Meta Question

gurnblansten's avatar

Is it true that this site has censorship issues?

Asked by gurnblansten (346 points ) December 21st, 2009

I have heard that this site (fluther) is too strongly moderated and freedom of speech is stifled here. Is this true?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

95 Answers

Timebomb's avatar

Fluther is a well designed website with great people but in my opinion badly modded. Fluther is definitely the worsted modded site I’ve come across.

gemiwing's avatar

I have found the opposite to be true. The modding tends to keep the site clean, spam-free and intelligent. I enjoy that flame-wars are stopped immediately (for the most part) on the board. I’m not twelve and responses of people yelling at each other do nothing for me.

If Fluther was moderated less, I wouldn’t be here.

Timebomb's avatar

@gemiwing
“spam-free” by spam free you don’t actually mean advertising but in your opinion bad questions, how do you define what is a bad question? It’s all subjective one persons spam is another person interesting question.

And if you are talking about advertising I’d agree with you.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Hmmmm…I’ll just say that the censorship here seems extreme compared to the previous site I frequented. On the bright side, it’s great not being inundated with endless “Christian vs Atheist”, “What kind of pill is this?” and “How do I (fill in your favorite sexual reference)?” questions.

So it’s 6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other.

You get used to it.

gemiwing's avatar

I define spam as spam. Either an oddly-tasty potted meat, or people putting up questions with nefarious intentions.

EdMayhew's avatar

Well, see how long it takes them to remove this post, if they don’t then I guess they’re ok, or at least have a sense of humour.

And at the end of the day, it’s their website, you use of it is a privilege not a right, so they can do what they damn well like with it I guess.

Timebomb's avatar

@gemiwing
Just to counter what you said aswell, I only stay here because of the people if I found another good website with good people without the mods I’d be there.

gemiwing's avatar

@Timebomb That’s good. It’s nice to have a place you like and I hope you find one soon.

hearkat's avatar

“Censorship” is not what I would call it… we are free to discuss any topic and use profanity here. However, the founders and the community like to keep the coversations respectful and productive.

As long as you are engaging in a civil discourse, you are free to express your opinions. The preference for decent spelling and grammar simply helps ensure that everyone’s questions and comments can be comprehended by the general English-speaking populace.

I have been here for over two years and have never been moderated.

Timebomb's avatar

@hearkat
Here are some questions removed due to not being up to Fluther’s quality standards. This was with my last account. Almost all my question were removed and no matter how much I edited them wouldn’t be posted because of Fluther’s quality standards.

Here’s a short list.
Should be spell as we talk?
Is opposting gay marriage or evolution unChristian?
Is pedophilia a choice?
Are the general pubic hypocrites in relations to how money is spread around?
When did you lose your virginity?
Do you find golliwogs racist?
Do you think handing out with geekier people hinders my odds of attracting a partner?
etc

This list could be a lot longer.

Response moderated
XOIIO's avatar

LOL just kidding:)

Timebomb's avatar

Sorry “Do you think handing out with geekier people hinders my odds of attracting a partner?” was pulled because I put handing out rather than hanging out, I’m not too sure if it was submitted after that.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Quality control is not censorship.The standards of language here are much looser than those of other sites and no restriction as to topic. The moderators seem to be enforcing standards of comprehensibility, grammar and spelling. Maybe outright hate-speech would get modded, but I wouldn’t consider that a great loss as there are many other sites that welcome such.

Timebomb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land
No they said the questions weren’t insightful enough nothing to do with grammar or spelling.

With “Do you find golliwogs racist?” I think they said that it’s unclear what golliwogs are.

If all I had to do is to spell check it I wouldn’t mind but they said the questions weren’t good enough.

Timebomb's avatar

Look I’m going to leave it at this, on AIROW I used to right insightful questions and by the end my questions got a lot of good response now I just come to these sites to get help with physics.

They seem to be ok with me now I ask boring questions.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Timebomb But they weren’t restricting your topic, which is the essence of censorship. They wanted you to ask the question in a better manner, clarifying, adding more background material. etc. so as to be more understandable or provoke better discussion.

