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permies.com publishing standards

 
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I am confused now. I used to be able to post to the Cider Press, now I can't. Did I lose an apple and was not informed of it, or did the required number of apples change?

I see it now -- my wrong-way driver post got two apple cores. Although that, too, confuses me -- I posted it to the Cider Press originally, and then it got moved to "tinkering with this site," which I didn't think was the right place for it. I hope the apple cores were not for posting it to an inappropriate forum, since it is not in the forum where I originally posted it.
 
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It's called the cider press because people often loose apples there.  
 
r ranson
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As for moving, we often have reasons why a thread fits better in one forum or another.  Some of the reasons are public like an effort to improve the love Google has for our site.  Other reasons are secret and involve aspects of Paul's devious plot for world domination. ops, I've said too much!
 
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Jason Hernandez wrote:I am confused now. I used to be able to post to the Cider Press, now I can't. Did I lose an apple and was not informed of it, or did the required number of apples change?



I'm pretty sure that people don't get email notifications of apple cores. They just happen on posts.

Jason Hernandez wrote:I see it now -- my wrong-way driver post got two apple cores. Although that, too, confuses me -- I posted it to the Cider Press originally, and then it got moved to "tinkering with this site," which I didn't think was the right place for it. I hope the apple cores were not for posting it to an inappropriate forum, since it is not in the forum where I originally posted it.



Sometimes, if we feel someone is not ready to be in the Cider Press, some apples are taken away. Your post was pretty much telling people how they should write and should think, and a bunch of other things that kind of go against our publishing standards. Instead of deleting the post, we moved it to tinkering to better explain what our standards are. You're right that controversial subjects do go in the Cider Press, and it was good that you posted it there vs the main forum. BUT, when the post is controversial about how people should participate on permies, it goes in Tinkering.

Sometimes it takes people a while to figure out our forum, and that's okay! I'm pretty sure I earned an apple core in The Cider Press, too. I know I got posts deleted and on probation. But, I'm thankful for pernies in helping me be nicer. I've actually applied many of the conversation tactics I've learned here on permies in real life, and it's really helped. It looks like you're learning, too, and hopefully you'll soon have your apples back so you can post in The Cider Press again!
 
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At any given time, there's about 40 volunteers that manage these forums.  They all have the ability to give (or take) apples, delete posts or put them on probation and a long list of other tools.   For most people, it doesn't matter - they post away and everything is always silky smooth.  And then some people have language habits that seem to .... attract the attention of some of our volunteer moderators.  

Some people write ten posts and end up with 15 apples.  

Some people write a thousand posts and end up with 2 apples.  

I guess the point I am trying to make is that for every post any person writes, it needs to pass the comfort zone of about 40 volunteer moderators.  I need to emphasize the word "volunteer" - because along with them getting zero pay for what they are doing, they have also been through zero formal training.  I suppose that if we had some massive budget, we could do this a different way.  Oh well.

This thread is about the publishing standards for this site.  And the next level to consider is that the publishing standards are interpreted by a bunch of volunteers.  So any edge case will probably be fine for half the staff, worrisome for many and will be deleted (or put on probation, or given an apple core) by one.  

In the cider press, somebody can say some political or religious thing and somebody on staff will (appropriately or inappropriately) read it as a violation of the publishing standards and delete or give out apple cores.   There have been times that I have posted to the cider press and somebody on staff gave ME apple cores.   Therefore, I suggest that if you choose to post to the cider press, you might want to choose your words especially carefully.  


 
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I'm really impressed with the copywriter respect feature and the time spent by the moderators and staff to double check when someone like me goofs and posts something that ends up not being a legitimate distribution.  The reaction time seemed immediate, and I don't think anyone's being paid.  Thanks.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

I need to emphasize the word "volunteer" - because along with them getting zero pay for what they are doing, they have also been through zero formal training.  



I'm so thankful for the incredible work the moderators on this forum do!!

