Freedom of speech: A priviledge, not a right 27 replies

Please wait...

We're currently in the process of moving servers, parts or all of the site will be unavailable for a few hours. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Silberio VIP Member

Bourée

392,744 XP

8th October 2007

0 Uploads

37,216 Posts

2 Threads

#1 5 years ago

Greetings fellow forumgoers.

I've just started thinking on this matter... With freedom of speech.

During my lifetime I've been around a shitload of forums and have learned the ways of the internet. Had both bad and good experiences, and I've learned one very important rule: Speaking freely on the forums is a privilege, it is not a right.

This does makes sense and I do not criticize the concept. It seems quite right, considering that in a forum you find completely different kinds of people, which of course demands for respect. The staff is here to keep a stable level of respect and maintain the forum on solid ground, if you get my idea.

I'm pretty tired right now so I'll go and spit it straight out. I think it's way too damn strict how this is taken. Yes, it is a good concept/rule to not let everyone click around saying everything they wish and like. We can prevent things such as discrimination, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, all-fucking-phobia. Right now, I'm thinking on the issue we had when I suggested to remove the N-word filter and later, the problem where Obankobi got banned for being somewhat rude towards Nem (I'm sorry... I like you a lot and I respect you, Nem, but I think a ban, even if temporary, for that level of rudeness was a bit overreacted).

As goes with the simple 'no' towards my petition... Same thing goes for that. And no, this is not about the N-word, it's about too many things I've seen around here that doesn't seem to fit into what a social community should look like. Yes, if we don't like it, we can leave, I'm 100% clear of that and if I am busting someone's balls (lol, ballbusting), I want to be told so and I'll be happy to leave to prevent someone feeling insulted and degraded, since I consider myself a seeker of equality, respect and collective well-being.

I felt kind of insulted though, with the No-answer on my petition. Mom used to do that when I was a kid and I still hate it whenever someone does it... Never been quite satisfied without clear and concrete arguments and/or reasons. But that's just me.

Another thing that comes to my head is once a member posted a... Holocaust joke, which got deleted by a staff member, yet, many holocaust jokes passed after that one, without being edited.

As I said, I'm pretty tired and right now I feel I'm biting my own tail... One of my main points is, though, that it's not quite right to mix up personal feelings, convictions with what's laboral... As I think the staff should be.

So yeah, I am criticising the staff.

Spoiler: Show
Here's a puffin to calm the nerver, good night. puffin.jpg

qjyUJrq.png



Lindale Forum Mod

Mister Angry Rules Guy

240,294 XP

31st January 2010

0 Uploads

23,365 Posts

2 Threads

#2 5 years ago

[COLOR=SeaGreen]That is humans for you; you only have free speech until you make someone angry. Take for example, a particular Amerikan friend of mine. He was speaking about how the quality of Amerika's export meats is nowhere near as good as the quality of the meats kept for domestic consumption.

Of course, he was fully utilizing his supposed "right to free speech," but because his message was hurting the economy, he was still put in prison. It took him 10 years, and several thousands of dollars to clear his name.

So, free speech is entirely a lie as long as such actions are permitted against those who are speaking honest messages. [/COLOR]


filesnation_by_lindale_ff-da1kplo.png



The Bozz

Duh...

50 XP

5th October 2004

0 Uploads

348 Posts

0 Threads

#3 5 years ago

Freedom of speech is a very touchy and controversial subject.

This is a forum though, for the most part it is not subject to the laws of a country, but to the rules of the company running it. They can dictate what you can and cannot say, which I am fine with. I'm not fine with how messy it is though, it seems like they usually pick and choose when to enforce the rules; as Lindale said, it usually happens when it's against a staff member.

Remember Splicer? 80% of the people here were complete and total asses to him, and as annoying as he was, nothing was done about it. But when someone lightly insults a staff member, it usually ends in a talking-to or a temporary ban.

I'm OK with strict-ish enforcement, but with the staff-to-regular member ratio tipping more heavily towards the staff, it shouldn't be hard to moderate the forum equally, and not just when it's against a staff member.




Adrian Ţrumpeş Forum Mod

I LOVE TRUMP

261,076 XP

9th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,712 Posts

1,753 Threads

#4 5 years ago

I think pretty much everyone who is alive and older than 15 years old knows about this. (No offense intended, I'm just saying.)

We never really have had any real rights, because it's not like we really have the power to tell people what to follow, or who to follow. I would classify freedom of speech more of an ability than a right. It's kind of like free will in general; i.e. yes, you can jump off that bridge, but the question is: "Will you?"


