MacRumors Censorship

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by blubyu, May 24, 2011.

  1. blubyu macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2010
    #1
    Why are Macrumors Mods censoring so much content? In the Samsung lawsuit thread Doctor Q edits users quotes 4 times on the first page alone. Why? If the users are causing trouble by what they are saying then infract them and send them to band camp. But why censor what these users are saying? Part of the reason I love this site is because you don't always get just the Apply fanboy perspective on things.

    I think MacRumors is going down a slippery slope if they keep censoring users posts simply because they do not like or agree with what a users has posted.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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  3. blubyu thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    I am sorry....but the above is censorship. If you want to "blank" out a word or two I can undertsand. If you want to delete an entire post I can kind of understand. But to edit somebody's post simply because you think it is in bad taste is censorship. If it was that bad of taste why wasn't the whole post deleted?
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #4
    If you have a question about moderation, it is always best to use the Contact Us link found at the bottom of most pages.

    Your concerns will be addressed
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    Among the rules:
     
  6. blubyu thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    But wouldn't it seem best to discuss this in an open forum instead of behind closed doors? I am truly not trying to argue this point simply for the sake of arguing.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #7
    As you can see from the links provided, this has been argued before, and you can also see from the rules that discussing specific moderation issues is to be handled in private. The rules are quite clear. If someone violates them in their post, moderation action is appropriate. If you disagree, take it up with the moderation team using the appropriate methods.
     
  8. arn macrumors god

    arn

    Staff Member

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    #8
    I don't see a problem.

    If someone posts a nude photo on the forums, we'll remove it. Is that censorship? perhaps. But we have reasonable rules of social behavior that we allow on the site.

    We don't censor people's opinions, but we do "censor" things that break what are generally accepted social behavior in a public gathering place.

    arn
     
  9. blubyu thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2010
    #9
    I pretty much knew I was going to lose this argument when I posted it but I do appreciate the responses I have gotten so far.

    arn - If somebody posted a nude photo on this site I would fully understand that the pic (and probably the entire post) would be deleted. This isn't a site for that and I know that is something that breaks the forums rules. Pretty much cut and dried. What I had a problem with was that the mod removed part of the post of a user. Now I am not trying to get anybody to tell me what part was removed. That was never the case. But now I have no idea what was changed in the post and so there is no context for that post. I feel it would have been much better to simply delete the post.

    The second problem I had with it is the reason that the mod posted: Bad Taste. Bad Taste for who? Me? You? the mod? Do I now have to wonder if something I put in a post will get deleted simply because a mod thinks it is bad taste? If the mod had put as a reason: Rules Violation then to be honest I might not have given the post a second a thought.

    I thank you again for your responses and for letting me ask these questions in an open forum.
     
  10. Pink∆Floyd macrumors 68020

    Pink∆Floyd

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    #10
    I agree OP

    [​IMG]

    The truth of the matter is that it was censoring, no need to deny it or be sarcastic about it

    If it was censored, there had to be a reason for it...
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #11
    We let users express almost any opinion as long as they do so properly under the rules. (Hate speech would be an exception.) Moderation applies the rules uniformly and serves the overall forum membership and our site visitors.

    We edit posts rather than remove them completely as a courtesy to the user involved when only part of the post isn't keeping with the rules. The user can report their own post if they want it removed completely.

    "Bad taste" is judged by community standards, not our personal opinions. We judge this by what we hear from forum members, including the complaints about posts submitted by other users. We take extra care to keep news discussions from going off-topic, as this one did.

    "Bad taste" may refer to posts that are crude (against the registration agreement) or that are purposely shocking (against the rules prohibiting trolling). I'm speaking in general since policy prohibits discussing a user's discipline or moderation in public without their permission. We provide specifics and explanations to any user whose post is removed or edited and who wants to contact us. We keep very careful records of every moderation action and they can all be appealed.

    There are plenty of "anything goes" forum sites. This isn't one of them. We set minimum standards and expect users to observe them. I think most site visitors and forum users prefer it that way.
     
  12. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #12
    There was a discussion in the not-so-distant past that turned fairly nasty. Someone made a comment about Steve Jobs and cancer. It was childish, tasteless, crude, and blatantly offensive. That comment was reported and swiftly removed.

    Was that censorship? No. That comment was removed for being in bad taste.

