Golf Monthly forum - please read this

MikeH

Content Director
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 22, 2006
Messages
2,861
Location
GM Towers
Visit site
Morning all

Back in April 2009 I had to post a long message about the state of play as the forum had rather lost its way with too many petty squabbles being played out online, lots of bad language being used and in general forum rules, as they were at the time, being ignored.

Although I haven’t been as regular a visitor (and contributor) as I'd like to be of late I do still stop by to catch up on the chat. I also get emails from forumers flagging up stuff (good and bad)

From what I have seen (and been sent) it's time I posted again.

Almost all of the original post (reprinted below) is still relevant so please read it especially if you’re a newbie but in short the forum exists to provide a platform for golfers to chat about the game and also off topic stuff in the OOB section. However the following is not acceptable…

1 Posts that contain any sexist, racist, homophobic or sectarian content
2 Posts or PMs that are abusive to another forum member
3 Posts that contain swearing. This includes the use of asterisked out swear words or other thinly disguised swear words i.e. ‘fooked’. It might sound draconian but at least it leaves no room for confusion or what is and isn’t OK. I think everyone on here is smart enough to be able to find non-offensive ways of expressing themselves without having to resort to swearing and offending other forumers.
4 Posts that are offensive or in poor taste.
5 Posts that are spam - i.e. posts or messages that are purely posted in a bid to trying to promote or sell services or products.
6 Deliberately posting off topic messages in the wrong forum.
7 Using the for sale forum as an ebay style shop. The for sale forum is for the sale of your own kit you no longer want. (Please see stickied post in the for sale section for definitive rules regarding that section

The rules are the rules - no exceptions no matter who you are. If you transgress you can expect sanctions.

Humour, banter and lively debate are great and what makes the forum enjoyable to use – abuse isn’t. I accept this isn’t a black and white issue but as a rule of thumb don’t post stuff that you wouldn’t be happy to say to someone’s face.

Remember what you say to someone you know will (or should) be different in tone to what you’d say to a complete stranger. If some of the stuff on here – especially of late - was said to a stranger in a pub those who’d uttered it would likely get chinned.

The moderators are appointed by me and act on behalf of GM to try to ensure the forum runs to the guidelines as set down by GM.

A lot of stuff the mods have to deal with is a case of judgement – we ask them to act on the side of caution so even if you think its OK then that doesn’t mean they and GM will.

The mods don’t get it right everytime but the like everyone on here bar spambots they are human so prone to mistakes. If they make one it’s in good faith.

Over the last couple of years a few mods have retired as they don’t have the time get involved anymore so I'm looking to recruit some fresh blood to help out the stalwarts. Please email me if you are interested. It’s a thankless task, you don’t get paid but I might send you a dozen balls now and then. Please form an orderly queue.

As of now if a forum users PMs another forum user any personal abuse there will be no quiet words in your ear, pep talks or even stern warnings I will immediately ban you, your email and IP address – if I see fit that ban will be permanent.

The bottom line is if ‘the forum’ cant exercise a better degree of self-policing and/or accept moderator decisions with better grace then I will shut down the out of bounds section and make this a forum that solely focuses on golf with little room for banter.

I will also stop posting equipment-fitting opportunities on the forum and run them via another channel.

It’ll be dull as you like but it’ll be easy to manage and won’t risk compromising the reputation of Golf Monthly and its parent companies (IPC Media/Time Inc).

If you don’t like the above (or below) its probably time to find another golf forum to get involved in. I’d be confident you’d miss us more than we’ll miss you.


Mike Harris
(GM editor)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

I'd be fairly confident that everyone who is signed up to be a member of this forum would agree with the ethos/idea that this forum should be about...

Golf chat, free speech, heated debates and off topic discussions, arranging games of golf, selling on your unwanted kit to other forumers and finding answer to a query you have.

So, having been off the forum since yesterday lunchtime and logged on to catch up on stuff but instead see all the angry/accusatory threads that have been flying around left me feeling a bit saddened.

I think one of the major issues is that there haven't been clear guidelines issued by GM on what is and isn't acceptable in terms of posts and that's 100% MY fault. It is (finally) addressed below.

Once the GM forum grew so much that it got beyond self-policing and I felt the GM staff and I really needed help to keep an eye on what was going on, as we simply can't be on the forum as much as we'd like.

So I asked for volunteers to put their hands up to act as moderators in a bid to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. I received a number of emails from those who wanted to help out and appointed 6 moderators. I made my choice based on who I thought would do the job well, how long they'd been forum members and how much they'd contributed to date to the forum (a combined total of over 10,000 posts) and the fact that in my opinion all of them typified the 'vibe' of the forum.

Again it was remiss of me not to post what responsibilities/authority moderators have and again this had lead to some understandable confusion

Much of it is common sense and also in the sub text of each forum already but so it's all here in black and white here goes...

