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Why Do The ATS Censors Seem To Be Applied In An Arbitrary Manner ?

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posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 08:12 AM
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I would say the censors are very biased and different, although there are many many mods, each one with a different tolerance level.

But still, Ive had a couple of my threads Deleted b/c they had drug references in it. and yet there are many threads that have plenty of drug references. And that pissed me off, they delete you work, without givin you a warning or a chance to save your work.

Its rather embarassing for this site IMO. so much for free speech on here!




posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 



Originally posted by LadySkadi
Sooooo, I'm still confused. Swearing, not okay. I get that.
Circumventing the sensors, not okay. I get that too.
Abbreviations, okay?

Examples:
WTF
FOAD
POS/SPOS



I think that is an interesting point. Technically, I say they are prohibited under the terms of the T&C. I'd say proceed with caution.

But they also likely fall into the "between" category.


As an example, I have often wondered why popular culture accepts "That sucks!" as a benign phrase?

As a parent of a six year old, I hear it frequently in children's shows.

Why is that?


If you really think about what it means, it's pretty surprising we routinely accept it as appropriate.



[edit on 7-7-2010 by loam]



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:24 AM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


I understand mods are voluntary , I understand mods don't get paid , and I understand all about vacation season .

The issue I am discussing does not occur only during vacation season , it is an ongoing thing . One poster gets by , the next one gets penalized .

I personally am not offended when someone uses a 4-letter word with * in place of three of those letters . Okay , it is in violation of the T&C , fair enough , I can live with that and accept it .

I got penalized for it , so now I know not to do it again . Lesson learned .

But , again , show me how the enforcement is not being applied in an arbitrary manner , when I can go to several threads right now and find the word spelled the very same way I spelled it .

Explain to me how it is not cool to use a four letter word , but it is okay to use "big , fit , penis , rectum , his , into" all in the same sentence ?

How does this fly , when X*** does not ?

I have even ran across two posts where oral sex was being explicitly detailed . Wow , no mods were around then either . Wish I had marked them so I could prove it .

Being in a voluntary position does not lessen the responsibility and reliability that one should dedicate to the position they are entrusted with .

And , I have seen NUMEROUS occassions where the mods are being congratulated on the fine job you guys do , so , don't try to make it sound like none of us ever pat you on the back . For you to say this is only occassional , is not true .

If you feel my issue is just more of "the daily crap" , then I really don't know what to tell you . It is a legitimate issue , in my opinion .

But , if you feel like you might need to take it personal , then I would rather discuss it with someone else . It is not a personal issue with me , just something that needs to be looked at and improved upon .

[edit on 7-7-2010 by okbmd]



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by okbmd
 


Here is the problem with this subject.

There will never be a complete solution for the 'problem' you describe.

It really is that simple.


Accordingly, you have to accept the edges will always be gray and inconsistent concerning this issue. Is that really so terrible?

For me, the math is pretty simple. I try to always post within the T&C. If I post a 'gray area' term, I do so knowing it might get me dinged. If that happens, I accept that and move on.

As wonderful as ATS is, it is still just a privately owned message board. I don't go to anyone's home expecting to make the rules. Same concept applies here.

Imperfect, but still lovable.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


"...a privately owned message board. I don't go to anyone's home expecting to make the rules. Same concept applies here. "

Yes , it is a privately owned board but , it is open to the public . ATS is what it is because of participation from the public .

John Q. Public comes here , agrees to the T&C , and is granted membership . John Q. Public also assumes that the T&C are applied evenly across the board .

I am not here to try and 'make' the rules . I am fine with the rules already in place . I am simply pointing out that the rules and/or the enforcement of said rules could stand a bit of scrutiny and could be improved upon . Where is the harm in pointing out the need for improvement ?

If you come to my 'home' and I have a 'No Smoking' placard on the front door , you enter and see that there are others who are smoking , you fire one up , and I ask you to put it out , while others continue to smoke , would you not question why I am enforcing my no-smoking policy in a seemingly arbitrary manner ?

This is a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed , instead of just 'moving on' .

There is always room for improvement . Addressing this issue can only serve to improve the perception of ATS as a quality website .

ETA : thanks for all the work you put into the Deepwater Disaster forum .

[edit on 7-7-2010 by okbmd]



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by LadySkadi
 



Originally posted by LadySkadi
Sooooo, I'm still confused. Swearing, not okay. I get that.
Circumventing the sensors, not okay. I get that too.
Abbreviations, okay?

Examples:
WTF
FOAD
POS/SPOS



I think that is an interesting point. Technically, I say they are prohibited under the terms of the T&C. I'd say proceed with caution.

But they also likely fall into the "between" category.


As an example, I have often wondered why popular culture accepts "That sucks!" as a benign phrase?

As a parent of a six year old, I hear it frequently in children's shows.

Why is that?


If you really think about what it means, it's pretty surprising we routinely accept it as appropriate.


