Griping about moderation, bias, et cetera

There’s been quite a few complaints recently about moderation and “echo chamber” bias on the BBS… usually in the middle of topics that are completely unrelated to issues of moderation. Those posts are promptly Flagged by community members as Off-Topic (because they are), only to spur cries of “censorship!” and “favoritism!” (which isn’t the case when a Flagged post violates the Guidelines.)

Whelp, here you go. Here, for your enjoyment, is a thread to argue and complain about this issue to your heart’s content. I humbly request that such complaints be brought here, instead of derailing countless conversations on a daily basis. (Feel free to link or quote posts here as needed.)

Thank you.

(Mods, if I’m out-of-line in doing this, please don’t hesitate to nuke the whole thread.)

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Actually I haven’t found that to be the case, often comments get removed simply because readers take issue with the post. I don’t know how many flags before a comment is hidden, but it appears to be a low threshhold. In theory a moderator can then reinstate it, but I haven’t seen that happen. For example in the comments from last week about some bee hives getting trashed, a bee keeper’s comment about how people were overreacting was removed, even though it didn’t violate any community guidelines, it simply offended a few people enough to press that flag button.

The result is an especially single minded viewpoint here in the comment threads lately.

Edited to add: And lo and behold the comment is now removed. That was a pretty ranting hysterical comment that probably violated the TOS in a few different ways, but still I think it’s more interesting (and more entertaining, ha) to see it torn to shreds than simply removed. Especially since this issue and his reaction to it are bound to become right wing talking points shortly.

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It hasn’t been removed for me, only hidden. I can still view it if I click on “view ignored content”
I think a comment is hidden when it receives too many flags from the community. That also flags it for the moderator, so they can decide if it violates the TOS. Probably so really offensive or triggering content can be hidden quickly until a moderator can view it.

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I remember that beekeeping post. It insulted other commenters which is why it got flagged, as that goes against the TOS/site rules.

The mods disagree with you. They have stated more than once that it is there preference that we flag, but do not engage. If you have issues with those policies, I would suggest taking it up with them.

You might try looking at the last comment in that thread for an answer to your questions.

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It wasn’t removed, but simply hidden behind a click per community guidelines re: flagging. In other words, the bOing bOing community found it irrelevant and badgering and flagged it thusly. This is one of the few well moderated and well informed commentariats on the web. If someone comes in talking shit on the mods or the community, in fact inciting them, the community will flag. Pretty simple.

Shit, I’ve been flagged. Get over it.

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Give it a little more time.

I think you’re missing the point. Intentionally, it seems.

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If the person doesn’t edit the comment to remove the part that violates the rules, then yes, it will likely be deleted by the mods. They have the final decision on those matters. As others have noted, if you have a problem with the system here, take it up with @orenwolf in the General Moderation Topic.

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I’d say you’re missing mine. Which is that this site is in danger of becoming an echo chamber, like pretty much every other online forum in the modern era. I hate to use the phrase “safe space”, but I think it applies. It’s much more interesting when opposing viewpoints are acknowledged and addressed than stifled. Granted in this case the opposing point of view was ranting, but Ive seen the same happen to reasonable posts here lately.

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One of the reasons I enjoy this site is that we don’t have to suffer fools who show up just to say “you guys are a bunch of commies and I know this post will be deleted because I’m not part of your leftist echo chamber.”

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BS. We recently had an ethnostate proponent who was allowed to spew his poison here for months despite many flagged comments. Before that, a white supremacist spent years here dumping his turds under two usernames. There have also been more than a few Libertarians who came here regularly to argue in (typical) bad faith. All were sneaky enough to just skirt the line of the rules, but eventually they all slipped up and broke them.

All this site acknowledges, in contrast to other platforms, is that some points of view and approaches to debate were discredited long ago and don’t need to pollute and derail the discourse. It’s Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance in action.

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Either A.) they don’t want to actually debate the topic but hurl insults, or B.) they have been eviscerated before for making weak arguments.

I have seen plenty of conservatives show up here, engage in actual debate without crossing community guidelines (and the guidelines say nothing about politics). Usually they give up after a while when their arguments are countered.

