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phen
October 16th, 2005, 07:03 AM
hmm

i was really happy that the thread below was going on without flaming or shouting whatsoever. why did you close it? i don't like censorship. that's like playing a strange world without arguments, without any differences of opinion.

i like these forums, but the politics about religious and maybe political threads are wrong in my opinion. everybody should argue in a construtive, not-offensive way - without censorship - always!

while i'm neither left nor right, i dont like censorship!

PatrickMay16
October 16th, 2005, 07:29 AM
Whoa! Calm down, man.
They closed it because it looked likely for it to turn into yet another fight. And this is "ubuntu forums", not "politics forums".
And you know what happens when there's fightin'.


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pmj
October 16th, 2005, 07:35 AM
This is the "community chat" though. I believe we should be able to discuss pretty much anything as long as we're being civil about it.

That said, starting a new thread to complain about the locking of another thread isn't the smartest thing to do.

az
October 16th, 2005, 07:55 AM
That raised my eyebrow too.

I PMed both parties involved, because I do not remember the exact wording of the religious content (that was deemed offensive) but I do not remember it coming close to offensive.

It is clear that the forums discuss non-ubuntu topics. To say that all hell would have broken loose as soon as a conservative would have chimed into that thread is wrong (one already had) This community is above that. With very few exceptions, always has been.

If you lock a thread early, you look like a nazi.

If you lock a thread late, your doing your job.

If you steer the conversation away from it becoming destructive, you are moderating.

That's all I have to say about that.

az
October 16th, 2005, 08:07 AM
They closed it because it looked likely for it to turn into yet another fight. And this is "ubuntu forums", not "politics forums".
And you know what happens when there's fightin'.
]

Fighting is permitted by the code of conduct. Seriously. Just as long as the dissagreement stays away from getting offensive. I would pick a better word than "fighting" but that pretty much sums it up.

Forums are all about different opinions getting together.

Lord Illidan
October 16th, 2005, 08:18 AM
Aye, what's better than a little fighting to cool things off?
Though I don't follow politics myself, I don't see why it was locked if nothing bad was happening.

KiwiNZ
October 16th, 2005, 09:32 AM
All the political threads I have seen to date end the same way ,they end up needing to be closed.
I agree with the closing of the referred to thread and the timing.

It saved a lot of flaming and name calling that would have occured.

az
October 16th, 2005, 10:30 AM
All the political threads I have seen to date end the same way ,they end up needing to be closed.
I agree with the closing of the referred to thread and the timing.

It saved a lot of flaming and name calling that would have occured.
The problem is that since the thread did not violate the code of conduct, nor the Policies and expectations (http://ubuntuforums.org/faq.php?faq=new_faq_item_gp#faq_new_faq_item) it is wrong to close it.

Either ammend the rules prohibiting anything you feel will lead to threads needing to be closed or let the threads get there themselves. This is a forum and a forum is for communication. Such selective hinderance of discussion is probably censorship.


"Please remember that these forums are inclusive of ALL people, and we strive to maintain accessibility to everyone."

If that is true, then "to strive" should mean to work hard at keeping all threads open as opposed to closing them as fast as you can.

agger
October 16th, 2005, 10:47 AM
Well, I dunno; I like the discussions on these forums and usually think the moderators are doing a good job. I have also been very tired and rather incredulous at some of the flamewars, so moderating and closing of threads is definitely necessary.

But we can also become too careful. After having read the political poll thread, I think it showed no signs whatsoever of flaming - all the answers were civil, making a short statement of each one's political beliefs.

If some conservative were to enter, all it would have taken to keep the thread good was that s/he'd make a similar statement to the effect that s/he supports Bush and the GOP and the war and refrain from bashing the "liberals" - and, of course, that other persons refrained from bashing him/her.

It's correct that the thread might easily have deteriorated, but when it was closed it showed no sign whatsoever of doing so.

I believe threads shouldn't be closed before its obvious they are headed in a bad direction.

BWF89
October 16th, 2005, 12:53 PM
I read the therad and there was absolutely no flaming or rule breaking at all. No reason for it to be locked.

jobezone
October 16th, 2005, 01:25 PM
This is one of the reasons I'm not contributing as much in these forums as I used to, this limitation on what can be discussed, as to provide a clean ubuntu image to the world.
I think it is only natural to communicate with others and share our opinions of the world, and about all the other different matters that make us all human. (Ubuntu-women subforum can be seen as a direct result of the need to engage the lack of women in (free) software land)

In a way, it could even be said that it is as restricting as non-free software is, to the ability to share with others and be involved with others in a free fashion.

