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Groundhog Day

Admin's picture

I thought I'd take a moment to address the rumor mill, and remind users that your continued interaction with this site conveys your acceptance of our terms and conditions of use (TOU). If you neglected to pay attention to them while signing up or otherwise missed them, feel free to become re-acquainted with them here: . The terms of use are there to define the boundaries users are expected to stay within when they interact with this site and its users. When it comes down to it, we expect our users to behave in a decent manner or to not interact at all.

This topic seems to come up every year or two, and we end up doing and saying the same thing. We understand that the current site lacks good moderation controls and honestly we do not have the resources to address every incident on the site because of this. We are hoping that with the launch of the new site, and the implementation of new moderation and privacy controls shortly afterwards, this task will be easier and will eventually allow users to self-moderate.

So now to the facts. Today Dawn spent most of the day reviewing the long list of complaints we receive via email, PM, and the flag system. In every case, she reviewed the evidence that was presented, and made a simple decision. If the evidence showed that a user was harassing, berating, threatening, libelous, obscene, or in any other way bullying toward a user (or otherwise violating the TOU), they were added to a block list. We never take blocking users lightly and have historically given most users leniency when enforcing these terms, but at some point they must be enforced in order to maintain order on the site and ensure that the site remains a place where everyday people can come to get support for their situations.

If a user was blocked, it was because they in some way violated our TOU, typically on multiple occasions. It's as simple as that. In general users get at least one warning, but depending on the infraction a user may not get a warning at all.

Users do *not* get blocked because we disagree with their views, or they had the most flags against them (although multiple flags or other notices does tend to get you looked at first). We do *not* block users simply because another user has requested it. We do *not* take into account the length of time a user has contributed to this site; this isn't a balancing game. Its unfortunate that we have to block users who have a history of providing good advice to our users, but being a regular contributor to this site does not constitute a right to behave outside the TOU.

The list of abusive users is extremely long and we have not yet reviewed it in it's entirety. We are aware that not all users who have abused the ST TOU have been blocked, yet. Feel free to continue to report those individuals by providing links to *evidence* of the actual abuse. Note, however, that deliberate and blatant mis-reporting of users will get you blocked so make sure your report is sincere.

It comes down to this. StepTalk is a place that people come to vent about their *unique* situation. Often they don't provide all the details, or change the details for privacy reasons, or reasons only they understand. Sometimes they want support. Sometimes they want feedback. Sometimes they want a reality check. What they don't want and should not expect is to be attacked, for any reason. If a user does not agree with another user, does not believe a blog or forum post to be sincere or truthful, or in any other way feels that they can not provide constructive support or feedback, then that user is expected to move on and not interact with that other user.

This does *not* mean that you can't disagree with someone. This does *not* mean you can't tell someone you don't agree with them. This has everything to do with *how* you communicate your feedback. It is always possible to provide constructive feedback to someone you don't agree with even if you are telling them you don't agree with them or that you have a completely orthogonal view of their situation. Surely you can do this without using derogatory or hateful statements. If you feel that you can't, walk away.

I'm going to leave this open for comments in case anyone wants to continue this discussion. I can't promise quick replies because I have a day job and I'm busy building our new site, but I will attempt to respond as I can.



Gimlet's picture

I appreciate the opportunity to ask some questions.

Given the time it will take to launch a new site, has there been any consideration for implementing mods on the board, even if those mods are also users? Like I said earlier today, I read a lot this summer and I found myself getting frustrated with the users that were coming back over and over, just to make incendiary statements and poke at people's histories. Honestly, the board has felt like a free for all for a while, and people were wondering if anyone was even checking Admin's messages.

When that happens, flagging posts becomes less meaningful because it's just a bunch of noise at that point, with no feeling that there is a signal in there somewhere. I've been guilty of flagging things I would usually ignore out of frustration.

I have tried to ignore what I believe to be fabricated stories, as you've been clear about not being the ST police, but it sucks to see some outlandish tale with 200 comments and someone like Monchichi getting 4. The drama is almost always in those threads. Even the posters who don't like each other manage to be civil for the most part until one of those bombs lands. I'm not excusing violating the TOS, but I do see this as a contributing factor.

If we had regular moderation (and yes we're all adults and all that, but I have yet to see a site that doesn't need mods, and this one has such personal topics involved and no system to up/down vote anything that I think it's even more needed) I don't think there would be Groundhog Day, or at least not as many. I'm not interested in hearing from anyone that it's because we're women either, I do not think that is the case.

I might be a bit biased about some of the users, because I cared about them personally, but even ones that got my goat will be missed. If this happens regularly, perhaps being open to a change might help. I just hate to see the wheat thrown out with the chaff.

Wifeypoo's picture

Honesty when I look at the list in your tag line I feel a little sick to my stomach. There's a lot of unique wisdom and experience spread out among those names. I've learned a lot from them and I'll miss them all.

ldvilen's picture

Wow! Is that the list? I hope not. Step Aside has the best advice ever and has been here for years.

Aniki's picture

That's a partial list. I have to say... the halls are pretty empty today (and last night). It truly sucks. Sad

JustAgirl42's picture


I guess I missed something huge. Some of those members have been extremely helpful to many anotherstep, stepaside, etc.

Sad I'll miss them.

Aniki's picture

Cray 2

Aniki's picture


notsurehowtodeal's picture

"We do *not* take into account the length of time a user has contributed to this site; this isn't a balancing game." Why isn't it a balancing game? This is what bothers me. If I'm understanding this correctly, a long-time, helpful user can be banned for violating the TOU one time. Everyone can have a bad day and violate the TOU.

If you would consider granting leniency to some on the list, I know I am not the only one who would be grateful.

Gunner's picture

Why shouldn't it be a balancing act? There was a long term poster who was down right nasty to me referring to my genitals multiple times. I came here for advice not to be attacked. After my last post I left this site with no intention of coming back but i needed a date and came here to look through my blogs. Seeing some of the people banned makes me feel more comfortable to post again. That's why. They chase off people who need advice.

ldvilen's picture

I agree, Gunner, that was totally unacceptable. I do think sometimes (certainly not all the time or even close to most of the time) men on this site can be more-so unfairly targeted.

bearcub25's picture

They were absolutely cruel to you Gunner. A few of them attacked new posters until the new poster took up for themselves, or just left feeling like they were the evil SM. They were just too comfortable in their own perceived 'power' and felt they were untouchable bc they spent their every breathing moment on this site.
A few on that list (StepAside, Seue), while they can be very blunt, actually knew what they were talking about and gave good advice, it just stung a little when first reading.

While I don't post much, I have been a member for many years and through the mess of being a full time SM. This was the absolute best forum 6-8 years ago and it is sad what it turned into.

JustAgirl42's picture

Actually, one of the reasons I stopped blogging was because sueU2 would always harass me and I didn't want to deal with her anymore. Never had a problem with any of the others...

agitated's picture

I am another user who deleted my account a few months ago and just recently signed back up (last week) in hopes of being able to ask simple questions again. I have a very ODD story, that is hard to believe, but I could provide the proof (court papers/transcripts/etc.) if needed, but that wouldn't keep me anonymous anymore, nor should I have to do that. I stopped blogging about "those" issues and would only post when I really needed an outsiders advice, but was STILL beat down.

I was (and still am) afraid to ask ANYTHING. There are a few people who give good advice, but constantly being told, "Why are you doing that it's his problem; it sounds like you are obsessed stop "stalking"; it's not your problem; he is lazy and you should leave him; you aren't passing my "smell" test; etc. This is NOT constructive criticism IMO. A person tends to get frustrated. The way I choose to interact and my involvement with my bio kids and skid are my business. If I'm asking what I should do in an XYZ situation, I shouldn't be made to feel like I'm doing something wrong for being involved. To offer disengagement as a solution, great; to politely say maybe you are caring too much, let dad handle it, great. I have come here for advice and an outlet, not to be berated about my situation. I have posted before about my skid doing XYZ, and been torn to pieces about something entirely off topic to my question. This is how most of my posts were replied to.

