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Deleted post

GUEST,AD 28 Apr 04 - 12:38 AM
Amos 28 Apr 04 - 12:43 AM
GUEST 28 Apr 04 - 01:19 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 04 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,AD 28 Apr 04 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,AD 28 Apr 04 - 02:02 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 04 - 02:18 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Apr 04 - 03:13 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Apr 04 - 04:07 AM
Amos 28 Apr 04 - 10:40 AM
Amos 28 Apr 04 - 10:44 AM
Blackcatter 28 Apr 04 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,unrepentant clone 28 Apr 04 - 12:03 PM
The Shambles 29 Apr 04 - 02:08 AM
The Shambles 29 Apr 04 - 08:36 AM
Gypsy 29 Apr 04 - 11:13 PM
The Shambles 30 Apr 04 - 05:01 AM
Doug Chadwick 30 Apr 04 - 05:13 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 30 Apr 04 - 05:50 AM
Joe Offer 30 Apr 04 - 12:27 PM
Peace 30 Apr 04 - 02:06 PM
Amos 30 Apr 04 - 02:21 PM
The Shambles 30 Apr 04 - 05:36 PM
Blackcatter 30 Apr 04 - 07:16 PM
Peace 30 Apr 04 - 08:09 PM
Amergin 30 Apr 04 - 08:13 PM
Peace 30 Apr 04 - 08:21 PM
Donuel 30 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM
Peace 30 Apr 04 - 09:15 PM
Big Mick 30 Apr 04 - 09:22 PM
Peace 30 Apr 04 - 09:26 PM
Blackcatter 30 Apr 04 - 10:14 PM
Peace 01 May 04 - 12:05 AM
The Shambles 01 May 04 - 05:57 AM
harpgirl 01 May 04 - 10:22 AM
Blackcatter 01 May 04 - 01:40 PM
harpgirl 01 May 04 - 01:53 PM
Peace 01 May 04 - 02:28 PM
Joe Offer 01 May 04 - 02:36 PM
Amos 01 May 04 - 02:46 PM
DougR 01 May 04 - 03:17 PM
The Shambles 01 May 04 - 03:56 PM
Peace 01 May 04 - 04:05 PM
wysiwyg 01 May 04 - 05:56 PM
Big Mick 01 May 04 - 08:34 PM
Peace 01 May 04 - 09:44 PM
The Shambles 02 May 04 - 07:14 PM
Big Mick 02 May 04 - 08:57 PM
Blackcatter 02 May 04 - 10:58 PM
The Shambles 03 May 04 - 03:33 AM
The Shambles 03 May 04 - 07:24 AM
Amos 03 May 04 - 12:24 PM
Amos 03 May 04 - 12:25 PM
Blackcatter 03 May 04 - 12:30 PM
wysiwyg 03 May 04 - 12:47 PM
Peace 03 May 04 - 01:50 PM
Amos 03 May 04 - 03:15 PM
Bill D 03 May 04 - 06:08 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 03 May 04 - 06:15 PM
The Shambles 04 May 04 - 02:16 AM
Peace 04 May 04 - 01:34 PM
DougR 05 May 04 - 12:39 PM
The Shambles 06 May 04 - 02:27 AM
Guessed 06 May 04 - 08:13 AM
Wolfgang 06 May 04 - 09:06 AM
The Shambles 06 May 04 - 10:09 AM
The Shambles 03 Jun 04 - 10:53 AM
wysiwyg 03 Jun 04 - 11:54 AM
Tracey Dragonsfriend 03 Jun 04 - 12:47 PM
Wolfgang 03 Jun 04 - 01:03 PM
Rain Dog 03 Jun 04 - 01:28 PM
George Papavgeris 03 Jun 04 - 01:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jun 04 - 01:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jun 04 - 01:55 PM
The Shambles 03 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM
GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River 03 Jun 04 - 03:37 PM
Once Famous 03 Jun 04 - 05:27 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 04 - 10:50 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 04 Jun 04 - 11:39 AM
The Shambles 04 Jun 04 - 02:26 PM
Big Mick 04 Jun 04 - 03:44 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 04 - 02:53 AM
Nigel Parsons 06 Jun 04 - 01:28 PM
dianavan 06 Jun 04 - 04:28 PM
The Shambles 07 Jun 04 - 05:09 AM
The Shambles 08 Jun 04 - 02:21 AM
The Shambles 08 Jun 04 - 08:40 AM
The Shambles 18 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM
Zany Mouse 18 Feb 05 - 07:40 PM
Peace 18 Feb 05 - 07:47 PM
Donuel 18 Feb 05 - 08:14 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Feb 05 - 08:27 PM
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Subject: Obit: Deleted post
From: GUEST,AD
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:38 AM

When a Mod deletes a post/thread, it would be nice for the person who has posted it to be told why.

I posted a message, 'Hallelujah In Fallujah! this morning. Checking back, the post/thread was deleted with no reason given? I nearly reposted it due to not knowing where it had gone until I searched.

I'm wondering that maybe my post should have been in another forum? A small message to say why it was deleted & maybe some advice on where it was meant to go would have been nice. Deleting the post & not giving any reason just causes confusion.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:43 AM

As I recall, AD, it was pretty het up, and had a lot of arm waving in it. As though it was less intended to communicate than to act out an upset or sompn, ya know what I mean?

That's my guess. I didn't delete it, but that's what I would say was a possible reason. I just looked it over and sighed, because it seemed not to invite any genuine dialogue. And it certainly wasn't music. So I moved on.

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 01:19 AM

Maybe a semi-permathread listing deleted posts and WHY? That could be done either with or without allowing comments.

I have seen several deleted or changed that I questioned the motives on. Sometimes it would be the poster I would be questioning, but just as often the deleter whose own set of prejudices would be showing.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 01:45 AM

Hi, AD - since you aren't a registered member and didn't give your name, address, telephone, or e-mail, we couldn't contact you.

Anybody who does a Google search for Hallelujah In Fallujah can see what you posted, so there's no reason for Mudcat to be a home for something that's available in many other places. Take a look at our FAQ and you can see what we allow and what we don't.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: To Amos
From: GUEST,AD
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 01:53 AM

Since the 'Deleted post' thread was closed, & I don't know why, I decided to post here.

TY for responding. I respect your opinion. We may not agree but this doesn't necessarily make my opinions wrong; it just makes my opinion different than yours.

While debate & discussion aren't what this forum is designed for, I read they are allowed.

I also know the Mods reserve the right to delete, edit & closed any message/thread for any or no reason whatsoever in your attempt to keep the forum something that lots of people can enjoy. Believe me, I will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly defamatory, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, etc.

I agree with Guest, an explanation on why the post was deleted without allowing comments could be done.


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Subject: RE: To Amos
From: GUEST,AD
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 02:02 AM

To Joe Offer:

I'm sure I added it was from Joe Kaminsky's:

http://www.serendipity.li/iraqwar/hallelujah_in_fallujah.htm

As I did Bob Boudelang's:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=68897


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 02:18 AM

Yeah, I almost deleted the Boudelang thing, too - but I let it go. We are a folk music forum. We do allow other discussions, but we expect that non-music posts should be the poster's own words and ideas - that's explained in our FAQ. Your posts were copy-pasted from other Internet sites. Oh, I suppose you could tie them to music, but it's a long, long stretch. If they are available elsewhere, how does their presence here enhance a folk music discussion forum?
Thank you.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 03:13 AM

Joe and the other little nameless gnomes do a great job trying to keep some order in the chaotic tangle of threads, many non-music.

