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smoking monkey

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
2,022
1,111
I HUNGER
I was just pulled up for a social issue post in the normal part of the forum. I didn't realise it was a controversial position but whatever I think about that, it's not a problem and it's all good and those are the rules and the mods have a tough job. The reason given was that it should be kept to the PRSI forum and such comments aren't allowed in the other forums. Again, all good and understandable, BUT... you have at least a few posters with PRSI comments in their signatures. And they can post in all forums. So I'd like to know what is MR's official stance on PSRI in signatures?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,452
I was just pulled up for a social issue post in the normal part of the forum. I didn't realise it was a controversial position but whatever I think about that, it's not a problem and it's all good and those are the rules and the mods have a tough job. The reason given was that it should be kept to the PRSI forum and such comments aren't allowed in the other forums. Again, all good and understandable, BUT... you have at least a few posters with PRSI comments in their signatures. And they can post in all forums. So I'd like to know what is MR's official stance on PSRI in signatures?
A fairly recent discussion of this nature that might be of some help:
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
68,692
36,449
Boston
So posting something political in the sig is okay.
Yes, you have the freedom to convey your opinions in a signature or avatar, which can be political, or religious or social issues. What we do not permit is derailing discussions in the open forum with PRSI content. We do have a dedicated forum for such topics and ask that you (or any member) use that forum to post your PRSI content.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
55,875
39,369
The Far Horizon
Yes, you have the freedom to convey your opinions in a signature or avatar, which can be political, or religious or social issues. What we do not permit is derailing discussions in the open forum with PRSI content. We do have a dedicated forum for such topics and ask that you (or any member) use that forum to post your PRSI content.

An instructive clarification. Thank you.
 
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Saturn007

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2010
640
372
I'm with Monkey on this one. If political, religious statements are out of bounds in regular forums, they should be out of bounds in signatures, too. We don't need to see political slogans, religious beliefs, etc. in regular browsing and reading.

Is there a way to turn off signatures? And, just as important, to hide creepy-looking avatars? Such as Monkey's?! They are disturbing to see.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
27,636
15,885
Gotta be in it to win it
This may help with respect to turning off signatures:
 

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smoking monkey

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 5, 2008
2,022
1,111
I HUNGER
I have yet to see an avatar that I find so objectionable that I need to block it, there are many I do not like but that's life.

I have, but that's more to do with using MR at work during lunch break. A few users have avatars that are somewhat sexy. So I'd like an option to turn off Avatars.

I'll agree with the poster who thinks my avatar is creepy. It is! It's from the scariest retro arcade game that'll haunt your dreams, SINISTAR.

================

I'm certainly not interested in putting anything PRSI in my sig. In fact, I used to have sigs turned off and I think I will go back to that, because they take up too much space.
 
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retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,846
2,894
Victoria, British Columbia
I would like to see a compact mode that removes signatures and profile pictures, perhaps scaling some other elements to fit more on the screen at once without having to zoom out. Personally, even with poor vision, I use this site at 90% zoom all the time, just because I feel the UI elements are larger than necessary. Not sure such a mode is present in Xenforo currently. A bit off-topic, but since we mentioned both thought I'd chime in on that particular issue.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,901
5,501
Kentucky
The rules are very clear that users should not post political content in a non-PRSI thread.

I have been informed that political content is "okay" in signatures. It seems to me that this is inconsistent with at least the spirit of the politics rule. For one thing, political content in a signature is surely provoking a response from those who disagree with it, and by nature is polarizing.

Second, the PRSI forum is a place for PRSI content for a reason. Some users are not permitted to post there for a variety of reasons-too low of a post count, meeting post count requirements after the January "cut off" date, or "misbehaving" and losing access. Other members choose to not view PRSI content, either passively by just ignoring the forum, or actively by disabling access to it(an option which IIRC use to be available and I think still is).

Can someone clarify what appears to me to be an inconsistency in this rule re: posts vs. signatures?
 

annk

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 18, 2004
14,717
7,076
Somewhere over the rainbow
Can someone clarify what appears to me to be an inconsistency in this rule re: posts vs. signatures?

There's a thread where this is discussed and explained from October.

The reason for allowing political avatars is that avatars are one of the few ways a user can express who s/he is. We have decided that this is a good balance between not allowing political content outside of PRSI and Political News on the one hand and allowing personal expression on the other.

