[SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

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ephraimshofar

[SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by ephraimshofar » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:10 pm

This forum does not belong to me.
There, I've said it. Now, with that advisory and admittance out of the way, before I may be burned at the stake for what I'm about to say, here it comes.

This Forum's rules prohibit discussion on Politics. Okay, so that in order I might further be able to obey said policy, praytell:
What does this Forum officially define as Politics so I don't tread on said Policy? Could you please provide a listed response on this question?

Perhaps it might be easier to answer this question instead:

What is NOT Political?
Last edited by ephraimshofar on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by greerd » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:15 pm

When you get spanked, you've gone too far!

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by ephraimshofar » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:20 pm

greerd wrote:When you get spanked, you've gone too far!
Precisely how does one avoid being spanked if they aren't told what they might be spanked for?

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by Pjotr » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:28 pm

This forum is primarily meant for mutual technical assistance with Linux in general, and Linux Mint in particular. With some allowance for (more or less) unrelated small talk, as long as that small talk doesn't interfere with its primary goal.

Heated political debate is a radical and dead sure interference, which massively harms this primary goal. If you feel the irresistible need to talk politics, go elsewhere. Opportunities enough. :mrgreen:
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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:35 pm

Mh, do you want to say, that you cannot differentiate between political and not political statements? Hard to believe.
If you talk here about Linux or Mint or computer in general it is not political, but the main purpose of the forum.

Nobody gets spanked here out of the sudden. If a warning gets ignored, well then comes the consequence. That is just as in real life: If the rules get ignored, measurements are needed to give them their meaning. By registering you accepted this by will.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by Moem » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:37 pm

Nothing is censored here because not allowing specific speech on a specific forum does not amount to censorship. But I will take your question as I believe it was intended:
What topics cannot be discussed here?

Now, speaking as a mod, that is not easy to answer because this is not a matter of anything that can be measured in any absolute way; just like you can be very mean and rude without ever uttering a curse or ugly name, you can discuss politics or religion without ever mentioning any explicitly politic or religious terms. It's not in the words themselves; it's in their meaning.
So it will always have to be eyeballed, and the mods will decide based on their interpretation of what is written, and if they are finding it hard to come to a conclusion, they will talk about it together. It's not a completely objective process. Yet you can be sure that we don't want to moderate more than we need to.

If we find that something crosses the line, we may edit, remove a post, or even remove an entire topic depending on the situation. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we are quick to ban people for such posts. So don't worry too much: we are generally, and we certainly try to be, reasonable and open to discussion.

If you want to know some of the things that would for me, as a mod, probably cross the line, these are some examples:
- Mentioning specific politicians and praising or badmouthing them
- Calling another forum member a word that means a specific religion or political movement, especially in the negative
- Speaking negatively about certain political or religious groups
- Preaching. Stating your religious beliefs as facts. Evangelising.
- Talking in explicit terms about subjects of a sexual nature.
- Mocking or deriding people for their beliefs, politics, abilities, nationality, ethnical background, age, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

Does that help any?
What is NOT Political?
Oatmeal and other cereals. Although I have my doubts about granola.

Seriously now: you can start out with any subject in the world and find a political angle. But I bet you'll realise when you are doing that. Just use your common sense and you should be fine.
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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by TooMuchTime » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:24 pm

I got spanked because one poster wanted to find a photo of an Alfa Romeo. So, as a joke, I posted a photo of a 20th century Italian head of state (I cannot say the name for fear of being hammered again) standing in an Alfa Romeo. That joke was obviously too much for delicate eyes. There was another photo of a 20th century Cuban head of state sitting on an Alfa Romeo that I'm sure would have been completely acceptable. I'm also sure I will get hammered for even mentioning this. The truth is obviously not for all to hear.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by ephraimshofar » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:55 am

Some of you are fooling yourselves, everything is Political. Most people get on the Linux Bandwagon because of Political reasons. Hence, Linux itself IS Political.

Honestly, I know how this must seem posting this, but I've been watching discussions on other parts of this forum. Do they get past what most people (including myself) would say are, "out of line"? Indeed! But there is such a thing as common sense. You can TRY to ban a topic with such vague "policies", but you can never do so fairly. That is my point.

Perhaps better to orchestrate a system by and for the users that, for example, keeps track of "foes". Once a number reaches so many, say users who have been on the site (unlike myself) for lengthy periods of time, they are "auto-banned".