AshMar654's picture

I have a question. I know some people that you have blocked have been really mean and I do believe love to tear others down to make themselves feel better. This is just my opinion, some of those you blocked may have not been the nicest but some you did were truly helpful. For example RosaluOsliar she was tough and very direct with me but I never thought her comments to be hurtful and extremely negative. I did like her advice a lot.

I am curious those you have blocked is there anyway they can be allowed back but the warned that if they continue their bad behavior will be permanently blocked from this site? Maybe a warning will do wonders for these people and maybe it will not but some that you did block I really appreciated what they had to say.

Gimlet's picture

I just want you to know that anotherstep2 messaged people to stand up for you and to make her case about why people should be easier with you.

I don't post on your blogs much because I don't think I have the advice you need, but I thought you might want to know that.

bearcub25's picture

Anotherstep was cruel to many new people that were suffering and confused. Funny thing was, I saw many lies and inconsistencies in her daily, multiple posts to others.

Gimlet's picture

Different people have different perspectives, I have not noticed cruelty on her part and I got some great support from her.

When I was on my first user name, on my first post, your comment was the harshest one I got. I've always remembered you for that. But you know what? You weren't wrong. I could have definitely taken my ball and gone home, but I am so glad I didn't.

I think the key is to find the right balance between direct and supportive. Too direct and the less robust people aren't coming back, too supportive and people don't get the wake up call they need.

I've tried very hard not to interact with people if I truly don't like them or have anything nice to say.

I don't want to argue opinions on this, it's not going to be helpful to anyone. I do take the comment from ldvilen to heart, because I have been that person derailing blogs talking about my cat and if I stay, I am going to make sure not to do that anymore. That's unintentionally disrespectful, she's right.

bearcub25's picture

I apologize for being harsh, sincerely. No, I'm not going to argue with anyone.

We have all been in that bad place and let it direct comments, why I stopped posting as I couldn't control my own perceptions of step life.

Gimlet's picture

Don't apologize, bearcub. I NEEDED it. I walked in here with this idea that I knew it all, and BM sucked, and the skids sucked and they were making my life difficult.

But they weren't. I was. I was being unfair and I had not yet learned how to put myself in my now-DH's shoes, and how to pick my battles, and how to be more empathetic and understanding, and dog knows I had no perspective at all. I mean, I thought it was a big deal that DH paid child support and had to buy clothes, or that his kids left dirty cups in their rooms.

You helped me. It hurt, and it sucked, but it resonated. It's why I kept coming back. I am so grateful for everyone who took the time to reply to me.

I am not exaggerating even a tiny bit when I say that you ladies saved my marriage, made it possible for me to have the bit of relationship that I do with the skids, and made me a better person. Not only that, you've helped me understand the biases and scars I brought into this, and how sometimes those things made me unable to see past my own understanding of the world.

This is why I'm so upset. This place has meant a LOT to me, and this place is comprised of the people in it.

bearcub25's picture

That makes me feel better. I hate to hurt anyone's feelings. And I know what you mean. This site saved my sanity and allowed me to have a 'Not my kid, not my problem' attitude.

Women just can't dump on other women that are just trying to figure out why they are giving everything they have to keep a happy home, but are so miserable and unhappy. That was my problem with a few people on here. A newbie come along, and BAM, they are called liars and stupid.

After not posting for a long time, I posted and was slapped down by someone that got banned, this was a long time ago so I didn't report them, and I was like...Biotch, look at my profile, I'm not some young girl that thinks with her heart and not her mind.

Gimlet's picture

Sometimes you have to break some eggs to make an omelette, if I can be trite for a moment.

I understand your point. I think over time, people forget what it feels like to be new to this life. I try to err on the side of holding back if I think I can't be objective, or I think someone is fishing for a reaction.

We're in this StepHell together, we have to make the best of it, and of each other.

A co-worker in real life was telling me his girlfriend and 3 teen kids were moving in to the 1300 square foot, three bedroom house he shares with his 21 year old son. It took everything I had to not say "OMG WHAT ARE YOU THINKING" and just tell him good luck.

secret's picture

Sure, crack an egg into a pan and make the omelette. There's no need to smash the egg by launching it into the pan from 5 feet high, getting bits of hard sharp shell all over the place, and splattering the poor raw egg everywhere but the pan....

The hard sharp shells will cause pain... annoyance... there will be some missed when trying to pick them out... and as much as you ignore them, you'll crunch on a piece eventually...causing new pain and annoyance... and as you try to gather all the raw egg splatter from the egg launch, you'll miss some...the egg will never be whole again, it will always be damaged...then everytime there is talk of an omelette, the egg launch fiasco returns in memory and already sets you on the defensive for egg splatter round 2...or 10...

The egg launcher will claim they're just trying to make the omelette... but if they were really trying to just make the omelette, the egg would have been cracked with decency, without having to be put through a splattering and without being shredded by the bits of shell.

Aniki's picture

The opinions of strangers only matter if WE let them matter. I don't let it matter. After being in a mentally and physically abusive situation for years, I HAD to not let it matter.

Disneyfan's picture

She was not cruel at all.

I think many people are simply looking for posters to agree with them no matter what.

Whenever someone points out the role they or their spouses are playing in all of this, they get upset.

WalkOnBy's picture

"Whenever someone points out the role they or their spouses are playing in all of this, they get upset."

and then they flag the member as abusive.

When I first came here many years ago, Echo was just brutal to me. But you know what? I listened, I looked around, and she was right. Same with StepAside...

Just because someone says something you don't like, doesn't mean it's cruel, rude, meant to hurt, etc.

AshMar654's picture

I do agree with you on this and Echo has been very harsh to me but I just ignored. I still took advice.

The only thing I got tired of more than anything was Superjew she would always consistently no matter what I posted about say my SO was crap. I even messaged her and explained and she still continued. I never understood that. Why keep tearing him down instead of being helpful with tips and advice that might help me in my new role. I need it. Not always told my SO is lazy. He truly is not and him and I do talk and communicate.

I too like many newbies on here almost walked away but I tried to really take the good with the bad. Some thought I just did not want to hear. That was not the case at all. It is just not what I came to this site for. I wanted help in navigating not told to leave my SO and I am stupid.

WalkOnBy's picture

In her opinion and in her experiences, she felt that your husband is a big part of the problem, as do I, frankly. It is only her opinion. Why does something that someone on the interwebs says make some people lose their minds?

I think she did give you tips to help you in your new role, as did many, but it sometimes seems like you only wanted people to agree with you.

that's just my opinion. Like Gimlet says, you are young and you seem to be doing the best you can...

AshMar654's picture

I get her opinion and she was helpful at first and I am new to all this. At first she was ok but later it was different. Instead of being helpful she did just say my SO was lazy.

I can appreciate others opinions but not when it is the same one over and over no matter what I talk about. RosaluOsliar was really harsh at times and kinda mean in the beginning her last response on my last blog was insanely helpful. She did not agree with me and she even let go about my SO and focused on what I really need advice on.

I am doing my best I possibly can, I love my SO very much and his son is pretty great but I do struggle with my place right now.

I never reported or blocked just wish they had let up a little is all. I see what they were banned but I do not think this should be permanent and they should be allowed back with a warning.

twoviewpoints's picture

Ash, I read your last blog and I'm going to go find it again and make a reply.

This admin. post isn't really the place.

agitated's picture

"Why does something that someone on the interwebs says make some people lose their minds?"

An answer to this: In my world, THIS board is the only place I can go to "talk" to other people, besides coworkers. I don't live near family and friends and haven't been able to make any "real" friends since the move. I have my family (spouse, kids, skid) and that is it. I'm not even remotely exaggerating about this. When a person is basically being told constantly that their spouse is a POS, they are doing everything wrong, they are lying, etc., it hurts. For me, I over think and analyze everything in my life. At first, I would think about all those hurtful things to see if there was truth, but when I couldn't find any, I became defensive and less "talkative".