Timebomb's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land
How ever much I edited the questions with the help of the mods advice ( or sometimes the lack of it) still nothing they wouldn’t publish it.

laureth's avatar

For what it’s worth, “Freedom of Speech” as a Constitutional right doesn’t apply to any kind of moderation that Fluther could possibly do – i.e., they’re within their rights to delete anything we say. As long as Congress doesn’t pass any laws abridging the freedom of speech, your First Amendment “freedom of speech” right is intact.

Cotton101's avatar

It is their site and they have rules and regulations and we have two choices, like it or leave! Personally, I’ve enjoyed the site and have found the mods to be friendly and fair with their decisions!

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

They told me one more strike and I am banned…Now that is censorship in the extremis hehehe

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Timebomb Maybe your topic is one of the few that the moderators would rather not have here. If there is censorship, it is very mild and I can live with it. I find the friendliness and high intellectual tone of this site far outweighs any restrictions. In my stort stay here, I have found the moderators to be extremely friendly and helpful.They want questions to be posted in a variety of topics, but within minimum standards. There are many other sites that will allow you to post almost anything, so your freedom of speech is not being infringed.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I am fairly new here and find this site more closely moderated than others. I also have been told that “freedom of speech” is encouraged here. There’s a fine line between the two and I’m sure hard that makes it quite challenging for moderators at times.
I have no problem with the moderation practices here… much better than at the last site I was a part of.

Timebomb's avatar

Maybe it’s just me who knows, but I know a lot of people who used to go to AIROW and ask good questions got banned off Fluther. A lot of you seem to like it so maybe it’s not too much for you lot but it is to me meh. All I know is I use this place like Yahoo answers more than a discussion website.

In my opinion AIROW had better question and less censorship.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Timebomb There’s a website with great people (mostly, like anywhere) but is unmodded, as you would like it to be: www.wis.dm

Go try it out.

Timebomb's avatar

@Zen_Again
Doesn’t seem to be working Zen.

Cotton101's avatar

Help.com is a very liberal site with mods who are young and liberal. Could be a good site for you!

Zen_Again's avatar

@Timebomb About a year ago that website was our home. It closed down because it was unmodded. You haven’t seen chaos until you’ve seen an “unmodded” site. And hey, this question wasn’t modded.

Harp's avatar

We don’t allow personal attacks. Get nasty with someone and it’ll get removed. We’ll also remove a smartass quip if it happens at the beginning of a thread. We try to keep discussions from straying too far off-topic for too long.

We require that questions meet a certain standard of quality, but we work with the asker through the editing process until it clears. The mods are guided by the criteria set out by the site’s owners in the guidelines. This is editing, not censorship.

We don’t allow excessive txtspk.

We don’t allow spam (commercial or self promotion).

If someone repeatedly shows a flagrant disregard for these simple standards (troll-like behavior) or peppers the site with inananities, they may be asked to leave,

So, if all of this seems unreasonable, then this may not be the site for you. Fluther has a higher tone, more even quality and more civil members than most other sites largely because of the atmosphere that this moderation fosters.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

At least the moderation here is consistant and caring. At the site I migtrated here from, rules of use were posted but only enforced sporadically and with favoritism. From what I’ve seen so far here, the moderators on Fluther are dedicated to doing their jobs well and actually want to help the users.

SirGoofy's avatar

I don’t █████████ your █████████ question? What the █████████ are you talking about?! There’s no such thing as █████████ this█████████ site!!!!!!

Zen_Again's avatar

That made me laugh.

SABOTEUR's avatar

oooooooohhhhh…sounds like someone needs some coffee this morning…or had their coffee pissed in…!

janbb's avatar

I think the moderation is great here and I would not still be on this site if the quality weren’t kept consistently high.

gurnblansten's avatar

The reason I asked was the stumbleupon reviews for fluther mention censorship/ overzealous moderation etc. Personally, I think a site like this needs a certain degree of careful moderation to retain its value. Otherwise it could easily devolve to the level of, oh let’s say, YOUTUBE COMMENTS

john65pennington's avatar

I came over from Answerbag. best move i have made lately. Answerbag was to the point that 60% of the questions asked, were nasty and almost out of control. its like comparing
Walmart to Macys with its people. Answerbag is okay, but Fluther is at least two steps above Answerbag. i feel there is a better class of people on Fluther. i have heard enough profanity and suggestive responses in my career. i need normal now and Fluther provides this.