I'm encouraged by Moderators who come on here and respond rather civilly to this. That gives me hope. Believe me, I find this forum as sort of a refuge, I've no wish to engage in what MOST of you presumably may define as "Political" -- here. I also do so elsewhere. But we must be careful to not fall victim to pushing out genuine, well-meaning users with perceived threats that aren't really threats at all.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by ephraimshofar » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:04 am

TooMuchTime wrote:I got spanked because one poster wanted to find a photo of an Alfa Romeo. So, as a joke, I posted a photo of a 20th century Italian head of state (I cannot say the name for fear of being hammered again) standing in an Alfa Romeo. That joke was obviously too much for delicate eyes. There was another photo of a 20th century Cuban head of state sitting on an Alfa Romeo that I'm sure would have been completely acceptable. I'm also sure I will get hammered for even mentioning this. The truth is obviously not for all to hear.
This is exactly the kind of incident that worries me about such a vague sword of Damocles hanging above our heads. Prohibitions should be more specific: (i.e.)

- no posters of any pictures with anyone who's ever been a politician... for example.

I for one would not consider that a violation of said policies and procedures. My "understanding", which is bound to be different from others, over such statements, would be the forbidding of talking about Political Parties, for example. But there are always exceptions to the rules, and "Politics" influences every area of our lives - especially Technology and perhaps more Linux than any other Operating Systems. ...which brings me back to my earlier point. Such judgments can be so widely varying that the closest to a "fair" approach to such a rule would be by giving standard users the ability to vote against such behavior, call them "strikes", or "foe votes", whatever have you.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by ephraimshofar » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:21 am

Moem:
If you want to know some of the things that would for me, as a mod, probably cross the line, these are some examples:
- Mentioning specific politicians and praising or badmouthing them
- Calling another forum member a word that means a specific religion or political movement, especially in the negative
- Speaking negatively about certain political or religious groups
- Preaching. Stating your religious beliefs as facts. Evangelising.
- Talking in explicit terms about subjects of a sexual nature.
- Mocking or deriding people for their beliefs, politics, abilities, nationality, ethnical background, age, sex, gender, or sexual orientation.

There we go - now THAT'S specific, that's not vague. But therein again lies the problem, this is YOUR particular view (or views) as a Mod, who's to say what the other Mods do or don't agree with on this?


Moem:
Oatmeal and other cereals. Although I have my doubts about granola.

Currently, that might not be political. In reality, who's to say? Say for example that in Japan a Prime Minister well liked gets pelted with Oatmeal. It quickly becomes a Meme. Now me, living on the other side of the Planet, (this being a Multi-National Forum), has no knowledge that said incident and that the word "oatmeal" are now forever linked. Oatmeal is a product, produced by farmers, who are allowed to (or not to do) their work because of Government rules & subsidies, are they not? How is that not Political? I can assume what is meant by "Political". But there's no way to be sure, is there? That's the problem. Censorship doesn't work. It inevitably comes back to bite it's propagators in the [CENSORED]. Hence the need for a system by the users of this forum to reach a consensus on such sensitive(?) topics.

Regardless, I'm going to go ahead and mark this one as [SOLVED], as I believe several mods did their due diligence to clarify the matter, regardless of whether I agree or not; as I stated earlier this Forum does not belong to me. Feel free to lock it now to keep it from getting out of hand if you like. (Not being sarcastic, I've seen such behavior slowly do so on other discussions). But I would recommend leaving it up for others to read in the future, if nothing but for the "vote" suggestions.

EDIT (ADDED LATER)
I feel it necessary to explain: I was around the Linux Movement in it's infancy... and such topics are the primary motivating factor for most of us getting Linux & the Open Source Movement to where it is today. Such Censorship scares me as it is quite contrary to what I & so many behind open Source are all about. Stallman would have a word or two to say about this. Peace.

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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by sphyrth » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:32 am

The term "political" IS vague especially in the Mint Forums since a lot of people here are so nice they don't try to find loopholes around this issue. But I do understand the concern.
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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by chrisuk » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:33 am

You can't discuss what is or isn't political, without actually being political ;)

The forum rules work just fine - those that have broken the rules knew that they was pushing their luck... no need for new definitions or further clarification of the current rules... IMHO
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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by Pjotr » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:58 am

ephraimshofar wrote:Most people get on the Linux Bandwagon because of Political reasons. Hence, Linux itself IS Political.
Utter nonsense. Most people switch to Linux because they want a better operating system. As in: more secure, more stable, more reliable, more tweakable. And hey, it's cost-free.