There is a difference between constructive criticism and being overly cruel to someone. If I didn't agree with what someone posted, I kept it to myself unless I had some real advice to offer up. Scenario: A child was asked to wash the car to earn spending money for whatever reason; this child has never washed a car before nor been taught how to do it. The child goes to wash to car and when parent comes to check the progress realizes the child "washed" the car with just water, no soap. Parent then gets mad at the child for being so naïve, saying how can someone not know to wash a car, I'm not giving you any money for this crappy job. This scenario is what it feels like to ask questions on this board at times. That parent should have given constructive criticism, and explained soap needs to be used, etc. and then let do it again. Some of the blocked users took the first approach to responding to other posts, especially if the post seemed a bit off the wall.

Disneyfan's picture

They lose their minds because they can't/won't admit that the person they love has created and/or ignored many of the problems they deal with.

ItsGrowingOld's picture

You said.. "Why does something that someone on the interwebs says make some people lose their minds?"

IMHO it's certain posters approaches that were a YUGE turn off for me.

And some people may lose their minds because they are new to this, are hurting and need guidance. The last thing they need is a kick in the teeth!

Disneyfan's picture

Comments posted about your SO were based on what you posted about him.
If posters called him crap and lazy, it was because THAT'S THE WAY YOU PRESENTED him here.

People commented on your SO in the same manner that they comment on BMs.

AshMar654's picture

Yes anotherstep sent me a message and she was super nice to me. I really did appreciate her. I only really had an issue with like two that got blocked. I do not think they should be totally banned as I have seen them post on other people's blogs on here and were very nice.

I think a warning should be sent to those and maybe be allowed back and if they continue to block again. Thank you Gimlet.

WalkOnBy's picture

anotherstep was very supportive of you, Ash. She was constantly encouraging folks to give you the benefit of the doubt.

AshMar654's picture

I know I really hope they let many people back especially those who have been at the step life for a long time.

fairyo's picture

This makes me sad- I received invaluable advice from some of these Steppers especially Echo and GrannyGoose. I hope they come back in another guise. Posts on social media can often be misinterpreted and although people shouldn't feel uncomfortable, it does sell itself as a venting site. People say things they shouldn't when they vent- which is the point isn't it?
Are we saying that any post is ok- but the responses are not?
We are all grown-ups- I feel I could deal with anything thrown at me- a few negative or even personal comments are not going to put me off, but the harsh truth told with wit and experience has certainly helped me in a way no other site has.
I hope things get back to 'normal' soon.

Willow2010's picture

I don’t know if all of them have been blocked but I do see the reason why some of them would be blocked. Some had good advice and helped but IMHO, they ran off WAY more posters than they helped. Some of the vitriol and hatefulness in their “helpful” post were uncalled for. There is no reason to make someone feel small and stupid when trying to help them.

Now a few of the names on the list, I cannot for the life of me figure out why they would have been banded.

Hopefully the new site will have a function that a user can block certain people from posting on their blogs. That would stop a lot of the nastiness.

ldvilen's picture

I know one thing that bothered me more than vitriol language was when there be over 10 comments going back and forth about something completely OT and inane, such as "I drank tequila today," "Oh, really, what kind?," "It was banana flavored," "I'm getting out my whiskey shots," "Me too. Let's toast together." Something like that. Sometimes the string would be over 20+ long, which to me is a total killer. The entire OP and any comments following, are in the tank after that. No one is going to want to weed though that nonsense, and in some cases, they were excellent OPs and had good comments, and then some utterly ridiculous banter ruins it all. Hopefully, that was looked at too.

Aniki's picture

I'm guilty of that banter and confess that there were times it was the only thing they kept me putting one foot in front of the other. To be honest, if it weren't for some much-needed silliness to lighten the day and private support from some awesome STalkers, I'd be dead. Literally dead. I would have offed myself.

I shan't banter any more. Sorry.

Tuff Noogies's picture

AMEN to your first paragraph. i myself shall continue to banter }:) i apologize in advance, ldvilen, for any offense i cause you Wink

ESMOD's picture

To be fair, I think that in general, the banter would mostly start up in a couple of situations.

1. The OP was so obviously set in their own conclusion/opinion and weren't open to any reasonable matter how many posters said the same thing.
2. The story got into unbelievable lengths of trollness.

Disneyfan's picture


The banter was funny and at times broke up the tension.

I think some posters are just extremely needy. They need to be told that they and their SO are always right.

secret's picture

People can always move past the post if they don't want to bother catering to their feelings, or have advice on the actual situation, instead of telling them their SO is a POS.

Say the SO could be wrong... offer another perspective... but don't go saying the SO is a lazy POS. That's not helpful in the SLIGHTEST.

If a poster is going to bother making a comment to someone, at least make it something other than:

"that's because your SO is a lazy POS who doesn't parent"

ESMOD's picture

How about "Your SO is being lazy and isn't parenting". Doesn't mean that they are necessarily a POS Blum 3

But seriously, the very issue that a lot of people have that come to this site IS their SO and how that SO interacts with the OP's and their children. Quite often it is some variation of the SO is a guy that has deflected most of his parenting responsibilities to the woman in his life (SM, BM, Mother, Sister etc...). He can't discipline his kid, allows kid to disrespect SM or stepsiblings. He excuses poor behavior etc... He looks out for everyone's feelings but the SM. Then there are the SM's that won't give any quarter to the skid. They are just as controlling and manipulative and drama loving as the people they complain about.

If someone is coming here and literally asking "am I wrong for feeling this way".. then an honest response of "yes, you shouldn't resent the kids, you should resent your lazy husband that is pushing this on you" shouldn't be off limits.

secret's picture

the way you put it, though, explained your position.... simply saying he's lazy, even if not saying he's a POS, still doesn't really help the OP.

Add to it. Make it worth the time it took to post.

am I wrong for feeling this way...

yes, you shouldn't resent the kids, you should resent your lazy husband that is pushing this on you because SO is a guy that has deflected most of his parenting responsibilities to the woman in his life (SM, BM, Mother, Sister etc...). He can't discipline his kid, allows kid to disrespect SM or stepsiblings. He excuses poor behavior etc... He looks out for everyone's feelings but the SM.

If they've taken the time to provide some context, try and explain WHY they're feeling the way they do.... if they shouldn't feel that way, the normal response would be to explain WHY

ESMOD's picture

I think the problem comes when it is the same poster repeating the same issue over and over when they have been advised time and time again that the problem isn't necessarily their Skid, or their BM, but their own need for control, or their partners lack of parenting chops, etc.. so after a while, the responses become more short hand and just cut to the nut of the matter which is "your husband is being a lazy parent". That doesn't mean he is a bad person and it doesn't make the OP's a bad person for resenting the kids. It means they have misplaced the focus of what they want to fix.. which is generally really their partner or their own level of involvement or desire for control.

So, sometimes when a poster seems to be completely blind to the situation, I think it can exasperate some members and they just get a little more curt with their responses.. maybe in an attempt to "shock" the poster into realizing what the issue really is.

And, a lot of posters don't realize that the reason people respond the way they do is a direct reflection on how the poster presented everyone. When people seem to change things to fit a narrative.. that becomes clear and some people have a very low tolerance on their BS meter.

fairyo's picture

I agree Aniki- I didn't join in but I got the point and found it diffused a post that was going nowhere. If people want to vent, fine. If people want advice, fine- but what annoys me most is people posting time after time with the same issues over and over and never moving forward- just indulging in permanent pity parties.
One of the things I love here is the banter-it can be funny without being offensive.

Tuff Noogies's picture

"When it comes down to it, we expect our users to behave in a decent manner or to not interact at all." i do agree with this. i don't agree with flat-out banning, hopefully the potential blocking feature on the long-in-coming site will reduce some of the bad feelings between some posters. i'll keep the rest of my opinions to myself on that matter.

if anyone banned is still reading - miss ya'll.

Willow2010's picture

Oh I would almost guarantee they are reading and will be back under a new name within days. (if not today) Lol.

A few of those up there were on their 2nd or 3rd name anyway.

JustAgirl42's picture

That will drive me crazy! I really hope people will PM me to let me know their new username.

Also, blocking ability would be excellent!

secret's picture

Agree with Willow2010 above.

