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Newsboard Anarchy Trial
Posted by Magnus on 25 October 1999, 14:24 GMT

As any regular visitor to our site knows, there have recently been a lot of controversy about the comments on our newsboard. In accordance with our site policy, we have deleted comments that we have considered to be in violation of the guidelines or completely off topic. This has rewarded us with everything from "thank you"-notices to being called communists. It has also taken up a lot of valuable time from our staff members.

It was clear that something had to be done about the situation. As we saw it, we had three alternatives. We have tried the first one, are right now trying the second one, and would like to avoid the third one if possible.

The first one was to disable the posting permissions for the people who posted most off-topic or abusive articles (which accounts were affected is not relevant here). Naturally, this was done after multiple warnings to the persons in question. This was done a couple of weeks ago, the result of which each person can evaluate for themselves. The trial was in force around Oct 9th to Oct 19th.

The second one is the one we are trying now. For this two week period, we will no longer delete off-topic posts. We will let any kind of discussion go on. We will still delete articles that are clearly out to disrupt the page layout (such as 10 pages of blank lines), or that can be considered illegal or highly inappropriate (such as pornography links or anything like that). Apart from that, anything goes. Please note that there is no change in our policy as to what we will answer in this. We will still not answer off-topic posts. If you want to get in touch with the staff, use e-mail.
This trial will run from the posting of this article for two weeks, and will close on Nov 7th.

The third option, which we would like to avoid but will have to fall back to unless the situation is resolved, is to turn off the commenting on our news articles. News would continue to be posted, but the user commenting would be disabled. Discussions would be referred to the mailinglists where appropriate. While we think that this would remove value from our site, there is a limit to how much we can provide as a free service, and we have been pushing close to that limit.

Once the current trial is over, on Nov 7th, a survey will be posted, in which we will ask you, our visitors, which way you think we should handle the situation. The survey will be open for one week. This survey will be purely suggestional - we will make the decision based on the result of that survey and based on what we think at that time ourselves. The survey is not decision-binding. However, we can guarantee that the result of the survey (as well as the result of the trial in whole) will have great influence on the decision.

We have been accused (by certain parties, as far as we have noticed it is not a general concern, but we would still like to address it here) of not listening to the voice of our community. We feel that this has not been the case before, and certainly will not be in this case. But as usual, we ask you to send your constructive comments to our staff directly at news@ticalc.org (assuming it is about our news system). We do not constantly monitor our comment board for site suggestions. We do, however, keep all mail we receive to the appropriate mailing addresses, and we take into consideration every idea that is proposed to us.

We regret that the situation has gone as far as it has. Any other suggestions on how to deal with it are very welcome - drop us a mail anytime.

 


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
SySTeM_CRaSH Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow, total anarchy. That will be extremely messed up. I can only imagine it. Flame wars left and right between TI users and HP users. Put downs everywhere, swearing. Blood, gore! (Oh wait this is just a comment system. Scratch that.) Well, if we get all of our posting rights taken away I will be extremely pissed off. I will hunt down the flamers and shove a TI-92 UP THERE @##!!!! (First comment)

     25 October 1999, 14:40 GMT

Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
Kian Cochrane  Account Info

Learn how to spell, dumbass!

     25 October 1999, 21:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
ericb  Account Info

nothing is spelled wrong capt. fuzzy nuts

     26 October 1999, 03:32 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
h4X0r  Account Info
(Web Page)

welcome to the dungeon...

     26 October 1999, 04:12 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
BryanK  Account Info
(Web Page)

Nothing is spelled incorrectly, but using the word "there" instead of "their" is a grammar mistake.

     26 October 1999, 06:04 GMT


Newsboard Anarchy Trial
Brent Jackson  Account Info

I feel that ticalc.org has the right to censor *anything* that is posted on their site. It is their site. I do not believe they will censor anything on topic, even if it does
disagree with their beliefs. I know it is a lot of work, but
I think that the boards should be censored. I also feel that there should be a filtering system in place that would filter posts with questionable words, posts that contain many linefeeds in a row, and posts that are only one line.

I know many people will disagree with my thoughts, but in order to have an inteligent discussion the boards will have to be moderated.

I am sorry for any misspelled words...my spelling sucks ;> (I am a math/computer science major, not an english major)

Brent Jackson
bj38118@cs.appstate.edu

     26 October 1999, 04:23 GMT

Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

Do you think ticalc.org should censor comments just because they don't like what the poster thinks? (excluding the reasonable exceptions of vulgar language, etc...)

