Originally Posted by Thingamajigger
thanks for the words of encouragement
I am not new to internet forums (just this site)
and I won't be swayed by individual bullies
but I am looking to see what the overall tone is here
I won't tolerate a culture of arrogance or disrespect
if people tend to be kind and respectful, then I might stick around
This thread is probably not about you.
Here's the issue: We get a ton of spam and sales on this site because of the impression that ERs are rich and big spenders. You don't see half of it because it's blatant and immediately removed by the moderators. Another third or so hangs around until it's clear (and then it's removed). A few threads may be left after the poster is escorted to the exit because other posters have made comments that are worth keeping.
One of the most common spam/troll tactics is to sign up for an account and jump right in with an innocuous question. (Note that OP's question has little to do with finances and nothing with ER.) Then, a day or two later, "another" poster (the same person with a different account) will respond about a great insurance company, a great deal, or some other sales pitch.
Another tactic is for a banned poster to sign up with a new account. Once again they tend to jump right in-- no introduction, maybe not even a question but rather commenting on a subject or posting a link. After a while the moderators notice a correlation in IP address or subject matter or vocabulary or something else that reveals the poster's previous ID.
After the 50th or 60th attempt at such subtlety, a few of the long-term posters get tired of the tactic. Brewer tends to be particularly intolerant of the problem, and I can understand why he feels that way. Some posters attempt to tactfully redirect the OP (perhaps to another SocialKnowledge forum) while others contemplate them the way a cat gazes upon a baby squirrel.
"Letting the thread die" does not work. In the (extremely unlikely) event that's tried, the spammer or troll is only encouraged to try again until they achieve a response. Usually what happens is that other posters, not recognizing the tactics, make helpful/honest responses that only encourage the spammer or troll to keep going.
Since the spammer/troll has no respect or consideration for the board in the first place, the posters reciprocate in kind. Posters who defend an apparent spammer/troll without understanding the background of the situation are also likely to be lumped in the same category.
I should point out that Hawaii is now home to one of the board's most annoying (banned) posters whom I've ever encountered. So when a new poster from Hawaii jumps right in to defend an apparent spammer...
Thingamajigger, if you're feeling the need to use words here like "culture", "tone", "arrogance", "disrespect", or... "bullies", then you're probably not going to be happy on this board. Personally, having been all over the world and in Hawaii for 20 years, I find the local's connotations behind the use of the word "bullies" to be particularly lacking in aloha. Using a word like that, from a poster who presumably knows all the other subtleties of its use around here, seems kinda hypocritical from someone trying to improve the board's behavior.
So... perhaps if you put up your own introductory post, ask a few questions, read the threads for a few weeks... people will generally make you welcome (or at worst will leave you alone).
Start complaining about the way other posters are treated, start talking about whether or not you're staying, or use sensitizer words... at best people will ignore you or laugh at you. At worst they'll treat you as though you're working with the spammer.
Got a problem with another poster? Report the post to a moderator and give them a few days to deal with it.
If you can't find your own happiness in those last three paragraphs then you're probably better off pursuing it elsewhere.