Proposal for "temporary" CAF policy

Hi, everyone,

I would, with respect, like to propose a “temporary” CAF policy, to be maintained through the Corona Virus crisis.

I would like to propose that no one be “banned” or “removed” or even “suspended” from CAF during the crisis.

It’s tough right now. All our reality and lifestyles have undergone pretty drastic changes in the last week, and I think things will get more restrictive before they get better.

Many of us have seen the cancellation of most or all of our social network activities–school, church, concerts/theater, gymns and parks, bars and restaurants, community activities meetings, shopping, and pretty much any activity that isn’t vital. Even doctors offices are asking people to call first!

This is hard for people who enjoy meeting and greeting people out in their world. The isolation is difficult to deal with. And it’s scary for many people who rely on a network of acquaintances from the various places they sit and chat everyday.

The online world is a place where we can continue being sociable and talk with others in real time.

I don’t want to see vicious and terrifying behavior here on CAF, but I do think that it would be good for us to try to put up with cantankerous people, or people who express themselves awkwardly or poorly, or people who post something that would probably have been better left upposted.

Can we be a little more understanding of posters who seem to be out to offend and upset the community? IMO, it’s very possible that people are acting out their fears, stress, loneliness, frustration, and possibly even their sickness (if they come down with the virus), and their posts may well be “ban-worthy”-but can we extend some mercy and give people a lot of leeway during the duration of this international crisis?

I hate to see people cut off from others. Although I don’t want to feel my safety threatened by an online poster and I don’t want to have to read words that are considered “filthy” by even non-religious people, I am willing to put up with my “social comfort” being threatened by someone who is insulting to God and man. I am willing to accept that their online manner may be happening because of their own struggle to deal with the isolation and uncertainty of a world-wide virus attack.

It’s just not the time to “ban” anyone unless they are threatening to our safety. At least, that’s what I think.

Please think about this suggestion. Thanks!

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CAF Martial Law? :thinking:


So trolls and those who come on here and openly post insults and disrupt the place should be allowed to stay around because we have a totally unrelated pandemic going on? Such people are not being disruptive as a result of the pandemic. They are being disruptive because either they come here to be disruptive, or because they have some personal problem that causes them to behave very badly on Internet forums. Either way, they shouldn’t be on here.

For those who aren’t trolls, posting on an Internet forum is not essential to their health or well-being; it’s an optional activity, and the whole group should not have to suffer someone throwing insults around and behaving in an immature fashion. Maybe you think boorish or babyish behavior is okay or you can tolerate it, but I don’t think it should be encouraged. This isn’t a mental health support forum and we’re not here to provide a safe space for people to act out - or a playground for trolls.


Yeah, this is no bueno.


I propose every one sit at least 6 feet away from their computer monitor and keyboard.

I would call this act “social media distancing”.


Maybe they should change the flag-because-I-disagree-with-you button?


No, there are legitimate reasons to flag and report. We’re not allowing trolls and unstable individuals to control this Forum.


I’m kind of with you here, @Peeps. It’s only going to get worse and more instability breeds problems for many. At a time like this, I’m far less concerned with catching trolls and doing anything with them. I’m far more worried that people will be isolated and alone.


But having trolls, sea lions and disruptive posters on CAF going unpunished will drive away other posters.
If they don’t know how to behave, that’s their problem. They should learn to grow up and behave like civilised people.


Even beyond driving away good posters, let’s not forget what this forum actually is: a mechanism for CA to get traffic to come here and drive it to their apologetics articles and such.

I doubt that CA wants a lot of out-of-whack posts here representing Catholicism and Catholic Answers. If this place gets too out of control, they’ll just shut it down.


Or they could just be put on mute and ignored. That’s mostly what I do with them now when they appear.

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Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s a big and obvious difference between online trolls and those who simply are cantankerous, express themselves awkwardly or poorly, or post something that would probably have been better off left unposted (e.g., an insulting name for our President or for another politician that they don’t agree with.)

And I honestly think the best way to handle an online troll is to collectively ignore them.

