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Last post Author Topic: On free speech in forums  (Read 15540 times)

40hz

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2009, 04:22:35 PM »
Agreed 40hz but in my reply to trianglos, I was referring specifically to the application of graduated permissions in opinionated forums and tech support forums.

(I'm not sure you understood that so I just repeated what I said.)

I didn't. Or more correctly, I missed it.

I also agree with you about graduated permissions being a bad idea.

You're on the bus - or off the bus! is the way I run my life and my business*. Once you're made part of the circle, you're welcome to come around any time. I'll even give you a key to the door (house or office) if you want one. Everybody else gets to call and make an appointment.


Ditto websites. The way I see it, if I set certain conditions in order to gain full access -  and the person complies - then they'll immediately get the whole 9-yards without further ado. A deal is a deal. And it stays that way unless this person gets stupid and deliberately starts violating the social contract they agreed to abide by. At which point, they'll usually (depending on the problem) get a warning (or two) before they get shown the door.

---

* I'm a Boomer. Does that surprise you?  :mrgreen:

« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 04:27:38 PM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2009, 08:43:40 PM »
Quote
It is one thing to realize a fault in human character (a lot of people won't behave fairly if they don't have to, but have something to gain). It is a completely different thing however to espouse and promote unfair behavior as the basis on which to build your life or your business.

well said.

mouser

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2009, 08:56:16 PM »
getting back to the original question..

just some quick thoughts:

I can see why someone running a business or website with a forum could be concerned about abusively critical posts; I think one has to remember that the majority of people reading posts on a forum are not long term readers who will take the time to read everything and educate themselves, so there is the very real fear that some new person will find such posts (especially through a search) and make a very negative snap judgement.  And of course this issue becomes much more real if you have someone with a grudge determined to exploit these facts and trying to harm your reputation.

However, the idea of removing normal honest negative criticism is essentially declaring that the forum is not a place for open discussion of benefits and weaknesses.  It is declaring that if people want honest balanced discussion of your product or ideas, they will have to go elsewhere.  And it puts on notice anyone who might otherwise be a long term participant, that this forum is *not* a place where they can express dissenting views freely.

Now such a forum may still serve a useful purpose -- such as to provide tech or sales support.  It's just not going to be a very interesting community forum, and shouldn't be presented as such.

Life is much more interesting if you let people speak their mind and disagree with you, and let a forum be a place of record to share different views.  It's true that sometimes the cost for this is a bit of occasional vitriol and something that could scare off a random drive-by reader, but that's life.  And rather than see such threads as things to be deleted and hidden, it seems to me far better to treat them as opportunities to reassert the value of open discourse.

rgdot

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2009, 09:06:04 PM »
Free speech is not harmed or rendered useless so long as everybody realizes that one person, anonymous or not, does not wisdom make.
If I read one negative review of a product it doesn't and shouldn't turn me off the product but when 100 people, who may be anonymous, repeatedly say negative things about a product it is more likely it's true.
Even if you account for spam posts or comments or even competitor sabotage on the whole still 100 negative do carry more weight than one negative review and by the way that's not exclusive to the web. Marketing ads on TV and other media regularly and by design tout a product over another while implicitly and explicitly discrediting the other.

mouser

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2009, 09:38:24 PM »
Quote
but when 100 people, who may be anonymous, repeatedly say negative things about a product it is more likely it's true.


Tons of research backs up the phenomena you are describing very strongly -- the more you hear something asserted, the more you are likely to believe it.

And i think something needs to be said about this, and this gets back to the reputation issue raised by others.

One of the reasons why companies and politicians pour money into making sure the same sound bites and assertions are fed into your ears over and over and over is to exploit the brain's tendency to believe something when it is repeated often enough.

I think one of the dangers of the increasing ubiquity of cloud/social networking sites and crown opinions, is the potential for companies to exploit this kind of thing in producing under-the-radar campaigns against competitors and to promote their own products.