I would like to express my thanks for the great job they do when someone posts things in a thread, but they should really have been placed somewhere else like in a new thread. In particular today, someone chimed into a thread about accordion straps, with a question about how you play the accordion basses. After a brief PM to him, Joe steered this to a new thread, which will help those looking for the new thread material - no one would think of looking for the one under the other.

And while I have had some stuff deleted or abbreviated by the 'Mods', I don't realy have any argument with them.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 04:07 AM

Hey! List deletions and give reasons; no sir! That way lies madness, all that will happen then is an endless flow of arguments and justifications, which will just go round in circles till it disappears up its own fundamental orofice.
I say leave it to Joe Clone, we may not always agree with his decisions, [I don't] but then again if we all agreed this would be a boring forum.
John
    Actually, JoeClones delete posts only in certain limited circumstances. Usually, Jeff and I do that sort of editing. If Clones delete posts for other than duplications or technical reasons, they are supposed to report the deletion to Jeff or me, so we can review the decision.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:40 AM

AD:

Ta. If you had provided an analysis of what you thought were the merits of the issue it might have done more than just copying and pasting someone else's chestbeating. I have nothing against beating chests, mind you, but ya wanna see what you can come up with that will enhance the dialogue. No-one needs generalized negativity about how bad things are. We all know how bad things are! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:44 AM

I went back and read Kaminski's page. Well, he's obviously upset, and is fomenting his upset in others. This does not lead to resolution, nor to more understanding.

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 10:49 AM

A simple explanation as to any deleted post at any discussion board: You went beyond what the moderators deem acceptable. No more explanation should be expected. As I've often said - if you want to say what you want and never have your posts deleted, start your own discussion board and be your own moderator.

As was said by someone more intelligent than I: Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own a press.

Thanks for all your good work Joe and the Clones.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: GUEST,unrepentant clone
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 12:03 PM

Ad-I deleted it. It was only 15 minutes after it had been posted, and I was not sure anyone else had even seen it. It was posted in the music threads, was obviously copied and pasted, and not only had no commentary to explain why you posted it, it was offensive and inflammatory.

Still, I should have left a note saying what I had done and why. I had a phone call and totally forgot. Apologies for that.

We allow a lot of non-music discussion on lots of things, but it just struck me as an attempt to fan flames. That is only the 2nd post I have deleted in several months. Obviously, this volunteer moderator game is not an exact science.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 02:08 AM

Subject: RE: BS: I Love Big Brother!
From: Joe Offer - PM
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 02:31 AM

Well, I guess I'd like to see the picture before I made a judgment on the situation. I dealt with the Secret Service occasionally in my 25 years as a federal investigator. I always found them to be reasonable and calm. If the school district called them, they were required to go and check the thing out. Maybe the school district overreacted, and maybe not.

I had to check out threats on occasion, too. Most were nothing to be concerned about, and usually very tedious to deal with - but you can't make that decision until you take a look.

I've been a liberal all my life, but I think I have to say that nowadays, terrorism is a real threat the whole world over. I suppose many of us will encounter situations where law enforcement officers stop by to check things out. In the vast majority of cases, they're just doing their job, checking things out to see if there's a problem or not. Most often, they find the work rather boring. We only need to be concerned when they abuse their authority.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 08:36 AM

We allow a lot of non-music discussion on lots of things, but it just struck me as an attempt to fan flames. That is only the 2nd post I have deleted in several months. Obviously, this volunteer moderator game is not an exact science.

As an unamed clone - I am concerned that are you still unrepentant, following Joe Offer's following brown comments?

Actually, JoeClones delete posts only in certain limited circumstances. Usually, Jeff and I do that sort of editing. If Clones delete posts for other than dupllications or technical reasons, they are supposed to report the deletion to Jeff or me, so we can review the decision.
-Joe Offer-


What is in the FAQ are just guidelines - they are not hard and fast rules and should not be used as such. If it is a hard and fast rule that clones (other than Joe and Jeff) should not delete posts only because of what they personally think of that post - perhaps they can ensure in practice that volunteer clones do not do delete what they are not supposed to?

As there would appear to be little point in shooting first and reviewing the decision after - and as the need to delete posts is so infrequent - perhaps we do not really need our unamed clones to delete anything?
    Messages are deleted if we think they are likely to cause some sort of harm. Jeff and Max and I can see every post that has been deleted; and we can undelete posts, completely intact, if we override the decision to delete a message. In the case of personal attacks and racism/hate messages, we believe it is imperative that we delete immediately, so as little harm is done as possible. Therefore, we have asked the JoeClones to delete these messages as soon as they see them, and to report the deletion to Max/Jeff/Joe for review.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Gypsy
Date: 29 Apr 04 - 11:13 PM

Gee, we get the board for free, have it well regulated, with no effort on our parts, and it is pretty too! Hmmmm....don't see as how anyone can really do any yelping here. O' course, the easy answer: ya don't like it, change the channel!


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:01 AM

Sadly that is the point - the channel has been changed.

I liked the forum as it was - for I and all the other contributors, including Joe Offer - equally made it so) made it so. The forum is what it is BECAUSE of all the positive effort on OUR parts.

Most of it I still like but this compulsion for some unamed volunteers to decide for others what may do harm and delete our contributions - is not anything to do with what made and still makes the forum the fine place it still just about manages to be.

Perhaps messages could be left alone long enough to see if anyone does post and considers them to have harmed anyone? We get used to ignoring so much online so why cannot the decision to read posts or not be left up to the contributors to our forum?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:13 AM

There have been endless discussions on the undesirability of anonymous GUEST postings and comments have been made elsewhere to the effect that "- posting as a GUEST with a handle is no problem to anyone, and no one ever objects to it". Well, posting under the name of "GUEST, unrepentant clone" is something I object to.

If the deletion was justified and this particular Joe Clone wants to defend that decision, then he/she should be prepared to stand up and be counted. Is there a published list of which members are Joe Clones? If I get into a tangle with someone over a point that we can't agree on, then I would like to know if that person could have unseen influence on my future postings.


Doug C


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:50 AM

I have not been logging on much in recent months and hadn't realised that Mudcat was now a moderated forum. When did that happen? Since it is, a bit of consistency would make sense.

I recently weathered a whole heap of personal abuse from a Mudcat member who followed me from thread to thread (what I believe Joe frowningly calls "stalking") and who was even abusive in a thread I hadn't entered. The abuse included a damaging reference to my mental health and a veiled threat to publish some info he had unearthed on that subject. I was obliged to invite the member to go ahead believing that whatever he was referring to would be less damaging than his inuendo. (He preferred to settle for the inuendo.)

It seems obvious to me that the interference of moderators can never hope to reach an intelligent judgment on every comment ever posted here. They would do far better to stand back and trust the forum itself to deal with the issues, and then we would be spared the sanctimonious and contradictory explanations that follow their inconsistent interventions. Incidentally, I have heard the loss of many freedoms blamed on the increasing level of terrorism in the world (ie it's now reached the US). For Joe to cite it as a defence is absurd.

Another point: for the unrepentent, and plainly errant clone to shelter in anonymity was despicable. Some of us know who at least one or two of the clones are, and a shadow of suspicion now falls on them.
Get a grip. Joe!


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 12:27 PM

If Joe had used terrorism as a defense for deleting messages at Mudcat, that would indeed be absurd.

