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Would this be the place the discuss over-moderation?  RSS feed

 
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I am already very close to being banned from this site, but I would just like to know if I am allowed openly discuss moderation and my personal experience on the forums. If yes, I can follow up with the details, if not I will simply not comment.

The only reason I am posting this is because in one of my purple messages, my post was deleted for "discussing moderation outside of the tinkering forum" and "PMing me to waste my time discussing the matter will also result in a ban. "

I feel I have run out of options to explain myself.
 
master steward
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Open discussion is not allowed anywhere here. Moderated discussion is allowed.

I think I've stated repeatedly that I encourage people to talk about the things that I like to talk about in the way that I like to talk about them. So any and all discussion that can fit within this rather cramped space is of course allowed. Discussion outside of the space which could be called open, is not allowed and will be removed.

That said, I think that this forum is a bit more open than all of the rest of the forms because there are times when we need to try to understand these things.

 
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The way this site is moderated is different than a lot of places on the internet. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing, I know I found it so when I first came here. the Be Nice thread really helped me understand Paul's vision for this site.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is our Thread about freedom of speech:

http://permies.com/t/35740/violating-rights-free-speech
 
paul wheaton
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Here are our publishing standards:

http://permies.com/t/17422/permies-publishing-standards
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a thread where somebody thought we had too much censorship:

http://permies.com/t/10914/CENSORSHIP-Paul-Wheaton-requested
 
paul wheaton
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Here is our Thread about the cider press...

http://permies.com/t/31128/category-Cider-Press
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a thread that is dedicated to people who think that I am impossible to work with...

http://www.permies.com/t/13745/tnk/paul-wheaton-impossible-work
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a thread that explains how this site is not for debate but for sharing...

http://permies.com/t/25570/tnk/debate-sharing
 
paul wheaton
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Here is a thread that explains how this site is, in theory, an attempt to facilitate gentle souls...

http://permies.com/t/36971/tnk/safe-place-gentle-souls-talk
 
master pollinator
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I love that permies has the hell moderated out of it, personally.

 
pollinator
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I haven't noticed that any of my posts have been moderated... But I do enjoy how these forums work. There is something especially depressing about discussion of cool stuff that descends into flame wars.
 
paul wheaton
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I think the staff here is extremely good at never editing anybody's posts. The only times I can think it has ever happened may have been with a new staff member trying to fix a link.

Thanks to a new feature in our Forum software, we do have the ability to put a post on probation. This removes the post from view and gives the author an opportunity to mend their post. Once the post is shipshape it can be re-published.
 
Dougan Nash
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I am only posting this to shed some light as to what has lead up to me posting this thread (which was hidden by the staff then resurrected by Paul). This is for the casual observer so they hopefully can make an informed decision when posting about opinion topics. I personally want to be done with this matter so I will say this last post and move on. Roughly 72 hours ago I had trouble sleeping. I woke up at about 2 am and could not fall back to sleep. I decided to fool around online and came across the thread “Trolls suck, Permies rock!”. I mostly agreed with what everyone in the thread was saying, but decided to post my view on the matter. In so many words I voiced my opinion that I think Trolls benefit the internet more than Safe spaces since in life we face challenges and challenges strengthen us.

I did not, in my opinion, voice this unreasonable or recklessly and minimalized any harsh language (save a few words I regret using). Despite what I believed to be a reasonable post, it was put on a probationary period and I was informed by the staff to edit the post or it would not be published. I was actually taken aback, I thought my post was honest and those were my words, if I edited them they would not be a sincere. Despite this, I went ahead and edited the post to seem less factual and more opinionated to open room for discussion. Despite this - the whole post was removed. It seems I activated something within Burra that triggered her to censor me outright.

The purpose of my starting this thread was to complain about Burra’s actions. I personally feel she was over-zealous with her moderation, even to the point of calling me a troll, accusing me of gas lighting, and calling me a quote “generally annoying jerk.” Despite my frustrations with the staff I did not sink so low as to name calling as Burra had. I decided to also email Paul and we have discussed this matter in private in some length. I know his side, he knows mine. It seems clear that Paul condones Burra actions fully. I simply wanted to point out someone who I believed was abusing their power, but it seems in Paul’s eyes she is doing her job as intended.

