censorship

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dankephoto's picture
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This thread was closed by Dr. Webster with the comment to "Take your arguing elsewhere." I'm not clear why this was necessary.

dan k

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dankephoto's picture
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censorship

Quite a number of interesting, cogent comments were injected into that thread, in addition to a bit of the usual silliness. Certainly nothing appeared malicious or overly vulgar, and none of the discussion was dangerous to either its readers or to applefritter itself. So was closing it down truly necessary?

Has AF has any sort of rules moderators need follow regarding closing threads? I'd be interested to read Doc W's justification. I'd hate to think he acted simply out of irritation at the thread's course. Censoring harmless, albeit silly, content appears a tad heavy-handed, perhaps even itself offensive.

To my way of thinking, mods should virtually never censor, with possible exceptions only for spam, personal attacks, and posting content which clearly breaks the acceptability guidlines. Otherwise I suggest all threads ought to allowed to run their natural course and expire a natural death.

IMO, applefritter is itself basically a frivolous place. Little here is of great import, most topics discuss what is for almost all participants simple entertainment, hobby, fun. To ascribe a more serious purpose is to miss the point of the joint. Mind you, I love this kind of stuff but never do I see it as something so important a few silly comments can break. Even assuming applefritter the most important place in the universe, silliness can surely pose no threat.

dan k

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total amusement

well, i found it quite amusing, listening to doug-dougs conspiration theories. maybe dr. webster works for the government, and in the next few hours good old fbi will come over to doug-doug, bringing him to jail for no reason... Wink

come on, life is just too hard not to be a little bit of a jerk...

wondering if this was correct english???

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Re: total amusement

chris501 wrote:

well, i found it quite amusing, listening to doug-dougs conspiration theories. maybe dr. webster works for the government, and in the next few hours good old fbi will come over to doug-doug, bringing him to jail for no reason... Wink

come on, life is just too hard not to be a little bit of a jerk...

wondering if this was correct english???

Please note that despite my dry and oft times esoteric sense of humor, I actually quite conservative in my nature and opinions (not to be read as unopen to things different).

I do apologize if my left-field rants offend, I only ever throw those up when I see a post has gone so far off topic that it just needs some nonesense to finish the job off. To dankephoto's point, people sometimes take the web too seriously, and the best way to point that out is by parody of the extremes, Smile kinda like joking about a looner with a laytex alergy.

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don't get me wrong...

i also have my principles, which might seem to base a little bit on the ten requirements out of the old part of the bible. but even then i don't believe in god and i don't believe other spiritual "bullsh**"
... sorry...

i try to be a little bit realistic about the world surrounding me, but sometimes a little joke helps more then everything else! and, doug-doug, if you're left-fielded: don't mind. it's your way of living and as long as you're not doing harm to anyone, why care or even apologize?

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The thread had degraded from

The thread had degraded from a meaningful discussion into a series of personal attacks. These forums are provided for the discussion of hacks, technical questions, and the like -- if you want to call each other names, do it elsewhere. And if you have a problem with my abilities as an admin, you need to take it up with me directly.

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As for the low yield nukes se

As for the low yield nukes section of my comment and the replies: I *did* put a smiley on it... humor, guys, humor. Wink (look there's one too! Smile )

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re: The thread had degraded from

"Dr. Webster" wrote:

And if you have a problem with my abilities as an admin, you need to take it up with me directly.

Well, perhaps you'd rather I take it up directly with you, but I'd rather have a public discussion about censorship. That's much more interesting than a private note and its reply. You got a problem with that? :-*

As for that thread containing personal attacks, I'm sorry, I'm unable to see anything there which required action. Just my opinion of course, and then I'm not the censor either, am I? Tongue

Listen, I really don't give a rat's derriére about that particular topic, I just wanted to call you on closing a relatively innocuous thread without any reasonably justifiable explanation and provoke some thoughts and conversation about unneeded censorship in general.

dan k

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What attacks?

I saw no "attacks" on that thread. All I'm going to say is that it was closed unfairly and IF it is possible, it should be re-opened. Sad

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Re: The thread had degraded from

Dr. Webster wrote:

The thread had degraded from a meaningful discussion into a series of personal attacks. These forums are provided for the discussion of hacks, technical questions, and the like -- if you want to call each other names, do it elsewhere. And if you have a problem with my abilities as an admin, you need to take it up with me directly.

