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Community Guidelines Topic


Ladypcnj

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As we know online rules are usually created by a team of people, basically the guideline rules are to keep everything running smoothly, and everyone is treated equally, and most importantly the code of conduct to make sure no rules are broken. My concern is, what happens when the online community rules (in general speaking) can have an impact on the freedom of speech? Perhaps it might had been artificial intelligence, that took down a post I made on the internet, somewhere else. I know I haven't broken any rules, I was sharing a true story experience I had about online safety, so it doesn't happen to anyone else.. then the post was taken down. I felt to frustrate the time and energy I've spent typing out my experience what happened to me, and then poof it was gone :blink: lol  What can I do about this? lol

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  • Forum Moderator

As a private platform the owner can limit what is said on this space.   I'm sure someone with more authority and/or insight into this issue will chime in.

Jani

 

“A few narrow categories of speech are not protected from government restrictions. The main such categories are incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats. As the Supreme Court held in Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)

 

The Freedom of Speech is one of the most essential tenants of American democracy, yet that right is not absolute. The First Amendment prohibits States from passing laws that “abridge the Freedom of Speech.” Thus, because Platforms are private businesses, individuals cannot use the First Amendment to pursue recourse against censorship on a private platform.”

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If I take time to type something up which I find personally important or impactful, I will first type it on a Word document or on the notes app on my phone and save it before sharing it online if the intention of the writing was to be shared in that way. Indeed, it is extremely frustrating for that sort of work to vanish when it was an emotional experience to have recounted and written it. But if it does happen, my advice would be to try to focus on having had the personal catharsis of transforming the thoughts into words. Even if the writing has vanished, your intention was acted out. You cannot control the results, whether it disappeared or not. So we can try our best to focus on gratitude for having been able to express what was expressed in the way it was expressed, rather than disappointment over it not bearing the fruit we expected it to. From a higher point of view, all things of this world are non-permanent. So when something like that happens, at best we can view it as an opportunity to practice mitigating grief over non-permanence of all things. All this is easily said - I acknowledge it is challenging. But without challenge, we do not grow.

 

As far as freedom of speech is concerned, my view is that implicit in freedom of speech is duty in exercising that freedom responsibly. That means applying ethics to speech. One may ask, "whose ethics?" which is a valid question. The answer is, your ethics. If you wish to participate in a community with a specific code of rules or ethics, it is up to you to use your art and skill to express yourself within that framework. Of course in certain contexts it becomes imperative to speak up, breaking the rules - blowing whistles as it were. But that likewise should be done skillfully as much as possible. If one feels unduly constrained within a community ethical framework, one may also exercise their freedom to not participate in that community. It is a balance, like anything else in life. There is no ethical framework which is ideal because this is not an ideal world. So, tldr; do your best and make good decisions.

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Thanks Jani and Vidanjali, it helps me understand more. :)

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Just now, Jani said:

As a private platform the owner can limit what is said on this space.   I'm sure someone with more authority and/or insight into this issue will chime in.

Jani

 

 

This is very true, Jani.  The original owner of this site, Laura, and her chief assistants, developed our community rules more than 15 years ago.  They have been modified many times, to take into account changing tastes, mores, technical issues and legal issues.  Sites such as TikTok and X didn't exist then.  Our naughty word filter, as just one example, has been modified many, many times.

 

On this site, as on most private sites, in order to become a member one must agree to the T's & C's and abide by, in our case, the "Community Rules."  If you seriously violate those rules your membership can be terminated.  So, yes, freedom of speech here is restricted.  Some sites are lax about enforcement, but that has never been the case here.  We guard the safety of members, and your emotional comfort, zealously.  We aren't perfect and sometimes let things get out of hand, or we go too far with restrictions, but those instances are uncommon (IMO).

 

Every site has different standards.  Luckily, for every interest there are numerous sites and it's usually easy to find one that fits your needs and temperament.  When it comes to the Internet, one size does not fit all.

 

Thanks for your question, @Ladypcnj.

