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A call for compassion and empathy


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Hi there!

This is a post I’ve been meaning to create for a long time now, and something I shared in private with my fellow moderators.

I wanted to write a few words about what the current state of the forum is and where we’d possibly be able to go from here.

So, first of all let me say that I’ve been using the forum the wrong way for the first 3-4 years. It took me a bit of growth as a person and as a professional to be able to shift my POV just enough so I can change my worldview and challenge my core beliefs.

So anything I am going to say now, I wish someone was there to tell myself back when I needed it the most.

Here goes.

Our forum is not perfect. Far from it.

In fact I am now convinced it’s not going to change a whole lot in the near future, even with the upcoming platform overhaul.

This is a place where people from all walks of life, different countries and cultures meet and talk about the one thing they have in common:

Their dreams, hopes and efforts whilst chasing that dream of leading a different life.

A freelancer’s life. No 9-5, no boss, the modern cowboy.

That being said, not everyone’s views, work ethics, opinions will align with everyone else’s.

It is impossible.

I’ve noticed that a vast majority of fellow forum members are quick to judge, and are often pointing their finger at others.

Others who either have done something clearly wrong or may not know what we do.

I’d personally like for that to change moving forward. I’m not advocating for a “friendlier more welcoming place”. I am talking about making a conscious effort to think before we reply.

•“Can I help this person?”

•“Is what I am about to say something I’d like for people to tell myself?”

•“Does this person really want help?”

Sometimes we get caught up in a struggle to be right.

Or we because we were once treated unfairly, harshly, we seek for people who break the rules to be immediately punished for what they did.

For whatever reason, we end up playing a round of “emotional boxing” with people we’ve never met, over the Internet.

That’s not what I want this forum to be about.

As someone who has had some success on this platform, I want to help as many people as possible.

But I have reached the conclusion that not all people want to be helped. Not everyone is ready to view things differently.

And there will always be people who will be here to just try to game the system, cheat, copy others, be online 24/7 and post on the forum because some guru told them that will make them rich.

So what I suggest we do?

As a moderator, I will try my best to lead by example.

I try my best to remain calm no matter what the situation is, and I refrain from judging other members, regardless of what they say.

If I can’t help them, I do not engage, I simply move on.

If they are breaking forum rules, I moderate as needed.

In order for the forum to be elevated, we need everybody’s help.

It starts with us. The moderators and the regulars. (both those that carry that badge, and those who just participate every day on the forum)

We should lead by example.

Let’s try to not flag people’s posts strictly because they don’t know better.

Let’s try to be less dismissive, and try to help each other.

I think that we collectively as a community can elevate the forum, if we all just try to me a bit more empathetic when we read someone’s’ post.

90% of the time I see a “weird” post, or someone asking about something that’s clearly a violation, is because of despair. Fear. Someone’s probably in a really bad place.

We don’t know them, or their story. Nor do we have to.

All I am asking is for us to try to not be so quick to judge.

Let’s lead by example. And hope that others will follow.

I am here to discuss and talk about specific cases if you want with examples.

This is a topic I wanted to write, to inform everyone of where I am at personally and see if we as a collective want to change direction and try to elevate the forum.

This post was initially only shared in the lounge, but after a discussion with the mods team, we decided it should be shared in public.

I am sharing this with everyone, on hopes we can openly discuss about how we can elevate the forum, and therefore maybe spark the change we want to see in the platform as well.

Thank you for reading this. Hopefully this will spark a wonderful discussion.

P.S. Please keep replies relevant. For this particular topic I will heavily moderate the discussion.

Thanks @frank_d

All I am asking is for us to try to not be so quick to judge.

Let’s lead by example. And hope that others will follow.

As all, you are the leader of this forum so should be a good example of leaders not like the Boss of judgment.

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I have thought about this a lot for the past week. I will be the first to admit that I have sometimes been a bit harsh with people. However, when I see someone clearly here to scam people, I get very angry. I feel for the people who are inevitably going to fall into their trap.

I have a great love for this marketplace, and that is why I try to shame people like that. In the end, it is a battle that is never going to be won. We can only report them, move on with our lives, and hope that Fiverr takes the necessary steps to get rid of them.

I have realized that it is not my battle to fight, and though I don’t feel that the scammers should win, I just don’t have the time or the strength to keep reporting them.

I don’t think I can kill scammers with kindness, so I will not be participating in those kinds of threads any longer. I will only be hearting other people’s posts.

From here on out, I will do my best to only participate in threads where people are genuine about wanting help or in fun conversational style topics.

I will do my utmost to put my best foot forward and not lash out at people.

I 100% admit ( and I have no problems doing so) that I tend to point out harsh facts and such on the forum. I will also add though, I try to be “strict,” not mean. I guess the tricky part is that even though I might think I am trying to be strict but helpful at the same time, others might think I’m just being a bully.

When I leave a reply to certain posts, I end up taking a long time because I want to be careful with my choice of words because hurting/offending someone is not what I am trying to do, but I won’t be surprised if some people still got offended despite the time I put in.

