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Forum Post: Dangers of Unmoderated Forums

Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 11, 2011, 12:46 p.m. EST by DirtyHippie (200)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Open unrestricted communication is always the best. Ideas rise or fall based on their merit. The doors are open to everyone and some come in looking for a fight. Bring it on. Now and then, there's someone who seems genuinely interested and concerned. Then they start reciting the propaganda of the 1% using the word "dude" as punctuation.
Beware and be alert.

  • Propaganda thrives where there is low-information. The bar is set at "Policy Expert" if you want to engage in anti-propaganda efforts.
  • Propaganda depends on lies and distortions blended with a shred of truth fed to a willing consumer.
  • Generalities are easily swallowed even if they hide untruths. They condition your mind to gradually accept more concentrated toxins.
  • Facts are your friend. Low-information, lies, & generalities can be chased away with facts, statistics, data. This is work your laptop can do for you but it will return propaganda as well. You must be able to distinguish objective non-partisan information. Can you imagine that the 1% achieved their position at least partly by gaming the system? Absolutely. Can the forums be gamed by promoting or downgrading opinions and/or creating a lot of activity in a thread? Of course.
    Remember your goals. Business and religion must be kept separate from government. Where they are entwined, they must be disentagled. Government exists for one purpose only: to serve the people. Fight as strongly as you would fight against slavery.



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[-] 3 points by Seigen (5) 10 years ago

Hi, DirtyHippy, I cited this post of yours in another link (http://occupywallst.org/forum/can-the-forum-be-altered-so-we-can-vote-down-troll/) and in return include my own post here as well.

"I've had some experience as a forum moderator - there are different kinds of trolls but the most destructive ones are the ones who want to absorb any efforts towards discussion into their own need for power. It was at times necessary to ban, yet often these same people would come back with a new identity. It is a peculiar narcissism, that can also appear in the form of double-nicking - the same person or more than one person, different avatars with the same ip., hijacking a thread with purposeful sabotaging disinformation, sectarian and agendas, or the compulsion to argue as a form of authority in itself.

Thumbs up and thumbs down leaves the forum vulnerable to interests in line with the structure you want to change - all it takes is a team of dedicated people to do that. It's not like facebook, in a forum like this you can quickly become topheavy with a) idle chatter, b) snarky face-offs that are going nowhere but attract people because of controversy, or c) trolls that everyone keeps feeding out of some sense of compassion. Reporters and people who want to know what's going on come along and it is what they see first, so it can look very bad and will keep the serious ones away, encouraging even further the idle chatter and snark.

I have no solution - being a moderator is a very difficult and conflicted practice, but it is good practice and maybe there are some here with that experience. But you have to let go of idealist notions of open democracy and reach for a well-functioning one. The pain of that decision never leaves you. And it is by no means a solution to the difficulties, they keep coming back. You must have trained experienced people, for this site it would take 5 or 6 people checking in regularly, who are working well together as a team and putting in a lot of man hours in order to protect civil discussion.

This is not a suggestion so much as information. I don't think things here will go that way, there is a certain commitment to being in "the swamp" but this would be the alternative. Seems like too big a step to take."

[-] 2 points by DirtyHippie (200) 10 years ago

I see I'm not the only one with concern about the forums. I worry because I've been fooled and I have a built-in B.S. detector. And there are resources available that could swamp these forums just by sheer volume. In fact, I'd say it's just a matter of time till that happens. The comments don't even have to make sense. The noise alone can achieve a purpose. It's time to start thinking ahead. No solution compares favorably when we only think about the ideal of complete freedom. I've thought about moderators and rules and the inherent conflict between keeping things inclusive versus what moderators would exclude. Arguments could be made for a very loose filter or a very tight one. Arugments could also be made for paid subscriptions (shuuuddderrr.) There are sites that allow sponsoring of others who can't afford it. Arguments could be made for or against using all of the above in combination. But something needs to be done soon to address the pollution you and I have noticed.

