MP Forum Tone


Original Post
Nick Wilder · · The Bubble · Joined Jan 2005 · Points: 1,716

I, my colleagues, and many MP members are disturbed by the increasingly hostile and misogynist posts in the Mountain Project forum. We are going to take some steps to address this:

1. We will more aggressively delete posts that violate our only rule: don’t be a jerk.

2. We are asking you, the community, to use the “Flag” button to point out problems. There is too much volume for us to proactively review all posts, so we rely on that feature being used. We take the Flag notifications very seriously.

3. Long term, we are going to add features that will reduce the admin role and empower the community to act as moderators. We believe that most problem posts get an outsized amount of attention from a small number of members, and we think we can build tools that will make topics more balanced.

I am proud of the Mountain Project community we have built together, and while I don’t expect to like or agree with every forum post, we will work harder to maintain a respectful forum that we can be proud of too.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

You have my support.

I have been told by women that I know that they do not participate in the MP forums because they do not want to be verbally harassed.

I have also been contacted over email by women I don't know who have thanked me for trying to persuade people to not be so hateful and harassing in the forum. Some have expressed how exhausting it is to be perpetually on the defensive.

MP forums need some (temporary) oversight and restriction until things become more civil.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

I think this is a good idea. It would be valuable for the community to have some community discussed guidelines for when posts cross the line from opinion to hurtful. Perhaps some examples. The worst possible outcome for this would be having forums overly censored.

I have proposed in the past that some sort of voting, minimizing, or comment reply sub-commenting be activated. These sorts of tools can minimize the impact that negative posts have on the discussion as a whole.

Nick Votto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 80

Agreed, good idea.

Though besides the hostility and jerks, many of the people making forum posts just have awful (and trolling) content these days.....can we flag them too?!

JimL · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 20

Good idea. Its hard to read anything on these forums, let alone post anything, because it seems there is a lot of hateful people being "jerks" when there is no reason to be.
Limiting forums can be tricky though, tap your most active members for help and support in this.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615

Really stoked to see this! Proactive moderation is key. Now about that new logo...

Shadrock · · Here and there. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 263

I'm all for this. Just wanted to voice my support. I've gotten a LOT of good beta out of MP over the years and am happy to try keep the place positive.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
Old lady H wrote:Okay, I've got to say this. Women are capable of speaking for themselves. Duh. Women are capable of fighting their own battles. Duh, again.
Sorry if I came across as condescending. I only wanted to make it clear that some women are refraining from participating in the community because of the hostility. Those women are, of course, capable of speaking for themselves and fighting their own battles, but are choosing not to because the environment is too hostile.
Kent Richards · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 3
Old lady H wrote:Okay, I've got to say this. Women are capable of speaking for themselves. Duh. Women are capable of fighting their own battles. Duh, again. How does it serve "the Cause" for males to decide to speak for us, or fight our battles, or protect us from...whatever? That was what was disappointing in the locked thread recently. Understandable, but...it gave the appearance of the males being the protectors, in a sense speaking for her, whether she wanted that or not, and/or the lady being less than capable, or a prima dona, and I don't think any of that was true at all. So. Trick question. Sorta. There should not be a battle to be fought. But, don't force your unwanted help when I have not asked for it, or presume what I want, or presume to speak for me. Treat the "other" as you would wish to be treated. Duh. FWIW, I've had emails from both males and females, grateful for being treated as a fellow climber. It IS a community, after all, and a pretty good one, overall. Best, Helen
Women are fully capable of speaking up for themselves, of course.

However, do you not also want men to speak up women?

Old lady H wrote: How does it serve "the Cause" for males to decide to speak for us, or fight our battles, or protect us from...whatever?
Obviously, we can't read anyone's mind. My feminist girlfriend told me that it's helpful when men speak out against sexism, and otherwise use whatever "privilege" we have to intervene when possible...

Some of us want to be allies. If you do want allies, tell us what will help.
cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0
Dylan B. wrote: Sorry if I came across as condescending. I only wanted to make it clear that some women are refraining from participating in the community because of the hostility. Those women are, of course, capable of speaking for themselves and fighting their own battles, but are choosing not to because the environment is too hostile.
The MP forums should, ideally, be a place to share information and sometimes have a little fun discussing our passion, climbing. I think many people, men and women, are put off by the hostility and general trollishness that seeps into a site that should be about something we love (climbing) and not a bunch of angry social commentary (there are lots of other places to go online if that's what you want)
NWNINJA · · Nederland, CO · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 70

Make Mountain Project great again.

mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

It seems to me like those that participate in the trolling participate in the trolling and those participating in the discussion continue the discussion.

It's hard to regulate Rule #1 when text does a very poor job on conveying tone. (sometimes, obviously not all the time).

