For Cryin’ Out Loud is GateWorld’s weekly editor’s column! If you have questions or suggestions about what you’d like us to talk about, e-mail the editors now.
Ch-ch-changes are in store for GateWorld. Before I tell you what they are, let me give you a little personal bio that I hope gives you insight into why I’m doing this.
I started GateWorld when I was 23 years old, just married and living in a new city. It was 1999, and I wanted to combine my love of Stargate SG-1 with my newest hobby and creative outlet, Web development. And so a fan site was born that was truly a labor of love, occupying 10, 20, sometimes 30 or more hours per week. It grew. I met people from all over the world. The site earned recognition from the production studio, and I even made some friends among the cast, the crew, and at MGM. They let us maintain complete independence, recognizing that you can’t pay people to maintain a site like this. It has to be a labor of love, and when it stops being fun … well, we wouldn’t really want to do it any more, no matter what we would lose.
It’s been ten and a half years now, and we’ve had some good times (and some great times) and some bad times. We’ve witnessed feuding and bashing, splinters in fandom, and one or two near meltdowns. But I made it through every time, because I still loved what I was doing. Working on the site and creating new content was fun, and other fans seemed to appreciate that work.
Over the past couple of years, though, the hatred and factions that have crept up in Stargate fandom have started to take their toll on my love of this project. I’m also a father of two and a full-time student now, and my “little” Stargate fan site has a different priority in life. In January, something very private happened that nearly made me walk away. Those days and weeks this winter when we went with no site updates? Some of that wasn’t because it was a slow news week as much as because I didn’t want to do it any more. But I still love Stargate, and I still have fun working on the site, and the friends that I’ve made here are still here. So I didn’t pull the plug.
Now, I have a choice: Give it up and try to regain my sanity in the real world, or make some serious changes to the way GateWorld does things. Refocus on doing what I love doing on the site, and get rid of those elements that take away my joy.
So starting today, the seemingly endless cycle of Stargate Universe hatred posted by viewers at GateWorld comes to an end. I think we’ve been way, way more than “fair” in giving those who despise the new incarnation of Stargate a place to have their say. GateWorld is first a fan site, and if you don’t like SGU, you shouldn’t post about it here.
As I wrote about a couple of months ago, my desire for GateWorld has always been to strike a balance between keeping it a fun place for fans of the show and also a place where everyone could have their voice heard. That has not changed. Let’s put that right up front: No one is being asked to go away or told they can’t post here. Instead, I’m asking you to post with this Community Vision statement in mind, and I’m giving fair warning that we’ll be much stricter in how it is applied.
GateWorld exists as a place for fans all over the world to enhance their enjoyment of the Stargate franchise by sharing it with others. Our vision for this forum is that it will be an open and welcoming place for the enjoyment of Stargate and science fiction, a place free of hostility where we communicate and build friendships, and a home that is open to challenging discussions. While we affirm everyone’s right to critique things they do not like, we ask that such comments be made with tact and respect for others. Our site may be large, but it is our home, and we want to focus our time talking about the things we enjoy about our favorite shows.
This has always been present on the comment rules page. It’s just been ignored by those who have, in many cases, deliberately targeted our site and pushed the envelope as far as possible … to see what they could get away with. They took advantage of my commitment to free speech, in other words, in an attempt to make our site a living hell for those of us who love SGU. No more.
We rolled out the Community Vision statement at GateWorld and GateWorld Forum last year, after Stargate Atlantis‘s final episode had aired and angry fans had been given time to vent and to mourn the loss of a great series. We applied it with a light touch at first, then with increasing firmness at the forum. Here on the news threads, it’s been much easier to get away with bashing SGU because I wanted to let everyone actually see the new show and have their say on it. Watch the pilot. Watch the first half of the season. Spend the mid-season break reflecting on it.
That time has now passed, and those who have made up their mind to hate the show and all it stands for have had their say. It’s time to move on.
What does this mean, practically?
- Not every news story will have a comment thread. In those cases we encourage you to post your thoughts at GateWorld Forum instead.
- The forum has been restructured a bit, making the Universe, Atlantis, and SG-1 sections larger and more self-contained sub-forums. Fans who love SGU should have a place to go where the discussion is utterly free of hatred of the show. Not critique, mind you — hatred. Fans who love the other shows, meanwhile, will have a self-contained place to enjoy what they love about Stargate, without feeling compelled to trash something another fan likes.