Read carefully, lest you speak with your foot in your mouth. Shambles copy-pasted my message from a thread about a problem at a school. I haven't quite figured out how he thinks it applies here.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 02:06 PM

What's with a GUEST being able to edit stuff? Does that GUEST then have access to our e-mail addresses and other personal info? I am asking, because I have a certain someone I will want to speak with in the future. Just curious.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 02:21 PM

Bruce:

Anyone can log in as a GUEST. If someone is a Joe Clone with editing capabilities, they can only use them when logged in as that person; but afterwards, they can log out and log back in as Guest_unrepentant_clone. Or Guest_baklava-nose, if they prefer.

This does NOT mean that someone logged in as a Guest can do editing.

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 05:36 PM

This does NOT mean that someone logged in as a Guest can do editing.

Well that's alright then......Amos, please give us a break?

The whole fuss made about Guests was that many folk did not know who they were and this fact mattered to them. Many folk wished to know why these guests should wish not be known and this fact mattered to them.

The fact that we now have unknown guests who can and have judged and deleted the postings of others but still choose to remain unknown is only certain to cause more concern - for no good reason.

It is not to my tastes that Joe and Jeff (and others) can do this editing but at least they do this openly and do not hide who they are, or expect that this should ever be a choice for them. I can at least respect this and the fact that are prepared to take any resulting flak.

Can I request that any folk recruited to judge and who expect to be able to edit the contributions of others, are at least prepared to use their own name. And if they are not so prepared, perhaps this is really not such a good idea for them to do this editing?

If it is not a good idea, perhaps it should not be automatically defended as if it were?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 07:16 PM

The person who deleted the post was not a guest. He or she was a member who has been chosen by Max etal to do some minor editing. That person chose to talk about the situation in particular here in this thread of their own voltion. They chose to do so without reveiling their name as a matter of choice. From what was said that person has only done that twice in 6 months and Joe has said that all deleted posts are reviewed and can be replaced. The person is apologize for not leaving a note giving a reason why the post was deleted. One would have to assume that by "unrepentant" that the person would still delete that post. Sound ok to me.

Once again - this is not a democracy. this is not a place where you control anything. This is a moderated forum controled by certain people who work directly for the owner of the site. They have a right to do whatever they want (within Max's guidlines) and frankly I don't think you have a right to complain. That they allow this thread is a testament to their open-mindedness and tolerance.

The occasional censorship that happens around here is the right kind. The owners of the site feel that certain things are inappropriate and they stop them. That is akin to you stopping your 10 year old from surfing for porn or not allowing convicted felons the right to bare arms.

You are here to use their bandwidth and the work they have put into the framework of the site. Nothing more and there's no reason why they can't ban your IP if they wish. Even if you're a donator to the Mudcat - you are just that - there is no purchase for certain rights like you have if you have an actual paid membership on a website.

pax y'all


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:09 PM

That still doesn't answer my question. Do the editors have access to my personal data, or is that the sole domain of Max, Joe and Jeff?
    Hi, Brucie- Not to worry. Max, Jeff, and I are the ones with access to registration information. Not the regular JoeClones.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amergin
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:13 PM

Brucie....EVERYONE has access to your personal information didnt you know? we've all been passing it around...j/k


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 08:21 PM

Oh, OK then. Just wanted to know. I got nothin' to hide; jus me an' my monkey.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:12 PM

Having been banned from over 20 websites already, deletions don't even register a raised eyebrow anymore.

When even Ted Koppel is taken off the air tonight by Sinclair broadcasting distributor Inc. for reading all 700+ names of US troops killed in action, I consider being banned a badge of honor.

Deletions are but a dubious purple heart.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:15 PM

Donuel, why the hell were you banned? Jaysus. Your work is brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:22 PM

Brucie, I am a mudelf/clone, whatever. We do not have access to your personal information. Max and Jeff are the only ones with full access to all areas. The clones abilities pretty well have to do with harvesting lyrics, minor editing such as fixing links, deletions but only under certain conditions and these will always be reviewed by Max and Jeff, etc.   One should always assume, when on the internet, that nothing is secret.

Max is the ultimate authority, Jeff is pretty well the day to day administrator, Joe is the head Mudelf. Max and Jeff's attitude is to let it roll, short of vicious personal stuff, or blatant advertising. As has been pointed out many times, much of this is a judgement call, but it is always reviewed by Jeff, with input from Joe. Every attempt is made to be fair.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 09:26 PM

Thank you, bro. My concern was not about you. It was rather the concern that someone like GUEST might be able to access info about me that I do not want him to have. There is one in particular who ain't wrapped too tight. Thanks again, Mick.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Apr 04 - 10:14 PM

Guests have even less access than you do Bruce.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 04 - 12:05 AM

Gotcha.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 May 04 - 05:57 AM

I think a post from a unknown guest that contains the words, what "we allow", on a forum set up for our contributions does rather make the point that will continue to concern many, especially as this practice looks set to be automatically defended, as if concerns about the practice from other (lesser) contributors to our forum were totally unfounded and can safely be ignored, by those who know best.

It would be nice for once if it was ever accepted that, even though it was all being done for the best of reasons, that perhaps a mistake is being made The practice of having unknown volunteers who can judge and delete our contributions is never going to unite us all. It will futher divide us all yet again, for no gain to our forum, which we all appear to rightly value.

Especially as the occasions for this editing are stated and supposed to be so rare. They would appear to be so rare that those unknown, appointed and keen to flex their editing muscles, seem to be fighting to get in there and pass judgement first, before someone else does....

Our forum is about our contributions - not some unknown volunteers finding nit-picking reasons to delete these contributions, at the slightest excuse. I fear that this is what many of these volunteers do think and I fear the effects on our forum, of this thinking, and just as damaging - its unquestioning and automatic defence. Perhaps time can be taken to review the situation, before this defence continues and digs and even bigger hole?

Is there any real reason why the process of who is chosen and why plus the names of those appointed to judge us, cannot be a matter of public knowledge? The point often made about guests is that one cannot cantact them via PMs. If these volunteers can judge and delete our contributions and contact us by PMs - Is it too much to expect and ask that these volunteers are known to us - to enable us to cantact them?

With their agreement I can see no reason why this cannot and should not be done now. If they do not agree, perhaps they are not the right people? Can this be done please, if this present editing system is to continue? This is the Mudcat Discussion Forum set up for out contributions - not the FBI or CIA.

Joe says [in the best shade of 'Big Brother' brown]
Messages are deleted if we think they are likely to cause some sort of harm. Jeff and Max and I can see every post that has been deleted; and we can undelete posts, completely intact, if we override the decision to delete a message.

Now this again is news to me and things must have changed, yet again. The point was often being made to me by Joe in the recent past, that when deletions are made by volunteers, that it was too late and NOT possible to undelete them.

If it is now thought to be possible - is there an example somewhere of where this has in fact happened?

Fionn says (but is ignored).

It seems obvious to me that the interference of moderators can never hope to reach an intelligent judgment on every comment ever posted here. They would do far better to stand back and trust the forum itself to deal with the issues, and then we would be spared the sanctimonious and contradictory explanations that follow their inconsistent interventions.

The question that is never answered of course is what happens when Jeff and Joe get it wrong - or is this just too inconceivable?

Max as the owner of the site is god, and can never get it wrong, so as the occasions for this kind of editing are so rare, as stated, what is wrong with leaving the final decisions to him on these rare occasions?