     26 October 1999, 04:44 GMT


Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
augustz

Sure, if the poster is an idiot, boring, blatherthing, trolling, flambaiting I for one would love to see them gone... Then we could have a discusion about what some of us care about here, calculators, and stear clear of the politics for a while. Why, do you disagree? Hehe... Here it begins again :)

     26 October 1999, 06:08 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

That is all subject to your opinion, whether the poster is an idiot or boring, etc.

     26 October 1999, 07:11 GMT


Re: Newsboard Anarchy Trial
augustz

I for one couldn't agree more... I respect the staff's opionion and would prefer to have more intelligently focused discussion on the articles rather than getting off into long discusions about the actuall running of the site.

The question is, can we get ticalc.org to get balsy enough to either implement a rating system, or just do the common sense thing and delete all the idiotic posts...

     26 October 1999, 06:06 GMT

Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

I think anarchy is the wrong word here. What about "free speech"? Its very evident its not going to be total anarchy here because anything "obxious" will be deleted, such as long comments of blank lines or links to porno. This situation is very similar to the "free speech" situation in the United States. Yes, we have "free speech" but with some (but few) reasonable limits, such as you can't yell "fire" in a crowded place.

I think this option is better labeled as "free speech" than "anarchy". And I hope this option works the best. If I can pitch in my opinion, I'd say its obviously the most fair of the three options.

As long as everyone doesn't abuse this, it should work. (Abuse being purely obxious postings.)

     25 October 1999, 14:42 GMT

Re: Free Speech
Magnus Hagander  Account Info
(Web Page)

Well, maybe anarchy is the wrong word. But I don't think that free-speach is the right one either. To continue your anology with the US, you cannot write anything you want in a newspaper. *Especially* not if you are not employed by that newspaper (e.g. in their 'letters from our reders' section or similar). They chose what to put up and what not to put up. I still see most people who appreciate that, and I don't hear anybody calling that communist.
You are always free to post your comments in your own paper etc, in the free-speach world, but that is just as you are free to post them on your own website. You are comparing the fairly absctract issue of free-speach in a country to free-speach on a site. We are not hunting down and silencing people in the community. Never have, never will. Not allowing people to post what they want on our webpages is more like ripping down advertisements that somebody put up on your door at home. Now, who do you complain to there? The one who rips it down (who owns the door) or the one who put it there without permission?

So much for the labeling. For the rest, I really agree with you on that it would be great if this worked out. And as long as people don't abuse it, it should. However, previous situations have shown it to be abused. But we are definitly willing to leave all that behind us and look at this situation as a completely new one. Let's hope it works out.

     25 October 1999, 16:01 GMT


Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

You should run a spell-check on your comment. :)

You can, in fact, print anything you want in a newspaper (there are a few rules such as making death threats against the President, but nothing at all unreasonable...) However you just have to be careful you don't get sued. The main thing is that the government does not tell you what you can and can not print. Doing that WOULD be communist.

I think the issue here is that the ticalc.org staff thinks of these comment boards as their own personal property. Sure, I can see that in a sense, since they physically reside on the ticalc.org server. And I have no real argument against that. I can understanding deleting comments that are totally obxious such as porno links or comments with 1000 blank lines. But beyond that, don't think ticalc.org should censor the boards like they were doing, by deleting every single comment they didn't personally like.

I think Chris stated it best on Nov 4, 1998:

"Let me remind people that we're not in the business of censorship."

"The last thing we want is a "cover-up." As this guy said, there's no reason to take out intelligent and purely speculative posts. Even if they're true."

Again let me repeat, I understand how you feel about these comment boards being personal property. But the fact that you open them up for public posting of comments means they are not totally personal. I would like to see more free speech and less of this strong-moderation.

Frankly, I really don't think the users have abused the comment boards as much as you think. Have people really posted very obxious comments that destroy the layout of the page? Its happened a few times, but not really that often. I think as a whole, we've done fairly well.. but there is, of course, still more work that could be done.

     25 October 1999, 18:23 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jacob Guilbeau  Account Info

while i hate to dwell on the past, didn't you once also make a mistake bryan? :-)

sometimes things take a while to fix. i feel these messageboards are something of a privilege and that the people who own these servers are the people who can dictate the rules. while you are correct in saying that since they open it to the public they should allow controversial posts, do you feel it right to allow posts that contain offensive and vulgar material just because they are controversial?

jake

     25 October 1999, 18:39 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

Make a mistake about what?