 

paul wheaton wrote: There have been times that I have posted to the cider press and somebody on staff gave ME apple cores.   Therefore, I suggest that if you choose to post to the cider press, you might want to choose your words especially carefully.  



OMG, that is so funny! Thank you so much for sharing this.

As someone who's perhaps a bit neurotic about not hurting or upsetting anyone it is so liberating to hear that we're all human

Thank you again, Paul and all the other staff, for all that you do. You're F*CKING AWESOME!
 
Nina Jay
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I must add how much I love this thread and the permies.com publishing standards!

Thanks to permies I think I'm now much better at being nice, which is what I've always wanted to be. There's still a lot to learn, but I'm learning every day here, thanks for letting me practise! What better way to practise than on this subject we all love so much, permaculture. Learn about permaculture AND communication, at the same time, I can't think of anything more interesting. And it's all FREE. I'm in awe when I think about it.

 
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This is so impressive to me.  If anyone ever questions the choices made on keeping the site clear of potential trouble:

paul wheaton wrote:

In the cider press, somebody can say some political or religious thing and somebody on staff will (appropriately or inappropriately) read it as a violation of the publishing standards and delete or give out apple cores.   There have been times that I have posted to the cider press and somebody on staff gave ME apple cores.   Therefore, I suggest that if you choose to post to the cider press, you might want to choose your words especially carefully.  




This sums it up.  No one is above the rules. Even the Site Ruler! The high standards here are why I very seldon bother going to any other forum and I thank you for it.
 
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I have noted in the past that "common property" is often very poorly maintained and can become a dumping ground because it doesn't belong to anybody in particular.  Unless there is a person identified as responsible for it, usually no one takes the responsibility.  

This is Pauls site, not mine and not 'common property'.  He gets to make the rules here, simply because it's his site.  This is just common sense.  If I come to your house, even if I hang out there a lot, I don't have the right to remodel it or demand that you remodel it.  If I do, I am being presumptuous and rude, and in some circles am deserving of a whuppin'.  

Try going to Vegas and arguing against house rules.   I'll probably read about you in the paper if you get too loud and insistant.  That's what the publishing standards of this site are, the house rules.

I don't always agree with the publishing standards of this site, but the purpose of this site is not to agree with my tender sensibliities.  It is to provide a forum for discussions, to be moderated by the rules set up by the house.  Play or put your cards down and go to another establishment.

Rock On, Paul!!!
 
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The standards should extend both ways, meaning I hope staff posts are also 'reviewed' and not allowed free-reign to do as they wish, as this may become a slippery slope.


I believe my thread which is a serious call for community is such an example as there are numerous mocking responses by the same staff member and it seems this has gone unchecked....another staff member even recognized this and extended support and understanding, but is there no way to prevent such cyber-bullying?
 
r ranson
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can we have a link to the thread?
 
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Ben. Thank you for pointing that out. Moderation can be a slow process, especially when it's a staff member that is being snarky. Sorry about that. We were already working on getting that unpleasantness  cleaned up before I saw this post from you.

A general note about how to deal with snarky, nasty, or not nice comments -- It can become problematic to quote them, because when the moderators get around to reviewing the thread, a post that is quoting nastiness is also considered nasty, so it also needs to be deleted or modified. It's best to not quote things that are not nice.

 
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Staff are volunteers.  All of them.  And they have been through zero training.  

All staff are, every day, making the best of it.  

And there have been some staff that behaved poorly and things got sorted.   And there have been some staff where their staff privileges were removed.

If you see any post that falls short of our publishing standards, click on the "report" button.

 
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Sorry for posting about climate change.  I didn't realise that was restricted to the cider press.  Is that because it is felt that climate change hasn't been proven, or because it promotes unkindness?  Sorry if that last bit is an issue.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Mostly it's because it promotes unkindness. One person mentions climate change, and then the next thing you know, the whole thread is full of people debating climate change, and the person who just wanted to know how to grow their tomatoes or set up a solar panel has their thread derailed.

