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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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Lufty

Adults only forum

Adults only forum   14 members have voted

  1. 1. Should we have an adults only sub-forum ?


Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

40 posts in this topic

Dear All

 

I have just had to delete a topic due to the content being too explicit however the discussion related to a valid question and was in my opinion relevant to Autism.

 

The language used was far too explicit considering we have children and teenagers who use this forum and this begs the question whether we need an adults only forum.

 

I have created a poll to gauge member feelings towards this.

 

Many thanks

 

 

Lufty

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If its for adults only how would underage people not see it cuz some sites just have a little box to state that you are 18+ or a person's birthday as a means of control and there's nothing to stop people from putting in whatever they like - or would the principal be purely so that kids couldn't just stumble across stuff?

 

I think it's potentially a good idea - despite my question - so long as people actually used it - there's been stuff in the past where people have pointed out that the content is inappropriate for kids and the discussions have tailed off, been locked or deleted, and some of those discussions were very relevant to autism too.

 

And it's probably easier to have an adults only section than trying to do a kids only one cuz nobody seemed up for that idea when it came to running it.

 

I guess there could be the risk of upsetting a load of people though cuz some people read stuff that they know upsets them and get surprised when they get upset - and also there's certain stuff that hasn't been locked, removed or deleted already on the forum, so how would you judge what gets moved or what is adult only or what stays on the main forum.

 

Also would 'adult' be synonymous for sexual stuff only? Or would other stuff count as 'adult' stuff too? And if so, what stuff?

 

Just a few thoughts to start things off...

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one night only return, im back on holiday after this post! just here to add my 2 cents as i love this forum like a second home.

 

i think the idea of an adults only forum is good but.... it could tempt in kids regardless. if it says adults only kids are going to want to see whats going on. (just like when i was a kid and would sit on the stairs to see what my parents were watching on tv after 9pm)

 

you could of course ask for age verifcation. i.e type in some sort of ID that confirms there age, like a passport number, or NI number but not sure how it would work.

 

just playing the devils advocate, but you could direct them to my forum, (hint hint lol) and i'll be happy to discuss these things with them in an over 21,s subforum. or you could set up a pm system on here, where you have pepole assigned to a group of pepole that are happy to discuss these things with, and then that way they can say what they want privatley and without kids peeping through the keyhole.

 

this was a copy and paste job from my pm box. this was the same message i sent to lufty. thought id make it public.

 

anyway, back into my holiday. see you guys in nov/dec time!

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It's a good question but I suppose when half of your user base are adults and the other half aren't (or they're parents of children with an ASD) then you will get one half saying yes and the other half saying no which leaves us again with no definitive way forward.

 

 

What we do need is a section where adults (18+) with an ASD can discuss their adult-issues in a safe environment say in an Adult subsection which is screened from the rest of the site. I've seen this on other forums - what happens is that a moderator approves a member before they can enter and read/edit in that section. It cannot be viewed publically and it cannot be accidentally visited by those who have no reason to view it. When someone reaches the appropriate age for that section in the forum they can ask a moderator for access. Of course moderators retain control over it at all times though.

 

What the last 48 hours have demonstrated is that there is an unmet need here which surely needs to be met as some members have issues which they quite clearly cannot solve by themselves. And what are forums for afterall? Are we just going to turn them away and give them the cold shoulder the minute they have a problem we don't like the sound of?!? This is a forum for *people* on the spectrum and as such there will always be problems that perhaps we don't like the sound of but that doesn't make it unworthy of assistance or support or at the very least, some sort of recognition that it exists at all.

Edited by Mike_GX101

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Hi

 

Yes, I think there should be an adults area, though quite how it could be 'policed' I haven't a clue.

 

C.

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I think if you do have another sub section then its content should not be moderated. In respect to the post which was deleted I moderated myself in so many ways. I made the decision to respond and as such i was happy to engage with the origonal poster and hoped there would be a level of respect there that i was giving up my time to do so. If there wasn't then I moderate myself and simply do not give it any further time.

 

I think a lot of the time moderation is not done on behalf of the participants in a conversation rather than for the observers and I ask is that right or not?

