I find them very useful. For the first time ever,I'm trying to block a user. Even with clear directions sent via PM, this makes no sense and I'm just not getting with the program. There needs to be 3 buttons,follow unfollow and block user.

  • Tawsix
    +4

    So, tell us what you think about these Morning Coffee posts.

    I enjoy them! Kind of like a check-in every day, see what's up. You've done a great job with them so far.

    It's an unavoidable part of real life, but is it something we need to come to terms with in this online community?

    That completely depends on how hard the admins come down on them.

    While we're on the topic, how do you handle assholes in your daily lives?

    I like it when assholes operate openly. Makes it easy to know who to associate with.

  • Crator (edited 6 years ago)
    +4

    I really love the daily coffee posts as I'm sure you can tell from my involvement. It's great way to catch up with everyone in this small community on a more personal level. As it gets bigger, it will get flooded and probably won't be as useful. But for right now keep it up. For content I like how it gives a bit of news about the site and directly asks all the users about any changes that may need to be done. Adding a daily topic of discussion is nice to.

    As for the one jerk who came around I actually didn't enter that topic so I had no idea.

    Yesterday was easy because he was one and we are many, but what will happen as the gap lessens?

    As the gap lessens the site slowly slides downhill as sad as that is to say. It happens to every site that gets popular. The only way to stop it is to make a site private. But I doubt many of us wanna go there. This site is still young of course, who knows if it will get huge. I mean 12 upvotes still gets you to the top.

    What if members are not breaking any rules but trying their best to be assholes? Would it be so easy to deal with not only disagreement (which is fine and even necessary) but widespread negativity and rudeness? It's an unavoidable part of real life, but is it something we need to come to terms with in this online community?

    If they are not breaking any rules then you can't ban them right? And if a rule was made that you can't be an asshole; what exactly constitutes being an asshole? That's a really grey area. Is it just someone who is angry? Is it someone who spreads certain opinions? Talks a certain way? The answer is far to difficult to come to and is rather subjective. I don't see a way to easily enforce it in a moral way. It's case by case at best.

  • plastico
    +4

    We should add afternoon coffee and midnight coffee. I love coffee.

    On a more serious note, I think these are great, but ultimately, Snapzu might grow too big for this kinda snaps, which is simultaneously a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it means Snapzu is growing, bad because we lose this sense of tight community.

    In relation with that, a bigger community will undoubtedly bring more trolls/spammers/griefers. I usually just downvote and move on.

  • alapseofsanity
    +4

    There's unfortunately not going to be any way to prevent assholes from invading. I think banning people who cause trouble should be a last resort measure.

    The difference between here and Voat is that this community is trying to foster more civility and maturity rather than focusing so heavily on open speech, but on the internet that's never easy to maintain. I'm not sure what the right way to go about any of that is. I'm hesitant to say banning people is the solution to all those problems because I like the idea of people being able to speak freely even if I dislike what they have to say or the manner in which they say it entirely, but I also like the community here and I don't want that to be lost.

    I have no idea what the proper solution is, but maybe a place that moderates trouble-makers while allowing opinions to flow is a good idea, I just don't know how we best decide to set those rules and boundaries. I honestly can't say though, I've never managed an internet forum and I don't really have much of a desire to for that reason. I think the best solution is to ultimately just tackle the issue from a social angle: discourage that kind of behavior and foster the right kind of community. Be open to calling people out when they're acting like assholes, and also be welcoming to people who come in with the right kind of attitude. Rules mean very little of the community turns toxic, because then toxic people end up setting the rules.

  • ttubravesrock
    +3

    Morning Coffee snaps are great, even though I'm anti-coffee. It reminds me to check the Lounge after I log in.

  • kigurame
    +3

    I wonder if it's a good idea to have a welcome email or webpage of sorts that states the rules of conduct during signup. (and maybe a general introduction to the xp/rep system)

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  • Ewok007
    +3

    Maybe a specific tribe for introduction posts? They get a bit lost sometimes in the lounge.

  • i208khonsu
    +3

    I did not know you can block people's posts in Snapzu until recently. And honestly I still don't know how to do it. Perhaps the answer here is to make this more accessible. Similar to how it's implemented in Facebook. Options to just hide a particular post you don't want to ignore, or hide all content from a specific user; with additional options to report the post to a moderator. After all what's an asshole to one person may be a perfectly reasonable individual to another.

    • drunkenninja
      +2

      This functionality is freely available in your feed, its all located in the little gray arrow to the right of every event within your feed. Clicking on the arrow will display a menu of the things you can do. One of them being to unfollow the person or to set specific view settings for them. I took some notes on making this function more accessible.

      • i208khonsu
        +3

        So I need to turn comments on in my feed and be subscribed to the tribe that their posting in order to block someone based on their comments?

  • frohawk
    +2

    Extremely late to this post, but I think these daily coffee posts are a must. With a site that doesn't have any major tribes beside /t/lounge, a thread to check in with everyone is nice.

    Like another user said, I don't think it would be too much of a hardship to more than one post like this, maybe two? Like a morning coffee post to catch the people who check this post during the certain hours (that might not always be daytime, who knows), and a midnight snack post to so that others users can discuss new topics without feeling like they missed the chance. It might help to online activity to have general post every 12 or so hours.

  • ChicagoSunroof
    -2

    I find the word "asshole" triggering. Can't we have more polite language here?