On the other hand, I'm still stuck here since there are many interesting people posting here (and Ubuntu (distribution) is very amazing).

Knome_fan
October 16th, 2005, 01:35 PM
I really don't understand the excitement here.

From experience I can only agree with a policy that doesn't allow politics and religion here, as these inevitabely lead to flamewars and though you might think this is only community chat, I think it certainly has an influence on the overall tone of the forums here, which after all are primarily support forums.

However, I think it would probably be a good idea to make this policy clearer, as azz mentioned.

jeremy
October 16th, 2005, 02:04 PM
I am completely in agreement with the locking of threads that have got out of hand, due to insults or whatever. I moderate a forum (much smaller than this one) and appreciate the difficulties that at times a moderator can be faced with, it is extremely hard to keep everyone happy all the time.

I do however consider that the thread in question - http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=76918 - did not get out of hand, and did not violate any of the guidelines laid out at http://ubuntuforums.org/faq.php?faq=new_faq_item_gp and should therefore be reopened.

"Closing this thread will solve the problems that will come of it before they happen." is not a good reason to lock it.

kassetra
October 16th, 2005, 02:41 PM
There is one post that is fairly incendiary - and it should have been scrubbed.

Because we have not finished the revisions we have been making, I will re-open the thread; however, please know that I will be hovering over that thread willing to re-close it at any hint of an issue.

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 02:43 PM
So should this thread be locked before it turns into a shouting match? :p

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 03:14 PM
I closed the thread because it was a leftist circle jerk looking for a conservative to sit down and troll it. It got opened because we currently have no rule against such threads happening. No apology forthcoming here, folks. Enjoy your thread.

Leif
October 16th, 2005, 03:18 PM
I've said it before, and I'm saying it again here : the code of conduct needs to be clarified. Otherwise people will feel there's censorship going on, as it's happening right now.

Ubuntu-women seeks to bring women into the community and make them feel comfortable, so it is entirely appropriate here. This is really not in the same category as disussing politics or religion.

Personally, I don't think political/religious discussions belong in a linux forum. Yes, I can (and usually do) ignore such threads, but what I fear is the animosity these topics tend to generate, and that these would spill over to the other threads. And don't tell me "but we're all adults here", I think most religious/political discussion sites around the web attest otherwise.

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 03:48 PM
I've said it before, and I'm saying it again here : the code of conduct needs to be clarified. Otherwise people will feel there's censorship going on, as it's happening right now.

Ubuntu-women seeks to bring women into the community and make them feel comfortable, so it is entirely appropriate here. This is really not in the same category as disussing politics or religion.

Personally, I don't think political/religious discussions belong in a linux forum. Yes, I can (and usually do) ignore such threads, but what I fear is the animosity these topics tend to generate, and that these would spill over to the other threads. And don't tell me "but we're all adults here", I think most religious/political discussion sites around the web attest otherwise.

Easily solved: Close down Community Chat and restrict all discussion to technical issues.

Personally I take part in a lot of different fora (including political ones) and to be honest somewhat less heavy handed moderation might be appreciated here. Flame fests are obnoxious but also pretty easy to recognise and delete. Over sensitivity on these issues just winds people up more.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Easily solved: Close down Community Chat and restrict all discussion to technical issues.

Personally I take part in a lot of different fora (including political ones) and to be honest somewhat less heavy handed moderation might be appreciated here. Flame fests are obnoxious but also pretty easy to recognise and delete. Over sensitivity on these issues just winds people up more.

Heavy handed moderation is exactly what we need to keep from having our users who aren't here to stir up flame wars be run all over by loud mouthed spambots.

I am not trying to ruin discussions here. I am trying to make sure our forums aren't used for trolls and the like to take potshots at our users. Our policies are being clarified to prevent flame bait threads like that one. No one who isn't here for dubious reasons to begin with is going to have a problem with me. I'll bend over backwards to make sure of it.

That politics thread was a gray area. I made what I still think was the right decision. In the future, I'll have policy on my side. This is not the Gentoo Forums "Off the Wall" forum. They have their thing, this is ours. It has worked well without politics threads, and will continue to.

twowheeler
October 16th, 2005, 04:08 PM
I would just like to say a word in defense of the moderators here. It is a thankless job for the most part, and it is difficult to draw the line in some cases in the right place. I personnally love the fact that ubuntu forums don't have flamewars over politics. There are plenty of other places on the net you can do that.

