Snarkiness on Ravelry

I’ve been on Ravelry for a couple years and have not participated much in the forums (who needs ravelry forums when we have KH :happydance: ). But for some reason this summer I have gotten involved in some of the groups.

There are some great groups for specific “stuff” (mittens, fair isle, dale of norway etc) and I’ve gotten some wonderful information and ideas from the.

But I’ve noticed that on some of “general” forums that people can be REALLY Snarky, I mean [B]REALLY [/B]judgemental and critical. I wondered why that was.

Here and on other forums I am on we don’t always agree and occasionally things get a bit heated but GENERALLY we are respectful and kind. On Ravelry I’ve seen people get torn to shreds for posting an opinion or thought others don’t agree with.

Is it the volume of people involved? It certainly isn’t lack of Moderators. I’ve been trying to stay away from the non-knitting threads because I usually end up stressed over it.

Anyone else noticed that it’s not always a kind and gentle place? I’m not intending this as a Ravelry bash (I love Ravelry), just thoughts on why some forums are kinder than others.

I think it’s a lot to do with the sheer numbers. Then there’s some people who just like to disagree with other people. Most of the ones I read don’t generally get too bad. If someone posts a snide or negative remark, others will generally take them to task for it and often the OP apologizes. It’s hard to judge tone with just words, and rav’s interface doesn’t allow for emoticons, which can help.

I’ve noticed this problem with a lot of forums that have a large member base. I think some people feel less inhibited in the forums where there is a large member base and significant amount of posters because there is a degree of anonymity and the feeling that they can say what they want without repercussion in the “real world”.

Then, there are those people who seem to live off conflict. And, what better way to be involved with conflict than in a public forum where there are hundreds, if not thousands of varying opinions.

There are also people who seem to not have a firm grasp on language and/or an inability to correctly put into words their opinion/s.

And, of course, there are people who are just mean. I was a member of a forum years ago for stay at home moms…Man, the rudeness on that forum! I quit going. It turned into nothing but battles between stay at home moms and working moms, moms criticizing other moms over their methods of child raising, women bad mouthing other women because of the clothes they wore (“they shouldn’t dress like that, they’re moms!”). It was terrible.

After years of spending little bits of time on various forums, there are only 2 I still visit. KH, of course, and a forum a good friend of mine runs and I’m an admin at. At both forums, the drama isn’t there and there’s a true sense of community and “family”. Of course there are disagreements but the majority of the time we all try to post our opinions in a way that won’t offend another member because of the feeling of “family” that has developed.

One last thing I’ve noticed is it seems the more specialized a forum, the less conflict. The forums that are based on a single common interest, such as KH, seem to be more friendly than general interest forums or forums with many various topics. They seem to lack the bond that common interest forums have.

Anyway, that’s my take on it! :teehee:

Considering the few number of people here compared to Rav and we still have issues occasionally it stands to reason they’d have a lot more problems. Knitting Help is much more user friendly when it comes to sharing our love of knitting and camaraderie. It’s easier for us mods to nip things in the bud before things spiral out of control.

I have only a few groups compared to many people and they tend to be specific rather than general. Like Chic Knits where the designer is involved and can help you out with her patterns.

I think the main forums on there are really argumentative. Even for a simple question such as asking for an opinion I’ve had people hit disagree without commenting, which is confusing as it wasn’t an appropriate response. I can’t remember what the question was, but something like: “do you think this would look better in blue or green?”. I think there are plenty of trolls out there to cause hassle. In the groups I’ve joined there haven’t been any issues, and sometimes when I’ve read something to be offensive I’ve gone away and thought about the context in which it was posted and realised I had misinterpreted the response.

I know what you mean. When I first joined Ravelry, I got my feelings hurt so bad that I almost left, but then I decided not to deprive myself of a wonderful source of information, patterns, and interesting tips, just because of a few hateful people. I just had to amend how I used ravelry, learn which groups seem to be the most welcoming, and not post if a thread gets heated. Since then, I haven’t had any problems. I figure if someone just wants to be nasty, I feel sorry for them.

I really dislike the buttons on the bottom of the posts on Ravelry and other forums. ESPECIALLY the “disagree” button, it’s to vague and frequently misused. It seems that sometimes people use it just to be mean. I was much happier when I learned how to TURN IT OFF!

I agree that sheer numbers makes it easier for people to be cranky but it still takes me by surprise when someone posts something looking for support and they get torn to bits. It’s like the only place some can flex their muscle is the internet!

You can turn it off? :??

I think that the whole internet allows people to say things, hurtful or otherwise, with complete annonymity. I’ve had some really terrible things said to me online that people wouldn’t say to my face. :shrug:


Go to the forum page, on the far right is a tab that says “rearrange”, click on that. It allows you to rearrange the order in which the forums show up on your page.

If you scroll all the way down to he bottom of the page it has the “buttons” listed, by unchecking any of the buttons you don’t want displayed it removes them from [U]your[/U] screen. OTHERS will still see the buttons they chose to see and can hit disagree on your posts. But, the buttons you uncheck do not show when YOU are on the page.

I unchecked the “disagree” button as soon as I realized that it is often used in a passive aggresive way. Other can still disagree but I don’t have to know about it.