Even absent these kinds of paid campaigns, there is a whole field of research on what DC member alex3f calls "information cascades" where you get a kind of arbitrary snowball effect of crowd opinions that can lead to some very misleading group preferences.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 09:41:36 PM by mouser »

rgdot

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2009, 09:53:52 PM »
The thing is if someone is seeking 'opinion' and 'expertise' what else can he/she or do? Downloading shareware trials are a software thing but other products?
Snow ball effects, information cascades or the perhaps derogatory sheep mentality have a valid origin in them. Even if there are numerous examples of them as exploits. One can have an 'independent' mind and not follow or fall into traps but the need for seeing 'what others have done' always exists.
Personally I would define falling for beliefs (insert_politician_name is the best or Apple_products_rule) differently than following the masses in buying a specific product. The broader is at the different level of thought than the narrower in my opinion.

Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2009, 11:37:06 PM »
@trianglos

Quote
"If you're not interested in politics, then politics will get interested in you" (I've probably mangled that quote).

You may or you may not have mangled that quote but that is going in my quote database.  :P  :up:

@40hz

Quote
Ditto websites. The way I see it, if I set certain conditions in order to gain full access -  and the person complies - then they'll immediately get the whole 9-yards without further ado. A deal is a deal. And it stays that way unless this person gets stupid and deliberately starts violating the social contract they agreed to abide by. At which point, they'll usually (depending on the problem) get a warning (or two) before they get shown the door.

Agreed.

This makes me wonder though...what's your opinion of the opposite? (and this question is to everyone reading this thread too)

The concept of a disintegrating permission has always piqued my curiosity but I've never seen one in action.

For a short while though, I've read things that claim that the future of moderation is to trick a troll that he's still viewing and interacting in a forum except his posts are invisible to everyone. (but he sees the page and the new posts normally as if nothing has happened to him)

The idea becomes even further mangled when we transfer it past forums and the PC.

In our world, there is often claim of free speech but we are no longer in a dictatorship that censors everything.

Instead, most of us live in a fragile democracy that subtly censors or makes our feelings apathetic or even scares us to speak our mind because even when stones are not thrown, the same free speech can be used to destroy our character and our individuality through gossip, subtle censorship, swiftboating, mob mocking and culture pressure.

@mouser

Quote
However, the idea of removing normal honest negative criticism is essentially declaring that the forum is not a place for open discussion of benefits and weaknesses.  It is declaring that if people want honest balanced discussion of your product or ideas, they will have to go elsewhere.  And it puts on notice anyone who might otherwise be a long term participant, that this forum is *not* a place where they can express dissenting views freely.

Again, I agree with you mouser but I'm just being a devil's advocate as to contextualize the issue about Pavlina's forum.

Just as a religion forum could possibly open itself to "belief criticism" but can just as censor the thoughts of atheists' and those of other religions, certain forums like Pavlina's can loophole the issue by removing normal honest negative criticism of a certain category.

An example would be a honest negative criticism of the spiritual aspects of his post. I have never lurked much in his forums but from the sound of it, he can remove them but still create the illusion of openness by providing a place where people can have critical "believer level" posts.

When you do it like that then the forum's reputation may get negative reviews but on the long run you create this illusion that you simply are setting a limit (no more different from any forum admin) instead of one who purposefully hides negative criticism.

This cannot work successfully on every business-linked forum but I don't see the gap being too large that it will hurt such popular brands like Steve's because the perception isn't that of a corrupt dictator but that of a bad customer service and while bad customer service hurts; How many customers do most companies still have despite having bad customer service?

Quote
Even absent these kinds of paid campaigns, there is a whole field of research on what DC member alex3f calls "information cascades" where you get a kind of arbitrary snowball effect of crowd opinions that can lead to some very misleading group preferences.

Interesting link mouser. Could you clarify what the difference is between information cascade and say...social conformity?

I know conformity was also linked in the wikipedia article but this is a case where I read them as exactly the same.

