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Although about photography, this video has a lot of insight into why permies is such a successful community.  

 
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paul wheaton wrote:Something that I have said several dozen times in the past which appears to not be covered here is:   I prefer to see posts that offer "my position" rather than "the truth".  I've deleted a lot of stuff with "the truth".  The reason is that if somebody posts "the truth" and a second somebody has an alternative position, then posting the alternative feels a lot like entering into conflict - so it is less likely to get posted.  And it is that alternative that I want to see shared on this site.  



The staff is dealing with a lot of "truth" and "facts" lately.  It seems to go like this:  somebody "puts their thing down" - some sort of facty fact.   And then somebody else attempts to present their alternative view, and the first person then wants to get into how stupid the second person is because they clearly don't know what "fact" and "truth" means.  

So I just want to be super duper clear here:  go ahead and dress your shit up in fact clothes on your site.  Leave it, and your hostility, off of my site.  The staff here have better things to do than get lectures from dumbfucks on just how facty their bullshit is.  

On this site, you are welcome to state your position.  And if you get all "truthy" then your bullshit will be deleted.   And if you get all hostile about it, your hostility gets deleted too.  If you cannot possibly present your position as your position then get the fuck off my site.  This site will only publish the posts of the good people that can figure out how to present their position - which seems to be most people.




 
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Thanks Paul!!!

I looked up this thread to make a comment to it about the recent influx of non-publishable materials, and Paul beat me to it by two hours!

In the usa, it seems like cases of a new (and therefore frightening) disease are rapidly multiplying. The stock, bond, and oil markets have crashed hard. It's times like this that we need niceness more than ever. We need soft, gentle human-to-human connections with each other. Gentle conversations.

Seems like the experts are of little use right now, because so many things are outside of their customary patterns. Even in good times, we have learned as a moderation team that bringing "experts" into the discussion isn't all that helpful. Posts aren't meeting publishing standards because people are saying, "Your expert is a piece of shit, and my expert is the only one that knows the truth."

More posts than typical are not being published this week. That is due to their lack of niceness, and not due to the subject matter or which side of the opinion someone is expressing. We have staff on every possible side of any discussion. The staff that disagree with an opinion, are the least likely to take action against it. They ask staff that really agree with the opinion to review it. That's the nature and maturity level of the volunteer staff.

Because of the extra workload right now reviewing and discussing questionable posts, staff are leaning towards immediately deleting non-compliant posts rather than asking that they be edited.  It takes a lot of extra effort to return a post for rewriting. The staff are unpaid volunteers. We'd rather not be moderating. We'd prefer to spend our time planting beautiful gardens, or loving on our family and friends.

If you are a poster that lives on the edge of niceness, you can expect more posts to be deleted outright, and fewer opportunities for rewriting.

It's standard policy to not talk about moderation decisions in the main forums, or via purple mooseage. A post that is made to the tinkering forum gets quicker response, cause any active moderator can deal with it, and it acts as a perpetual resource for other people with similar concerns.

Gir_Bot wrote:I am gir bot! A rather limited bot buried deep within the bowels of this forum software.  I come to life once in a while to help with interesting chores!

Today, I have been activated because bio-staff have classified a post you wrote as "belongs in Tinkering With This Site".  

In order to keep the main forums on topic, we limit discussion about how the site and staff are performing to the [url=https://permies.com/f/11/tnk]Tinkering



Another moderation button that is getting a lot of use right now sends this message:

Gir_Bot wrote:
Today, I have been activated because bio-staff have classified a post you wrote as "stating truth rather than opinion".   The provided clue is:  

Please write in a way that leaves room for other people's opinions, and avoids stating things as facts or science when they are your personal position.



People have been posting controversial  topics into the main forums, instead of into the more carefully vetted Cider Press. Here's Gir_Bots message about that.

Gir_Bot wrote:Today, I have been activated because bio-staff have classified a post you wrote as "cider press topics outside the cider press".

The Cider Press is the only place on the site where controversial topics may be discussed. Things like politics, religion, or hemp.  The provided clue is:



 
r ranson
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bump
 
paul wheaton
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In the last 24 hours I have learned that the staff have removed some posts.  This might be a good time to remind folks if a post has a tiny spec of:

    - suggesting that somebody on permies is less than perfect

or

     - talking about forum moderation


The entire post will silently be removed.    
 