If he took it up with you directly then none of us would have the chance to voice our opinion about that decision publicly. I'm not so sure I want to keep my membership active in a forum that is so "Angry Daddy" sez so. So we're not supposed to complain about injustice and opression execpt to the one doing it? That's like being in high school and having a problem with the teacher and complaining to the teacher about his behaviour. Well, I've not been in high school for a long time.
Tyrannical policy makers (not to say you are one) tend to be less than tolerant of people telling them where they went wrong. Given that this is a public forum, I say he's COMPLETELY justified in bringing his PUBLIC problem here where one could explain the (presumably) rational reasoning behind such seemingly intolerant modding. His reaction is one of justified rage at moderate opression, which is something ALL of us can use in this time of "Freedom isn't Free" and maybe we're all a little censor sensative, but for some of us these forums are an outlet in an otherwise completely oppressive society. If people were ACTUALLY insulting each other, that is disruptive and disrespectful but this was not not not happening at all. This was a good goofy thread that made good goofy sense and it didn't degenerate at all to anger before it was shut down. In fact the only true insult posted on the forum was as follows

Yet again, I feel the need to
Submitted by Dr. Webster on June 28, 2005 - 6:10pm.

Yet again, I feel the need to point out that IT'S JUST A &*#%ING COMPUTER. It's nothing to get emotional about. There are plenty more out there, so it's pointless and stupid to "rescue" old computers

Hmm...pointless and stupid...not exactly moderate words.

I'm a relative newcomer here so I try not to piss people off, but DAMN!!! This is shades of sickening.

So, I'll take my Banning in the name of the team.

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Reklus? Is that pronounced

Reklus? Is that pronounced "reckless" or "Recluse"?

Regardless, if you think that closing down a rather mundane message thread constitutes censorship, you ought to consider moving to Sarnia, Ontario. You'd have a grand old time here; there's nothing but fascist pinko's in this town.

Seriously, if you're wanting to take up the cause against opressive regimes, come to Sarnia. We need all the help we can get.

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Re: Reklus? Is that pronounced

managed resistance wrote:

Reklus? Is that pronounced "reckless" or "Recluse"?

Regardless, if you think that closing down a rather mundane message thread constitutes censorship, you ought to consider moving to Sarnia, Ontario. You'd have a grand old time here; there's nothing but fascist pinko's in this town.

Seriously, if you're wanting to take up the cause against opressive regimes, come to Sarnia. We need all the help we can get.

I'm more concerned with the BIG picture, the little stuff we all go throughn each day as americans...the constant little reminders that we really have NO input on our losses of freedoms of expression

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ok, I lied

Personally, I think no thread should be closed unless there is vulgar words or someone is REALLY attacking someone in a highly childish way (i.e "your mom jokes)

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yer mom

as in "yer mom is so oppressive..."?

Oh, and I should have said before that my focus is helping remind people to bring back freedoms of individual expression only in my little neck of the woods (new england, applefritter, yer mom) not to find new problems to tackle. I live by a simple idea of not screwing with the outside world until the inside one is at least on the right track...I don't take on the world until I'm the best me I can achieve. We can't change the world if we don't change ourselves first.

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Was the thread getting person

Was the thread getting personal? I've re-read it, and while it may not have been there yet, it was getting there....but wasn't quite there yet. Maybe a post or two more, maybe not at all.

For my part, I pointed out to Bill, if I may call him Bill (and I probably can't), that he was being judgemental while calling people judgemental. Not an attack on my part at all, just an observation, which I even bracketed with smileys in the hope it would be taken lightly. Not only that, but I went on to be quite judgemental myself, which I found made the post rather amusing - though possibly only to me. That's nothing new.

I didn't quite understand his response, but I don't believe it was a personal attack either. I didn't take it as such. DDTM was right that it was good-natured, but there's that old problem with text posts - no voice intonation or familiarity to give context. Example: I say "you old jerk" to a friend, and it's endearing. I say "you old jerk" to my boss, and I'm polishing my resume the next day.

The thread had wandered off topic a bit.