    MR is a private entity. They can remove or allow anything they want. I have no problem whatsoever with removing things that are in poor taste, or even remotely offensive.
     
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    FL
    #13
    OP, bad taste may be hard to define, but I know it when I read it.

    I am often surprised what does get by. On the whole the Mods on MacRumors try to have a fairly consistent application of the rules. There will always be a grey zone that can be argued to death. If one doesn't like what side of the grey zone he or she keeps falling in, one can leave.

    And the slippery slope argument? Please. The argument of those who don't really have an argument.
     
  14. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #14
    @OP: All of us have agreed to terms of use of MR, and that includes posting according to the forum rules. Frankly, so far as I can tell the MR users who are most concerned about censorship are the ones who afford the least respect to fellow MR readers (I am not including you in that, but just in general).
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    This may sound like kissing up but the Mods/admins here take a light handed approach to threads. I've very rarely seen them edit a post.

    I've belonged to other forums that take a much more stricter view and you want to discuss censorship then visit some other sites. You are free to express your opinion provided you abide with the rules and procedures of MR.
     
  16. FloatingBones macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #16
    Anyone who had read the MR Forum Rules would have already known that certain kinds of speech are not permitted here. There's a tradeoff in having a high-quality site of news and informed commentary, and this is one of the tradeoffs. I don't know a single high-quality source you could go to which wouldn't have this kind of restriction.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite all-time bits of humor: many years before the big dig in Boston, there was an earlier reconstruction project on that same downtown highway. The MassDOT had placed signs on the highway about 10 miles out of town:

    We thought a second sign should have been added:
    A third sign would complete the message:
    (This Wikipedia article discusses the lost art of Burma-Shave highway humor.)

    If you know of any high-quality Apple news and commentary sites that doesn't have similar ground rules in effect for its members, please let us know.
     
  17. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502

    d4rkc4sm

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    #17
    'bad taste' is a poor reason for editing/removing posts. since i assume the mod team is made up of people of varying ages, a 20-year old and 50-year old mod will have different criteria for what constitutes bad taste. how does one go about codifying this into a 'rules of internet forum posting'?

    therefore, we can conclude it is in fact censorship.
     
  18. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #18

    The forums here haven't been quality since the unwashed masses of iPhone owners were let in. :D
     
  19. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #19
    That's an interesting take on it, but I would disagree

    The moderators are all indeed human, and not bots (at least as far as I have been able to determine), and we all bring our own unique personality, backgrounds and experience to moderating. There is simply no way to do otherwise. However, we do seek to enforce the MR rules as objectively as subjective beings can, and we employ a number of checks and balances. We also get involved in a great deal of discussion about decisions and we are quick to seek feedback from other moderators about our actions. There is accountability among our peers and we do listen and consider carefully what members say.

    That said... there is no way everyone will be pleased by the moderators actions. For every cry of censorship, there is another who laments our lack of action against trolls. Fandroids chant "free speech" while fanboys shout "this is an Apple site, begone"! The list is endless because the user base on MR is so diverse. Some feel the moderators don't do enough. Others think they do too much. Striking a balance isn't easy, but I think the moderators do as well as can be expected of them.
     
  20. FloatingBones macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    Jul 19, 2006
    #20
    Why do you think it is poor? Can you name a single high-quality computer news and discussion site that doesn't have such rules for member comments?

    If you feel that MR has no just cause for editing/removing posts, why did you ever agree to the rules and join the community?

    The rules have not been codified; they are interpreted by humans.

    The idea that such things could ever be codified was eliminated by Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems in 1931. The marvelous book "Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid" covers the topic quite well.

    It's clear that the speech in the forum is indeed restricted. You have failed to explain why you conclude that that's a poor choice. As a practical matter, please show us a forum site that maintains quality with no such "censorship".

    It looks like you're using the word "censorship" as a pejorative; I cringe when people apply that label in this sort of context. There are indeed places in the world where one can get beaten or shot for criticizing the government or its leaders. I wish that the word would be reserved for those contexts. The activities in MR are not even remotely comparable.
     
  21. blubyu thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2010
    #21
    This is exactly what I am talking about :) The mod above has stated that the reason the post was edited was due to forum violations. Since that is the case then it should have been the Reason posted for the edit. By simply putting Bad Taste it implies (to me anyway) that this particular mod didn't like what the original poster had posted so he/she took it upon themselves to decide for the rest of us that is was Bad Taste. And since only part of the post was edited (the 'Bad Taste' portion) I now don't know the context for the post.