- If you want to critique the show here on the news threads, you may do so with tact and respect for the cast, crew, and fans who are enjoying it. If there is a whiff of disrespect, that you are pushing my patience and our community standards to see how far I’ll bend in the name of free expression, our moderators will be quicker on the Delete button.
- When a discussion thread shows vigorous and profitable give-and-take debate, within our posting guidelines, we’ll encourage it. When it devolves into bickering between the same old members, the thread will be closed.
- If the moderators are convinced you are just trying to cause trouble, your posting rights will be suspended or, in extreme cases only, you will be banned from commenting. (In some cases we’ll try to communicate with you by e-mail, so don’t use a dummy account you never read and then be surprised that you wind up banned.) There are plenty of places on the Internet to sow relentless hatred for a television series. This is not one of them.
- If our community standards are too strict to let you say what you want to say (and what you want to say over, and over, and over again), our site is not the best place for you. There are other sites where you can find like-minded people and enjoy yourself without dragging us down.
Let me add that I’ve read a lot of very measured, thoughtful, and respectful criticisms of Stargate Universe here in recent months. Those members have my personal thanks for expressing their concerns in the right way. That’s also what I’ve tried to do on the podcast, because as much as I love the show I don’t think every episode is the pure gold standard. I hope those thoughtful critiques, which measure up to our community standards, continue to be posted. There is a noticable difference between a fan who has a critique to voice and a “hater,” one who has firmly made up his mind about the series and posts primarily to disrupt and to spread that hatred. This change targets only the latter.
I’m aware that this won’t be a popular decision, that for some it will only fuel the fires of their hatred. But it’s in the best interests of this site and my sanity. Right now, it’s the only way GateWorld can continue to exist. If it’s not fun for the people doing the work and keeping it online, it will be gone.
Respect, or free expression? Stargate fandom has become so fractured and vitriolic over the past two years (even before SGU!) that, unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that I’ve been forced to choose between them. We try to maintain both, but the balance of the scale inevitably tips one way. We either let the haters run roughshod over our site and continue to trash our reputation and despoil our community, all while laughing over what they got away with, or we have to start restricting people’s ability to say absolutely anything they want, as often as they want.
We reached a point where I didn’t like coming to my own site, and I didn’t like that feeling. GateWorld is about opening the doors to all Stargate fans, no matter their opinion — but even more than that, it’s about enjoying Stargate. I, for one, want to enjoy it again.
Thank you! I agree 100%. Lets get back to watching and enjoying Stargate. I love SG1 while my son can not stand it. He loves SGU with a passion while I am still waiting for… But we still behave like family and respect each other’s opinion.
Gateworld is not a democracy. It is your creation and those of us who visit the site and listen to your podcast will be happy to follow where your heart and head lead you.
I think this is a great move, if people dislike SGU we’ve heard what they have to say 100’s of times over by now, the negativity keeps some fans away (myself included, seldom if ever visit the forums) so i think these steps are positive ones
Hey Darren, 1st let me say Thankyou for this awesome site, I visit it all the time, it’s the only site i use for all my Stargate news.
2nd I don’t understand why the haters are even here, have they got nothing better to do. I never visit the forums anymore because i am sick of the complaining.
I love all of the Stargate shows.
Thanks again : )
Thanks for doing this. People too often feel a sense of anominity when on the internet.
I hope people respect this decision.
The part I don’t understand is, if you hate SGU that much why would you watch it, continue to comment on it, why……….
Thanks again, we don’t want to lose you or the site.
And I think you need to step back and ask yourself is it the fans or the product that TPTB all but ordered us to watch that is causing the problem.
You changed me Darren, i will now post only good things about SGU. The first thing I like about SGU and this site is that its Stargate. Stargate is a great franchise, its so good to have more Stargate. SGU is a great show because it has great actors playing characters and nobody can say anything bad about that. I also like the FTL. This site has finally taken a step forward to unite The Fandom. Darren shows us tough love by splitting the fandom, but in the end it will save his site and by that it will save… Read more »
Oh and btw, for anyone else that still wants to talk openly about SGU, theres still SGU°S, you know where to find us.
Fantastic move and exactly what I have wanted to happen: to have critiques not haters. Seriously strikes a blow to those trolls who are sad enough to do whatever they can to get SGU cancelled.