If the tone in a basically anonymous online forum upsets you to the point that you can't even make a post, quite frankly I think you need to grow a backbone.

I agree that the tone in some forums has been pretty negative lately but I will simply move on if it's not worth my time.

Besides, we all know Nick is just pissed that 2 people like the new logo.

Scott O · · California · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 50

I came over back in the day from the old rockclimbing.com forums (are those even still a thing) because MP.com was in general a friendly and welcoming place, while RC.com was overrun with trolls and assholes. The dynamic here has certainly changed over the last few years.

m kelley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

All in favor of OLH being the MP Civility Warden?

She's active, involved, and always classy. If I posted something dumb and she said it crossed the line, I would apologize and take it down. I don't think anyone else has shown the grace and compassion she has on an internet forum. Also I think she has been level-headed voice of reason on the consistent 'he-man women haters' vs 'microaggression SJW radical feminists' brawls.

Stop posting stupid crap about your private bits because no one on the internet cares what you think about gender issues.

I'm sick of hearing about logos and boobs, surveys and staring. I want to know what to do if the lead climber falls out of sight/sound on multipitch? I haven't had it happen but I've read about the danger of harness hang syndrome. How do I know when to swoop into rescue mode vs "they are probably fine just give them a minute to calm down"

m kelley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Dave Schultz wrote:Called it a few weeks ago: mountainproject.com/v/oh-mo... I try and contribute good stuff, and the occasional smart ass comment. But otherwise, I still cannot wait to be in an area where I do not rely on mountain project to search for partners.
Dave, your a cool dude. You are *not* part of the problem. It's literally 10 people with boring desk jobs posting the same stupid stuff all day that led to this topic.
Mike McHugh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 70

Thank you, Nick.

All I use the site for lately is to try and let Eldo climbers know about access issues, trail conditions, stewardship opportunities, ... Some of the recent posts were really making me reconsider.

m kelley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Old lady H wrote: Sure, Kent. But not just women. If someone's making watermelon cracks, you speak up. Dehumanizing comments are not always gendered. Here's one that's very small, that shows how subtle assumptions can be: Check out almost any thread on here in the topic of "heavy climber, light belayer". Every single one I've ever seen is a well meaning male, asking for advice on how his dinky little female should be belaying him. Well meaning, but DUDE! Ask HER! She's the one who has to deal with it, and probably has far more experience, and maybe, just maybe, knows what she's doing. The totally outrageous stuff is very rare, and so egregious that it's not a day to day concern. Meaning, either you're in an abusive, dangerous relationship, or you're not. It doesn't just pop up. Rather, all those little hits get wearing. Another really subtle one: I'm a bike commuter, and often throw my bike on the rack on the bus. One day, some guy just walked over and grabbed my bike, just as I was reaching for it. I wasn't remotely in need of help, he just presumed. In this case, it is also exactly how to set up someone to be robbed. Just ask. Like someone said on some thread somewhere, if you wouldn't treat a guy that way, then...maybe hit the pause button? Best, Helen And, yet again, climbing is by far the most egalitarian group I've been associated with.
I wish my boyfriend would ask questions on here about climbing. God forbid anything happen to me while we are climbing because he only knows how to climb, belay, and rappel. I spent a week trying to teach him to rap before his first multipitch but he was never interested. Fast-forward to when I had to explain it to him at the top and he spent 30 minutes descending inch-by-inch with a deathgrip on the rope.

Sure ask her how she belays but both partners should be reading and learning to be better climbers/belayers.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

Pretty sure I'm destined for a re-education camp

Kent Richards · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 3
Old lady H wrote: Sure, Kent. But not just women. If someone's making watermelon cracks, you speak up. Dehumanizing comments are not always gendered.
Well, yes. I'm doing my best to operate under this assumption, anyway.

This doesn't answer my question, though... I interpreted your other post (the one that I quoted) as saying that you don't want men to speak up when they see sexism in play, because women are fully capable of speaking up for themselves and fighting their own battles.

Assuming we're generally speaking out against dehumanizing comments outside of sexual discrimination, you also want us to speak out against sexism, right?

It's confusing. Because, yes, women can speak up for themselves, but do they do so consistently? Or do they often step back and stop talking because a lot of men aren't really listening?

Minorities can speak up for themselves against dehumanizing comments, too. But it appears to me that when they do their voices are often not heard, or they are further marginalized.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234
Old lady H wrote: Nah. Old folks home. When's that big ugly birthday? Mine is January. There's a bunch of us with that six o lurking!
No, a van by the river with my sweetie.

December.
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
Old lady H wrote:...That was what was disappointing in the locked thread recently. Understandable, but...it gave the appearance of the males being the protectors, in a sense speaking for her, whether she wanted that or not, and/or the lady being less than capable, or a prima dona, and I don't think any of that was true at all....
Old lady H, you are a true asset to the forum.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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