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Old Mar 7, 2013, 09:27 AM   #1
the8thark
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Why all the censorship in the forums?

All too often these days I am reading topics closed for moderation and cleanup. Topics with nothing wrong in them. Only people voicing their opinions. So my question is a short one. Why is there a need to edit/remove opinionated posts on these forums (that don't break any forum rules)?

I'm just trying to understand why all this new found censorship is existing on the forums. I'm not for or against it. I have no official opinion on that one. I'm just trying to understand the reasoning behind why it's existing in the first place.
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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It's because the posts are against forum rules, too off topic, or not contributing at all
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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Don't know about the Mods here but on a Spurs site I moderate on its good to get rid of anything off topic to help the thread flow.

Also as a user there is nothing worse than to to click on a thread about "Macbooks" but for some reason everyone is talking about "unicorns".
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MonkeySee.... View Post
Don't know about the Mods here but on a Spurs site I moderate on its good to get rid of anything off topic to help the thread flow.

Also as a user there is nothing worse than to to click on a thread about "Macbooks" but for some reason everyone is talking about "unicorns".
This is true. But a lot of the time here it is not the case. Opinionated and other (but on topic) posts/topics are being moderated.
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
This is true. But a lot of the time here it is not the case. Opinionated and other (but on topic) posts/topics are being moderated.
How about providing some examples/links
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dukebound85 View Post
How about providing some examples/links
Too bad OP is not around (or has bailed). I'm interested in seeing the threads to which he/she refers, too.

Most of the threads I've seen locked, or sent to the hinterlands, deserved it. I'm interested in seeing some threads that were edited that OP believes were OK.
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 01:29 PM   #7
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Maybe we can start talking about unicorns and get this thread locked too?
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kissaragi View Post
Maybe we can start talking about unicorns and get this thread locked too?
There's always one troublemaker in the crowd!

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Old Mar 7, 2013, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kissaragi View Post
Maybe we can start talking about unicorns and get this thread locked too?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
There's always one troublemaker in the crowd!

No, we should start talking about those particular unicorns which have developed an inexplicable espresso habit.

This could give rise to countless contributions which could explore the tendency of some unicorns in certain regions (and the underlying socio-economic cultural dimensions) to be prone to engaging in significant substance abuse.

This, in turn, would lead to an in-depth analysis of why why some substances (espresso) may well be a lot less healthy for them than others (XO cognac, consumed by the bucket); we can examine their absurdly limited diet, bizarre mating rituals (I mean, in strict biological terms, just ask ourselves how ludicrous is it to put all of your biological energy into growing a massive horn, just to show that yours is bigger and better. Utterly without precedent). Of course, no such study would be complete without a section on the true delinquents and deviants of the unicorn universe......

......the ones who devote days of their horned lives to contribute to virtual threads on an online unicorn forum which discusses, in extraordinary detail, just exactly how to prepare your espresso, one, which, strange to relate, has a devoted and passionate readership........
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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OP,
Its not censorship, we are in no way stopping members from expressing themselves, provided they do so within the boundaries we've set in our guidelines and rules.

If a number of members fail to do so within a thread, i.e., bickering/arguing that crosses the line then the moderation staff needs to step in. Frequently we will lock the thread, remove the offending posts and reopen. On a rare occasion we'll keep the thread locked as judgement call, as we feel that its better to keep locked otherwise the same problems that caused it to be locked will re-occur.
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Old Mar 7, 2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
This is true. But a lot of the time here it is not the case. Opinionated and other (but on topic) posts/topics are being moderated.
What maflynn writes is true:

Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
OP,
Its not censorship, we are in no way stopping members from expressing themselves, provided they do so within the boundaries we've set in our guidelines and rules.

If a number of members fail to do so within a thread, i.e., bickering/arguing that crosses the line then the moderation staff needs to step in. Frequently we will lock the thread, remove the offending posts and reopen. On a rare occasion we'll keep the thread locked as judgement call, as we feel that its better to keep locked otherwise the same problems that caused it to be locked will re-occur.
When you see a thread closed for clean-up, clean-up has already started. So what you're seeing isn't the original thread; problems are already being removed. That's why it can seem to you that there aren't problems.
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annk View Post
When you see a thread closed for clean-up, clean-up has already started. So what you're seeing isn't the original thread; problems are already being removed. That's why it can seem to you that there aren't problems.
I realise this. I know topics only get locked if they want to stop further chat. A quick cleanup happens often without the topic being locked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
Too bad OP is not around (or has bailed). I'm interested in seeing the threads to which he/she refers, too.

Most of the threads I've seen locked, or sent to the hinterlands, deserved it. I'm interested in seeing some threads that were edited that OP believes were OK.
I am still here. And as said above in my first quote here, impossible to show you topics with this issue as "you're seeing isn't the original thread" problems are already being removed". So you see my issue here. Hard to show you problems (or lack of any problems) if they are posts in question are removed already.

I can say though one I was looking at was:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1553028
And that post was locked, cleaned up (or censored) and reopened. I was reading that topic from soon after it was published on the site. So I could see the moderator actions taken there before and after the topic was locked (and reopened). Just one recent example. And before you go all "ah but the mods can do whatever they like" on me, I agree. If the mods want to close a topic, they can. I have no argument. No matter what the reason for it. Fair or not fair. I just want to know why is all. Why seemingly calm and fine posts are being moderated in such a way.
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 03:05 AM   #13
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Pro tip - if you don't want to leave then try not to let it bother you, because nothing you say or do will make any difference. Rules at MR get stricter, not looser.
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 03:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
I can say though one I was looking at was:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1553028
And that post was locked, cleaned up (or censored) and reopened.
There was no "censorship" on that thread, just a clean up. A number of posts were breaking the rules (or were responding to the rule breaking posts) so they were deleted.
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 06:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBlue View Post
Rules at MR get stricter, not looser.
And yet some think in some areas we could and should do more: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1553852

How do we please everyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OllyW View Post
A number of posts were breaking the rules (or were responding to the rule breaking posts) so they were deleted.
FWIW the posts that were removed were brought to the attention of the staff by other users who apparently didn't think that all was "calm and fine" when we decided to take action. We took some time to discuss the situation and acted in the way that made the most sense to us given the information we had at hand.

