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Why is this forum so anti-discussion?
Old 11-17-2017, 09:04 AM   #1
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Why is this forum so anti-discussion?

So I started a thread about the tax bill which has been passed. I was just looking for information, since something has actually passed one branch, and it may have changes in it from what has been discussed or reported on previously. It was immediately shut down:

"After discussion the moderator team has decided that there should be no more threads on tax bills until something has passed both chambers and is in reconciliation."

So in other words, we can't talk about a subject until after it is too late for us to do anything about it, maybe fire off a message to our Senators with feedback? Or, lobby in other ways?

I've never seen a site with such heavy-handed moderation that rational discussion about on-topic issues was forbidden. I can understand shutting down a thread which is wildly off-topic. Or one in which the posters have resorted to obscenities or ad-hominem attacks. But here, polite and informative discussion gets preemptively shut down.

There's some really smart people here, and I immensely value their opinions. I've learned a lot here. Unfortunately the list of things you're not allowed to talk about seems to get bigger every day. I'm legitimately frustrated that I can't ask an on-topic question without a door being slammed in my face.

Does anyone know of sites with similar content where polite discussion about issues affecting early retirees is tolerated?

Ready for Porky in 3... 2... 1...
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

...
Does anyone know of sites with similar content where polite discussion about issues affecting early retirees is tolerated?

...
If we knew of any sites, don't think we are allowed to post them here anyhow .

Kidding aside, I do know of a site where politics is discussed. Went there a few times but rarely do anymore and if so, not for politics discussion as things get too heated there. Don't like where folks can't disagree without being disagreeable.

I prefer the kumbaya of this board. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:20 AM   #3
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You could probably talk about taxes on city-data. They have a retirement forum which I avoid, since it is mostly grousing. It is moderated too, though, so if people start flinging politics and "unfairness" around, it will get shut down there too
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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I think the porky comments in threads are unnecessary and also a form of trolling. The porky/I smell bacon comments appear most often before a discussion has become uncivil and almost beg for a fight before one exists. Childish IMO.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:21 AM   #5
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Not a mod, but I have seen a thread or two that got way out of hand on some posts... it was hidden for awhile as the mods discussed what to do...

I have seen some where they returned for further discussion with a number of posts deleted or edited.... but a good number of them shut down...

What I am saying is that you might not have seen what finally shut the talk down and all you see left is the remains of the OK discussion that was not deleted...

Mods might want to give a bit more info.... but I am fine with what they do..

Now, to be a little critical, I have gotten a few points and warning that I do not think I deserved, but one or two where I could see their point... but I suspect most people who get a warning think the same thing as I do... it wasn't me, but them....
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:22 AM   #6
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As a member of this forum for a few years, I am surprised by the Moderator's stance on the house and senate tax bills. For year end tax planning purposes, it seems discussion would be helpful to many.

Tinlizzy,
I think you're misinterpreting the Porky comment above. When a topic is closed, the moderator frequently posts a video of Porky Pig saying 'That's all folks'. It's not a political comment.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:25 AM   #7
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I got a warning once, which I appreciated. I hadn't even thought of the uncivil way in which my remarks could be interpreted, but I saw it after the mod politely pointed it out. And they got rid of it so I didn't have to hang it around my neck forever after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Now, to be a little critical, I have gotten a few points and warning that I do not think I deserved, but one or two where I could see their point... but I suspect most people who get a warning think the same thing as I do... it wasn't me, but them....
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:25 AM   #8
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I, for one, am actually glad that the moderation on this board is extra cautious about stepping onto the slippery slope of topics connected to the political process in the US. Too many sites, FB pages, discussion forums, etc. have deteriorated into name calling, misinformation, and idiocy--again, my personal opinion--so as to make them practically useless and more than a little frustrating. Maybe not perfect here; but my blood pressure rarely rises when I read fellow forum members' posts. That's a good thing.

As for doing something about the political process, isn't there plenty of information out there in news feeds and friends' FB pages to inform timely messages to decision makers?

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Old 11-17-2017, 09:26 AM   #9
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On one hand I can understand your frustration, on another you are closing the lines of communication with some assumptions which may or may not be true.

I get excited sometimes as well, but quickly see that If I can relax and try to see the other side of things it might lead to a better understanding so I can learn going forward. One can't do that when they are upset and getting excited never helps anyway.

I would suggest you contact a moderator when you are calm, and politely ask them for guidance and understanding on your concerns. Just my opinion.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:27 AM   #10
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OH... BTW....

I think the tax bill is so fluid that you really cannot know what is happening... heck, the Senators and Reps don't even know what is going on....

As an example... SALT (state and local taxes).... they are out one day... opps, no they will still be deductible.... NOPE, they are out.... then someone comes on a guarantees they will be in.... but now they are out again....

Since I do not have enough deductions it does not matter to me, but I can see how this would create a lot of back and forth.... discussion here is meaningless.... you can contact your reps now and let them know your thoughts on this...
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:31 AM   #11
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You could probably talk about taxes on city-data. They have a retirement forum which I avoid, since it is mostly grousing. It is moderated too, though, so if people start flinging politics and "unfairness" around, it will get shut down there too
There's a retirement and investments forums on Reddit too. I believe they're moderated.

Careful what you wish for, things get outa hand quickly. I recall a nutrition forum that was very ugly with less moderating.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:35 AM   #12
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Oh, nutrition! You may as well discuss the merits of competing religions, it'll probably be less acrimonious

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
.

Careful what you wish for, things get outa hand quickly. I recall a nutrition forum that was very ugly with less moderating.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:36 AM   #13
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I'll agree that sometimes discussions that seem to be quite civil albeit controversial seem to get cut off prematurely.... HOWEVER, we never get to see some posts that cross the line and are deleted before the thread gets shut down... so while based on reading what is there it seems premature but if we were privy to the deleted posts we would agree that things are getting out of hand and the thread should have been closed.

It would be nice if in such situations that threads could be closed to posting for people to cool off a bit and then reopened.

But on the whole, I think the mods do an outstanding job.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:38 AM   #14
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I am delighted to not talk about the stupid shenanigans going on in our government regarding taxes. The moderator has this policy right.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #15
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Anti-discussion? ER-org stats indicate otherwise.

Members: 30,000+
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:38 AM   #16
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Multiple tax threads have been started. In each there were requests by the moderator team to keep the discussion on the inner workings, and avoid straying into budget, deficit, advocacy, social fairness, and other unrelated areas. This is a highly partisan issue, and it is challenging to discuss without getting into politics, but that was nonetheless accomplished, with more than 300 posts in the first discussion.

Since then, all the threads had multiple posts removed for getting into the above mentioned areas or making snarky political comments, and eventually had to be closed. Once the majority of new posts were not related to tax bill “nuts and bolts” the moderator team concluded the tax bill inner workings had been thoroughly covered, and until bills have passed both chambers and are in reconciliation, there is nothing new, informed and substantive to discuss. Therefore, new threads have been and will continue to be closed.

There is no change in forum policy regarding acceptable topics. Discussions on Congressional proposals are entirely speculative, and in most cases nothing comes about. A few threads have been allowed, they are monitored closely, but more often than not, they are not allowed. Politics are among the few areas that are expressly discouraged in our community rules, because they always lead to snarky partisan comments & advocacy, quickly get personal, seep into other areas of the forum. and make E-R Forum a less friendly and less useful place for the rest of us.

Finally, just a reminder, Community Rules also ask that complaints about specific moderator actions be taken up in private.
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