"Proceed with caution" is probably a good way to sum up the whole scenario, since it's not likely that there will be a consensus (and I wasn't really expecting one) either. In any case, not phrases I myself use, so I wasn't seeking personal clarification though I would have thought (in my example) that it would have been addressed considering the two of the abbreviated phrases were directly related to a member insulting another member, but 'eh?
I guess not.

As for "that sux" Lol. Well, I'm guilty of that. It is rather crude, given the origins of the saying and probably a tad juvenile, as well. I really should kick that habit. I'll add it to the list.




posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 11:39 AM
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Being new, it's somewhat frightening to speak up on a subject such as this. Nevertheless, I see okmbd's point enough to do so.
My experiences haven't dealt with profanity, but rather indirect insults as mentioned earlier.
In the course of friendships outside the world of ATS, I've referenced the site and even suggested my friends visit as an alternative news site. On three occasions, I was publicly called on the carpet for my recommendation of this site. Twice by outspoken gays who chastised me for frequenting a moderated site that permitted the terms "homo" and "queer" on the many threads pertaining to homosexuality. The third was by a family member who pointed out that "hillbilly" and "redneck" were often used in the context of an ethnic slur while deragatory terms for other groups weren't permitted.
Are these lurkers overly sensitive? Perhaps, but they're also vocal. They represent the loss of more than just three clicks, I'm sure.
I'm not technically savvy by any means, but if there's a way to audit for profanity, isn't there a way to tie into some ethnic and other slurs database? Wouldn't the ability to be alerted to these words so that each may be examined in context be advantageous?



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by okbmd
 


I'm all for improvements.


I guess the point I was making is that no enforcement mechanism will ever be perfect. The 80/20 rule seems to apply here. The approach necessary to get to the last 20% would likely be unreasonable.

Moreover, I tend to prefer self regulation. Govern yourself accordingly and the rest takes care of itself.


Thanks for the kudos, btw.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by 23refugee
Being new, it's somewhat frightening to speak up on a subject such as this. Nevertheless, I see okmbd's point enough to do so.
My experiences haven't dealt with profanity, but rather indirect insults as mentioned earlier.
In the course of friendships outside the world of ATS, I've referenced the site and even suggested my friends visit as an alternative news site. On three occasions, I was publicly called on the carpet for my recommendation of this site. Twice by outspoken gays who chastised me for frequenting a moderated site that permitted the terms "homo" and "queer" on the many threads pertaining to homosexuality. The third was by a family member who pointed out that "hillbilly" and "redneck" were often used in the context of an ethnic slur while deragatory terms for other groups weren't permitted.
Are these lurkers overly sensitive? Perhaps, but they're also vocal. They represent the loss of more than just three clicks, I'm sure.
I'm not technically savvy by any means, but if there's a way to audit for profanity, isn't there a way to tie into some ethnic and other slurs database? Wouldn't the ability to be alerted to these words so that each may be examined in context be advantageous?


You know, I've wondered about that too. I've been called a cracker on here a few times, and that's perfectly acceptable on here, and yet other terms for other colors aren't. Being called a cracker doesn't really bother me, however someone calling me a racist cracker is kind of a dumb statement in my opinion. I guess it does depend upon the mod though, as some do seem to allow attacks on certain members while disallowing it on others.......bias does exist here, sometimes blatantly, however, it makes it more interesting if not entertaining.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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You can't make any sort of point about an unfair arbitrary method used in the removal of profanity some members use in their posts.

First of all, you shouldn't be using any sort of profanity. Period.

It is against T&C and there are far better ways of self expression that don't rely on "dirty words" to get the point across.

Plus, it is tacky and distracting.
Just look at Godlike Productions.

Secondly, if you circumvent the automatic detection of such words by putting in a letter or symbol instead of one or two of the proper letters...YOU REALLY DESERVE A WARNING.

You obviously KNOW that the profanity that does not belong on these boards will be auto-detected since you clearly try and beat the system and get it in anyway.

Aside from the obvious point about MODS not being everywhere, when you do something like that how can you claim foul at all?

No, I think a better point can be made about arbitrary censorship when it comes down to an alleged "off-topic post".

Some of that stuff is downright subjective, and when you see one person hit with a notice for it, you'll find three others that fit the same category still on the same page.

- Lee



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by lee anoma
 


While I totally agree with you concerning the issue of 'Off Topic Posts' , I totally disagree with you concerning the issue of profanity .

For the sake of argument , let's forget about the fact that I was censored and penalized .

ANYONE visiting this site could very well come to the same conclusion with what I am saying , by simply setting back and reading and witnessing the same issue I am talking about .

So , it has nothing to do with whether or not I have used a four-letter word .

The result of any unbiased observation from a totally neutral party would ultimately reach the same conclusion .

The system is flawed , with or without me .

I have witnessed this for as long as I've been here . It is NOT something I've only recently noticed from feeling the effects of it .

So , let's don't turn this into a 'me' problem , when it clearly is a board problem and would still exist if I weren't here .