If someone really needs help, I will gladly help. If I see a post where the person clearly is not putting in any effort in their gigs, I will ignore it or point out the mistakes especially if they are stealing images etc. Again I will try my best to sound “strict,” not mean.

I don’t think I can kill scammers with kindness, so I will not be participating in those kinds of threads any longer. I will only be hearting other people’s posts.

From here on out, I will do my best to only participate in threads where people are genuine about wanting help or in fun conversational style topics.

I think I’ll go with this too. I don’t want to be a mean person, but I’m not really the “kill with kindess” type either. I will like to point out though when I see a person with a true success story post, I love showering them with compliments because it’s great to see people succeed, especially when they clearly have put in a lot of effort.

Having that said though if I see a post that is way too ridiculous or is clearly lying…not sure how I will react. 😅

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Interesting thread. I’ll occasionally go cold turkey on the forum because the often repetitive, lazy, vague, or irrelevant posts and responses really get on my t*ts. This is when I get tempted to be a little too harsh or sarcastic. That is kind of my humour anyway but I know it doesn’t always go down well. Being compassionate and reminding myself that we all have our stories and struggles is a practice in my daily life and I’m not always successful and, to be honest, I dooooon’t always want to be. But I try my best.

I think twice about becoming involved in some posts because sabotage is a genuine concern. There’s no way to protect ourselves against anyone who may want to throw the cat among the pigeons and get revenge by hitting gigs with fake orders or spamming. We can’t block anyone on this platform unless they’ve made an order before and I’m not in the habit of reporting people willy-nilly. I’ve only ever reported one profile and that was because their work samples were stolen (they came to the forum complaining about something else). I don’t consider that an innocent mistake and a part of my reputation is tied up in the platforms reputation, so while I felt bad for the seller who decided to do that and shoot themselves in the foot, I didn’t feel guilty for reporting it.

Anyway, I kind of digress. The forum is a great place to connect, learn and help others, but it’s also a vulnerable place to be sometimes and can quickly spiral into defensive and abusive communication. I’ve seen this from newbies and regulars, one particularly abrasive regular seems to have disappeared which is a good thing.

I like the idea of having a quick free course of sorts for people joining the forum, kind of a forum ready thing. A video or some text, some questions to answer about do’s and don’t’s of the forum and once this is completed THEN the forum is open. It wouldn’t solve all the problems, I know. I’d also like to be able to block anyone from visiting my profile and gig page who starts my alarm bells ringing.

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A big thank you to all who shared their feelings and concerns.

Before I start replying to each forum member specifically about what they asked/suggested/shared, I’d like as a mod to address the incident from a few days ago.

I’m not making up excuses, I was asleep as this was going down. I woke up at 7am my time, for my morning run, when I noticed 20something flags on the forum and I immediately started looking into posts.

It took me a while to read the posts and how it all went down, but I immediately alerted the mod group chat we maintain and @wp_kid responded quickly.

We took all the necessary actions, and we sent a report to Matt, as that particular member had no place either on the forum or on the main platform.

However, that’s pretty much all mods can do in regards to “bringing justice”.

Fiverr staff needs to deal with what they want to do with that person on the main platform, and as far as the forum goes, we will take every measure to ensure that user doesn’t come back.

I feel bad for not being there for my community, I assure you it was a time-difference issue, and not neglect. I can only imagine what it must have felt like, having someone like that spewing all kinds of poison on this forum for however long it took before the mods came online.

So during the day I will be taking off the moderator hat, so I can respond to everyone, as I feel I should speak as a user and not as a referee. 🙂

Thank you!

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I think a lot of frustration from people regularly using the forum, to share ideas and help others, could be drastically improved if there was a rule that would not allow anyone post anything in the forum before they at least searched x times in the search bar and/or have at least an hour or two of post reading.

Let’s keep it friendly in any case, for me too sometimes it is hard to stay 100% positive when reading some people’s post, or recognizing a rude attitude from their speech. But as mentioned many times by some, picking a fight on the forum is the best way to get yourself burned. Disengaging is the wisest way to protect yourself. And indirectly : keeping the forum more positive.

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I think a lot of frustration from people regularly using the forum, to share ideas and help others, could be drastically improved if there was a rule that would not allow anyone post anything in the forum before they at least searched x times in the search bar and/or have at least an hour or two of post reading.

Let’s keep it friendly in any case, for me too sometimes it is hard to stay 100% positive when reading some people’s post, or recognizing a rude attitude from their speech. But as mentioned many times by some, picking a fight on the forum is the best way to get yourself burned. Disengaging is the wisest way to protect yourself. And indirectly : keeping the forum more positive.

Great idea. This would encourage people to actually search for answers instead of being able to immediately post about something that has been covered so many times before.

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I think a lot of frustration from people regularly using the forum, to share ideas and help others, could be drastically improved if there was a rule that would not allow anyone post anything in the forum before they at least searched x times in the search bar and/or have at least an hour or two of post reading.