* What is not acceptable...
1 Posts that contain any sexist, racist or homophobic content
2 Posts or PMs that are abusive to another forum member
3 Posts that contain swearing. I feel this also includes the use of asterisked out swear words. I think everyone on here is smart enough to be able to find non offensive ways of expressing themselves without having to resort to swearing and offending any other former.
4 Posts that are spam - i.e. posts or messages that are purely posted in a bid to trying to promote or sell services or products.
5 Deliberately posting off topic messages in the wrong forum.
6 Using the for sale forum as an ebay style shop. The for sale forum is for the sale of your own kit you no longer want.

* Moderator responsibilities/authorities
1 To ensure the above guidelines are adhered to by forum members and that the ‘reputation of the forum’ (see below) is not damaged
2 To move posts to the correct sub forum if they have been posted
3 If necessary remove a post/thread if in the moderators opinion it is unsuitable for any of the forums listed on the GM site
4 To alert GM staff to any issues that they feel they do not have the authority to deal with.

* Sticky posts - Only I or the other GM staff (not moderators) have the ability to make a post sticky and I use my judgement as to what I think is worth stickying because they are either a) important b) I don’t want the getting knocked on to page 2 and so out of sight before I feel enough forumers have had the opportunity to see it.

I will make a post sticky because it might be a bit of research we need your help with, feedback on what new things on the mag or online you'd like to see, a poll, an important bit of news to share or to celebrate and highlight one of the very best things about the forum - the get togethers/games of golf/matches that are happening. And for that reason I felt the England Scotland match, Ascot forum meet deserved stickying as they both involved circa 20 members. I always try to make the subject line of the post as uncryptic as possible so as not to waste anyone’s time and these posts are not stickyed forever so if you're not interested in the content or if you feel it doesn’t apply to you then quite simply, don’t read it!

* “The reputation of the forum”
I have always said that this forum belongs to the forumers. Sure, IPC Media the owners of GM host it but it would be nothing without the forumers who are members and post here. That said it does not reflect well on the forum (and by association the Golf Monthly brand and IPC Media) if either potential new forumers who are considering joining in, or GM advertisers have a look in at what’s going on and see fellow forumers name-calling and being abusive to one another. If that happens either the moderators or me will act to move/remove posts and as a very last resort if a forumer does not adhere to the rules, implement a temporary or even permanent ban.

Apologies for the long-winded ramble but I feel a number of things needed outlining and clarifying. I will leave this a sticky post for two days but have put a copy in the “How To Use” the Forum sub forum.

If I have haven’t answered any of your questions or addressed any of your concerns in the above then I’m happy to answer them either on the forum, or feel free to email me direct at michael_harris@ipcmedia.com.

It’s my hope that we can all wipe the slate and move on from here
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 

Curls

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
3,268
Visit site
Make no apologies Mike, as fantastic as forum interactivity can be, squabbling and worse, abuse, is an unfortunate reality we all put up with here and elsewhere. I haven't been dragged into one but can imagine some days you're having a bad day and someone writes something you either A. take the wrong way or B. just annoys you and you type first and think after. Personally I don't like the "like" function of other forums but a "flag" function would probably help the Mods act quicker. They can't be everywhere all the time. If someone is obviously going beyond "healthy debate" then anyone should be able to flag it as potentially breaching the guidelines above. Perhaps a critical mass of 3 or 4 flags should mean it's offending someone. Doesn't mean it WILL be removed, it just brings it to a Mods attention quicker than having to trawl through every thread, which I can only imagine is a labour of love. It can be anonymous, and only requires the addition of a button (not like thread rating - it should be post specific), but might serve to protect what you rightly are vehement about protecting which is the reputation of a publication over 100 years in print. That should not be allowed to be damaged by a deliberately abusive party or one who has had a bad day and would regret it in the light of a good one. As this is an important sticky thread here feel free to remove this comment if you feel I'm muddying the waters, just offering my solution to a problem (it wouldn't be everyone's) so that others might offer theirs but if you feel it's not appropriate to rest here then I have no problem with that at all.

Curls.
 
Last edited:

Twire

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
3,598
Location
Exeter..ish - Devon
Visit site
Personally I don't like the "like" function of other forums but a "flag" function would probably help the Mods act quicker. They can't be everywhere all the time. If someone is obviously going beyond "healthy debate" then anyone should be able to flag it as potentially breaching the guidelines above. Perhaps a critical mass of 3 or 4 flags should mean it's offending someone. Doesn't mean it WILL be removed, it just brings it to a Mods attention quicker than having to trawl through every thread, which I can only imagine is a labour of love.
Curls.


There is a little black triangle bottom left of every post. Click this and you can report a specific post to all moderators.
 

chris661

Money List Winner
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
7,903
Visit site
Curls there is a report post button underneath people's names? (I think) hit that and all the mods will get a notification of it.

Great minds and all Twire ;)
 

Rooter

Money List Winner
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
10,807
Location
Newbury
Visit site
shame you had to spend 20 minutes writing that mike! i appreciate the work the mods do, and i know how much of their own time is used UNPAID!

i wont be offering my services as a mod, but i am 100% behind them! keep up the good work chaps, if it wasn't for them, this place would not exist. remember that when you slag them off peeps!
 

