Update on the MA FB Group

I know a lot of you are very upset at having been removed off the group this week. I need to explain what happened and why this happened. The group had grown to 1,600 plus members, and removing that amount is taking days. I am still working on it in spurts now. There is a 3 click process to remove each individual. I sat up the first night till 8 am the following morning, laboriously clicking away. If you do the math, this is going to take and is taking a lot of valuable time!  But, some of you have a different facebook name to your member details here and that confuses the issue for me. There are regular names I know –  that have been on the group for quite sometime. It is really hard to remember who is a member there and a member here! To check each one of you, would take forever (as it is already)…flitting between the two sites and checking long lists for each. So I really do apologise if you got deleted. You were not meant to. There was nothing personal about it.

However, if you would like to be reinstated, I now do need you to reapply. And again, I apologise for this inconvenience. I have learned this evening that one member does not want back in (because of my ‘rants’ there) and that’s fine too, as it is a choice that we each individually have.

There are a few more issues I would like to cover here, about the group there. I’ve had a lot of time to think about this and really look at the value that Facebook actually gave to Madeira Active.

You will have read this point I am about to repeat, if you have seen the nasty posts out there now circulating the other groups.  The hot topic of the controlling Samantha Cox and Madeira Active has become a controversial debate amongst some very unpleasant people. All of which are not made by members here!

As you all know, because you are here supporting the aim of Madeira Active, is that the community is not about Facebook. That this social media portal was always used and intended to be a conduit or advertisement with which to bring awareness of what we actually are about. A friendly community of living breathing real people with faces you actually get to meet. And that is through, the monthly dinners, the coffee drop in’s, the meetings on various helpful subjects such as AL, Buddy Club and Brexit. You also have me behind the scenes at your disposal for help, advice, information etc….when you need it.

And the great thing about the Facebook group was that a different kind of community grew there. I know several members came through that group to belong to this one, and that is what it was there for! It was a very successful group made up of regular contributors that did bring value to  the virtual presence of MA. But for me, it comes with its problems, and behind what you see on the wall and in the posts. And if we have any admins here to large groups elsewhere, will know exactly what I am about to say next.

As I already mentioned in my message a few days ago, I had neglected updating this website. This has been a balance problem, I had not managed to get on top of…. because of Facebook! I have always welcomed the private messages where people have come to me to ask particular questions and if I know the answer am more than happy to dialogue, give the answer or direct it to a place or person with better knowledge. And as the group grew, so did the private messages. It takes up time, some mental energy and for the most part I have enjoyed that process. But then, one does get the odd ‘nasty’ filter through; some form of criticism for something that has upset someone in a post or comment and comes running to me, like going to the head mistress. So I spend time, and I did try and filter the content there to keep everyone happy. I did ‘lose’ it before Christmas and went into a self annihilation mode as the pressure from the group became negative and intolerable. At that time I was also going through some unpleasant personal issues. I am human…….and what sparked that off, was a few facebook members pressuring me very heavily to allow advertising on the group. When I said no (and I think one of the successful aspects of the group was the lack of consistent plugs of products, events, and advertising that would have spammed the wall)…a few attacked me, questioning my logic behind the rebuttal and resulted in some rather unpleasant name calling of me. The same happens when I delete a trouble maker off the group….I get verbally attacked and personally and professionally vilified on other groups (which is happening all over again, now).

I will add to this, with what I now think of as a funny story, even though it wasn’t at the time or again, a few weeks ago. We had a member on the group who had a habit of being condescending and unpleasant toward other members. He got a warning, he then got muted (and went spastic at me for doing that) until eventually he was removed. Not only did I receive a very nasty and vicious email at his disgust at me for removing him, and how dare I, that he engaged two of his personal friends to further support him and for days I received nasty threats…that I would get beaten up by them if I was seen walking around Funchal. That they hope I die. They will open a group and take all the people I have in mine to theirs…my response. Go ahead! And of course no group got opened. But that man and his ugly self popped up in a group a few weeks ago, with a full scale attack personally at me for something I had commented on…and the friends joined in. Within minutes I was portrayed as an ignorant English woman that had no interest in learning the language or integrating into the community. I was perceived as the English form of Hitler and that my aim in Madeira was to turn the island into a mini Britain. It is just constant…abuse.

So, you see running a group aint all that fun, especially when it grows. And with that comes more trouble. One cannot keep everyone happy all of the time. You don’t see it behind the scenes, only what you see in the posts and ‘that there’ has lately become bad enough! I am not good at filtering the rubbish I get. I take things to heart very easily. And yes, as I said, I am human too.

So, you are asking yourself, she’s rambled on again, what is her point?

I needed to strip the FB group back to its core members to give it a clean slate. It was that or pack the whole brand up and ditch it in the bin.

WHY? Because since our lives have all changed with Covid 19, people have as well. And the group was becoming a nasty and ugly place of assassinating other people’s view points, controversy and unpleasantness. I got right in the middle of it before I saw what was happening. It was no longer a safe space and much harder to bring back control and value.

I have had to deal with a lot of criticism as well over taking this action, that has displeased so many. But I ask you all to trust me. Sit back, watch. 

In the last few days people have gone into a meltdown over being evicted. New groups have popped up and people have flocked to join them. I have already seen some new ones already having negativity…and I am sitting back, watching that, as now those new admins will be subjected over a period of time to the same problems I have had to deal with. Some of you (and thank you for your support) have bought a membership to stay.

The group will be very quiet, as it is reserved exclusively for your use. I know some of you have joined the other new ones and that’s great, go enjoy them. But when it all gets too much, you always have a home to come back, to a place that is safe from the trolls and a place where you know you can be amongst friends.  And more importantly a place where I promise not to kick off on, because some bastard has taken me to task over something trivial!

Let’s get through the next few months and see where this goes. If you want more interaction on the MA group, I am more than happy to open the door again, later on.

This move has been as much about keeping my sanity as it is for yours. I have spent a lot of time analysing this radical change and hope that in the long term you will see the benefit of doing this.






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