[-] 2 points by Esposito (173) 10 years ago

Right on Dude!

[-] 2 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 10 years ago

agreed, and this is why we need serious organization, sub forums, and a wiki, because that kind of organization would end 99 percent of the ability for us to be trolled.

great post.

the organization is so bad and the noise so intense that i have taken to making some organization happen.









































[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 10 years ago

Thank you. Something needs to happen before it's too late.

[-] 2 points by mindhawk (175) from Jefferson City, MO 10 years ago

Well said!

[-] 1 points by shadaxgale (230) from Oswego, NY 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by Dreadker (36) from Columbia, MD 10 years ago

I would argue that government exists to deal with failing in economics. If a person has what they need - food, shelter, security, engaging productive work (and i mean not for 'money), entertainment etc. why would they choose to have a government?

We need to start thinking outside of our current failed ingrained notions of how society works...

[-] 2 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 10 years ago

oh schools, trade, armies, laws,

[-] 2 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 10 years ago

Police, courts, jails, roads, bridges, metal, wood, hospitals, ambulances, puppies

dumb ass...

[-] 1 points by Dreadker (36) from Columbia, MD 10 years ago

Do you ever question why we have these things - it's not because government came up with them. People invented everything you just mentioned (except puppies, metal, wood - evolution or god did that depending on your belief system). You don't need a government for security, nor do you need a government for jails, roads, bridges, hospitals etc. etc. etc.

I'm not suggesting it would be a utopian society - I'm a combat veteran - i've seen the ugliest side of human nature... My point is that governments convince us that they need to exist in order for all of these to exist. Right now OWS is not a government, yet we are mobilising changes in ways of thinking and dealing with society. We are not elected.

And anyone who advocates the need for armies is only contributing the problems in the world today. The only need for armies is to invade another place that we can't deal with economically usually to take their stuff or impose a belief on them (religion, democracy, communism whatever).

I agree that you will always have degrees of crime, but we are technologically advanced enough as a species to stop living the way we lived for the past 5000 years plus. All our systems of government, economics and resource utilization are horrendously outdated, yet we cling to them... and find ourselves in this situation where most of the worlds population fights for the scraps thrown down from big business and governments...

I'm not looking for any advantages nor to disadvantage anyone else. I'm simply providing information. I would rather say my piece, have it ignored, accepted, ridiculed or whatever than have no opportunity to say it... that is what this movement is all about, or at least how i perceive it.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 10 years ago

Sorry for calling you a dumb ass. BTW, I grew up in Rockville. I live in Jax now.

You are government trained badass. You can take care of yourself I am sure. When you re-socialize into the peaceful real world you will probably understand more. Also, thanks for the job. Even super pussy liberals like I appreciate your sacrifice. I sure could not fucking do it.

Before I debate you this issue please let me ask you one question. Since the beginning of civilization (or Adam/Eve if you are so inclined) when has any functioning society existed without some form of government?

[-] 1 points by Dreadker (36) from Columbia, MD 10 years ago

I'm no longer serving - i left in 2005, but thanks for the support ;-) And my forum experience allows me to filter out things like the 'dumb ass' comment lol

That's a very loaded question because it boils down to what people think of when you say government? I believe every society has had some level of leadership throughout history, either by a single individual or a group within that culture, but not necessarily a government... I'm referring to govt. in that which exists in most highly developed (well developed anyway) societies. Where it convinces the people that it needs armies for protection, taxes, police, courts, jails etc.

My personal belief is that government does not work (nor has it ever worked indefinitely) on grander scales - we're seeing this now in europe, saw it with the fall of most empires of the past. I'm not aligned politcally to anyone when i say this - i believe in fact that politics doesn't actually do anything. Doctors, builders, scientists, engineers etc. do something, in that they actually enrich society by inventing and improving things. My fundamental point is that we need to step outside of the system (theoretically at least) and view it in its entirety...

