Yes, there is now a new forum with the same name “SgTalk”, and a number of ex-SgTalk members have gone there.
So how? You have competition now.
PS: Every Admin of a forum started out by saying that they are fair, they have rules, please respect the rules, do not post fake news, do not shout, be civil, don’t be rude to other members, yadda yadda… In the end, the personal flavour of the Admin gets into the forum to decide how discussions and quarrels go.
Some people got banned (some were banned wrongly), some got away with the same infractions when these were reported to him. Some used the forum as a conduit for their politcial agenda to attack the government, often unfairly, and even c/p fake news and misinformation from anti-government websites. Admin was informed but did nothing about it.
I hope Chalk is not like that. In HWZ, if you are infracted or banned wrongly by a mod, you can appeal, and Admin will look at the case and even reverse it. It had been done before. Mods can make mistakes too. In the old SgTalk, it was a dictatorship. Admin is the sole mod, and has absolute power.
It was never a competition. We naturally gravitate to things we find familiar and conversely, away from things we dislike. I am genuinely glad that there is an alternative now, so no one is forced into accepting lower expectations/wants
In terms of moderation, you nailed the description of what any reasonable forum should enforce nowadays. I value safeguarding the community over everything, so even with low traffic / slow growth our team is contented. Hopefully, like-minded folks appreciate our outlook and join us on the same journey.
If a forum is set up for a very specific reason/purpose such as “Christians forum” or “Buddhism Discussion Forum”, I think the moderation standards have to be absolutory no nonsense. People who join such forums would be well behaved for sure, and the moderator is not likely to have to do much in the area of bad netiquette. Once in a while, a troll might register but such can be easily eliminated by a pban.
So, a moderator for a Christian or Buddhist forum would be highly knowledgeable in the respective subject merely to correct misunderstandings of certain aspects of the teachings.
But forums which have an edmw category are not and in fact cannot be expected to consist of such well behaved members, who start their posts with Greetings in the Name of our Lord or end with Amitabha. There will be a certain amount of messiness, and if you disallow that, I think it will not be able to attract enough members to sustain the cost of hosting the forum, much less to be lucrative, if the intention is for the forum to be a source of income.
The trick is, how much messiness do you want to allow? That is where moderation comes in. Allow too little and it becomes too stifling. Allow too much, and you will run into trouble with the authorities. Knowing how to design a forum does not equate to knowing how to moderate the forum. The demise of SgTalk was a result of an owner who was good at the technical part of designing a forum but flopped in moderating it. He could have hired moderators to help him, but instead chose to be a one man show after a number of moderators left.
What went wrong with SgTalk? Take your pick:
A forum where many CCP supporters were active, many of them using multiple user ids
Many anti-CECA comments were posted based on misinformation, but sometimes based on racism conflating “CECA” with the ethnic group that is Indian.
Articles re-posted lock stock and barrel from The Online Citizen with misinformation trying to bring down the government
Using the forum as a conduit for politcial purposes to bring down the government, so much so that it could well be considered to be a politcial party and should be registered as such.
Anti vaxx articles and posts…plenty! Right in the midst of our war against the pandemic.
The Admin /Owner had been informed again and again but did nothing about it. He did not know how to moderate the forum. He was only good at the technical designing, that’s all. To make it worse, he seemed to be showing favoritism. If he did not like someone, he would ban him for frivolous reasons, but if he liked that person, he would look the other way even though the same “offence” was committed. Or was he afraid that if he banned those offenders, the forum would become like a ghost town because there were not many members anyway. Clones outnumbered active members.