jrpowell's avatar

http://ask.metafilter.com/

Go there if you want to see moderation. The moderation here is nothing.

belakyre's avatar

Check out youtube comments…if they ever hire moderators there…they have a lot of work on their hands.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know what to say. It is possible that this site has censorship issues.

daemonelson's avatar

I’ve seen a little bit of unnecessary censorship. But largely it’s just getting rid of the old ALL CAPS ALL MOTHERFUCKING PROFANITY answers.

dalepetrie's avatar

First thing I’d like to say is you’ll get a HELL of a lot farther on this site if you bring issues like this directly to the moderators rather than posting a list of grievances in a question. Though it’s valuable to “tap the collective” for feedback if you don’t understand something, the mods have traditionally been very open to working with people to figure out whatever it is that they are having trouble with. Going out and criticizing them publicly is just kind of a dick move, because they do what they do for the love of the site, to make it match the vision they have for this place…they don’t make a ton of money doing this and they provide this great forum for you free of charge, so it’s kind of like kicking your hosts in the teeth. But they have not censored your question, so that should give you a good idea that they are understanding of your quest for greater understanding. So if we all give you the benefit of the doubt here and say your intentions are good and you just want to understand why you feel you’re being modded so much, then we can work on answering that.

Now, you say that no matter how much you change a question, it still doesn’t seem good enough, but you don’t provide any concrete examples, so it’s hard for any of us long timers to say, OK, the problem with the first go round was this and the problem with the second go round was that. All we can go by is your list of questions, and let’s break that down as to why I believe each of these was probably originally modded:

Should be spell as we talk?

Am I to assume the word “be” should be the word “we”? Poor spelling, that’s quality control, and even if you did use “we” instead of “be” it’s a grammatically clunky question. Further, what were the question details, was your intent clear for what you were looking for? Perhaps if in your details you were to give some examples, espouse your point of view and explain why you believe spelling rules should be changed to be completely phonetic, and give people something to openly discuss and debate, the question might be of high enough quality. But as it sits, even if the spelling and grammar were good, it’s basically a poll question, something that can be answered with a yes or a no without any real thought or consideration. This question could be presented in a way that would make it a good question, but we have no way of knowing what (if anything) you tried to do to make the question better.

Is opposting gay marriage or evolution unChristian?

Again, the word is opposing, not opposting, that’s the first problem. Second problem is that “unChristian” is not really a word, you could say “inconsistent with Christian values” for example, assuming that’s what you mean, but again, the meaning is not 100% clear. And again, what did you put in the support for the question. Another problem could be if someone had recently posted a question on that same thought…people here don’t want to see the same question rephrased, that’s why we have a search…I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but for future reference, that’s one thing you should be aware of, if there’s a very similar question that’s been posted recently, it’s redundant for you to ask it as well and your question will be removed.

Is pedophilia a choice?

This could be a really good question, and it is spelled properly, phrased properly, etc. The only things I can see as possible reasons this could have been removed would be primarily that it seems not flushed out well enough…again, a very simple question that could just be answered with a yes or no. If you were to perhaps give another option or two, or espouse a point of view in the details, that question would likely have flown. Another possibility is of course if you said something in the details that was clearly flame bait, or if you took too strong of a position as to make your question more a rant than a question. Overall, they simply want the question to look like a question that you asked because you want to create a discussion. And as I said, if the question was asked too recently, that could have been another problem. Point I’m driving at is, you don’t give us enough info to say, which relates to my first point, go directly to the mods, they will tell you EXACTLY what they didn’t like about the question and even give you pointers on how to fix it.

Are the general pubic hypocrites in relations to how money is spread around?

First, pubic should be public, in relations should be in relation, and the question is worded very awkwardly. One of many possible variations would be “Does the general public behave hypocritically in relation to the distribution of wealth?” And this is the kind of question that also could be interpreted in a number of ways, if you didn’t do a good job of describing what you were getting at in the details, it would be too ambiguous.

