For many years, there has been an excellent group on Facebook for sharing information, photos, and data about the Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway. I’ve benefitted from membership in this community in the past – discovering images previously-unknown to me, and learning about the railway I’m attempting to model.
Unfortunately, over the past several months the group has had several issues. It has been targetted with several waves of spam, mainly of the NSFW variety. People who have raised this issue have suggested that the group be taken private – which seems to solve most of those problems on groups that have done so – but that hasn’t been addressed.
More recently, people attempting to post have had their contributions end up in a pending queue and never get approved: What was once a quite active group hasn’t had a new post in almost two months, and I’m sure it’s not for lack of trying.
Sadly, messages to the admin are going unanswered. Since the group is controlled by a single person, there are no moderators who can step up to take over. In short, it appears the old NS&T home on Facebook no longer an active group.
Today, I decided that I don’t want to lose the excellent content that has been collected on that group over the years that it was active. And I want those interested in the NS&T to have a place on Facebook where they can continue the conversation.
To that end, I’ve set up a new NS&T group on Facebook, which can be found here:
NS&T: The Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto Railway
I’ve recruited a couple of moderators (so there’s a team of us to manage membership requests, spam, etc.), and I’ve started to let people know about it. The group can be discovered by searching Facebook, but to help control unwanted spam the group itself is private so only members can see the content and post/comment.
My hope is that all members of the original Facebook group will join this new group. (All the legitimate ones anyway: the bots and spammers can go away.) I also hope as time permits that they’ll start transferring their photos and other information from the old group to the new one, so those interested in the NS&T (whether as historians or modellers) can continue to share their knowledge.
Finally, three more things:
First, the new Facebook group is not a replacement for this site. I’ll continue to post here about the NS&T and other subjects.
Second, I really didn’t want to do this. The original group was a great resource and I’m sad that it appears to be no longer active. But I would’ve been distressed if the Facebook community had abandoned the group entirely. I have reached out to a number of once-active members of the old group only to discover that they left it because of the spam, and they’re excited that there’s a new group for the NS&T. So I’m glad I took this step.
Third, since this post is about the group on Facebook I’ve turned off commenting here. Those who are interested can head over to the Facebook group, join up, and join in the discussion there.