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Suggestion Box

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Just a thought....I think it'd be really helpful if there could be some sort of anonymous suggestion folder, or some way to send a message to the mods here. I attempted to share some thoughts with a couple of mods today and ended up getting myself in a bit of trouble. However in the process I've learned that many others are feeling the same way as I am. We're also feeling frustrated with having no way of expressing our thoughts so that they're heard. I know that running a forum like this is a very hard job, and I don't want anyone being attacked, but there needs to be some way to have an open discussion. I think it would do a lot to help ppl feel welcome here and ultimately better the forum. I suggest making it anonymous so that people can express how they feel without fear of retribution. Sometimes you all as mods can be very difficult to approach because there are a lot of you and you have all the power and control of the boards/chat.

I know I'm just a little old nobody, and you all are the ones doing the work to keep this place going....I don't really deserve a say but it would help a lot of ppl if there was a way to have one. I appreciate the work you do to keep this place goin.

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Everyone deserves a say!

I have no idea on the tecnicalities of this - or how to make it so that it is anonymous - because when you contact anyone your name is automatically attached - perhaps one mod could be a go between -people send any suggestions to that mod - who would then respect thier privacy and pass them on?

best wishes


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I know there is a way to do it - I have seen it on other IP boards, and I think it is a great idea. While I don't mind approaching the mods directly I know it can be a hard thing for some people and a way to discuss things and remain anonymous sounds good. The only major problem could be if it turns into a way to 'bash' the mods without them knowing who wrote the comment.

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The only major problem could be if it turns into a way to 'bash' the mods without them knowing who wrote the comment.

That's a good point and I was thinking that too even as I was posting this. I definitely don't want this to turn in to a mod bashing session. Of course, bashing posts could be deleted, but if I've learned anything today it's that that stuff still hurts to read even if you delete it right away. I'm not sure if there would be a way around that while keeping it anonymous, unfortunately. I'd like to believe we could all be civil about it but maybe not. Maybe the go-between idea would work better....but it would be nice if we could get a conversation going to discuss some of the issues without hurting individual's feelings by having names attached to it...

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Hi Riverbird,

I do understand wanting to have an outlet where you can express your concerns anonymously. We are always open to suggestions and ideas, and we take all concerns seriously. I can assure you that no one has gotten banned simply for expressing their opinions. My inbox is always open should you need to contact me, as are those of my fellow board moderators.

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On another board I am a member of, we have a group of members (approved group) who will contact mods on behalf of other members if they feel uncomfortable. They can act as the go-between and keep issues private and anonymous if needed. Maybe something like that could work? It removes the mod 'power' stigma and issues of contacting them directly (the mods are great, but still can be seen as authority which upsets some people, especially on a recovery board) but means the issues are still taken to them and dealt with.

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In my personal life, I could never understand speaking anonymously. I made it a habit in my newspaper practice that if a source wanted to say something anonymously, I encouraged them to stop talking because I won't use a source who won't stand behind their words. I'm sure it would be different if I ever interviewed someone in the context of life-or-death...but that hasn't happened yet.

Speaking only as a member, I have never understood people being afraid to voice concerns and opinions within the context of improving the Board. Before I did become a moderator, one of the things that impressed me about all the moderators is how they were receptive to the ideas other people would voice, and how emphatic they were that they wanted to hear the good and the bad. I've been a member of several other communities where moderators and maintainers have come out and personally attacked members in public posts, in private messages and even their personal e-mail addresses when they've tried to offer suggestions in how to improve the board. The ladder actually happened to me when I left another board--the e-mail I received was one of the nastiest, most spiteful things I've ever read from anyone (including accusing me of lying about my story) and for it to have been sent courtesy of another survivor who allegedly dedicated her life to helping survivors was a double-blow. It made me reluctant to join any board again, ever.

I'm not sure what else can be done to assure members that we're open to what they have to say. I'm not sure how many more ways we can state, "No member is ever banned for expressing their thoughts as to how to improve the Board. When someone is banned or disciplined, it's because of repeated infractions against the rules, and in spite of receiving several messages from us encouraging them to comply with the guidelines in place."

As I've said elsewhere, when we have to ban members, there is a grievance process for us, too. Rarely are the banned members trolls who came in and just began flaming away from jump. More often than not, they're members who have established a following after a time of being active, and unfortunately, feel the rules no longer apply to them despite countless warnings and pleas to comply with the rules put in place to protect everyone here. We hate turning any survivors away.

As a rule of thumb, even when members attack the mods, they aren't banned, because that would make for poor policy. This would be clear to me, and was, prior to joining the moderating team. I've seen my fellow moderators exercise the patience of saints in dealing with ad hominem attacks against them--they've been far more gracious than I would be (and am) because they're that dedicated. Still, I'd be remiss if I said we're open to being attacked, because we're not. Just like everyone else, we're survivors working through our own journeys, dealing with our own struggles and trying to establish a return to normalcy in our lives, post-victimization(s). While we have developed a thicker skin due to being moderators, that doesn't mean we're impervious to people attacking us. We also have feelings and emotions, and it hurts that despite everything we've said and done, people continue to assert there is some kind of "Mod Mafia" looking for excuses to give members the axe for merely suggesting that there are ways to improve a Board offered in the spirit of healing and community.

Without your suggestions, how could we possibly take it as far as we want to? This also presents the logistical side of this issue. How can we ask the necessary follow-ups to ideas, suggestions and even criticisms when we don't know who we're addressing? Not to mention ensuring we receive your ideas in the first place. The suggestion box would be completely counterproductive to this critical component of improving our services.

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I know exactly what you mean from modding another board, and I don't think anyone is trying to say there is a 'mod mafia' (or at least not in this thread). It comes down to the fact that mods are seen as authority and some people are worried with that and don't trust any form of authority. The mods here are all fantastic and I would never hesitate going to them but there are some who will feel uncomfortable with authority figures of any sort. They've had bad experiences with them which makes them very hesitant to put forward ideas and risk being 'shot down', even if it logically won't happen - especially with the hostility/stories lately, which are making people more cautious. It is not the individual mods but the whole idea of trust when it's often what got us hurt in the first place.

I think it is just going to take time to blow over with the hostility recently, but maybe something more anonymous, at least in the mean, time will help?

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