'All animals are equal but Max is more equal than others' - is something we must all accept and could respect. I don't think that this omnipotence can really be delegated. Can it?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 May 04 - 10:22 AM

I'm afraid the whole concept of cloneheads in our Maxocracy who are unidentified but who have censorship power is a mistake. Since they seem to be here to stay, why not identify themselves so that we can eliminate the resulting paranoia? You would agree with this, wouldn't you Jeri?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:40 PM

Geez - if you're all head up to find our the secret clones - why don't you do the McCarthy thing and just start naming names through false accusations.

I'm here to say that I'm not one of the clones (but would I really tell you if I was?)




















Heh, heh, heh.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: harpgirl
Date: 01 May 04 - 01:53 PM

the cloneheads aren't really a secret, blackcatter. I just think the unrepentent clonehead is being a bit of a troll! I mean assuming the GUEST, unrepentent clonehead is really one of our cloneheads. You do realize it could be anyone, right?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:28 PM

If we have an editor who also trolls, that person should not have the privilege. Period.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:36 PM

Gee, I wonder how many of you have taken the time to read the post that was deleted - I posted instructions for finding it way at the top of this thread. It was what I call a "no-brainer," and it's the kind of post the JoeClones are allowed to delete - a post that is very obviously against our policy. The post in question is non-music information copy-pasted from an unattributed source by an anonymous poster, with no personal comment from the person who posted the information. It is full of racial and religious bigotry, and I think it fits the definition of "hate literature." It is available at several other locations on the Internet, and I see no reason why it must also be enshrined and protected here.

If you are a registered and known Mudcatter with a posting history, and you want to say something like that and take responsibility for what you say, that's another matter. We still reserve the right to delete the message (but we rarely do), but the decision isn't what I'd call a "no-brainer" any more. If you are known to the community, then you accept the consequences of how the community responds to what you have to say. That's not the case with anonymous posts - they're more like hit-and-run driving.

As for supervision of JoeClones, that's up to Max, and Jeff, and me. We have no reason to submit our selection or supervision of volunteers to public review. If we were to post a list of all the clones, then we'd subject ourselves to scrutiny every time we add or remove a volunteer, and every time we increase or limit a volunteer's responsibilities. What would be the good in doing that?

If you have a question or a request, address it to one of the following:
    Max@mudcat.org
    Jeff@mudcat.org
    Joe@mudcat.org
We're the ones who make the decisions. We have asked the JoeClones not to identify themselves when they edit because we want to take the responsibility for supervising them. They answer to us, not to the public scrutiny of the forum. That's why the "unrepentant clone" posted anonymously in his message above. Believe me, he's not a troll.

So, why is it that we should be obliged to offer a home for the post in question?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:46 PM

Dear Gawd, someone started the Shambles without checking that the power plug was out at the mains first!! Don't you buggers ever read the safety manual?? :>))

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: DougR
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:17 PM

A tempest in a teapot I say.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 May 04 - 03:56 PM

Gee, I wonder how many of you have taken the time to read the post that was deleted.

How exactly is one supposed to read (or judge) a post that has been deleted? It was deleted to prevent us from being harmed - remember?

Joe, can you please just stop digging yourself even deeper and start trying to find a way forward that will unite all the contributors to our forum instead of insulting their intelligence further and creating more division?

We all have different views on just about everything and it should be possible to disagree on our forum, without deleting what may not be to the personal tastes of those select but unknown few, who volunteer to judge others.

The response, as here, of simply ignoring the opinions, requests and wishes of contributors who do may not agree with you, is also not helpful.

I just question if all this behind the scenes silliness is really necessary? It reminds me of the gangs and rules we used to make up when we were school kids. The constant defence (without addressing it)of every shortcomming of this sort of editing action, is getting beyond a joke.

If this level of interference is really necessary, there may be some justification for it - but you keep telling us that it is rare. If it is so rare - perhaps then all these unknown volunteers are not needed.

Clearly it is not generally popular with all contrubutors - so why not review the current system with a view to a change to a system that may be more generally acceptable? In truth it is difficult to think of one that is more divisive and counter-productive than this one is. It almost appears as if it is designed to offend and exclude the majority of the very contributors who have made our forum what it is.

How about if we all volunteer?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 04 - 04:05 PM

Joe, thank you for your kind response to my question.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 May 04 - 05:56 PM

Shambles, CLICK HERE to see what was deleted. It's right where Joe said it would be, in what was the fourth post to this thread.

IMO, this deletion is not a free speech issue. As far as I am concerned it's just spam and so is this discussion of it! Of course it is also inflammatory and hateful, but IMO the higher policy question on this one was that this is not a place where spam sits for long.

Whenever someone visits every forum they've googled just to insert a paste-job, it's spam. There's no reason Mudcat has to be clogged with spam. The clever titling of some of the spam I have seen here makes it problematic-- you don't know it's spam. If people are going to find Mudcat as an open forum via Google, and just spam away, and the spam isn't deleted, who the heck wants to visit a garbage dump like that?

Shambles, you're on the wrong corner this time with your soapbox. It's this kind of insistence on blowing the same old horn, long after reasonable conversation has ceased, that finally resulted in my blocking your emails. There's a time when lobbying becomes harassment.

And for those of you who allow yourselves to be drawn into his argument over and over, SHAME ON YOU. He's not listening, no matter how pretty your prose or how brilliant your points.

Finally, of COURSE the clones are generally unidentified. How'd it be if, in exchange for volunteering to be helpful and follow policy, they got a zillion PMs every day demanding personal attention to whatever flea is itching someone's butt??????

Now Shambles will no doubt spend hours searching up every poorly-articulated MudThought I've ever posted so he can PROVE something no one gives a rat's ass about. Go ahead. It will take time away from your PELs battle, Shambles, but go ahead.

~Frustrated


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Big Mick
Date: 01 May 04 - 08:34 PM

Please don't feed Shambles. He gets very wound up and it will go for months.

Thanks,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 04 - 09:44 PM

WYSIWYG: Why did you sigh the post, Frustrated?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 May 04 - 07:14 PM

I hope that it is still possible to read and express views here that may not be the same as others. I hope also that it is still possible to contribute to a debate here without making needless and unfounded personal attacks or inciting others to do this. Sadly this does not seem possible from some, including some of those individuals who claim they are also entrusted with judging the worth of, and deleting our contribitions.

I do not intend to follow this example and whilst it is still possible to contribute, with others, to a sensible debate on our forum without making personal comments and attacks, I intend to try and do this. The following is about the only thing in WYSIWYG's post that was relevant to open public debate, and I will respond publicly to this.

Finally, of COURSE the clones are generally unidentified. How'd it be if, in exchange for volunteering to be helpful and follow policy, they got a zillion PMs every day demanding personal attention to whatever flea is itching someone's butt??????

I am interested in how the reasons that having unidentified vounteers are thought to be valid when all the reasons given for guests not wishing to be indentifiable or to become members, are thought not to be? Why is a good idea for all contributors to be indentifiable and contactable but not for those who would volunteer to judge others?

If these volunteers wish to judge others, I suggest that it is vital that they are known and contactable via PMs. Joe, Jeff and Max are known and they do not seem to be getting a zillion PMs every day. If they do and if our volunteers also did, perhaps they may not be so keen to volunteer to judge the rest of us?   

The test, and I would suggest the debate should be, whether all this secrecy, selectivity and silliness is really proportionate to the problem the volunteers are supposed to solve or just counter-productive and not really needed?