Ultimately, this is a private board, so freedom of expression is not an absolute. It's Tom's house, and subject to the guidelines he's created. I've only encountered a few boards that are run as smoothly, or have lasted as long, without falling to a l0w3r l3v3l Uv pst1nG quality.

That said, I'd hope that the issue is open for discussion, and I hope the moderators will continue to address our concerns and answer our questions when things run afoul as they have done so in the past.

In summary: Locking seemed pre-emptive, I'm long-winded.

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Yep

EXACTALY!

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Not Bill . . .

hey,

Call me anything but don't call me Bill. As for the expression that seemed to send the moderator over the edge, it is an old southern (US) expression that means that you're paying too much attention to some aspect of the problem that isn't critical to its solution. My issue is that people at AF go off on tangents over the simplest things and create issues where there aren't any. A case in point is the supposed burning of an SE that may or may not occur at some unspecified future. All we know is that an image of an SE exists on somebody's website and he said blah blah blah. That's it.

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I agree...

Quote:

Ultimately, this is a private board, so freedom of expression is not an absolute. It's Tom's house, and subject to the guidelines he's created. I've only encountered a few boards that are run as smoothly, or have lasted as long, without falling to a l0w3r l3v3l Uv pst1nG quality.

That paragraph pretty much sums everything up. This is, after all, a private board and posting here is a privilege that has been granted to the general public. No one has a specific right to post in these forums aside from the person/people that actually assume the inherent risks of running it.

As such, the operators of these forums have the right to moderate these forums as they see fit. I would tend to think that the moderators would have some responsibility in assuring that the Applefritter forums thrive in a manner that was intended and/or consistent with the foundation upon which it was created.

When discussing the loss of freedoms or the ability and/or inability to express one's self, it is probably accurate to think of Applefritter as someone's home. You wouldn't enter another person's home and expect to do as you please.

It's nice to expect and value freedoms but it is necessary to respect the freedoms of others as well. In a very real sense, we are guests in Tom Owads home, it is not our place to suggest that the owners of the home change their rules to suit the visitors. We should probably be thanking the operators of this service for providing it to us rather than becoming involved in petty bickering over what we should and should not be able to say while we are here.

Just my 2 cents and you can keep the change...Wink

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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respect

I think the thing is that it was more about decorum and not censorship. I would like to remind you all of a locked thread just a few weeks ago and what TO said:

Tom Owad wrote:
ax0n wrote:

On a side note, some people need to learn that being mature and having a twisted sense of humor are not exclusive to one another. I can see why it was locked (beyond the reason that was given for locking) so I won't argue that.

It was locked specifically and solely due to the crude and childish remarks of yourself and another.

ax0n wrote:

I suppose I'll quit pretending this is actually some kind of online "community"

It will not be a community where we slander defenseless convicts or make crass jokes that winkingly condone heinous crimes.

If the thread had remained respectful, it would not have been locked.

While we did not get that far, the maintainers of this site do reserve the right to insitll and enforce certain standards on the threads posted in the interest of maintaining the decorum of the site as a whole. That being said, I do not agree with censorship as a policy, and I do not think Dr. Webster was censoring anyone (the continuance of the thread is evident of that). Did he maybe act too quickly in closing it? Perhaps, but the topic had gone so far off it was a judgment call.

Cut the guy some slack, he is not some jack-booted Nazi. IMHO

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Hey, this thread is going great . . .

just as I had hoped!

"eeun" wrote:

Ultimately, this is a private board, so freedom of expression is not an absolute. It's Tom's house, and subject to the guidelines he's created.

Think of this web site as a publication (which it is.) Tom Owad owns this 'press' and can publish anything he likes, so the issue is not one of the First Amendment. However, unreasonable censorship can still exist and be objectionable within that context. While I don't expect TO to allow damaging, libelous or salacious content to be published, it is my (perhaps unreasonable?) expectation that harmless content should be allowed to live and die on its own merits. I consider suppression generally more harmful than distastful speech, but hey, that's just my opinion.

The very publicness of the fora belies the analogy comparing this site to a private house. I think a much better analogy compares AF to a privately owned but publicly accessable shopping mall, which the US courts have established as a public place where freedom of expression is allowed exercise same as the public square.