I'm not saying they should allow anything to go. A few rules such as refrain from swearing, don't link to porno, don't hit enter 5,000 times, etc. Those things are VERY reasonable. But the problem lies when they start deleting comments that follow all these rules, but the staff simply doesn't agree with the position of the poster. And instead of replying to the comment and rebutting the idea, they simply delete it. But no, I don't feel they should allow vugar/offensive language.

     25 October 1999, 18:44 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jacob Guilbeau  Account Info

well then in that case i agree with you 100%. if they are deleting comments which follow the guidelines but are against thier beliefs then they shoudl realize that that violates their rights. deleteing posts because you disagree with the what they are saying is wrong and should not be taken as a course of action

jake

     25 October 1999, 18:50 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
pitts Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree with what you guys are saying, I'm just trying to imagine if I were the person who had to go through and delete all the stupid comments. That would be a waste of time. I think that without the hassle of having to do that, the site may get better in other sections.

     25 October 1999, 22:11 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Nathan Haines  Account Info
(Web Page)

It is my job to moderate the comments board, answer help mail, and maintain the FAQ.

So it's not like I'd be adding files or writing reviews or anything in my free time. Right now (and for the next 14 days), I just spend less time on the site as a whole.

     26 October 1999, 07:02 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Satan WoRsHiPpEr  Account Info

USERS SHOULD DLETE ALL OFFENSIVE MATERIAL TO THEMSELVES THAT WAY U NO WORRY (SHUT UP NITPICKERS)

     28 October 1999, 00:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Will Dempster  Account Info
(Web Page)

Let me just say that we all make mistakes =) Don't flame bryan about his, that was quite a number of years ago, and he apologized for the incident. As my favorite band says "The past has past and we cannot take it back", so lets live like it and leave the comment boards open.

On the subject brought up by Bryan, I think it is a good idea to censor very little. Censorship should only occur in an extreme case and many of the times comments have been deleted they haven't gone against the rules we read above the box when we post.

Andale,
Will Dempster
-Dimesion-TI-

     25 October 1999, 22:33 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Erich Oelschlegel  Account Info
(Web Page)

Actually, last year, about this time. :)

~ferich

     25 October 1999, 23:33 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yup, it was. And Chris/Magnus/Andy/Isaac made a mistake on March 3rd of this year. So what?

     25 October 1999, 23:58 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Erich Oelschlegel  Account Info
(Web Page)

I just wanted to get his facts straight.

Nothing personal.

~ferich

     26 October 1999, 16:56 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Will Dempster  Account Info
(Web Page)

They sure did :)

     26 October 1999, 22:35 GMT


DrUgZ ArE bAd
Satan WoRsHiPpEr  Account Info

DrUgZ ArE bAd (HEHE NOT ON TOPIC)

     28 October 1999, 01:40 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Alapanamo  Account Info

>You should run a spell-check on your comment. :)

No offense at all is intended, but did _you_ run a spell-check? ;-D I assume you meant "obnoxious" when you wrote "obxious", right? That kind of threw me off when I was reading it (yes, I know, my inference skills aren't exactly the best :-)).

     25 October 1999, 22:59 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

No, I didn't. :) But I only made one spelling mistake, not several.

     25 October 1999, 23:34 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
ticalc_chris Account Info
(Web Page)

Write your next comment in Swedish and we'll see how your spelling is. That's about the most inconsiderate remark I can think of.

     25 October 1999, 23:45 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

English is a far more standard language than Swedish. This site is in English, not Swedish.

     25 October 1999, 23:57 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
mysteryegg  Account Info
(Web Page)

I cun't beleeefe-a yuoo're-a muckeeng zee Svedes! Ve-a hefe-a a heeghly supheesticeted lungooege-a. In uny cese-a, I'm gled zeese-a cumments veell nut be-a deleted.

     26 October 1999, 01:23 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jake B
(Web Page)

Run a spell check on your comment next time ;)

~Jake B

     26 October 1999, 04:42 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
jayms Account Info
(Web Page)

why the hell are you guys so caught up on spelling. its like you look for something to bitch at each other about.. you guys fight like a bunch of little girls. that's so stupid. almost every comment i've read on this post said something about "get a spell check!!" etc etc. does it matter? who cares about spelling anyway.. some people naturaly type really fast and they dont give a fuck about spelling. you guys should grow the hell up and stop bitching like little girls.

     27 October 1999, 01:19 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jesse Overby  Account Info

Damn straight. You guys are far too worried about spelling. My girlfriend whines less than you do. Look at content...spelling is a technicality.