When did you lose your virginity?

Very much a “poll” type question, not conducive to a discussion. A better question would be, “Tell me about losing your virginity?” Then ask a couple of clarification questions to get at more than just “what age”, like even if all you really want at the end of the day is the age, maybe this isn’t the place to ask that question…now if you’re interested in how a person feels about that decision, did they wish they’d waited? Did they wish they’d done it sooner? Or something to encourage some discussion about the details, that’s a thought provoking question, not something you could just fill out on a questionnaire.

Do you find golliwogs racist?

I don’t know wtf a golliwog is, give an explanation of what a golliwog is, and why you ask, and this could be a passable question.

Do you think handing out with geekier people hinders my odds of attracting a partner?

I’m assuming handing should be hanging. And as with everything else, the devil is in the details. Say why you think it might be, inspire a thoughtful discourse.

Bottom line is, I can see, just off the top of my head reasons why every single one of those questions would have been modded at least the first time, and it has ZERO to do with censorship. Censorship is about trying to keep certain thoughts and ideas out of the public discourse, indeed if you look at what the mods do here, it’s exactly the opposite, they WANT there to be more and deeper and more thoughtful discourse. In a way, if they were to allow anyone to post any question they wanted, it would in effect drown out the quality questions and would have the effect of indirectly censoring potential discussion simply because the person who might have something of value to add might never find the question in the first place.

Moderation rules here are actually quite simple, and I have yet to see an example of anyone’s “freedom of speech” being limited in any way shape or form. It’s very simple, don’t attack people, don’t advertise, don’t use questions to engage in simple mindless chit chat and polling, learn to spell and use proper grammar and have something to fucking say.

Silhouette's avatar

This site seems to have a very liberal attitude. I like it here.

Zen_Again's avatar

@dalepetrie You are my hero.

wundayatta's avatar

Are you still here @Timebomb? Well, no matter. From the examples you gave, I’d have to say that your command of English could use some work. Several of your sentences were incomprehensible, and I am usually really got at figuring out what a person wants.

However, the real issues is not just the question title, but the details. This is where you have a chance to explain in detail what you are looking for. You can use examples. Or tell stories. Or any number of other things to help people understand what you want.

You can ask questions about any subject whatsoever (I believe) so long as you ask it in an erudite way. The trickier thing is to ask open ended questions, where flutherers can interpret the question any way they want. I’ve gotten into trouble on that score once or twice. I’m working on a strategy for that—which I think has to do with adding a lot of detail that actually says nothing. It’s been a while since I had the need for that.

Sometimes someone mods me because they don’t understand the question, and it’s not because it’s poorly written; it’s just because they don’t get it. I’ve had times when another mod comes along and has no clue as to why the question was modded. So it goes. The mods are human and don’t all have the same education or background.

I snipe at the mods from time to time, but I actually really appreciate their efforts. I just think I should be immune from moderation, lol. Oh well. As the song says, “you can’t always get what you want.”

tinyfaery's avatar

You don’t have to be here. You created a whole new account to bitch? What a waste of time. Go find a site that you like.

Pseudonym's avatar

Fluther has good moderation. Like I’ve said before, I’ve been observing Fluther for a long time, and there are more than a few trolls. I don’t know if anyone remembers that one question about food stamps, when TheIowaCynic ranted about illegal immigrants being horrible people. Thank goodness that answer was taken off. We intelligent jellies don’t need to hear inferior trolls!

Pseudonym's avatar

kudos to anyone who has the patience to read @dalepetrie‘s answer

Merriment's avatar

For all the references I have seen to the horrible spelling nazi’s and big brother censorship supposedly on this site I have yet to see any “censorship” that seems over the top. So no, I don’t find it to be true.

A few on Answerbag have picked up the censorship banner as their “proof” that Ab is a more worthwhile place. I have to say I find this amusing. Here the “censorship” seems to have a set standard behind it and is nothing “personal”. The same cannot be said of AB censorship. There was a very, shall we say, subjective application of censorship over there based on who you know not what you say.