 

To use a hypothetical example if me and my partner agree to meet up following a split in our relationship and choose a quiet corner of a pub and the discussions turns for example onto the quality of our sex life are we doing anything wrong. If at some point a group of people next to us say can you please change the conversation because we don't want to hear it are they right? I might say stop listening in. I might say there are lots of other places you can sit down in in this pub. If we were shouting and arguing then maybe there is a case, but if not?

 

And I think this is the issue for the forum. There are lots of things that need to be discussed and possibly yesterday the poster was shouting a bit loudly at first but over the course of a few short hours they were starting to get to the position of having a conversation at sensible levels. At which point they was a chance of real progress being made because I always think 'talking' about things is the best thing we can do.

 

I believe the issues are often about that start up process the difficult few minutes and what would be minutes in a pub setting for example takes a couple of hours on a forum. At times people who simply want to listen in and then come in shouting does little to help if I am honest. We are in danger that we then take the position of the observers and police to their standards which is not a progressive attitude to have at all. I agree that constructing a quiet corner is a good thing for the forum. If I have a concern it is that people recognise what the corner represents and simply come close to it to shout off from their own moral and ethical position.

 

I think we need to recognnise that we live in a very broad and complex society and that as such many people will see life very differently than we may for good reasons on both sides. As such we need to respect 'everyones' opinion even if we disagree with it.

 

If we do have a quiet corner of the forum then I think there should be no restrictions about 'what' is talked about there, rather any structures should be about 'how' we talk about it. I think yeasterday the post was moderated effectivly in its initial stages by someone saying look be carefull about 'how' you are talking about this issue. I don't know what happened after my last post on it but I hope it wasn't taken down because of 'what' was being talked about. If it was then we do need a different space because it was a very valid post though I personally didn't agree with some coments I did respect the individuals who made them.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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The thread was removed by ad min as despite my pleas, the explicit sexual language used was not toned down.Members had reported some posts to me as they made them feel very uncomfortable .Self moderation is excellent if you are able to do it , not everyone does which is why this forum is moderated.Your analogy of a conversation in a pub is interesting, but I would say if there are those subjects that are of a sensitive / sexual nature let members use the pm system then other members are not privy to those "private conversations ".This is after all an open public forum and when you post on here your not having a private conversation in the corner of the pub , but are making a speech on a public stage.I hope sincerely you understand what I mean by this and am trying to convey.

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I understand what you are saying Suze but in a way the problem with public stages is nothing ever gets said these days in case someone is offended and I am not sure society is better for that, what it leads to are homogonised positions and marginalised frindges, though I take your points.

 

I would add the following personal point I think it is imoprtant that we decide what the forum is for and should it be a reflection of what society thinks about ASD or should it be about ASD. I think there are some big differences between the two positions.

Edited by LancsLad

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One way of doing it is to have a section which can only be accessed by a special password. It seems to work on a non-autistic/AS forum I post on.

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I think one of the things that needs to be recognised is that in the recent run of posts which have been removed the origonal poster has been pretty new to the forum. I often feel that the forum is way too individualistic. There is very little debate which happens in general terms and I would be interested to know if when people feel they have an issue in their lives how many of them fistly do a search to see what has previously been said, I suspect very few.

 

I suspect what happens is they register take a look for a day and see people throwing up stuff mainly about themselves and feel ok I will do the same. As a result the majority of posts start out from very emotive positions and it takes time to calm them down.

 

If I had a critisism of the forum it is that not enough effort is made to create a volume of generalised discussions. I admire people such as A-S Warrior for trying to make efforts in this direction, but to be honest I see very little moderator support for these sorts of things. It seems to be left to one or two individuals to try and keep things ticking over. When this sort of forum activity looses momentum we are simply left back on an individual footing. In this way I think the forum goes through cycles. When there is a good level of general discussion a new member will feel this is what it is about and will tend to join in in that way. When I joined the forum this was the case at the time. When the forum is all about self interest the new members likewise take a similar approach.

 

I am not sure if the answer is passwords because whilst a lot of good discussion might go on between a few members behind this barrier it in effect supports an individualistic approach from outside of its confines. So I suspect we might simply have people who are waiting for clearance to give up and have a massive rant due to levels of built up frustration.