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Last edited by balamw; Mar 8, 2013 at 06:35 AM. Reason: Mergeable consecutive posts
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Old Mar 8, 2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
All too often these days I am reading topics closed for moderation and cleanup.
The forum has many members (≈ 800.000 at the moment). If only 10 % of these members publish one nonsense post in one year, then the MR forum would contain half a million nonsense posts in just ≈ 6 years. Do you want that!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
I'm just trying to understand why all this new found censorship is existing on the forums.
Some mods have strange opinions. However, if you visit other IT-forums, then you know, that the distance between MR and censorship is equal to the distance between mother earth and the moon.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by balamw View Post
How do we please everyone?
That's impossible.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 09:13 AM   #17
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I see that there was a post removed in my "What constitutes an insult" thread. It was a very candid post by another user, not me. Interesting.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 09:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
I see that there was a post removed in my "What constitutes an insult" thread. It was a very candid post by another user, not me. Interesting.
Again, it's not censorship. Posts discussing specific moderation will get deleted if the poster has not waived their right to moderation privacy.

Quote:
You can waive your right to moderation privacy when posting in the Site and Forum Feedback forum if you say explicitly that you give us permission to discuss the reasons behind your moderation. This includes your previous forum record, since that's a factor.
Moderation FAQ
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 09:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllyW View Post
Again, it's not censorship. Posts discussing specific moderation will get deleted if the poster has not waived their right to moderation privacy.



Moderation FAQ
Thank you for the reply. Now I think I understand why the post I am talking about did reference specific moderation, not moderation in general.

I think that this statement from the forum rules makes it difficult for a user to question moderation or have their side of the story heard:

Quote:
Moderation is almost always correct, appropriate, and done fairly. We know that reasonable people can have differences of opinion about the meaning of particular posts or how to interpret rules. Language is imprecise and sarcasm and nuances are hard to detect over the Internet so it's possible that your post was misinterpreted by other users and by the moderators. However, our moderators are experienced at interpreting posts, applying the forum rules, and making judgement calls in borderline cases.

Last edited by dejo; Apr 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM. Reason: proper quoting.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 10:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
...I think that this statement from the forum rules makes it difficult for a user to question moderation or have their side of the story heard: ...
A few of my own moderation decisions have been overturned either by myself or by the team after review, so I know that's not the case.
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Old Mar 12, 2013, 10:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OllyW View Post
A few of my own moderation decisions have been overturned either by myself or by the team after review, so I know that's not the case.
Again, thank you for your reply. I find it helpful to hear input from the moderation side of things. I know that without moderation the forum would turn into chaos in no time at all.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 05:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
Again, thank you for your reply. I find it helpful to hear input from the moderation side of things. I know that without moderation the forum would turn into chaos in no time at all.
I agree with this. Moderation is needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
I think that this statement from the forum rules makes it difficult for a user to question moderation or have their side of the story heard
I also agree with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
Moderation is almost always correct, appropriate, and done fairly.
Under the current system it's tough to know for certain if this is the case on these forums. I agree that borderline cases can go either way. But I'm more concerned about the general trend here. And after reading this entire topic if very useful comments I think it's a case of the better of two evils. No moderation would equal a forum where in parts the chat would be very off topic. As self moderation on forums doesn't work when things go pear shaped. But on the other hand, if you have moderation (usually by a group of moderators) you will get all the offtopic and unsuitable chat removed. Also there will be borderline cases and the moderator's opinions (on what that they like/dislike) that will result in some wrong decisions.

There is no perfect solution here. I think I was wishing for perfect moderators in my original post here. That can't and won't happen. Anywhere, not just on these forums. Yes I personally disagree with some of the moderating decisions of recent. (Silent moderation and announced moderation). For example posts removed before and after a topic temp closure.

So I think all I want to say is I'm happy having the Mods here. And yes they do a good job. But they are not perfect. And still lots of room for improvement there.
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Old Mar 19, 2013, 06:20 AM   #23
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There is no perfect solution here. I think I was wishing for perfect moderators in my original post here. That can't and won't happen. Anywhere, not just on these forums. Yes I personally disagree with some of the moderating decisions of recent.
MOD NOTE: We constantly wish for perfect users too that can behave as well mannered adults at all times, but then we wake up and realize that we are all human.

Just like the users don't all agree about any particular topic, we mods don't always agree. This can lead to no moderation, delayed moderation, or moderation that is somewhat inconsistent with previous actions and overturning of previous actions in any given instance.

We are human after all, and thus we will make mistakes.

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Old Mar 21, 2013, 04:02 AM   #24
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Mod Note: "bitch" is not on the forum's profanity filter.
From another topic in the forum but it applies here. I just want to say this is one example of where the forum moderation can be improved. This (and other similar words) need to be added to the profanity filter. As they are obvious profanities.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 04:09 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
This (and other similar words) need to be added to the profanity filter. As they are obvious profanities.
While bitch can be used as an insult I wouldn't class it as an obvious profanity.
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