Let’s keep it friendly in any case, for me too sometimes it is hard to stay 100% positive when reading some people’s post, or recognizing a rude attitude from their speech. But as mentioned many times by some, picking a fight on the forum is the best way to get yourself burned. Disengaging is the wisest way to protect yourself. And indirectly : keeping the forum more positive.

I think a lot of frustration from people regularly using the forum, to share ideas and help others, could be drastically improved if there was a rule that would not allow anyone post anything in the forum before they at least searched x times in the search bar and/or have at least an hour or two of post reading.

It was suggested before, and as much as I like the idea, there would be a problem with it: buyers who need advice fast. Some buyers come to the forum only when they need a problem solved; they don’t hang out, often don’t read other topics, and definitely don’t spam or clutter the forum.

Plus I’m not sure whether it could be implemented on this forum.

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A big thank you to all who shared their feelings and concerns.

Before I start replying to each forum member specifically about what they asked/suggested/shared, I’d like as a mod to address the incident from a few days ago.

I’m not making up excuses, I was asleep as this was going down. I woke up at 7am my time, for my morning run, when I noticed 20something flags on the forum and I immediately started looking into posts.

It took me a while to read the posts and how it all went down, but I immediately alerted the mod group chat we maintain and @wp_kid responded quickly.

We took all the necessary actions, and we sent a report to Matt, as that particular member had no place either on the forum or on the main platform.

However, that’s pretty much all mods can do in regards to “bringing justice”.

Fiverr staff needs to deal with what they want to do with that person on the main platform, and as far as the forum goes, we will take every measure to ensure that user doesn’t come back.

I feel bad for not being there for my community, I assure you it was a time-difference issue, and not neglect. I can only imagine what it must have felt like, having someone like that spewing all kinds of poison on this forum for however long it took before the mods came online.

So during the day I will be taking off the moderator hat, so I can respond to everyone, as I feel I should speak as a user and not as a referee. 🙂

Thank you!

I’d like as a mod to address the incident from a few days ago.

Why do I miss these moments…

I was asleep

Shocking! You don’t stay awake and online 24/7?

We took all the necessary actions, and we sent a report to Matt, as that particular member had no place either on the forum or on the main platform.

And really, joking aside, that IS all you can do as mods. There shouldn’t be any blame for mods (or staff for that matter) when someone goes off the rails on the forum. That is solely the individual’s fault. In terms of sweeping up afterwards, that was done as quickly as possible. The fallout, hurt feelings, anger etc should all be directed towards the user in question, nobody else.

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Thank you for this post Frank, I totally agree with what you are saying and have even been subject to conversations that turned confrontational many times on the forum. Funnily enough I was actually talking to my friend the other day about the forum and how quickly a simple thread can descend into toxic arguments with certain users.

Compassion and understanding goes a long way and as a collective it would be nice to see this more. Someone asking a silly question or making a claim about “ranking their gig” should not be shot down in flames and berated on the forum… yes it can be frustrating however seeing the same comments insulting these posters is just as frustrating. ​

I have seen repeatable offences by certain members who just seems to argue and wish to engage in conflict rather than trying to help. I do hope this post encourages people to act with kindness and understanding in mind.

p.s I would happily throw my hat in the pot if you need any mods to help out.

Cheers,
Andrew

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This is why I made my copypasta posts as formal and neutral as possible. (With the exception of the Tips category one. And now that I think about it, I should probably rework that one so as to be less angry.)

I’m really tempted to repost that GDC video, because it’s a great talk on the topic, even if it was made at a game developer’s conference. Actually, maybe it’s more relevant because it was at a GDC. Game communities are notorious for being at risk for toxic players and flash tempers, so it’s actually a decent case/scenario study.

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This is why I made my copypasta posts as formal and neutral as possible. (With the exception of the Tips category one. And now that I think about it, I should probably rework that one so as to be less angry.)

I’m really tempted to repost that GDC video, because it’s a great talk on the topic, even if it was made at a game developer’s conference. Actually, maybe it’s more relevant because it was at a GDC. Game communities are notorious for being at risk for toxic players and flash tempers, so it’s actually a decent case/scenario study.

I have watched half of it and will finish it today.

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I think a lot of frustration from people regularly using the forum, to share ideas and help others, could be drastically improved if there was a rule that would not allow anyone post anything in the forum before they at least searched x times in the search bar and/or have at least an hour or two of post reading.

It was suggested before, and as much as I like the idea, there would be a problem with it: buyers who need advice fast. Some buyers come to the forum only when they need a problem solved; they don’t hang out, often don’t read other topics, and definitely don’t spam or clutter the forum.

Plus I’m not sure whether it could be implemented on this forum.

buyers who need advice fast. Some buyers come to the forum only when they need a problem solved

I think in that case of emergency, most of the time it shall be solved by CS, if so crucial for their activity.

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buyers who need advice fast. Some buyers come to the forum only when they need a problem solved

I think in that case of emergency, most of the time it shall be solved by CS, if so crucial for their activity.

CS often isn’t very fast. I mean, it is for some, but for others isn’t, even if it’s an urgent matter.

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