But it’s easier (lazier) to just create the self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know some conservative sites that are far more keen to censor political points that counter their own narrative.

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No complaints here. (Not about that, anyway.)

As Melizmatic/Melz, I’ve had more than a few comments get eaten in my time here, and yet I never waste a single moment bitching about it needlessly because:

  • It’s clearly stated in the terms and conditions that the staff/mods/Auntie Entity can delete any content at any time for pretty much any reason. That’s the nature of a free social network which we don’t pay to maintain. They get to make the rules, and we can either abide, or we can go Elsewhere. It’s really that simple.

  • “I already knew this job was dangerous when I took it.”

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And that’s just the one that tried to fly under the radar. There was another higher profile one that had a brief stint here as well.

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Patently untrue, inflammatory nonsense. Posts are only removed by:

  • users themselves
  • staff
  • moderators

While anyone can flag a post (and even possibly hide it temporarily), only the above groups can remove posts, and are the final arbiters of whether or not a post remains hidden, or is deleted.

”Echo chamber” nonsense is often deleted because either 1) it is offtopic, or 2) the posts themselves are rude or attacking other users.

Have an unpopular viewpoint? If it’s within the guidelines, its not going anywhere.

That doesn’t mean you will be pleased with the (again, within guidelines) responses from others, though.

No, it really isn’t. It is not the fault of anyone here when someone comes in to this forum and acts like a dick. We will not tolerate them just because they may otherwise have a point that you feel is relevant. They can make the point within the guidelines or not make it at all.

This is a forum for interesting, informative, respectful discussion, not a troll gladiator arena. Those posts completely derail conversations (the very point of this topic!), and if the user could be bothered to treat the users here with the same respect as we require of all members, rather than lobbing insults at members, the forum, or staff, than their post would still be here.

No one here needs to listen to abusive, arrogant crap from asshats who think their being right on a given topic gives them license to denigrate or belittle others.

If you prefer forums where such behaviour is tolerated or encouraged, then yes, this is not the best place for you.

A better question might be: why are all these dissenting opinions included in abusive, arrogant posts to begin with? Does it suggest that there is perhaps an undercurrent of, I don’t know, entitlement in these groups, that ”modern forums” are no longer willing to accommodate?

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I can see it both ways. I have had loads of my posts flagged and removed but I don’t really have a problem with it. I have read the TOS but there are always going to be interpretative differences and I cant remember half of it most of the time. The way I see it, I am often wrong and being corrected is useful and a kindness to me. How can I complain if my hosts here do not think my posts make the place better?

If I am right and the post is suppressed how have I lost?

Those who work to make this community are entitled to shape it to best fit their preferences. Its a big internet, we can always go elsewhere.

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Nah, son… it was MUCH longer than that; nearly two full years, although over the last few months he had become far more careless in his shit-posting; until he finally crossed way over the line, and the mods’ generosity was finally depleted.

I know I’m no ‘Little-Miss-Mary-Sunshine-Goody-Two-Shoes’ my damn self, but I still don’t complain if I happen to fail to uphold the code of conduct, and then get zinged for it. ‘Them’s the breaks.’

As a responsible adult, I get it that there are consequences for my words and actions, and I alone have control over how I choose to behave.

Anybody who actually seriously thinks that they somehow are ‘above’ abiding by the rules that we all agreed to when we joined the site* should to not only do some serious self-evaluation, but they probably need to just go start their own damn forum.

*Whether we bothered to actually read the terms, or not.

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BB is not the open soapbox some people wish it was and others like to believe it is. I’m not sure how anyone can complain about that.

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I do not see any removed or even hidden posts in the referenced topic, so with all due respect

image

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There were a couple of posts by a beekeeper which got flagged and hidden, and are now unhidden (one after editing). The issue seemed to be that it was hard for some readers to tell if he was being serious or a troll. Turns out it was the former, and as this became apparent people stopped flagging him.

This is always a potential issue with the medium, to understand the context of the post. I agree a bit with @wrybread, there should be an easier path to unflagging someone when it is clear they are engaging in good faith. I don’t know how that would work in practice.

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