For more than 15 years, we here at BroadwayWorld have been committed to sharing our love of theatre through our unmatched global coverage of the arts in over 150 cities worldwide through news, reviews, video and photo coverage, and our message boards.While the boards are home to a tremendous amount of valuable information and insightful discussion; ranging from the issues facing the theatre community to discovering new talent; as is evident in all corners of the internet everyday, there will always be some individuals that go out of their way to abuse the good-faith nature of conversations.While all individuals (posters and moderators) will have a slightly different opinion as to where a specific line of appropriateness is, our philosophy has always been to encourage users to tread on the constructive side, in the hopes that the BWW message boards will continue to be a special and unique place for theatre-lovers to congregate, learn, and debate.Our team monitors all posts throughout the day in order to combat system-abuse and rules violations. For those who violate our well-established rules in the process of posting in good-faith, we notify them as to why posts have been removed, and answer questions as to how to avoid those situations in the future. Now, as there are on all online forums, BWW has had its share of individuals who purposely post negative comments that go far beyond critical opinions.While we always have and always will value the varied opinions of message board posters, when those opinions turn into trolling - either by out-and-out vitriol or by belaboring one specific negative point - it not only crosses the line of appropriateness, but also stymies the otherwise constructive conversation that the other users desire to have.Over the past two years, we have implemented new systems to help us manage the ever-growing number of users and posts, but, as anyone who has been online in the past two years knows all too well, the nature of the internet affords individuals the ability to be rude, vicious, and (in some cases) vile. As the internet has changed, we have tried to change with it. In some cases, we have been ahead of the curve, and in others, we have been unfortunately behind it.There have undoubtedly been times in which we have not lived up to the expectations that our users have for us; or frankly, that we have for ourselves. There have been times that we have missed posts that violate our rules, either because different moderators had different perspectives on what did and didn't cross the line, or because the entire context of the discussion was lost in how we moderate.To continue to improve and refine our efforts to manage the boards, this week we have increased the number of staff members required to clear a post through our moderation system, and have added another staff member to our moderator team. As well, we have added required Facebook verification to restore services for suspended users, and to confirm that they do not have multiple identities on the board in an effort to subvert our systems and continue to troll threads, performers, and other users. We're currently investigating other user-verification methods for those without Facebook in order to further cut down on trolls. We are also verifying all new users to the boards.As members of the Broadway community, we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that the message boards are a safe and respectful place for all of the community members, fans and artists alike. While we admittedly have fallen short of that at times, we are always attempting to do better and to meet the expectations that the community as a whole strives towards.In the ever-changing landscape of online discussion, we're committed to continue improving and welcome feedback on how we're doing and where we can do better.To share your thoughts, let us know here, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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