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Old Mar 25, 2004, 08:41 PM   #1
mtorbin
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[Merged] Censorship in Apple's Discussion Forums

ModNote: I merged several threads on censorship at Apple's forums together in part because they overlapped in content, and in part because I wanted to point out that this is not a new concern -- it has been raised by our users at least as far back as 2004... --mkrishnan

Hey all,

Please don't take this as an open rant, this is some TRUE CONTENT here. Today I posted a tip in the Apple discussion forum to help a guy who's machine was giving him some trouble. Granted, I'm sure it wasn't an official "Apple Approved" way of dealing with it, but it would have fixed the problem (I should know, I do this professionally).

Anyways, one of the KingPins over there decided to "censor" my post based on the fact that the answer wasn't the best of way of handling the situation in his opinion. I went back and triple checked my facts, and I still believe that my tip was a good one. If I'm wrong, I'll admit that I'm wrong, but I checked my facts. I was right (for those of you who are interested, the debate was over whether or not wiping a drive clean every six to eight months would damage the drive in any way. My stance was no.)

I guess my point is, when did it become acceptable in discussion forums to veto out an opinion based on number of posts? I mean, if one person was helped by what I posted, shouldn't this be enough justification to LEAVE IT THE @#$%@ THERE?

Unfortunately, the number of discussion forums that weed this kind of low class filth out are getting smaller and smaller. Aparently, it's not just our radio that we want to censor, it's other people's opinions that we don't agree with.

For the sake of being a gentleman, I won't name names or point fingers. I'm actually hoping that this site serves as an example of what discussion forums are SUPPOSED to be about, which is not playground tactics.

I would like to be part of a community where I know that I can post a suggestion, receive feedback on it, and possibly improve it based on constructive criticisms without the fear that some pompous user is going to censor me without my consent.

- MT

Last edited by mkrishnan; Aug 24, 2008 at 04:23 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 09:14 PM   #2
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Forums aren't democracies, you have to live by the rules or post elsewhere.

Though if you avoid a bunch of pompous democratic users you'll have stay out of the MacRumor's Political Forum.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 09:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Baked
Forums aren't democracies, you have to live by the rules or post elsewhere.

Though if you avoid a bunch of pompous democratic users you'll have stay out of the MacRumor's Political Forum.
edit: Oh, I'm stupid as usual...I thought you meant a forum on MacRumors.

Anyway, if it's an Apple forum, I would imagine that they would delete a post if it made a suggestion that Apple thought unsafe or unwise. Seems natural.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 10:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtorbin
I guess my point is, when did it become acceptable in discussion forums to veto out an opinion based on number of posts?
- MT
You seem to be implying that what you posted was removed by one of the Level 4 peoople, formerly known as helpers. They can't do that. Only the Apple employed moderators can delete or modify posts, and they basically never get involved unless the post is flagged for some reason. If your post was removed, then it was probably because it may have included profantiy or suggested something contrary to some software licensing laws or something. If that was not the case, then it was probably a mistake or someone misinterpreted your post. As a level 4 person over there, I can pretty much assure you that those responsible for maintaining the forums are good people who take their job seriously and try hard to do the right thing. Mistakes can happen, but sometimes there are reasons people don't consider. Without actually reading your original post there, I couldn't tell you why it was deleted or changed.

edit: are you talking about forums on this site or the apple support forums hosted by apple?

Last edited by strider42; Mar 25, 2004 at 10:04 PM.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 10:12 PM   #5
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mtorbin, I agree with others. Rather than posting here, it would be better to PM arn and discuss the problem with him. Don't really understand what happened to you, so can't comment. I wish you success.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 10:19 PM   #6
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guys, this happened in the Apple Knowledge Base Forum, not macrumors. arn has nothing to do with it.

paul
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 01:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulwhannel
guys, this happened in the Apple Knowledge Base Forum, not macrumors. arn has nothing to do with it.

paul
not related, but Sun Baked, i like your sung hi li avatar.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 04:15 AM   #8
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not related, but Sun Baked, i like your sung hi li avatar.
Thanks, everybody has been wondering who it was.

I grabbed an innocent looking picture of her with a glass of milk (and it didn't include a name).

