Purpose of "Patrons Only" Subforum?

I’m confused about the visibility and purpose of the Patrons-Only subforum.

Site Feedback appears to be now a sub-category of Patrons Subforum. I understand that any forum member (or is it the general public?) can stilll see Site Feedback as of now, but only Patrons can post in it.

Apart from Site Feedback, is the general Patrons subforum also visible to any forum member (or the general public?)

What are we supposed to use Patrons subforum for, or is it meant to be used by the CA staff for posting ads for patrons-only webinars, etc? So that perhaps someone who isn’t a patron might see there is a great webinar happening and be encourage to plunk down money etc.

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Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

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Sorry for not responding sooner. I have a another job in addition to trying to maintain the forums, and the last few days have been crazy here at the office.

The Patrons-only sub-forum is viewable by everyone, but only patrons can leave a comment or join discussions. The site feedback function is also going to be available for patrons only.

We may also use it as a promotional tool, although I think that will be rare unless it’s something to do with the forums specifically (webinars, mostly).

Other than that, Patrons can use this section for whatever they want so long as it does not conflict with our forum rules generally. I have set aside time on my calendar to check this every few days and respond.

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One other thing; We are considering creating sub-categories (apologetics, philosophy, history, ect.) within the Patrons section. Sometimes it’s easier to discuss topics when the number of folks involved is smaller. And honestly, it would be a great way for supporters to avoid trolls. We try to monitor that as much as we can, but we fall short for lack of manpower.

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What about considering allowing Patrons to have some moderating ability? I understand it would have to be limited, and have guidelines around it, but it could help keep the forums charitable and troll free.

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Ok, so we have a user that has the F word in his name.

I reported it, but wouldn’t it be easier if something really bad is seen, that select members could just rid the forum of it?

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The only problem with this is that, from time to time, even we need a little moderation.

So, with great power comes great responsibility. :wink:

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I think she means the power to delete or at least disable the very obvious trolls, such as the ones that register with an obscene word in their username or make their first post all about their love for kiddie porn.

I can see where such powers could easily get misused though.

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I’d rather not have that kind of power. Plus, I think that’s a power that would be more appropriate in a valued long time member rather that someone who just purchased patronage.

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Yes. For example, there was a user yesterday who had the F word in his username. As soon as that would be seen by a Patron, it could just be deleted on the spot. Some things would of course be trickier, so I would envision limited authority.

I can’t do that, but I have been discussing looking for regulars here who would be willing to volunteer. That’s going to have to wait a while, though. I have bigger fish to fry at this point.

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Jon, I appreciate that maybe the troll problem is not your main concern, but it’s getting really ridiculous when they are allowed to make multiple accounts and post multiple threads in which they play their reindeer games and abuse, harass, and waste the time of decent, productive posters. The CA paid mods obviously can’t be on call 24/7, and it often takes hours or even a day before one shows up. Flagging and hiding threads can only do so much if the person is determined to keep up the bad behavior for hours, especially since users each have a limited number of flags available.

It takes a toll on good posters to have to constantly put up with this stuff, and without a good way of quickly nipping it in the bud, the problem simply returns again and again. I think this is one problem that everyone can all agree is a problem. It is not a question of a difference in viewpoints, or a generally good poster having a bad day and getting into an argument with somebody over politics or women’s clothing or whatever. This is the Internet equivalent of those who write on walls or disrupt classes in school.

It seems like the Discourse model, like many models for Internet discussion, wanted to assume the best of people and that folks would generally post in good faith and not make a bunch of troll threads or disrupt multiple discussion threads or keep returning over and over under different account names. Or else it assumed there would be sufficient moderators to deal with this stuff timely so folks weren’t exposed to it over and over and the vandalism didn’t sit on the forum for hours on end.

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Thanks for your time and effort to inform us of developments with the forums. I would appeal against creating a kind of gated community on CAF, since it’s part of an apologetics ministry and “should” primarily be aimed at non-Catholics, no?

In the same vein it would still be helpful to allow members generally to post in the site feedback section.

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I don’t think anyone wants a “gated community”. This is a Q&A forum here and it’s great to have random people show up and ask questions as long as they make a reasonable attempt to abide by the rules, including respect for Church teaching, no agenda posting, civil behavior, and keep it rated “G”.

However, we have had repeated incidents of posters here who make nonsense threads. create grossly inappropriate usernames, create multiple grossly inappropriate threads. The most recent one from yesterday:

  • made at least four threads in the Prayer Intentions forum wishing death on people, like we’re going to pray for that
  • posted similar sentiments in other people’s legitimate prayer threads
  • posted in one thread claiming he was the moderator
  • re-posted a previous troll thread about flat earth that had already gotten him suspended
  • sent at least one unwanted private message to a forum member.

His re-posting of the previous thread indicated he was the return of an already-suspended account that had also engaged in various antics on the forum.

If we can’t keep this stuff out, then we need to be able to get rid of it quickly. Like I said, no one is going to disagree it’s a problem. It doesn’t require much moderator thought or evaluation to see it’s a problem.

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How about a trash bin section? Regulars have the ability to move threads and this could be one similar to the lounge for regulars only where we move the thread and moderators address them first in their daily check ins?

We aren’t deleting it but we would be hiding it from others. Plus, if we did it inappropriately, the mods could move it back where it started?

Just thinking out loud here…

Edit to add…we’d have to be able to move comments as well as inappropriate threads though…ok maybe not a brilliant suggestion…

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Forwarding this question from @Irishmom2:

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Excellent suggestion.

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Only a small part of the forums is gated. This section is for the people who help us keep the forums going. I can interact with y’all here. I’m not going to sift through all the other stuff because I don’t have time, which is also why I have moved site feedback here. If you’re helping us keep this thing going, I want to hear what you have to say.

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I have a lot to say in response to this, but I promised to cook for my wife tonight. I’ll get back to you on this later.

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Hi Jon,
I am sorry to have to bother you with this, but as Neithan posted, I have no idea who to contact about two problems I’m having now on CAF, can you possibly direct me? Ever since I became a Patron, I have not been able to hide my public profile nor do I have the ability to block and mute people. I would appreciate any help you can give me with both these problems. Thank you.

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