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Comments Removal / Censorship - are you for or against?

 
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Login to Vote: Should Michael actively remove comments that he deems distasteful or other users complain about?
No, people should be free to have their say even if others may disagree with what they say or how they say it
28%
 28%  [ 4 ]
Yes, distasteful comments should be REMOVED or EDITED for content
42%
 42%  [ 6 ]
Yes, distasteful comments should be REMOVED, but no EDITING should occur
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, distasteful comments should be REMOVED but only if readers complain
28%
 28%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 14

Author Message
Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1617
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:53 am    Post subject: Comments Removal / Censorship - are you for or against? Reply with quote

So, we occasionally get people posting messages to the main articles (the posts that appear on the main Cooking For Engineers site) that are rude, hateful, attacking, or distasteful. I generally let them stay because of my personal feelings about censorship and only delete messages that reach the level of "death threats". Occasionally, I'll move messages that completely hijack a thread, but this is rare.

The question I pose to my readership and community is: should I take a more active role in deleting and editing comments on Cooking For Engineers?

The idea is that if anything off-topic, mean, rude, or disrespectful is removed then people would feel safer on Cooking For Engineers to post their own comments and interact with the other readers.

Let me know what you think.


Last edited by Michael Chu on Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Auspicious



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 58
Location: on the boat, Annapolis, MD

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been there, done that. I handed off a board when my approach turned out to be contrary to the community that developed.

In my own view (YMMV), deleting an inappropriate post is worse than letting it be there. My own choice was to delete inappropriate content from within a post leaving a comment of my own set off in square brackets to identify what I did and why.

That worked great until the community decided they wanted a more ... ah ... topless approach. <grin> Then I handed off to someone else.

In your case, you have defined the culture more clearly and I don't think anyone could credibly argue with your right to the ultimate decision.

regards, dave
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A Philosophy Student
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Moderation Reply with quote

I'd say yes - this is a cooking site and should stick to cooking!

There is no place in the world of online technical cuisine for personal attacks, racist remarks or just plain being a d***head.

It's not a case of denying people free speech, it's just people being respectful and keeping this site as it's meant to be. If people want to go on long distateful rants, there are plenty of other more relevant places on the internet where they can do just that.
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greg_f



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: rules Reply with quote

I consider a site like this to be akin to a private club. If club rules say no swearing, you don't swear. If you feel you must swear, either step outside, or find another club.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think hard and fast rules should apply to editing or censoring on CFE. Some extremely offensive posts, such as threats or racial slurs should be removed and other posts, like where vegetarians use swear words to describe those who eat meat dishes, might just be edited, assuming the post contains other reasonable material. The great majority of posts, even if they are rants that we disagree with, as long as they relate to food, cooking or other acceptable "off topics" in certain parts of the forum like "Anything Goes" in the General Discussion section can and should be left as they are written.

Moving a post that was posted in the wrong thread is completely within the realm of the moderator's job. That keeps the website organized and similar topics together.

I am not for censorship in movies, on TV, radio, music (CD's), the internet or theater performances because I can always change the station or go to another website if I don't like what they have and I wouldn't prevent anyone who wants to see or read any type of material from doing so. Free speech is good to have and that means people can say what they want without reprisal in any medium that will give them "the podium." However, just because someone has something to say, that doesn't mean anybody wants to listen. Just like a TV show host selects who he/she wants on the program, we can decide what posts fit into our forum. If some people want a down in the gutter place (I liked Auspicious' term "topless approach" to moderating) on the internet to express themselves, they can set up their own website or use one of the many that permit that kind of expression.
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IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've spent some time on some very contentious message boards with much controversy involved, and I feel that there is one magic bullet: No personal attacks.

I might disagree with someone on the best method of cooking chicken, but as soon as it becomes not about chicken, the thread is lost to anyone looking for something useful.

Disagreement is generally good. It makes us think. If you have the luxury to edit posts without changing meaning, that's the best solution. But unlike many boards I've posted to, this one should should have some expectation of relatively tame posts.

I can't recall a specific example, but I do think I've seen some useless posts on some of the recipe comments. Delete them. They add nothing. Especially if they're off topic.
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