It had gotten a little better with the turn over of the moderation team to people who were “fresh” and somewhat ignorant of the established cliques but it still fell far short of impartiality. The downside of their ignorance of the established cliques is that they seemed to be unable to spot the intricately worded assault disguised as a question that became the standard way of being a butt hole whilst flying under the radar.

The person authoring it and the intended target knew all too well what was being said but the staff seemed oblivious even when you attempted to enlighten them. And this is to say nothing of the sacred cow members who were protected despite the common knowledge on the part of the majority of members of their antics.

Personally, I’ll take a challenge to my grammar and spelling a million times better than seeing a site become a covert war machine.

janbb's avatar

@Merriment Well said.

Zen_Again's avatar

@Merriment Second the motion.

Darwin's avatar

If you don’t like a moderated site, go to Askville. They have lovely flame wars over there because the Mayor and his staff pay no attention until the roof falls in. Then they punish the wrong folks.

I don’t think I’ve been modded here. If I have it wasn’t a big deal.

What is a golliwog any way?

Cotton101's avatar

@Darwin very good answer!

AstroChuck's avatar

Just how many of these mod complaining questions is Fluther going to allow? Redundant questions are addressed in the guidelines. I don’t mind the occasional repeat question but Sweet Jeebus. This is getting as bad as all the 2012 questions. Enough with all the Fluther moderater questions already. Just find another site or shut the hell up.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Many people come on here and whine about how they can’t ask the exact question they want and how the mods don’t let this one slip by because, hey, you’re new and you don’t know how everything works. When I joined more than a year ago, I took the time to read through the guidelines and figure out what I could and could not do. Only two of my questions have ever been modded. Do you know why? Because I put time and effort into my questions. If something is spelled wrong, I correct it. If the question is vague, I fill the details section to bursting. If I think the question I have will not be understood, I wait to ask it until I have a clear, easily understandable phrasing in mind.

Personally, I think think the only censorship issues fluther has are people whining about how they think they’re being censored. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

@Cotton101: I took a peek at that link and, my god! The first three questions I saw made me cringe! I came running back to fluther as fast as I could.

Cotton101's avatar

loll…cool my friend! like this place!

janbb's avatar

@AstroChuck I think that was the first straight answer of yours I’ve ever read!

@Darwin A golliwog is an English doll – kind of like a Raggedy Ann Doll but with a black face and features. The racist term “wogs” comes from golliwogs, I believe.

gemiwing's avatar

@KatawaGrey Me too! Ouch. The spelling alone…oh my word. I couldn’t even understand some of the questions.

janbb's avatar

I think there is general agreement here that if people don’t like the way the site is run, they should go somewhere else. Those of us who have been her a while and many newbies are pretty happy with the quality of the modding and the membership. I don’t come to a meal at your house and immediately start bitching about the food…...

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I could not disagree more. I think the mods do a great job. We are allowed freedom of speech. The mods just make sure everyone stays on topic and keeps trolls from harassing people. Without them, this place would be a free for all.

Jeruba's avatar

<wearily> Fluther is not for everyone. There are many Q&A sites. A jelly bean drops into a bowl of Hershey kisses and immediately starts bitching that they’re all wearing clothes.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Great metaphor.

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t think it’s so much a censorship issue rather than keeping the intent of the site itself on track.

I mean, if you stay on topic, I’m sure you can pretty much say anything. I agree I find some of the modding slightly uptight, but if it weren’t this way, it might be a site with much less quality than it has now.

Zen_Again's avatar

Jeruba spoke… * sigh *.

XOIIO's avatar

@SirGoofy How did you get the black squares?

Darwin's avatar

@janbb – I know actually, because I Googled it. Nonetheless, I liked the effect it gave to my answer.

EdMayhew's avatar

@janbb

“I think there is general agreement here that if people don’t like the way the site is run, they should go somewhere else. Those of us who have been her a while and many newbies are pretty happy with the quality of the modding and the membership. I don’t come to a meal at your house and immediately start bitching about the food…...”

If I could GA that more than once I would.

laureth's avatar

@Pseudonym – I’ll take those kudos, thanks. I often find that @dalepetrie‘s answers, albeit long, are often well thought out and worth reading. Not everything can be expressed in a soundbite.

