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Thread: Political Forum?

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Political Forum?

    It's looking rather grim in the Political Forum at the moment. Among the top 20 threads, more are locked than open. This gives a negative impression of the forum. Of course, we know that it's the events in Ukraine leading to strong feelings with many, and some people have overstepped the mark in terms of tone and accusations. Others have deliberately trolled, or ranted (I'm guilty too!).

    How can we keep the forum open, allow people to voice their opinions and have fruitful political discussions regarding events in Russia and the ex USSR?

    Before I say anything else, I want to admit my own guilt: I have been using this forum too much, and plan to use it less. But I have learnt incredibly much from listening to what people have to say, asking questions and following the discussions.

    My observations:
    • Why do people swear and lash out in vitriolic rants? It won't convince anyone and is a bad reflection on you.
    • I think there is a need for a definition of trolling, and consequences for deliberate trolling, i.e. warnings, suspensions and banning.
    • Some people deliberately provoke and insult the moderator: Don't!
    • Should / could somebody else moderate or assist with moderating the political forum? It's a tough and ungrateful job, and it burns people out. Perhaps there should be a team of 2-4 people focussing on different languages? Ideally people who are able to take a neutral view on discussions and have thick skin.
    • Could the rules for warnings, suspensions and banning be clarified?

  2. #2
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    Считаю, что это правильное решение:
    «Объявляется временный мораторий на темы и обсуждения, связанные с событиями в Украине»
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  3. #3
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Ханна, у тебя создалось впечатление, что предупреждения и баны выдаются на форуме незаслуженно или по непонятным причинам? Можешь примеры несправедливости или предвзятости модератора привести?
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    Ханна, у тебя создалось впечатление, что предупреждения и баны выдаются на форуме незаслуженно или по непонятным причинам? Можешь примеры несправедливости или предвзятости модератора привести?
    It's a good question, and I can't answer it very well. You know I always supported and appreciated your style of moderating, but the job has got really difficult since the Ukraine situation started.

    A lot of the problems seem to be with people who write in Russian, rather than English. I don't always read the long posts in Russian, and even when I do, I am not sure what the problem was - why somebody got banned or a thread closed.

    I don't like that people are attacking your style and complaining. That is a tough job which requires bilingual skills and very thick skin. I couldn't do a better job.

    I don't know how relevant the complaints are. I know that politics is not a big interest of yours and I sympathise that the Ukraine issue might be something that concerns you personally. We had one person from Eastern Ukraine participating and he got scared off - such a pity.

    The Political Forum has become really intensive.

    I don't have any answers to what the problem is, or any concrete suggestions for solutions. but some kind of problem exists, when so many threads have to be closed. How can we prevent that?

    I also think there are people who deliberately misbehave: Trolling or being rude to Mod. Arguing about moderation in the thread should not be allowed. They can PM or write here for example. Swearing, being hysterical or gravely insulting groups of people or an individual is not necessary. That should lead to consequences that are consistent. Trolling, i.e. for instance asking questions that the person already knows the answer to, with intent to start a quarrel should not be allowed.

    I am sorry Lampada, I have no good examples and no good solutions to offer!

    I just want to see the forum as a healthy exchange of opinions and a place where people can come and learn or participate in a debate without there being so many locked threads.

    Personally I will use this forum less - I have become addicted to it, it's pathetic.... But I still want to see it survive.

    Maybe it's nothing? But I opened the forum and noticed so many locked threads, plus I noticed all the complaints, that's why I thought I'd start a discussion.
    bytemare and Alex_krsk like this.

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    Adding one more comment to this:

    I think it's important that people who study Russian also understand and respect the Russian mindset. And that mindset is represented here through Russian posters on the forum. Whether you like it, or not! Multiple types of views are represented among the Russian participants: Conservatives, communists, anarchists and liberals have participated actively.

    But normally the native Russian speakers hold worldviews that are slightly different from what you'd hear from a European or American.

    It's also good to hear from native Russian speakers in other ex-USSR countries - the Russian language belongs to them too. I try to bear in mind that at least 15-20% of native Russian speakers don't live in the Russian Federation.

    But I don't see the point of using a forum like this for lecturing native speakers about political correctness, the alleged evilness of Putin or some negative aspect of Russian history. But we see a lot of that here. I think it's safe to assume the Russians know the downsides of their own government or history as well as anybody from abroad.

    Anyone who can't stand the Russian worldview and isn't ready to accept the fact that it's different from the European/American worldview might want to re-think their choice of foreign language to study.

    I think this principle applies to any foreign language that a person studies, whether it's Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, French or Chinese. It's cultural imperialism to assume that your own worlview is the only one that's valid or makes sense.

