How to deal with difficult forum members?


Since our forum is for you, our users, students, learners, trainers, teachers and English language fans, I’d like to hear your opinion on the following question. As you know, our forum thrives because of the support of those native speakers who have become active contributors by sharing their experiences and answering students’ questions on English grammar, structure, culture etc. The vast majority of ‘our’ native speakers share the kind of spirit that helped build free societies in their native countries.

However, there is just one person who clearly is a native speaker of English but tries to disguise himself by hiding behind an obscurely fabricated identity. Often, but not always his intention is mislead learners, cause confusion and engage in petty spats with other native speakers of English. He often uses threads started by learners of English to turn them into his own playground.

My question is, how do you suggest our community should deal with this person?

Many thanks,

TOEIC listening, photographs: A performer[YSaerTTEW443543]

In other forums administrators often ban users without hesitation. You are far too tolerant, I guess. I am nonchalant, although. Looking at the bright side of the matter, we can see the disputes this guy/lass causes often turn into deep wells of knowledge, i.e. words that are not familiar to most users are used, grammar structures are demonstrated and so on.


Hi Torsten,

I not clearly understand what you´re asking here. I mean you´re the intiator of this site. That´s the reason why you´re the host and you´re entitled to indulge or ban whom ever you want. That´s the same with allow and disallow anything. On the other hand you´re able to delete posts (you did with some others, yet), so if there is any post of that person that you´re expecting to be disturbing why don´t you delete it and if the person asks why you did, you might explain your point of view. In other words you might try to teach that person asking questions you feel right for the site. You also might call this “Education”?

If you plan to ban that person, I’d be sure of your information. Are you sure, and if so, have you got evidence. I don’t mean hearsay and items of gang mentality, I mean evidence, real evidence. Have you got that?

Doesn’t it also take two to tango? Most of the spats here seem to be between two or three members who simply cannot stop themselves bickering. And each of those members seem equally responsible for starting those spats at different times, wouldn’t you agree? Are you ignoring the part all those members play in this?

Also, in the past two weeks, just how much has this so called native speaker helped students here? Has he/she helped you, for example? Link us to the posts and show us the balance between what you consider not helping and helping.

BTW, have you spoken to Alan about this? He is the forum leader isn’t he?

Good point.

Torsten could begin with: “We don’t want questions that challenge the linguistic authority of our native-speaking and near-native speaking members, as it may make them look bad and may force them to find other forums.” Quite few language fora have such a hidden policy, maybe this one does. If so, let it out, I say.

You are right, Molly. The behaviour of that particular forum member has slightly improved over the past few days so there might be hope.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Big cranes[YSaerTTEW443543]

Have you noticed how all the “spatters” have also calmed down? BTW; you didn’t answer this:

Please be as honest and as fair as you can be in your response.