Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

In the last week, there have been 8-10 members that have been complaining about each other.  I have removed a couple people from the site, but most of the comments presented seem pretty benign to me.

When I created this site, I had no idea what it would become.  I quickly learned how little I knew about Irish Setters even though I had owned them for 15 years.  I am not a breeder, don't do shows, don't do agility, don't do hunting or field, usually get rescues (exception being my current ones).  I think all of the above are great, I just don't know anything about them nor do I really care to.  It's obvious these are topics that people on this site are passionate about, and that's great, there just not for me.

As I have mentioned before, I left this site because people were rude to me.  There's at least 1 of the 8-10 members that were one of the ones who ran me off so I can understand the complaints against this peson.

It seems like some of these discussion topics are like politics, you aren't going to change people's minds, so why try to?

Have been pondering some options:

A. Ban the other 8-10 members

B. Leave the site as is

C. Remove the discussion forum altogether

D. Transition ownership and moderation to someone else (note annual costs on the site are around $300 USD and those would transfer as well)

E. Ban any discussions on breeding, health issues, or other controversial topics

F. Shut down the site altogether (really don't want to do this)

What are some other ideas?

I want to get feedback on other ideas and then you are going to vote as a community.  Please reply with any suggestions, then will create another thread to vote later this week.



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I have only just seen this discussion so sorry if I haven't read all the comments and speak out of 'kilter' with everything that is now being said...that said....

Hi there Gene

As one on the first few people on this site I do not come on here very often now....because of peoples attitudes towards me and others...and I thank you for soughing it all out for me...but it did leave a ''bad taste'' so my answer was to stay away mostly but this is my loss...

I feel that the discussions are useful (on the whole) health is very important...this breed does have health problems, not that many but they are there....(they are living beings and health is, as in all living animals, very different from one animal to another) and there are many of us here that have kept these beautiful dogs for many years...(myself over 40) so we have a wealth of knowledge, and most of us are willing to help others, especially people that are new to the breed, but this often comes with a problem...some people just can't take others opinions, or speaking their minds at all. There must be a way of stopping people being so very nasty to each other.. politeness doesn't cost anything..and we all have our own opinions...and there should be give and take...lets face it one person maybe doesn't know everything (me I can't warrant killing other animals just to see my animal 'working') but others love this kind of thing...that is their opinion and they are welcome to it...but I don't have to get 'nasty' with them...if I don't like it, I will just not comment on their words...walk away...

Perhaps it would be worth while if the person that put the comment on in the first place should 'police' their own discussions. and if it gets off track then THEY  should shut it all down...

But please don't close the site down Gene...most of us here are happy just to look through the wonderful pictures that people put on here, thousands of them, Mostly they are wonderful family 'snapshots' in time of their/our beloved dogs...

Sorry to bang on about things but after all these years on this site I for one, will miss it terribly...

Members being removed from or leaving ES is the failure of us ALL!  It is not up to Gene to ''sort'' things out between us, it is up to ''US''. Stop busting his breeches about other members, or complaining anonymously. Get it out here in the forum so that we can ALL see what is being said, and help to resolve it! Life is not perfect, we are not perfect, therefore ES is not perfect. But it is always better than not having it! What I have said before has been proven. It doesn't matter who or how many leave or are taken off ES, A degree of conflict will always persist, or new conflicts develop. This is entirely natural. We have not grasped the nettle of acceptance that we are different personalities with different opinions. ES is simply a reflection of our human hopes, loves, fears, passions and flaws and frailties. We are undeniably bound by our devotion to our setters!  CAN WE NOT SEE ANY OF THIS???

Gene, take no more anonymous complaints and no more action against anyone, but let us know your thoughts on what has been spoken by us. Please do not propose anything radical. The only thing that needs fixing is US! 

Thanks again for the feedback.  Here’s an attempt to answer some of your questions:

1. There are only 3 reasons why I have ever banned someone from this site: 1. They are a spammer who snuck through the approval process 2. There have been multiple complaints against the member and I think most every time, the banned member received a pre-ban warning, sometime multiple ones (people who have previously donated to the site have more leeway and get more warnings than those that haven’t donated to the site) 3.  Members who have been rude in emails to me and shouted at me in the email (ALL CAPS).  Every banned member falls into one of these categories.

2. When someone is banned from the site, I believe that all remnants of them are removed from this site.

3. Currently, I am the only one who is moderating the site and the only one who can ban members.  Believe me, I don’t enjoy banning people unless they are a spammer.

4. As Susan stated and I have stated previously, if you are unhappy please feel free to leave the community.  You certainly won’t hurt my feelings and if that is your attitude, our community would probably be better off without you.

5. People are free to question my decisions on who gets the ‘ban hammer’ and who does not.  I will get criticized for who I choose to ban and who I choose not to ban.  People will always be unhappy and complain.  I get that and am fine with that.

6. I am not going to ‘announce’ when someone is banned or why they were banned.  I would assume there would be some level of embarrassment in not being able to ‘play well in the same sand box’ with other adults.  Why have them suffer more embarrassment?  Whether they voluntarily or involuntarily left is irrelevant to the future of the site.   Talking about this is just gossip.

An honest statement that says what it means.

Thanks Gene you run a great site.


