Hey guys, Jenn here. I'm one of the newest members to the Eden Fantasys team, so while I haven't been around nearly as long as some of you, I hope you'll still take the time to read what I have to say, and respect my opinion. While I'm new to Eden Fantasys, I am not new to the internet, or to the situations that are common with an online forum.
First, I know that no community is without drama. Where there are a lot of people, there are a lot of differing opinions. There are bound to be disagreements, and there is bound to be the occasional bout of drama to go along with those disagreements. That's just how people are. I understand it, I get it. We all do. But
, there is a big difference between the occasional spat between members and minor flare-ups of drama, and a group of people who seem to make starting and continuing drama a part of their daily routine. And believe me, I am familiar with forum politics, as I have been running a message board of my own for close to eight years now. And what has been going on here, within this community, is not just the "norm". It's more than that. And it needs to stop. To be perfectly honest with you, I myself have felt uncomfortable participating in the forums -- and I work for Eden Fantasys! I was first introduced to the forums in December of 2009, and despite being an outgoing individual who is not afraid to talk about sex or jump into discussions, I felt a little intimidated and more than put off by the negative, cliquish behavior that I witnessed, both here and on some of the reviews I came across.
As the Off-site Program Manager for Eden Fantasys, I have been working hard to not only introduce Eden Fantasys to parts of the blogosphere that have never before heard of us, but also to get them comfortable
with us. And that's hard to do when there are people undermining that work, effort and fragile trust by seeking out reviews to vote down, leave snotty comments on, etc. This goes hand in hand with what I said in my thread about the Off-site Review Program -- bloggers have their own voices, just as all of you do, and they're entitled to use those voices to present their reviews, even if they do so in a manner that you don't agree with or find appealing -- or on a blog whose layout you don't find to be visually appealing.
In terms of publicly announcing our decision to ban Epiphora, I hope you understand that we all spent quite a bit of time debating how to handle this situation. Epiphora's recent behavior is nothing new; we made the decision to permanently ban her because she is a repeat offender, and the fact that she is a repeat offender clearly shows that she has no regard or respect for the community -- that includes all of you, not just the "community" in terms of the forums here on Eden Fantasys and the EF staff.
As far as to announce publicly or not, we also debated that long and hard. In the end, we felt it to be a good choice to publicly acknowledge the ban, rather than do it without acknowledging it. We felt -- and still do feel -- that if we had done that, the community would have been unhappy with us for doing something "secretly" and not being transparent. We do step up to the plate and offer full transparency, and we're still ripped a new one for it. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, I suppose. On a related note, this isn't the first time we have publicly accounced the banning of a contributor (link
). And the last time we did, the banning was welcomed with open arms. Now, I understand that there is a big difference between a contributor using hateful terminology and making light of serious issues, and a contributor who spreads around negativity and drama like wildfire, but that doesn't mean that what Epiphora is responsible for doing isn't deserving of the same repercussions.
Bottom line, we want the Eden Fantasys community to be a welcoming one that is open to everyone. Thus far it isn't being represented as that type of community, and we have decided to be firmer in our approach with members who visit here only to spread negativity and drama. I apologize if our decision to go public seems like a lynching; I assure you that is not the case at all. We do not want to make any member of the community feel uneasy or distrustful. Please bear with us as we do our best to be firmer in enforcing the guidelines and rules of the community, and please understand that we are not out to censor anyone for their opinions. You are free to speak your mind here at Eden Fantasys. You are not free, however, to spread around negativity and drama, or to deliberately criticize or insult other members just for the sake of doing so.