Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sirlin; who doesn't censor posts - he just enables others to do that

I was idling through Sirlins main page.

I would like to respond to the articles. It's funny - from what history I understood on his forums a guy under the handle 'final slayer' started making alot of heated posts.

Now Sirlin likes to talk about freedom of speach and letting him do that, even though he thought final slayer was driving off constructive forum posters.

So what does Sirlin institute on the forum? Post rankings - and get enough of a negative post, and by default people don't see it. And they see the rating people give it as a negative.

I'm not sure what idea of freedom of speach he has - as long as he's only enabling a mob to censor peoples words, he's fine with enabling them to do that? Perhaps he's got a 'It's the mob doing it, not me' mentality over it, even as he handed them the tools to do that.

Censorship by proxy is still censorship.

If you've read my posts and take me to be a somewhat productive poster, then he's driven me away. Getting past a bunch of people with their own personal agendas, none of which are required to have anything to do with freedom of speach, all able to evaporate my post. Why the f' would I bother thinking out, drafting then posting for that crap?

It's just forum vigilantism - Sirlin enabled that and as much as I found final slayer a dick head, I found I could avoid him. Sirlins new forum set up? Unavoidable.

But hey, I'm sure everyone who was driven away is just a completely non productive poster. All of them - there's no way you could be wrong in that. Hell, if anyone tried to argue you were, their post would evaporate.


  1. Uh what are you talking about? Low ranked posts are still visible if you click one time to see them. That's not "censorship," it's just making trash less visible than non-trash. Besides, there's less censorship there than just about any other forum ever, so again, what are you even talking about? Normal forums delete posts all the time, lock threads all the time, ban posters all the time. I don't think anyone was ever banned there except that one guy though, and rightly so.

  2. If everyones clicking on them then the whole system was pointless to install.

    People aren't clicking on them.

    If Sirlin idea of freedom of speach is him making people talk in a place no one will hear them, that's an interesting idea of freedom.

    And what do you mean 'less censorship' - from how Sirlin puts it, he has no censorship and people have freedom of speach. Has he changed that and admits he does some censorship? Or does he continue to muzzle by proxy then proclaim freedom of speach?

    If he admits he does some censorship these days then hey, I'll grant this post is out of date.

  3. Your objections seem ill-conceived though. There used to be no way to do anything about blatant profanity posts with no content on those forums. Now those can at least be hidden by an extra click (better than old system with no filtering). And there isn't some mighty king admin who hides, it's a community decision (better than if one person decided which posts to hide). So...this seems better than before.

    Also, it's kind of a joke that you complain about censorship in a place where you can say about anything. Have you not been to other internet forums? Try gamefaqs or srk and see how far your freedom of speech goes. Where exactly *is* good enough for you? Seems like 99.99% of internet forums fail your test. You'd like zero moderation, not even filtering of dozens of profanity posts? wat. Maybe you got downvoted and are sore about it? Big picture, man.

  4. Last time I saw it, people weren't using it just to block profanity. They'd use it if you hadn't read a certain book on the subject you talked about. Indeed Sirlin advocated it.

    And your skipping the point of the post - I'm not complaining about censorship, I'm trying to figure out how Sirlin talks about having freedom of speach, yet has this set up.

    Before you go on, tell me an example of how Sirlin could fuck up. It doesn't have to be realistic or any real chance of happening - like if he fed nuclear waste to orphans, you would agree he'd have fucked up?

    It's just a quick test, cause if you can't imagine him ever being able to fuck up (even by his own values), then I've presented a post that describes something your unable to imagine. If you can't imagine him fucking up, of course this post doesn't make sense at all.

    I mean, it's not going to be productive of me to try and present a case if in the eyes of any particular beholder, he's incapable of error.

    If you want to say he's incapable of error, it's cool, I'll wrap it up here.

  5. I've only recently decided to step in and censor a poster at my place. Then again, I've always reserved the right to do so. I am an absolute dictator over my site. I've been lucky so far to have great commenters that I've not had to correct. Still, it's my corner of the web, and I rule it with an iron fist.

    Maybe that makes me a big fat meanie, a Communist in disguise, but since it's right there in my About page, at least I'm not hypocritical about it. *shrug*

  6. It's the two facedness and a false sense of enlightenment of the whole Sirlin deal that repulses me enough to point it out. Or maybe I'm wrong and when he initially talked about complete freedom of speach he was talking about something very, very different to what I think of when I hear the words 'freedom of speach'.

    I will say though, in terms of your own moderating - I wouldn't tell someone is trolling. For a start, if someone is trolling, they don't care if you say they are (or they even get off on it) and someone who does care about what you say - well, if they care, are they a troll?

    You don't really know - they may just be being passionate and clumsy in how they write.

    Not that I wouldn't censor someone myself. But I think if we think of ourselves as legitimate debaters or people of a scientific mind, we could genuinely think it's possible for us to be wrong. Otherwise were just preaching. But if you start calling someone a definate troll, it's stepping right away from the humility of being able to accept you might be wrong and instead headed straight into zelous, dogmatic thought.

    And I know it's tempting as an authority to feel one did the right thing perfectly and only censored a troll.

    But it changes you from a man who could think he was wrong, into someone who thinks they can do no wrong.

    I think as an authority one has to stomach that one might be censoring someone who doesn't deserve it. If one can't stomach it, I don't think one is qualified to be in authority.

    Alternatively, it sucks to be in authority...

  7. Note, I just pointed out that specific behavior was trolling. I didn't mute that poster, or excise his previous comments. Nor have I blacklisted him. I won't tolerate bad behavior, and will call it out, but I have no problem with specific people. He's made more comments since then that aren't problematic.

    It's the behavior I'm not afraid to call trolling, and it's more for clarification of what is acceptable, not to single someone out. *shrug*

    Specifically in that instance at my place, there's a huge difference between debating thoughts and ideas and trying to "win" an argument. I welcome debate and differing viewpoints; they make me think, which is healthy. Crossing the line into "I will win this because *you* are wrong" isn't honest debate, it's pure contention against the debater. That's not helpful in any way.

    When the terms of debate aren't about the ideas, but about the personalities, nothing is ever solved. There is no search for understanding, no common ground, just argument. That's trolling in my book. Not that the person *is* a troll (he's not), but that specific behavior is not welcome. A subtle distinction, perhaps, but crucial.

  8. Well, every time I've heard someone use the word troll, it's been used with the definition that the person meant deliberate harm. Not that they got over enthusiastic and did damage in their enthusiasm - instead that they meant it.

    What do you mean by the word? If you've been using it just to cover people who cause damage by clumsy enthusiasm, okay, fair enough and I'm way off track. I was really thinking you were using it to refer to someone deliberatly causing harm