Though some of those posters had great advice, some could not get that advice across without calling someone stupid, making fun of them, or just writing some really purposefully insulting comments and/or getting on the insult train with others.

There's a big difference between offering up advice that might not be pleasant to hear, and telling someone they're too stupid to see the red flags in front of their face. Berating someone for the choices they've made that have landed them here to begin with, and then calling that same poster a crybaby when they're upset at the belligerence thrown their way is never a welcoming has run off several new members, and continues to be un-helpful to older members who might have to learn from their mistakes despite warnings offered.

Some I'm sad to see go - but some I'm grateful. I'm not a fan of being called names, insulted for no other reason but to be made fun of or get a reaction, called a liar, told my advice sucks or shouldn't be looked at because I posted about a completely unrelated situation weeks ago.... none of that is necessary, helpful, constructive, or even just...decent.

I understand that some people have a poor dynamic between them, some people will just ignore each other and their posts just because... and that's fine... the block feature will be great, but it will really separates those who are genuinely trying to provide a different perspective, advice, feedback, and those who are really just here to commiserate with their "friends" by providing that literal division between the "groups".

Anyway - thank you for taking the time to hear user grievances.

DaizyDuke's picture

A good majority will be back with new user names. It's the cycle of stalk.

I'll be honest, I know that sometimes I can be a bit direct? blunt? and definitely quite sarcastic, but there is a difference in being direct and being a downright jerk. I'm actually surprised SueU2 got booted as I have NEVER witnessed her being rude, name calling, fighting etc. but I guess it could have happened. Impossible for any one of us, to see every single comment that has ever been made.

There are a couple however, who I'm glad are gone. they said some pretty awful things to me in a stupid O/T political post because I dared say I voted for Donald Trump. And I do mean awful things. I RARELY flag or report anyone, but that day I do remember reporting a particular poster. But that was at least 6 months ago and nothing was done until now. Like Gimlet said, it tends to make flagging and reporting less meaningful.

Oh well, I understand the admins here do have busy lives like the rest of us and don't have time to be babysitting grown ass adults 24/7. If people would just follow the rules and be decent human beings, we wouldn't have to go through these cycles.

SacrificialLamb's picture


DaizyDuke's picture

Yes, talking politics is definitely at the top of my "don't care to do that" list..... BUT again, we are all grown ass adults, with greatly varying opinions and beliefs. I mean isn't that what makes the world go 'round? I would NEVER, EVER call someone terrible names and accuse them of doing terrible things simply because they think differently than I do or cast a vote for someone that I did not vote for.

WalkOnBy's picture

Part of being a grown ass adult is simply scrolling by those posts that don't speak to you, for whatever reason, is it not?

Aniki's picture

WOB, I almost made a bantering comment to your comment. I'm sorry.

However, you are correct. If you don't like the post, keep going. If you don't like the comment, delete it. If you don't want the poster commenting on your blog, message them privately and delete them.

We definitely need the Block feature.

WalkOnBy's picture

I have never understood why people say politics shouldn't be discussed. Our country was founded on a debate regarding politics.

why do you feel this way?

Tuff Noogies's picture

it's one thing to debate. debating is awesome if the adults involved behave like adults. but a lot of the political posts really broke down into some nasty, immature $#!t, and i personally am fairly conflict-avoidant if i can be so i stay faaaar away from those posts.

like you said above, if you can't behave like an adult, just scroll past. none of that junior-high bull$#!t.

Aniki's picture

Unfortunately, too many people cannot DEBATE. It turns into someone trying to verbally shove their opinion down your throat because they think YOUR opinion is poop. That is why I refuse to discuss sexual, religious, or political preferences with anyone other than my DH.

ESMOD's picture

Me too, those politics posts got to be pretty vitriolic with anyone not believing in a person's view was called horrid names. TBH, I'm pretty open to learning why people believe something or another. I like to know the logic, the history and experience that makes them believe the way they do. I like to find common ground. But not everyone can get past the "you voted for a orange clown so you must be an idiot" or the "you voted for a corrupt family that has their enemies murdered" vitriol

secret's picture

those aren't comments debating politics... those are comments disrespecting the other person...

politics should't be discussed, because it always brings out comments like that. Far and few between are those who can control their behaviour enough to discuss the topic at hand and not the character of their discussion partner

DaizyDuke's picture

Right? I'd be much more open to hear your thoughts and why you belong to a particular party, or voted a particular way if you didn't come at me with "you must be a racist, misogynist, evil, whore of a pig if you voted for that man" Wink I can't imagine saying that to anyone, much less someone who I really don't even know more than some anonymous posts on a blog site. :?

ESMOD's picture

Again, why I stayed off those posts and backed away. I didn't feel any good was going to come of me confronting people that I otherwise felt were pretty decent human

Gimlet's picture

You know what though? I stated an opinion in one about water regulations, and I learned another side of the issue from you and your experience. Depending on how people take differing opinions, we can learn from each other.

ESMOD's picture

That's how it SHOULD Learn about things and other perspectives. Doesn't mean I or you will have a change of heart/mind, but we can certainly gain an appreciation as to why someone holds a different opinion.

Aniki's picture

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. There will be at least ONE person who will immediately see red, then type a dissenting/rude/offensive comment. Which is why we need to be able to Delete our own comments in case we are temporarily possessed.

Disneyfan's picture

Why can't those who do not want to participate in political blogs, just stay away from them?

Why should a topic be off limits to everyone?

Aniki's picture

For the same reason people are incapable of eating a single pringle??

There are those who are simply unable to resist and those whose comment will be deemed offensive regardless of the topic.

Disneyfan's picture

Political debates will get heated and at times ugly. If you (general you) can't handle that, don't participate.

I think it's wrong to advocate a ban on a topic that many posters are not bothered by.

WalkOnBy's picture

Right? I hate the thought police telling me what I can and cannot discuss Sad

Don't wanna participate in a political discussion? then walk on by Smile

Disneyfan's picture

Why can't those who do not want to participate in political blogs, just stay away from them?

Why should a topic be off limits to everyone?

ESMOD's picture

Ya know, it occurred to me that we have a pretty big double standard going on here.

This site is founded as a venting/advice site about being a step parent. So, it's ok for people to come on here and call the BM's, SK's etc.. trash, ho's, monsters, cretins, pond scum etc. Bash away at people who are not necessarily members of this site. Hate on...

BUT, if someone calls out a poster on a bad attitude or poor actions, then that person is somehow in violation. TBH, while I am a SM, I see a few posters on here that seem completely tone deaf to their part in the problems they seem to have. They see everyone else as the problem when it's clear that they have created a lot of it and that their denial hurts them.

Then there are people that seem to have no empathy for anyone other than themselves and others who are pot kettle black situations when they claim others are trying to control things when in fact they are doing the ever loving same dang thing.

It's also tough because online you don't see facial expressions. You don't have all the facts and back story. Certainly I have said things that on paper might have come across harsher to someone than I intended. I certainly wouldn't want to be cruel, but I see some awfully cruel attitudes from people towards their skids that in truth might not be 100% well directed.

In any case, it is a double standard of sorts when the tone is set with the bashing of people off-site.. for on site posts to have some too.

Disneyfan's picture

ESMOD, I pointed this out on a blog the other day.The poster's SO is the male version of the MOTY types that are posted about and bashed here day in and day out. No one bats an eye at that.

But the pearl clutching begins when the same types of comments are directed at the SOs

Wifeypoo's picture

I struggle myself with being a very sensitive person and my feelings are deeply hurt easily, perhaps even more than the average person. In a nutshell I know my over sensitivity originates from my childhood and is deeply ingrained. Not a excuse, just how it is. No amount of counseling has ever helped much but surprisingly, being on steptalk, has helped a lot. I don't post a lot but there's been a few times I've been told something that may have stung at the moment, but after some introspection, I come around and see what I may not have been able to see on my own. Now if someone was calling me names I'd probably just leave and not come back, so I do feel bad when that happens to someone else. I know it's just a internet forum but it's a very special one, she and I really appreciate its existence.

