I’m going to have a bit of a rant. This post is mostly opinion. However, it is based on actual situations that can be documented.
It’s about cryptozoology forums and how they don’t work.
I’ve posted before about how I stopped visiting Cryptomundo because my comments were not posted as they were critical of the views of the original post. Or, other commentators were allowed to have free say but I was ostracized as a skeptic. Those who know me know that I am not a ranter. I try to be civil in discourse. Worse, some of my comments were edited on Cryptomundo to bias my viewpoint (an evil skeptic).
While I still don’t visit because of the ad content (ubiquitous, which makes the page unsightly and slow to load) and the content being not so great, the situation there has gotten considerably better. I feel I could post a comment there and it would now be published unchanged.
Second, I quit going to Bigfoot Evidence because misogynistic or crude remarks by some commentators (some were disgusting and personal about me [here: comment #8]) were not moderated or removed even after request (we had a small group discussion via twitter). Comments there degenerated into a cesspool at times. The content also became cheap with various “tipsters” posting unsubstantiated stories and guest posters being really off the mark. Comments were moderated for profanity but not for other sad qualities.
And, again with the ads. I get the feeling these Bigfoot sites are about profit, ego and status, not getting to the best answers about what is really going on with the Bigfoot phenomena.
Anyway, I signed up for what I heard was a premier forum, Bigfoot Forums, months ago. The first problem I encountered was in my introduction. It was against the rules to put a link in my signature without having a reciprocal link on that site back to BFF. What? I’ve not heard of such a rule before on a forum. I argued over the Twitter link being in there. Nope. No go. They kept the rule across the board. It seems ridiculous, nevermind impractical! Your sig is how people can find you outside that forum. Excessive linking, sure. I get that. A link to your website or Twitter account? Standard. Let’s get with the program.
I found the discussion there not too engaging so I didn’t visit frequently, though I had some nice comments and support for the skeptical viewpoint. The other day, I had something to contribute to a post where someone was asking about the plausibility about prehistoric survivors. Being a geologist and having researched the subject a bit, I volunteered a post and got this response from the mods:
I’m writing to tell you that I’ve edited a post you made in the Are Dinosaurs Still Alive Today? topic. The following content was removed:
Creationists, especially, wish that these animals STILL existed because in some convoluted way, they believe if they did, it would disprove evolution. It wouldn’t but that’s a whole other tangent. Thus, they promote such stories without adequate foundation. No one should bet on stories without adequate foundation when there are more likely scenarios. And context must always be considered (as well as motive).
This statement may be your opinion, but it isn’t fact. Not all Creationists are convoluted, nor are they desperately grasping for a cryptid’s existence to “prove” what they believe in. The blanket statement above has no place on the BFF.
Creationism is a belief system. If you are going allow that as a means of argument, why not my dispute of it that is grounded in science? The Creationist agenda in finding prehistoric survivors is well-know (or SHOULD be to Bigfoot researchers). Although I may have hit a nerve?
Regardless, the level of discussion on the board was not high and I felt out of place promoting science and reason. The discussion never seemed to go anywhere. So, I’m done. Participating in that forum was a hassle, made me feel like I was constantly watched and monitored for every bad word or misstep, and did not provide a return.
I understand moderation but there seems to be a problem reaching a happy medium.
I’m even rapidly losing my patience for all things Bigfoot because, frankly, it’s gone off the edge, insane with speculation and pure theatrics. I’ll watch from over here. WAY over here.