Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Oct 2009 19:48 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes For a very long time now, OSNews' comment sections were governed by a set of rules that dated back to the very early days of OSNews. This set of rules has been amended a number of times over the years, but we were never really comfortable with such a dry, silly list of arbitrary rules that nobody read anyway. They were too much like an... EULA. So, we decided a change was in order, and I started work on a completely new approach.
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bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

I thought that we were almost to this point anyway. It seemed that there have been, even recently, some remarks with name-calling in them. I'm sure the persons writing the comments didn't pay attention to any code of ethics.

I can't imagine how someone can sit there and type language befitting a 13 year old but it seems to happen quite a bit more than I'd expect.

I hope it works out in a more positive way.

Reply Score: 4

thewolf Member since:
2007-12-27

Swearing on it's own is perhaps the most utterly pointless thing ever, however there's nothing wrong with swearing itself, as far as I'm concerned it is a vital part of human expression. f--k.

Reply Score: 1

haydenm Member since:
2006-10-29

Swearing on it's own is perhaps the most utterly pointless thing ever, blah blah blah etc. f--k.


Maybe it's they way I read it, I just couldn't help but laugh.

Reply Score: 1

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

Swearing on it's own is perhaps the most utterly pointless thing ever, however there's nothing wrong with swearing itself, as far as I'm concerned it is a vital part of human expression. f--k.


Perhaps, but it's usually a sign of a person with a weak vocabulary, someone unwilling or unable to describe the situation in words that could help to resolve it.

A few people on OSNews seem to think that they need to resort to posting quickly rather than posting thoughtfully and getting it right the first time. It's where enthusiasm crosses into fanaticism that we get into trouble.

Reply Score: 3

So
by sbenitezb on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:17 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

So nothing has changed. No one in the whole internet reads or explicitly agrees with any imposed terms. It is granted for us that in real life we can say whatever we want without having to agree to anything beforehand, even if what we say brings consequences.

In real life, if an asshole starts badmouthing you and the issue escalates, you can punch him. It is a very primitive behavior, but very rewarding. Somehow the assholes of the real world have to shut up or tone down or they get kicked in the face. You can't do that through a web site, unfortunately (I know I deserve some punches too).

Reply Score: 3

RE: So
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:21 UTC in reply to "So"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I have the virtual equivalent of a punch in the face.

It's called a ban button.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So
by darknexus on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE: So"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Really? By some of the posters that are still allowed to post here, you could've fooled me. Then again, perhaps they're just too funny to get rid of.

Reply Score: 2

RE: So
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 17th Oct 2009 00:19 UTC in reply to "So"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

So nothing has changed. No one in the whole internet reads or explicitly agrees with any imposed terms. It is granted for us that in real life we can say whatever we want without having to agree to anything beforehand, even if what we say brings consequences.


Going by the example of the ArsTechnica forums, the biggest value is that it aids consistent moderation. Even if people don't read the rules, the rules are still there for the moderators to reference when banning/warning posters for negative behaviour. And if there are specific, easily available rules, it (should) make it less likely that moderators will moderate based on nothing but personal whims.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Oct 2009 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: So"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Going by the example of the ArsTechnica forums, the biggest value is that it aids consistent moderation. Even if people don't read the rules, the rules are still there for the moderators to reference when banning/warning posters for negative behaviour. And if there are specific, easily available rules, it (should) make it less likely that moderators will moderate based on nothing but personal whims.


Even when there are rules they aren't applied evenly and consistently - the best example of this would be the YouTube flagging system where by a person might say something and then a group will gang up by conducting a flagging campaign. The videos are never manually moderated and only done by the numbers flagging it and some other variables.

As for Arstechnica forum - they banned me simply because I retaliated against a person who deliberately goes around winding people up; and guess what? that person is still there, still posting and not a single thing happened to them. If you're ignoring the source of the attack then you're doing a crap job moderating. If the person didn't lay the original flame bait then the flame would never have occurred. Yes, the flamer is responsible for his actions but so is the person laying the bait - in fact, I would say that baiter should be banned and not the flamer because the baiter only placed the bait to get a reaction and destroy any purposeful discussion in the forum. In other words he provides no positive contribution to the discussion at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 17th Oct 2009 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"Going by the example of the ArsTechnica forums, the biggest value is that it aids consistent moderation. Even if people don't read the rules, the rules are still there for the moderators to reference when banning/warning posters for negative behaviour. And if there are specific, easily available rules, it (should) make it less likely that moderators will moderate based on nothing but personal whims.


Even when there are rules they aren't applied evenly and consistently - the best example of this would be the YouTube flagging system where by a person might say something and then a group will gang up by conducting a flagging campaign. The videos are never manually moderated and only done by the numbers flagging it and some other variables.
"

That's true, there's always going to potential for abuse.