 

If there is an answer it is I believe lifitng the standard of the forum to be inclusive, broad minded and a place where opinion is valued. In such an environment I don't think these issues would be as prevelant. I tend to think deleting off posts is a symptom of something else.

 

Just a few thoughts.

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This is after all an open public forum and when you post on here your not having a private conversation in the corner of the pub , but are making a speech on a public stage.I hope sincerely you understand what I mean by this and am trying to convey.

No one is denying that it isn't - but what's being suggested is having a subsection that is not public and can only be accessed when members request access because theyVe reached 18 and want to be a part of it.

 

Apparently with the IPS Community Suite that you use it is possible to create restrictions for members to different parts of your forum so it should be technically possible to achieve (see Incredibly powerful permissions)

Edited by Mike_GX101

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Hi I'm new to forums, personally, I didn't give enough thought to young people when I first joined this site. It didn't occur to me that young people could come accross it. And the nature of the spectrum means that depending on severity of social/communication issues, not all users may find it easy to explain themselves while understanding social taboos and appropriate use of language. I think, if this can be done, it definately should be. I would hate for it to become an excuse for meaningless dirty talk or to find a date though...I think there must be other sites for that. It would still need to be monitered and the content of acceptable topics stricktly outlined perhaps so as to not cause offence to other users?...Maybe? Only relevent issues and genuine concerns should be allowed in my opinion. Maybe it could be an extra part of the forum which you have to apply for in order to use or even see record of on the screen?

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This is already a long thread and I haven't read all the posts so forgive me if I'm repeating any points already made.

 

I posted on the deleted thread. I didn't see any of the preceding posts before they were moderated. I also didn't see any of the posts that followed mine so I don't know if my post precipitated any unsavory responses (and by all means tell me it did and if I owe an apology!).

 

I don't see how an over-18 forum could be policed. Youtube has age-restricted content but it doesn't stop anyone of any age viewing it, simply by creating an account and lying about their age. So, given that anyone could do the same here, I feel sure that having an over-18 forum, and relaxing the rules on content and language within it, could actually expose younger people to more age-inappropriate content than is the case now. I don't know what was said in the latter posts of the deleted thread but I would imagine that moderation and censorship of inappropriate language could have been possible without losing the meaning of the key points being made.

 

I haven't been a member of this thread for very long so I would also ask, do threads like that happen frequently enough to justify an adult forum?

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The moderators themselves do the policing of course - anything they don't like or feel is inappropriate gets removed.

 

That happens on other sites too. FB do it too. What we're concerned about here is that only people over the age of 18 and who want to be a part of such discussions can be given access.

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In Exile: You had posted nothing wrong up to the time when I logged off as far as I could make out. I wanted to reply but couldn't given the kind of language being used on such an open and public forum. More than ever it demonstrates we need a section like an adults-only sub-section which is given some privacy and some screening policed by moderators.

Edited by Mike_GX101

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"The moderators themselves do the policing of course - anything they don't like or feel is inappropriate gets removed."

 

 

just wanted to reply to this comment Mike,

........................................................................as far as the moderating that I do on this forum goes , I have never deleted or removed threads quotes etc, unless I have had more than one complaint from a forum member.These must be valid complaints and not have any basis in members personal friendships or fallouts and disagreements..The thread you are referring to had several reports and complaints and I had removed unsavoury wording from several posts and requested twice that this be toned down...and been ignored both times............I never wade in to any discussion or thread unless a report or complaint has been made.

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We understand the kind of moderation that happens - it is a point-based system and you have to listen to what your control panel is telling you.

 

But had there been a private adult sub-forum to begin with A**merger would have had an appropriate channel in which to express himself, the point system threshold could have been extended a little, and with a little moderation to some of his posts the discussion could have come to a healthy conclusion as there were some interesting points being raised by some other members.

Edited by Mike_GX101

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I understand your reasoning, Mike but the alternative, which I would advocate, is to apply moderation actively, based on preset rules of language, rather than reactively based on complaints from members. Putting aside our thoughts on the wrongs or rights of the original poster's viewpoint, there is no reason why the essential points of his argument could not have been made using universally acceptable language. Given that this is an ASD forum, the OP might not have had the wherewithal to do this himself, in which case the moderators should have actively removed offending language. Whether actively or reactively, the mods did indeed remove offending language in this case and successfully so, from what I saw of it (I didn't see the latter posts). I'm not bashing moderators here, just challenging the conditions necessary to trigger moderaton.