I missed the whole thing yesterday so I don't know what was said, but it appears it was the straw that broke the camels back for admin to take the measures of banning users. I have to respect their decision but it's still unsettling. Certain posters just grew on me after awhile.

Perhaps for the long time members hearing the same story over and over got a little old, and they lost their patience, which may explain some of the negative attitude toward certain posters. Sometimes there were insults thrown around unnecessarily and I've often cringed during those times and hoped the OP wouldnt be too hurt. I admire the ones who keep coming back in spite of the harsher comments.

I'm not sure what actually went down but I just hate to think that it may have been a troll post looking to ruffle feathers that started this whole thing.

Aniki's picture

Truly, it is quite pointless to bash people who are no longer here and talk about what they did "wrong". We all know whose comments we liked/disliked, who we thought was mean/helpful, who we considered real/troll/crew.

As my dear, departed Mom said, "If you can't say something nice, STIFLE."

Willow2010's picture

While I tend to agree Aniki….some of these posters have been truly abused by some of those that have been kicked off. They probably feel a little more comfy being able to get their feelings out about it all now that it is safe. Lol

Gimlet's picture

There is at least one of them who is testing my resolve to not violate the TOS. Not all the people who were kicked off were abusive, and not all the people remaining are victims.

Aniki's picture

And here is where I will respectfully disagree because I feel it's a violation of TOS #11.

ESMOD's picture

To be honest, reading #11 it's that we can't use this site or it's contents for bad purposes. In my mind that would be "outing" a real person in real life.. contacting their job.. or their family. Or, putting it on blast in social media. To me that really doesn't cover anonymous people calling each other T.U.R.D.S.

It would be me contacting someone's SK's and telling them what their SM said about them.

Aniki's picture

Well, then I think it should be added to the Rules of Conduct. Along with "If you can't play nice, be gone."

What are the rules of conduct?

First, by creating and using an account on this site, each user indicates their understanding and acceptance of the site's Terms of Use. We realize however that the terms of use can be a little dry to read so we're planning on drafting a formal set of clear and easy-to-understand rules to follow. Until then, play nice....

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

Most of my fav people .... gone. Sob. At least Acra, Babybugged, and Gimlet are still here

moeilijk's picture

I think there's a huge piece of the pie that's not being addressed here.

We self-moderate. It's not always popular, but everyone who has received a comment that they felt was inappropriate or which crossed a line had the option to delete it. If it was offensive, screenshot and PM admin.

But all these banter-chains (which, for some reason, I am *never* invited to...) could be deleted if the OP had a beef with it.

All of the comments that are just re-hashing, "Your SO sucks!" could be deleted.

Some posters like the drama of it all, and to them I say, "To each his own." But for the rest of us, if you don't like how someone manages their blogs, scroll on by.

Admin is not around much, and even if they were, I still think they should be dealing with crazy out of line situations, not banter gone too far, or a line in the sand that was drawn too deeply. And I personally have read most comments by most of the banned posters over the last seven years. Absolutely some comments were not useful, kind, or even ok. But that's life. Only a very very few people have been absolutely horrid, and they clutter up and derail blog whenever they get on STalk. Nothing like the numbers that have disappeared.

And for each individual poster, take some responsibility. If you don't like the way something is going, manage it. That's a life lesson as well, btw.

secret's picture

One of the issues Moe, is that if you start deleting comments like that... you get the posters coming back and adding them again... then making a big deal that their comments were deleted.

I've deleted comments on my blogs that I felt were attacking someone's character - be it mine or my SO's...even another poster... and then have been accused of deleting responses from posters that disagree with me.

so... it comes of a place of personal experience, for me. Deleting the comments gets me targeted as someone who just wants sunshine and agreement... when the reality is, the comments I've deleted are so obnoxiously berating and unnecessarily hurtful, that the deletion has nothing to do with whether or not we've disagreed... or... has to do with the same poster having written 3 or 4 comments on the blog's post saying basically the same thing - usually that I'm stupid.

I don't tend to delete comments that offer a different perspective, disagree with me, etc..... but I will generally delete comments that I feel are uncalled for, like calling me me an idiot because of choices I've made. While I don't generally report stuff... some things are just unacceptable.

moeilijk's picture

IMHO, you personally leave a lot of things on your blog that I would probably delete. OTOH, I usually (now, lol!) announce that I delete comments that don't fit what I'm looking for.

I agree that it can keep you busy, checking every 30 minutes for what may have exploded while you were doing something else, but this is why I am an avid moderator:

Bullying and all kinds of outrageous behaviour finds a home online because people feel anonymous. I know a lot of major sites that invite vigourous discourse have chosen to require people to provide an identity before posting as a way of moderating the comments. This site is, of course, intended to be anonymous so another mechanism is needed.

In my experience the only thing that has improved on this site in the last seven years is that now you no longer get pages and pages of comments, you just get one long page you can scroll through following each blog. If there is no active moderator, no way to block individuals posting to your blog, no way to hide certain posters, then there is a huge onus on the individual poster to do the dirty work.

If someone is so unable to control themselves that they cannot communicate without using profanity, berating someone, or going out of their way to be a total jerk, and has the sheer effrontery to complain about their vitriol being deleted? The delete key was made for that commenter.

secret's picture

Yes, recently I haven't deleted much, you're correct. I did delete all my other blogs though, in June....and honestly, if I hadn't seen one of Dawn's posts on someone's blog about types of comments and the need for them, I likely would have deleted all that garbage as well... but I figured I'd just leave it all there, for review.

AshMar654's picture

I have to agree with secret on the delete. I tried it one time as to keep my one blog on track and I got called out. That person even said I can keep deleting their posts but they will just keep posting. I deleted the whole blog as it got really mean and nasty.

The delete is great if people do not keep posting over and over and over. Aniki is right the block button will be a great addition. Mine had nothing to do with I did not want to hear what they had to say just it really was not relevant to what I was asking about.

secret's picture

Yeah.... I remember one poster in particular (one of the recently banned ones) made a comment on one of my responses on someone else's blog asking about parenting, that she wouldn't suggest taking parenting advice from someone who gave a oral on the first date and moved her bf in within days of hooking up.

(which is NOT what happened, but that's all anyone remembers, because this poster made SUCH a big deal about it...and now THAT story is stuck on me like bad breath instead of the truth.)

moeilijk's picture

I tend not to blog much myself, so I wouldn't be as bothered as you guys about that kind of behaviour. I agree it is out of line and makes posting more trouble than it's worth.

Aniki's picture

Crikey, we don't need to have this as part of the's a personal blog kind of thing. :O

secret's picture

is it, though? It's related, I think.... things like what I posted happen all the time.

Why? What purpose does it serve? I mean.. It SUCKS!

Aniki's picture


That kind of stuff... not interested in the gory details. "We were intimate" is enough for me. I'm a prude like that.

Livingoutloud's picture

never mind. I was just enlightened. I can't keep up with who is who and who says what.

moeilijk's picture

secret, I didn't mean that you leave info/blogs up... I meant that you let people get away with behaviour I find overbearing.

But you're more logical than I am, so I think you stay curious longer. Me, when I blog, I'm usually emotional and I feel attacked when people can't be bothered to stay at least polite. I know it's been too bad when someone invests some energy in a comment and I find it overwhelming - maybe I'm wrong to delete as much as I do. I don't know. I just do what is right for me, in the moment.

Gimlet's picture

I think you are 100% perfectly fine and lovely.

If we were in high school, I'd sign this "Never change, love you like a sis! Gimlet"

moeilijk's picture

And I think I even deleted one of your comments once! Wow, that's true love right there! Backatcha sis!

It's so interesting how little information is conveyed online, and how everyone is so sure they know what's up. It's just a human nature thing that we all forget.

Gimlet's picture

I remember that, we PM'ed about it later. I went in a different direction than the one that was helpful at the time. It happens and it's OK.

Willow2010's picture

If someone is so unable to control themselves that they cannot communicate without using profanity, berating someone, or going out of their way to be a total jerk, and has the sheer effrontery to complain about their vitriol being deleted? The delete key was made for that commenter.
So was the block key that admin used to block the abusive users.

moeilijk's picture

Sure. My point was that the poster of each blog also had that ability. And I think that in many cases, the OP deleting like it's going out of style is not just faster, but more useful than waiting months or longer for admin to wade in with a tank.

