Forum action needed (and temporary measures taken)

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david

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It would seem that the quality of this forum has been suffering from some way too personal agenda for some time, with some very evident examples in the last hours. While we decide what to do about it, I've taken some measures to clean things up a bit.

We will study the situation carefully and decide on the best way of protecting the freedom of the Trisquel community without letting things become too inappropriate.

tomlukeywood
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Suggestion:
this has been mentioned before on this forum
to stop the problem of inappropriate posts

what about having some users who have been on the fourm for a while that have the power to move inappropriate posts to the troll hole

if they ever abuse this power it should be taken off them immediately but eventually you would have a few trustworthy people that can make sure no ones posting inappropriate posts.

Legimet
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AKA moderators.

Magic Banana

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What temporary measures did you take? Did you only remove the posts or did you ban the offending user? In the latter case, prepare to receive death threats in your mailbox. Like I did...

That is the problem with moderation. The moderators suffer all the bad consequences. In particular, accusations of censorship (although it is not censorship: the Trisquel community is entitled to its own rules and anyone can publish whatever she wants on her own server).

The current +1/-1 system has the advantage of delegating the moderation to the community as a whole. I would be in favor of only making the system a little bit more strict: a problematic user who received more -1 than +1 could have her posts hidden as soon as someone click the -1 button. As far as I remember a chat with quidam (months ago), the current can be configured in this way. No additional implementation work is needed.

Banning is ineffective because a new account can be created. For instance chaosesqueteam has another account under the name vPro. With the reinforced policy I suggest, the new account has his first offensive posts hidden as soon as somebody click the -1 button because the account is not associated with any +1 post.

Legimet
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MikeeUSA/Gregory Smith/Mikhail Kvaratskhelia/no2systemd/vPro/chaosesqueteam is banned from this forum for the second time.
https://trisquel.info/en/users/chaosesqueteam

moxalt
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Huzzah! Let there be three days of feasting and merriment!

pizzaiolo
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A good idea to stop spam is to enable captcha as well.

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

that's a bad idea for visually disabled people.

Dave_Hunt

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And it would disable mailing list access.

On 08/25/2015 01:22 PM, name at domain wrote:
> that's a bad idea for visually disabled people.
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ssdclickofdeath
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After deleting a certain user's posts it now looks like Magic Banana is giving a curt reply to Chris that has nothing to do with Chris' post. (Image below.)
I'm sure there's many other examples.

This may be a consequence of the forum software used, but it would be nice to have the offending posts replaced with "Post deleted by a moderator" or something similar.

Screenshot from 2015-08-25 17:55:19.png
Legimet
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The forum nesting also seems to be destroyed in multi-page threads. I think I agree with onpon4, the nesting should be removed.

ssdclickofdeath
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I agree. I'd rather have some more advanced forum software here like PHPBB or Simple Machines, anyway.

strypey
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On the subject of forum software, I've heard good things about Discourse:
http://www.discourse.org/

For the record, I prefer the user-driven moderation we have now, mainly because it doesn't create extra work and responsibility for volunteers, but also because it doesn't create the perception of a privileged inner circle, and speculation about what agendas they could be using their super-user powers to push.

I was a newswire volunteer for Indymedia.org.nz for a few years, and balancing free speech and mood minding is always a tightrope act. In theory, it's easy to look at any kind of moderation (whether driven by all users or super-user mods) as risking a step onto a slippery slope towards censorship. In practice though, we now have an internet where every moron can have a blog, a FarceBook page, and Tweet endlessly, and finding quality information and friendly discussion is a much harder problem than avoiding censorship. Ultimately, the question always becomes this; do we want a thriving community where people enjoy reading and posting discussions, or do we want a Pure Free Speech Zone filled with trolls, tumbleweeds, and spam?

BTW I also tend to start posts about general free software questions in 'Trisquel Users', because this is a place where a knowledgeable community of software freedom enthusiasts has gathered. I'm not a troll, and I'm not going to post in a forum called 'Troll Hole'. If we could start another forum for these topics, or if someone could direct me to an active forum elsewhere where I could ask these questions, that would be awesome.

Chris

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I think its safe to say it's the appropriate place for any discussion on Trisquel and/or free software. They're extremely difficult to separate when the goal of the distribution is freedom.

tomlukeywood
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discourse dose look good!

a_slacker_here
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I'm the only one that thinks that that thing is funny? I mean, Chris being very polite in his comment and Magic Banana being a little bit rude at him for something he hasn't said?