 

This is about the difference between subject matter and how that is communicated. If the subject matter is such that even the most rigorous moderation of language cannot make it universally acceptable, then does it have any place on an ASD forum? Merry nails it when she says about an adult forum, "I would hate for it to become an excuse for meaningless dirty talk or to find a date." I totally agree. If a properly moderated subject doesn't belong in the general forum, then it doesn't belong here at all, in my view.

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In Exile well said, but without sounding like an old fart a lot of people these days haven't the faintest idea on what the 'rules of language' might mean and I think that is the issue in a way. I agree no topic should be off bounds if engaged with in the right way.

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Merry nails it when she says about an adult forum, "I would hate for it to become an excuse for meaningless dirty talk or to find a date." I totally agree. If a properly moderated subject doesn't belong in the general forum, then it doesn't belong here at all, in my view.

 

Yes I totally agree with you and from that standpoint I do feel A**merger overstepped the threshold - and no I am not advocating we have an adult sub-form for that kind of talk.

 

The other topics A**merger has posted are another way of doing it but without that original topic that got deleted we would be nonethewiser of the real issues involved which may in fact be far more important in dealing with his self-esteem and loneliness issues.

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Mike you are right about the nature of the post, in that the forum has to recognise we are talking about individuals here not simply a collection of words on a monitor framed as a forum post.

 

When I was a foster carer working with some difficult cases there were many times I had to for example go into schools to be told the kids in my care had mouthed off at a teacher or had been a bit disrespectful. In reality it was frustrating because I had seen case notes and knew I was dealing with cases of extreme sexual abuse or violence and understood the case notes only scratched the surface of what had really happened in that childs life.

 

In a similar way you are right in highlighting here that whilst A**merger may have overstepped the mark on a language front there was a lot of background stuff going on there. When I joined the forum I did so to try and draw upon my own experiences and ideas in trying my best to help people work throught the issues in their own lives. I certainly didn't join the forum to put up a series of well constructed posts which relfected well on me as an individual, to be honest I am not interested in what people think about me but if I can help one person a little bit then joining the forum will be worth it.

 

I have to admit having channels closed down to me to enable me to try and do what I joined the forum to do in the first place is very frustrating. Having said that given my experiences in life I am not judgemental and very open minded and it would take something very extreme to start to offend me.

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Yes I totally agree with you and from that standpoint I do feel A**merger overstepped the threshold - and no I am not advocating we have an adult sub-form for that kind of talk.

 

The other topics A**merger has posted are another way of doing it but without that original topic that got deleted we would be nonethewiser of the real issues involved which may in fact be far more important in dealing with his self-esteem and loneliness issues.

 

Mike, we are in agreement on the point that the original poster should not be denied a voice if he is raising some valid issues. You advocate giving him some latitude in an adult forum, I advocate curtailing his language actively and rigorously in the general forum. Both are reasonable propositions. The reason I am swayed to the latter is that I see no practicable means of excluding under-18s from an adult forum.

 

Best,

 

Penny

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... I often feel that the forum is way too individualistic. There is very little debate which happens in general terms and I would be interested to know if when people feel they have an issue in their lives how many of them fistly do a search to see what has previously been said, I suspect very few.

 

I believe a big part of the problem is that, instead of just introducing themselves briefly after registering most newcomers use that post to go into details about their circumstances/problems, without, as you say, doing a search to see what has been said previously by others with like concerns.

 

 

I suspect what happens is they register take a look for a day and see people throwing up stuff mainly about themselves and feel ok I will do the same. As a result the majority of posts start out from very emotive positions and it takes time to calm them down.

 

I think this is maybe because the format of the sub-divisions is too loose here compared with sites like Wrong Planet and Aspies Central. OK, they are much larger than this one but they make it easy for people to find a relevant section and join an existing thread.

 

On AC there is a "Members only" section where one can discuss 'adult' matters and registration is required to join this, while on WP there are two clearly marked sections - one for those 18+ and the other for those over 30. There is nothing to stop others reading the posts but presumably they do so at their own risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a thread over in the general section called a Restrained Silence which is relevant.

