New Greens and Purples?

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Re: New Greens and Purples?

Postby cynwulf » 2013-01-29 15:02

saulgoode wrote:Again with the unequivocal assertions. What distinguishes between a user and a spammer? It can't be the number of posts -- because I've processed at least a dozen spammers that have had more than 200 posts, and we have a Spam Hunter with only 20.

A spammer is only allowed to accrue a post count of 200 if someone only has the power to delete the posts and not the account... Obvious no? That was in fact the shambolic situation for about two years while the administration were nowhere to be found.

As to the difference between a user and a spammer - and let us even assume that all spammers are human (some are) for the sake of argument - is that a user is here because they have at least a passing interest in the subject matter, with an intention to remain and post - where a spammer is here to advertise a product for free and leave immediately...
saulgoode wrote:Let me tell you. Your post would be removed because it is inappropriate to that forum[etc]

I don't really have an opinion on what is off topic and what is on topic, except that it's important not to get too anal about it, as there is often quite a fine line. Yes someone starting a thread about WW1 or the US election could be deemed as making an inappropriate thread, but a discussion about free software licences which starts to get political is not really the same thing - as the intent is entirely different.
saulgoode wrote:That is why forums have moderation: to be fair to everybody who contributes premised on the goals that the forum is pursuing[etc]

I for one can accept that, but you're inferring that all moderation is automatically fair and even handed and that no one is needed to police the police... in the ideal world perhaps... I disagree, and have seen corrupt and biased forum staff too many times to think otherwise. I've also seen bad decisions which have had serious consequences, caused resentment and a rift in the relations between staff and members leading to the classic "them and us" situation.

Personally I don't think any forum is about staff - it's all about the members and FDN is no different, the members made this place and heavy handed inflexible moderation will break it... this is not a kids games forum, so the "classic" overbearing moderator style will not yield the best results here. There needs to be flexibility on language and what is seen as offtopic, etc. The cotton wool wrapped "stepford" like environment of the 'buntard forums, is not welcome here and has traditionally been rejected. Compared to the stifling authoritative boards elsewhere, this place was always a welcome relief - this is what many members do not want to see compromised. There is a valid reason why this place had so many 'buntu sucks' threads - it was one of the few GNU/Linux communities on the web where you could get away with it... when you have relaxed rules, you have to take the rough with the smooth a pity some people can't see that and instinctively strive for stricter moderation.

Moderation is also mostly opinion. Yes there are rules, but they're not all encompassing rules - discretion plays a big part and that's where "what I find offensive" comes in. Moderator A may not find X offensive and lets it go, Moderator B does and locks it. This introduces a problem - judgement failed, but who's judgement? If there was even the smallest doubt, then why was it locked, etc, etc, etc...?

That said I do believe there are two notable exceptions - namely politics and religion. Discussion of those two invariably leads to flame wars, infighting and divisions. People who previously connected well via the subject matter often cease to connect on discovering that they hail from different ends of the political spectrum - in some cases this manifests itself in outright hatred and intolerance. So personally I don't have a problem with those being off limits - within reason.
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Re: New Greens and Purples?

Postby nadir » 2013-01-29 17:36

saulgoode wrote:
nadir wrote:s/anyone/users
For me a user is not a spammer.

Again with the unequivocal assertions. What distinguishes between a user and a spammer? It can't be the number of posts -- because I've processed at least a dozen spammers that have had more than 200 posts, and we have a Spam Hunter with only 20.

Is it the quality of the posts? If so, then by whose judgment? And what standard? If you went to a forum dedicated to photos of swimsuit-clad models toting assault rifles and submitted a post about how to install GIMP or setup a passwordless ssh server, your post would most likely be considered spam and be removed. Why do you think that is?

Let me tell you. Your post would be removed because it is inappropriate to that forum. That is to say, it interferes with the reason that forum exists. The people who created that forum did so for a reason; they had a goal. When someone agrees with that goal, they may decide to volunteer or otherwise contribute to that forum. It is not fair to any of those contributors if the goal is later changed to something different. Whether the change is owing to the founders altering course or to outsiders interfering with the pursuit of that goal it is still unfair, and disrespectful to everybody who contributes to the forum.

That is why forums have moderation: to be fair to everybody who contributes premised on the goals that the forum is pursuing. If a particular comment is deemed "inappropriate" to the forum, this is not a judgment about the quality of the post, nor is it a value judgment of the user making the post. It is not a matter of the moderator being impressed by or agreeing with the content of the post; it is a largely objective analysis of whether that post supports, interferes with, or is basically neutral towards the common goal upon which the community has decided to pursue.

Is there a difference between contributing members and spambots? Of course. Is there a distinction between a spambot posting a Viagra ad and a longtime member posting about whether Apollo11 landed on the moon? Yes there is. But the criteria used to moderate this forum is not whether the staff likes or dislikes a person, agrees or disagrees with an opinion. It is about whether the post is in furtherance of, or interferes with, the goal of the forum.

You said i would ask for contradicting things:
On the one hand for free speech for everyone, on the other hand for spam to be removed.
I said that for me a spammer is not a user and a user is not a spammer.
(I added that i would also exclude antisemitims, racism and sexism from free speech).
There is nothing unequivocal about that.
The rest of what you write is beyond me
(, but it describes the way that it is, in linux forums. I called the reasoning a split tongue, and i still do).
All of that might be this way or that way: That any sane people can and will distinguish between a user and a spammer is still valid.

Do you really want to discuss with me if a spammer is a user too?

That is why forums have moderation: to be fair to everybody who contributes premised on the goals that the forum is pursuing.

I am a fan of rules. Give us rules, and make them valid for anyone. "We do whatever we consider right, be it due to the rules or to any other reason" is not a rule.
This, the rules are valid for anyone and the ones in power too, is called a "state under the rule of law". While it is part of any democracy, it is by far the more revolutionary change in human history than it's parent (democracy itself).

You completely ignored that the forum worked well without any moderation too. (AM was not here, you have given up moderation and craigevil showed up every other week only).
Speak with me: the world will not fall apart.

Iow: Do whatever you, the staff, consider right. You will get the users who will feel happy with that.

The world needs a change, and for that many people at many places work pretty hard. And many, many from free software are involved, to enable free speech (think of tor, freedombox, free network foundation, riseup.net, diaspora, identi.ca, i2p, gpg, gnunet, ... Do they ask people to use free speech to repeat what they allow them to? Or do they say: "Here are the tools, now make use of free speech and get it sorted" ? )
Not here? The ancient regime in full power? Fine with me. But don't ask me to give a big round applause.
I am completely insane: I ask for a possibility to speak free in a forum ( made of free software it is) about Debian, a Gnu/Linux distribution, which has the main purpose to give a free operating system, and includes a social contract which has got several political inclusions (one being to avoid discrimination, another to not hide any problems ). How on earth could i come to that weird conclusion? In which world does that make any sense? Speek free about free software ... how odd.

"We have not been faced with the need to satisfy someone else's requirements, and for this freedom we are grateful."
Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson, The UNIX Time-Sharing System

It might end in chaos. It might end in creativity too. One can not know in advance.

EOF
"I am not fine with it, so there is nothing for me to do but stand aside." M.D.
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