Moving forward I will only post on these forums to discuss what I originally came here to discuss – permaculture. I will leave the opinion pieces to those that can avoid censorship and are content with the concept of an echo chamber. I personally feel the moderation on this website infantilizes the community with the guise of protecting them, but that’s fine as that’s how Paul wants to run it and I cannot change this.

Where there is condemnation, there can also be praise. I will say I am quite happy with my talking to Ann Torrence of the staff.. She handled the situation with tolerance, professionalism, patience, and a general panache I do not see from a lot of moderators. Great job, Ann!

So that’s it. I’ve said my peace and so long as this post actually gets published I’m done voicing my opinion on non-plant/animal/food related topics.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Dougan Nash wrote:Trolls benefit the internet more than Safe spaces since in life we face challenges and challenges strengthen us.



I super disagree with this.

Some people are tough enough to face trolls on the internet, some simply are not, and all the exposure to hatefulness and abuse will never make them tougher, in my personal experience. The cruelty of trolls on the internet is far in excess of anything I have personally experienced in "real life."
 
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I learned a long time ago that it's not productive for me to critique a forum's moderation policies. Because the moderators always get their way.

Burra, and all other moderators and editors on Permies. I love you. I honor you for keeping the forums a safe place for gentle souls.


 
paul wheaton
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I stand behind the choices of the staff on this matter. I have seen the posts. Both the first edition and the second.

I selected the links above carefully. I strongly recommend further study.
 
steward
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...they were nothing like anything I have ever faced in "real life."


From my experiences, I believe that most internet trolls are under achievers in the real world. They cannot dominate there, so they chose a digital life, where with a mask, lurking from the clouds, they can get their revenge on those who do well in the real world.

They are bullies in a world of make believe, but in real life they are under achievers who cannot compete well.

 
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If that's what Burra said then I think we are still missing some of the story, I got my apples taken away, from my POV nothing happened so I asked and got the answer, so turns out I'm super Irish and was raised to meet injustice with fierce opposition, and what I saw as just standing up for myself was too strong for most non Irish civilians ( AKA I was wrong) so it was explained to me what got my apples removed, and I accepted it and apologized.

Burra was awesome about it, I didn't feel judged, but just corrected. I gained a lot of respect for what she must put up with in these situations and was glad that I handled it like a civilized person, and I think regained her respect in the exchange by being cool about the whole thing. After all it was my fault not hers, or Pauls, but I know sometimes it's easier for me to blame folks rather than take responsibility.
 
r ranson
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What a lot of reading with all those links. Thanks Paul for sharing them with us. I've read through most of them, but it's always good for a refresher.

The gentle soul thread really resonates with me. I do like exploring the big wide world that is the internet. I learn a lot of things there I can't learn here, and often find myself challenged by...let's just say, challenging ideas. I learn a lot from that strife, but I also need a place to retreat to where I can feel comfortable and regenerate my strength. Permies is one of those restorative places.

This post is my favourite go-to place whenever I have trouble understanding how things work around here - be it how to make my posts more reader friendly or getting my head around how the moderation works.
 
paul wheaton
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Cunningham's law states that if you wished to learn something on the Internet that the best way to get an answer is to not simply ask a question but to instead state a known falsehood as fact.

I think this is completely true. However it serves only one person. And that one person came to the information they seek through a deceitful practice. And the person that provides the answer has been poorly used. Further, it does not serve the other readers well- after all the other readers could be confused by the false information that has been presented. Plus the presentation of the information is clearly in a state of conflict. One person has stated a fact and another person, the person with the true information, is calling the first person a liar.

I think this technique is not what you use to build a community. Or, more precisely, I would like to build a community that is not built with this material.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Cunningham's law states that if you wished to learn something on the Internet that the best way to get an answer is to not simply ask a question but to instead state a known falsehood as fact.

I think this is completely true. However it serves only one person. And that one person came to the information they seek through a deceitful practice. And the person that provides the answer has been poorly used. Further, it does not serve the other readers well- after all the other readers could be confused by the false information that has been presented. Plus the presentation of the information is clearly in a state of conflict. One person has stated a fact and another person, the person with the true information, is calling the first person a liar.

I think this technique is not what you use to build a community. Or, more precisely, I would like to build a community that is not built with this material.



