When I joined Etsy awhile back, one of the things I appreciated most about the site was the ease of asking questions, getting and giving help, and striking up conversations and friendships. This happened mainly in the forums. At any time of the day or night, I could drop into the forums, ask a question, and get a quick answer. I might get several opposing quick answers, but at least there was valuable information to be had and exchanged.
Information is my drug of choice!
Since the forum changes, Etsians no longer know what they can and cannot post. Even admin doesn't seem to clear on the new rules. There have been any number of thinly veiled promotions all over Business and Site Help. Some people are working the system, but most seem to have no idea where to go, or what they can say, or how to behave in this New Etsy Order. New people have the door slammed on their questions and concerns, and are told to "go find a team. Any team. Start a team. There's a team." No real information or assistance.
It even reached a point where admin instructed people to email their forum posts to Etsy to see if it might be all right to post them. Because that is quick and efficient. . .
What I find most unsettling is the number of people who are talking about being afraid. "If I post this, will I be muted?" "I started a thread that was closed, and I don't know why. I'm afraid to ask." "I have been muted. If I tell people, will my shop be closed?"
There's a reason why I'm anonymous here, friends.
Etsy has turned from a small town of friendliness into a hostile environment of fear for a lot of people. Some of this fear is quite justified; many have been muted in the past few weeks, shops have been closed in the past after Etsians have spoken out, threads have been closed with disparate warnings. There's a heavy hand with no logic behind it.
And fear brings paranioa. Paranoia brings more fear. How can this be remedied?