I'd also like to add that one doesn't need to cascade information or repeat it often enough. The idea starts as simply as social proof. Take some of the things written in this book I'm currently reading. (Well...a "lots of typo" torrented .doc of it at least --- but anyone guilty can just buy the book.)

Quote
Although her programs retain many of the elements common to most infomercials, including flashy catchphrases, an unrealistically enthusiastic audience, and celebrity endorsements, Szot changed three words to a standard infomercial line that caused a huge increase in the number of people who purchased her product.

Even more remarkable, these three words made it clear to potential customers that the process of ordering the product might well prove somewhat of a hassle. What were those three words, and how did they cause sales to skyrocket?

Szot changed the all-too-familiar call-to-action line,
"Operators are waiting, please call now," to, "If operators are busy, please call again."

On the face of it, the change appears foolhardy. After all, the message seems to convey that potential customers might have to waste their time dialing and redialing the toll-free number until they finally reach a sales representative. Yet, that surface view underestimates the power of the principle of social proof: When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look outside themselves and to other people around them to guide their decisions and actions.

Quote
As another example, if you were selling software to the owner of a string of local beauty salons, she'd be more influenced by information about how pleased other salon owners are with your software than by how pleased the big shots at General Motors were.

After all, she'd be likely to think, "If others like me have gotten good results with this product, then it should be right for me, too."

And if you're a leader or a manager attempting to persuade employees to willingly embrace a new system, you should ask for a positive testimonial from others within the same department who have already agreed to make the switch. But what if you've tried that, yet you still have one stubborn employee—perhaps the person who has been working with the older system the longest-whom you still can't win over?

A common mistake managers might make in such a case would be to choose the most eloquent coworker to try to explain the benefits to his or her stubborn coworker, even if he or she is completely different from that person on a number of important dimensions. Instead, the manager's best bet would likely be to solicit the opinions of another coworker-perhaps someone else who had also been working under the system for a long time-even if that particular person happens to be somewhat less articulate or popular.


Quote
To test the role of negative social proof (and to see if we could design a more effective message), one of us, along with a team of other scientists, created two signs designed
to deter wood theft at Petrified Forest National Park.

The negative social proof sign said, "Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, changing the natural state of the Petrified Forest," and was accompanied by a picture of several park visitors taking pieces of wood.

A second sign conveyed no social proof information. Rather, it simply conveyed that stealing wood was not appropriate or approved, saying, "Please don't remove the petrified wood from the park, in order to preserve the natural state of the Petrified Forest."

That sign was accompanied by a picture of a lone visitor stealing a piece of wood, with a red circle-and-bar (the universal "No" symbol) superimposed over his hand. We also had a control condition in which we didn't put up either of these signs.

Unbeknownst to park visitors, we placed marked pieces of petrified wood along visitor pathways. We also varied what sign (if any) was posted at the entrance of each pathway. Through this procedure, we were able to observe how the different signs affected petrified wood theft.

In a finding that should petrify the National Park's management, compared with a no-sign control condition in which 2.92 percent of the pieces were stolen, the social proof message resulted in more theft (7.92 percent). In essence, it almost tripled theft. Thus, theirs was not a crime prevention strategy; it was a crime promotion strategy. In contrast, the other message, which simply asked visitors not to steal the wood and depicted a lone thief, resulted in slightly less theft (1.67 percent) than the control condition.

Quote
To test the idea that the value of an item declines when it's offered as a gift, Raghubir had participants view a duty-free catalog that featured liquor as the target product and a pearl bracelet as the bonus gift. One group of participants was asked to evaluate the desirability and value of the pearl bracelet in the context of the gift, and another group was asked to evaluate the pearl bracelet by itself. The results confirmed the hypothesis: People were willing to pay around 35 percent less for the pearl bracelet when they saw it bundled with the target product as an add-on than when they saw it as a standalone product.