I also agree 100%. If you don’t like SGU then don’t watch, find another show to watch and hassle them Not GateWorld. Keep up the great work.
After reading that I must confess that I have truly repented and will try my best to be constructive in my comments in future about the show. The error of my ways has been shown to me and I feel suitably chastised.
i could not agree with you more
Like not watching stargate universe Is going to help when A. IT is the only new stargate on TV. B there is not much else like stargate on TV that is new or like stargate. c. The other shows that might be like stargate are not as good and do not last that long. You are stuck with stargate universe it is the only thing in town. It’s not like I can watch star trek on Tv anymore or something it is all reruns so that don’t watch only helps give stargate universe bad ratings not pleasure people who want… Read more »
I understand your feelings 100%. But you shouldn’t take this too heavily, simply make a rule that hating posts which can harass those who love are not allowed. I’m one of the haters, and I apologize. The reason many people comes to these forums boasting in flames is that this is the largest community in stargate world and they want scifi to hear their cry for redemption. Understand that stargate is so long brand that it has not only fans.. but also cults of fans. It is like they were protecting their “children” from harm such as the changes in… Read more »
David, I can only guess on the emotional toll it took on you to post this. I have always felt thankful that this site was here. Thank you David. Not all fandoms have a source like this and people seem to forget that this is (or should be) a labor of love. For my family this is the first place we go to for info, whether it is for news, analysis of episodes and characters, screen caps, or have a place to mingle with like-minded people. I have a family of five and we all have a different focus for… Read more »
I don’t have any problem with what you’re doing here. The haters are really a drag. It’s not just on GateWorld. I frequent trekmovie.com and the haters also post their vile ridden commentary on SGU related posts over there. Most recently this week. It’s such a turn off. No other show seems to garner such hatred. It ruins it for the those of us that are fans of the show and I’m sure it taints the waters for prospective fans. To some extent I do blame the producers of the show for how they handled things in the initial stages.… Read more »
Darren, you and David have given us, the fans, a great gift in this wonderful sight. When I turn on my computer it’s the first place I go. In fact, it is the only place I obtain my daily Stargate “fix.
(EryasDax, nodding and applauding in a group standing ovation.)
There are haters and also PPL like me that dont like what happens to good SciFi Shows/Movies. (Or brought SyFy anything good out accept Tin Man in the last Years?
Look why JMS will no longer make any B5 Storys and so on.
Some just hate and some want just a damm good SPACE OPERA and sadly to Say at the Moment there is no GOOD SciFi show.
Goodby that was my last posting here.
Darren, thanks for all your hard and great work. We certainly want to keep you sane. I wouldn’t know what to do without Gateworld. I also love well-written (typo-free) articles and well-structured and thought out comments from fans. I also love the podcasts – they are very interesting and well produced, and when they are a minute late I get a bit anxious :)
Hope comments on article will still be possible – I find it much easier to read those than going to the forum, where I don’t find my way around at all.
Darren, This..was a mistake. As someone whom works in your hobby professionally, I can say with some certainty that you’ll end up regretting this. Not the action, but the posting of it. Change like this is best made quietly. Those whom were reprimanded in some way for speaking out against SGU already believed they were being chastised unfairly for speaking their mind. This will just add fuel to their fire. And now, anyone whom feels slighted for not praising SGU will preach of the ‘evil censorship of gateworld’. This isn’t a pro or con message, just a prediction from someone… Read more »
I can’t believe that I typed David not Darren in my comment. (I need more sleep.) I am such a bonehead.
Darren, thank you.
David, thank you also.
*Slinking back to my lurking place.*
I don’t see how anyone could have a problem with this. IMO a post that isn’t respectful, logical and well reasoned in it’s opinions isn’t worth reading anyway. I’d much rather hear the reasoning and ideas behind someone’s opinions than just “omg SGU suxx” or whatever. I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the first half of SG-1’s first season wasn’t that good. Well, no, I take that back, I actually enjoyed every single one of those episodes, what I mean is that, they don’t really fit in with what SG-1 became. Shape-shifting crystal people? Goa’uld nanites? Off-world Mongols? Would… Read more »
Wow. In all my years on the internet, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a fan site owner pushed to this point. And I’ve never seen the level of hatred and bitterness among (some) fans that we’re seeing now (and I’ve seen a LOT of that before, so that is saying something). I can totally understand where Darren is coming from, though. Because I feel pretty much the same way. I used to be one of the top posters on the GW forums back in the day. The last couple of years, that’s been reduced to occasional lurking… Read more »
You have not seen wars until you get the video game console wars.