So: thanks, mods, for being flexible in this case. Hopefully everyone will respect the rules going forward, the spirit of "Humanity to others."

spooky-mac
October 16th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Heavy handed moderation is exactly what we need to keep from having our users who aren't here to stir up flame wars be run all over by loud mouthed spambots. Many users dislike this strict approach (imho for good reason) and thus will more likely turn their back on these forums than stay here and forget another "censorship". A bit more "diplomacy" from admins and mods might be a good thing from time to time. ;)

PS: This board is not the only one that gets blamed for censorshhip. Common problem - hard to solve.

kassetra
October 16th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Many users dislike this strict approach (imho for good reason) and thus will more likely turn their back on these forums than stay here and forget another "censorship". A bit more "diplomacy" from admins and mods might be a good thing from time to time. ;)

PS: This board is not the only one that gets blamed for censorshhip. Common problem - hard to solve.

Considering that we are forum completely focused on technical-support, the fact that we have a moderated "chat" area is a nice perk more than anything else.

It is meant as a place to relax, not a place for massive heated exchanges. There are plenty of other forums for that.

mstlyevil
October 16th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I think instead of limiting politics, those who violate the forum rules of conduct should be dealt with accordingly. If some one post a thread like "you voted for Bush so you must be stupid!" then you just scrub the post and lock that person form posting for a period of time. Politics can be disscussed civily if everyone agrees not to bash some one because they have a different point of view. And by the way that statement was not meant to bash Bush supporters. It was just an example.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 04:36 PM
I think instead of limiting politics, those who violate the forum rules of conduct should be dealt with accordingly. If some one post a thread like "you voted for Bush so you must be stupid!" then you just scrub the post and lock that person form posting for a period of time. Politics can be disscussed civily if everyone agrees not to bash some one because they have a different point of view. And by the way that statement was not meant to bash Bush supporters. It was just an example.


We have more important things to do than babysit politics threads. They aren't worth the work they create. They don't further this communities goals, and they divide us.

jdong
October 16th, 2005, 04:40 PM
I think instead of limiting politics, those who violate the forum rules of conduct should be dealt with accordingly. If some one post a thread like "you voted for Bush so you must be stupid!" then you just scrub the post and lock that person form posting for a period of time. Politics can be disscussed civily if everyone agrees not to bash some one because they have a different point of view. And by the way that statement was not meant to bash Bush supporters. It was just an example.

We've tried scrubbing posts before, and it usually turns out to become quite impossible to do, when we get there 'a bit too late'. What happens is that all the ensuing discussion is based off a single offensive/controversial comment, and scrubbing that single comment that's quoted 20 times is simply impractical. Also, we've had very close to the same group of users complain about having their freedom of speech taken away when a post is removed.


We are working internally on ways to improve the handling of discussions of these nature while not offending any casual users of the Community Chat from discussing topics less heated in nature.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 04:49 PM
Thanks jdong.

jdong
October 16th, 2005, 04:49 PM
oh, by the way trimmed off a couple posts from this thread. Please tell me if you like being suppressed :)

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 04:55 PM
oh, by the way trimmed off a couple posts from this thread. Please tell me if you like being suppressed :)
Not funny.

drogoh
October 16th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Oh, that's great. Then you are really fit to be a moderator.

I'm not judging but, this looks like an internal affairs matter and something that the users, quite honestly, don't need to see. It really shines a bad light on everybody, including the administrators. It may take a little bit of reading between the lines to see what I'm saying but it's all meant with the best of intentions and not to **** anybody off.

Lord Illidan
October 16th, 2005, 05:00 PM
At least, don't resort to automatic censorship!
I remember one of my previous forums being so heavy handed about it that they censored words like

'slag' - Being a tolkien forum and all, and we couldn't talk about lava from volcanoes!! All because 'slag' was a term sometimes misused.

'saltwater' - notice the word in the middle... To this day, we can't talk about saltwater on those forums!!!

And much, much more!

