Saturday, February 26, 2011

Re-Post: RE: Censorship On Forums

 Editor's Note: Soggyblogger is fighting a minor health problem
and a major addiction. Certainly that is justification for his laziness
and lack of production for this blog. The best he seems to be capable
of is passing along some of his posts on forums where actual humans
exist. The following post was first posted on the Seattle Times Husky
Basketball Forum.

Will WSU make the NIT? That might be wishful thinking.

This is a troll's thread, but this forum needs more trolls not less.
I can't figure out why this forum is so blah. There isn't all that
much activity here, and so maybe the P-I forum is dominating
the scene the way the P-I Seahawks forum dominates. Why is
that? Maybe the P-I's forum has a friendlier interface. I've been
banned there. It happened during my registration process before
I was ever allowed to post a single time. So I don't have the choice.

Self-censorship may be part of the problem with this forum. I read
the rules, and depending on how they are enforced, they can act
with a dampening affect on the conversations here. There is a no
personal attacks rule which might sound nice, and agrees with my
personal philosophy, but to actually make it a RULE causes me to
be more careful in what I write. And I don't know what the penalties
are nor what the definition of an attack is. I have limited myself to
calling people pessimists or chicken little, and so far so good, I have
not been banned yet. Should I escalate? Feel out the edges of
permissible language? It's not that I have a list of people I want to
unload on - it's that there seems to be no real conflict here. People
seem afraid to disagree too strongly.

I hate censorship of any kind. No, that is not correct. I do appreciate
some very compassionate moderation. Deleting posts given to
pointless vulgarity and the like, or removing a poster when after
repeated warnings that poster persists in obstructive behavior or beyond
the pale attacks on people.

My opinion has changed with regards to conflict on forums. I used to
really hate it, but I am much more tolerant of almost any behavior on
forums today. Some forums I participate on are Google forums without
rules or moderators to speak of. The totally childish and rude behavior
I just ignore. It is actually quite easy. All it requires is a fraction of a second
to scroll past it. Some are hugely offended by vulgar posts and then get
emotionally involved and expose their own childish behavior. In the end,
on an uncensored forum, a much clearer picture emerges of each personality.

Lots of mistakes are made. Posters learn along the way. They grow as
people, and learn something about themselves usually. And so do the rest
of us. It's not all good, but it is rarely dull. And a community develops. A
weird sort of community compared to pre-internet community, but in many
ways it can be enriching, IMO.

I follow the P-I Seahawks forum because it is one of the most interesting,
well written, football savvy group I have found. That I cannot post there may
have been to my advantage in some ways. By now I might have exposed
my ignorance of football and been called on it. I cannot say what the differences
in the rules between the two sites, but threads can get quite heated and not
much censoring seems to go on.

What I have learned so far about the censorship policy here at the Seattle Times
Husky Forum is that some posts get deleted without the author getting banned.
That is a hopeful sign, but what it takes to get banned is of interest to me. And is
there any appeal? Does one get banned for life or is there a time limit on banning?
I know in some cases being banned just means the need to create a new ID, but
so far I cannot figure out how to get a new ID for the P-I forum. Their server seems
to recognize me and wherever I go on that site I am reminded that "my account
has been banned."

There are not any actual humans involved in the site so far as I can tell.
They do have telephone numbers to call, but every time I have called I end up with
voice mail, and have never had a call back. I have never gotten an answer to an
email, either. Unless one counts robo emails. So far as I can tell everything about
the EXCEPT FOR THE FORUMS are robotically created. If there are five
people actually employed there I would be surprised.

Sorry for changing the topic here and going on so long, but I needed to vent.

1 comment:

  1. I think I got the "lazy gene" from your side of family.