Or indeed you can ignore this and just carry on making personal comments if you prefer.
    Actually, I DO get a zillion PM's a day. I like to think it's because I'm so very intelligent and congenial and good-looking.
    I suppose the real reason is that they blame me for everything.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 May 04 - 08:57 PM

Roger, it is the same stuff you have discussed over... and over .... and over ..... and over ....... ad nauseum.

And you have always gotten straight answers. You just don't like them.

Please ... don't feed Shambles.

Mick
    Admit it, Mick, I AM intelligent and congenial and good-looking.
    -Joe Offer-


    OK .... OK .... I admit it. Joe Offer is a good looking, intelligent, and congenial man. I am seriously considering dating him ..... LOL.
    Mick, the Mudelf


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 02 May 04 - 10:58 PM

Amen


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 May 04 - 03:33 AM

I am concerned more about debating the general problem, rather than the merits or not of this particular post - but.

It was what I call a "no-brainer," and it's the kind of post the JoeClones are allowed to delete - a post that is very obviously against our policy.

The only written policy I am aware of is a FAQ with guidlines for new posters, about what to expect and how to find things. This was mostly written by Joe Offer but it certainly does not say there that as a first resort, unknown volunteers are to automatically and quickly delete anything they see that they may consider breaches these guidelines.

There is a bit where Joe says the management reserve the right etc, etc - but management reserving the right to delete contributions, is just that.

The post in question is non-music information copy-pasted from an unattributed source by an anonymous poster, with no personal comment from the person who posted the information.

Joe was kind enough to copy and paste this deleted message to me via a PM. The post did in fact contain a musical contribution - in the form of a song or parody.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 May 04 - 07:24 AM

The hole just gets bigger and bigger. Joe says:

If you are known to the community, then you accept the consequences of how the community responds to what you have to say. That's not the case with anonymous posts - they're more like hit-and-run driving.

And later in the same post.

We're the ones who make the decisions. We have asked the JoeClones not to identify themselves when they edit because we want to take the responsibility for supervising them. They answer to us, not to the public scrutiny of the forum.

Suddenly, what the community thinks and how it responds, is not important at all? It is important that, the community know what a poster has to say and who they may be - but it is not important for the Community to know who is anonymously passing judgement and editing our contributions to our forum.

This is getting just too surreal - If you, Joe and Jeff, wish to take the responsibilty - the simple question is, why not just take it and do away with all your unknown volunteers? Or why not just limit their power to just alerting you and Jeff to any possible need for editing, as these occasions are so rare?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 04 - 12:24 PM

Sham,

As in earlier iterations of this silly discussion, it is surreal because you are altering the reality. Joe describes an administrative procedure, and you alter it into a conspiratorial insult of some kind. Stop telling people how to do their jobs and write some more of them good songs.

A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 04 - 12:25 PM

That should be "altering", not "latering". Sorry.

A

    Fixed it for you, Amos.

    Nameless conspiratorial Mudelf


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Blackcatter
Date: 03 May 04 - 12:30 PM

Amos - you altered the worlds "altering" - funny.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 May 04 - 12:47 PM

Here's an excerpt from the CURRENT EDITORIAL POLICY The Shambles had so much trouble finding. I've included just the relevant parts he seems to be unable or unwilling to see, with my remarks in regular type:

The Mudcat Cafe reserves the right to edit, move, combine, rename, or delete all threads and messages posted in the Forum.

Editorial decisions are made by Max, Jeff/Pene Azul, and Joe Offer, or under their direction.

We allow just about all sorts of discussion, but we draw the line when it's clear that an individual is flooding Mudcat with information -
[including] things like lengthy copy-paste messages of non-music articles from publications and Internet sources. [SPAM]


And again:

We do not permit the posting of lengthy non-music articles from other sources. Although Mudcat is a music forum, we welcome discussions of politics and other subjects, as long as discussion participants use their own words and ideas.


A good way to find things in long internet pages (such as our FAQ) is to use your browser's "Find in Page" feature (usually in the Edit menu), on a word you think is probably used in the information you are looking for. Such as "policy" in this case.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 03 May 04 - 01:50 PM

Well, then here is a direct question:

There is a GUEST who is doing some political trolling. Is that guest on of the clones?

YES

NO
    Most assuredly, no!
    Why on earth would we want to trust a troll with access to any of our administrative processes? All of our volunteers are well-known, trusted Mudcatters who have been here for a number of years.
    We selected them because we know them and trust them.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 04 - 03:15 PM

I doubt it, Bruce.


A


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Bill D
Date: 03 May 04 - 06:08 PM

Susan...I doubt very much that posting that 'policy' thread will make much difference to those who are determined to find fault with the details of it and the basic concept of having a moderated forum that has any anonymous elves/clones. It is nice to see it all in one place, though.

...and on we go.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 May 04 - 06:15 PM

Even though it's late to bring this thread back up the list, I should just apologise to Joe, specifically for the bit he took me to task on.
So sorry, Joe.

I still think it that the old hands-off approach was best. And I tremble to think what punishment will now be visited on Big Mick, for revealing himself on earth..... as a Mudelf.

Peter Kirker (foot retrieved from mouth.)


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 May 04 - 02:16 AM

It has been clear for some time that certain of us, like Mick and Jeri were entrusted to judge and edit the postings of others and they have not felt that they needed to a secret of this fact. To the best of my knowledge, this being known, has not resulted in them being subjected to zillions of messages or any other terrible repercussions. Or have they?
    I like to get the zillions of messages myself. It makes me feel popular. And as I've said before, if you want to challenge an editing decisions, contact the people who supervise the editing and make policy for such decision - Max, Jeff, and Joe. That is standard procedure in most organizations, I believe.
    JoeClones are not required to keep their identities secret - but we see no reason to specify who does what, when. After all, we're not on trial here, and we have no reason to need to defend ourselves. If you don't trust our editorial actions, there's not much we can do to make you trust us. And if you don't trust us, what are you doing here? If you want to blame somebody for an editorial action, Max and Jeff and Joe are fully willing to take the blame.
    If something is racist or hateful or threatening, do we really have to invite everyone in for tea and a full discussion before we delete it? If you want that anonymous hate stuff, go to nazi.com or somewhere else, not Mudcat. But then, haven't we been through this before?
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 04 May 04 - 01:34 PM

Thank you,Joe. That was the question I had and you have answered it.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: DougR
Date: 05 May 04 - 12:39 PM

I just read the post that was deleted.

It was a judgement call, I think, and I wouldn't argue about it one way or another.

I'm pretty sure that the side the poster feels is being abused believes just as strongly as Bush that Allah is on their side.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 May 04 - 02:27 AM

Susan...I doubt very much that posting that 'policy' thread will make much difference to those who are determined to find fault with the details of it and the basic concept of having a moderated forum that has any anonymous elves/clones.

Whether folk are 'determined' or not is hardly the point. Many also seem equally determined to support anything that invoves some unknown people judging the worth and deleting other peoples posts, without any explanation as to why this is really neccessary.

The fact that must be addresed is that many genuine posters are entitled to hold and express a view that you may not agree with. Some have done that in this thread, and unlike many other threads , (to date) this one contains no comments from 'guests, apart from our unknown, unrepentent and much supported volunteer.

When did this become a moderated forum? Perhaps we can debate the extent of this one step at a time?

1. Is there really a need for introducing to our forum all these volunteers to judge and to delete others contributions and if there is, and this is thought to be effective, should these volunteers really expect to be able to judge others but remain anonymous?