For any community to flourish, voices expect fair hearing. Where opinions and thoughts suffer arbitrary censorship, conversation withers. I see no harm allowing essentially harmless topics producing their own remedies. Fools are identified, errors are corrected, all within the forum process itself, without need of the heavy hand of a censor. Don't we all suffer enough of that already? And to kill any inoffensive topic rather than deal with individual offensive posts sure looks like a heavy hand to me.

Generally however I find AF to be quite tolerant, so please don't think my rants a general criticism. Nor am I criticising Doc W, this is merely an attempt to provoke some extended thinking with rather pointed questions and opinions.

Oh, and

"ddtm" wrote:

Cut the guy some slack, he is not some jack-booted Nazi.

Aaaaaghhhhh! The first Nazi reference! Now cut that out, talk about offensive!!

Anyway . . . I broached this topic to publish my opinion and see what y'all think. So far, so good. Cool Mac

dan k

PS: Actually, if you think about it, the subtext of the original topic is very on-topic here at AF, proper disposal of old, unwanted computers. How much more on-topic can you get?!?

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Re: Hey, this thread is going great . . .

dankephoto wrote:
Anyway . . . I broached this topic to publish my opinion and see what y'all think. So far, so good. Cool Mac
Quote:

It is a mature and rational discussion and I find it stangely borring, yet intriguing.

- crinkling sound as aluminum foil helmet is removed -

Thanks! Smile

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[quote]Think of this web site

Quote:

Think of this web site as a publication (which it is.) Tom Owad owns this 'press' and can publish anything he likes, so the issue is not one of the First Amendment. However, unreasonable censorship can still exist and be objectionable within that context.

Well, if you want to think of Applefritter as a publication, in the traditional sense, you have to allow the publisher the right to control what is and isn't published. Ultimately, it is the reputation of the publisher that is at stake and not that of the writer. Therefore, it is more than reasonable to expect that the publisher would reserve and exercise the right to pass judgement on what may or may not be deemed appropriate for his/her respective publication.

I have checked out your website in the past and have observed that you have made an attempt at an online publication. Surely, you would not allow any Rod, Ron, or Carrie to dictate to you what you could or could not publish, would you?

Would that be an act of censorship on your part for reserving the right to control how your publication appears to the public?

Quote:

The very publicness of the fora belies the analogy comparing this site to a private house. I think a much better analogy compares AF to a privately owned but publicly accessable shopping mall, which the US courts have established as a public place where freedom of expression is allowed exercise same as the public square.

I'm not terribly eager to agree with you on this point. A shopping mall is generally open to the public with very few exceptions. The purpose of a shopping mall is to generate income, and to generate income requires that your goods be accessable to patrons.

Applefritter, on the other hand, is not freely open to the public. In order to post a comment on Applefritter, you must knock at the door (register), and be invited in by the administrators (your registration must be accepted). You are asked to remove your shoes at the door (abide by the terms and conditions of entry) before you proceed to make yourself at home.

Essentially, you are told what is expected of you before you enter, you're advised that unruly guests will be asked to leave, and you're not expected to buy anything or participate in any way whatsoever. I think that Applefritter is very analogous to a private home.

I, for one, very much like the atmosphere at Applefritter and would encourage the moderators to continue in maintaining the decorum that has come to be expected by Applefritter's guests.

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dear admin...

...take the steps necessary to keep this place a nice and friendly home for everyone on AF. but also leave a little space for arguing and (more or less) helpful comments.

as longs as no one threats to hit someone with a club or send him the mafia...

Quote:

Essentially, you are told what is expected of you before you enter, you're advised that unruly guests will be asked to leave...

Quote:

Ultimately, it is the reputation of the publisher that is at stake and not that of the writer.

i think that this has nothing to do with what rights the creator and operator of this site has (or hasn't), but fact is that we all underly the good will of that person. and if he thinks that some comments in this thread are not suitable or not within the rules, it's his decision to close the thread and we have to accept it.
And yes, it's not only the reputation of the publisher but of the website in whole that takes damage from bad posts.

