Mooks most of this animosity I believe started because a thread started by wiganwill, "car appreciation" to get talk and photo's of cars out of another thread probably names and faces, or current projects, became Epifania's stomping ground. Being on a cycling forum and not cycling/owning a bike and yet participating fully and freely in the car thread wasn't liked by everyone. So animosity occurred and kept on occurring. Until we got the rolling maul of dislike and petulance you see before you.
Pistanator is a little terrier who won't let go, that is admirable in some cases, and in this case not. He wouldn't let it lie and so he got turned away for it. But this forum was never for the faint of heart. In the great scheme of things that he has said on this issue it was pretty mild but it was the wrong time and the wrong thread.
But it is nice to see those who like him, met him and are friends with him come to his defence publicly rather than privately, whether he deserved it or not. When Pisti rants about the grasses, he rants abut the private/secret reporting/pm's that served to lay the ground work for the final coup de grace. The act of commenting or reporting is private so, with comments only the commenter and the commented on, know what was said, and with reporting only the reporter and velocio know who/what is said. But this does create a certain climate of chinese whispers, finger pointing and he said /she said. What you are now seeing in relation to Pisti's banning is a reaction against that. A desire for the internet version of say it to my face. If you have any issue with what I have written speak to me about it, obviously in this case I'm assuming there was some personal communication and it didn't go that well...Yeah Pisti has to take responsibility, but so does everyone else who pressed the button to report him. Rather than just say velocio had enough, and he got what he deserved.
But the bullying and the name calling, the "bundle" mentality is ingrained in this forum, its what makes it fun and what makes it not fun. When those who don't know or only have a passing knowledge of any situation/issue, jump on with yet another joking reference, or stir the water for their own amusement. Equally they are the ones who if you want to report someone or draw a line in the sand are the ones that need to be pulled into some sort of civil line. But they are not, in this case pisti gets the hammer blow and everyone else gets to move onto something else.
I appreciate the time you've taken to post this Corny - I wish the other people posting here would either follow your example or just piss off if all they're going to do is post pictures of puppies.
One of the things I should point out is that Isabella was an active member on the site (as 'Bellezza') for months before the car appreciation thread started. Be that as it may, there are hundreds of people on here who actively post in threads that aren't cycling related - often restricting themselves only to those threads - and they haven't come in for similar abuse. I personally only tend to post in the photography, coffee, car appreciation and F1 threads - and I haven't experienced the abuse Epifania has. As time's gone on, I've noticed she posted less and less in the cycling-related threads, presumably because of the abuse she was experiencing. The car appreciation thread was clearly a safe haven.
I can tell you for a fact that she does cycle - and has done since she joined the site. It may not be in the commutenger/fakenger way that a lot of people on here generally tend to do, but then, when I first joined I was driving to work, and people didn't seem to see that as a problem. I can refer you to a few members who don't ride to work, as well as another who managed to rack up thousands of posts before even buying a bike... (you know who you are - and you're one of the most active antagonists. Have a word with yourself...)
The reporting/PM-ing/e-mailing I can't really talk about - there have been times when I've reported posts or threads, but am more than willing to be open about it. I haven't been active in months now, but I would have reported Pistanator's post on the 'Guido's' [sic] thread because it was vile and unjustified. I'm glad that others chose to do so. There is no PM-ing or e-mailing behind the scenes - I'm acting of my own accord here because someone is experiencing what I consider to be a level of abuse totally inconsistent with their actions either on or off the forum.
I'm lucky enough to call Isabella a close personal friend. I say 'lucky' because she's the most compassionate, caring, polite and giving person I've ever met. She's quietly supported a lot of people on this forum through some very tough times - myself included - with no thought for herself. She doesn't deserve the treatment she's been getting - and I don't appreciate it when people seem to think it's funny to rip into someone in such an aggressive manner.
I'm all for the banter on the site - it's one of the reasons I liked the place so much when I joined: lots of 'racist', the whole 'WAC' sticker story, the 'HTFU' ethos - it's what set this place apart - but when people started making things personal, and with no justification for it whatsoever, that got my back up. Some of the stuff posted has been vitriolic - I mean really, really nasty. No one deserves that.
I've been calm, considered and rational with my appeal for people to reconsider their actions. I hope you'll do the same in return.