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 05:05 PM
We aren't selectively censoring. We are creating new guidelines. If those guidelines are followed by everyone, no one will be censored. We don't have time for this forum to be your soapbox.

phen
October 16th, 2005, 05:50 PM
the first offensive post about politics is number 16 of this thread: "leftist jerks circle" (or words turned around) is what i call offensive. please correct me if i am wrong. I hope i understand the meaning of the words right, as i'm not a native e. s.

what is a friendly forum worth, if the cause of that friendlyness is restriction of difficult subjects? what i want to express is: you cannot be happy about no bad words are written, if all offensive words are censored by mods, scripts etc. its more complex here, but basically the same. this is getting a little bit theoretical now :-) Of course, the technical threads are allways very very helpful and friendly. and thats what these forums are here for.

and i DO understand, that you can not monitor all threads in order to close them if anybody would break the rules. maybe my idea of no moderation is not really feasible. thanks to all mods for your work. BUT i am often impressed from the athmosphere @ ubuntuforums, and i think that it has not been necessary to close it, everybody was talking nicely.

creating new guidelines is the best thing to do, if youre sure that flaming would start during a political discussion.

jdong
October 16th, 2005, 06:03 PM
As we're speaking, we're working on new guidelines and facilities to resolve the issues outlined in this thread. Clearly there are so many dynamic factors and opposing forces at work here that no "simple solution" can keep everyone happy.

az
October 16th, 2005, 06:27 PM
We aren't selectively censoring. We are creating new guidelines. If those guidelines are followed by everyone, no one will be censored. We don't have time for this forum to be your soapbox.

That is a really bad attitude. You miss the point of a forum. "Forum" means a public place where people can be freely heard. It is *all* about the soapbox.



"Heavy handed moderation is exactly what we need to keep from having our users who aren't here to stir up flame wars be run all over by loud mouthed spambots."

You couldn't be more wrong. Ubuntu sets a standard in openness. there are no closed meetings. There is not closed or private mailing list (even debian doesn't do that!) Development is guided by public demand (UDO and UBZ) This policy is why Ubuntu is a leader in rallying a community behind a distribution (in record time!) Other distributions are following suit.

The forums represent that community and *must* be as open.

"I am not trying to ruin discussions here. I am trying to make sure our forums aren't used for trolls and the like to take potshots at our users. Our policies are being clarified to prevent flame bait threads like that one. No one who isn't here for dubious reasons to begin with is going to have a problem with me. I'll bend over backwards to make sure of"

I am not here for dubious reasons. My problem with you is that you are cencoring people. Put your money where your mouth is and let the community have its forum.

"We have more important things to do than babysit politics threads."

Then find moderators who are willing to do it. If you do not realise how important that is, then you should be doing something else. You are not doing the community a favor by zealous moderation.

az
October 16th, 2005, 06:34 PM
As we're speaking, we're working on new guidelines and facilities to resolve the issues outlined in this thread. Clearly there are so many dynamic factors and opposing forces at work here that no "simple solution" can keep everyone happy.

Wasn't the original idea for the code of conduct "Be excellent to each other?"

I am not trying to be funny. That statement sums up the goal nicely. It is also vague enough to encompass the standard we need to reach. Since how excellent you are is a factor of how others perceive you, it is a beautiful way to keep it real.

What we have been discussing in the Community Council meetings is how to keep the forum administration in line with what the community needs. The way the CC would like it to pan out is that everything is transparent. If discussions like this one were commonplace, the admins would have to adhere to public demand (public accountability), instead of the "set it and forget it" which, obvously, has it's drawbacks.

az
October 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM
the first offensive post about politics is number 16 of this thread: "leftist jerks circle" (or words turned around) is what i call offensive. please correct me if i am wrong. I hope i understand the meaning of the words right, as i'm not a native e.

You are a hammer, hitting it right on the head. You rock.

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Wasn't the original idea for the code of conduct "Be excellent to each other?"

I am not trying to be funny. That statement sums up the goal nicely. It is also vague enough to encompass the standard we need to reach. Since how excellent you are is a factor of how others perceive you, it is a beautiful way to keep it real.

What we have been discussing in the Community Council meetings is how to keep the forum administration in line with what the community needs. The way the CC would like it to pan out is that everything is transparent. If discussions like this one were commonplace, the admins would have to adhere to public demand (public accountability), instead of the "set it and forget it" which, obvously, has it's drawbacks.
Yes I would add my support here. I think that it would be wise to stick carefully to the original letter and spirit of the Ubuntu code of conduct. This means openness and humanity towards others. Locking political threads in which you are a partisan player yourself seems outside these criteria to me.

UbuWu
October 16th, 2005, 07:01 PM
That is a really bad attitude. You miss the point of a forum. "Forum" means a public place where people can be freely heard. It is *all* about the soapbox.

It is my favourite soapbox, let's keep it that way :KS



"We have more important things to do than babysit politics threads."

