There has been much talk about how the community has become divided. About how the community lacks character. And that is pretty easy to see. It's also pretty easy to trace the problem back to it's roots.
Unfortunately on this site, there is a clear group of insiders and a clear group of outsiders. This elite insider group is hard to penetrate, and for your friendships on this site effect your ability to infiltrate this group. If you become friends with the wrong person when you first join, you will not be able to crack the group known as the insiders. However, as a new member if you just so happen to talk to the correct member you will be instatnly recognized as a "good" or "quality" member and can get away with more things.
I'm a newish member here. I've been very active since I've joined and this is what I've observed. A lack of privacy on this site with your PM's (Private Messages). They are being read when there is no reason for a mod to read them. I understand there are times when a PM needs to get read, for instance if it's reported. However, that lack of privacy is startling, and pretty darn scary. The insider group is made of mainly of our "trusted" mods. And unfortunetly not even the mods are safe from the wrath of the insider group. The recent demotion of One and Vitamin PWN are prime examples of that. The chaos and uproar that caused this also lead to SJ deciding to "step down". And with that came the post by Total Mayhem about our character on the site.
Seems to me that the problem isn't the members themselves. But the clear chasm that is on this site. Granted tempers can flair, trolls can sign up, and that can cause the site to have less character. But when a dedicated long time member is banned for standing up to a "mod" and voicing their opinion it's time for change. It's time for all of us to step back and evaluate our own characters. Time for us to evaluate who is being trust with the running of this site. Twam has done amazing work with this site, and it seems like the old saying "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is a very true saying. The members who are running this site, need to take a look at themselves and see if they can be proud of what they've been doing. See if Twam would like their recent decisions.
It's time for us to bridge the gap. For mistakes to be recognized, and apologies to be handed out to those who deserve them. This site is slowly decaying, and it needs to be revamped. It's not broken yet, but it's headed down a road of destruction.
Now all the fault doesn't lay with the mods and staff members. There are normal members who are just as guilty as the mods. Normal members who are so mean and cruel to the new members. A new member makes a simple mistake and is told off by numerous people for no reason. There is a difference between helping a new member out and giving them advice and just being an ***. Pardon my language. If a member makes a mistake, feel free to correct them, but do so in a nice way. And if you see people have already told the member about the mistake, don't feel the urge to post also. When someone is being told off constantly by multiple people and in a mean way, they will most likely start to troll. So some of the trollers are caused by members being mean for no reason to new members. Instead of telling them off, try being nice, and helping them. Maybe less trollers will come through.
I have been guilty of this myself. I can come across rude and mean. When that happens I try to let the new member know that I'm not mad with them. Just trying to help. This things can greatly help and benefit the community.
May the Force be with you all