2. Is what is to be gained by this, worth what is lost in trying to justify introducing what is never going to be generally thought either required or acceptable, on a part of the Mudcat set aside for all our contributions?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Guessed
Date: 06 May 04 - 08:13 AM

this can happen to Guessed's too - though if you have a handle Joe can PM you.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 04 - 09:06 AM

(to date) this one contains no comments from 'guests, apart from our unknown, unrepentent and much supported volunteer. (Shambles)

click

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 May 04 - 10:09 AM

Well the latest section I looked at didn't. Even so the point is that there are a lot less than there usually are in many threads of this nature.

And usually the views of these guests are not being supported by the same posters here who would appear to supporting our 'unrepentant' but still unknown judge.

If indeed this post was from whom it says it is...?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 10:53 AM

Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Joe Offer - PM
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 02:18 AM

Yeah, I almost deleted the Boudelang thing, too - but I let it go. We are a folk music forum. We do allow other discussions, but we expect that non-music posts should be the poster's own words and ideas - that's explained in our FAQ. Your posts were copy-pasted from other Internet sites. Oh, I suppose you could tie them to music, but it's a long, long stretch. If they are available elsewhere, how does their presence here enhance a folk music discussion forum?
Thank you.
-Joe Offer-


I fear that YOU are just trying to fight again a battle that WE thought had been fought long ago?

Yes this IS a music forum but it has now and for some time, been divided into two different areas, one for music related (and a few other subjects) and one for non music or BS. As a result of this split, most if not all of the need for judgement calls, (as to what is on topic etc) have now gone. The the choice to read them or not, is one for all the varied tastes of those reading the forum. If some are offended, they can say so, but many others may not be.

If the post in question (or others) are considered not to be music related (and this did have a song in it), surely it can just take its place alongside all the other odd and varied BS thread subjects?

Over many years now, Max has issued an invitation for the public to contribute to a part of his website, that he has set aside for this. The main responsibility of those, he has entrusted here with the ability to edit the contributions of others, is to enable all of these contributions to continue.

The less fuss and self-importance that is placed on public show whilst enabling the contributions of others to continue, the more likely it is that the forum will continue to evolve along with all of those contributions, in the fine, if rather unplanned way that it has up to now. Rather than being shaped by the selective implementation of so-called 'rules' and editing actions based on the personal tastes of certain individuals.

The concept of unknown volunteers judging the worth and deleting the contributions of the public has no place on our forum. Max has extended the invitation to the public for them to contribute, and posting as an unknown 'guest' to subsequently justify their right to judge and delete these contributions, and for their identity to remain secret and for this to be defended, is just not proportionate to the task that these individuals are entrusted with, by us and Max.

There may well be a need for a few (preferably those willing to be known and judged) to enable our contributions to continue. There is no need at all, for these individuals to feel they have any right to judge and control these contributions. A call for a little more humility from those who are encouraged to volunteer to judge us, may not be out of place.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 11:54 AM

Before this goes around the same pole over and over again....


May I offer a proposal?


I think The Shambles has just made his most succinct post about his thoughts on this matter. My proposal is that it be included in the FAQ thread as "some folks' view" of forum moderation policies, and that it also be included that anyone wanting to discuss Mudcat moderation policies further direct their comments to Max.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Tracey Dragonsfriend
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 12:47 PM

Max, Jeff, Joe and all the other Mudcat folks spend their time, energy & cash on the Mudcat. In that sense, it belongs to them, and I feel that they have a right to choose what that time, energy & cash is spent on maintaining.
I have a friend and colleague who runs a weblog, which is frequently "spammed" by all manner of nuisance posters. He routinely removes these (frequently deeply offensive) posts, stopping them using his site's popularity to gain search engine ranking and attract other unwelcome contributors.

I see this as much the same situation, albeit in a much "watered-down" form... if it's your "noticeboard", you control it's content as you see fit.

Cheers
Tracey


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:03 PM

A "conspiracy" just means that some relevant facts are not in full sight, and more than one person knows that. (McGrath, in another thread, volunteering a definition of conspiracy)

It's a conspiracy here by the clones! C O N S P I R A C Y !

Amos, BTW, don't you rue deeply meanwhile your refreshing of the other thread. You should have known the inevitable consequences. (grin)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Rain Dog
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:28 PM

What I find most disturbing about 'deleted' posts is the posts that are deleted before I have posted them.

I thought that things could get no worse. Now I find that posts are deleted before I have even written them.

What is going on ?

We have a right to know


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:36 PM

You too, Rain Dog? It gets worse you know, I have started to not even have the thoughts for posts I haven't had the chance to write before they are deleted.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:48 PM

"The whole fuss made about Guests was that many folk did not know who they were and this fact mattered to them. "

I don't actually think that is correct. The main issue, as I understnad it, has been that, when people post as GUEST without any kind of handle, it is impossible to know from post to post whether it is the same the same unnamed GUEST or a different one; and that makes for confusion and needless irritation in a discussion thread.

I haven't got the faintest idea who most Mudcatters are, in the big world. If they prefer to conceal their name and identity behind a pseudonym, either as a GUEST or as a member, that is of course their right. There are plenty of excellent reasons for doing that. Even if there weren't, it would still be their right to choose to do so. But we should never deliberately use a name under which anyone else has posted - and that is essentially what unnamed GUESTS are doing.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 01:55 PM

Maybe we need a third category - TBS.

T for Total, Trolling or Tendentious...


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

But we should never deliberately use a name under which anyone else has posted - and that is essentially what unnamed GUESTS are doing.

You seem to have simply and carefully ignored the new factor that is now being defended. That of one who volunteers and is accepted to judge and delete the postings of others. Who then posts (as a guest) to defend their actions but chooses to post as a guest in order to remain unknown....

Not sure what the nerdy internet term for this is? A Sniper, perhaps?

If the fact of unknown guests simply posting, is a problem for some of us, (for whatever reason) is there really a pressing need for such a additionally devisive measure such as this all this secrecy, to be justified and defended? Would it really be too much to ask anyone who wishes to volunteer to judge and delete the contributions of others, to be prepared to be identified? Even if this was just to ensure that we were talking to the same (editing) person?

Being known and operating openly is not a problem for many of our volunteers. Perhaps then this type of volunteer, who can at least be respected is all that is required?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: GUEST,Blind DRunk in Blind River
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 03:37 PM

I like deleted a post i n the backyard eh? Ya know why? Cos I kept walkin into it in the dark. Damn near busted my flippin nose! I deleted that mothe r with a chainsaw and the backyard now looks muxh better eh? I will delete posts for money. $10 a post. Call Shane.

- BDiBR


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Once Famous
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 05:27 PM

That is not a deleted post.

It is a cut down post.

There is a difference because you cut the post down your self, it wasn't done for you.

Oh, well. You are probably to drunk to care.

Tally Ho and away we go. see you next week with a brand new show.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 10:50 AM

Max, Jeff, Joe and all the other Mudcat folks spend their time, energy & cash on the Mudcat. In that sense, it belongs to them, and I feel that they have a right to choose what that time, energy & cash is spent on maintaining.
I have a friend and colleague who runs a weblog, which is frequently "spammed" by all manner of nuisance posters. He routinely removes these (frequently deeply offensive) posts, stopping them using his site's popularity to gain search engine ranking and attract other unwelcome contributors.

I see this as much the same situation, albeit in a much "watered-down" form... if it's your "noticeboard", you control it's content as you see fit.