 

Carolyn Marie

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As far as things being lost on the Web, accidents happen, Just here alone, I have 20,825 posts showing in my number count, but probably only 19K of them are still actually here to view.  There was a change to a new server a number of years ago, and a segment of the data base they were in became locked and could not be transferred to the new drive in the servers we use now.  Why or how that segment of the data base became locked has not been figured out in the time since but at least we know what happened and it was not intentional or aimed at a single element of behavior here.  Data accidents happen with not one single person really responsible for them or for that matter even the computer itself.  Frustrating as all get out when it happens, but it does happen.  Some other electronics I work on as a hobby had their similar problems here a couple days ago because of the Solar Flares, and power outages or dips in voltage can make electronic life miserable.

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Just now, Carolyn Marie said:

 We guard the safety of members, and your emotional comfort, zealously. 

 

I appreciate this so much and it's one of the reasons why this community feels like home - a rare treasure among the world wide web. 

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Just now, Vidanjali said:

 

I appreciate this so much and it's one of the reasons why this community feels like home - a rare treasure among the world wide web. 

I could not agree more or be more appreciative of this. As one who has come out to only a few people, here I can truly be myself with little fear of inadvertent exposure. Having that ability has helped me to find myself and to gain confidence in expressing my true self. It has helped me to love myself, something I could never do before.

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Just now, Vidanjali said:

I appreciate this so much and it's one of the reasons why this community feels like home - a rare treasure among the world wide web. 

Yes.

I appreciate y'all mods and what you do for us - including reining me in when I'm heading in a bad direction.

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3 hours ago, Carolyn Marie said:

We guard the safety of members, and your emotional comfort, zealously.

Thank you April :)

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As an admin myself of a group, I truly understand the importance of rules and regulations. :)

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11 hours ago, Ladypcnj said:

My concern is, what happens when the online community rules (in general speaking) can have an impact on the freedom of speech?

 

Well, I'll mention a few generalities from web-land that are not necessarily specific to this forum.

 

Here's some things that can possibly happen:  Disagree with somebody's policy and you just get silenced and eventually disappeared.  Stuff you write vanishes into thin air (and it ain't AI). Threads get shut down for not being "on topic" (a catch-all for when no other rule can be quoted and somebody with power just doesn't agree with you.)  Or if you have a disagreement with somebody (or a few somebodies), they get to mostly say whatever they want, but you get censored.  When it happens over and over again, it has the effect of eventually turning forums into echo chambers.  Some really good forums on the web have withered and vanished over the years because of this.  I have also noticed that the American portion of the internet is increasingly bifurcated, as each partisan side attempts greater control of their own turf.

 

Given that we're all humans, nobody will have the "absolute" answer to this stuff.  Only more questions, and plenty of philosophy.  I think that one way to measure the health of a forum is to see how acceptable it is to ask questions about policies and their enforcement.  Publicly.  And regarding specific instances as they occur, rather than generalities with specifics kept in the shadows.  

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2 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Threads get shut down for not being "on topic" (a catch-all for when no other rule can be quoted and somebody with power just doesn't agree with you.) 

Yep.

 

I sometimes get busy on another forum which has a wide array of general interest subforums. Everything from politics to tech to money to sport. There have been plenty of times where I have quoted people and given examples which demonstrate why their posts were either bollocks or at least tangential to the thread title, only to have my reply hidden because it was deemed to be off-topic...yet their off-topic post that I quoted remained intact! 

 

Freedom of speech per se should be upheld, BUT...is it just me, or does it sometimes seem like the biggest proponents of it prioritize their 'rights' over their responsibilities? Maybe it is just me, but does anyone else feel like there is a cohort of people out there (not here!) who defend their hate speech under the guise of free speech? Whether it be on an internet forum or in real life, there must be rules and regulations.

 

Our moderators here do a truly fantastic job, and this forum really is a rare treasure. What helps is that above everything that does get discussed including the differing opinions at times on non-core issues, we are all on the same side!

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When and if a post is removed here, there is always a PM to the poster to explain the action and offer them an opportunity to amend the post to align with T&C's (if possible).  