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Re: censorship

dankephoto wrote:

This thread was closed by Dr. Webster with the comment to "Take your arguing elsewhere." I'm not clear why this was necessary.

dan k

This is NOT Censorship...... No one said to stop the discussion, just take it elswhere. Look up censorship.....

Speaking for myself, this is not what I read this forum for. I saw the original post and didn't read it, nor do I care to.

I agree with the Dr. Webster and it is within his rights and obligations as a moderator to stop whatever he feels needs stopped.

Starting another topic is exactly what shouldn't be done. This is not a Democracy and is Tom's site. When you have your own forums you can decide what is acceptable and what is not. It's that simple.

Maybe you should have sent a message or email to Dr. Webster instead of questioning him publicly. A moderators job is not easy and it's not to make everyone happy. It's to keep the subject matter on track and
keep things from getting personal.

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let me try again . . .

I've acknowledged TO's right to publish whatever he sees fit, so for me the issue is not whether he has the right to squash conversation, but whether it's the right thing for TO to do. Does TO want to enlarge the readership or shrink it? The answer, and the means, is where reasonable people could possibly disagree.

I think killing harmless banter turns folks off. Those who decide to not return because of what they may see as an overly strict policy usually don't tell you, they just don't come back. I don't think that's good for AF.

As an AF fan I want AF to succeed. I think fun is a big part of what made the old AF so engaging. I think squashing harmless lighthearted conversation isn't fun.

And that's where some of us apparently disagree.

dan k

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Fun.

That's all I'm complaining about...I'm not calling censorship or any of the "oooh" words that certain people get so charged up about, but rather protesting this attitude of THIS IS HOW IT IS DONE. There are certain rules that we all follow, but this kind of thread closing goes back to my original example of the bullying teacher looking for any reason to be a disciplinarian...works great with the dumb kids, but with the smart kids it just causes fights, exactly like thread. This thread follows exactly patterns you'd see in early childhood education books. Certain people complain, other people say it's authority's right, other people just disappear, but for the most part the whole unit is left feeling slightly bruised. I come here for knowledge and fun. There is very LITTLE (for me) new knowledge being presented on a regular basis here(what is presented is usually superuseful though), so why I am here everyday? The fun facts, the interesting debates, the neat ideas of computing. I'm not a "net community" person, but I sure as hell won't contribute if the ideas of relevant topic totally disregard the voice of the user base.
I'm a professional geek who uses this site as a knowledge base and as a way of helping out. Since this hassle I've cut my visits down to about 1/4 of what they were, not deliberately, but in the back of my head it's always floating about that something I and a few others am interested in could be shut down just because someone's having a bad day. That makes me lose interest. My mind only pursues active avenues, growth or nothing...if it's the same crap over and over (why isn't my old ipod working YOUR BATTERY IS DEAD) then I'm just going to use google to search for keywords and use this site as a searchable database instead of an interactive experience. I hope that doesn't happen.

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This thread.

I started a similar thread to this back on the old forums.

Nobody cared.

In fact a lot of you were against what I was saying...

Heh.

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That thread...

Quote:

I started a similar thread to this back on the old forums.

Nobody cared.

In fact a lot of you were against what I was saying...

Heh.

What was it that you were saying? Were you for or against censorship?

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_

Against the loss of some sort of freedom of speech, within reason.

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Love your post!!!!

I own a Ford Taurus SHO...Some of you might know of these cars, others might not but that's besides the point. My point is the SHO website is the most cencored fourm type website out there & they are dead wrong. If you say anything that the oh say 10-15-20 or however many mods they have disagree with (at all), the post is deleted in minutes. Most of the time with no reason given or if one is given it is the most ridicilous reason one could give.

I called them on this matter several times just like this post & they were not able to shut the post down fast enough so people actually got to read some of them. Well talk about a wave of PM's, I had PM's comming from members who were thanking me for because they were scared to speak out!!! I had Mod's telling me that I was going to be banned?? & other mod's just telling me to cool it??? Now come on, people actually said they were scared to speak out, that shows you how bad it was and how wrong a web site is for making members feel that way. I believe 1 mod said they did not disagree with me (notice I didn't say they agreed with me) but they were not against me, so they said........

I commend the mods for letting this particular post run & am glad to see we can have a middle ground here.

Great Post!!!!!!

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