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tb1570's avatar

Fluther Censorship?

Asked by tb1570 (3098 points ) February 20th, 2009

Which “moderators” can decide to remove a post? Can a single moderator remove any post s/he finds offensive, or does removal/censoring of someone else’s words/opinion at least require agreement between more than one moderator? I think the Fluther censorship process should be a little more transparent.

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64 Answers

BoyWonder's avatar

Who the heck knows, but I can tell you, they sensor you for everything. They think they’re the FCC or something.

TaoSan's avatar

CIA, not FCC ;)

Thus, the many sensors for the censors :)

BoyWonder's avatar

It’s all the same to me.

KrystaElyse's avatar

sense censor sensors

Bluefreedom's avatar

The best way to get a definitive answer to this question might be to send a PM to the moderators and/or managers themselves. Some of these individuals would be:

Allie
PnL
richardhenry
Augustlan

tb1570's avatar

@Bluefreedom I thought of that, but actually I prefer a public, open discussion abbout this issue.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@tb1570. Okay. Just trying to help.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Any moderator can remove a quip or question. It is not a matter of what we find offensive, but whether or not it is in accordance with the guidelines. If any matter is at all iffy, we discuss it, and discuss it some more until we come to a consensus.

TaoSan's avatar

@KrystaElyse

Do sense censor sensors sense senseless censoring by cencors?

KrystaElyse's avatar

@TaoSan – Indeed, the censor sensors sense the sensless censoring by censors, thus the censor sensors censor the sensless censors sensed by the sensor.

lol ;)

TaoSan's avatar

@KrystaElyse

You win, I’m going back to the scat and juicy tuna threads….....

cookieman's avatar

Makes sense to me.

just my two cents about the censors

tb1570's avatar

@augustlan Is it within the guidelines for a moderator to personally threaten another member with physical violence (as in “I will kick your ass.”)?

And isn’t “iffy” an awfully relative term?

Blondesjon's avatar

Can you tell us what you posted?

mcbealer's avatar

there’s only 4 moderators?

tennesseejac's avatar

Removed by Fluther moderators

Blondesjon's avatar

Removed by Fluther Moderators

tb1570's avatar

@Blondesjon In the “Sex during menstruation” post, @poofandmonk posted a statement saying something like “this post receives the award for most nicknames in reference to the female anatomy.” Immediately following this post, I posted an extensive list of other nicknames, some vulgar (but no more vulgar than many other things posted on this site), some funny, some quite clever and all relevant. The post was removed within seconds, far too fast to have been read in entirety, causing me to conclude that the list offended a moderator’s personal set of “morals” rather than directly violating fluther’s guidelines. When moderator’s are able to remove posts for their own personal reasons and without having to at least get one other moderator’s approval, and without any sort of transparency or recourse for members who think their posts were removed erroneously, I believe we are entering dangerous ground.

Blondesjon's avatar

@tb1570…The libertarian in me says, “You should be able to post whatever you like.”

The playground rules capitalist in me says, “Then get your own website.”

The lazy part in me say, “Isn’t too early for all of this? Let’s deal with it later.”

The fat part in me says, “Are you gonna finish that candy bar?”

The psychologist part of me says, “You need some help. Get off the Internet and check yourself in somewhere before it’s to late.”

The AstroChuck in me says…

Hey! Wait a minute! Chuck, get the fuck out of me!!!

cak's avatar

@Blondesjon – that’s a great list! I sense a laugh coming on!

dynamicduo's avatar

@tb1570 – you raise a great point. I have had some concerns over the ownership of the words I write on this site. So I have corresponded recently with Ben and Andrew and they have told me that they are revising their community policies in various matters. So I highly suggest you send Andrew a private comment with a link to the thread, so that he may read your concerns.

Censorship is very interesting on the Internet, specifically because there is no guarantee towards free speech and no obligation to protect the integrity of a website (or lack thereof). This website is privately owned by whomever pays for the bills, and thus it is at their discretion whether to permit or disallow any type of comment with no needed justification. They have not taken such a draconian approach however. But there will always be someone who is disappointed when their comment is deleted, even if it does break the guidelines, and even if every single moderator agrees with the decision. Some people are just like that.

