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Fighing Rude Union of Argumentive people
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I mentioned a few times about the Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption forum (FRUA). It's a good site for getting information, but like most forums contains a lot of trash too. More often than not when things don't go very well in someone's adoption that person will post looking for the community to provide what good communities do...support and empathy. And most of the stories posted there are not happy ones. As a result it's important if you are new to the wonderful world of international adoption that you take what you read there with a grain of salt. So I stay completely away from the horror stories of FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) because I do my own research on that one and (contrary to my normal cynicism of the medical community) believe most of what the international adoption doctors say about the subject.

And so several months ago I started to only look at the forum if Stef found something interesting and wanted me to take a look. However, during the times of hot rumors I did check it often just to see what other people had heard. Or I do like to check out some good controversial topic, like circumcision. Those babies are usually great for entertainment. But let me point out that there is a very big difference between a heated argument and (what always seems to follow on FRUA) personal attacks. And the latter is another reason I don't read that forum too often and rarely if ever post. And when I do, I post under Stef's account.

Why Stef's? Because I was so disgusted with the personal attacks and such sordid personal criticism against posters that I closed down my account many months ago. Some of the problems, I think, are because of the admin. A forum like that needs a calm very impartial hand (in other words, not me). And regrettably the FRUA Admin is pretty weak in that area. I'm really shocked by his brutal attacks against anyone who contradicts or corrects his own posts. I guess that's why FRUA is such a rough place. When you have leadership or at least moderator/adim folks handling themselves without decorum you're in essence saying it's okay for everyone else do to it too.

Recently the admin allowed a direct personal attack thread to exist for a couple of days, it even had as a title the name of the user being attacked!!! It should have been taken down immediately and the person who started it banned or put on suspension. Keep in mind I actually disagree with most of what the person who was being attacked says on FRUA. But just because I disagree with this person does not mean they deserve to be attacked.

What a disgrace. But I suppose when around us the greatest nation in the world, the one which stands for freedom and liberty is trying to change the Geneva Convention so that we can carry on torturing people what do you expect from it's average citizens. It's sad that most Americans would have made great Nazis. Try to at least do something right for the future of the world and raise your kids to strive for peace and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Yes, the Dark Side may be powerful but mean people suck and being nice is actually pretty easy to do.
posted by Steveg @ 11:45 AM  
  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Tricia said…

    I never got into FRUA. I kept forgetting my password. But I do check the Russian_Adoption yahoo board. I loved the message board at first because I knew nothing but after the fourth round of SAHM vs working mom... I can skip it!

  • At 12:59 PM, Blogger JennStar said…

    I'm right there with you- I rarely check it because I feel like I have to weed through the garbage to get to the good stuff that almost always makes it's way to a blog that I read anyway; so I leave it to my blog friends to bring me the news that I need to read. I'm a scrapbooker and I have left scrapbooking sites that allow similar one-sided ignorance and down-right meanness to take place- and it's only SCRAPBOOKING for Pete's sake! LOL!
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, convenient that you closed your account and now HAVE to use Stef's! LOL!! Sounds like something my DH would do!! hehe

  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger Debbie said…

    I recently allowed myself to be sucked into the drama of one of those threads (not the one you mentioned). It's terrible to see who people treat other people on when we all have such a huge thing in common.
    I try to only look for the newsworthy stuff.

  • At 6:16 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    The FRUA forum has long suffered from this type of malaise. But it is also the busiest forum on the Internet for EE adoptions. Things that get started there can spiral out of control far faster than they do on other forums that don't have as many readers or posts in a day.

    I grieve the loss of decorum every time it happens. I think it drives people with thinner skin away from the bounty of help that can be found there as well, since the loudest voice gets the most attention. However, despite the mess, I personally refuse to believe that the FRUA forum should be ignored or avoided on the account of the failings of its members or admin.

    A forum is only as good (or bad) as its active posters. Just as a forum's tone can be set by argumentative people, I believe that can also be overcome by those who post with grace, tact, and responsibility. So, I guess I'll just keep posting good stuff and continue to encourage others to do so, as well.

  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Jenni said…

    I also became tired of reading the FRUA boards because of the mean-spirited attacks which seem to occur all too often there. I have found some great information on those boards, and there are some posters whose opinion I respect. But most of it you do have to take with a grain of salt. I only check now when there is something specific I want to know more about, and I feel prepared to wade through all the muck.

  • At 7:53 PM, Blogger Cristina Warner said…

    Forums/boards are a great place to imagine the worst case scenario. Some days I felt it was worth picking through the garbage for some good information. By the time I was between trips 1 and 2, I decided that I was going to trust my own instincts and frequent the boards less often. Mostly, because I came to the conclusion most of people on these boards had little else going for them than posting on the boards (hence, their personal attacks against others, especially newbies) and mostly wanted company for their misery. At adoption.forums.com, the moderator was active and generally made sure people were held to a standard.

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger M- said…

    I still read FRUA, but don't post very often. It is great for keeping up on the latest accreditation wise...but much of the rest, is for the dogs.

  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger The Martins said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger The Martins said…

    Thank's for pointing out that forums can be negative. I liked your adagae on your Yahoo board when you said "mean people suck."

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I'm Steve and this is my wife Stefanie. This is our story, mostly seen through my eyes, of the journey to create our family by adopting a child from Russia.

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