It's political posts that are not allowed outside of the appropriate forums, not signatures. If however a user brings attention to a political avatar outside of PRSI with post content, that wouldn't be allowed.

In addition, users choose in their account settings whether or not to have signatures visible. So no one has to view political signatures.

This isn't an inconsistency, it's a decision we came to. Some users appreciate it, others are dissatisfied.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Political content is permitted in signatures as part of the balance between freedom to express opinions and maintaining order in the forums. Forum members have used signatures to list their Apple products, to be silly or serious, to promote causes (including the MacRumors Blood Drive), to personalize their online presence, but also to state political opinions. Normally this does not disrupt forum discussions, so it's an overall benefit to allow them. In extreme cases, the rules permit the moderators to change or remove a signature that is causing problems.

The Political News and PRSI forums are separate forums that members are free to visit or to ignore. In the same way, signatures are separate from posts and members are free to display or ignore them.

To suppress the display of signatures, go to your Preferences and uncheck "Show people's signatures with their messages."

Since signatures are not categorized, there isn't a way to suppress political signatures while allowing others, but of course you can ignore particular users to avoid seeing their signatures.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,901
5,501
Kentucky
So, taking this to another extreme-not something I'm planning on testing or even desire to do if it is alright-

If signatures are a place to "express my personal opinion" are there are other rules permitted to be violated in them? Can I say "User xxx is a complete idiot and needs to shut up about yyy topic?" Can I criticize moderation in my signature?

Again, just stressing I have no plans to do this and wouldn't do this, but again it seems that this would be consistent with "allowing users to express their personal opinions in a signature".
 

MagicBoy

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
3,922
976
Manchester, UK
Political content is permitted in signatures as part of the balance between freedom to express opinions and maintaining order in the forums. Forum members have used signatures to list their Apple products, to be silly or serious, to promote causes (including the MacRumors Blood Drive), to personalize their online presence, but also to state political opinions. Normally this does not disrupt forum discussions, so it's an overall benefit to allow them. In extreme cases, the rules permit the moderators to change or remove a signature that is causing problems.

The Political News and PRSI forums are separate forums that members are free to visit or to ignore. In the same way, signatures are separate from posts and members are free to display or ignore them.

To suppress the display of signatures, go to your Preferences and uncheck "Show people's signatures with their messages."

Since signatures are not categorized, there isn't a way to suppress political signatures while allowing others, but of course you can ignore particular users to avoid seeing their signatures.

Gotcha. Crystal clear on the politics.

How about misinformation and hoaxes? That isn't political.
 
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Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
So, taking this to another extreme-not something I'm planning on testing or even desire to do if it is alright-

If signatures are a place to "express my personal opinion" are there are other rules permitted to be violated in them? Can I say "User xxx is a complete idiot and needs to shut up about yyy topic?" Can I criticize moderation in my signature?

Again, just stressing I have no plans to do this and wouldn't do this, but again it seems that this would be consistent with "allowing users to express their personal opinions in a signature".
Most rules about posts, such as the rules against name-calling and personal insults, apply to signatures too. If comments on moderation interfere with the ability of the moderators to do their job, insult the volunteers, or make claims about specific moderation incidents, they would likely be disallowed.

Gotcha. Crystal clear on the politics.

How about misinformation and hoaxes? That isn't political.
As with forum posts, volunteer moderators aren't asked to be fact-checkers. Society is full of people who believe what others consider misinformation, and that's not something moderators can settle.

The prohibition of hoaxes is applied only when it's very clear that a user purposely wants to cause harm to others in the context of a thread topic, such as posting harmful instructions to address a technical issue. There's no foolproof way to judge a user's intent, so the rule can be applied only in clear-cut cases. Expanding that interpretation to include controversial social-issue claims would again fall into the fact-checking realm.
 
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0248294

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2016
713
859
As with forum posts, volunteer moderators aren't asked to be fact-checkers. Society is full of people who believe what others consider misinformation, and that's not something moderators can settle.

The prohibition of hoaxes is applied only when it's very clear that a user purposely wants to cause harm to others in the context of a thread topic, such as posting harmful instructions to address a technical issue. There's no foolproof way to judge a user's intent, so the rule can be applied only in clear-cut cases. Expanding that interpretation to include controversial social-issue claims would again fall into the fact-checking realm.