This is so true. I’ve been chatting with Burra and others about this one lately. I’m a very technical person after being in a high tech aerospace design professional corporate environment for over three decades, and behaving as such on different forums for over two. I proved myself in my career long ago no need to do it on the internet. I keep it tech often not mine, pointed to credible proof that shows these people that make statements as fact ( that should be questions) to appear to be an experts when they make it very clear they are not with their statements, not questions. So I come back with “that’s incorrect” or “sorry inaccurate” only to find as usual people like this hate to be proven wrong, and when you show them how wrong they are they start to twist the facts, or divert the conversation to another incorrect statement, they call fact. I know they are done and technically exhausted when they divert the topic to personal attacks. It usually goes something like this, “you think you know everything”, “you criticize” “you’re condescending”.

I frequent the building forums often and the ones that get the most defensive are the ones that already made a bad purchase or built something inaccurate, not all, but most get angry. That happens when there is no place for them to go technically with me, it has been happening for decades. At that point, I disengage them and let them ramble on. Burro says I’m an “Austie”, like her and we get frustrated with people that just don’t get it or act outside of their capacity. The other group are the ones that come over from the “green building” sites, usually builders, no designers, think they know it all about designing green when I inform them what a misnomer that word is and I prove those sites and “experts” wrong with better natural building techniques. I’ve been asked to not post on some of those more popular green sites for those reasons.

I don’t sugar coat well or care if people get their feeling or let’s say ego’s hurt by their wrongful statements that should have been questions. I come from an engineering environment where we eat crow at times, so what who cares, we have tough skin don’t whine or cry or we’d get fired, and I welcome people telling me I am wrong with some proof in the pudding. I learned that day and love it. I actually wish more people would challenge what I write and tell me I am wrong but I think people are too afraid to step on toes and/or get banned. What that does is creates a forum with inaccurate info and closed minds. I try and put facts first, not getting feeling’s hurt, but I guess to some that is not nice nor debates. Some ignore facts and just like arguing, you can tell the ones that do this as clear as day and I don’t think they can tell how clear it is to intelligent folks. I guess we Austie’s are nice by providing as accurate as possible info at all cost in a different way of “being nice” we only understand.

So to open and engage the minds of people that state incorrect facts rather than questions, I’ve been asked to be nice to them. Ok I am trying. Some, no matter how much they are sprinkled with sugar will always want to be the expert and get their feelings hurt when you show them they should be asking questions not making inaccurate statements.

Trolls – I often wonder how many come to sites like this to promote products, as the green sites sponsors, and when you prove them, their statements, sponsors wrong or as “liars”, now here comes the battle. Talk about twisting the facts these sales guys are good at that even technically unless one that knows how to stand up to them. That usually ends up as the one calling them out to be the “instigator” …
Stuck between a rock and hard spot.

I find it all interesting since in my construction business at times people could care less if you are right, they just need to like you, now you right. Must be another Austie thing I don’t get.

What’s fact these days and who are the Subject Matter Experts (SME’s)? The need for education and experience has been replaced by some by cheap “goggle” 10 minute or less search. Now by limited goggle search (that is if you know what to goggle, not the case more often than not) you are now qualified as a SME to give advice. That is until you waste someone’s time as Paul points out that has the experience and education to correct what you incorrectly posted. Now the cycles repeat.
Stuck between a rock and hard spot.

The interesting part is with the making of the internet we get cycles of bad info from those same types of goggle people SME’s that have little to no experience in creating facts. (e.g.: to design to).
The same is happening with SEO, people are slowly learning the facts are not necessarily at the top of the goggle search optimizations engines and/or false marketing and/or just because BBB & Angies list said so.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Terry, what you say resonates with me. Once you actually know about a subject (are an "expert) you find out how little other people know about it, even though they state "facts." One of my fairly new hobbies is biography, and I'm learning that a lot of biography is just made up flapdoodle.

 
Chadwick Holmes
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I think what you overlook terry, is that we all carry different truths in us, and No man should get to choose another mans truth.......what is a truth for one is a. Corporate lie to another.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think "truth" and "fact" may be two different things. Fact is objective. You can demonstrate a fact by the scientific method and evidence which is robust. Truth is subjective, such as spiritual truth. You can't demonstrate this or even effectively share the experience, which is ineffable.
 
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And large scientific funders have proven that even facts can be skewed
 
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When I first arrived here, I had a post probate'd for salty lspeaking. I also had to take a step back and deliberate.