Or worse console vs PC. The stuff on this web site is tame compared to that, So i do not see what the big deal is.
Of course the people running the video game websites get paid for it.
Heroes S3 > Heroes S5 > Heroes S1
mythos, thanks for this response. In terms of fueling the fire and giving people grounds to complain of censorship, that ship sailed long ago. It’s nothing new. We’ve been the target of such attacks for years, and my public commitment to free speech didn’t seem to help one bit. Many were grateful that they could post the criticisms they did; but most were downright entertained by seeing what they could get away with. The free speech they were granted in this forum, in other words, was being spat upon for laughs. Public boundary-drawing is helpful to a point — which… Read more »
Darren, Nicely said. Love the site and hope you don’t lose your love for it and keep it going.
You will always attract many different kinds of people and attitudes and ways of behaviour when you deal with such a wide and varied audience. As much as I can understand your feelings I am disappointed in your attitude. Its the usual mantra that certain haters are the cause for all the dissatisfaction on the forums. I would agree that people can be too vocal and could voice their opinions in a more respectful way, but this is not just from those who dislike SGU but also from those fans that love it. The majority of posts I have seen… Read more »
adamtm: I’m not going to get into a Heroes argument with you on a Stargate fansite, but just to say it, Heroes has had four seasons, not five. It had five volumes, which is what you might have meant, two of which were in season three. Originally the plan was to have two volumes in season two, I think the writer’s strike put an end to that though.
Thank you for this. If all the venom and counter-venom was destroying the enjoyment of the site for a news page/headline reader like me (who’d stopped scrolling down as far as the comments because there might be something hate-filled there!) I can only imagine what it was doing to your desire to maintain it. Thank you for finding a way to keep going without silencing respectful and self-moderated criticism/debate here, and without disrespecting the very real grief that you mentioned.
I hope you get your “fun” back!
Darren, I am sorry to learn that you have been through tough times, and unacceptable behaviour of people on Gateworld has contributed to that. I think you have made the right choices here, and fully appreciate thew work you, David and the other Mods do as well. I like to think the majority of folk on Gateworld will agree with that. I am appalled from time to time by some of the bad behavior that people have tried to get away with online, I suspect its because they think online contact is “disposable” – click a button and its forgettable,… Read more »
Darren, I get that the ship has sailed on the complaints of censorship. And I hope that you got that I wasn’t trying to make this a battle over free speech. I know that running a site like this isn’t easy (if you ever want to trade ‘war’ stories, let me know). And people will always try to see what they can get away with, but it is easier to do so when they can’t see the lines that have already been established. I know the rules are posted, but most probably don’t read them and few would understand your… Read more »
I can’t thank you enough for this decision! I myself a couple of times have gotten a bit carried away when dealing with people here. Mostly with those people tying to either convert people to the dark-side (to not like the show), or those just trying to disrupt the forums in general. I agree that not every Stargate show out there is going to be like the ones we love, but with so many views and positions, it’s just not possible for everyone to agree. So thank you setting the standard that you do, in the past, and now. You… Read more »
Darren, I have been reading this site for years now, watching SG-1 since I was a freshman in high school and I have loved every bit of it. I dont know anyone in real life that loves SG like I do, so this is where I can find people with the same passion. I never joined the site, but I have always enjoyed reading the stories. I truly appreciate what you are doing here, and now I have decided to start participating in the forums. Thanks for all that you do, and know that for every hater the are probably… Read more »
“Of course you get some who take things too far but it takes two to get into a argument and the usual comeback from many who like the show is equally as insulting but I don’t see any mention of this.” Isn’t that to be expected? If you go into a fan site and post hateful messages towards the show the site is dedicated to, then you’re just asking for a response. For example it’s like if you went to Scotland and started insulting the Scottish they wouldn’t take it to kindly. “I have seen topics on here that get… Read more »
A complete and entertaining show was SG-1 and had fun with Atlantis but last season was out of order. universe little boring for me. i watch it because i love stargate. even i watch it 100 times still same fun for me .
surely the rules apply to both sides of the argument so therefore all sides should be moderated equally?