I fail to see why you apparently feel the urge to make this forum for mutual technical assistance into a bloody political arena. All I can say is: adhere to the rules. Or go away and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by karlchen » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:51 am

Hello, ephraimshofar.
ephraimshofar wrote:What does this Forum officially define as Politics so I don't tread on said Policy? Could you please provide a listed response on this question?
The existing forum rules should be easily found:
Sub-Forum Rules & Notices ==> Thread Forum Rules, Guidelines, and Policy
As you will realize, there is no item list of what is politics.
The forum rules are a guide line, no statute books.
The forum administrators and moderators try to interpret and apply the forum rules using their common sense. So should the forum users.

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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by Moem » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:32 am

ephraimshofar wrote:Most people get on the Linux Bandwagon because of Political reasons. Hence, Linux itself IS Political.
Can you point to a source for that? I find it hard to believe. I know a lot of Linux users and I don't think any of them uses it for political reasons. They use it because they enjoy it, can make it behave as they prefer it to, consider it secure, don't have to pay for it... all fine reasons.
ephraimshofar wrote: You can TRY to ban a topic with such vague "policies", but you can never do so fairly. That is my point.
If by 'fair' you mean 'objective', then I concur. The mods are people and they have opinions and weaknesses like everyone else. They are not robots. But they do try to be fair.
And in fairness (!), everybody knows what they are signing up for, if they bother to read the forum rules which clearly state 'Any decision made by an administrator or moderator is final and should be respected.' Does that sound like a democracy to you? No? That's right: because it's not. And people who don't like that are free to go elsewhere, since this forum is a convenience, not a necessity.
In other words: you knew, or could reasonably be expected to know, what you were getting into.
ephraimshofar wrote: we must be careful to not fall victim to pushing out genuine, well-meaning users with perceived threats that aren't really threats at all.
I don't think there is much danger of that. Having a post edited or removed, generally with a brief explanation, is not the end of the world. Nor is it a 'sword of Damocles' or a 'spanking'. It's more like a friend laying a hand on your shoulder and saying 'Hey, not cool. Don't do that here, please'.
ephraimshofar wrote:I can assume what is meant by "Political". But there's no way to be sure, is there? That's the problem.
Is that really a problem, though? Most users seem to know how to handle that uncertainty. I'm pretty sure that if you use your common sense, of which you seem to have plenty, you will be fine.
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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by Citizen229 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:58 pm

The only thing here that gets remotely political is in the terms of privacy and security. Being vocal on those 2 issues tend to be (in the States) a right leaning issue. Now the group as a whole that is here, is worried about these issues on some level. Despite political leanings or nation of origin. Since I am a right end person I have to be careful on these topic to not go political. So the best recourse to support my text is to link court cases/articles that show government intruding on privacy(or ignoring it).

Now if you truly are not sure, then stay away or out of privacy and security issues. Stick with learning things and helping others. I have no doubt there are people who abstain from even looking at the more open sections. The sole purpose to avoid toxic topics, and not waste their time on opinions.
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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by JerryF » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:41 pm

ephraimshofar wrote:Some of you are fooling yourselves, everything is Political. ...
Hogwash. Everything is not political. There are things in this world such as kindness, charity, love and a lot of these don't come from political reasons.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by jimallyn » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:09 pm

Regarding using Linux for political reasons, I'm not really sure what that means. I use it because I hated Microsoft's junk since the DOS days. However, I do know people who use Linux for religious reasons. Specifically, these people are pastors, and they don't want to set a bad example for their congregations by paying money to an immoral corporation.
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Re: What IS [CENSORED] ?

Post by ephraimshofar » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:53 pm

Pjotr wrote:
ephraimshofar wrote:Most people get on the Linux Bandwagon because of Political reasons. Hence, Linux itself IS Political.
Utter nonsense. Most people switch to Linux because they want a better operating system. As in: more secure, more stable, more reliable, more tweakable. And hey, it's cost-free.

I fail to see why you apparently feel the urge to make this forum for mutual technical assistance into a bloody political arena. All I can say is: adhere to the rules. Or go away and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Honestly, you don't actually BELIEVE do that, do you? You do understand that's how Linux & the Open Source movement began, do you not? NOW who's talking utter nonsense?

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Re: [SOLVED] "What IS [CENSORED] ?"

Post by Citizen229 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:55 pm

Before this topic gets locked... /waves!
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