Curls

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
3,268
Visit site
I'm on here a fair bit but completely missed that! Good to know it is there, hopefully this will raise awareness of it.
 
A

Alex1975

Guest
Thanks Mike, I think I have missed most of the bad stuff and I tend to be hear to talk about golf but I hope we as forum members make it easier for you and the mods moving forward.
 

AmandaJR

Money List Winner
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
12,687
Location
Cambs
Visit site
Well said Mike. I'm amazed at the abuse the mods get (and take on the chin!) considering the role they try to play is surely in all our best interests but mainly in the interests of GM - without whom this place wouldn't exist.

I read through the whole post on OOB this morning and by the end of it saw little point in replying as any voice of reason backing the mods seemed to then become the target of more criticism.

I hope you find some volunteers to moderate - I'm too much of a sensitive soul to take the (unjustified) criticism but continue to back them in their difficult role on here.

Shame you had to take time to write the post but agree it's time and hopefully everyone will take the message on board and the general tone and feel on the forum will improve.
 

Hacker Khan

Yurt Dwelling, Yoghurt Knitter
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
9,376
Visit site
I do find it slightly ironic the mention of sexist comments in posts, which is completely right of course. But some golf clubs will still not allow women to join. As can you get any more sexist than saying 'women are not allowed to join?'
 

Fish

Well-known member
Banned
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
18,384
Visit site
I'm posting more and more on here due to personal attacks, snide comments and criticisms made elsewhere so I'm happy on here and I haven't read or witnessed any of the issues mentioned, thankfully, maybe because a mod got their first ;)

I think there will always be issues to moderate on any public forum as what one person is attempting to convey in writing will be read totally different by another but that is no excuse for personal attacks and matters should be debated in a controlled manner.

We don't want forums to be sterile but when things get overheated the flames have to be put out.
 

Hacker Khan

Yurt Dwelling, Yoghurt Knitter
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
9,376
Visit site
And another point, it is mentioned about not being able to use asterisks in the occasional swear word and also the reputation of IPC media, which I completely understand is a major concern. However they do publish Nuts magazine ;)
 

chris661

Money List Winner
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
7,903
Visit site
And another point, it is mentioned about not being able to use asterisks in the occasional swear word and also the reputation of IPC media, which I completely understand is a major concern. However they do publish Nuts magazine ;)

So? This isn't a forum for nuts magazine. There are plenty of place on the internet you can go and have free reign. If however you choose to use this site all that's being askednis you follow a few fairly simple rules.
 

Piece

Tour Winner
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
7,881
Location
South West Surrey
Visit site
Seems to me that a small "regulars" minority think they speak for the majority. I'm pretty sure they don't. The rules are fine and I'm very happy to abide by them. It's what keeps me here.
 
S

Snelly

Guest
And another point, it is mentioned about not being able to use asterisks in the occasional swear word and also the reputation of IPC media, which I completely understand is a major concern. However they do publish Nuts magazine ;)

That is a very interesting point. I wonder if the Nuts forum (if there is such a thing?) allows swearing?

Nuts - a soft porn magazine basically. Not much sexist content in there eh?
 
S

Snelly

Guest
Seems to me that a small "regulars" minority think they speak for the majority. I'm pretty sure they don't. The rules are fine and I'm very happy to abide by them. It's what keeps me here.

As the bloke who started the thread on Locking Lurkers, I can tell you know that I only speak for myself. And furthermore, if I thought that starting it would lead to the spewing of posts that it has, I would not have bothered.
 

Val

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
12,393
Location
Central Scotland
Visit site
I have no issues with the rules at all but can I please make a suggestion to the mods.

Where a post has words/phrase or whatever can it be edited out rather than deleted with a comment as to why it has and maybe referring back to the specific rule. ie - where Dodger received his infraction (which was harsh IMO but technically correct judging on the rules - No 3).

The main issue is the perceived over moderating, where it is more visable the perceived over moderating may be more acceptable because people can then see the reasons why which hopefully in turn should lead to less posts needing moderated.

From my days of moderating football forums im sure it was as easy to edit as it was to move posts.
 
S

Snelly

Guest
Because, perhaps naively, I didn't expect it to lead to the vitriolic outpouring that has ensued. Or two people to be singled out as they have been.

On reflection, I don't think I will be looking in much in future.
 

drutz

Assistant Pro
Joined
Aug 27, 2012
Messages
228
Location
Worcester
Visit site
I am wondering though does the asterisks even cover the Shermans as some people type it that way? I guess it is a kind of swear word
 

Piece

Tour Winner
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
7,881
Location
South West Surrey
Visit site
As the bloke who started the thread on Locking Lurkers, I can tell you know that I only speak for myself. And furthermore, if I thought that starting it would lead to the spewing of posts that it has, I would not have bothered.

Your OP was fine - not something I'd personally agree with 100%, but then I'm newish on here so have a different view of the forum. TBH, it was what followed from others that took it out of line.
 
Top