Climate change is also a big draw for corporate and internet trolls. So, we limit the discussion to the Cider Press, that way someone can't just pop on our site and stir up a bunch of debating and nastiness. They have to earn so many apples to post about it. Most trolls aren't about to do that. So, it saves us all a lot of headache!

We totally don't mind discussing climate change, we just keep it in the Cider Press. There's already quite a few threads in there about it, and you're more than welcome to join in on the discussion and start threads there, too!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Your post wasn't bad, we were afraid it would turn the whole thread into a debate, so we try to nip these things in the bud, before it all goes down hill. Thank you so much for helping and understanding!
 
Timothy Markus
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Thanks for the explanation, Nicole.  I understand not wanting to derail the thread or cause debate.  I had no idea that it would draw in trolls, or even that they could key in on that.  
 
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I wish to state a series of conclusions from scientific studies, not to contradict anyone, just some unknown facts about pet pollution.
They are not my positions, they are science, but I feel like if I write 'scientific studies have shown ...' then I am being too definitive/exclusionary for the publishing standards. Would that be the case?

Should I instead verbosely write 'My position is that the scientific studies with the conclusions x, y, z are correct'?

-

It seems like the phrase 'climate change' raises a flag, but carbon footprint is no problem.
How can I describe the reason for change in distribution ranges for organisms (e.g. livestock disease) due to global warming, outside cider press without being flagged?
Should I refer to global warming as ...
Atmospheric heating? Greenhouse effect? The global temperature increase which shall not be named? The curiously recent change in the thermal parameters of all ecosystems?

Permaculture obliges us to consider all our projects and plans in light of weather patterns, climate projections and pollutants.
The uncosted waste externality of industrial CO2 is a great example to apply permaculture to (the principal of unutilized waste automatically becoming a pollutant and the philosophy that we are responsible for all up-stream, down-stream and supply-chain effects of our consumption).
Climate change applies to everything in our lives, from pet ownership to plant choices, I can't think of a single sub-forum it wouldn't be relevant to.

I like the intention to make this a place for gentle souls.
[Clamping down on rudeness and offensive language might be a better method than banning facts and climate discussion]

So many barriers to discussing facts and global warming, while people claim biodynamics and alternative cancer cures work (actual dangerous advice which publishing could render liability for), somewhat suffocates my inner scientist and increases the very common perception that we are airy-fairy hippies with no realistic solutions and no regard for science.
 
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Jondo Almondo wrote: 'scientific studies have shown ...'



The thing about the scientific method is that it cannot actually prove anything.

But it can disprove things.

Take the statement "all swans are white".  People can go out and look at swans.  They can see examples of 1000 swans and say that this study supports the theory that 'all swans are white'.  Maybe we have 12 million studies on swans over... let's round it down to... 1,600 years.  All of them come back with the report that 'yep, we only saw white ones.'

However, it only takes one guy in Yorkshire looking out a window and seeing this...



... to disprove the theory that all swans are white.  




re. publishing standards.

It is okay to say, "here's a neat study I read that said that all swans are white."

But saying "scientific studies have shown..." is pretty much saying that this is the truth and there is no other room for any other options and that bloke in York had a really bad case of ergot poisoning.  

(in case you're wondering, the swan thing is real.  Huge embarrassment for the Natural Philosophers (what science was called back then).  It's actually the big reason why the scientific method can only disprove, not prove things are real.  It's also why gravety is still a theory after all this time of pens falling off tables.)
 
r ranson
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Jondo Almondo wrote:

It seems like the phrase 'climate change' raises a flag, but carbon footprint is no problem.
How can I describe the reason for change in distribution ranges for organisms (e.g. livestock disease) due to global warming, outside cider press without being flagged?



Why not raise it in the cider press?

You've proven you know how to be nice.  You've earned the privilege to post there.  

 
r ranson
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Jondo Almondo wrote:
Climate change applies to everything in our lives, from pet ownership to plant choices, I can't think of a single sub-forum it wouldn't be relevant to.