YARNLADY's avatar

Per wikipedia: The “Golliwogg” (later “Golliwog”) is a character of children’s literature created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century, inspired by a blackface minstrel doll…..The word “golliwog” has from the 1950s onward been used as a term of racial abuse directed at black people. This has reduced the popularity and sale of golliwogs as toys.

SABOTEUR's avatar

(This post is not directed at you, YARNLADY) Now I have a better understanding of why racism will never die…people like (I won’t say the name) who insist on recycling racial slurs under the guise of free speech. “Thanks for nothing, free speech advocate.”

KatawaGrey's avatar

@SABOTEUR: You sir, are absolutely correct. Every once in a while, I hear someone use a nasty word and they write it off as free speech. Free speech may protect your right to say it, but it also protects my right to tell you to fuck off.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Thanks @KatawaGrey. I was 4 lines into a rant before I thought better of it. It’s enough to know there is someone other than myself who believes this type of ~reasoning~ is out of line.

Darwin's avatar

@SABOTEUR – You are far from alone in your feelings about this sort of thing. But it just isn’t legal to kill ‘em all, and that is the quickest way to get rid of them.

However, things have changed a lot since I was a kid. If the changes hadn’t happened I couldn’t be legally married to the man that I married, nor could I live where I do, or even have the kids that I do.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Thanks for the support @Darwin, but I think I owe it to the forum to clarify my objection. I don’t want people to get this impression of me as this “poor African-American fellow” they have to tip-toe around so his feelings won’t be hurt.

I don’t object to what was asked as much as I object to the manner in which it was asked. How do you casually ask a question about racism while introducing/re-introducing archaic terminology used to demean black people? That’s like an invited guest attending my house party, crapping on the dining room table, then asking those in attendence if that was appropriate behavior.

“Damn who thinks it’s appropriate..who asked you to crap on my dining room table…and, how do you expect us to disinfect the food?”

There may have been no ill will intended in asking the question, but the jelly certainly demonstates a seeming lack of discrimination concerning what, how and where to ask certain questions.

So, I guess this lack of discrimination among most of us is why Fluther feels moderation is necessary.

Darwin's avatar

@SABOTEUR – It may surprise you to learn how many African-Americans are here on Fluther, as well as folks of all different racial, ethnic and national groupings. But then that is one of the great things about the internet. We communicate in essence mind to mind and the outer wrapping of each mind doesn’t matter unless we insist on making it matter.

Or as I have recently quoted in another thread, On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Dog.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Indeed.

dalepetrie's avatar

That is ONE nice thing about communication on the internet, for the most part I have no idea what “color” anyone else is, and I really don’t care….wouldn’t matter if I did know, it’s not important…the interaction is.

Cotton101's avatar

@dalepetrie damn good answer!

SABOTEUR's avatar

@Cotton101 It most certainly is. They should make it a “sticky”.

Cotton101's avatar

It is their site and they have rules and regulations and we have two choices, like it or leave! Personally, I’ve enjoyed the site and have found the mods to be friendly and fair with their decisions!

Made this comment early in the post….have changed my mind on this comment and retracting my statement. Mods are okay…the site, too formal for me! But, it is a good site for a person who is a good writer…leave me out…

Cotton101's avatar

Also, there is censorship here. The mods would not allow my question about AB! Their comment was, “there has been enough questions about AB!” At the time thought, okay, cool…but, the more I think about it, pisses me off…good grief, in the scheme of things, what the Hell…let people talk about anything, just keep it civil…

dalepetrie's avatar

@Cotton101 – respectfully, I question whether you don’t see the difference in your example above between censorship and quality control? Aren’t they really saying, hey, there are 2 dozen other forums already up where you can discuss any manner of things about AB, why do we need yet another tiresome, redundant question? From my perspective, the mods tend to make a big exception for refugees from other sites in regards to these types of questions. If two people were to ask similar questions within 24 hours of each other having nothing to do with AB or any other site, the second one would get modded, that’s just the rules, they try to keep it fresh, unlike every other similar site where you’re apt to see rehashing o f the same question multiple times a day. Think of it like the difference between a top 40 radio station run by robots and a play list, vs. a college radio station staffed by DJs who play what they want and don’t have a play list….one gives you the same content over and over and over and over and over again, while the other you’re always hearing something new and may not hear the same thing repeated for days. I say, be happy that this place has given you a forum to hash out your issues with your other site rather than implement REAL censorship and say, “you know what, you’re here now, don’t talk about where you were.” If you really think this is censorship, you need to look up the definition of the word.