As for Arstechnica forum - they banned me simply because I retaliated against a person who deliberately goes around winding people up; and guess what? that person is still there, still posting and not a single thing happened to them. If you're ignoring the source of the attack then you're doing a crap job moderating. If the person didn't lay the original flame bait then the flame would never have occurred. Yes, the flamer is responsible for his actions but so is the person laying the bait - in fact, I would say that baiter should be banned and not the flamer because the baiter only placed the bait to get a reaction and destroy any purposeful discussion in the forum. In other words he provides no positive contribution to the discussion at all.


It's been a few years since I've spent much time there, but I'll guess: the Battlefront? It definitely a cess pool, I suspect the only reason the admins there keep it around is to prevent "OS contention" from spilling into the other forums.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Oct 2009 08:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

That's true, there's always going to potential for abuse.


One of the reasons I like Liveleak which has manual moderation; there is a delay but at least it is being moderated by an actual person.

It's been a few years since I've spent much time there, but I'll guess: the Battlefront? It definitely a cess pool, I suspect the only reason the admins there keep it around is to prevent "OS contention" from spilling into the other forums.


Yeah, but it is like Neowin (another forum I am banned from lol) where even with a dedicated debating section it spills over where Windows trolls come into the Mac section crapping on about Windows. Windows users are like religious zealots, they invade dedicated parts of forums and spew their propaganda to people not even interested in it.

Then again, I get solace knowing that if a Windows person comes into a Mac forum then obviously they're insecure about their platform of choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 17th Oct 2009 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

another forum I am banned from lol


So, you were banned from OSNews (at some point), Ars, and Neowin?

Okiedook. Heh. I thought it was just me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: So
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Oct 2009 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So, you were banned from OSNews (at some point), Ars, and Neowin?

Okiedook. Heh. I thought it was just me.


lol, well, my account was suspended from OSNews but never banned; I've been using OSNews.com well before 2005, heck, I'd say I must have been using it for around 6-7 years, back when there wasn't a login/username setup and Eugiena had to manually moderate comments.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So
by aesiamun on Sat 17th Oct 2009 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I feel the same way when linux and mac zealots interject every time a windows article is posted.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: So
by kaiwai on Sat 17th Oct 2009 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I feel the same way when linux and mac zealots interject every time a windows article is posted.


Agreed. I remember seeing it on Zdnet where there is a Windows 7 article and some jackass takes it upon themself the mission of spreading the Ubuntu faith to the heathens. Just as I hate people spreading religious views (even of my own faith), I hate the idea of people seeing their operating system of choice as a religion which they must spread to the four corners of the earth.

Edited 2009-10-17 23:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

I Agree
by Nicram on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:39 UTC
Nicram
Member since:
2006-01-31

I Agree

Reply Score: 1

should be two ways
by UglyKidBill on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:41 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

It still ironic all the "we expect or demand or wish or whatever, that you, our reader, behave well" when the site endorses (by tolerating beyond good taste) the flaming, ranting and aggressions of 'some' from its own staff.
I had actually banned this site for about a year when that was at its peak, and came back when "it" calmed down.

My point is, I -and probably some others too- expect the editor to behave at least as well as we are expected to.

(And, no, this is not directed to this news poster but to the OSN Team. YIC)

Reply Score: 7

RE: should be two ways
by haus on Fri 16th Oct 2009 20:56 UTC in reply to "should be two ways"
haus Member since:
2009-08-18

If I could mod your post up 100 times I would

Reply Score: 1

RE: should be two ways
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 16th Oct 2009 21:15 UTC in reply to "should be two ways"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

A little bit of ranting is ok. I know what you're talking about, but I sort of like it. It shows their humanity, which allows us more context in which to evaluate their stories and opinions.

They aren't the Greek gods up on mount Olympus demanding tributes form mortal men. They're real users of technology and sometimes they do let their emotions show. On the whole, I think its in balance and they aren't too heavy handed with the bans or moderation so they allow as much as they themselves produce and more.

Reply Score: 5

RE: should be two ways
by Nathan O. on Fri 16th Oct 2009 21:20 UTC in reply to "should be two ways"
Nathan O. Member since:
2005-08-11

Hah, I had thought I was the only one who left for a while when it got juvenile :-)

Reply Score: 1

Good
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 16th Oct 2009 21:11 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I do have to say that most people here do a relatively good job in promoting good discussions. There are a few who pursue negativity for its own sake, but I think that just stems from their personality and poor social skills. In other words, I don't think they are deliberately trolling.

Reply Score: 2

Good
by nickelbackro on Fri 16th Oct 2009 21:51 UTC
nickelbackro
Member since:
2009-04-12

I love the idea of a forum of free discussion.

My only concern with this new system is that there will be a ban system in place for those who would place ads in their comments. Seeing posts that end up being advertising is one of my biggest forum pet peeves.