Now your comment, which I did not see personally (and that would have helped a lot in this discussion). And no one take offense to this please, that’s not what I intend. Your comment would, in my non-moderator opinion, not be deleted for having swear word, it would simply be considered Off-topic chatter (as it does not address the issue of sex during menstruation), which goes against the Fluther guidelines. Of course, I understand that you responded to a comment which could also be defined as Off-topic chatter, however poofandmook made attempts to make it as unobtrusive as possible and is a tiny comment observing the situation at hand. In my opinion, this is fundamentally different from your comment, which was (I’m basing this on your description of it) a list of words for the female anatomy including some crude ones. If the c word was on it, this may also be a reason why your comment was moderated, as for many people this is a derogatory term and may cause a derail of the discussion if people take offense to it being used.

But this is a symptom of a larger issue – how much joking and casual chatting is acceptable or desirable? And this is a tough question to answer, because everyone has a different view on what the right level is. So if new rules are added, some people will always be disappointed. You can’t please everyone. But, as you suggest, you can make it transparent so that people understand what is accepted of them while participating here.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

In my short time on Fluther I haven’t seen much censorship.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’ve been seeing a lot of censorship lately. I don’t like it!
We are all adults here we self-censor or if someone cannot the community will and should!
My 2¥

AstroChuck's avatar

@Blondesjon- Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve got this thing for giant eyes.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Just to be clear, tennesseejac’s and Blondesjon’s comments (above) were not removed by Fluther moderators.

Allie's avatar

@mcbealer There are more than four moderators: myself, Augustlan, sndfreQ, shilolo, omfgtalijustimdu, and gd_kimble. There are two site managers: richardhenry and PnL. Then of course the founders: Ben and Andrew. Sferik helps out sometimes as well.
Am I missing anyone? (Panicpanic.)

AstroChuck's avatar

Yes, Allie. Shame on you. gailcalled is fluther’s resident diva goddess.
How could you forget her?

jlm11f's avatar

removed by self

mcbealer's avatar

@Allie ~ shanks for clearing that up :)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Didn’t Lefteh used to be a mod? I never see him around here anymore it seems like…What’s with that?

Blondesjon's avatar

@AstroChuck…Awww…I bet you say that to all the eyes.

TaoSan's avatar

only those with tight retinas…... hehe!

90s_kid's avatar

GQ, man. I wanna know, also.

augustlan's avatar

Did a moderator seriously threaten to kick your ass?

90s_kid's avatar

They didn’t threaten…they did. And there’s nothing I can do about it or else I’ll get banned. (yes you aren’t talking to me I know).

augustlan's avatar

@90s_kid Correct. My question was to the OP. However, I don’t see how what you say is possible. Care to elaborate?

90s_kid's avatar

They kick our ass:
Removed by Fluther Moderators.

Nothing we can do:
We can not argue with the moderators or else we will get banned.

Allie's avatar

Umm.. If you’re referring to removing quips as “ass kicking” then you’re incorrect. We don’t remove anything based on personal reasons. Every time we remove something there is a logical reason for doing so. If you’re unsure about the reason why something was removed, then you can ask a mod. (It would help if you provided a link to the thread it was said in.)
As for the second part, you can talk to us about anything you’re unsure about. Like I said before though, we have reasons for removing the things we do. Just because you tell us your reasons for saying it (or whatever) doesn’t mean it goes back up. And you only get banned if you repeatedly break the rules, even after several warnings and requests to play nice.

90s_kid's avatar

Yes yes, but the fact is the you have the power to. We don’t. Nothing we can do about it. I try to defend myself when people PA me, but the mods just come and put the big removal….I feel powerless….
But not to a big significant point or anything just puitting it into exaggeration.

cookieman's avatar

Look, I’m a very liberal guy, but…all this whining about the Mods is silly.

Fluther is not a free-for-all. The guidelines are clearly posted. The Mods enforce the guidelines and make decisions as fairly as possible without being punitive. As @Allie points out, you can always contact the Mods with questions.

Ultimately, someone has to steer the ship.

Try exerting more energy creatively making your points instead of ham-handedly complaining that it’s just not fair. Now pick up your rattle and crawl on over to the next question.