My biggest contention is the continuing peddling of infinite growth on a finite planet... we either need to accept that its not possible or we're gonna get hit hard when the planet makes us accept it...

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 10 years ago

That is the correct answer: Yes. to our current knowledge there has always been a government of some form since the emergence of societal man.

Do governments change? Yes. Are there many forms of governments currently over history. (x). Are dumb ass marines slow to learn the ways of peace ( ).

Yeah governments change. Are you up on US history? Women could not vote in every state until 1920. I don't need to mention slavery. Did you know that before Andrew Jackson's presidency that voting poll were irreverent. Each state sent it electors to vote on the executive office?

Things change. Man is evolving. Do you like doctors and scientists? Sure. Who started the first universities in this country? When Edison built the first electric grid in Manhattan did he pay for it? Guess, who did? What about damns? Hoover dam brings the electricity to Vegas so I can have a smooth Rum Runner.

Oh fireman.

We pay taxes to a government so it will provide us collective services that we could not afford on our own.

That OWS is about bringing change. We pick on Wall Street because that seems to be where our government is storing it's balls these days.

That last bit about the planet is out of my expertise.


[-] 1 points by Dreadker (36) from Columbia, MD 10 years ago

You missed the distinction between leadership and government. Both can exist independently or together, but they are not the same thing. You quote history, yet taxes were implemented by the central banking system within this country.

Physical slavery requires owners to feed and house the slaves. Economic slavery requires the slaves feed and house themselves.

I agree man is evolving, but only in a social and cultural way. Our core DNA has not changed in 10k years much at all. And I agree that government should exist in some aspect, but not based on our current paradigm

The infinite growth paradigm is what we all live in right now, where things like GDP get tossed around as 'needed' for things to be good, yet countries with higher GDP tend to have more sick and dying people.

It is a complex subject to fully grasp all its aspects, but the idea is simple. Nothing grows exponentially infinitely. That is a hard fact. And that is what we are all seeing right now, the stuttering palpitations of systems built on infinite growth in a finite world. They work at first, when resources are plentiful and populations are low, but as resources are depleted and demand for resources increases we will be forced to hit that hard limit. There won't be talk of peak oil, gas or peak coal it will be peak EVERYTHING.

[-] 1 points by notresponsible42 (64) from Jacksonville, FL 10 years ago

seek and you will find. cheers big ears.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 10 years ago

I appreciate free thinking. You'll find your answer in history that goes back thousands of years and in human nature. Even in ancient times there were people who sought advantages for themselves by disadvantaging other people. While it's fun to imagine a society purely based on the freedom of every individual to pursue their own wishes, I'm afraid it would quickly turn into a jungle, simply because the human race isn't evolved enough for everyone to mind themselves. When I hear this sort of utopianist thinking, I say, you have a beautiful ideal. And the people I've met who want to implement it are either (no offense) naive or partisans like the libertarians who see some advantage for themselves and their allies in it.

[-] 0 points by IWantFreeStuff (119) from New Orleans, LA 10 years ago

Dude: So you like believe in the freedom of expression. Cool.

Actually: I am part of the dissenting opinion being expressed here. I've had a couple of thoughtful conversations. I came in with my preconceived notions about the people here, and by and large, they have been proven false.

These are not uneducated communists. These are well educated socialists.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 10 years ago

That's some of the nicest snark I've seen, IWantFreeStuff. There is a difference between regulated capitalism and socialism. There are gradations in the amount of regulation that can be applied on a capitalist system. There are hybrid systems that allow business to invoke capitalism when it has profits and socialism when it has losses. The main focus of the OWS statement released last week is the issue of bought government. A true capitalist would not need to buy its way into lawmaking institutions. A true capitalist would demand that business stand on its own two feet and rise or fall on merit. A true capitalist would demand that business take responsibility for damage that it does, intentional or not. Right now, ending bought government is the most urgent need facing the nation.