Edited 2009-10-16 21:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Then again...
by mrhasbean on Fri 16th Oct 2009 22:10 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

There are many ways of calling someone a moron. Some methods may be more PC than others, but at the end of the day if you think the person is a moron and it's supposedly a free speech forum why not just call them a moron? You can sugar coat that stuff all you like it still has the same meaning - just more touchy feely - which in itself is bollocks anyway because that person and everyone else still knows what you mean. Anyone who can't handle being called a moron every now and then should probably be posting on http://forum.muppetcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12

Foul language is another matter all together - most normal people use some profanities in their daily life but there are certain words or terms that shouldn't be used in a public forum. It's also foolish to think that this or any forum with moderators is a free speech forum. Any time the ban button is used it is censorship, regardless of how appropriate the ban may seem...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by polaris20
by polaris20 on Fri 16th Oct 2009 22:50 UTC
polaris20
Member since:
2005-07-06

It really doesn't matter either way, I don't think. No matter what you're going to have the same lot of patronizing and/or downright rude people that behave this way under the protection of internet anonymity.

With that you're left policing the place constantly, which is overwhelming for site owners when time is short as it is.

It's unfortunate, really.

Reply Score: 2

How about raising the quality ?
by mounty on Fri 16th Oct 2009 23:20 UTC
mounty
Member since:
2005-12-12

For a very long time now, OSNews' comment sections were governed by a set of rules that dated back to the very early days of OSNews.

Thom, you claim to be a journalist, yet everything you publish is peppered with malapropisms, hyperbolae, redundancy, clîchés and grammatical errors. How can you expect the site to be taken seriously when this is so ? It is within your ability to change it and it will cost nothing to do so.

Edited 2009-10-16 23:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, you claim to be a journalist,


I do? Where? Please provide links.

yet everything you publish is peppered with malapropisms


Where?

hyperbolae


For someone who accuses me of bad English, you might want to look up the correct plural of "hyperbole". But yeah, I use a lot of hyperboles in not only my writing, but also my speech. Is that a crime?

redundancy


Examples?

and grammatical errors.


How many languages do you speak? ;)

Look, OSNews is a news blog where each editor has his or her own style. My style is indeed wacky, and more playful than that of the other editors. I'm sorry, but for that's just who I am. I like acting silly, and if you don't like that, well, there's little I can do for you.

There are enough websites out there that you could visit that are dry and boring, and if you like that sort of thing better, then by all means, go there! OSNews can't be everything to everyone.

This post is way too dry. Sparkly unicorns! Pink roses! Fairy dust! Tinkerbell! Ponies!

Edited 2009-10-16 23:33 UTC

Reply Score: 3

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

For someone who accuses me of bad English, you might want to look up the correct plural of "hyperbole".


Well, it is actually hyperbolae in latin, in nominative. So he was right.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

We weren't speaking Latin, were we?

And while we're being really pedantic, hyperbole comes from ancient Greek, so technically, the plural would be ὑπερβολαί.

Gosh I never could've guessed my classical education in Latin and Greek would come in handy at a Pedantics' Competition on OSNews ;) .

Reply Score: 1

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

We weren't speaking Latin, were we?


Apparently he used the latin version and you criticized him for that.

And while we're being really pedantic, hyperbole comes from ancient Greek, so technically, the plural would be ὑπερβολαί.


But it was also a latin word derived from that in greek, and he used the latin version, so he is still right on the use. The fact that you could trace the origin to ancient greek doesn't mean anything.

Gosh I never could've guessed my classical education in Latin and Greek would come in handy at a Pedantics' Competition on OSNews ;) .


It was you the pedantic, you do realize? You tried to correct him for using a latin word, which is fairly common in science and humanistics. So, you won the pedantic competition by far.

Reply Score: 1

haydenm Member since:
2006-10-29

I call them hyperbowl-lilly-thingies, I always thought they were those things in space that sucked in all surrounding matter to a singular-larry-thingy.

I guess I was wrong.

Reply Score: 1

watkin5 Member since:
2009-06-20

I'm lost.
What does this have to do with Operating Systems?
:-/

Reply Score: 1

frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

We weren't speaking Latin, were we?

Well, the language one speaks doesn't really depend of one single word.
But, just because someone else assumed that "hyperbola" is the Latin nominative of the Greek word υπερβολή: no, the correct Latin Nominative is "hyperbole". It was not a Latin word; it was a Greek word used by educated Romans.

Υπερβολή is a Greek word because α) the Greeks still use it today, and β)"υπερ" (over, in favour of, more than) has meaning only in Greek, not in Latin or English, and the same holds true for "βολή" (the throw).

And while we're being really pedantic,

You called me ;)

hyperbole comes from ancient Greek, so technically, the plural would be υπερβολαί.

Yep, but not for contemporary Greeks. Their plural is υπερβολές.