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



berm

Slightly cooler than a n00b

50 XP

11th March 2003

0 Uploads

647 Posts

0 Threads

#5 5 years ago

If you want more explicit rules, applied in a more systematic fashion, then I suspect they'd have to be stricter. What 'levels' of behaviour would you deem to be acceptable? How would you account for the history of the users in question when writing that down?

Even if you could come up with an explicit rule for that particular type of staff-user interaction, what about the next one? If you continue down that route, how are you going to avoid ending up with a huge list of rules that no-one really remembers? Legal systems have been trying to get something that works on a case-by-case and rule-by-rule basis for hundreds of years, and it still produces incredibly bad outcomes in vast numbers.

Instead, because no-one can write a rule for every instance and have it reasonably applied, I suspect we'd just have to outlaw vast sections of behaviour that have unambiguous failure modes but few positive results. A blanket ban on swearing, personal comments and the like. That's my experience with other forums where I moderate, which enforce a more explicit level of conduct. And that seems to have been the way things have gone with things like the n-subject. From which I gather that's not a position that you'd be advocating for.

The flip side of not doing that is that, if you have general rules that allow a degree of flexibility and leniency, then there are going to be decisions that staff are going to make in respect to that which... you may not agree with. The system that allows those who make decisions you like more than the explicit rules would be allows those who make decisions you like less than the explicit rules. The freedom for one is the freedom for the other. Different staff are going to have different levels of conduct that they consider acceptable.

I understand that it's difficult to disagree with people who have any sort of power, especially those who you think misuse it. You think I haven't seen people do stuff in the past that I've disagreed with? Posts of mine have been deleted in the past. But if we fight to the hilt over every issue, then no-one can get anything done together. The fabric of society, so to speak, unravels.

The fact that not everything's worth fighting over doesn't mean that nothing is, mind. But if the extent of your disagreement is a couple of instances here and there, and given there are a fairly wide range of personalities in the staff with varying activity levels in varying forums, that seems like the sort of thing that's just going to come up from time to time in any non-exact system.

Schofield;5661163I'm not fine with how messy it is though, it seems like they usually pick and choose when to enforce the rules; as Lindale said, it usually happens when it's against a staff member.

Remember Splicer? 80% of the people here were complete and total asses to him, and as annoying as he was, nothing was done about it. But when someone lightly insults a staff member, it usually ends in a talking-to or a temporary ban.

I'm OK with strict-ish enforcement, but with the staff-to-regular member ratio tipping more heavily towards the staff, it shouldn't be hard to moderate the forum equally, and not just when it's against a staff member.

As for things being skewed in the direction of insults to staff members - the detection rate for insults to staff members is going to be near 100%, the detection rate for insults to users is going to be whatever's reported (honestly not much most of the time) + whatever we notice and assume that the other user's not okay with when we're posting (because we don't want to ban a couple of people who are just messing around with each other for funsies). And then you've got to be aware that a lot of our activity you just don't see, being done via PMs and the like, and that we tend not to ban on the first offence so if someone's got a problem with a staff member because of some previous discussion about their behaviour that will out.

Taking Splicer as an example, people were, I think, being an arse to him because he was being annoying and the rules weren't doing anything about it. A fact that he was quite blatant in enjoying - I'd add. He went so far as to explicitly state that the moderators couldn't do anything to him while he trolled all these people. Now, I barely wander into the spam forum at the best of times - and I was the one that eventually banned him. I might very well have handled the situation differently had I been aware of it earlier. By the time I was aware of the issue it had become, as you might put it, rather messy.

Going after the users attacking him, while allowing his behaviour, would be akin to holding someone's hands behind their backs while they were being beaten up. It's not a workable solution to expect one side of an issue to hold back while the other side makes things difficult for them. But at the same time he wasn't breaking any explicit rules.

Was it unfair to him? Personally, I don't think so. Because he was doing it on purpose - that's why he was here in the first place, to get a rise out of people. Was it unfair on the users to expect them to put up with him? Yeah, I think it was. And obviously if we'd dealt with him more strictly at the outset then we could have dealt with the user interaction with him more strictly too, and perhaps things would never have gone as far as they did. Though I suspect when he found out that trolling wasn't going to be allowed he would have removed himself from the forums even if he was banned.

Since then we've changed the rules in the spam forum, and hopefully, were it to come up again, there more flexible nature would let us just nip the thing in the bud.