 

I would suggest having a members only section which is also closed to search engines. This could be sub divided into areas such as 18+, personal matters, padded cell, etc. (any other suggestions?) We are talking about issues which are very close to our core, not something I want to do in a public forum.

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If there are adults with ASD here then adults would wish to talk adult matters with adults and if they can't because of fear of upsetting the little ones, just what is the point of this forum ?

 

Yes this place needs an area where adults can talk adult matters freely and openly and that area screened from sub eighteen year olds so nothing can offend them

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Personally, I don't see why some younger people shouldn't read certain things, they are learning about the world too and some things are very very relevant.

 

I understand that explicit things can be offensive to some, but I am curious where the line is drawn because I was talking about and had viewed adult problems when I was a kid and teenager and it would have been good to understand all that stuff better at the time - as opposed to still trying to work some of it out now.

 

You have to ask the question:

 

Why would a young child or teenager be reading such things if they didn't want to know about them?

Edited by darkshine

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But in addition, I have to say I agree with the comments regarding the use of colourful language, yes it may slip out sometimes in verbal communication, but as to the written word such as on, well, here writing as I am now, the actual typing of a profanity is a conscious effort and so people, we really should be policing ourselves as profanity does not extend our vocabulary, it actively hinders it. And there is something else, the website filters, why go to the trouble to type out a profanity for when the post is submitted the profanity is asterisked out, it is a complete waste of time. The other thing is with asterisked out words is what you are reading becomes disjointed almost like Blankety Blank, remember that, that isn't effective communication, it is a game to some and a mess to others.

 

But of such issues as the possibility of users using a forum as a means to date, well, I don't know about anyone else, but the dating issue is a bit of a disaster with myself, so I wonder about others, are they the same, if they are, then I don't believe a closed area of the website restricted to adults will be used as such, but if someone does, well, as adults fully capable of policing ourselves, any of us can interject at any time to say such activity in public is not appropriate as it detracts from the truth of what the restricted forum is about and if they wish to continue take it to PM where they may have some privacy.

 

As to the possibility of minors accessing an adult only area by lying their way in, well, I look at it this way you were warned, you were restricted, you deceived and so on your head be it, you have no complaint and furthermore such action as that, do they in fact need to be part of the website as a whole, because everyone in life has to take responsibility for their own actions, it is not only part of growing up, it is an essential life skill we all need to learn, particularly the ASD amongst us and the young and was it this website was one of the purposes of it's existence that of education?

 

But I attend a few forums were areas are screened from public view and one of them the whole site is screened, you want to look in the box you have to register and await a moderators reply which can take up to 48 hours, it works to weed out the casual surfers and to me it is a good idea, as it also reduces the workload moderators have to attend to as I have been a moderator on a large international website frequented by hundreds per day and it is hard work. The mods there don't last long, or they develop their own unique way of dealing with problem posters, one mod I knew just said; ''ENOUGH!'' and the thread stopped there as people who continued got put on moderation and that meant all posts vetted prior to their release for public consumption and the mods took their time with it, such periods lasted for one month, then two months then three after that they were banned from the site. One website that has several screened areas accessible by password only, a website that deals with mental health issues a lot of what was written in those forums was so shocking it nearly melted your eye balls, but these were people with extreme problems ripping their hair out on line as online was their only outlet, self harmers, bipolar, schizophrenia, the place was terrible but it performed an important function, an outlet to scream at the ether, as many of us will already know writing or frenetically jabbing out barely coherent sentences does a lot to soothe the mind.

 

So this thing can be dealt with, so how about it, we have to be trusted as adults at some point if we are to fit into society, well, sort of.

Edited by Sa Skimrande

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Personally, I don't see why some younger people shouldn't read certain things, they are learning about the world too and some things are very very relevant.

 

I understand that explicit things can be offensive to some, but I am curious where the line is drawn because I was talking about and had viewed adult problems when I was a kid and teenager and it would have been good to understand all that stuff better at the time - as opposed to still trying to work some of it out now.

 

You have to ask the question:

 

Why would a young child or teenager be reading such things if they didn't want to know about them?