Then find moderators who are willing to do it. If you do not realise how important that is, then you should be doing something else. You are not doing the community a favor by zealous moderation.

Completely agree with that.

az
October 16th, 2005, 07:03 PM
Locking political threads in which you are a partisan player yourself seems outside these criteria to me.


To be accurate, he had not added his opinion before locking it. He just locked it because he felt it was not appropriate.

Who decides what is appropriate for the users?

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 07:06 PM
To be accurate, he had not added his opinion before locking it. He just locked it because he felt it was not appropriate.

Who decides what is appropriate for the users?

OK I wasn't aware of the chronology but anyone reading this thread and the reopened one would be left with a very unpleasant impression about lack of objectivity.

Goober
October 16th, 2005, 07:16 PM
Wait, im confused, are we or aren't we allowed to discuss politics in CommChat?

kleeman
October 16th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Sounds like the forum staff are discussing this at this very moment.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 08:05 PM
I am all for respecting other people. That doesn't mean we all need to get castrated and walk around hugging each other verbally every time we post. I saw what I considered to be a leftist circle jerk and called it that. If you don't like it, say so. No one here is stopping you, or forcing me to conform to what you consider to be polite.

I call them like I see them. I won't stop you from doing the same in return. I am not going to sit around with my tongue clamped between my teeth every time I come on here for fear that someone might not like what I have to say.

I didn't point fingers and call names. I simply stated that that thread was going downhill, starting to have religious comments, and was totally one sided except for one comment. I posted something that went against the grain and was immediately called out. The post was made to illustrate that detailed liberal ideas can be posted without challenge on a Linux forums and a conservative one cannot. It served its purpose. The reopening of the thread made me want to show why I closed it to begin with. Conservatives are picked off viciously if they state their mind too often or in too much detail most places on the net.

With all of that said, the thread is actually going pretty well now. I am glad of that. It bodes well for the continued allowance of political threads. There is even talk of a forum for such things to keep it out of Community Chat.

Again, I do not apologize for stating my mind. I never will. I attacked no one. Grow a thicker skin if you want to discuss politics. I was simply showing how heated these threads make a community. I did so just by posting my own thoughts. Why should I, as a moderator, not be able to speak my mind? I am supposed to be above the fray?

Who is paying me to sit around reading what you say? No one. I'd die of boredom just reading what others had to say. We moderators get to participate too. I didn't stop you from saying what you wanted, so long as you weren't attacking each other. If you plan on being intellectually honest, you shouldn't want to stop me.

Thanks for your time.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 08:09 PM
To be accurate, he had not added his opinion before locking it. He just locked it because he felt it was not appropriate.

Who decides what is appropriate for the users?

Thanks for pointing that first part out. I did not say my mind and lock it.

Also, we have to have rules here, azz. We can't let everything go without question. Something is being worked on to allow people who want to speak their mind on topics like this to do so.

Knome_fan
October 16th, 2005, 08:16 PM
That doesn't mean we all need to get castrated and walk around hugging each other verbally every time we post.

Ok then, let's see what we can make of this.



I saw what I considered to be a leftist circle jerk and called it that.

Yep, right wing nutters tend to view everything they don't understand this way.



I call them like I see them. I won't stop you from doing the same in return.

Thank you so much. I'll take you up on the offer.



I am not going to sit around with my tongue clamped between my teeth every time I come on here for fear that someone might not like what I have to say.

Well, isn't it great that nobody asked you to do this. People only asked you to act in a way that is fitting for a moderator, but then, you simply don't seem to be able to do so.



I posted something that went against the grain and was immediately called out. The post was made to illustrate that detailed liberal ideas can be posted without challenge on a Linux forums and a conservative one cannot. It served its purpose. The reopening of the thread made me want to show why I closed it to begin with. Conservatives are picked off viciously if they state their mind too often or in too much detail most places on the net.

If there is one thing I really, really loath about the american right wing, it's their constant whining.
Oh and btw., I really appreciate that you admit to having posted a flamebait. Well done, Mr. Moderator.



Grow a thicker skin if you want to discuss politics.

I have to retract my previous statement.
It's not their constant whining, it's their constant whining combined with their macho posing when they insult people.

zenwhen
October 16th, 2005, 11:48 PM
I want to state that Knome_fan's post was left intact word for word.

ubuntu-geek
October 27th, 2005, 09:43 PM
From this point forward posts like the ones mentioned above will be moved to "The Backyard" or need to be started there. For more information on what this forum is visit it..

http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=121