JustAgirl42's picture


WalkOnBy's picture

When I am being an idiot, which happens from time to time, I expect my friends to call me an idiot, and I would have no problem with someone I don't know telling me I am an idiot...

Two reasons - first, it's a random person on the internet so who really cares; and second, what if I AM being an idiot??

secret's picture

Yes - friends. I expect my friends to tell me I'm an idiot...but they don't. With friends, there's a dynamic where we've established the boundaries of interpersonal communication between ourselves.... I don't have that with you, nor would I dare call you an idiot even if we did. I don't know you. Even if I did - I still wouldn't call you an idiot, because I don't tend to use name calling as a communication tool.

Not cool being called an idiot by some stranger when I'm looking to for words of encouragement, advice, support, though...

as to who really cares whether some random internet person calls another an idiot.... given recent events, I'd say the admins do. They should. It's abusive.

WalkOnBy's picture

so, because your friends don't tell you you're an idiot, you're never an idiot? Okay then...

I think part of the problem you had/have is that you want people to only say positive things. Not everyone is going to share your view of your relationship. Don't want people judging you? Don't put questionable things out there.

As Echo says, "don't want may peaches, don't shake my tree."

As for your last comment, I was clearly not referring to Admins or mods of a site. If the opinions of random strangers hurt a person's feelings, the internet might not be for that person.

IMHO, of course.

secret's picture

That's not what I said...

I might be acting like an idiot... but resorting to name calling isn't helpful, it's abusive. If you've been saying it to your loved ones and they've been saying it to you...technically's still abuse.

Often though with friends it's the intent... shaking your head at someone you love and calling them an idiot is not perceived the same as having someone angry at you and calling you idiot.

Regardless... it's still abuse. Not tolerated in schools... workplaces... I don't see why it should be tolerated here. Clearly, it's not.

robin333's picture

Then I have been abusing my DD, DH and close friends for years. I tell them when they're being idiots. Everyone has been an idiot more than once in their life.

ESMOD's picture

I told my YSD that when her dad calls her an idiot.. it's from a place of love. That if he didn't care about her.. he would just ignore her and let her make huge mistakes with her life.

thisisnotmocking's picture

Well, I just called my very own, squirted him out of my vag, an idiot. He's almost 30 so I don't think he'll whine to anybody.

Hope that makes you feel better.

I don't feel abusive at aĺl. He didn't take it that way either.

thisisnotmocking's picture

Well, I just called my very own, squirted him out of my vag, an idiot. He's almost 30 so I don't think he'll whine to anybody.

Hope that makes you feel better.

I don't feel abusive at aĺl. He didn't take it that way either.

Disneyfan's picture

Why do you (general you)give a bunch strangers so much power???

How in the world do you handle real life if you are so bothered by comments on a message board?

Do you have any idea how many times I've been called a B@#$% here? Not once did the word abusive cross my mind.

Disneyfan's picture

Oh please

Words from strangers on a message boards do not hurt me. My opinion changes when it involves people in my inner circle.

I don't understsnd how some people manage to cope in real life if they are hurt by comments strangers make.

Disneyfan's picture

I draw the line at race. Trying made a comment about my students a couple of weeks ago and that pissed me off.

Other than that, I am not offended by comments directed at me by strangers on a message board

I never called anyone here pathetic

WalkOnBy's picture

I get called a b*tch all the time. Sometimes it's true, which I am totally fine with, and other times it's not. I don't care. At all.

I don't find it verbally abusive if some random stranger who doesn't know me doesn't share my opinion and then calls me a bitch. Nope. Not even a little bit.

Life is hard. Sometimes a helmet is necessary.


BSgoinon's picture

Ok, I must have missed something... seriously? That really sucks. That list, those ladies, have given some of the best advice this site has ever seen. And I have been her a LONG time.

AlreadyGone's picture

I think it's entirely possible that some posters, (and I'm not calling out ANYONE specifically when I say this) have just been here, either too long or too frequently. Maybe they're having a bad day or a serious situation at home.... whatever. Maybe they're burned out. Maybe they've read so much about so many people's situations, that they've lost the ability to see things with objectivity. Maybe they're giving advice based on something they've been through but, it's just a slight version of what's actually being presented. Who knows for sure.

I never did like the gang up style that I saw here at times. I never understood the 'we are right and you are wrong, end of story' scenarios that cropped up from time to time. The straight up disrespect based on opinion alone, always bothered me. As did the vulgar name calling, when it occurred. Calling out posters based on bad grammar or punctuation, and then watching the pile on, was difficult. Calling new posters trolls, even if they really weren't (yes, I'm aware that some were, lol.)

Having said all of the above, I'm pretty sure that most of us, are guilty of committing one (or more) of these things. Unfortunately, some, seemed to make it their mission statement. I think that's when it becomes a problem for everyone. It prevents the site from being what it was always meant to be.... supportive.


Willow2010's picture

sometimes being supportive is NOT telling someone what they want to hear, though

But I honestly do not think that is what some of these women are talking about. They are talking about someone derailing their post and trying to make them feel stupid and small and ignorant.

And yes…it is a forum so they may need to expect that from some posters. But those same posters that treat other people like scum on the bottomed of their shoe should also expect to get blocked by admin. They have all been warned and know it can happen.

WalkOnBy's picture

actually, most of those banned yesterday did not get any warning.

Someone derailing a post is not what I was talking about...

AlreadyGone's picture

I understand what you're saying. Think of it like this for a moment....

New SM or SF. Your beautiful step-illusion is blowing up in your face. Maybe you're on the lonely end of a losing situation. You find a place (ST) where you can try to make sense out of things, only to be insulted, talked down to, blamed, etc... That was/is a fact for some posters. Many on a continual basis. I keep hearing that posters should just delete posts they find offensive. Maybe the better approach should be that replying posters don't weigh in, unless they have something meaningful to contribute. Or, how about being a member who is belittled and/or attacked, for your personal, political, or other beliefs, etc.? Not cool.

I'm sorry, I don't want to make someone who is struggling, feel worse than they already do. To me, that's just heaping up damage upon damage. Not fair.

Sad to say that some people use the anonymity of online sites to be cruel, disrespectful, disparaging, disruptive, etc. We've all seen it. We figure someone is having a bad day, whatever. Still doesn't make it right.

That's just my POV. I do understand yours as well. Smile

moeilijk's picture

It's a microcosm for society here. Online, it's always more exposed. There are lovely people here, kind and caring and trying to help. There are unpleasant people who sprinkle offense and personal jibes around like a garden hose.

Of course people should delete posts they find offensive. Why should I 'keep' something that hurts or angers me?

And of course people should not make offensive posts. But I can't control what others do.

Just as in real life, in our online 'relationships' intent counts for a lot. But with just the written word, without robust objective information about a situation, I think a lot of communication turns into ships in the night.

Tone of voice, facial expression, backstory, personal qualities and character, goals, values.... I don't get much of that from a comment or post. And we never know the intentions of the poster - are they trying to cause trouble, are they dumping their negative experience of life on the world at large, have they chosen the wrong word by mistake, are they not ready to hear contrary advice or information, are they nasty people or ordinary people in a bad situation and not rising to the occasion, are they momentarily very upset or is this how they go through life?

All I can do is be myself. Sometimes that's annoying, I know (gasp). But I really have to rely on other people taking responsibility for themselves to let me know if they have a problem with me, and if we care enough to move forward together, we can talk about why and what we can do to make it better.

Aniki's picture

I'm certain most can agree that, in our own personal experiences, we all liked the advice/behavior of some and disliked the advice/behavior of others. Admin has banned a lot of people. It's unnecessary to beat the dead horse and keep 'naming' people. Jeez. :?

Aniki's picture

Willow, the helpful comments and blogs and invaluable wisdom posted... all are lost. If I cannot recall something, I have no way of going back to a blog to refresh my memory. It's "dust in the wind" and irretrievable.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I am so glad that as time went on I made screen prints of the posts that were really helpful to me. At least I did when I first joined, was reeling and very confused.