shilolo's avatar

@Cotton101 Although it seems like a great idea to allow “talk about anything”, in practice, the inane and mundane begin to take over (just look at Yahoo Answers). Further, the owners of the site have to pay for the computing “power” to run this site (and store more than 1,000,000 quips and counting). If all forms of questions and answers were allowed, either they would need more slices, or the site would be super slow. It is their judgement that quality trumps quantity. Of course, there are other sites that are more liberal with their requirements, and so if you want to sate your appetite for random chat, they would be a viable option (try Askville and Yahoo Answers, for starters.)

YARNLADY's avatar

When following the rules of the site interfere with free expression of the user, the answer is yes. Is it censorship, or is it inability to follow the agreement made when using this site?

Darwin's avatar

If you really want to ask repetitive, mundane or inane questions, try Askville.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I think it’s more relaxed now as far as the types of questions people can ask. When I first joined, there were questions deemed as social that weren’t encouraged but that seems to have changed. On a previous site I belonged to which is now defunct, I posted and participated heavily compared to here where I rarely post but enjoy to answer and participate in threads of interest that make it through. I could have left but I really do like the moderation in the threads to keep attacks and excessive silliness to a minimum.

gurnblansten's avatar

AB? The All Blacks?

Cotton101's avatar

Just now read all the responses to my comment. Cool, understand your position, but having said that, I’ve a point. Certainly know the difference between censorship and quality control. Don’t want repetitive, mundane, and inane question Darwin…a given…bottomline, I know what happened..you guys don’t! Just felt coming over from AB, we might have been singled out…maybe I’m paranoid, but thought someone might have said, “we break those guys in right!” See a lot of simple-minded questions on Fluther that are okay. But, none of mine were! And, this is just not me, have talked with other people in the comment section that feel the same way. If there is no double standard, cool….eventually, “the light so shall shine through!” I certainly could be wrong here..if I’m, will be the first to say it. Just have a feeling that AB people were not wanted here. Hopefully, that is not true!

dalepetrie's avatar

@Cotton101 – To not welcome new jellies with open arms is 100% uncharacteristic of this site, it’s management or its users. We love having new people and I assure you there is no double standard. You may have had a particular experience that you can’t (or won’t) shed enough light on for us to judge, and that is what it is, so all I can say is se hope you’ll take everyone’s word for it when we say there is no double standard. AB is about the 4th big migration from another site, if it weren’t for refugees, this site wouldn’t be what it is.

janbb's avatar

I want to add that I think as Fluther has grown, we have learned to handle mass migrations better and we did embrace the Answer Baggers openly. The mods were working overtime to help people learn Fluther culture, a special chatroom was set up for AB’ers, and many questions were asked and answered. Many of us went out of our way to welcome the new folk and share Fluther lore and etiquette. Many of us are sticklers for grammar and spelling and sense, and errors in those areas will be addressed. That’s what makes it a quality site. If you are feeling attacked or hard done by, you may not have seen the whole picture or this may not be the place for you.

dalepetrie's avatar

Might I also point out to anyone who might feel his or her questions aren’t treated the same as a similar question posted by a veteran…it’s not what you see so much as what you don’t see. First off, how do you know that an existing flutherite wouldn’t have had that question or quip modded as well? I reject the assumption that it wouldn’t, but it’s hard to prove specifically because hey, any similar questions or quips have probably been removed BEFORE you ever saw them. Now if you post a question or a quip, it gets pulled and you see one exactly like it that DIDN’T get pulled, the first thing you have to ask yourself is, is this REALLY “exactly” the same? The devil is in the details, and there is a lot of nuance, if you don’t get the nuance it is easy to misconstrue two similar quips as being indistinguishable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant differences. And, in the case of a question, if you post a question and it gets pulled and you see a similar question, well that might in and of itself be the problem…redundancy.