These findings reveal some potentially negative implications for businesses that promote a particular line of products by throwing in goods or services for free that the business normally sells independently. Raghubir suggests that one way of preventing the offer of gifts or services from backfiring is to inform or remind customers about the true value of the gift.

For example, imagine that you work for a software company. One way that you attract new business is to offer a free piece of software, let's say a security program, to new customers. If in your advertising and your mailings you offer this free product and fail to point out what it would cost customers if they had to pay for it themselves, you're losing out on an effective way of positioning your offer as valuable and significant.

After all, if you write down "free," numerically the number is $0.00-not a message you would want
to send to prospective customers about the worth of your products.

To ensure that your offer is seen as the valuable proposition it actually is, the customer needs to be shown the true value of your offer. So, no longer should your message read, "Receive a free security program." Instead, it becomes, "Receive a $250 security program at no cost to you."

That said I'm not a marketer so I can't verify all the effectiveness of these control but I know the last bit has worked on me so it won't take a 100. More than 1, but by 12, I may already be influenced. (but I am a very gullible person so it might take longer for others.)

@rgdot

Quote
The broader is at the different level of thought than the narrower in my opinion.

It really depends on what you consider broad and narrow and hopefully the above quotes show that too.

One of the best argument (that's tailored for casual people) that I have recently heard is the Obama and Online Dating explanation by Dan Ariely.

One is narrow.

The other is broad.

But specifics aside, both can have a similar source of influence.

Video located here: http://fora.tv/2008/...ma_and_Online_Dating

Article here: http://www.huffingto...-dating_b_92612.html
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 11:43:24 PM by Paul Keith »

mouser

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2009, 12:49:21 AM »
Quote
Interesting link mouser. Could you clarify what the difference is between information cascade and say...social conformity?

i think the key difference would be that the concept of an information cascade seems to focus on the idea that the groups preferences and choices affect the information that others are exposed to, which can create a kind of feedback loop.  as an example imagine a voting site where the top rated movies are pushed to the top of the list of recommended movies, where they tend to accrue more watchers, and then more voters, etc., and essentially get stuck in a positive feedback loop and never leave the top position.  It's not that anyone is conforming to the crowd, consciously or subconsciously, it's that the system kind of gets stuck in a very small region of the possible space of choices.

keep in mind this is not my research area at all so i'm just relaying my casual understanding of the idea -- others can correct me.


people have leveled serious criticisms of sites like digg on the grounds that they are highly influenced in a counter-productive way by information cascades.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 01:11:58 AM by mouser »

Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2009, 12:57:41 AM »
Thanks for clarifying nevertheless.

That is interesting...I've never really thought of it like that. I guess I was so focused on the idea that voting is game-able that a positive feedback loop never really occurred to me.

40hz

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2009, 11:35:55 AM »
For a short while though, I've read things that claim that the future of moderation is to trick a troll that he's still viewing and interacting in a forum except his posts are invisible to everyone. (but he sees the page and the new posts normally as if nothing has happened to him)

It's already doable, but hardly worth the effort.

Attempting to apply a quick technical fix to what is essentially a human problem is just another example of wishful thinking on the part of people who understand tech too well, and their fellow human beings too little.

Personally, I don't think plain technology is a workable or sustainable solution to the human dilemma.

Look no further than Afghanistan for an example. Here you have two instances of what happens when hi-tech military butts heads with tribal culture. High tech may not exactly lose - but it still remains to be seen whether it can actually win such a conflict.


app103

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2009, 12:12:52 PM »
What I was trying to say before is that negative criticism unaddressed or deleted can backfire in this way:

I am one of your customers. I have paid money for your product or service. It has some flaws, faults, or shortcomings that stand in the way of me being a happy customer. I am upset and/or disappointed. I come to your website or forum and tell you about it. It's not a positive review full of praise of your product, in fact, it's quite negative.

I would not have come to your site to tell you about this unless I wanted you to read this. I would not have come to your site and taken the time to tell you the problems your product or service has unless I also wanted to give you an opportunity to change things and make me into a happy customer.