I said that I wouldn’t want to see vicious and terrifying behavior here on CAF–again, in my opinion, for what it’s worth, that’s a lot different than someone who is cantankerous, expresses themselves awkwardly or poorly, and posts something that probably should have been unposted.

gracepoole expressed well what I’m getting at–it’s a really hard time for people to be isolated/alone. There aren’t very many online forums left–most people have gone to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other online forums that don’t really allow as much thoughtful writing, but are more suited to short “blasts” of personal opinion.

On CAF, we can actually make friends–kind of. This is so important during a time when we are forced to isolate ourselves from others and avoid socializing, and when those of us who are working are doing so with short staffing which leaves us little time to interact with our co-workers.

Oh, well. It was just a proposal. And it’s not my call, so forget it.


Oh sweet Peeps! I get what you’re saying. I don’t think you want obvious trolls to get away with being horrible. You’re just asking us all to up our charity to posters that are expressing fear or anger or poor grammar! :yum:

So often the flagging of comments are just a way for someone to strongly disagree with another poster. I think it’s a wonderful idea to ask everyone to hold off on those types of flags. Use flags for the really awful posts and withhold your flags when you’ve just simply been triggered from a comment. Use more patience, give a little more benefit of doubt, answer anger with kindness and acknowledge a posters fears, doubts or cantankerous posts. Let’s get through this pandemic by learning to be more kind than we have been…it benefits everyone! :innocent:


I agree we should ignore them as far as not “feeding the troll” by posting a response, but I also flag them because like I said it doesn’t make Catholicism look good to have on this forum profiles containing explicit references to marijuana or racism or a username insulting the Pope, or people making posts full of explicit sexual content at 4 am. The mods remove a lot of the worst stuff so quickly that a lot of the forum doesn’t even see it.

And I agree that this is important and that this kind of post should NOT be allowed to remain on CAF, and that the poster who insists on posting this kind of stuff should not be allowed to post.

This is what I said:

I realize that the phrase “insulting to God and man” may be off-putting to some Christians. However, defining what is “insulting to God” will vary–I know Christians who won’t tolerate children’s songs about Jesus because they seem too “flippant.” Or “Praise and Worship” music for the same reason–too flippant and too “I” centered. Or Catholics who consider references to Mary as a mere human (the Protestant viewpoint) “insulting” to Our Lady.

I got flagged because I mentioned mild autism as a possible cause for a poster’s attitude in their post. What people don’t realize is that I work in a hospital and I am used to hearing talk and speaking about various conditions very frankly–it is not a good thing in the medical world to speak vaguely to co-workers or to patients. A frank description of symptoms and possible causes is considered compassionate and helpful to the patient.

What I would like to see over the next few weeks during the continued social isolation that we are being asked to submit to is some compassion, some attempt to understand where a poster is coming from.

I am NOT asking that vicious, frightening, or blatantly sacrilegious comments be allowed to remain visible, or that posters who insist on using this forum to desecrate the Lord, His Church, and His Saints should be allowed to spew hatred and fear.

I’m only asking that most posters should be allowed to continue being part of the CAF “family”, at least during a time when many of us are undergoing a social reality that is upsetting, frightening, discombobulating, very very lonely, and totally unprecedented–

–even during 9/11, we were encouraged to band together and spend time with fellow Americans and NOT be alone in front of our televisions watching the horror. Now we are being asked to avoid each other and stay apart–this is tough, folks.

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I don’t think the current moderators are rushing to ban people who state out loud that they have some kind of disorder, even if their posts get flagged. The offending posts might be removed or edited but the people seem to stay around as long as their behavior doesn’t get super extreme.


I already wear glasses, so I don’t think I can do that with my phone

Well, we might not be allowing them, but they’re certainly allowing themselves here

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I have sometimes been flagged. About half the time I understand and accept the reason. The other half it seems to me that the flagger just can’t accept that I don’t have the same views.

I would ask moderators to be more generous to those who have unfashionable views.


Not sure that is always effective…take world news…it is one of the most prolific threads, but seldom supports, alludes to , or is even remotely related to Church teachings, so no, it certainly does not encourage driving traffic to their apologetics articles…or again, if that was the intent it failed miserably…it seems only to be a place to vent and promote one’s political philosophy.

And, world news kind of shows this is doubtful. The category is already out of control, and there has been no effort by CAF to just shut it down.

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