 

I know I am taking this slightly off topic, but in practical terms of adding a protected area to a forum it isn't.

 

I'm not so concerned about an 18+ section, but having an area of the forum which is away from the rest of the world would certainly allow me to reveal more about myself without the fear of everything I write being accessible and collatable for ever.

 

There are a lot of evil and manipulative people out there, and it is very easy, just sorting via key words, if you leave enough of them, to find someones identity. Paranoid, maybe, but with today's technology, maybe not.

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There are a lot of evil and manipulative people out there, and it is very easy, just sorting via key words, if you leave enough of them, to find someones identity. Paranoid, maybe, but with today's technology, maybe not.

 

You do have a point regards that as I also wander into areas of oversensitivity from time to time, but I have got to an age where all my questions have been solved so I kind of don't care anymore, or it could be my self destructive tendencies acting more than I am aware, but then when I recognise that, I become over sensitive for many will agree this is monochromatic thinking thing, there are no middle roads, one is either paranoid or they are not.

 

But I still maintain adults wish to talk to adults about adult things whatever they may be as it can come across a bit disconcerting elsewhere on this forum when you realise you are conversing with a child, which in the world outside is one of those iffy areas given the suspicion in society about oddball adults and their ability to relate to children. What I am like in the outside world because of society translates to online where I actually recoil in horror when I realise the age of those whom I am conversing, it is not appropriate in real life so that should be here as well as education you see what this website educates can have dire consequences in real life.

 

So for me eighteen plus is adult, and only adults should see, others sub eighteen, if they have a need to know something of an adult nature they have the rest of the website to ask those questions, Beyond Adolescence for example ?

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I recollect the original post referred to which has prompted this topic/post. The poster concerned did in fact send me some personal messages and mid-way through the course of those communications it became abundantly clear that the poster was in no way deliberately attempting to cause offence, but merely trying to express himself and seek advice in the one way that he knew how. I appreciate that some subjects need to be posted using appropriate language, etc etc, but my concern is that perhaps some individuals may have great difficulty in doing so i.e. their posts may cause some offence to others, may need to be toned down, etc etc - i.e. some may have difficulty in expressing themselves and when they do inadvertently cause offence when the intention is simply to convey how they're feeling and seek advice. At the risk of sounding naive, I think this is a very real issue and one which needs to be borne in mind if an adults only forum/section comes off the ground. That said, I don't think such an area shouldn't be moderated (there does need to be boundaries), but rather some sort of guidance given for posters who may struggle to express themselves appropriately, particularly on sensitive subjects e.g. sex.

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You do have a point regards that as I also wander into areas of oversensitivity from time to time, but I have got to an age where all my questions have been solved so I kind of don't care anymore, or it could be my self destructive tendencies acting more than I am aware, but then when I recognise that, I become over sensitive for many will agree this is monochromatic thinking thing, there are no middle roads, one is either paranoid or they are not.

 

I chose my words badly, I meant "over cautious"

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There are a lot of points and questions here that haven't been answered or addressed by the forum team.... I for one would be interested in feedback, further details, or whether the whole idea is still up for review or abandoned...

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I think it's ok if there's an "adults only" sub-forum, especially because I don't have to read the threads there if I don't want to.

Edited by Shnoing

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I don't read any thread I don't want to - its a bit like newspapers and magazines in a way cuz you can tell from the headlines if there's gonna be stuff in there that is either boring, emotive or a subject matter that is just not to your taste - a bit like the difference between picking up a Nuts magazine as opposed to The Times, Farmer's weekly, Vogue or Autotrader - you can pretty much tell from the front page whether you are gonna read it or not.

 

That's why clear message titles are important I think :)

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So is this going anywhere, then?

 

probably not. whats the point? people would post in the wrong catagory anyway.

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That is your opinion of course A-S. It's a bit like saying if we planned a new highway people would ignore it and choose to drive over the fields next to it.

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That is your opinion of course A-S. It's a bit like saying if we planned a new highway people would ignore it and choose to drive over the fields next to it.

 

By all means do it, but ive been on enough forums to know what happens. im just stating a fact from experience.

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You can always have the offending (or whatever) threads moved to that sub-forum, wherever they get posted at first.

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