What do you do?

A. Respond to my message on your site. Apologize. Attempt to solve the problem. Attempt to clear up misunderstandings. Tell me about your plans to fix things. Maybe offer me a refund if you can't. Give me the email address of the proper department to complain to. Tell me that you have sent me an email and are willing to discuss the matter directly with me.

B. Ignore my post completely. Let it sit there without a response.

C. Delete my post or comment to erase any evidence that your company, product, or service isn't perfect.

If you choose Option A, you have the opportunity to change me into a happy customer. When others see this, they will know you care about your customers. For a potential customer that is undecided as to whether they are going to purchase what you offer, this could very well be the deciding factor...how you handle a customer's problems. It is an indication how you will likely handle their problems if they should have one.  It really doesn't matter what you say as long as you are attempting to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. For people that come along later and see that you have tried to resolve the issue, they will likely remember the negative a lot less than you will imagine, and remember what you did, instead.

If you choose Option B, you show me and the world that you don't care. I am likely never to purchase your product again. I will go away very dissatisfied and likely will be giving your competition my business, in the future. Potential customers will see this too, and it delivers the same message. They may not decide to become your customer if you do this too many times.

If you choose Option C, you will make me angry. I am not only likely never to buy your product again, I will make sure everyone I know knows about what happened. I will become a thorn in your side, posting about my experiences and your choice to delete rather than respond anywhere and everywhere that I can, possibly in places you can never access, offline as well as online. It will no longer be about your product or service and it's flaws. It will be all about you and your company and how you mistreat your customers. I will be loud about it. I will make sure other people read it and hear about it. When your potential customers see something like this once, it might not make much of a difference, but when they see many people complaining how you treat them when they have issues, they will likely not be your customers. They will be afraid to trust you. Your competition will get their business. People like me do pay attention to stuff like this.

Ask yourself before you delete it: If this was a direct phone call to the company, would you hang up on this person, put them on hold till they hung up, or would you address it with a response? Do the same thing for that post or comment. It really is no different, except that the world is watching how you handle this customer.

Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2009, 12:23:31 PM »
Thanks for your opinion, 40hz.

I agree with what you said except for the portion of "hardly worth the effort".

I know you were specifically referring to the quoted portion of my reply but I also get the sense that you hold the belief for any technological idea.

To that end, I would say it is worth the effort to "experiment" in order to "invent" and further human progress and that plain technology is a sustainable solution to any human dilemma. (After all, how far have we come from the wheel?)

This is because tech is not a separate entity or object but a victim of human stubborness trying to solve human dilemma.

(I know this is coming off like I'm pointing out to major tech discoveries only but look again at the wheel. How major was it at it's discovery and how minor is it today?)


40hz

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2009, 02:36:05 PM »
Thanks for your opinion, 40hz.

I agree with what you said except for the portion of "hardly worth the effort".

I know you were specifically referring to the quoted portion of my reply ...

Well, I was being somewhat specific on that point because I am personally acquainted with two people who tried the "isolation ward" solution. FWIW, it's easily detected (or deduced actually), adds a lot of overhead to the site, and can easily be circumvented simply by re-registering under a new username.

Quote
...but I also get the sense that you hold the belief for any technological idea.

Um no...actually yes...well actually no. I'm probably coming across much more Luddite than I actually am. What I was trying to say (apparently not very clearly :redface:) was that technology alone is not a universal panacea to social woes.

As regards technical solutions in general, I think it's important to differentiate between things aimed at addressing human 'conditions' as opposed to those directed at human 'behaviors.'

Technology that corrects undesirable conditions or situations (e.g. vaccination programs and other preventative health measures) is generally workable, sustainable, and worth the effort.

But as far as following a pure "technical fix" approach to human behavioral issues, I find myself both skeptical and conflicted...