Gosh I never could've guessed my classical education in Latin and Greek would come in handy at a Pedantics' Competition on OSNews ;) .


It's always quite handy. Στην υγειά σου ;)

You probably never thought about all this anyway

Administering a political forum I have to think about this and it's not easy. Therefore thanks for your "implicit trust" approach.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"For someone who accuses me of bad English, you might want to look up the correct plural of "hyperbole".


Well, it is actually hyperbolae in latin, in nominative. So he was right.
"

Even in Latin, I thought that "hyperbolae" was the plural form of "hyperbola" (the mathematical concept) rather than "hyperbole" (the rhetorical device).

Reply Score: 2

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

How about this for latin? Non sequitur.

Now, can we actually talk about actual *ideas* for a change instead of arguing over trifles?

Reply Score: 2

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Mmmm this seems to be turning into a personal little flame war over English grammar!

Well f$#@ me could we restrict the flaming to the pros and cons of FreeBSD vs Slackware etc.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You regularly publish articles of topical interest on an internet forum. http://www.osnews.com


I regularly publish articles on a news blog. I never claimed to be a journalist, so please don't shove words into my mouth!

That's just an excuse Thom.


No, you just don't like my style. That's fine. It's not an excuse - it is the way it is. I am not changing my style just to please you. Like I said - OSNews can't be everything to everyone.

Are you claiming that the characteristics about which I complain are actually expected or required ? that people actually want you to write bad English ?


No, your complaints are just utterly, utterly silly, because there's little I can do for you. No matter how well I'm trained in English, it is still a 2nd language to me. I find it extremely nitpicky for a native speaker such as yourself to harp on someone like me for errors like that.

In fact, I find it rather insulting and extremely arrogant.

On top of that, you might want to check your own punctuation there, buddy. Acting the way you do, you really cannot afford to mess up your punctuation like that.

Sheesh. Get off your high horse dude.

Reply Score: 2

frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

AFAIK Thom isn't a native German speaker. Let me humbly show you a correct German sentence:
Ich kann auch deutsch sprechen und man hat mir gesagt, dass meine Sprache fast perfekt sei.
By the way, the percentage of Germans speaking perfect German is below 1%.

Edited 2009-10-17 13:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

You regularly publish articles of topical interest on an internet forum. http://www.osnews.com


That would make him a publisher, not a journalist.

Reply Score: 4

Congratulations
by sicofante on Fri 16th Oct 2009 23:24 UTC
sicofante
Member since:
2009-07-08

I for one want to congratulate you. I've seen communities like the Ubuntu forums become a nasty place under the scrutiny of an army of whimsical policemen (so called "moderators"). Your approach, no matter the outcome, is a more mature one and I wish all the best to it.

Reply Score: 1

Thoughts
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 17th Oct 2009 02:17 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally I think that the best approach is a hybrid between completely manual moderation (the way it used to work here) and completely automated moderation (the comment scoring system).

Most of the time, I think that the comment scores system works as intended - good posts are usually rewarded, and disruptive/troll posts are usually buried. But it's less useful overall if there isn't a human being keeping an eye on comment scores and looking for trends/anomalies.

E.g., I imagine that a fairly simple SQL query could reveal the posters here whose comments are consistently given negative scores (something like "SELECT UNIQUE user FROM comments ORDER BY score ASC"). It makes sense to have the process automated up until there - but that would ideally be the point where a live moderator steps in and does some checking to see WHY so-and-so's comments are consistently given negative scores (and takes takes the appropriate action based on what they find).

Reply Score: 3

good move
by smoerk on Sat 17th Oct 2009 11:43 UTC
smoerk
Member since:
2009-07-10

rules don't convince people to behave differently and nobody reads them anyway. i like the "implicit trust" approach.

i read osnews for a very long time now and i think it got more friendly in the recent years.

Reply Score: 1

Hopes...
by pepa on Sun 18th Oct 2009 14:14 UTC
pepa
Member since:
2005-07-08

I had hoped this meant:

- No more: "You have recently moderated this user, please let someone else take it from here" -- I don't moderate users, I moderate contributions, ie. comments. Unfortunately this is still in place.

- No more "You cannot moderate when you've contributed a comment". I'll try this after this posting... But this also doesn't make sense when you think about it in terms of 'implicit trust'. It also doesn't encourage contributing comments for users that also like to express their approval of other contributions.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hopes...
by pepa on Sun 18th Oct 2009 14:15 UTC in reply to "Hopes..."
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

OSNews editors, please consider the 2 points in the above comment for the sake of Implicit trust..!

Reply Score: 2

What combination!
by Drunkula on Mon 19th Oct 2009 19:16 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Martinis and root beers? Not sure about vodka but gin is terrible in root beer (yes I tried - lost a bet).

;-)

Reply Score: 1