This article is going to draw criticism, it’s going to draw likes, it’s going to draw cries of “community basher” and probably even cries of “hypocrite” from people who have axes to grind… say what you will, say what you feel you must. The fact is that I am not taking aim at anyone in particular but rather at a prevailing situation and a long term difficulty. I am taking aim at influences that detract from mutually beneficial interaction and communication. I am taking aim at the “bad apples”.
In the past I have been such things, yes, forgive me dear reader for I have sinned but I have learned lessons, I have read comments, listened to good advice. I haven’t come to preach, I’ve come to ask everyone to consider some good advice, maybe even take it – that’s up to you dear reader.
Dedicated to Ms. K.G.
The world over there are clubs, groups and associations. Their purposes are many and varied, they exist to provide professional, common interest, special interest and social contact between the members and the thing that marks each and every single one is that they have rules. Not rules that are there to be impediments but are there to give EVERYONE an equal chance of enjoying the many benefits of the group to the fullest extent.
“No person other than the Club and its designees shall supervise, give direction to, or reprimand Club employees. Verbal or physical abuse or harassment of employees will not be tolerated.”
“Players found not following the Club Penguin rules risk being banned, temporarily or permanently.
There are two ways bans occur in Club Penguin:
1. Automatic bans occur when a player uses inappropriate language that is marked by our security system. These bans happen immediately, and the player will be logged out of Club Penguin, and banned for 24 hours.
2. Moderators can apply bans to a penguin at any time. When a penguin is reported, a record of all conversation, including filtered messages, is sent to our moderators. Moderators review the conversation and will ban accounts found breaking the Club Penguin Rules (see below). Accounts can be banned for 24 hours, 72 hours, or forever depending on the offense.”
Disney Interactive Club Penguin
“5. Members and guests will refrain from engaging in loud, foul or slanderous language or molesting, badgering or harassing other members or Club employees, agents or contractors.”
“Some Do’s and Don’ts.
• Strive to conduct yourself as a responsible Patch holder at all times.
• Always display a positive attitude.”
Red Knights International Motorcycle Club
The rules are there for extremely good reason, they make a common code that ensures that all members of the “group” are treated equally and that each member of the group understands that if they break the rules there will be consequences.”
In the Real Modern Vampire sub-culture things are no different and this seems to be a fact that continues to elude so many people.
Let me ask you this question;
You have invited me to your house for dinner, or a celebration and during the course of the evening your mother tells a story which is quite humorous and in which she makes fun of something she has done in the past. Quite suddenly, from a corner of the room, I speak up and say something along the lines of,
“Well, you’d be one sorry dumba** b***h wouldn’t ya? What, you couldn’t process the thought in your tiny fossilized brain that that was going to happen? F**k me, where’d you earn your I.Q., a Cheerios packet?”
What’s going to happen to me? Pretty simple answer to that, no? …and yet people insist on joining internet groups in the OVC, even if they have no obvious or outwardly visible interest in the subject, you welcome them in in the spirit of sharing of information and education. They sit tight for months, not a peep out of them and then suddenly, one day, they pop up and commence to insult, berate and slander long term members and friends or senior people like group owners or moderators that run the group.
What’s going to happen to them?
Then of course there’s going to be a s**t-storm of moaning and outrage claiming they are being censored, they’re not allowed freedom of expression and that the group leaders and officers are “dictators”, “facists” and perhaps worse.
My question, at this point, is;
“Who’s responsible for getting them in trouble? The group owners or the members that don’t follow the rules?”
If you look at any group, club or association you will find rules and regulations, some reasons I already alluded to above but there are other reasons that are equally important, important to safety, to the health – both emotional and perhaps physical – of the members and it falls to the owners and officers of the group to ensure that the people who trust them to preserve the peace, to offer a calm, respectful and mutually beneficial environment for the members to interact in, to deliver such a place. No one person can, in any “group” setting, be allowed to damage or destroy such a responsibility.
Is that something that is completely beyond the scope of power of OVC groups? What do you think?
Consider, if you will –
“…that good rules and effective enforcement are within our power to achieve. It may be hard to look past the cascade of calamities; but if we make the effort (and turn down the volume knob on the cynical voices telling us to expect no better), a more hopeful story comes into view.” 
A quote from a business oriented web resource and yet the words can be equally applied no matter what the setting which points to the fact that proper and consistent rules and regulations are not evil attempts to quash opinion, rob people of their freedom of expression or freedom of speech etc. No, rather the rules and regulations provide fertile ground for meaningful interaction and mutually beneficial and informative exchanges.
The final consideration needs to be, naturally, what to do with people who refuse to demonstrate proper decorum within the group? What should happen to the person who breaks rules that are clearly communicated; either prior to, or at the point of, the transgression.
Well, that’s a decision that, ultimately, rests with the group owner/s. Are they willing to allow what is metaphorically referred to as drama? Are they willing to allow themselves, or other members, to be insulted, harangued and harassed? Are they willing to let what many like to call, “spirited debate”, descend into a free-for-all sledging match?
As a long term, highly respected and active Elder (and I do use the term in the truest sense of the word) noted recently;
“We are adults so let’s act like it. This is not Underworld, Kindred the Embraced or any other fictional programming.
No one is at “War” with anyone else… or at least they shouldn’t be. No one organization should be going out of their way to bash another. Personal and individual issues are just that. PERSONAL.” **
I would suggest that the action, or reaction, of the group owner/s and/or their delegates will shape the image of the group and that this image will get around by communication; word-of-mouth, so to speak and that this action will inevitably attract the right, or the wrong, type of member to the group for the future.
It is often heard, or read, that we shouldn’t let “a few bad apples spoil the barrel” ~ that’s fine, and there’s a simple solution… get rid of the bad apples and keep the good ones…! Easy.
Another point to think on, dear reader…
What happens when you are added to a barrel, or elect to join a group, and the “head apple”, or the leader of the group, is one of the biggest problems that the group has…what then?
It’s always important, when looking at a new group to see if you can scope out the group before committing to it. See how the posts and discussion threads are run, are kept on track. See how the “leaders” treat the rank and file member and how they respond to discord or discontent. You can tell an awful lot about a group; and the people running it, from simply sitting back and roaming around reading for a few days. This puts a person in a much better position to be able to determine whether the group is the best choice for them, is beneficial for them, or, on the other hand, is purely and generally toxic.
Common sense, good choices and having manners will get you far. Don’t fall into a pit full of “drama llamas”. Remember, if you want respect, give it. If you want to experience good manners and polite interaction (like any civilized person would wish) give it and above and beyond this, as our highly respected and honoured Elder reminds us;
“…members of the community, no matter what state or halo no matter what kin type you identify with…this is a message to you ALL… DO BETTER. BE BETTER. If you fancy yourself a leader, GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY. If you aren’t a leader, you aren’t exempt from not acting like a child. You’re an ADULT. GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY.” **
Copyright RVL 2015
2. ** Quotes used with full permission of Author.
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