Dear mods and admins,
... here are my points:
I'll take these in turn in the order you posted them.
I felt cheated, after you raised funds for the first time specifically to cover forum costs, you suddenly wanted to donate the excess money to charity, which was a break of the contract. By the way, the loudest proponents of this idea didn’t donate a single cent! In the end you didn’t let the non-productive members decide what should be done with my hard earned money, so we’re even here. It did however cost me a lot of nerves to even discuss such obvious topics with all these SJWs, to whom you gave enough fuel in the first place.
I'm sorry you felt this way, and we certainly weren't aware of any such feelings at the time we discussed the surplus funds. In actuality, although we loosely settled on charitable donation as the end result, it was never firmly defined what charity or cause would receive our donation, and it was soon after that the first incident involving access to our funds occurred, and no donation was made because of these eventualities.
I can understand why it might seem duplicitous to accept donations for one cause and then not use those funds for that cause. That sort of practice would give me pause to consider whether my donation is deserved or not too, and I totally get where you're coming from with this sentiment. On the other
hand, the excess balance sitting in our account was the direct cause
of our issues with PayPal, and not
using the funds caused us some serious issues - including all our recurring donations being cancelled as I mention in post 1 in this thread.
It is obviously not the intention of myself or any other representative of Orbiter Forum to collect donated funds for the express purpose of anything other than covering our reasonable software costs. As of this moment I don't have any plans to donate any excess funds anywhere else, and I'm not aware of any similar plan among the other senior staff members.
2) The case of the mathematician Keith from Hong Kong:
Keith, having posted many mathematical derivations and ideas, decided to delete all of his posts for an unknown reason. Your hypothesis – he got annoyed by one or more members. My hypothesis – he could have been persecuted by the Chinese government. Whoever is right on this one, I think it is his choice whether he wants to keep his posts or not. Your argumentation was, that as soon as he posts something on the O-F, it becomes the property of O-F (sic!) So are you a non-profit organization, or do you collect value in form of posts’ content as a forum asset, assuming it’s yours to take?
Keith's case was not unique in that periodically members will approach the forum staff asking for their posts to be removed from the forum. In the interests of preserving an archive of a conversation, we generally decline to delete content our members have submitted to the board, because looking back on old threads with posts deleted from them is quite confusing and it limits our ability to provide a community of helpful conversation and advice from our members.
Should someone prefer instead to disassociate themselves with content they've posted to the forum, we can assign their posts to a "Joe Bloggs" (for the Americans: this is the British equivalent of John Doe) user, which preserves the content
but removes your association with it.
I can't comment on what this particular user decided to do or any conversations between them and forum staff, but the evidence of the end result is plain, and it's not the outcome we'd have preferred.
3) Last time I offered on the forum, on a similar occasion, democracy weighted by the sum of given person’s donation, my post was deleted and I was accused of flame baiting. Quite an accusation for just offering an alternative, that you’re just not accustomed with. In one of my apartments I have more voting power from the neighbor below me, just because I have slightly thinner walls, giving way for more area to pay for, thus more voting power, and everybody has to accept it.
The weighted democracy would have helped the community to get rid of major jerks, or at least peel their nails, before the normal people (including donators) left your forum for good. Your choice, but if you want play with the toys only by yourself, I won’t spend my family’s funds to buy them for you.
I may be reading too much into this here, but the scenario you're outlining sounds like a "the more you pay, the more you can dictate how the forum should be" kind of setup, which we take great pains to avoid. Benefits of donation do exist, but they don't give you more say in forum decisions, nor do they make people exempt from moderation activities. We really do try very hard to keep the forum equal
for all our members, whether they choose to donate to us or not.
Enclosing here, it should also be valued, that you guys do donate your precious time into the forum, to keep it running by updating it and fighting off spam.
We do try.
I propose you to add that cherry on top of this service and try to lay tracks for solutions to come, instead of just pushing the train without tracks underneath.
I'm not sure what this meant?