Hey maybe I can upload them somewhere for people to access?

fairyo's picture

Lamby I would love you to do that- how did you make screen prints? Do you mean you just printed things off to read off-line?
I know I haven't been here long but I feel that some women had become a part of my life and I loved reading what they had to say- I feel bereft that I can no longer read their unique perspectives, even though I understand they sometimes took it to the edge. I am sure other characters will emerge, but the sight seems empty without them.

Willow2010's picture

I don't know why this time would be any different than any other time a mass ban has happened.

I have been here a long long time. (Like you) I know of at least 4 people on the list that have been banned before TWICE. One other has been banned once before. That is just the ones I know of. I guess that is why I am not as upset as a lot of yall. I figure they will all be back soon.

WalkOnBy's picture

it's different this the past, folks were banned for (mostly) solid reasons. yesterday, not so much.

Willow2010's picture

in the past, folks were banned for (mostly) solid reasons

I remember that differently. But I am shutting up. I don't wanna get banned. LOL.

notasm3's picture

A couple of people on the banned list were totally obnoxious and told me (by name that I was a horrible worthless person (mostly because I did not have children) on multiple occasions. I never flagged them as I figured out that anyone with a sane mind knew that they were total aholes.

I just ignored them. I refuse to get in "pissing contests" with stupid aholes. I generally avoided getting in internet arguments with people on any level. I know who I am and what my intellectual assets are - not going to argue with idiots. I love the phrase “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”

moeilijk's picture

I do too. I wish I knew you when I was growing up. And so I'm glad to get the chance to 'watch' you in action now. I like how you set and enforce clear boundaries, that you're very kind and caring but you guard your heart carefully, and how you worked hard in life to reach your goals.

FieryEscape's picture

Some of those kicked do not surprise me one itty bitty little bit. The " mean girl " herd mentally had gotten thick as of late. I've been on this board for about 5 years ( I deleted accounts by choice to avoid too much being out there about my life ) now and seen plenty of catty behavior and mass purges.

You don't have to be a nasty B when you don't agree with someone and you can give your side/ point of view / wisdom without tearing someone apart. No one needs to be told their DH / life sucks and be called names by some pretentious know it all on the internet.
This board has helped me get through a failed blended marriage and then understand and grow into my new blended situation.

I hope those kicked take a long hard look at their behavior and how they treated others and understand why it was taken negatively.

Indigo's picture

Thank you, Dawn & the Admin Powers-That-Be.

There are a number of folk that are now not here that I will miss. Wish that perhaps I had better social skills so that I could ask for emails IRL so that we could stay in touch. (Blows anonymity to hell) I hate the sense of loss. Some of these folks have shaped my life for the better & I can no longer say "thanks" to them.

However, ... nonsense was escalating here to the point that I'd scan a post in the morning w/a thought to reply & when I returned at night the OP was already effectively eviscerated. Why bother sharing my thoughts after all?

Hijacking a thread "in fun" because you need a 'humor/friend-bonding break,' or you do not believe an OP, or they don't listen to you so they must be stupid/troll/other poster, or your job stinks -- is just horrid.


(Yes, I failed out of Grammar Police Boot Camp).

So, hopefully, things can become a bit more even-keeled for a bit.


secret's picture

Haven't there been plenty of reminders?

There was a purge in the last year. There have been admin posts. It's not like those banned didn't know that the use of profanity, for example, was not acceptable... or that purposely insulting someone, was not acceptable... was a warning really necessary?

I dunno - I'm a believer that you reap what you sow, I don't know how a few of these posters didn't see it coming.

moeilijk's picture

Personally, I think if the 'rules' are posted but not enforced, it is not logical to expect that they may randomly be enforced at some unknown point in the future.

And I also think that if you want to manage the behaviour, it's more effective to give a warning with a clear explanation of what will not be tolerated again than it is to do a mass purge of everyone who done wrong in the last year.

Because, IMHO, it should be about encouraging the environment you DO want, rather than just stifling voices you have gotten sick of all of a sudden.

Wifeypoo's picture

Aniki I agree about Granny. Even the chipmunks loved her...the woman sewed her own clothes and still had a healthy sex life at her age. What's not to love. Smile

As much as I hate to see the banned people gone, if I'm honest with myself, I can see why the admin people felt it was time to do what they did. There are rules that are there for a reason. I'd often cringe myself when reading some of the comments made that seemed more like personal insults, rather than someone trying to be helpful. On the other hand not all hard comments were mean spirited, but rather a attempt to shake some reality into the OP. Being older both in age, and as a long time SM I can see that, but some of the younger ones with less life experience might end up feeling so attacked that any good is lost in translation. As a libra, I'm always trying to weigh each situation and see both sides. So while I notice when comments start getting foul, I also notice what triggers some of those comments.

Much of the advice given by the banned posters was very good and losing their pearls of wisdom is such a shame. I imagine some of them are hurt by this as well. Maybe when the new site is launched, communication will be easier to manage, and some of those members will return.

ESMOD's picture

I agree with Moe. I looked and saw one post a year ago. That isn't necessarily frequent enough that people might think that the status quo over the last year was "ok".

Also, perhaps if offending posters were counseled early on, things wouldn't get out of hand.

It's like this. You have one or two posters that are more acerbic, use more vulgar language. So, months go by, they continue on in this manner, nothing is said to them, so 1. they think it's ok 2. other posters start relaxing THEIR way of communicating. Next thing you know salty language and overly direct advice is seen as acceptable.

Then several months down the line... BOOM. The hammer falls on everyone even though it seemed like what they were doing was "ok" because no one was being told it really wasn't.

But at that point, a lot more people fell into that category vs the initial couple of people.

If someone had contacted the first couple of offenders directly and said. You need to find a way of getting your point across without use of profanity or putting posters down. perhaps things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand.

Yeah, I understand some are repeat offenders, but perhaps more frequent reminders would have worked and if they blew those off.. then they could get banned.

I also think some people got banned that were drawn into conflicts. (anotherstep? granny goose?) and while what got them banned might not have been their normal style, there were a few people on here bound and determined to harass and follow people around. Everyone has a limit.

We are also still somewhat ignoring the fact that this site is built upon the premise that we can vent in "ugly" ways about stepkids or Exes etc... So, that language is ok sometimes but not others????

secret's picture

I agree with you... though it seems that you might be saying that "counselling on behavior" should come from admin, and not from the offended parties...which I disagree with. Do correct me if I'm not understanding you properly.

If someone tells a poster they felt their comment was rude... that someone is jumped on as being a princess having her feefees hurt.

Sometimes, people who are accused of saying something offensive should back the heck up and consider that maybe yes, they're being a bit salty and that the OP perhaps isn't an overly sensitive snowflake... Especially if that poster has already been told a few times before by others... they really should consider that maybe they're not, in fact, surrounded by coddled babies, but maybe it's them that should check their behavior...BEFORE the admin checks it for them.

If you (general you - reflecting on my professional life for an example of how things work in communication where I work) say something that's offensive to me - I will tell you, and why I find it offensive. If you didn't mean to be offensive, that's your cue to clarify what you meant, to phrase it differently.... or to even just say Hey, I didn't mean to offend you, I'm sorry....and for me to adjust my initial perception and maybe get a better idea of what you're saying. Then you and I may or may not both reflect on the interaction, and try to see where the communication went a bit south.

If you meant to be offensive... well... that's on you, don't make fun of me for saying my feefees are hurt when that's exactly what you intended to do... and then you get the consequence you get, be it a verbal or written warning... or the boot. If I'm telling you my feefees are hurt, you shouldn't keep doing it until you're told by mom to knock it off because you think me telling you isn't enough of a warning.

After all... if I've now told you three separate times that what you've said hurts insulting..whatever... but you keep doing it... you're blowing that off.

A large part of communication is that the person sending the message is the person who needs to phrase it in a way the receiver will understand. If you communicate properly, instances where you will unintentionally offend should be far and few between... because you've grasped the concept of interpersonal communication enough to have realized that you need to communicate in a way that your audience will understand. It's not enough for you to think you're being clear - your message has to be clear for the recipient.

