I have arrived at a realisation. It is depressing, indeed. After reporting a racist comment in the forums, I thought, angrily, that that post was the only one out of many great posts. I'm kind of ignorant myself, especially when it comes to travel. But I expected more from a website which I thought was about travelling the world, opening your eyes, becoming tolerant and learning to love all cultures and people around you. I thought that if a website could promote such a wonderful, beautiful thing, then it must be filled with like-minded people.
However, I have discovered that Travellerspoint members these days are not getting the point. Despite being such a well-travelled group of people, too many of you are displaying thick-headedness of unparalleled proportions: it goes in one ear and out the other, or it doesn't seem to penetrate at all (these travel experiences, I mean). Be ashamed of yourselves. Today, I came across bigotted post after bigotted post. It appalled me. It disgusted me. It angered me.
As of now, I have no desire to remain a part of such ignorance. Lonely Planet is now my bastion. It may be big. There may be the lorries of posters on the so-called information highway, people who post hundreds of posts a day and their name is on everything. There may be a few ignoramuses, even like myself. But the vast majority are respectful human beings, human beings of which I would not mind getting advice from, human beings of which I would not even mind shooting the proverbial breeze with. At least garbage doesn't spew out of their mouths. Most of the time.
I enjoyed the friendliness of this website in the beginning. I loved how even if you totally put your foot in your mouth, patient people would simply gently correct you. Really, it was like this. I wanted to travel so that I could blog, so that I could post photos, so that I could help others. Thank you to these who have been patient with me, who have helped me, who have given me great advice for travel.
To the rest, good riddance. You-all need help.
I'm very sorry to see you leave. On a forum like this, where most people only focus on the few subjects where they have meaningful contributions to make, it can be pretty hard to get to know the other regular contributors. And so I only know a tiny little bit about you. But from what I've seen, I really liked your presence here on the forums, and the spirit you showed in your writings. (I particularly liked the way you wrote your accommodation reviews, which I looked at after helping you edit them; found them useful too, as I'm currently travelling through Scotland myself.)
I hope the lonely planet forums will be a welcome home to you. Thank you for all the contributions you've made to this place.
For those of us who remain, it would be enlightening if you could specify which thread(s) show the comments you're referring to, though. I don't read 90% of the threads posted here, simply because I have no knowledge on the questions being asked in those threads, so it's easy to miss things. Additionally, I suffer from the privilege of being a white male, and so have a much harder time seeing sexism, racism, etc. But if it's bad to such a degree that you feel leaving is the only action you can take - that it's useless to even begin opening a discussion about it - I'd suspect I could actually recognize it, and would try to take action. It's a long and hard process to change attitudes, but some things simply aren't okay, and I'd rather spend that effort than to see other people leave because of the same reason. (Plus, y'know, derogatory and harassing comments are against the terms & conditions, and I'm pretty certain that Sam & Peter don't want this forum to contain posts such as you describe even beyond that.)
I agree with Sander on two things:
- I too am sorry you have decided to leave TP behind for LP. I do believe over time, you will encounter some of the same types of comments there as you describe you've read here. I have enjoyed your posts and will miss your contributions. I do hope you reconsider your decision.
- I believe Admin and all of the moderators would be appreciative if they had more information about the posts/comments which have angered you. The best action is to contact the appropriate moderators for the particular forums and point them to the offending comments. We can't resolve or remove something that we may have missed.
Thank you for the time you have been on TP and again, we hope you will reconsider.
Thorn Tree (Lonely Planet) is terribly open and accepts much harsher comments to stay posted than what T/P does.
I really don't think you'll achieve anything by doing the 'Switch' except maybe become even more offended by the openness on T.T.
Good luck though.
Like the others I'm sad to see this post. I actually saw it last night before going to bed, but found it too depressing to deal with right before going to sleep. Posts like these make me sad As you know, you were one of the very first members of Travellerspoint (member number 2999 to be exact), and I've enjoyed seeing your posts on the forum throughout the years. I know TP has changed throughout the years, but personally I don't see it as having gotten any 'worse'. Sure, with more members come more opinions, and there have been a few rotten apples in the mix that just tried to stir up emotions and reactions from the other members, but in general I think everyone is very friendly and helpful, especially compared to other forums... and one thing I really like is the differing opinions you will find on a travel forum. That's natural as we all come from different backgrounds, cultures and are influenced differently. I don't think travelling makes us more similar, but rather that it makes each of us more unique, while making us more capable of dealing with those differences. In other words, I am much more accepting of others opinions and cultures because of my travels, even if they are very different than my own.
I do hope you'll share some light on which posts especially caused this reaction, so that we can have a closer look at them again. You can of course always PM Peter or myself; we tend to be around