It's assumed that everyone posting here already knows that climate change is happening and it's a bad thing.  These forums are about finding solutions.

But sometimes we need to take time out and talk about what's wrong.  That's what the cider press is for.  That's also why access to posting in the cider press is restricted.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I like to think about the Cider Press as a place to talk about things you wouldn't bring up at a family reunion/Thanksgiving Day table/Christmas Dinner/etc. You know, politics, religion, climate change, pollution, etc. At family reunions, you don't want to start a huge fight over things with your uncle, so you just talk about how your garden is growing and how your kids are doing and what you're building and maybe ask for some advice.

Sometimes, people manage to mention their faith, politics, view on climate change, etc, in a very subtle way that no one decides to argue with, because it's worded so nicely, and tucked in the middle of their post, so it's not the focus of their post. So, we don't worry about that. Most of the time, people talk about those Cider Press topics in a way that somehow invites everyone else to argue about religion or climate change or whatever. And then we have to go deleting and probating and all sorts of things. That's not fun!

Here's some hypothetical examples, in a imaginary thread about best fruit trees for the Pacific Northwest:

"I've had really good luck with apples. For some reason, stone fruits don't like me, and I haven't had much luck with mulberries, paw paws or persimmons or other trees that do well in the Eastern US. The climate is just so different there! But, I still plant them and give them a lot of tender loving care, because the climate seems to be in flux, and I like to have a lot of plants so that there's hopefully something that does well, even if the weather is so different than what we normally have. Having said that, there's a really nice list from Bullock Brothers of the fruit trees varieties they think do best here: https://permies.com/t/9214/plants/Douglas-Bullock-Fruit-Tree-Recommendations. I actually keep that list printed up in my car, so if there's a sale on fruit trees, I can pick out the ones that do well. If I'm going to spend a lot of money on a tree, I'm going to pick it off of that list. If I can get a persimmon or fig or pawpaw for $5, you betcha I'll give it a try!"



The mention of climate change is tucked in the middle, and I say a lot of "I think" and leave a lot of room for other people's ideas. And it ends with some really helpful info that people will probably chose to respond to, rather than my little mention of climate change.  

"With climate change happening so rapidly, it's really important to push the zone, so as we get hotter and drier, we'll still have plants that survive. I like the varieties recommended by the Bollock Brothers https://permies.com/t/9214/plants/Douglas-Bullock-Fruit-Tree-Recommendations, as they do well here, NOW, but I don't know how long that will last, with all the changes to our climate. So, I pick a lot of varieties that do well in Eastern Washington and California. I'd also grow some plants that do well in the eastern US, like mulberries and pawpaws, as the climate is going to get more and more erratic, and you never know what each year will hold. Its so important to be able to grow food as the world goes to hell in a handbasket due to our high carbon output and unwillingness to reduce our energy usage."



This one starts and ends with talking about climate change. It has the same info as the first one, but presented in such a way that the focus/thesis of the post is about climate change, not fruit trees. Chances are, someone skimming through the thread is going to latch onto the mention of climate change, and then take issue with it, and then an argument will be born. We don't want an argument!


(....And, sometimes, even when everything is worded really nicely and perfectly, and you wouldn't think a post would cause a flame war, it does. So, we might delete or probate that post to clean up the thread so it goes back to being about fruit trees, and not climate change.)

Moderating is HARD. It really, really helps us when people just talk about controversial subjects in the Cider Press, that way we don't have to deal with yucky, soul-sucking, moderator-draining flame wars. If you take the risk and mention stuff like politics or religion or climate change, you might get your post deleted/probated. Goodness, even I have had to remove stuff because things went down hill. It's so much better, and safer, to keep controversial subjects in the Cider Press forum.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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If someone is not being nice. The best procedure is to use the report button, and let the moderators sort it out. Cause if someone responds in a not-nice way to a not-nice post, then the moderators typically end up deleting both posts. Using the report button saves the moderators work. A moderator that doesn't have to get in the middle of arguments is a happy moderator. Happy moderators are less picky about what gets posted. It's helpful to write in a manner that pleases even the most picky moderators. (We are all picky about different things.)