One does not need to be a factchecker to understand that Alex Jones blabbering about COVID vaccines altering DNA is misinformation. That's as clear cut as you can get.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,901
5,501
Kentucky
Most rules about posts, such as the rules against name-calling and personal insults, apply to signatures too. If comments on moderation interfere with the ability of the moderators to do their job, insult the volunteers, or make claims about specific moderation incidents, they would likely be disallowed.

There again, just playing devil's advocate, why are "most rules" applied to signatures but not one specific rule(PRSI)?
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
One does not need to be a factchecker to understand that Alex Jones blabbering about COVID vaccines altering DNA is misinformation. That's as clear cut as you can get.
The only way to know that is by checking facts. They could be facts about vaccines or facts about Alex Jones, but either way the moderators aren't in charge of investigating the claim by hunting down information outside the forums. If there are people who believe those claims then not everyone considers it misinformation. It's a problem of a free-speech society that a forum site isn't going to solve.

There again, just playing devil's advocate, why are "most rules" applied to signatures but not one specific rule(PRSI)?
For the reasons explained above. Political opinions in signatures usually don't cause problems, so it's not necessary to blanket-prohibit them. Political posts in non-political forums do routinely cause problems. It's a practical choice that gives forum members more freedom to express themselves.
 

SuperMatt

Suspended
Mar 28, 2002
1,569
8,278
If there are people who believe those claims then not everyone considers it misinformation.
If I tell you the Sun revolves around the Earth, and you believe it, it is still misinformation, regardless of our belief.

Also, other social media sites have at least tried to stop misinformation. The decision has been made here to take a completely hands-off approach.

This seems odd, considering there is a very hands-on approach for things like a thread going off-topic or somebody feeling insulted by a post, that can lead to suspensions and bans.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
If I tell you the Sun revolves around the Earth, and you believe it, it is still misinformation, regardless of our belief.

Also, other social media sites have at least tried to stop misinformation. The decision has been made here to take a completely hands-off approach.

This seems odd, considering there is a very hands-on approach for things like a thread going off-topic or somebody feeling insulted by a post, that can lead to suspensions and bans.
You are correct. It would be misinformation. But MacRumors doesn't moderate misinformation in a post or signature unless it breaks forum rules.

Huge social media sites have a large paid staff who can investigate claims. Tiny social media sites have a low volume of content and may choose whether or not to review it all. MacRumors has a small team of volunteer moderators and a high volume of content. Unless that changes, it would not be practical to add a policy to root out misinformation.

Where moderation isn't an antidote to misinformation, information provided by users can be an antidote to misinformation. Forum members can dispute misinformation in posts and provide the facts to back it up. You can't reply to misinformation in a signature, but signatures aren't seen unless the user posts, and if someone is trying to spread misinformation in a signature they will likely make the same claims in posts.
 

SuperMatt

Suspended
Mar 28, 2002
1,569
8,278
You are correct. It would be misinformation. But MacRumors doesn't moderate misinformation in a post or signature unless it breaks forum rules.

Huge social media sites have a large paid staff who can investigate claims. Tiny social media sites have a low volume of content and may choose whether or not to review it all. MacRumors has a small team of volunteer moderators and a high volume of content. Unless that changes, it would not be practical to add a policy to root out misinformation.

Where moderation isn't an antidote to misinformation, information provided by users can be an antidote to misinformation. Forum members can dispute misinformation in posts and provide the facts to back it up. You can't reply to misinformation in a signature, but signatures aren't seen unless the user posts, and if someone is trying to spread misinformation in a signature they will likely make the same claims in posts.
I appreciate this. But misinformation does break forum rules, specifically the hoax rule as it is currently written.

So, I do think it would bring a lot more clarity if the hoax rule was changed or deleted from the rules, because although not everybody reads the rules, it is far more likely they will read the rules vs. randomly spotting a thread in the SFF where it states hoaxes will not be policed. Having one rule that isn’t being used leads to confusion: “What other rules are or aren’t in force?”

As staff members pointed out before, health hoaxes and the like weren’t an issue when the rules were written... they were meant for hoaxes involving Apple products. But the forum has grown, as has the variety of topics discussed. As such, the rule really does need to be changed IMHO to avoid future confusion.
 
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