View Full Version : A suggestion on the "censorship" issue

chris jordan
1-Aug-2004, 11:44
Hi guys, CJ checking in with a comment. I've seen some of the posts lately about moderator censorship, and I've also seen the reasons why the issue gets raised-- the messages by those who like to foster anger and meanness to feed their own lack of self-respect. I too dislike the concept of censorship, because frequently inbetween the immature rantings there are valuable comments made by those who are making a contribution.

So my suggestion is that, as a group, we simply ignore the rude posters. We know who they are, and we can all recognize the hyperbolic emotional language that indicates those kinds of posts. So when we see one of those posts, let's all simply ignore it; no response of any kind-- just dead silence, as if the post didn't exist. And this would apply especially when the post attacks someone emotionally with the intention of eliciting an angry response; we just keep quiet--even the person being attacked--and let the post evaporate.

And when we come to know someone who frequently makes those kind of posts, we also ignore that person's "legitimate" posts. Then maybe after awhile those people will either go away, or learn to participate in our community here with some sense of respect and reverence.

That way we retain control over the direction of our discussions, and the ugly messages by the occasional wanker who shows up here will amount only to surface noise, without having the power to divert our attention from what we care about.

This approach has worked well on a couple of unmoderated musician's sites that I also frequent, where negative postings are even more common, and can be much nastier.



1-Aug-2004, 12:29
hi chris

over on apug(.org) there is actually a switch you can hit to put people on your "ignore list" ... it helps quite a bit :)

Michael Kadillak
1-Aug-2004, 13:08
Excellent suggestion in articulating what I and many others are indirectly employing. Although the overwhelming majority of posts are very professional (even with a bit of redundancy at times) and information about LF is freely exchanged as intended, we cannot allow those that ignore common courtesy to perpetuate their disjointed personal feelings.

Although the impulse is to protect oneself by firing back, as you stated, it is rather difficult to conduct one of these rants with yourself.........


Neal Shields
1-Aug-2004, 13:25
I think that off topic posts are a lot like graffiti. If you ignore it, you simply provide a place where they can practice their vandalism unmolested.

The only way to end it is to erase it before anyone sees it and after a while they will go elsewhere.

Scott Rosenberg
1-Aug-2004, 13:29

it's nice to see someone put into words rather eloquently what many of us have already put into practice. the best approach to take with people stuck developmentally in adolescence is to simply ignore them. always has been. most of these people will get bored when the see that they are not eliciting any responses and will simply go away. remember what mom used to say... "if you don't have anything nice to say, keep your pie hole shut!"

Ralph Barker
1-Aug-2004, 13:37
The theory sounds good, Chris, but I see several fuzzy areas that might be problematic. First, who decides what are "legitimate" posts? Then, how does that get communicated, so that everyone ignores the post, and eventually, the errant poster? Also, is it handled differently if it is a response within a thread of discussion, as opposed to an original post? And finally, what is done if the post or response is essentially in violation of, or contrary to the spirit of the forum's guidelines?

It seems to me that the guidelines here are fairly well-written, so as to foster a forum that is information-rich, even if a bit on the "formal" side. Moderation is usually light handed, and most people are able to express differing opinions in a cordial manner. Thus, the situations in which threads have been deleted or otherwise edited by the moderators seem few and far between.

Although I sense that Tuan and the moderators appreciate input from us about the style and direction of the forum, ultimately, it is Tuan's forum and a resource that he provides with the assistance of various volunteers and contributed resources. Thus, I'm of the opinion that we need to trust in his judgement, and those of the moderators, while each of us does our part by staying within the guidelines with what and how we post. That's my 2, anyway, and I don't know that there is an easy answer that can be defined tightly enough to be universally applicable.

1-Aug-2004, 15:59
"over on apug(.org) there is actually a switch you can hit to put people on your "ignore list" ... it helps quite a bit :)"

Ah, so that is what Jorge meant when he wrote in a recent thread at apug.org, since deleted by the moderator, that he was going to put me on his "ignore list." I had just assumed that his "ignore list" was some sort of self-generated list and did not realize that it was a functional feature of apug.org.

Thanks for the heads up.

1-Aug-2004, 18:03
To paraphrase Winston Churchill: "Democracy is the worst form of government imaginable, except for all the others."

I value the openness of these forums more than the "protection" from the occaisional acrimonious post. This forum in particular seems remarkably successful at self policing (unless there have been a lot of posts that I don't know about deleted by the moderators before I could see them). As the forums mature, the nay sayers and provacateurs tend to drift away of their own accord. I'll continue to guage the tone of individual threads and if they're not to my liking, just hit that back button.

neil poulsen
2-Aug-2004, 05:59
Out of all the hundreds of threads that have been initiated since the LF forum restarted, there've been only two threads where I felt it was necessary to "moderate". Both of those were on the same topic!

There have been a very few cases where we've deleted a want-ad.

On rare occassions, someone will request that we alter or delete their own thread or response.