    Meanwhile, I think Russian speakers should consider carefully how they represent their country to learners of their language. There are things you might not necessarily want to post on a forum like this, and being deliberately provocative or aggressive serves no purpose.

  6. #6
    Почётный участник eisenherz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Adding one more comment to this:

    Anyone who can't stand the Russian worldview and isn't ready to accept the fact that it's different from the European/American worldview might want to re-think their choice of foreign language to study.
    .
    with all respect, I think there is no reason nor need for these two items ['learning a foreign language' and 'agreeing with their worldview'] to be related or relevant. firstly; there is no such thing as 'one russian worldview'; within every nation or culture there is many different views and on top of that 'views' are in no way bound by country borders (or nationalities) but flow to all cultures and corners of the world. and secondly, even if there were to be 'one russian view' why should subscribing to that view be a prerequisite to learning the language? that is akin to insinuating 'only study law if you agree with the law', but maybe i am studying law to become better at defending myself against unscrupulous lawyers. then there is a myriad of reasons why some people study langauges that are completely apolitical, one has a russian girlfriend, the next needs university credits and picks the next best subject, another one is maybe trying to improve his job opportunities etc.; surely you are not suggesting these people should stop as they might not agree with a russian worldview? in my own case, just thinking now, for example i learned english because i needed it for university; i learned french because i had the opportunity at school, but did I ever agree with a french or english worldview? probably not, and i would not have cared, but I am very happy i have learned the language. I would only go as far to agree that you probably learn a language better and quicker if you you acquire a feel for the culture and people, but really no need about having to worry to agree to someone's worldview - (the irony of what you say is also that Ukrainians (at least those in the west) no need to stop speaking Russian with their worldview now so differing to Russias).
    fortheether and Eric C. like this.
    please always correct my (often poor) russian

  7. #7
    Властелин
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    to add fuel to the fire,

    this is the quote from my beloved OALD8 on world view: a person's way of thinking about and understanding life, which depends on their beliefs and attitudes

    which helps one to claim and support the belief that world view is first and foremost INDIVIDUAL.

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by eisenherz
    with all respect, I think there is no reason nor need for these two items ['learning a foreign language' and 'agreeing with their worldview'] t
    With all respect, if you check what I actually wrote, you'll find I didn't say that people have to agree with the Russian worldview, just "tolerate" it, which isn't asking much.

    Same as if a person decided to learn a tribal language in Africa. Wouldn't you expect the person to at least be prepared to tolerate the culture and worldview of the tribe members? Of course, the outsider could come in with total contempt for the culture, and simply use their language skill to attempt to teach Western values to the tribe, and to condemn the practices of the tribe. We would call such an approach completely inappropriate in relation to Africans, so why not afford the same respect to Russians?

    I agree with you that there is not ONE Russian worldview, and again, I am at pains to point out in the post you quoted that we have wildly different views represented by native Russian speakers here.

    However there are certain uniting premises that tend to be held by all or most citizens of any given country. I.e Americans universally hold "the Founding Fathers" in great respect. Western Europeans almost by unanimously praise democracy regardless of any other political views they might hold. The Russians have their issues on which practically all seem to agree as well, such as their take on World War II.

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    I also want to state that I don't agree with the ban on Ukrainian topics. People who don't want to read about Politics need only stay away from that section. For people are ARE interested in politics, Ukraine is by far the biggest event in the Russian speaking world.

    Right now, it's the "elephant in the room" in the Political forum.

  10. #10
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I also want to state that I don't agree with the ban on Ukrainian topics. People who don't want to read about Politics need only stay away from that section. For people are ARE interested in politics, Ukraine is by far the biggest event in the Russian speaking world.

    Right now, it's the "elephant in the room" in the Political forum.
    Да, я понимаю, но столько негатива и всякой пропаганды, сколько мы имели здесь по поводу украинских событий, было трудно переваривать. Может быть, мы дождёмся лучших времён..., будем надеяться.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  11. #11
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    Мне конечно и самому хочется пообсуждать Украину... Но разрешить сейчас — это превратить раздел в поток бесконечной двухсторонней пропаганды.
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  12. #12
    Подающий надежды оратор the_blade's Avatar
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    Да нидайбог!!!! Это единственное место где нету хохлосрача! Он уже задрал, во всех СМИ, ТВ на всех сайтах и даже по радио кругом один хохлосрач да сколько можно!!!! Раньше жили, никто про хохлов и не вспоминал, сейчас же везде только о них и трындят.... задрали эти хохлы уже!!!!