Firstly I would like to thank Gene for the time, effort and money he puts into running this site. I'd also like to thank all of the people who share their knowledge, stories and photos on here. I was informed of this site when I started talking to breeders about getting my first Irish Setter and it has been invaluable to me in terms of keeping me entertained while waiting for my puppy to arrive, learning about general setter health and behaviour across the world and becoming more aware of the issues facing our breed. I also love to see the stories and photos of trips, or just day-to-day life, especially from some of the regular posters. I feel like I've got to know you and your dogs even though we've never spoken so thankyou for sharing this part of your lives with me.


I would hate to see the site taken down, and think that removing the discussion forum would reduce the usefulness of the site. Likewise for banning controversial topics.


Banning members can get out of hand, but it sounds like Gene has a fairly reasonable process for this, with multiple warnings before banning people. If the site won't allow temporary suspensions then this is probably the best that can be done. If people are warned then they have the chance to moderate their behaviour so they won’t be removed.


If the time taken with dealing with complaints and moderations becomes onerous for Gene, then we could have additional moderators. These would need to be impartial and fair-minded parties. Not sure how to ensure this, but perhaps the “nominate and vote” option someone else raised would work.

I also like the idea of the person who starts the discussion having some responsibility (or at least capability) to close it if things get out of hand.


The best solution though would just be for everyone to be reasonable and tolerant. Personal attacks should not be aired on here. Disagreements can be voiced, but should be phrased as "I believe . . . " not "You're wrong" or "I can't believe you think that".

Everybody should stop and re-read what they're written before posting it. Check the language and make sure it is not inflammatory. I'm not saying we need to walk on eggshells (the amount of apologies for possible misunderstandings gets out of hand too!), but just make sure that your aim in posting something is to enrich a discussion or share your view, and not to get attention, antagonise people or minimise someone else’s opinion.


There is a point here for those getting offended or being attacked too. I am shocked to see what is written on here sometimes, but I tend to skip over posts from those parties until they get back on topic. It disappoints me and makes me think less of those who resort to personal attacks or accusations. If someone posts something offensive, we all (those attacked included) have the option to simply ignore that comment. Retaliation and/or jumping to people's defences tends to just prolong the situation. I'm not saying you don't have a right to respond to a personal attack, but please consider whether you really need to, or whether most people will just ignore it and prefer to continue discussing the actual topic instead.

Also, we need to have some tolerance. If you think someone has attacked you, try asking them for clarification of their meaning first (again, without using inflammatory or defensive language!) before jumping into a retaliatory strike. I have seen innocuous comments misinterpreted, and generalised opinions taken as personal attacks. Try reading comments with the view of "what harmless intent could this comment have?", rather than "how could this comment be attacking me?"


We are all adults here. Hopefully we can start treating everybody on this site as friends and colleagues, rather than potential adversaries.

The problem with 'other' mediators who have the ultimate veto on everything that is written...is that these people may well have their own agendas....one person...(and sorry its you Gene) is far better....then we all can know that the mediation process is fare....because this site is Gene's and he can have who he wants on this it...ie...he pays the bills then it is up to him....and sorry if that puts too much work on his shoulders but for me it is the fairest way to do it.

I personally also think that we should all be more polite to each other....(I have banged on about this for a good few years now.....) but, again, politeness doesn't cost anything...we need to read what we have written and rewrite if it would cause offence to us, the person who has written it...we must be better at our way of putting things...lets face it we all do not have to agree with each other...that would, quite frankly be really boring if everyone agreed with everything that is written...but we can have 'debates' even heated ones...without being downright rood or nasty to others...please please try and be polite..after all we are supposed to be 'grown ups' not squabbling children in the playground....

Sadly there are too many very nice people who have been removed, people who look out for others 2 of whom I know personallly because of my love for our ISs. Barbara Gladwish being one of them living just 20 mins awayour boys have shared the same kennels and trainers. I don't show or breed but also know Eva C ok a formidable lady and also a well qualified judge and breeder who was wound up by 1 or 2 people on this site they were the ones that should have been removed. I think the difficulty is reading between the lines as to who should go and who should stay. Very difficult when you don't know the contributors personally however the 2 I have mentioned should be invited back to continue to offer their advice and expertise
I have made some really great friends from uk who I have meet and her lovely Irish also a very special person from the united states. I don't contribute to the forum because of a few comments made. Just wish I could send emails again
Don't let others spoil it for everyone
For a few months now I have not been able to send emails to members gene was advised but I have been in Europe working from my iPad which could be the reason just annoying but I will contact gene when I am back on my laptop and see what happens
Don't close the site

Please let me know if you are having problems.

Hi everyone, I am new to this site and quite like it. Already I have made a few friends and been chatting, asking questions and sharing photos. It's great! I don't know if this is of any help but i was a member of a local blog site here in Salt Lake City that discussing local news and has suffered with the same problems. Some folks turn their "edit" button off when they are online and become quite nasty and insulting. The site owners shut it down temprarily and installed a rating scale so others could read a blog and grade the person who wrote it. The scale was a simple "like" or "troll". It only allows one vote per member. If someone gets too many "troll" votes within a certain time frame they were locked out. People have been removed and some have suddenly decided to be polite. As has been said before, we're all in this together. Thanks and I hope the site stays up!

Hi Pat - This is a great idea and have basically been asking Ning for up vote or down vote capabilities for a year and a half. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like it is in Ning's near-term plans. This would allow the community to moderate itself.  If someone was a troll, the community would decide to vote them off the island with down votes.  In the mean time, we need to come up with other options.  Any other ideas would be appreciated.




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