I Hate Spam
Is it fun owning one of the most popular discussion boards for film music?
I’ve always been glad to host a place to discuss film music, and happy to see the positive connections that people made.
I’m embarrassed that the board has gotten a reputation as a cesspool of toxic opinions—and I feel fairly powerless to stop it.
Am I really powerless? No, I have the ultimate authority to ban people, set rules and try to steer the ship in a better direction.
But the board doesn’t make any money—if anything, it loses money (the hosting and occasional programming/upkeep). It’s paid for (loosely) from the ongoing FSM CD catalog sales.
After 30+ years of being involved in film music fandom, forgive me if I don’t feel like I want to pay close attention to the daily discussions. But I do check in often.
Most of the administration is handled by our pal David Sones and I can’t thank him enough for his diligence in trying to stay on top of everything.
If I had unlimited funds, there are definitely improvements I would make. Because the board was created in the late 1990s, we didn’t insist on real names—and I would love to do that now. (Don’t worry, we’re not changing anything.)
People behave better when they have to identify themselves. Just a fact.
One blight recently that has gotten more and more to the level of serious harassment is spam.
You’ve probably seen it—people advertising term papers and the like.
Folks, I have no idea who these people are. I don’t know if they are spambots or actual people. Most of the spam accounts seem to be from conflict-laden countries where you’d expect a lot of fraud.
I don’t know why anybody would think it’s a financially winning strategy to advertise these scams on our little board? It seems insane to me.
We do have security measures in place to cut down on these things. Without revealing what those are—they have definitely helped, and at the least made it easier for us to clean up the damage.
But let’s just say if somebody is absolutely dedicated to spamming and harassing us, it’s pretty much a war of attrition. They spam, we erase and block, and on and on until, hopefully, they get bored and go away.
Over the past 20–25 years, we have become a target to maybe a handful of the lunatic fringe—not spambots, but unhinged, angry people who have gone psycho. At least one person seemed to be legitimately mentally ill.
I don’t want to name names because I’d prefer to frankly forget all of it.
I was hesitant to write a blog post like this because the last thing I want to do is encourage any of these creeps.
I understand why regular users can get a little hot-headed and mouth off, and we have to step in and ask them to cool it. That stuff is like mediating a playground dispute: “But he started it!” “Well, I’m talking to him too—just stay away from him, please.”
We never like to ban anybody, but some people have been so antisocial and unable to change that we just get fed up—zap, bye-bye.
The worst is when somebody is endlessly annoying and responds, “But it’s just my sense of humor.” Well, it’s not funny—goodbye!
The spammers...I can’t stand them. I wish they would go away. (It’s truly not encouraging of humanity’s prospects.)
Anyway—how can you do your part? When you see spam, just report it and let us delete the offending posts and accounts. Trust me, we will.
When people get cranky and antisocial, please—don’t escalate. Ignore it, respond politely, or just let us know.
This is our community and we all need to be responsible for it.
That said, some of the people who try to come up with rules of strategies to ensure better behavior—you can’t mandate this stuff. It’s just not how human beings behave.
I wish there was a magic button but there isn’t.
Just listen to the Old Man please:
If you want to do me a favor, can you check out my imdb.com page, or even better my pro.imdb.com page? You don’t have to do anything—just visiting them will boost my silly star rating. Hey, everybody needs a hobby. thanks!