To be honest when ever all the “I HATE THIS AND I HATE THAT” stuff started going on and all i started to encounter was flame wars, and bash sessions i really didn’t like going into the forums anymore. The only reason that i have even been coming to Gateworld over the past few months is the read the articles and listen to the podcasts and thats it. Maybe this will making posting actually fun again, like it was when i first joined.
As someone who was very disappointed in how the cancellation of SGA and startup of SGU was handled, I have honestly appreciated the comments on the articles here on the main page where that decision was questioned. I don’t think people should ever be nasty or cruel ever. I have seen many well-thought out opinions expressing people’s sadness and disappointment with the new series. It seems to me that those with negative opinions on SGU were effectively chased out of the forum threads by the pro-SGU fans, this was the only place where they could go and post. And I… Read more »
Thanks, Sylvia. I think SGA fans have every right to be disappointed, though at some point one has to stop hammering SGU because of it. Your posts have always been fair and level-headed, and I appreciate it.
@ Darren “Fans who love SGU should have a place to go where the discussion is utterly free of hatred of the show. Not critique, mind you — hatred.” The problem with this statement is, that a lot of SGU fans interpret even mild critique as hatred, bashing, attacks, and so on. Even your own podcast about SGU’s Anti-Heroes was considered as bashing by some SGU fans! For a lot of SGU fans is critique = hatred. I have read comments from people who overall like SGU and only don’t like certain aspects, who were nevertheless attacked by SGU fans,… Read more »
I agree if you dont like the show fair enought just dont try and stop others who do.
How is the whole stargate franchise suppost to keep going if its own fans “hate it”.
SGU is different and just getting started!
How do you criticize something without disrespecting it?
@Scott Watson: “Isn’t that to be expected? If you go into a fan site and post hateful messages towards the show the site is dedicated to, then you’re just asking for a response. For example it’s like if you went to Scotland and started insulting the Scottish they wouldn’t take it to kindly.” First, I want to point out again that Gateworld is not an SGU fan site. It’s a Stargate fan site. So we’re not talking about someone going to Scotland and insulting the Scottish. Using the same concept, we’re talking about a Scott insulting the Scottish, which is… Read more »
Your website your rules. Many fans only want to see happy posts and you’ve granted them a safe haven. The forum is practically an echo chamber now anyway and the front page will follow. If it saves your sanity fine, but call it like it is.
You need to define what is hate and what is critique. As you’ve seen, there are oversensitive people like Brian Smith’s mom who think that any critique is a slam against the show. Do you really want to cater to them?
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’m sick and tired of all the SGU-hate. There’s a line that is drawn between making creative criticism of a show and out right hatred and disrespect for the people that create it. Every single news story about SGU has a least a handful of posts that are the latter. Sometimes even against the people that like the show. And really, this is your site, Darren and you can have whatever rules you want. Thank you for putting your foot down.
Darren and GateWorld Staff, I agree with this approach. Some people that have their minds set to ANY opposition of their views can be very stubborn and unable to understand the opposite point of view. I haven’t had to deal with anything on this scale, but I’ve worked in retail and sometimes without knowing exactly what the details are people will affirm their logic over and over despite any amount of kind words to clarify it. While I am not a fan of SGU, I am a Stargate fan. I have enjoyed most episodes. I do not need to have… Read more »
Vladius, good question.
The problem lies really in the loosely defined statements.
What is allowed and what isnt?
Bashing a show is not ok, but bashing fans that criticize it is? Calling the “haters” dumb by “not getting it”, is ok?
If you are setting up the fences all around us, at least tell us what “respectful” means.
Wow, I have been reading gateworld for many years and was unaware how bad things had gotten. I’m sorry to hear it has come to this, but from what it sounds like, it’s the best course of action. I had heard there was large unrest about SGU. I for one love what I have seen of the show, it’s brought fresh air to the franchise for me. I love both SG1 and SGA for what they are, but SGU feels deeper, grippier than the previous series, there something more balanced about it. As a suggestion, do you have any thoughts… Read more »
I’ve posted on here a few times and mostly it was in response to people hating on SGU and would of liked to post more but most of the time was not in the mood to get into an all out argument with ppl everytime i said something i liked about SGU and how every good thing about SGU brought out haters who would jump all over it. I’ll definitly be posting more now as i can feel like i won’t have to go to war in defence of everything i say. Thanks