Now it’s easy for me to say this as a long timer, but how do I know this? Well, because I was once a newbie myself. And I have had questions and comments modded. I have thought I was being treated unfairly. I have been certain I was being censored and that long timers were being given preferential treatment. But here’s what I did. When the mods took down something of mine, I talked to the mods. And I wasn’t always polite and level headed about it, in retrospect I realized many times the comments I made were snarky insulting and hostile. And yet, they didn’t take it personally. If there was something I didn’t understand, they took the time to explain it to me, to talk me through it. One time I even had a mod set up a private chat room with me and talk me down for like an hour and a half, and explain to me that decisions weren’t arbitrary and that the mods had indeed discussed my particular issue at length…9 of them actually conferred about it for ½ an hour before making the decision.

I can ASSURE you that thought is put into EVERY decision and it’s designed to be fair and equitable, and to make sure that EVERYONE plays by the same rules.

Civic_Cat's avatar

I joined a couple weeks ago.

My third question got “moderated”

“Eight days left and I’m still uncomfortable calling them the “ohs”, “aughts” or “noughties”. How about you?”

The notice said:
“The mod team pushed this to editing because:

Your question subject doesn’t explain your question. Try making the question more clear and more descriptive. People should be able to get the idea of your question from the subject. What are “oughts” and “noughties” ”

The folks at the Wikipedia Reference Desk nor the RationalWiki Saloon Bar have much difficulty in the same questions I posted there and there ,

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before this one is moderated:

Where do flutherites go to ask dumb, or at least silly, questions?

Also, I’m already beginning to wonder about the credibility of some of the folks here as per my question here
.

By the way, just how does one go about countering the “moderating process, and is the process of getting a question re-instated here as futile as trying to get a question re-instated in AB and YA?

I found out the hard way in both AB and YA the difficulty in trying to get a question re-instated. It happened only once in YA, and that was due to a fluke—one of their glitches.

As for these questions:

Is pedophilia a choice?
Are the general pubic hypocrites in relations to how money is spread around?
When did you lose your virginity?
Do you find golliwogs racist?
Do you think handing out with geekier people hinders my odds of attracting a partner?
etc

I see no problem in letting them in.

SABOTEUR's avatar

After my last statement on this subject I considered myself through with AB related questions. I’m going to put this out there because it seemed to be a moment of clarity…for me, at least.

EGO.

Isn’t that what this whole “censorship”, “quality control”, “moderation” thing is all about? We have X-number of AB veterans who’ve been about for a number of years, who knew their way around AB better than the back of their hands. There is absolutely nothing you could tell them about AB culture. Some of them helped shape it, for crying out loud…the cream of the friggin’ AB crop, so to speak.

You have these people suddenly forced, for whatever reason, from their home and who find themselves in a strange new environment.

Ground friggin’ zero.

The new kids on the block.

Now, under normal circumstances, they might have been able to sneak in relatively unnoticed and learn the new culture quietly and at their own pace. It didn’t happen like that. We came in mass and were greeted at the door by a well organized, highly disciplined culture who were prepared for the sudden unexpected influx of new arrivals.

Since these Flutherites, many of whom were former refugees themselves, were familiar with being thrust into a foreign environment, they offered the new arrivals a crash course in Fluther etiquette.

(Now here’s the point of the whole thing.)

WE, meaning “former” ABers, didn’t WANT a crash course in Fluther etiquette. We wanted our beloved site to return to what it was; and if we couldn’t have that, we were intent on changing making the people already here accept us on our terms.

(Who are these people to tell us what to do?)

We learned pretty quickly We’re learning (to our chagrin) that neither is likely to happen. Fluther has it’s own way of doing things, and like it or not, it will continue to do things as they’ve been doing them prior to our arrival.

Answerbag, as we knew it, is DEAD.

It behooves those of us who migrated from there to allow that old site to rest in peace and decide whether or not we’re willing to adapt to the way of doing things here, and evolve with this site, as we did with the other site…

…or leave.

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