90s_kid's avatar

I know, I know. I really did not want to get into detail with this, and here I am with my third thread. It’s late, so you win I guesss….
Just don’t you be insulting calling me a baby with a rattle. I just say that I’ve had experiences where I am defending myself ands that gets removed, and my opponent’s comment doesn’t. When people look at it, they believe my opponent and not me, for example.
So pick up your um…uh….briefcase and doublesided…hat…and try…to figure out…and decipher…another…problem?

cookieman's avatar

@90s_kid Calm down. You’re going to hurt yourself.

You know I love ya – my little brother from another mother.

90s_kid's avatar

@cprevite
Well my brain already hurts. haha

Blondesjon's avatar

@90s_kid…Is that a Sherlock Holmes reference?

90s_kid's avatar

Yep! I tried, okay? haha

Blondesjon's avatar

Awesome…jonsblond owes me five bucks.

tb1570's avatar

@augustlan Does this ring a bell:

”@tb1570 Say that, and I’ll hit you like a girl. By that I mean, I will kick your ass.”

It should. You wrote it.

augustlan's avatar

@tb1570 Ah, yes. I remember. Clearly a joke, (as we’d all know if you had provided a link to it) and not said as a moderator, either.

jlm11f's avatar

It’s funny how things can sound wrong when shown out of context.

tb1570's avatar

Thank you all for your responses. However, I still don’t feel that my core issue has been resolved, let alone truly addressed. Obviously I know this is a private website. Obviously I know there are guidelines. My issue was that why does it seem that the enforcement of said guidelines seems, at times, arbitrary or, dare I say, preferential? Why isn’t there more transparency in the censorship making process? Why can just one censor, er, moderator, decide to censor a post? (yeah, I know, I know, b/c it’s a private website, they make the rules and they can do whatever the hell they want and they don’t owe me or anyone else a response or a reason. Thanks, Hitler.)

Anyway, I get it now. I’m the F.N.G. I even had one moderator basically tell me to sit down, shut up and keep my mouth shut. However, from other moderators I have received helpful, constructive, insightful and friendly advice & responses. Thank you.

@augustlan Ok. As we all know, humor is sometimes difficult to translate through the written word (see “Hitler comment above), especially dry wit or sarcasm, two off my favorites. So I find I also am often misunderstood or mis-interpreted.

I would have loved to provide the link, but I don’t know how to do that. Could you please explain to me how to provide a link to a previous post or another web page? Thank you.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] To address some of your questions:

1) Sometimes the moderation process can be hit-or-miss. All of the moderators are volunteers, and we don’t have scheduled hours. At times, all of us are on the site at once, other times none of us are. It varies day by day, hour by hour.

2) The founders have set it up so that one moderator can make the decision and act on it. They trust us to act in accordance with the guidelines, in the best interests of the site.
.....2a) In what way would you like this transparency to exist? If you have a suggestion, feel free to click on the ‘contact’ link and submit it.

3) To provide a link:

From your browser window, copy the address of the page you’d like to link.
Type
Type whatever word you’d like to use as your link title
Type
Type :
Like this, but with no spaces in between: ” link title ” :
Immediately after the colon, paste the web address.

It may take a little practice (it took me forever), but you’ll get it

Edited to add: If you want to link to a specific answer on a Fluther question page, hover your mouse to the right of the Great Answer line, and you’ll see a little red mark. Right click on that and then you can copy the location address for that specific quip. Proceed as above.

scamp's avatar

@tb1570 I think the mod you are speaking of was having a bad night because I recieved a very terse private comment an hour after you did. I’ve never had a problems with the mods here, but they are mere humans, and not gods, so they too can have an off night.

For the most part the mods here don’t “pick on” people, so if you said something they felt wasn’t right for the site they would remove it. Don’t take it to heart. Just continue enjoying the site.

cookieman's avatar

They’re not gods!? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

scamp's avatar

ha ha!! nope, although some may think differently :P

Allie's avatar

Devi once told us that her name translates to “goddess.” Tali gave her a hard time about it. It was funny.

scamp's avatar

All hail the fluther gods/goddesses!! :)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

What does to ”PA” mean?

Allie's avatar

I’m not 100% positive, but my guess was “personally attack.” Seems to fit..

La_chica_gomela's avatar

ahh, that would make sense.

AstroChuck's avatar

Only Ben and Andrew are gods. The mods are just godlets.

Except, of course, for richardhenry. He’d be a godlette, being a Brit and all.

90s_kid's avatar

@La_chica_gomela
@Allie answered your question

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