#

I like to think we try to be consistent. At least for myself, I just don't see a lot of people out and out laying into each other. Other than bots I think I might have banned two people this year - and temp bans at that.

Pretty much all I can say in this regard is that, if you really have problems with other users' conduct that you can see, please use the reported post system or PM one of the supermods. We're just having to use our best judgement on what we notice here, not all of which you're necessarily privy to all the time, and yeah - that's gonna be messy. I don't see a way around that.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#6 5 years ago

Schofield;5661163Remember Splicer? 80% of the people here were complete and total asses to him, and as annoying as he was, nothing was done about it. But when someone lightly insults a staff member, it usually ends in a talking-to or a temporary ban. [/QUOTE] I have no idea why Splicer stayed so long. He was complained about many, many times to staff. I think sometimes supers (and mods when they were allowed to ban) get a bit power-tripped. They seem to ban not for rule violations or member complaints (with the exception of bots) but rather when they are personally annoyed or get their feelings hurt. The incident between Nem and myself was a good example of this, as you (I think, did it happen again while I was gone?) mentioned in your post. I've done many a bannable thing, hell, things I probably should have been banned for. Attacking what a supermod says in a not-very-nice-way = instaban. Only when it directly affects their own feelings do they take action.

There are of course exceptions, KillerKyle for example was rather professional and such when he was more active.

[QUOTE=Schofield;5661163] I'm OK with strict-ish enforcement, but with the staff-to-regular member ratio tipping more heavily towards the staff, it shouldn't be hard to moderate the forum equally, and not just when it's against a staff member.

I agree with the strict-ish being okay, as long as it's evenly enforced. I'm fairly certain there are more active staff members than non-staff members. Short-handedness is hardly an excuse.

PS: I will literally have an aneurysm if Nem bans me for this post. =p




Adrian Ţrumpeş Forum Mod

I LOVE TRUMP

261,076 XP

9th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,712 Posts

1,753 Threads

#7 5 years ago

To be honest, I don't really believe that that is as much of a problem as it was 5+ years ago.

I mean, yes, Splicer was complained about, but it's similar to the whole Azh situation. He knew what he was doing and what he could get away with. Never really doing anything that crossed the line, but very borderline. When he was banned, it's similar to how Al Capone was finally apprehended. We couldn't necessarily get him on racketeering, but we could get him on tax evasion ;)


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



Kamikazee

I'm too cool to Post

50 XP

28th November 2003

0 Uploads

484 Posts

0 Threads

#8 5 years ago

There is no freedom of speech on privately owned forums.

That being said, we generally try to give you as much freedom of speech as possible.

As for the OP being a bit miffed at not having his suggestion applied - we can't make it right for everyone. In this case we're talking about giving you the questionable privilege of using hate speech in a joking fashion vs. the risk of someone being insulted by abuse or misinterpretation of such phrases. Not really a good trade-off for a forum.

As for holocaust jokes being selectively deleted - obviously staff doesn't read every post. I'll delete those that I see. If you report them the chances of such comments being deleted are significantly increased as well.

As for supermods banning users - if you have an issue with that contact either the supermod or me with PMs and we will work it out. The people wielding the ban hammer here have lots of experience and have very specific instructions on when to ban. If they do it there is usually a good reason, even if it may not be apparent to you. I'll still look into any case that is brought to my attention.

As for the idea that insulting staff is treated differently than insulting other members - there is some truth to that; you will often get away with insulting staff where insulting another member might get you banned. A good idea may be not to insult anyone. By the way - one of the factors in the banning of Splicer and subsequent change of Spam forum rules was that we noticed that Splicer endangered usually peaceful members by trolling them into breaking the rules. As Nem said, there is some stuff going on behind the scenes here, much of which is done to make your forum experience more fun, not less.




Kamikazee

I'm too cool to Post

50 XP

28th November 2003

0 Uploads

484 Posts

0 Threads

#9 5 years ago
Obankobi;5661186 PS: I will literally have an aneurysm if Nem bans me for this post. =p

What if I ban you for it? ;)

Seriously though, please take this up with staff in private. Volunteer staff does not deserve a pillory, regardless of how sure you are of your position.




adabro6

I'm too cool to Post

50 XP

6th April 2004

0 Uploads

97 Posts

0 Threads

#10 5 years ago
Of course, he was fully utilizing his supposed "right to free speech," but because his message was hurting the economy, he was still put in prison. It took him 10 years, and several thousands of dollars to clear his name.

There is a difference between free speech and slander. Did he have any real evidence to back his claim?