I'm going to have to think this part through a bit before I comment. There's about six hundred things I find myself trying to say (and all at the same time! ;D ) so I'll have to get it straightened out in my own head before I blather any further.  Stay tuned... ;)


Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2009, 03:58:58 PM »
Haha, looking forward to it 40hz. Looking forward to it very much (and thank you for expanding on the flaws of the isolation ward theory)

Speaking of jumping through points,

This url doesn't really contain much substance but it is related to everyone's many post here: Bad Reviews Boost Business Sales

Back to 40hz, you might want to read some of Neil Postman's books.

I'm not saying your statement of "I think it's important to differentiate between things aimed at addressing human 'conditions' as opposed to those directed at human 'behaviors.'" is wrong but there is a massive underrated truth to the fact that when you change human conditions, you change human behaviours.

Some over-stretched examples to highlight the ramifications:

Gutenberg Press -> RTFM

Linux -> Open the Source of Software!

MultiTorg Opera -> I can't live without Firefox Extensions and Firefox is good even though it was a hail mary move applied to Netscape while other more legitimate open source browsers are "unknown" cause they don't have the extension of Firefox so they aren't saints until I am putting them all in one category of open source apps mmmkay?

Blogs as an online log for software changelogs -> OMG LYK HAVE YOU READ WHAT I WROTE IN TWITTER?! LYK OMG anything past 140 char. is tl;dr. LYK OMG It's true! Shakespeare said "Brevity is the soul of wit"

TV -> Honey, the news is here. Some girl showed a nipple. Time to get mad. wait... Oh it's alright take your time, the ad is on. THERE! It's back! Quick, let us become mad and send angry letters
until nipples don't pop out in TV shows anymore! Hurry! We can buy some porn while we drop them at the post office.

Forums -> when trolls attack...

Wheel -> Transformers = rule! Fast and the Furious = cool! Cars = Necessity!

mouser

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2009, 05:15:06 PM »
This url doesn't really contain much substance but it is related to everyone's many post here: [url=http://holykaw.alltop.com/bad-reviews-boost-business-sales]Bad Reviews Boost Business Sales

I strongly suspect that this statement is very misleading.  A more accurate way of phrasing it is probably that: Having a majority of good reviews and a policy that makes clear they are an honest collection of reviews that discuss pros and cons is good for sales.

Having mostly bad reviews seems almost certain to doom sales.

Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2009, 08:58:44 PM »
It's not just misleading mouser, it's using flawed evidence.

However I do think it's not out of the realm for such an effect to take place.

By now, everyone pretty much knows what softpedia is or what techcrunch is or expects decent software to get 4 stars and would be surprised if something gets 3.

Also most decent Amazon bestsellers can have the polarity that while there are still lots of good reviews, often times having lots of 1 star reviews being near equal enough is what provides the controversy and flames the curiosity on whether I do decide to get the book or not.

In IMDB, I go even one step further. I often jump to two sections. Forums and Hated It sections. Only after all that do I even register the Best section or any higher than 1 star review.

Generally software avoids this issue but when I'm skimming for reviews of any paid product, I tend to always seek a bad review. The reason being that when review numbers stack up: bad reviews that are honest and discuss the pros and cons of a product trumps good reviews that do the same because you expect them to mix their reviews with your unfounded worries, criticisms and questions.

Yes, it might seem strange that I would seek bad if not the lowest rated reviews first but that's where reputation mechanics alleviate the issue.

Amazon for example made me start reading some 3 star reviews when they added a layer of "most helpful favorable review" and "most helpful critical review". The latter especially.

Without that, I would have been back clicking on 1 star reviews of books and reading them.

Also my personal circumstances basically force me to adapt to this. (I don't have thousands of cash to spend on books. 20 US$ is equivalent to 1k or approximately 933.203 Philippines Pesos. If I can't find a torrent for that book and it may fit the paradigm of a book that may help leapfrog my knowledge and give me answers to my dilemmas, I will always encourage myself to filter down books down to it's very criticism until the criticisms are non-factors before I will order something.)