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by okbmd
reply to post by loam
 


"...a privately owned message board. I don't go to anyone's home expecting to make the rules. Same concept applies here. "

Yes , it is a privately owned board but , it is open to the public . ATS is what it is because of participation from the public .


There are plenty of privately owned places that are open to the public that require a certain simple etiquette to remain on the premises.

That can even includes a dress-code.

Just because it is open to the public doesn't mean "everything goes".
That is why we have security guards, bouncers, or if necessary, the police.

Usually most people don't have a problem with behaving in a manner expected of a mature individual when going out into public places.

If you want to bring your own peanut butter into a mall, strip down and start rubbing it on like sun-tan lotion, well...don't let the door hit you when they toss you out.


Where is the harm in pointing out the need for improvement ?


There is none.

There is always room for improvement and Jell-O.

- Lee



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 03:46 PM
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What if your analogy accurately reflected okmbd's argument?

You and he both go into the mall, do the peanut butter thing. He gets thrown out and you don't. In fact they might let you keep on smearing your peanut butter.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 04:00 PM
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reply to post by lee anoma
 


" Usually most people don't have a problem with behaving in a manner expected of a mature individual when going out into public places. "

Again , let's not turn this into a 'me' problem , and instead , focus on the issue I am addressing .

Public places with codes for conduct and dress , apply them evenly , across the board .

What one man sees as immature and unintelligent , another man finds normal and acceptable in everyday usage . Most words used on this site can be found in dictionaries . But , that is not the issue here .

The issue is not about being right or wrong in the usage of such words and language . The issue at hand is about enforcing the policy in a fair and balanced manner .



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by 23refugee

The third was by a family member who pointed out that "hillbilly" and "redneck" were often used in the context of an ethnic slur while deragatory terms for other groups weren't permitted.

Are these lurkers overly sensitive? Perhaps, but they're also vocal. They represent the loss of more than just three clicks, I'm sure.
I'm not technically savvy by any means, but if there's a way to audit for profanity, isn't there a way to tie into some and other slurs database? Wouldn't the ability to be alerted to these words so that each may be examined in context be advantageous?


While I'm not big on the "hillbilly" word, Deliverance comes to mind. Run when the banjo stops playing.

Gretchen Wilson made it cool to be a "redneck woman"
It just means you work and play hard.
The lurkers just have to realize there are all kinds of people, some just don't always play nice. Someone usually calls them out on it and gives them he!!. Then all is well. Plus there is an "alert' button.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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I understand the confusion over the 'circumventing the censors' warning. I got my first warning after five years on this site for that infraction. All three words were spelled using the symbols over the number keys. There were no letters used but I guess since I used the same number of symbols as letters in each word, it needed to be removed. I just chalked it up to experience and went from there. I see worse than that all the time here.

The only thing I can tell you is if a post offends you, use the alert key and let a mod know that something needs fixin. A lot of stuff slips by the mods. If it bothers you, use the alert button.



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by darkelf
 


That's just it . I , personally don't have a problem with it so , I never use the Alert function to report any of this .

I wouldn't feel the need to alert the mods to something that I am comfortable with .

That is not the issue . The issue is that of enforcement or the lack thereof .



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by okbmd
 



Originally posted by okbmd
That is not the issue . The issue is that of enforcement or the lack thereof .


You seem really stuck here. Why is that?


What would you have them do short of lifting the profanity restriction?

I notice you don't seem to accept the 80/20 rule I mentioned earlier.

Look, I get how it seems unfair...and in some respects, it is.


But there is a big difference from unfairness as a consequence of limited resources and intentional unfairness. Which of the two do you think is at play here?

Honestly, you'd be better off licking your wounds and moving on. The moderation of this place isn't perfect, nor will it ever be...

But like I said previously, just focus on providing good content. The rest will take care of itself.


It ain't all so bad.



[edit on 7-7-2010 by loam]



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 05:18 PM
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The automatic censors "pick up" and alter the vast majority of profanities to mere "pound signs" (#).

That does Not preclude such from potential staff action(s), since the Terms & Conditions specifically state, You will not use profanity in our forums ... simple as that.

Circumvention of the automatic censors, as well, will not preclude a given post from possible staff action. That being the use of various "special characters" (#, *, &, ^, @, !, etc.)

We, as staff, can't be everywhere at all times, but as we happen upon such or are made aware of the same Do expect to be warned and the post edited.

It's as simple as that.

The "Policy", if you will, applies board-wide, chat included.

The Application of such, on the other hand, is on an as noticed or made aware of basis.

PLEASE help us to help You keep the boards clean and free from the same.






-thread closed-



posted on Jul, 7 2010 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by okbmd
 


I believe it is at the moderators discretion. I said something about Paris Hilton and did something similair. I blanked out part of the word and was banned WITHOUT warning. I talked to one of the moderators and they told me to talk to the mod who banned me.
About 10 minutes later that mod gave me a message.



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