Think of this as an open letter to the G@G administration. I fully accept that the best case scenario is that they will ignore this. I also realize that they may very well modify my words or just remove it completely. That is how far this place has fallen from its former glory. Yes, I realize that I sound like an old man yelling at the kids for walking on my law, but what I have to say needs to be said.
Why do I think I am qualified to tell the administration how to fix this platform? Who I am is a member of this community, I and have been for a very long time. Some of you may know me from my previous account name of “Duckysback” or the one before that “Ismellducky” before those I had the account named “Treestar” yes, all three are references to the 1988 Don Bluth film The Land Before Time. What few of you know is that before those I had an account on here for several years where I was a rather prominent member of the community and an Uber moderator for quite some time. I have watched the platform go from an amazing resource for people looking for help with problems in their personal lives to receive advice from others.
I first came here when I was like 16, dealing with depression, coping with sexual assault, and recovering form anorexia. The community here helped me. They helped me realize that I wasn’t alone and that as real as my problems were, they didn’t have to control my life. The members here helped me come to terms with my own sexuality. They helped me realize that actually craving sexual satisfaction after… well, after what had happened, was okay. This is why I am so irritated by how far this place has fallen. It will always hold a special place in my heart, even if I am as disappointed in it as a mother with an incel son. This was a place where giving good advice was appreciated and rewarded, and giving bad advice or trolling was looked down on. The worst thing about this place back then was the “how do I look” section which was mostly self-conscious teens looking for validation. Even now that bar has been lowered so much they had to rent an excavator to finish the job, and the rest of the site followed.
It was also a time when the administrators would actually interact with the community, talk about upcoming features, run beta tests for features and ask for feedback. And from time to time bring on experts in their own field to answer questions, usually related to sex or relationships.
As I am sure most of you can see this place is now a pretty generic website or app (whichever you use) where people come to say shitty things to each other for their own personal amusement. And yes, I realize that I have become one of them. It is infested with pedophiles, bigots, spammers, catfish, and trolls. And rather than actual address the many problems the administration would rather spend their time making updates to move the “reply” button or expand the number of automatically selected, and completely pointless “Most helpful opinions.” Legitimate questions are so very rarely asked, because they are so very rarely answered in any meaningful way.
Most of the problem users on here can be summarized into a few simple categories
The perverts: usually (but not always) guys who either show pictures of their junk or start aggressively hitting on younger members.
The spammers: The people who try to advertise their business, this is typically women trying to sell pictures of their own (or someone else’s) body.
Repeat offenders: the people who keep asking the same fucking questions over and over and over again despite how many times their accounts are closed. The most obvious example of this is the guy who keeps posting pictures of a purse, shirt, shoes… or whatever and asking if it’s okay for a guy to wear. He typically has two or three separate accounts going at the same time. But there are others as well.
The assholes: The people who post things just to piss other users off, typically politically or racially motivated.
The anonymous troll: You know them, you hate them. They post all the damn time, and say nothing of any value to anyone
The catfish: typically a guy with a pink account asking overly sexual questions and posting overly sexual responses to every question they see.
The moderators: Most of the moderators on here I feel do honestly try to do what they can to promote a healthy environment. But they are held back by restrictions and have minimal feedback from the administration.
The administrators: As mentioned before, they used to be much more active on here. They would ask questions, give advice, and when I was a mod in those early days I had two separate administrators on private accounts keeping in regular contact with me about my duties as a mod. On my last account I was mad a moderator in less than a month by flagging a few dick picks and would repeatedly get automated messages from the administration about how I did something wrong without ever giving me any details about them, or allowing me to explain why I removed the post in question.
I seriously think that by implementing a few changes they can really revitalize this place and bring it back to, if not surpass its former glory.
First and foremost is to fix the Xper system. Many of you may not know that the system used to have a lot of value to it. Predominantly it was a way to reward people for giving good advice by allowing us to spend our points on things. But the only one anyone ever actually bought was the amazon gift card. Here is how to fix it:
How to earn them: Answering questions, asking questions, having your answer liked by the asker, having your answer liked by other members, watching sponsored ad videos. Being awarded MHO, maintaining a high MHO%
Why: This will help keep the Xper points value higher than it would be if the only thing to spend them on was the gift card while keeping anonymous troll posts lower and bring in even more revenue for the sponsors.
What to spend them on: Asking anonymous questions, making anonymous posts, having a post or question removed by a moderator, buying discounted products from sponsors, and yes, the fabled amazon gift card.
Why: This will help give value back to the Xper system, help promote healthy and helpful discussions here, and keep ad revenue up to keep the administrators happy.
That wouldn’t fix all the problems here of course but it would go a long way to helping. The next change that needs to happen is one that has been a problem since even before I came here. The pedophiles. It is astonishing to me that there has never been an effort to actually do anything about them. There isn’t even a way to flag or remove the comments of an adult blatantly sexually harassing a minor on here. First step, add the ability to report a post for “predatory behavior” and allow the moderators to remove such posts. Second step is to actually do something about those people. If they get reported (insert whatever you feel is an appropriate number here) times the account gets closed, no questions asked. If they send someone a dick pic in DMs close the account, if they post a dick pic anywhere at all, close the damn account. It is clearly stated in the site policy that this is a 13+ community, why is there any leniency at all for that behavior?
Another issue is the fact that banning accounts with your current system is clearly inadequate. You need to start doing IP bans, if someone makes multiple accounts to sexually harass children stop letting them back under a new name. If someone has already asked over 100 times if that same stupid leather purse will look good on a guy, stop letting them back on. If a 45 year old woman keeps making new accounts to repeatedly ask “do I look like I am 20?” and then yelling at everyone who tells her the truth, stop letting her come back. (not sure how many of you will even get that one, she hasn’t been back if a few months.)
And finally, dealing with the other problem members, I have already mentioned the perverts, repeat offenders, and anonymous trolls. The spammers would be mostly taken care of with IP bans, the assholes would me more willing to actually communicate if there was a reward involved. And the catfish, honestly don’t bother me. As long as all they are doing is pretending to be someone they aren’t but they aren’t in any of the other categories, I say let them do their thing. Most of them are pretty damn obvious anyways.
Okay, I am getting off my soap box now. I don’t know how many people are actually going to read this, but if you actually did I just want to say “What the hell are you doing reading this? I’m just expressing my own frustration with this bullshit anyways.”