The thoughts I went and thunk were about my past forum experience; how standard it is to wield a shield of angry-defensiveness and a flaming sword of moral superiority - you know, standard Reddit armor. That seems to be the standard mindset - which is strongly discouraged here.
This is a 'Brown' website. Brown is based in dirt, and dirt is famous for telling the truth. Purple, however, is much more esoteric and thus harder to discuss without getting pissed off - Brown is a shared experience, Purple is a deeply personal experience.
And by damn - if you disagree with me on the amorphous nature of God, Ill head to the Youtube comments section and give you whats for! Down with moderation!

After hearing the podcasts, I don't even want to discuss the 'ethics' anymore. Ever. Its just a group opportunity to get upset. I don't care if we agree or disagree, lets just BE ETHICAL.

Round here, we don't take no shit. We are.... the givers of shits.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:And large scientific funders have proven that even facts can be skewed



Reality (experience that sentient beings share) can not, in my opinion, be skewed. That is, the facts themselves exist, irrespective of our opinion of them or how they are presented or obscured. As a "crazy person," I believe that rational thought - the ability to distinguish objective from subjective experience - is a precious thing and I have little respect for those who choose to discard it.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Ian Rule wrote:Brown is a shared experience, Purple is a deeply personal experience.



This.

 
Terry Ruth
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:I think what you overlook terry, is that we all carry different truths in us, and No man should get to choose another mans truth.......what is a truth for one is a. Corporate lie to another.



Chad, I’m not sure what you are talking about. In my corporate experience there is little room for one man or women’s “truth” or “lie” as you put it or opinion. It is VERY black and white, the documents we design, build, and sustain to. If it were a matter of opinion or left to peoples “truth” or what they thought was accurate fact without the proper education and experience people would die. Not that we don’t already have issues and errors but, they would be far worse if the facts were skewed. A goggle search resume is not going to cut it in my profession, not even close. For example, if you have never done stress analysis or have proven many structural sustained builds you will never be allowed to be in the stress analysis group. These big corporate groups are not one but consist of many that usually agree but not always. When that happens the one that show the analysis right or wrong wins, totally different than a debate of the internet. A person can go to the internet and get people to believe they have that personal and peer experience but, it would never get you in the door or anyone to listen to you in my corporate world anyway. I can tell the ones that are misstating facts and their opinion won’t change the facts. I think that is why structures analysis usually requires a license in the building industry. There is a lot to know. Perhaps not for a little hut or shed, or in some cases house, although that can be debated as seen by the low life cycle and high cost of housing, most codes do not require a professional to design.

My corporate experience has been positive other than the politics and buddy systems found in most. I’ve been fortunate to been around some of the best technology in the world I am trying to move into my home design_build business. I’ve found using natural materials to be very challenging. I’m not out to build a shed, I’m out to help rebuild America.

AS I told you before and apologized, the only thing I overlook is some people have thicker skin when it comes to being proven personally wrong with fact. I actually welcome it, some hate it.
 
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I understand that this is Paul's forum and he (and his moderators) can run it any way they like. I will say that I had a post sent into limbo with the message that my reply was rude, and I think it was nothing of the sort. The problem with over-moderating is that it can quickly get to the point that you aren't allowed to tell someone they are wrong, in spite of the fact that it can be quickly and easily proven. Now even when I read something that I know to be absolutely false, I simply stop reading that thread. Having to do that allows bad information to be posted that is not corrected, and the people that read it are mislead. I don't think my posts are argumentative, and I only post about things I have actually done myself and have personal experience with, or to thank people for posting about something I didn't know about or appreciate. I have learned a great deal from this forum, but I understand why some people feel it may be a tad over-moderated. People also need to understand that just because you disagree with them, or say they are wrong about a subject, it doesn't mean it's a personal attack. I would much rather have someone tell me I'm wrong, and show me the facts to back it up than to let me continue on my way with erroneous beliefs on a subject.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Todd Parr wrote: Now even when I read something that I know to be absolutely false, I simply stop reading that thread.