I call it living in disagreeable oblivion:teehee: The only way I know if someone disagrees with me is if they take the time to explaon why they disagree, which I find a much better way.

I have been torn to shreds there personally - and not for much at all. On two occassions, someone got ahold of my blog posts. The ppl who linked to them actually thought they were funny & had good advice (one was about you know you’re a knitter when… and the other advice to LYS to keep local business - which I prefaced with how much I’d rather support my LYS). I didn’t even post anything and WAM! I got all sorts of horrid insults and meanness. KH is at least respectful. Sure ppl disagree here, but ppl aren’t insulting you as a person because they disagree. Hate that ppl feel the need to be rude and mean. Didn’t their mothers ever teach them that if you can’t say anything nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all?

I am the administrator and a mod for ‘Moving Beyond Rectangles’ - a group for newbies and advanced beginners. I do not allow snarkiness there. I don’t care how many times a question is asked. It’s important to the poster. I believe in treating everyone the way you’d want to be treated.

Ginny I agree with you and I have a theory. Here on KH sometimes we get into heated discussions and that’s to be expected…heck even in Bible study forums of people with like beliefs as myself we sometimes get pretty heated! The difference between here and Ravelry though is that we are UNITED here in knitting and crocheting, and on Ravelry fragmented into different groupings. Here we make peace, there we go to pieces…:teehee:

Which is why Ravelry is great for finding patterns and all, but KH still rocks!!!

Additionally, there are those on Ravelry who stalk others so they can either remark (if they have the courage) to a post they disagree with, or just mark the “funny” button on serious discussions. :hmm: Not cool! I don’t mind people not agreeing with me, it makes for better conversation…as long as everyone keeps it cordial.

I agree with you. In fact, I was hoping someone might bring this up at some point. I have been very discouraged by the attitude and lack of respect many of the members have for each other on Ravelry. I stopped even reading most of the postings because they only make me feel like I don’t want to be on there anymore. I came back to KH exclusively the last three weeks and don’t feel that bad feeling at all that I would get when on the forums on Ravelry. They do have some good info and patterns, etc. but I can get most of that on this website. I am a slow knitter and don’t need alot of different things to work on.


We are family. . . all my fellow knitters and me. . .

:roflhard: Ditto…mmmmm, now, where’s that agree buttonm:teehee: :rofl:

I call it living in disagreeable oblivion

That’s great! Why is it that people think they have to state their opinion on everything?

Actually maybe I should call it AGREEABLE oblivion, since my disagree is turned off I can just assume everyone AGREES with me:roflhard:

I think I’ll start a “turn off the disagee” movement on Ravelry… it would make it a much nicer place.

I belong to a forum here in Houston that has thousands of members and doesn’t have the level of snarkiness that you can find on Ravelry. The thing that bothers me the most is how one person will do something to be mean, or make fun of a person who has commented, and several others will join in and do the same thing. To me, Ravelry goes beyond your average snarky, and can be very clique-ish.

The disagree button drives me insane too. There are times when it is totally innapropriate like when someone asks a question and it makes me think, “what are these ppl disagreeing with?”

The other thing is that the threads can get sooooooooo off topic. I have come across technical threads that I am interested in, and instead I am reading a bunch of crapola by haters who have posted their petty arguments or disagreements about stuff that has nothing to do with the OP’s post. As an admin of a couple of forums in my area, I would not even allow it because it really screws up the search feature of a forum. If a thread gets off-topic with several posts, I split the thread so that ppl can still read about the original topic. Sometimes I think the admin and mods over there could do more to try and keep certain sections relevent.

I do like the groups though. I am on the teacher forum and enjoy it, along with a few other groups where we have common interests and ppl generally get along. What kills me though are guests that aren’t members of our groups that post some snarky thing and don’t even look back to see other people’s response. It is so easy to join a group that you have interest in, I don’t know why ppl can post without even belonging. I feel like if onlookers had to join to comment, it would cut down on some of this stalker-hater type activity on groups.

I have actually had fellow knitters tell me that they don’t post there anymore b/c some other member that they had a disagreement with started stalking them on the forum, and taking every oppurtunity they could to attack this member, even in the groups they belonged to, and others joined in the activity.

It is a useful site, but I do think it could use a little more policing in the tech sections, and if one sticks to just their groups and using it as a resource for patterns and stash, it is okay. I often avoid the general sections b/c they can be quite scary with the levels of mean-ness.

Sorry for cutting up your post but just wanted to comment on a couple things you mentioned.
I have absolutley seen posters “stalk” others for the sole purpose of stirring up difficulty. There are some people who show up on multiple threads with really nasty comments ALL THE TIME. I can only assume they are very unhappy people.

I have seen (in my limited time on the genral forums) a definate “pack” mentality. It seems that as soon as one person goes in for the kill others soon follow suit. I am amazed at the level of disrespect practiced. I would NEVER post anything personal on Ravelry, I have seen people starting threads loooking for a little support and ending up being told they are the worst person in the world. I could post that my dog died and end up being made to feel it was my fault.

I have decided to stick with the “technical” or knitting groups and stay away from the General forums. I have been trying to figure out how to remove “Remnants” from my forum page (I don’t even want to be tempted to be drawn into those discussions) but haven’t figured it out yet.

Which forum is that? I’m in Houston too.