 

Just now, Mirrabooka said:

Maybe it is just me, but does anyone else feel like there is a cohort of people out there (not here!) who defend their hate speech under the guise of free speech? Whether it be on an internet forum or in real life, there must be rules and regulations.

Certainly!  There are always those who will flaunt the rules.

 

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Just now, Mirrabooka said:

Maybe it is just me, but does anyone else feel like there is a cohort of people out there (not here!) who defend their hate speech under the guise of free speech? Whether it be on an internet forum or in real life, there must be rules and regulations.

 

We have even had them here from time to time I am afraid.   The rights of Free Speech actually carry a weighty responsibility to take the consequences of making that speech and it is that responsibility where the persons making the FREE hateful statements break down.  They insist that the Right shields them from the consequences, but it makes them all the more liable for them in reality. 

 

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Personally, I think the moderators here strike the perfect balance, and I'd like to thank you all for your efforts.  :applause:

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When one signs up to and posts onto an online space, it's usually to the agreement of a set of terms and conditions. Basically, you're already signing yourself off to these rules, so you can't get upset if you did legitimately break the space's rules and got your post deleted/hidden/etc. Whether people abuse their power in being admins in some spaces and stretch the rules to seem like something is disobeying them in some way when, in reality, they just disagree with the post... well, that's another story. Freedom of Speech is only to say that the government can't restrict what you say, not ye average citizen, so online platforms completely have the right to remove or censor posts in that regard. The morality of that is pretty often under question, but it technically doesn't interfere with Freedom of Speech since online spaces are run by the public and not the government. Moderation of posts is essentially the same as if you put a whiteboard outside your house and said people could write messages on, you saw a message you found offensive that someone wrote, and then you erased it.

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What if a social media platform giant, (we all know its name) on devices we own, is held responsible for creating rules to intentionally target our community? for political reasons?

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8 hours ago, Ladypcnj said:

What if a social media platform giant, (we all know its name) on devices we own, is held responsible for creating rules to intentionally target our community? for political reasons?

Goodness, that could never happen.  Maybe you're just being a little paranoid?

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9 hours ago, Ladypcnj said:

What if a social media platform giant, (we all know its name) on devices we own, is held responsible for creating rules to intentionally target our community? for political reasons?

 

I am not completely sure what you mean here.  To be "held responsible" means that they have been investigated and brought to justice by any number of legal and financial means.  That would be a good thing, and has been done recently in a case for slander and libel where the organization agreed to pay its victims many millions of dollars.  In that case the victims were NOT Trans, but the platform was "held responsible".

If you mean simply "found to be responsible" by evidence obtained from various credible sources, then of course there are options for the victims to pursue to "hold them responsible" in monetary or terms of personal freedom of the officers.  There are many such organizations that do foster hatred of our community and we have taken different forms of action which includes exposing their hatred and intentions to other public media.  It is not a "what if" the groups do this, it is done regularly.  As long as they are deemed to be private and not government supported, the best we can do is avoid such places.  If the site is Government Supported, then there is a chain of legal events that one or many legal organizations that support the Trans Community can bring actions to have corrected via the Courts or other agencies as dictated by law. 

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Just now, VickySGV said:

am not completely sure what you mean here.

I read the postulation as: “what if <insert social media company> was charged by government agencies or congress to create algorithms to identify, collect information on, and for reporting on LGBTQ+ people? So as to target them for “reasons”.”

 

This would be infringement of a few protections in the Constitution & Bill of Rights, but given government’s history with shady surveillance practices we wouldn’t know anything about it until it was likely in use. Probably in the realm of a suspense novel, but we know algorithms used for suggesting content already can identify people’s proclivities—even when they don’t have a clue themselves. So the tech is there, it’s just the dark room conspiracy that would be missing. 

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Nope, I'm not being paranoid, I had screen shot everything that happened to me, before it got taken down to cover up what they sent me in an email. I contacted group leaders within our community, and I explained and showed some of the evidence, next they referred to contact an attorney within the community. I had not called the lawyer back hoping things would settle down. In the meantime, just recently an  lbtqai+ community held a Zoom meeting, as I explained my story. The board is thinking about getting a guest speaker on how we can be safe online.

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