Now everybody can go grab a not-so-innocent looking picture of her without the glass, or much else.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 09:59 AM   #9
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I got kicked out of Apple's Discussion Forums years ago when it was much more of a fun community. They don't take criticism (even valid, reasoned criticism) of their OS or products lightly. I poke my head in when I have a problem as it's a good source of information, but that's about it.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 10:20 AM   #10
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I posted there once on an iTunes problem. Call it silly but if a forum filters the word sucks I don't want to have a thing to do with them. I mean $***, *******, etc I understand but sucks!?!??! Er...when did the net turn into Barney world?!?!
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayscheuerle
I got kicked out of Apple's Discussion Forums years ago when it was much more of a fun community. They don't take criticism (even valid, reasoned criticism) of their OS or products lightly. I poke my head in when I have a problem as it's a good source of information, but that's about it.
I don't want to get into a big thing here, but they handle criticism fine, so long as your asking a question. In fact, the mods could relaly care less if you don't like something, its not their job to do PR for apple. Its their job to keep the discussions for technical support. The discussion forums apple hosts are for technical discussions only, not discussing what people do and don't like about the OS. You wouldn't call up apple support to tell them the things you don't like about the OS you call them to solve a problem, and thats what the forums there are for too. The mods there have always been extrememely nice people, give people the benefit of the doubt when regular community members would just as soon have them kicked out. it takes a whole heck of a lot to actually get kicked from the forums, and to get a permeanant ban means you pretty much have to be a complete jerk multiple times and ignore their warnings. Its still a great community if you follow what its intentions are. Thats why I come to macrumors, for all the other mac related stuff and discussions that are more appropriate here. If you want to let apple know about your thoughts, you should do so through a different avenue. While technical issues will be channeled through to the engineers when posted in the apple forums, product criticisms and ideas will not.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtorbin
...some pompous user is going to censor me without my consent.
just messing around here, but if you gave your consent, wouldn't it no longer be censorship?

not sure what happened over at apple's forum, but as others have mentioned, not even helpers can remove posts - only people higher up than that, usually an actual apple employees.

i left that forum quite a while ago - i was into it at the beginning but there were too many n00bs asking the same question over and over.

it's kinda similar here at MR but the question is usually "when will there be an update?" or "help me decide whether to get iBook or PB?"

there are other forums here at MR and the site itself is more news oriented (instead of help oriented, though you can certainly get help here too.) so i've stuck around. it's a good community.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strider42
The mods there have always been extrememely nice people, give people the benefit of the doubt when regular community members would just as soon have them kicked out. it takes a whole heck of a lot to actually get kicked from the forums, and to get a permeanant ban means you pretty much have to be a complete jerk multiple times and ignore their warnings.
Back when I was removed, there was only one mod and he was a power-hungry loyalist who couldn't understand why people were having problems with 10.1. It's called a "discussion" forum, but some of the discussions didn't put Apple or the shoddy 10.1 in a good light. Facetious and sarcastic? Guilty. Complete jerk? Eat my shorts.

They just ban a name and you lose your post count. It's really no biggie, but you do give up your identity and the friendships which you've cultivated. I just go there for info now, not camaraderie. Besides, most of the major problems have been worked out with OSX. - j
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 02:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiliconAddict
I posted there once on an iTunes problem. Call it silly but if a forum filters the word sucks I don't want to have a thing to do with them. I mean $***, *******, etc I understand but sucks!?!??! Er...when did the net turn into Barney world?!?!

as george carlin once said "how come we are allowed to THINK of the swear word, in that we can see it censored like "******", but we aren't allowed to write those extra two letters?"
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 03:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayscheuerle
Back when I was removed, there was only one mod and he was a power-hungry loyalist who couldn't understand why people were having problems with 10.1. It's called a "discussion" forum, but some of the discussions didn't put Apple or the shoddy 10.1 in a good light. Facetious and sarcastic? Guilty. Complete jerk? Eat my shorts.

They just ban a name and you lose your post count. It's really no biggie, but you do give up your identity and the friendships which you've cultivated. I just go there for info now, not camaraderie. Besides, most of the major problems have been worked out with OSX. - j
Can't comment on the mod in question, there has always been more than 1, though they do tend to specific to a particular forum or forums. The one's i've talked with and dealt with have always been very helpful and useful.

I'm gonna take your word that it was the mod that was the problem. Why not, there can be bad apples, so to speak, in their ranks too. But I am struck by the fact that you said your may have been sarcastic and facetious. While sometimes we do those things for effect ro to vent frustrations, on a public board, they can get out of hand easily,a nd even though your post may have actually been ok, its tone or certain contents can provoke a flame war. I've been a regular member at those forums for 6 years and have seen it happen many times. The mods will delete posts that may cause flame wars. its not because you criticize apple, like I said, they could care less if you want to have criticial things to say about an apple product since its not their job to deal with such criticisms, its because they know what some posts will do. Repeatedly posting inflammatory material will get you temporarily banned. Doing it after a temporary ban will result in a permeant ban. I think they can even go as far as deny an IP address since they've had some guys post under different names after being banned.

LIke I said, I don't know the situation specifics, I'm just trying to give the other perspective based on my experience as a long time apple discussions member.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 09:26 AM   #16
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Strange things happen on Apple Discussion Forums

This is a story that needs to be told.

As many of you already know, many MBPs in the current generation are affected by a strange screen problem. Dark stripes appear because led lights on the bottom of the screen do not turn on.

A similar problem has happened to Dell computers. Dell recognized the defect within milliseconds and repaired/exchanged the affected units. For apple it looks like it is an impossible mission: the problem has been described months ago and the only answer from apple (published few days ago) is: yes we know, just turn off and on your screen, keep your defective unit. We do not know what to do.

There was a long thread on Apple Discussion Forums. It was so long that a moderator had to lock it because many browers were not able to load the page. The locked thread had more than 60000 views. Now the same thread has just 1500 views.


Why?

