One of the great things about a hosted forum solution is that we are able to eliminate the grunt work associated with running a forum. This allows site owners to reap the benefits of a vibrant forum community without the hassle. That does not mean that we don’t get any help requests from users. We just resolve them before they reach the site owner’s desk.
The most common types of help requests we get from our forum communities are as follows:
- Technical issues. “I’m having trouble uploading photos. Can you help?”
- Account requests. “I’m can’t log into my account” or “Can you change my user name?”
- Spam. Posts flagged as spam for removal.
- User disagreements. “Someone called me an ‘ignoramus.’ Can you ban him?”
Technical issues and account requests can be quickly dealt with by Ninja Post staff because the platform is ours and we know it so well. Spam can be an issue on any board open to the public. While we have many defense mechanisms in place to stop spam, if a spammer does slip through, their ilk is easy to recognize. Finally user disagreements can usually be resolved with a simple reminder to be courteous and constructive. If that warning fails, then we bring out the ban hammer. Problem solved.
Bear in mind these requests are rare and represent a miniscule fraction of the total activity. They’re sporadic, but when these issues do come up, we work hard to resolve them instantly. Our clients tell us they love working with us because they never have to get their hands dirty. We love hearing feedback like that!
Debates keep forums interesting, even if longtime users sometimes complain about the repetitive nature of certain topics. (“WTF- another global warming thread!?!?”) Most people are reasonable folk and can be persuaded toward the truth of the matter. If not, they instinctively know enough to “agree to disagree”. Ironically, what’s true to one person is sometimes heresy to another and, often times, the “truth” changes over time. Remember when they thought the world was flat?
Healthy debates are actually a good sign and make up most discussions on a day-to-day basis. However, it is helpful to be prepared for when things spiral out of control. Therefore, Ninja Post works closely with site owners to enforce community rules and keep things civil. As Cosmo Kramer says, “A rule is a rule. And let’s face it. Without rules there’s chaos.” Ninja Post’s dispute resolution services prevent chaos.
We have found that forum disputes tend to fall into four categories:
- Irreconcilable difference of opinion.
- Harmless Trolling.
- Vicious, personal attacks.
- Hate speech.
While some truly awful offenses such as hate speech deserve an instant perma-ban most times users can be warned to play nice, help one another, and respect their point of view. We typically remove individual posts and remind offenders about the expected code of conduct for the forum community as a first course of action.
If the user’s behavior persists and attracts multiple complaints from users in good standing, then it makes sense to ban the user. A forum community is like a family. Family members don’t always have to agree with one another but they must learn to peacefully co-exist. We help site owners to achieve this aim.