Too many kind, gentle people here have had to restrict their posts to friends only or even leave the community because of the unpleasant and anti-social behaviour of a few idiots. This deprives the rest of us from making friends and enjoying everything that makes PB such a great site. Below is a list of activities that spoil my enjoyment of PB, followed by a suggestion of what can be done instead of leaving.
: racist / sexist messages and advertisements in general. Report them to Michael here
To bump them off the front page before the administrators delete them, post a "hello", a nice thought or just a smiley here
: sick, but unfortunately registered members who seem to enjoy harassing women. Report them to Michael and then forget them completely. They are not worth the trouble. There may be legal measures available in your country. For repeated offenses, try posting this: “The content of your message contravenes the law on sexual harassment
[if you know which one, cite it]. Your Internet Service Provider will be contacted and your access to the Internet will be suspended pending criminal and/or civil legal action.”
Get’em where it hurts.
: there are people in the PB community who seem to want to rack up a large friend list. Typically, they send out friend requests without bothering to comment on your posts first. I always reject these. If they become aggressive and/or hostile, report them to the administrators and block them.
: I have experienced at least one instance of one member passing off another’s work as his/her own. Recently, someone was voted in the top five of a theme contest using images he copied from the Internet. For your own work, avoid posting images larger than 800 pixels along the longest edge and/or watermark them with your name – discreetly – in the centre. You might want to ask the offender at least to insert a credit, but this may lead to an unpleasant and pointless argument.
: members claiming some higher artistic or technical authority to lecture you. Delete comments (or keep them if they’re hilariously funny, which is what I did) and block the offender. If they insist, report them to the administrators.
: everyone has a right to a belief, even if it’s the wrong one in your opinion. Respect mine and I’ll respect yours, although I find it hard to contain my irritation at people proclaiming their own value system as “divine truth”. Harassment can be dealt with by reporting the offender, blocking him/her and above all, ignoring it.
: people hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet to use disproportionate language when disagreeing with you. Personally, I always keep such comments for the humour, but obviously deleting them is the easiest option.
Offensive images / language
: speaking as someone guilty of this, I need to point out that everyone has his or her own definition of what constitutes offensiveness. Personally, I appreciated a comment from a PB member who pointed out politely why he found one of my posts offensive. I now add an ‘advisory’ when I think I might offend sensibilities – and then do it anyway on the premise that viewers have been warned in advance. Religious and/or reactionary prudery can be ignored and/or deleted. However, if *you* are offended, you might try explaining to the poster why and scrupulously avoid value judgements when you do.
Nothing stupid here is worth the heart-ache and pain I know some members have felt. My heart goes out to them and I hope the above suggestions offer an alternative to leaving the community. If you have other, constructive
solutions, I look forward to reading them.