SSMB UPDATE: Freedom of Speech Rules

I like to think that the Sega Sonic Message Board is a welcoming place to all members here, that this place is a sanctuary for anyone to speak their mind about anything. Be it Sonic, cheese or…. erm, stuff in general. But, after seeing an event take place on another forum, something made my head whirr. I wanted to get something off my chest.

See, that board I visited claimed to be liberal. And it was – mostly. It offered “freedom of speech” – and one of its morals was to allow anyone the right to say what they wanted to, without reciprocation by other members. BUT, this principle ended up backfiring – as the forum turned into a hotbed of arguments. Everyone had strong disagreements with one another, and feelings that collided with each other’s opinions.

Now, I was only sliiiiightly involved in that forum’s messy drama (I was backing a friend up), but it made me think about the kind of discussions we were having on the SSMB. So I come to check up on this place, and I see that the topics are getting a bit…. well, fanboy-ish. I’m particularly talking about Sonic Guy, and his rage in the “Hate PS2” topic.

I want my forum members to get along. I’m not saying there’s never any flamewars happening – thankfully, despite Sonic Guy’s outburst, many members have been mature enough to dismiss it. Or maybe it’s that they know him too well and just ignored him.

This isn’t a straight dig at Sonic Guy, by the way. Though he always seems to be the ‘patriot’ around here, this is a notice aimed at everyone on this message board… just to give you fair warning.

It’s good to have your own opinions, but what I’ve learnt is that you have to RESPECT other people’s views and beliefs as well. Otherwise you’re just asking for a smack in the face.  Everything that you say may be right to you – but to someone else, your opinions could mean jack.

For those that seem to be bringing across the message that their word is law around here, let me tell you to buck up your ideas and realise that your opinions and beliefs AREN’T the be-all and end-all. They are views from one person, and shouldn’t be shoved in people’s faces as the Bible.

If you insist on doing this, then all I can do is show you the door. I won’t welcome anyone here that cannot tolerate other people’s opinions, whether it be video games (which is most of the time, if you plan on relating this topic to Sonic Guy), or any other topic. Although, just to be super-clear, ‘opinions’ that amount to hate speech or otherwise trample on other people’s rights are not tolerated.

Furthermore, anyone who has differing views on Sega, Sonic or Nintendo (because there’s something I feel being put across that this Message Board only cares about Sonic, Sega and Nintendo when it comes to Video Games) and think that, possibly they prefer Sony or Microsoft, then feel free to express your opinions without feeling intimidated. 

I want people to speak their minds here, not pass off a load of baloney about their opinions just because they feel they’ll get flamed because of saying something that is different to what everyone else may feel.

After witnessing that other forum’s downfall and restoration, I think that our MB will crumble apart too if I don’t enforce the principles that founded this Message Board in the first place. I’m not having a pop at anyone, merely warning you that I won’t tolerate anyone who does not respect the opinions of others here, as I stated earlier. However….

Just as a singling-out moment here… Sonic Guy, you of all people must respect the views of others. If someone says, “it’d be good if Sonic appears on PS2” for example, then don’t reply with, “you stupid tw@, why would you think that? PS2 must burrrrrrrrn.”

If you feel the need to be heavily ‘patriotic’ all of a sudden, take your thoughts elsewhere. That goes for anyone else. Having said that, if you think that you can tolerate other people’s beliefs and opinions on just about any subject, then please – by all means stay on this MB.

I do not expect anybody to respond in the negative towards this new ruling. I do not expect people to ‘take a vote’ on it. This new rule is not negotiable, and is effective as of now. Heavy-duty flamewars start because of difference of opinion, and not being able to control one’s tolerance of another opinion. I’m damned if I’m going to let this kind of thing continue. 

Thanks for reading, and you’ll be put on a warning Strike as soon as you can click your fingers if this kind of situation happens again.

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.