  13. #13
    Hanna
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    A bit of Russian "propaganda" on the topic of Ukraine is frankly only healthy for English speakers, due to the massive onslaught of Western propaganda on this topic. 99% of English speaking media unequivocally supports the Kiev gov't and report accordingly as you well know. As for the Russian/Ukrainian speakers, what's said in the forum presents nothing they didn't know before or can read about in detail in the media of their choice. People with limited Russian skills don't have that option. On these grounds I disagree. If Lampada doesn't want to moderate it, which I can sympathise with, then why not let someone else do it. Several senior members appear to have dropped out of the forum because of this. I think it's a shame and my view on this matter remains the same.

  14. #14
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    ... If Lampada doesn't want to moderate it, which I can sympathise with, then why not let someone else do it. ...
    Ты мои посты читаешь? Вот этот, например: "Russophobia" and "Russophilia" :) ?
    Сколько предложений, думаешь, я получила? Ноль.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  15. #15
    Подающий надежды оратор the_blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    Ты мои посты читаешь? Вот этот, например: "Russophobia" and "Russophilia" :) ?
    Сколько предложений, думаешь, я получила? Ноль.
    Да там нечего модерировать несколько укурков сруться на темы о которых знают чуть меньше чем ничего вообще. И в итоге все это переходит на личности и эти несколько укруков забыв про тему начинают сраться между собой доказывая чье мнение самое крутое. А так как доступа к конетксту у них нет то доказать крутость своего мнения можно только опусканием собеседника. Всю эту ерись и мерзость можно только брать и вычищать беспощадно)))

  16. #16
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_blade View Post
    Да там нечего модерировать несколько укурков сруться на темы о которых знают чуть меньше чем ничего вообще. И в итоге все это переходит на личности и эти несколько укруков забыв про тему начинают сраться между собой доказывая чье мнение самое крутое. А так как доступа к конетксту у них нет то доказать крутость своего мнения можно только опусканием собеседника. Всю эту ерись и мерзость можно только брать и вычищать беспощадно)))
    Ты правила форума читал? Обрати, пожалуйста, внимание на правило №5: Forum Rules
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  17. #17
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    Ты мои посты читаешь? Вот этот, например: "Russophobia" and "Russophilia" :) ?
    Сколько предложений, думаешь, я получила? Ноль.
    I think I noticed it. Fair enough. I think you should explore this further, and do a trial, with yourself remaining the "super mod" who can sack the two if it doesn't work out. I think it would though. I suppose the solution is either:

    --1-2 bilingual (RU/EN) people or
    --1 Russian speaking, one English speaking.

    --If you are concerned about bias etc then you would have to choose two with "matching" opinions so they can moderate each other, as well as the forum.

    Best thing would be if somebody from Belarus or Kazakhstan would step forward. I think they are more open minded about Ukraine and can sympathise with both sides without being accused of partisanship.

    I think if you post in this forum, or the General forum about it, you'll have more success in finding somebody!
    Alt. you could approach people that seem suitable to you, via PM.

  18. #18
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I think I noticed it. Fair enough. I think you should explore this further, and do a trial, with yourself remaining the "super mod" who can sack the two if it doesn't work out. I think it would though. I suppose the solution is either:

    --1-2 bilingual (RU/EN) people or
    --1 Russian speaking, one English speaking.

    --If you are concerned about bias etc then you would have to choose two with "matching" opinions so they can moderate each other, as well as the forum.

    Best thing would be if somebody from Belarus or Kazakhstan would step forward. I think they are more open minded about Ukraine and can sympathise with both sides without being accused of partisanship.

    I think if you post in this forum, or the General forum about it, you'll have more success in finding somebody!
    Alt. you could approach people that seem suitable to you, via PM.
    Не уверена, что в настоящий момент возможно найти беспристрастного обозревателя политических событий. Интересно, знаешь ли ты кого-нибудь такого в своём окружении? Может, если только совсем равнодушный ко всему человек.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  19. #19
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    А ведь Ханна хорошо подходит на роль модератора политики.

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    Не уверена, что в настоящий момент возможно найти беспристрастного обозревателя политических событий. Интересно, знаешь ли ты кого-нибудь такого в своём окружении? Может, если только совсем равнодушный ко всему человек.
    No, I know.Most of the Russian speaking members here would be banned if they expressed their views on Ukraine and many other things in an English speaking forum. I would probably have been banned for some of the things I've said about the US.

    I think you are normally very tolerant and broadminded yourself, however the impression I am getting is that it's just been too much, too intensive lately, and that you are probably affected by the Ukraine issue on a personal level.

    I really don't mean to push you against the wall with this. So if the final verdict is "no" then fair enough.

    I really think somebody from Belarus would be able to see both perspectives in this question, don't you? Or even if somebody like that can't be found, then surely there are people who could just pledge to let everbody have their say, as long as they don't attack individuals or indulge in blatant hate speech.

    I would offer to moderate myself, but it's too hard to read all the posts in Russian and sometimes I don't visit the forum for a few days. Also people might not perceive me as objective and fair.

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