A little bit off topic... but not really...Your example about language reminds me of a psychology article I read a long time's almost like Steptalk is the cage... certain posts are the banana... and the banned people are the monkeys from the beginning....

"This human behavior of not challenging assumptions reminds me of an experiment psychologists performed years ago.

They started with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, they hung a banana on a string with a set of stairs placed under it. Before long, a monkey went to the stairs and started to climb towards the banana. As soon as he started up the stairs, the psychologists sprayed all of the other monkeys with ice cold water.

After a while, another monkey made an attempt to obtain the banana. As soon as his foot touched the stairs, all of the other monkeys were sprayed with ice cold water. It's wasn't long before all of the other monkeys would physically prevent any monkey from climbing the stairs.

Now, the psychologists shut off the cold water, removed one monkey from the cage and replaced it with a new one. The new monkey saw the banana and started to climb the stairs.

To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt and attack, he discovered that if he tried to climb the stairs, he would be assaulted. Next they removed another of the original five monkeys and replaced it with a new one. The newcomer went to the stairs and was attacked. The previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, they replaced a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.

Every time the newest monkey tried to climb the stairs, he was attacked. The monkeys had no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they were beating any monkey that tried. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys had ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approached the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.

People sometimes do the same in the workplace. How many times have you heard "It has always been done this way. Don't mess with what works." Instead of challenging these assumptions, many of us, like the monkeys, simply keep reproducing what has been done before. It's the easiest thing to do." "

ESMOD's picture

I think that the review and counseling should probably come from an admin because that is a "disinterested party". It's too easy to discount someone's complaints as just being over-sensitive or their misunderstanding (because it's the internet and not IRL).

Your example is interesting and in a way illustrates my point. By the admins being as hands off over the last year..with all of these posters (or at least I am assuming that many of them never had any prior warning).. they created the dynamic where people felt comfortable acting out in some ways.. vulgarity/language/harsher responses. Because it became the culture, it was repeated.. yet if it had been nipped early, it may have not taken hold the way it did.

The other issue here is that there ARE trolls that come on here with fantasy stories to tell that are practically tailor made to elicit drama and responses. So, you have people that see these kind of posts all the time and there are some "regular trolls" as well and people may be a little quick on the "this is crew" label.

TBH, there have even been posters that I have thought were certainly crew... because I just couldn't see how someone could possibly be so blind to their reality.

I tried when confronted with someone that seemed to want to be contrary just for contrary's sake to just back off the topic and take a break. I think if more people took that approach, then the conditioning would be that when people are too harsh then they don't get to be involved might make a bigger impact?

I don't know, I have seen some pretty amazing people on this site.. also some completely naive and some real broom riders. Sometimes people would change depending on the weather.. or whatever might have been happening "off screen"

I will stand by my assessment that I think the cut here was too deep and I think that some of the posters were worthy of redemption.

moeilijk's picture

secret, as you know I regularly disagree strongly with people, although I do tend to prefer to offer advice or comfort in situations where it seems the other party is actually wanting to try something different.

And here, I'm going to disagree with you. Biggrin

I agree with you... though it seems that you might be saying that "counselling on behavior" should come from admin, and not from the offended parties...which I disagree with. Do correct me if I'm not understanding you properly.

Why not? Most boards are moderated for appropriate content. It's strange that this one is moderated so rarely. And, it's also strange that so many posters will engage in clearly offensive and personal discussions when the delete key is available to them. Why would such a culture exist? Who would go out for dinner knowing that their server would be punching them in the nose at some point? Something about the interaction is benefitting both parties, especially if the one crying foul could end it at any point.

If someone tells a poster they felt their comment was rude... that someone is jumped on as being a princess having her feefees hurt.

So? Then delete, or rinse and repeat your request for communication to be done using polite words. I'm not trying to attack you here, but I am trying to get it across that if you have a beef with how someone talks to you because they are rude, then the fact that they continue to be rude is not a site problem or an admin problem, it is a THEM problem. In some cases it crosses a line, but if you take someone who is rude and interpret their communication as personal attacks when it is just their level of ability to communicate, you are creating the problem yourself.

Sometimes, people who are accused of saying something offensive should back the heck up and consider that maybe yes, they're being a bit salty and that the OP perhaps isn't an overly sensitive snowflake... Especially if that poster has already been told a few times before by others... they really should consider that maybe they're not, in fact, surrounded by coddled babies, but maybe it's them that should check their behavior...BEFORE the admin checks it for them.

Sure, pretty much anytime someone gives you feedback, you *should* give it consideration. But that goes every which way. If you feel someone is being rude and you give that feedback, and they give you feedback in return that you are overly sensitive... is it your claim that the biggest hurt feelings matter the most, and not really that feedback should be considered seriously. I might be wrong on your intent, but if it's good for the goose, it should be good for the gander too, right?

And, getting a little more interpersonal here, this is not new feedback for you from me. I have told you before that it is my perspective that you do not consider other points of view. If I tell you I think you are approaching xyz in a way that ultimately causes a problem for you, you tend to respond with a denial of some sort. I feel that you do not seek the grain of truth in what others say. Now, of course that's ok, it's not like everyone has to do that. But then it seems like something else is going on if you turn around and say that people have to consider what others say. And of course, I know you in such a narrow context of your life and who you are, so it could be that it is only in terms of your SM-life that you are resistant to feedback (in my perspective).

If you (general you - reflecting on my professional life for an example of how things work in communication where I work) say something that's offensive to me - I will tell you, and why I find it offensive. If you didn't mean to be offensive, that's your cue to clarify what you meant, to phrase it differently.... or to even just say Hey, I didn't mean to offend you, I'm sorry....and for me to adjust my initial perception and maybe get a better idea of what you're saying. Then you and I may or may not both reflect on the interaction, and try to see where the communication went a bit south.

Agreed. Lol, normal pro-social interaction, admirable it seems!

If you meant to be offensive... well... that's on you, don't make fun of me for saying my feefees are hurt when that's exactly what you intended to do... and then you get the consequence you get, be it a verbal or written warning... or the boot. If I'm telling you my feefees are hurt, you shouldn't keep doing it until you're told by mom to knock it off because you think me telling you isn't enough of a warning.

For this point, I would just say, not every battle is worth fighting. The fact that it bothers you so much is something for you to reflect upon. I know I've shared with you the story of another poster here who, I suppose, was going through something and suddenly lashed out at me in a way I found devastating. It took some serious time and reflection to make peace with it.

After all... if I've now told you three separate times that what you've said hurts insulting..whatever... but you keep doing it... you're blowing that off.

That's information about that poster. Not a personal attack.

A large part of communication is that the person sending the message is the person who needs to phrase it in a way the receiver will understand. If you communicate properly, instances where you will unintentionally offend should be far and few between... because you've grasped the concept of interpersonal communication enough to have realized that you need to communicate in a way that your audience will understand. It's not enough for you to think you're being clear - your message has to be clear for the recipient.

And that is your logical side! Lol. Oh, if wishes were horses...

Willow2010's picture

SeMOD...Several of those banned have been banned before for the same actions they got banned for this time. A few of them multiple times. These are smart women. They always know there is a chance.

TwelveLongYrs79's picture

I have not been involved as much as some of you, but have tried to lurky-loo, and follow most of your stories, including the now "Voldemort's" of STalk.
Some of those who have been banned, I have found refreshing and honest. Advice given sometimes needed to be said the way it was said. And I am very saddened by it, their advice sometimes was invaluable.
A select few...I have found liked to pick on the newbies or instantly scream "Troll/CREW" because the story wasn't plausible enough for their liking.

"It's not what you say, it's HOW you say it."
I have no issue with any actual advice given, but insulting someone outright from the gate is not the way to offer advise or even constructive criticism. Would you have a face to face conversation with someone, and if they called you or your SO a moron/idiot/stupid fool right to your face the very first time you met them? Would you even tolerate any further opinions from that person? Doubt it.