Are there any Catholic Answers Forums alternatives?

I used to be a Catholic Answers member back before the discourse platform they implemented, and back then it had a different group of users and moderators. I was looking for other forums on a search, and found what seemed like consensus saying the CA forums have been going the wrong way for some time. Do you have that experience too and do you visit other Catholic forums?

It seems CA forums are more aggressively money / revenue oriented than before with the ad blocker / patron requirement and that is concerning. I have heard criticisms from a number of people about the forum and how the moderators treat members data and information (high traffic posts). Like the saying goes, if you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product. Posts that rank well on search engines are big traffic and revenue streams and I’ve talked to people who say the forum won’t delete people’s data or posts ever. Speaking directly to one of the moderators, I learned this is indeed the policy of CA forums. I don’t think it’s charitable to refuse to delete someone’s data from the forums if they request it, especially to fellow Catholics. Now it seems they don’t even let you post links, it seems like its going the way of big and secular tech, censorship, more control, less freedom.

These and other issues with CA forums over the years makes me wonder if there is anything better and more in line with faithful Catholicism, and that respects its members’ data and judgement more?

Thanks!

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If you were just asking for alternatives, that would seem reasonable. There is no need to belittle this place just to ask what else is out there though. However:

Catholic Answers is an approved apostolate of the diocese in which they operate. That alone makes them faithful Catholics, by definition. The basic question is okay and makes sense, but this does not seem a good way to ask.

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Having a second account, which is against the site’s TOS, only to bash a site you don’t like anymore hardly seems charitable. But then you expect people to help you find other sites?

Good luck with that.

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Ultimately, CAF needs to make money or there will be no more CAF. There is no patron requirement, but if you don’t want to be a patron, you will have to see ads.

This is part of the terms of service when you sign up for an account here, and it has been (at least) since I joined in 2014. If you do have real problems, then the mods can anonymise your account but I think the only time they completely wipe accounts is if they’re troll users.

This is because you only joined a few minutes ago :slight_smile: stick around for a bit longer and you’ll be able to.

I don’t know of alternatives to CAF. Has no-one else who you’ve talked to found one?

Totally agree with the others that it’s not charitable to say CAF is less in line with faithful Catholicism.

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This is great place and many people find it very helpful. Yes there aren’t always charitable users and comments (including myself sometimes) but that is normal, we are humans and make mistakes.

You can always delete your posts, they disappear in 24 hours. You can ask moderator to delete thread you created. I don’t see a problem.

You could read TOS even before joining and decide wether you want to join or not. You are free to decide.

Also, this should remind you that you should be careful about what you post on internet in general.

Based on fact that joined 50 mins ago and your first thread is this I suppose that you came here just to argue “how bad CAF is”. I don’t see charity in that.

If you don’t like it you can leave it and join other fora.

God bless.

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I tried. Sorry it did not work.

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Once you post it here, it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the site. Again, read the TOS.

https://forums.catholic.com/tos

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How does someone lose their account exactly?

My experience is that traditional internet discussion boards have been decreasing in popularity for quite a long while, particularly with Facebook groups and Reddit on the scene. In terms of Catholic-oriented forums in English that are active, I’m only aware of Catholic Answers and Reddit.

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Nothing’s perfect. I’m sure there’s other Catholic forums online, you could try reddit. Everywhere there are imperfect human beings though, so… :man_shrugging:

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How does not deleting your data make anyone money?

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The content of posts are searchable on search engines. If the content of someone’s data matches an SEO search, it drives traffic to the website. People on the website are funneled to either watch ads (making CAF money) or become a patron (making CAF money). That’s how posts (data) make money for CAF, it is a business.

You think your old posts were that interesting or unique, that they’re driving an appreciable amount of traffic to the website?

Ok.

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I do, I had a very high number of posts back in the day.

Ultimately, it comes down to content rule #10 - “do not post anything on this website that you do not want to remain online permanently”.

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How do make your profile hidden?

You are complaining about payed membership but do you know that isn’t free even without paying?
Mods give their time to make this work. You can get ad free experience if you pay.

As you can see it is possible to be a member without paying so I don’t see problem in either of two options.

You also complain that CAF collects your data and won’t delete it but that’s not completely correct. You can delete your posts. Everything on internet collects your data. Every time you enter internet your data is collected.

Good rule, common sense. But if for some reason you want to delete all that content you wanted to remain online permanently, CAF provides no option for that because it makes money for them.

It is, oh dear, I lost my old account. Well, kinda,

I think you’re flattering yourself. In any case, you posted it on CAFs forum. If you wanted to maintain exclusive control over your posts, you should’ve posted it on your own private blog or whatever.

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