And yes, this situation happened to me as well: moxalt replied me when he was replying to chaosesqueteam.

Even with this annoyances, I'm pretty happy with this forum's functionality and I love the fact that you can post via mailing list.

quantumgravity
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I think it's funny, too ;)
especially moxalt's reply to your post was hillarious^^

moxalt
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Ah- so that was the problem- I posted a reply to chaosesque's message (which
was still in my inbox) after it had already been deleted on the actual site.

I concur- a 'deleted by moderator' notification would be helpful, especially
for those of us who post via mailing list.

ssdclickofdeath
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Joined: 05/18/2013

I think it's funny too, but it takes the messages out of context.
It may reflect poorly on the user's reputation for comments like the example I gave, to the uninitiated reader.

Mampir
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Joined: 12/16/2009

You should use the rating system rather than delete posts. We shouldn't rely on privileged users to delete posts they consider unappropriated.

david

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Hi! To clarify things a bit more, the issue was not spam-related, and it was not exactly a matter of someone posting an "inappropriate" opinion, but more like a deeply rude repeated behaviour, including but not limited to personal threats and direct insults spread through several threads.

I know that those absent (but not deleted) posts break the continuity of legit exchanges, and I'll look into solving that issue. I also hate as much as any of you any "mod" interference in a conversation, which is why we often leave some similar "issues" to just die of old age or be buried at The Troll Hole. But sometimes things get just way out of hand to expect a reasonable outcome from self-regulation (in which I still believe as a whole).

Those measures weren't intended to be a full solution, I just wanted to put a stop to something which I think degrades our community and the experience of those involved (and has done so in the past). I'll look deeper into what can be done to minimize the side-effects of toxic behaviour in our amazing community without disrupting its flow.

Unrelated bit: we do use captchas and other measures to fight spam, they're just set up to be as little inconvenient as possible to "real people", which makes them a bit less effective; but hey, thankfully we've got an amazing "spam brigade" to keep things under control :)

MrBuggles (not verified)
MrBuggles

I think I should note that moderation can be done right if its deployed carefully and the moderators are in regular contact with community leaders such as David.

This forum is often a mess and is unhelpful to new users. The fact that it took the really outlandish behavior recently to conjure any kind of response is a real problem that will hurt our communities growth especially with non-technical users.

Having Moderators that can:
1. Ban accounts like the one that was just problematic, but have some type of threshold before the ban sets in would be a solid move.

2. Having the ability to move unrelated posts to their own topic. There are several threads that are really useful to start but then get sacked by good questions, but are completely unrelated to the thread.

3. Act as an arbitrator between parties to avoid bans in the first place

4. Perhaps be the person designated to update the forum on official Trisquel news as it is clear since its been four months since there was a blog post and official forum announcements are just as rare that someone should take it on.

I get the freedom of speech sentiment of the posters thus far, but someone needs to herd the cats because Trisquel is a product that many people (and hopeful many more in the future) use for a myriad of reasons and they need to be able to access the forum to get the support they need without being harassed or led astray.

tonlee
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If I put a non trisquel question or link in trisquel users, it is because I have no expectation my post will be read if posted in the troll hole. Make a subject named non trisquel, free software and hardware related posts. If it shows that it will not be active, users again will start posting non trisquel questions in trisquel users. About banning I do not know if this is technically possible. If two moderators decide to ban or delete an account or post, they can do so. A user subject to the ban or deletion should be granted a right to complain to a third moderator.

Chris

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When I first started reading this thread I thought I'd created some sort of international incident with nobody naming names and couldn't recall what I'd said that got so many people angry with me. It didn't help when someone said something about me and posted a screenshot of Magic Banana giving me a good yelling at! ( That was pretty funny though). Glad to know it's something that just passed right by me (due to the moderation I presume?)

hack and hack
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I just finished reading a few articles about some truly disgusting stuff about Reddit (
http://newrisingmedia.com/all/2013/5/22/reddit-racism-an-open-secret.html). I see the voting system here is similar. While (to my knowledge) having none of these consequences here, I think it's important to remember that freedom of speech is not freedom of speech at all costs.
It's as stupid as letting one's children (as a father/mother) do as they please all the time.
So banning was the right thing to do.
As for the voting system, I see that at 3 down-votes the message is minimized, so that's working as well.
But make it count, don't downvote just because you don't agree with something. Downvote offensive stuff.
Also, being able to upvote oneself is ridiculous.
Maybe it has been fixed though.