Am I write? Or am I rite?? ; )

     28 October 1999, 20:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jason Curtis  Account Info

since we're on the subject of stupidity...guess what? communism isnt a form of government genius...it's an economic system...the form of government that controls all aspects of life is called totalitarianism...which is what you meant im guessing...(and what the hell was that capitalization commment a little down the page...uh-oh...im not capitalizing...well, you might as well delete this comment because no monkey in his right mind would read this...you know why? monkeys dont read stuff not capitalized!)

     26 October 1999, 01:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

When most people refer to communism, they mean the real-life form of it, i.e. - Russia or China, not the ideal communism. The whole idea behind communism is its all about the state, everything for the state, and the individual comes only after the state.

     26 October 1999, 03:00 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jonathan Kaus  Account Info
(Web Page)

nothing against you Bryan. You're great and I like your ideas. I just wanted to join in the fray. You are correct about people talking about attempted implemented communism rather than ideal, but communism isn't truly about everything for the state, the individual next. In true communism, the individual doesn't exist at all, and there is no government. Only the state. Therefore nothing is put first. All is in unity and all operates as a whole.
Also, about the totalitarianism remark before Bryan's, the correct name for your totalitarianist government is fascist government.







Note: This remark is just my personal attempt to nitpick remarks on this board and thereby hopefully getting people to realize how nonsensicle(I know, it is spelled wrong) and off topic things can get on here.
Have a nice day!
Guten Tag!

     27 October 1999, 04:39 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks for that clarification. I do believe that is more correct. :)

     27 October 1999, 08:13 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Nick Disabato  Account Info
(Web Page)

Magnus is Swedish. Contrary to popular opinion, languages other than English are spoken in the world, and English may not be a person's first language.

--BlueCalx

     26 October 1999, 04:00 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

But I know him, he speaks very good english. They do teach english all over the world. Its the most standard language.

     26 October 1999, 04:46 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Jason Curtis  Account Info

wrong again...try mandarin chinese

     26 October 1999, 07:12 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
meingts Account Info

It could be argued that Mandarin Chinese is spoken by the most people. But English is the most widespread.

     26 October 1999, 07:30 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
EvanMath

Only because Americans (in general... I'm actually American) refuse to learn other languages, so if anybody wants to do business with America, they have to do it in English.

     20 July 2000, 23:52 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Free Speech
Nathan Childress  Account Info

A censorship system such as the one you are talking about would be totalitarian, not communist. Communism has a bad reputation because those who tries to implement it were corrupt, Ex: Josef Stalin. The basic idea of communism is not entirely bad, just not completely thought out. It had unforseen consequences. Well I'm done :)

     26 October 1999, 07:51 GMT

Re: Free Speech
Shaun McCormick  Account Info
(Web Page)

Let me clear up free speech, and this whole issue:

Free speech is being able to voice one's opinions, but also having the responisibility for your actions. If you say something offensive, you are responsible for what you say, and can be punished for it. Free speech means having the option to say what you want. It does, however, say that you are responsible and know that whatever you say can have repercussions. For example, if I was to slander the president in such a way that it not only hurt his position, but also was fake, I could be sued (actually, with the president I could be arrested, but this is an example. Be less literal :P). Anyways, people who abuse the right of free speech can lose their right. It's a falsity that people believe. Just because something is your right does not mean it cannot be taken away from you. It's called prison. Anyways, since you wont be going to prison for any of this, lets get back on track. This message board (news/comment system, whatever) is not a podium for free speech. For those of you would-be screaming atrocities if ticalc should decide to close this message board, remember this. This board was ticalc's, and always ticalc's. It was never the people's or anything of the such. The moderators of this board are actually doing you all a favor and giving you mercy on your actions. I am sorry for those of you not responsible to the flames and etc. going on in this board. But it is as if this were a classroom in a school. If half the class is talking and the teacher comes in and makes them miss recess for talking, the other half is punished also for nothing. This is not fair, but when has life ever been fair? Those students must simply live with their anger. Sorry, but that's the way it is. If people flame this board, the board will be closed, whether or not there are people using it for good purposes. It happened at Ti-Files with our message board, why could it not happen here? Sorry guys, but get your own message board before you start slandering ticalc for being 'unfair.' It's you all who are being unfair to yourselves. Good move, ticalc. Maybe if you give them this last chance, maybe they'll listen. Then again, more than likely they wont. But just remember, it's their loss, not yours.

     26 October 1999, 00:13 GMT


Re: Free Speech
Mike Knapp  Account Info
(Web Page)

hey bryan, suck my p3n1x?

     26 October 1999, 03:49 GMT


Re: Re: Free Speech
Bryan Rabeler  Account Info
(Web Page)

That language was not called for young man.

     26 October 1999, 04:25 GMT

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