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s k
(skots) - F
Forum Standards on 07/06/2008 08:47:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for responding, Roger.

>Yes, I agree that these comments are a bit extreme.

>However, I am left asking myself whether it is better to play the Police State and censor them, or to let them stand so that others can decide that they do not want to follow that sort of extremist language?

I appreciate your measured approach. The potential of human interaction, real or virtual, is a wide one, and it's inspiring to witness a sincere and successful effort to keep a dynamic on track. But the interaction does not always stabilize or spiral upwards.

In those situations, a hand on the shoulder, or a few well chosen words by a skilled policeman/woman, can have a strong influence on individual and group action.

In your response "a bit extreme" and "extremist" were used to describe the comments and/or language. My description read "at least potions" of the posts. At most, we are speaking of degrees of difference in our interpretations.

>I agree, but how do we set a 'community standard'? Does reading these sort of comments make YOU decide for yourself to set a higher standard for yourself? Ultimately, it is up to each individual to set a personal example of good behaviour.

The "community standard" of the BPL forums has been established over the years of its operation. The standard is well known and understood, at least intuitively, by all long term participants, and is often the subject of comment. Is the standard static? Clearly not.

>Does reading these sort of comments make YOU decide for yourself to set a higher standard for yourself?

Yes. Reading these sorts of comments and seeing the negative effect that they sometimes have on subsequent comments, reminds me of the importance of measured words.

>Ultimately, it is up to each individual to set a personal example of good behaviour.

Yes, and some are reluctant to accept that responsibility. At those moments, Officer, it may be time to pin on the badge, read the environment, consult your contextual history, consult your conscious, and measure those tic marks between "a bit extreme" and "extremist".

Good Luck and Thanks!

Edited by skots on 07/07/2008 06:11:56 MDT.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Forum Standards on 07/06/2008 21:56:48 MDT Print View

Freedom of speech does not include freedom to slur or slander others, nor does it include the right of verbal attack.

Members should be able to post here without fear of being belittled for their ideas or their opinions.

I for one am very disappointed with the direction this site has taken this year. Childish antics have replaced common courtesy. Brainstorming is being replaced by cheap shots and disrespect.

We have no standards left by comparison.

Derek Goffin

Locale: North of England
standards on 07/07/2008 07:14:57 MDT Print View

Perhaps you are right however compared with some other forums I contribute to ("Outdoor magic") this forum is mainly constructive. Not that Outdoor Magic is not without its purpose or I would not bother.
It is worth fighting to keep forums on that balance between freedom and respect.
Perhaps I am thick skinned but Roger seems to be doing a good job.

I had not read the 2 posts by Timothy Foutz which were referred to. If they had have been censored I would not have been able to go and form my own opinion.
However having read them I would be very tempted to censor them or freeze them as example of unacceptable comments and withdraw Timothy Foutz's access.

Edited by Derekoak on 07/07/2008 07:24:59 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Freedom of Speech. on 07/07/2008 08:14:45 MDT Print View

In the U.S., at least, freedom of speech is PRECISELY meant to protect unpopular/hateful/insulting speech. If all that it protected was popular speech what good would it be? And if we really were trying to do away with everything obscene and offensive then why is Michael Moore allowed to live? :-)

However, is not a government website, so the moderators can enforce any standard that they wish, just as an employer can keep you from posting political campaign stickers in your cubicle.

mark henley
(flash582) - F
Forum Standards on 07/07/2008 10:20:33 MDT Print View

The 1st Amendment does protect all forms of speech .... then the courts are left to decide which forms of speech are libalous/slanderous, or infringing on another's rights.

For example ... standing up in a crowded theater and yelling fire is not a protected form of speech. Inciting a riot is not a protected form of speech. And going on TV and calling someone a "flaming, flatuating, bu--head, unless you can hang your hat on facts, is a guarenteed way to get a slander lawsuit aimed your way.

You are NOT allowed to damage someone's reputation without supporting facts. The media skirts this issue by using terms like "alleged", "it is thought", "sources say". Then the "source" itself, if identified, becomes the focus of legal wrangling, not the media.

The Judicial branch is the body that Interpets the first amendment and applies current social standards to preserve the intent of the Constitution.

In this case we do not have a judicial branch present, therefore, we need to be self moderating to some degree.

However, we need to also be self policing as well ... and apply appropriate social standards to the communication here.

To not do so it to invite Anarchy.

Edited by flash582 on 07/07/2008 10:26:45 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
moderation etc. on 07/07/2008 11:48:51 MDT Print View

i think the chaff section should be eliminated (unless the chaff can actually be about backpacking, which is what this site is about).

i think there needs to be better moderation. i have been disappointed by the slow or complete lack of moderation by Roger et al. on serious issues, such as the homophobic comments re: Sven's sleeping bag for sale. for BPLs response to just say, essentially, that "these comments are getting a bit out of line line, chap" doesn't inspire any confidence in the moderation of the site (more action was taken later on, but was far to slow in occurring).

at least a lot of the argumentation is happening in Chaff now. but i hate to hit the "50 last posts" button, and see that 1/2 of them are about carbon flame war, forum moderation, global population control, etc.

why don't we do like Mark says and just talk about backpacking, etc. lightweight, in a respectful and helpful manner?

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Roger is doing a great job & Freedom of Speech on 07/07/2008 13:35:49 MDT Print View

As for the right of Free Speech in the USA, the US Supreme court does protect the right to offend. That means that anyone can feel free to express their opinion, be it Neo-Nazis, KKK, etc.

Here is an recent NY Times article on the topic if you want to read further:

I for one, like the balanced approach to moderation that Roger and others have practiced. This is a forum and meant for discussion, and it is inevitable that some people will take things too seriously while others will do the opposite. A little bit of thick skin goes a long way, and if you really can't take the heat then hit the "report post button" and forget about it. Use the handy OP subject line to ignore the thread after that.

If you want to constantly be babysat, then maybe the practical backpacking forums are up your alley.... :P

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 07/07/2008 13:55:19 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Roger is doing a great job & Freedom of Speech on 07/07/2008 13:57:26 MDT Print View

This being a global forum makes national laws difficult to use as a standard.

I agree that Roger does a superb job. Helps make BPL a place worth paying for.