Why can't you present the countering evidence? The words "you're wrong" or "this is the truth" never need be stated. I love it when people post countering evidence - not opinion - for instance if they tried a method of X and got completely different results than someone else. This is how science works - people try experiments and present their evidence, which is subjected to scrutiny by peers (such as all of us here on permies doing permacultural experiments) and demonstrates itself to be robust or weak. My favorite one on the board here is "Hugelkultur works in the desert." I have never seen any evidence presented that it does indeed work in the desert. I think some people in deserts might be doing some experiments using hugelkultur and I hope they present their findings. I've never had to say "you're wrong" to someone claiming hugelkultur works in the desert, but I have, repeatedly and will continue to say "I have seen no examples of hugelkultur in the desert."

 
Terry Ruth
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I also find being right by numbers interesting. Some believe that being right is determined by vote. Here if you get a +1 or 2+ you must be right. That is funny! Outliers have been proven right often, some of the biggest discoveries were by people that thought different and out of the box, even if that made many people or so called experts wrong. Group mentality is not always a virtue.

You can get into situations as I have on permies and in life that not one but more than one are backing each other and if you prove them all wrong now you are a trouble maker at the expense of being right with proven facts some want to ignore.
 
Todd Parr
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Tyler Ludens wrote:The words "you're wrong" or "this is the truth" never need be stated.



My other post was worded awkwardly. I didn't mean literally to say "You're wrong", I meant to post something proving the poster is wrong. It seems that on these forums, that can be taken as treating people as though "they are less than perfect". As you said, I like it when someone posts their actual experiences with something working when it didn't work for me. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe their climate is different, etc., but I still learn from it.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Todd Parr wrote: It seems that on these forums, that can be taken as treating people as though "they are less than perfect".



I have never seen that happen, actually. And I'm on here, like, all the time. I think it might have been in the way the countering information was presented. It takes a lot of effort to learn how to communicate in the "Be Nice" style, for those of us who are used to just blurting whatever we happen to be thinking. I've had to work at it a lot, and I still screw up some times. But I think there is a nice way to present any set of facts or supporting evidence.

Oops, see, I almost did it there: My "I have never seen that happen" might be taken to mean "I don't believe you." But no, I'm saying I've never seen it. Maybe try starting a thread with your information? For instance "I have seen people say blah-de-blah. However, in my own study of this topic, I've learned blah-de-blee, and here's my evidence:"

 
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Terry Ruth wrote: Here if you get a +1 or 2+ you must be right.



I think it just means you're popular, or a lot of people agree with you. I don't think it has anything to do with being factually right or wrong. I've super disagreed with some things some people have posted, even though they get a ton of thumbs up.
 
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@Terry R." ....at the expense of being right with proven facts some want to ignore. "

Yeah....I've always thought that bad scientists and good lawyers were cut from the same cloth: Both ignore concrete evidence that goes against their claims or models. Whenever and wherever possible, find the original study and look at their experimental design and their methods...i.e., how did they arrive at their conclusion?

@Tyler R.: "This is how science works - people try experiments and present their evidence, which is subjected to scrutiny by peers (such as all of us here on permies doing permacultural experiments) and demonstrates itself to be robust or weak."

I would (not *should*!... ) just add that "scrutiny by peers", although a mechanism that has yet to be surpassed, is not iron-clad. Our minds first and foremost were assisting us with survival, not necessarily evolved for finding nor comprehending "truth". It seems born out in many disciplines that scientists are human first, subjective second, and objective last. Not infrequently in the past, the publication of carefully designed and tested experiments have been held up by peers *not* because it was suspect, but because it flew in the face of the "mood of the day", even within scientific circles. So not to refute what you said, but to temper it a bit. And yes, I realize you were talking about "science" the concept, versus "scientists", the practitioners.

As a bit of an aside, it's interesting to review some of Francis Bacon's documents birthing the scientific method in the 1600's....at a time when witches were still being burned at the stake:
". ....from the wonders of nature is the
most clear and open passage to the
wonders of art. For you have but to follow
and as it were hound nature in her
wanderings, and you will be able, when
you like, to lead and drive her afterward
to the same place again……Neither
ought a man to make scruple of
entering and penetrating into these
holes and corners, when the inquisition
of truth is his [sole] object….

--Francis Bacon, De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 1623

Good thing we've really moved far past *those* sentiments as a culture.... (.....) But more to the point of the thread,.....Paul's forum, Paul's rules. I suspect if it got too heavy handed the forum would start to de-populate. Even having been censored a bit, I'm satisfied.
 
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