We need to talk. Yes, even the people that had nothing to do with this. You can learn something from this.
Parts of our community had gotten extremely personal with an inactive mod (Kley) because we had previously refused to demote him. They used staff grievances to justify their rash treatment, and touted around the phrase "the staff doesn't respect us" to say things like "im flaming u because ur garbage", among others. It wasn't just the person who made that quote, it was several others who berated and complained about not just Kley's green title but the staff of the SMBX community in general. Several users used it as a reason to shitpost and shitsling and, in the end, I had to step in, put my boot straight down on the conversation, and bear the full brunt of the complainers now taking it out on me.
I didn't do that because I was squashing the other opinion and forcing my way, I was doing it because those involved were only growing more malicious by the second, and some people even admitted that they really were shitposting. When that happens, I have to do things like completely stop the discussion and put everyone involved in timeout. I don't like resorting to this, but people made an enemy out of the whole SMBX staff; instead of respecting our decision to not demote Kley, some members of our community went to extremes to harass him, and we were eventually forced to demote him because the community could not respect our decisions on how to run this place.
This is a bannable offense, and the context does not justify what people did. However, I and anyone else does not want to ban users just because of this. I want to explain what went wrong, and why I eventually had to stop the thread and hand out warnings.
As I have mentioned, people have told me that they felt like the staff had completely shut down their ideas and used it as a rationale to do what they had done both on the forum and in the chat, against Kley and all others targeted. They felt like they weren't respected, so they disrespected our wishes. However, it doesn't work like that, and we won't allow you to do whatever you want just because the staff has not been what you expected them to be. If anything, explicitly going against our wishes and then saying it's our fault you're acting like that isn't going to get you what you want, that logic doesn't entitle you to our respect, especially when we always expect you to handle complaints about the SMBX community in a thoughtful and professional manner. And considering that you're already wanting us to apologize, making us take action against you isn't going to get what you want, isn't going to improve relations, and is just going to end up making things worse. I know it's corny and overplayed, but rioting doesn't solve anything. It just gets you excommunicated from the community.
I may do childish things and I may not be the best at moderating this forum, but you have to understand: I expect maturity out of my community and I will do what it takes to get it out of you guys, even if I have to completely shut down your conversation and brandish warnings. My conduct before or my conduct now does not matter. I am charged with one job: moderate the forum, and I will do that to the best of my ability. I will apologize when I make mistakes, but my iron diplomacy isn't a mistake, it is absolutely necessary when dealing with users being irrational and aggressive with their demands. After all, what can I say to deter you from this besides going completely your way? I--nor anyone else here--will never compensate because you are threatening this community. I don't give in to hostile demands.
That said, let me detail what happened to Kley. He had put up with plenty of slander already, kept his cool over a forum titled "demote kley or riot", got personally harassed due to his moderation, and the minute he snaps, it only got worse for him. Everyone was howling that he should be demoted and it made him feel terrible. So far, I haven't seen anybody apologize for their treatment to Kley. I don't want you to feel sorry for him, I want you to understand just what happened to him, and understand that you DON'T do this to other users. Again, what happened to Kley is something we can ban for, yet we refrain from doing so because we still believe you can understand that this crusade against our wishes actually hurt someone, as in really hurt someone. Was it really justified to do this to someone else?
You do not need to do this to get us to listen, however, we need you to respect what we do for this community. We may be sluggish in our handling of issues, but we cannot hand it to someone else because that is the way things work. It's not an quick and easy thing to overhaul our staff, and we have to really grow to trust new admissions to our ranks. Staging a revolution is either going to end with a crush (like this) or throw the community into anarchy, rolling the dice to see if you get better or worse administration. I know this is a bit extreme of me to say, but some people went so far to imply they wanted exactly this. I will admit our staff has shortcomings, but not to the point where everything should be destroyed to try yet again. (Did I mention we've had several owners already?)
Furthermore, I want you to understand one simple thing, something that is the very first rule on our forum yet people continue to disregard it: 1. RESPECT THE STAFF AND OTHER USERS. I'm going to give benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know what this means, so I'll expand and elaborate: THE DEVELOPMENT AND MODERATION OF THE SMBX COMMUNITY IS ULTIMATELY DECIDED BY THE STAFF, AND THOUGH IT MAY BE ARGUED, THE WISHES OF THE SMBX STAFF MUST BE HONORED AND RESPECTED. We can't get along until you grant our only request for respect. I don't want to have to start banning people just because they hold zero respect for the staff, but that's what's happening, and normally we're suppose to ban people for this. We do, however, believe our community can eventually learn to keep this in mind when trying to work with us, and believe it or not, we're usually against banning people forever. However, that does not mean we're soft, we're giving you another chance to shape up. Starting today, we will probably refrain from giving you a slap on the wrist when we're suppose to be warning and banning you for this.
It's not difficult to grab our ears, but we are entitled to the right to say no, just as you are.
Now then, all that said, you can trust us to do two things: not forget about you, and be slow in implementing things. We have lives to tend to, and that includes the one person who can really do the big things to be done. That means we get to wait, but we've done everything we can to improve what we can without making the big step to the forum upgrade. We have not turned down your suggestions, we have just been faced with a limitation of options. That coupled with college means it can be trying to find the time necessary. Unfortunately, complaining about it and making us feel bad over our positions is not going to make it go any faster. Please, understand that we're human beings too, and we won't do something just because we get a lot of complaints over it. I mean, would you?
Right now, I either want to see the community's complaints filed in a polite manner, or shelved for the time being. I'm sorry, but when things get this bad, being forced to comply is one of the things that happens. I will not turn a blind eye to what is going on here, but you have to understand: there is only so much we can do. Please, don't take it out on us that our lives take up our time. It's just going to make us too bitter about doing anything for you. We won't actually do that, but that's what most people would do, and I'd bet 10 dollars that includes you.
I want to come out of this seeing two things: one, that the community can understand what went wrong with this drama and make a note to treat others with respect, even if they haven't meet up to their expectations, and that includes everyone, not just staff; and second, that the staff comes together to be more able to work as a team both with eachother and the community.
I just want to leave it at this, so discussion is locked, and any attempts to try arguing over me about this will go unanswered. We would rather understand you have understood our intentions than see just who would comply and work with us to improve the community, and who would defy us and work to undermine what we've done. Just remember, you can always have a say in this community, but you must do it with our limitations and wishes in mind.
Holding the past against us will smother the future. If you wish for change, you must let go of what has happened and learn to prevent it from happening again. Thank you.