If someone makes a long post, with one not-nice thing in it, then it doesn't comply with the publishing standards. Moderators typically delete those kinds of posts. We are deleting for not being nice. We are not deleting because of someone's gently-stated, nice, and contrary opinion about the topic. Once in a while a moderator might put a post like that on probation. If a person has a reputation for responding poorly to probation, then it's easier for the moderator to just delete the post.
 
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I had a post removed because it mentioned race, the post was advising people in the context of safety. Not publishing this post in itself I find racist, and unsafe. I won't use the forum in the future if this is the type of moderation I can expect.
 
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Lucas Green wrote:I had a post removed because it mentioned race, the post was advising people in the context of safety. Not publishing this post in itself I find racist, and unsafe.



I'm not familiar with the specifics of your situation, but for your post here, it sounds like you were talking about something political in the main forums.  Political topics are confined to the cider press.

 
r ranson
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and here's a link that will tell you more about the cider press: https://permies.com/t/31128/tnk/category-Cider-Press
 
r ranson
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Lucas Green wrote: I won't use the forum in the future if this is the type of moderation I can expect.



Is this the kind of moderation you can expect?  I had a look at your case and yes, this is the type of moderation you can expect.  Everything looks like it was done according to our publishing standards.

You can learn more about how permies works here: https://permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads



The content we publish on permies is curated - aka, heavily moderated.  

Not everyone is okay with this kind of moderation.  For them, the rest of the internet exists.

But thinking about this some more, there's a reason why you choose this site to post - it could be because it has the kind of content you are attracted to.  This content comes at a cost (the heavily moderated part).  If you're not okay with that, then permies is not the place for you.  
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Lucas Green. I also reviewed this incident.

Your post was temporarily hidden from public view, and placed on probation,  with a request to modify one sentence.

This ends up being a case of keeping bad company... Two of my posts in that thread were outright deleted for discussing politics outside of The Cider Press. The posts you were replying to had a good dose of racism and/or politics. Once a thread catches the moderator's eyes like that, then every post gets subjected to heightened scrutiny.
 
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I woke up this morning with an email from somebody demanding that I manage this site in a completely different way than I do.  The email seemed a bit ranty.   I even suspect that the author may have been drunk or high when composing it.   More than half of it was gibberish.  But it was clear that this person found my current path unacceptable and that I needed to change everything immediately.

In other words, I do not use my 30+ years of experience, but, instead, obey the words of one hostile drunk.  

I looked into it and learned something very important:   that the all volunteer staff are damn good.  

And since the email demanded that I justify my poor choices, I thought "I've covered this before" and found this from page one of this thread:

I am not going to be held accountable for my choices in how I run my site. If you wish to persuade me to change how I run my site, then the persuasion exercise is all your effort. I might even consider your points. If you do not understand what my position is, you may ask (or, better yet, search) - but usually I rest on the only rule "be nice", point out that it will be my interpretation of what "nice" means, and that I reserve the right to be nuttier than squirrel poop.

But I do not present my forum management choices to be held accountable to the standards of others. In fact, I fully expect a massive majority of the population to find my choices to be crazy - so they will choose to share their wit and charm elsewhere. That works perfectly for me. The only people that remain are those that think my forum management style is fucking awesome.



The drunk is being managed wonderfully by the staff.  I am not going to reply to a drunken email, but I did think I would bump this post.  

There are a few other things I need to respond to on permies today, but I also have several meetings.
 
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Found in this thread:

I hope the stewards continue to treat these forums similarly.  Beautiful interactions will flourish and noxious invaders will find it difficult to take hold in a community built on kindness and respect.



I like the phrasing - a little different.  

I think that the people that enjoy these forums see kindness and respect.   And the people that violate the standards have different standards - so they do not see it as kindness and respect and insist that we much change things to be their idea of kindness and respect.

 
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
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