    I want to thank everybody that has responded for keeping this thread on topic. I do agree that the Mods of this forum do a fantastic job. I think things like this do need to be brought to attention. I think it only makes the site better.
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #22
    The "reason for editing" message serve three purposes:
    1. To let the user know why their post was a problem. They usually know what they posted so details aren't necessary. We're aware that the message is visible to others so we try to keep the tone matter-of-fact and not harsher than necessary, but we still want it to serve as a reminder to the user. If it's too vague then they have to contact us to ask what the problem was, and that takes time we could spend more usefully.
    2. To let other users know that a post was edited and doesn't represent what the user originally posted. Most other users won't know what the original post said but don't need to know. When editing a post we purposely avoid putting words in a user's mouth even if we excise a comment (or even just a word) that is too personal, insulting, or that takes a thread off-topic.
    3. To keep a record of the moderation action, in addition to the other records we maintain.
    In this case it was a choice of "bad taste", representing the apparent community consensus, or "off-topic", which is less informative but would better match the wording of the forum rules. Apparently some of you think "off-topic" (or deleting the post entirely) would have been more appropriate, and I can understand that.

    Speaking in general (not about this case in particular) when a user makes a comment that stirs up others in an off-topic way, we have to decide if it was intentional agitation (trolling). But we avoid leaving that as the reason for editing if the comment is deemed borderline (not clearly trolling). Users get the benefit of the doubt if the moderators don't clearly agree on taking action.

    Meanwhile, we'll continue to edit ("censor" if you like) comments that aren't expressed appropriately or cause problems for too many other users, but we won't "censor" ideas and opinions.
     
  23. FloatingBones macrumors 65816

    FloatingBones

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    #23
    Then I have no idea what the complaint is. By d4rkc4sm's standard, every single high-quality computer news site that offers member discussion is, in fact, practicing censorship. Weeding out the trolling comments is part of what keeps the quality high.

    Part of your agreement as a user is to trust the moderators to do their jobs with moderation. You will never be able to see all of the data that went into a moderator's decision -- unless you yourself eventually become a moderator for the discussion. It's kinda like someone sitting behind third base trying to call the balls and strikes.

    I think it's important for users to realize how the forum works and that their postings can indeed be edited and possibly deleted. That's all spelled out in the ground rules for the forum. It's also useful to understand why mainstream sites that allow this kind of discussion by their members work this way. New users may not understand their role and responsibility in the discussion; they may not understand that the moderators will have a different (and usually broader) perspective.

    Your thread's title "MacRumors Censorship" implies that the moderators did something bad in the Samsung thread. I've seen no evidence that that happened. They are operating the discussion by the rules.
     
  24. blubyu thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 10, 2010
    #24
    Notice how I have simply chosen to quote only the relative portion (to me) of your response above? If I were to have the ability to remove all of your post above with the exception of the part I have quoted, don't you think then that your original post would have lost all context for those that had not been able to read it in the first place?

    And if I had simply told people that the rest of your post was in bad taste and not said that it was because it violates forum rules, don't you feel I would be censoring what you were trying to say?

    I agree with a lot of what you have posted. I know that the mods have the right to remove what they want. I know that I accepted those rules by signing up for the forum. I do believe that if a user wants to question a mods action they should have the right to do so, just like I have done here. I don't expect anything to change with the post that I have brought up, but maybe it will make the mod (and other mods) think a little more before they give the reason for what they have done.

    FloatingBones - I do not, under any circumstances, think that anything you have posted in this thread break any of the forum rules. The example I used above was just to try and make my point.
     
  25. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

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    #25
    Your "point" doesn't make any sense with your example, because nothing was said that was anywhere inappropriate.

    Let me get more specific concerning the example I referenced earlier. (DocQ, I understand if you feel this needs to be removed. No ill will meant, and I DO NOT agree with it.) A user said something along the lines of "I hate Steve Jobs and I sincerely hope that his cancer kills him. He probably deserves it." That was swiftly removed for much of the same reason. Can you honestly say that was censorship? That comment was in EXTREMELY poor taste.

    Honestly, if you feel this forum is "censoring" people, then you have every right to get up and leave. There are plenty of other places to post where the moderators take no pride in their forums and leave in every mean-spirited, bigoted, or downright nasty post they find.
     

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