I think the above would certainly sound reasonable to many, especially to some newer contributors - for when you come to a noticeboard etc, that has set 'rules' in place, you rather have to accept these terms. If you know you are entering a moderated site - you always have the choice. However I think that many (long-term) posters would be surprised to consider this forum to be moderated. For that reason, I would like to reply to your post in detail.

This is the part of the Mudcat Café set aside for contributions from the public. This is The Mudcat Discussion Forum. Most folk mean this forum when they refer generally to The Mudcat. But it is important to recognise the difference between all of the other aspects of the site (and how this is managed, which of course belongs to the site owner) and what I will continue to refer to as our forum.

The forum has evolved by ALL the strange and wonderful Mudcat folk who have contributed to it over many years now and in my view it now belongs more to all of them. Of course, the site owner can pull the plug at any time, but I hope he will not do this, or be forced to.

I have a great deal of admiration for the site owner, Max. He created The Mudcat and he invited the public in and to contribute to an open discussion forum on it. He has in the past referred this forum as 'a garden' he created for us to go and play in. He has also written to wonder why it appears to be so difficult for us and just go and play in the garden. To simply live and let live.

In time it was thought a good idea to introduce some additional help to enable to forum or to continue the gardening analogy, to introduce some gardeners. What has happened now is that there are even more gardeners and they appear to now consider that what is allowed to grow in the garden, is a matter only for them alone to judge and decide.

Over time, what was once simply guidance, protocol, good manners, consideration for others has been turned into what our gardeners will allow us the public to plant in a garden, given by the site owner to us – the public. Guidance given in what was designed simply as a FAQ, have now become hard and fast 'rules', (even if these 'rules' are only selectively enforced).

A perfectly acceptable concept of 'the management reserving the right to exclude contributions' has been turned into an automatic right for our volunteer gardeners delete the public's contributions, as and when they decide, on the grounds largely of their personal taste. Defended on the grounds that these contributions may offend some posters and these posters need our gardener's protection in advance, (even when the contributions are deleted simply because they are 'cut and pasted). Do they - or should they be allowed to decide first for themselves?

It is ironic that most of the problems that resulted in the idea that there was a need on our forum, for these volunteer gardeners, were related in some way with concerns of accountability or anonymity. Despite this, the latest idea being justified as necessary by our gardeners, it that they alone can judge the worth and delete the public's postings – but for some reason, that it is also acceptable and justified for these gardeners to remain anonymous. Although, to be fair, some are quite happy to be known and work openly.

To me, given the history, this is incredible. But worse still, attempting to justify all this, is a step too far. These value judgements and deletions of the public's contributions should need to made only on the very rarest of occasions. The management reserving the right to do this is sufficient. This is not the same as volunteers deleting the public's contributions to their forum, as a matter of routine.

The (fairly recent) introduction of the split between music related thread subjects and non-music (or BS) has really made all this divisive deleting of the public's contributions, totally unnecessary. That this is still willingly undertaken and justified as a matter of routine by anonymous volunteers, now threatens to present as much, if not more concern and division, than the original reasons these gardeners were introduced. I fear that things will only get even worse, if not addressed now.

Perhaps, as a start, all these volunteer gardeners (or judges) should at least be prepared to be identified and their activities confined to tidying up the garden, rather than throwing out the plants that the public have been invited (by the site owner) to plant there?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 11:39 AM

Good points, BUT we have to realise that Max owns this site and if he was not happy with the way "the gardeners" were doing their job, he would either ask them to do it differently, or sack them.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 02:26 PM

Yes John, I agree. We have to realise that Max owns the site.

Perhaps Max is not happy with the way the gardeners do their job? Or perhaps like many of us, he is not even too sure what their job actually is? Perhaps he will ask them to do it differently or even sack them, although I am not too sure if you can sack a volunteer? Perhaps they should just volunteer not to volunteer?

There is an old piece of advice about never volunteering for anything.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Jun 04 - 03:44 PM

Perhaps some are just unhappy at being sacked, off their meds, don't have much else to do but bitch here. It is like the seasons. We expect it from time to time.

I am pleased that this thread was started, as it gives some a place to fabricate and twist what happens. The simple facts are that Max lets this place run, relatively free of interference from the supposed monitors. The matter has been explained ad nauseum, isn't going to change, and if it did, there are those that would be unhappy with that as well. I guess I am saying that their are those among us who have a vested interest in finding something to bitch about.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 02:53 AM

If you look at the first post, you will see that this thread was started by a poster who wished to know the reasons why an unknown volunteer deleted their thread, without any warning or explanation.


I found this quote today, from Judge Gregory Wallace. Which suggests why there appears to be no shortage of those volunteering to be judges.

The thrill of hearing a jury return a guilty verdict is the ultimate sexual experience.

This at least, after a trial and a chance for the accused to have a say. Possibly this sexual experience is even more - if this Judge alone could decide guilt and pass sentence, without the bothersome process of a trial and jury?


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 01:28 PM

Yes: If you look at the first post, you will see that this thread was started by a poster who wished to know the reasons why an unknown volunteer deleted their thread, without any warning or explanation.
Not wishing to cloud this discussion with facts, but this thread was started with the assumption the thread had been deleted by a moderator, not 'an unknown volunteer' as such. The poster appears to have been unaware of the hierarchical format of the forum until later.

Further into the thread it is made clear that there was no method to advise the 'Drive-by poster' of the reason the thread was deleted. This was posted by a 'Guest' with no e-mail address given for contact. Clearly a member could expect to be told why a thread had been deleted, but this could be done by a PM (the equivalent to taking a member aside & saying "no offence meant, old chap, but that's not quite the way we do things here!")

However, having said that, I am in favour of some method of advising the whys & wherefores of thread deletion. Perhaps, as suggested a permathread on deleted threads (but would a Guest know where to find it?)
Or perhaps instead of instant deletion of a thread the Mudelves could be provided with a snazzy click & paste notice to put into the thread, explaining where to find the FAQs on acceptable thread content. At the same time the Mudelves would need to make the thread 'Closed', and possibly deactivate any URLs leading to questionable material.

Just my thoughts (given under my own name)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: dianavan
Date: 06 Jun 04 - 04:28 PM

Big Mick You said, "Max and Jeff's attitude is to let it roll, short of vicious personal stuff,..."

How does Martin Gibson slip through? Seems he has been vicious on several occassions - especially to women. Maybe if you had some women on staff, they would pick it up. I suppose that most men, just let it pass, thinking its some kinda funny.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:09 AM

However, having said that, I am in favour of some method of advising the whys & wherefores of thread deletion. Perhaps, as suggested a permathread on deleted threads (but would a Guest know where to find it?)

I would suggest that certainly the 'guest' who claims to have deleted the post in question should know. But the present FAQ does not say that posts will be automatically deleted, should they not follow a suggested guideline. The management reserving the right to do this, is not the same thing as the routine deletion of posts, by unknown volunteers. Perhaps this can now stop?

But what exactly was the problem that meant that this post had to automatically and quickly deleted? For if this action had not taken place, it would have been possible to post some advice (in green or even brown writing), explanation or even a warning.......A red card for a first offence is usually thought to be a little heavy.

As it was not abusive, could it have not safely been left on the forum, with an explanation as to why it was thought problematic?

If it was that it was just considered and judged to have been posted on the wrong part of the forum - why then was it not simply just placed in the right one?

This itself is questionable, as the post did contain a song or parody.