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I wrote a post the other day, I thought it was pretty great. In fact, it made my personal record for most apples earned on a single post (4). Somebody even gave me pie for that post! Then, this morning I got an email from girbot advising me that I needed to remove my reference to a certain herb. Well gee. I was a bit miffed for all of 30 seconds, but I quickly made the edit and now my post is back up for the world to see in all its' pithy glory.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that cultural and legal norms can villify or heroize seemingly innocuous things. Especially when said things are illegal in some places but perfectly legal in others! Truthfully after just a bit of consideration it's easy to see how the mention of this type of subject could derail or discolor an otherwise cleanly productive conversation.

For a while, I prohibited bananas in my house. I didn't buy them, eat them, or allow other people to bring them into my house. Do I think bananas are bad? Not really. Do I think that all people everywhere should instate a banana ban in their houses just like me? Nope. But my kids got sick if they ate bananas and they were too little to understand seeing something yummy and not being allowed to eat it. I think about the permies moderation policy as a kind of banana ban. Things might get deleted or disallowed that would work just fine in other places, but it doesn't work here. And that's great. I know I come here for a reason.

I have never really thought of myself as a gentle soul, but I am glad to say that permies is helping me move in that direction. I have been astonished by how the "be nice" rule can be such a productive guide in human interaction. Having come from generations of people who were conversational bludgeoners, it's been quite a change for me but unexpectedly positive. Basically, sharing opinions/perspectives in a friendly manner not only prolongs the conversation, but also increases the likelihood of further conversations, mutual give-and-take, or possibly even friendship. Permies has taught me how to enjoy the broadly colorful spectrum of opinions and perspectives in this community, while carefully manicuring those topics that could blacken that lovely panorama. Think of the wisdom and friendship that we might miss out on without the hard work of the moderation team. Long live Permies!
 
r ranson
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This might help with the why.

https://permies.com/t/16701/hemp-cannabis-marijuana-weed-grass
 
Marie Abell
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r ranson wrote:This might help with the why.

https://permies.com/t/16701/hemp-cannabis-marijuana-weed-grass



Thanks, r. That thread is a good read and confirms what I suspected to be the reasoning behind the policy. And again, I do agree with the decision--it just makes sense.
 
paul wheaton
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A good as time as any to say ...

The only rule is "be nice" - and I am the only person that interprets what that means.  And I reserve the right to be nuttier than squirrel poop.  

This site is created so that I can talk about the stuff I wanna talk about in a way I wanna talk about it.  

And then the site grew larger - a lot of people seemed to like this path.  And a few of those people offered to help with some of the housekeeping.  Volunteers.  

So now there are 50 of us and the one rule is really vague ...   while at the same time being pretty clear to most.  And there are edge cases.  50 people look at the edge case.  47 think it is fine and 3 think something should be done to tidy up.  So it gets tidied up.  Kinda debatable on whether or not it should be tidied up.  Should those 3 unpaid, untrained volunteers be called on the carpet?  Or do we let it go?  I choose to let it go - let the poster learn to steer clear of the edge cases.  

So when somebody says

I'd like to hear what rationale, if any, is behind an apparent discrimination against some mixed-legality activities and not others.



My responses are:

144:  I don't make my moderation choices accountable to anybody

145:  I reserve the right to be nuttier than squirrel poop

146:  Here is a link to give me five bucks for no reason https://permies.com/pp/5/no-reason


 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton wrote:
146:  Here is a link to give me five bucks for no reason https://permies.com/pp/5/no-reason



Thanks to the one person that actually gave me five bucks for no reason.  That was pretty funny!  :)

 
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I edited my post but I'm doing it under protest: The reference to marijuana was not political: It was to illustrate that a Latin name can refer to 2 completely different plants. Where are we going in the censorship if a word cannot even be mentioned under any circumstances, and is that not a political stance too? : We may be inviting precisely the type of fascism we seek to avoid.
I understand where you are coming from in maintaining this very excellent forum and I never meant to give you more work. I was not pushing for any political opinion, like it should be legalized or forbidden under any circumstances.
 
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