The forum has gone through a redesign on the desktop version. Functionally, not much has changed, except for a brand new header, which you may have noticed has already been in use on the charts site for some time.
Everything to do with your profile has now been grouped together on the right side of the screen, with a dropdown menu which also lets you access your profile settings from anywhere, which wasn't possible before.
If you have any questions or experience any issues with the new design, please let me know.
Recently, the staff has received several messages concerning acts of bullying between forum members. Some of these were witnessed in group chats with other forum members in other forms of social media, such as Messenger or Skype.
The most widely-known event regarding this started yesterday in this thread. We concluded that the discussion in the thread itself is actually decent, unlike the one that went ahead in the forum's Messenger chat afterwards, which included attacks and jokes which were out of place, including body-shaming. These attacks and jokes were mainly provided by Bas and Apo.
Therefore, both Bas and Apo have received a 25% warning for their undisciplined participation in the conflict. This means that Bas, who has reached 100%, will be temporarily banned from the forums for an undefined amount of time, considering we’ve received reports of other offensive messages sent on his part.
Jake has also been warned with 5%, for his brief yet significant contribution in the dispute.
In case any of you feel threatened, intimidated or bullied in any other way, you should report it to the staff at once. Although cyberbullying isn't a crime in most of the world, the staff will not accept any form of it, as small as it is, and will therefore be punished. There is a line between a debate conducted with respect and bullying.
Unfortunately, it seems the post made last month and the consequences associated with it have not yet been understood by many users. Recent developments have shown that things within the community are getting worse by the day. As the staff, it is our duty to make sure all of our users feel safe and enjoy their experience on the forums.
This is the point where I, as well as other staff members, have to admit our blame. We're all human and we sometimes do things that hurt people unknowingly. I have been very burdened by this guilt recently and I know other staff members are also able to admit their blame in certain situations regarding certain users. We should be the role models for the community and thus we should make sure we do our best at following the rules, otherwise we can't expect our users to do the same.
That being said, I don't think any of us, as staff, have taken things as far as some other people have. This post isn't made to blame anyone, and therefore we will not be mentioning any names or handing out any warnings as of yet. Things within the community have been turning sour and many of the chats (Messenger, Skype) have turned outright toxic, especially towards some users, as of recent. Here are a few things to keep in mind, based on the experiences of some users.
George - whilst George has made it pretty clear he does not mind all of the jokes made about him, after discussions we've had he's told us that for a very long time he feels ridiculed and not appreciated by the community. This needs to change, therefore we ask all of our users to tone down any jokes made at George's expense. Robbie - many of you may have noticed Robbie's recent post in Random Discussion. This post didn't come out of nowhere, Robbie has also felt ridiculed by users, mainly when it comes to his music. We also ask all of our users to stop any negative discussion about him and any jokes made at his expense.
There are other users who could be mentioned as well. Things cannot continue like this. We'd like to remind everyone that many users on the forums are going through or have gone through personal struggles and hard times, and the forums and song contests are a way for them to escape that reality. Therefore to turn a safe space like that into something so utterly toxic is extremely vile.
This is a final warning. To everyone. Stop it. Or action will be taken against you. Think before you post. If someone tells you they feel uncomfortable with things you've been saying, cut it out. If you feel bullied, ridiculed or uncomfortable, tell the staff immediately, and it will be dealt with.
Following the recent announcements made regarding bullying, as well as the official introduction of a forum rulebook, the staff has made some decisions regarding the future of some of its members. For a while now, it has come to our attention that several acts of bullying occured throughout our community and despite the announcement made recently specifically on that matter and the punishments given to the members, these acts continued to happen. Unfortunately, the staff has resolved into giving out further punishment, in hopes that this ends once and for all these terrible acts.
With that being said, the staff has decided on the permanent ban from the forum of both Bas and Apostolis. That means both users will be excluded from the community, including any type of chats as well as forum-based contests. Furthermore, Selvin will be receiving a three-month ban along with 50% warning, while Bronson and Adrià will receive 50% and 25% warning respectively.
However, the people named and punished today are not the only ones involved in this situation; there are other users who should keep an eye on their actions in the future, they will not be named, but if you think this applies to you, keep it in mind. The staff wants to take the opportunity to, once again, remind that similar acts will not be tolerated. Consequences will come with actions.