J-Mac

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2009, 01:07:27 AM »
This thread for some reason keeps bringing the BoingBoing "disemvoweling" method of comment moderation to mind. Though I do enjoy the articles over at BoingBoing I have never taken well to the "disemvoweling".

BTW, in case anyone is not aware of what that is, BoingBoing uses a program to literally remove all the vowels in some posts. This completely ruins things for me because I cannot help but to stare at each disemvoweled post and try to decipher it in my head; they're like cryptograms just begging to be solved! By the time I get through two or three blog posts there an hour has passed me by because of my having to decode the damn vowel-stripped posts!

Sorry for the totally inane post here...

Jim

rsherry

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2009, 09:56:18 AM »
FREE SPEECH:  I happen to be a Christian.  And being someone who believes in free speech because my belief is such that if I do not like what I hear, see, or read, then I turn it off, move away, or not read it any further.  I would never prevent (provided there were no threats) someone else from disagreeing with me, which some of you will after you read this.  God has given every person FREE WILL.  So, are we bigger than God that we should remove what we have been freely given, from our fellow citizens??? Along with that free will is being responsible and accountable for the choices you make; for the words you use.  If you are going to remove people's comments, then the moderator should post this at the top of the web page for all to see.  That way, I can go to some other FREE venue where I will be heard and not shut down, so to speak.  FREE.  The Internet is the last free place on this earth that anyone and everyone can speak their mind, show whatever they want, be stupid, be ignorant. etc.  Who among you is SO GREAT that you should prevent another person from speaking their mind?  Now, after saying all that, it should be clear at the top of the forum's web page, that if anyone does use profane language and any other nasty words, that they can be banned, but I think the majority of people, especially intelligent people, will try their best to abide by the rules.  This is my first post and free speech is very important to me, especially now that we are seeing so much of free speech being curbed, forbidden, and pounced upon like it is some kind of evil.  With the way our government is going these days, soon, you will not be allowed to disagree with anyone.  IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? So, be careful about taking away from someone else, if you want to freely speak yourself.  It's a 2-way street. ;)

f0dder

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2009, 10:50:41 AM »
Banned for being secular or swearing a bit? Screw that :)

For a slight bit of seriousness: "free speech" is relative; there's no such thing as absolute freedom, as every action has consequences. But where is the line to be drawn? I think most people would agree that methods for child molestation isn't something we'd like to see discussed anywhere. But is removing spam posts a bad form of moderation? Is it bad to require people to reveal their affiliations if they're posting about a company or software product?
- carpe noctem

Paul Keith

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Re: On free speech in forums
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2009, 12:19:43 PM »
For a slight bit of seriousness: "free speech" is relative; there's no such thing as absolute freedom, as every action has consequences. But where is the line to be drawn? I think most people would agree that methods for child molestation isn't something we'd like to see discussed anywhere. But is removing spam posts a bad form of moderation? Is it bad to require people to reveal their affiliations if they're posting about a company or software product?

I'm no Libertarian fodder but come on, let's not insult the human race or even derail progress like that.

http://en.wikipedia....i/Liberty#Philosophy

Quote
In his book, Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin formally framed the differences between these two perspectives as the distinction between two opposite concepts of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty. The latter designates a negative condition in which an individual is protected from tyranny and the arbitrary exercise of authority, while the former refers to having the means or opportunity, rather than the lack of restraint, to do things.

Even the discussion of methods of child molestation prevents child molestation because it allows individuals who have these thoughts to bring them out in the open without feeling reprimanded.

It's the stereotypical "Japan's sex games reduces sex crimes" effect.

Consequences are what make absolute freedom shine. Not everyone wants it, true but it doesn't mean it's not possible.

After all that's how nature evolved.

Thus it was possible before the dominant species said it was impossible and softened freedom up to be relative and biased towards their own.

(Hey you wanted a bit of seriousness :p)

Sorry for posting it here: http://rereply.wordp...he-line-to-be-drawn/
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 01:11:06 PM by Paul Keith »