Question from a user on the apple discussion to a moderator:
Can you please provide any possible explanation as to why the view count on the former thread was lowered from 60,000 views to 1500?

Answer from the moderator:
I'm sorry, at this point all I can say is "I don't know." Let me reassure you, however, that it is not a conspiracy by Apple to hide reports of any potential issue.



Does apple know anything about what they do? They never know anything apart from quarter revenues...

How is this possible? What kind of policy is this?

Is Microsoft the real evil? It looks like it's true that the world is not just black and white ;-)

thistle
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 09:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by lordthistle View Post
How is this possible? What kind of policy is this?
Apple does have a bad reputation for the way they handle those discussion boards. As you say, they have been reported many times to lock threads unnecessarily, delete material that doesn't violate any copyright / trade secret concerns but looks bad for them, etc. And even on top of that, what's left doesn't solve very many issues -- to be honest, I hardly ever find anything useful there, even via google searching, and I never go there as my first line of defense. I'm many fold more likely to find an answer here or at MacOSXhints.com.

I will say, however, that having served as a moderator using forum software myself, sometimes things like this happen for unforeseen reasons, and we moderators don't even realize it will happen until after we do it. One example is that, I'm pretty sure, whenever two threads get merged, depending on the software, the view count either resets to zero or takes on the value of the "destination" thread. So that's an example of how a moderator could easily accidentally erase a view count (and from my personal experience, view count usually isn't on our list of priorities, for good or bad). Some forum software will also reset view count if the original post is edited or the thread title is changed, and sometimes even if the thread is moved from one subforum to another.
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Old Jul 24, 2008, 09:44 AM   #18
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I will say, however, that having served as a moderator using forum software myself, sometimes things like this happen for unforeseen reasons, and we moderators don't even realize it will happen until after we do it. [...] So that's an example of how a moderator could easily accidentally erase a view count (and from my personal experience, view count usually isn't on our list of priorities, for good or bad). [...]
May be in this case a normal mainteinance routine (with a side effect) is misinterpreted because a lot of people are not receiving any decent answer. The fact is that (apparently) the thread was not split, nor merged. It was locked and a new one was created. But, yes, it's not impossible that things went as you described.

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Old Jul 24, 2008, 09:59 AM   #19
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Huh... who knows? Maybe it was a conspiracy, maybe it was just a goof.

I wonder about those kinds of boards in general. I think someone in an office somewhere got the bright idea, "We'll get other people to do our tech support for us, and if they're right, we take the credit, and if they're wrong, they get the blame. Plus it looks like we have a community and that appeals to tech savvy people." I don't know how anyone in these companies can green light making these forums without setting clear policies about their take on censorship. And to be honest, it's not just Apple where these officially sponsored but unofficial boards are generally a waste of time. In my experience, the Linux community is the only place where I've seen official boards be any good (ubuntuforums is probably the single best Linux resource on the net).
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:05 PM   #20
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Apple's own forum keeps deleting my posts

arrggh, need to vent...
Apple's own discussion forums are moderated, and several of my posts got removed, and I wasn't being nasty or offensive or promoting a competitor. I was merely posting things like:
1. "send them a feedback form so they know what we want" (isn't that the idea of a feedback form? So they know what the customer needs/wants?)
2. "keep reminding them of the free month of MobMe we are entitled to due to the shaky MobMe launch" (People's accounts get shut down because they cannot update credit card info (Apple's fault), but they were entitled to a free month to begin with. So why shut it down and delete all info?)
3. "let's go to another, independent forum that doesn't delete critical posts" (I linked to this forum btw)

I really feel Apple doesn't like people organising themselves via their forums, or am I wrong? Apple is just another multinational walking over its own customers... or am I wrong?
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:10 PM   #21
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Starting drama is never appreciated.

Apple is aware of your complaints, Apple will credit your account soon enough, Apple's TOS of the forums does not allow petitions, and your 'movement' to these boards would be considered such.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:13 PM   #22
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Starting drama is never appreciated.

Apple is aware of your complaints, Apple will credit your account soon enough, Apple's TOS of the forums does not allow petitions, and your 'movement' to these boards would be considered such.
I guess...
but Support is unavailable so where do we have to go with our frustrations? Why did I ever think Apple was different from MS?
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:18 PM   #23
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I guess...
but Support is unavailable so where do we have to go with our frustrations? Why did I ever think Apple was different from MS?
What type support do you need? I'm sure the thousands of viewers here would love to help, myself included, provided we can.

In the end, Microsoft and Apple are one in the same, they are both huge corporations that are out to maximize profit.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:18 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by fedjagr View Post
but Support is unavailable so where do we have to go with our frustrations?
http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedjagr View Post
Why did I ever think Apple was different from MS?
They're a different company but that's about it.
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Old Aug 9, 2008, 06:24 PM   #25
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OK guys, thanks for the replies!

I myself do not need technical support, but 1000's of others on those forums do. So, I was trying to emancipate the customers by giving them useful links to the feedbackform, or to this (independent) forum, etc.
LOL, was a tad naive to assume Apple would let me do that on their forums.
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