If it was because it was 'cut and pasted', could this 'guideline simply have been pointed out, rather than the post being deleted, without, explanation, advice or warning? Is this really the the way to treat guests that Max has invited to contribute to his site? This remains a guideline and that is perfectly sufficient. The vast majority of contributions do follow this guideline and because of this, the odd one that does appear is hardly too much of a problem. It is just another tool and sometimes this method is the only effective way of presenting information or starting or contributing to a debate and many posters are grateful for it. When our eagle-eyed volunteers miss it, anyway.

It is a bit like one guest excluding another from someone else's party, simply because they used the wrong fork. The editing action is just not proportionate to the problem and justifying the right for the volunteer not only to have taken the action but to post anonyomously to defend this, is simply not proportionate nor in the spirit of this forum. It looks to me, rather like control, for the sake of control by those that feel thay have the power to do so and have no intention of giving-up this power, no matter how divisive and unnecessary this is.
    As stated above:
    Actually, JoeClones delete posts only in certain limited circumstances. Usually, Jeff and I do that sort of editing. If Clones delete posts for other than duplications or technical reasons, they are supposed to report the deletion to Jeff or me, so we can review the decision.
    In the situation in question, the JoeClone followed established procedure properly; and Jeff and I approved the decision to delete the thread, both because it was a lengthy non-music copy-paste message and because it was racist.

    As to Dianavan's complaint: Yes, Martin Gibson's posts are often offensive. Occasionally, they are offensive enough that we decide to delete them. Usually, we don't delete posts just because they're offensive. We delete them because we think they will do harm. If we leave them up and have a nice little discussion about whether they will do harm or not, then the damage is done.

    And whether Shambles likes it or not, we have decided that we will not allow ourselves to be used as a platform for racism, especially for anonymous racist statements from those who do not have the courage to identify themselves.

    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 02:21 AM

Perhaps Joe you could in future confine any contribution you make to a thread, in the same way as all the other contributors. If you you do this, it will bring the thread up to the top. Thank you.

Your new comments (in brown) add very little but reinforce the division on our forum that you see between all the other contributors and what you refer to as 'WE'. The rest of us of course do not know who comprises of 'WE', we just have to be prepared at this point in our forums's evolution, to subject ourselves to this judgement or go away, as that is the choice you give us. For you make it clear that despite all of this secrecy you still expect our trust.

I think this to be totally bizzare, for where is your trust? As I don't know who the 'WE' is I will address the only name that I am sure of. You volunteer to stand in final judgement upon the contributors but appear to think that you are above judgement.

You attack the concept of being anonymous here.

From: Joe Offer - PM
Date: 01 May 04 - 02:36 PM

If you are a registered and known Mudcatter with a posting history, and you want to say something like that and take responsibility for what you say, that's another matter. We still reserve the right to delete the message (but we rarely do), but the decision isn't what I'd call a "no-brainer" any more. If you are known to the community, then you accept the consequences of how the community responds to what you have to say. That's not the case with anonymous posts - they're more like hit-and-run driving.


But go on to defend the concept, when it suits, in the face of concerns expressed by other contributors.

As for supervision of JoeClones, that's up to Max, and Jeff, and me. We have no reason to submit our selection or supervision of volunteers to public review. If we were to post a list of all the clones, then we'd subject ourselves to scrutiny every time we add or remove a volunteer, and every time we increase or limit a volunteer's responsibilities. What would be the good in doing that? >snip<

We're the ones who make the decisions. We have asked the JoeClones not to identify themselves when they edit because we want to take the responsibility for supervising them. They answer to us, not to the public scrutiny of the forum. That's why the "unrepentant clone" posted anonymously in his message above. Believe me, he's not a troll.

So, why is it that we should be obliged to offer a home for the post in question?


Why should I beleive you, in the case of this hit-and run? How do we know if the post did come from the volunteer who did the editing?

I think this post should be given a home because Max, the site owner has issued an invitation for the public to contribute to the part of his website, set aside for public discussion. They should be given the opportunity to decide if they wish to post to agree, disagree or to simply ingnore it. It is really that simple.

Can the volunteers be confined to openly enabling the public to make contributions, rather than be encouraged to sit in secret judgement of and take editing action based on this?
    I respond in this way because I do not want to bring the thread to the top.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 08:40 AM

Nice for some to have the choice (I suppose). Some of us can't even appear to get their front-door contributions to stay on the forum for very long.

It would be interesting to know the reasons why you would wish to contibute to a thread by the back-door, (at least twice) so as not to refresh it? If you you do not wish anyone to see your comments on a thread, there seems little point in making them there. Perhaps you could answer the following (in any colour you like)?

Can the volunteers be confined to openly enabling the public to make contributions, rather than be encouraged to sit in secret judgement of and take editing action based on this?
    Actually, Shambles, we like the way we deal with the Clones just fine. They know that they are supposed to delete messages in very limited situations, and that they are to consult with Jeff or me for review of their decisions. We prefer that they submit their decisions to us for approval, and not to the general forum. The number of JoeClone deletions is very small, but it does allow Jeff and Max and me time to do other things. Jeff and Max and I can see all deleted messages, so that acts as a control on the Clones. However, they are trusted people, and there has been very little need for control. They make deletions only when the need for deletion is clear, and they have done this very well.
    So, really, that's not the issue. How we supervise the Clones is our prerogative. We do supervise them, and it is quite obvious that they have been responsible in their work. If you have any complaint about their work, complain to Max, Jeff, or Joe. We take full responsibility for their work.
    The issue is whether we should be obliged to allow ourselves to be used as a platform for anonymous posts that are of a hateful nature - anti-Semitism and the like. Be mindful that if we give a home to this sort of stuff, Google and other search engines will identify us as as hate site, which will invite more. The other posts that are deleted are Spam, and copies of lengthy political stuff that is available elsewhere on the Internet. We also generally delete personal attacks.
    So, Shambles, that is is question. Why should we be obliged to offer a home to this stuff, which is generally available at other locations on the Internet?
    Answer the question, Shambles. Why should we play host to anonymous posts that are of a hateful nature? And if it's so important to you, why don't you establish a site to play host to them?
    Answer the question, Shambles. Put up, or shut up.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM

Sorry - I must have missed that last question. Perhaps it was because it was an editorial comment and not meant to refresh the thread.

Why should we play host to anonymous posts that are of a hateful nature?

Well I am not saying we should but that is part of the risks of running a public forum. But you do not seem to mind our forum hosting posts that are of a hateful nature. There are plenty of examples of these in personal attacks from yourself and others. These do not get deleted but they do set the example that if this practice is OK for you and your anonymous volunteers - it is OK for them also.


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 07:40 PM

For goodness sake - STOP!

Let's stop this bitching and get back to the REAL reason for this excellent, free and (usually) friendly forum.

Remember the real reason?

That's right - FOLK MUSIC.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Peace
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 07:47 PM

Give peace a chance . . . .


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Subject: RE: Lazy Moose
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 08:14 PM

The connection of politics and folk music is obvious but even a ballad to the spatula is potentially good as comic relief.
Half the time I don't know a connection my pictures might make but one never knows if one might turn into a new sea shanty with a little help.
http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/sail1.html


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Subject: RE: Deleted post
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Feb 05 - 08:27 PM

A dreadful division on this forum? Indeed there is, from where I'm sitting, and it looks like Shambles v. everybody else. Sorry Shambles, right or wrong you lose, and the majority wins, so for God's sake change the record.

DT


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