anybody know of communities that dont excessively moderate or censor?
tildes looks interesting but the founder says, "it will also never be described as anything like "an absolute free speech site".
i would love to find a community that moderates harrassment, actual hate speech, and threats, but nothing else. for example ive seen comments deleted here on hn related to drug culture, presumably because a drug is illegal in the usa.
in other words, a community interested in truth, no matter how messy it is.
You realize a lot of people consider moderating harassment, hate speech and threats to simply be a pretext for excessive moderation though, right?
Almost every thread about $site's moderation policy devolves into arguments about whether "actual hate speech" even exists (there are people who consider what other people consider hate speech to be "messy truth" after all), or whether any form of moderation can exist on a site that claims to support free speech.
The standard you're setting isn't an unrealized ideal - it's how many online communities already work, and those communities are still rejected because the boundaries they set are inevitably boundaries others consider intolerable.
There are few, if any, sites on the open web which allow "absolute free speech" because that, by definition, would allow hate speech, threats, open discussion of pedophilia and and other illegal activity. And honestly, almost no one wants that except the assholes, pedos and criminals. Even setting the bar to "anything, so long as it isn't illegal" is tricky, because legality varies from place to place, and the site owner is bound to follow the laws of wherever the server is (AFAIK.)
> example ive seen comments deleted here on hn related to drug culture, presumably because a drug is illegal in the usa
I've seen plenty of pro-drug content here, and people discussing their use openly. I doubt there is widespread censorship on that basis, more likely someone was being uncivil. Although arguably requiring civility is, itself, a kind of censorship.
Also, threads here are never actually deleted, just marked as dead. You can still see them with showdead turned on.
i could just as easily say, "almost no one wants a hacker discussion forum". "hackers" are a small subset of society.
it's fine for hn to exist and cater to this group, right? yet here, humor, satire, and a variety of "OK" things to discuss and share are considered off-topic and not permitted.
just like when hn started and people thought it would just turn into reddit, i do think its possible for a forum where free speech is celebrated to not turn into a nazi club.
i'm glad we have law abiding individuals in society. but make no mistake, laws and morals are not equal, and indeed if we cannot have a space to discuss things that are illegal but possibly moral, we're talking dystopia
>if we cannot have a space to discuss things that are illegal but possibly moral, we're talking dystopia
There are plenty of spaces to discuss such things, but not every space is obliged to play by those rules. And if you can't find one, nothing is stopping you from making one.
At the end of the day, every site is a petty dictatorship. That's true for HN, Reddit, Voat, 4chan, 8chan, the deep web, the dark web, wherever - whomever owns the site makes the rules and has arbitrary control over the content (unless the law says otherwise, or regardless of the law in some cases.) But not even the big social media silos control the entire thing. Google might derank my site, but they can't take it off the web (assuming they don't host it, somehow.) My hosting provider might take my site off the web, but I can find another.
of course sites have their own policies. not sure i agree that "there are plenty of spaces to discuss such things". don't see many examples in this thread; only "gab" is mentioned as being tolerant of controversial/illegal subjects, and man, is it getting blasted for it. wikipedia describes it as a "haven for neo-nazis". yikes!
isn't there room for something simpler?
for example here on HN, was a discussion about staying motivated to work on challenging stuff. a comment about cocaine was deleted. well, the truth is, plenty of lawyers straight-up depend on that stuff, the way programmers depend on JAVA. why is this comment deleted? because it's bad? illegal? might tempt some kids to try it and ruin their life? whatever the reason for the censorship, the truth is being hidden aka “showdead".
so there are a couple of inter-related things going on here that i'd love to see addressed by a community, if not this community:
1. transparency. lobsters does this well. if there is going to be moderation and censorship, be transparent about it, and about why its happening. every change a mod makes on lobsters includes a "commit message" explaining the action. conversely users on hn get banned and may not even know..
2. free speech is about more than providing a space for neo-nazis and trolls and otherwise people who belong in jail or segregated from society. i think the analog is the academic vs the corporate world. we have scientists using up public money to think about stuff that may never have any actual value to society. but we enshrine their ability to do that work because its necessary in order to make discoveries. similarly, actual thought, genuine knowledge, which should be the end-goal of any discussion that is not merely rhetoric, ought to be concerned with arriving at some kind of truth or truthful conclusion. we can't do that if we are too broad with our censorship, as evidenced with the cocaine comment. pretending cocaine doesn't exist doesn't make you right when everything you've read says that tea is the most powerful stimulant.
3. to krapps point about petty dictators -- yes, indeed, and that's important so that communities can have identities and topics and focus and not just decay into noise. but it seems that providers -- you mention google, hosting companies, ISPs, etc -- all play it safe, and are absolutely not interested in participating in the free speech debate at all. thus they are very much gatekeepers. no, you cannot get popular online while being blacklisted on google, or kicked around from one host to another (at least it must be an order of magnitude more difficult, esp for niche communities). even self-hosting is not really a viable option. academic institutions are an option here, but i do worry about it changing in the future.
agreed; i think its also probably exacerbated in certain cases due to the small (single?) qty of moderators on hn (ie strong potential bias); similar issues happen on wikipedia, where subject matter experts occassionally butt heads with editors
Humor is also not forbidden here. It's just hard to pull off, but I've had the occasional humorous remark upvoted by a good bit. (I've also gotten plenty of humorous remarks downvoted. It's hard to play to this crowd in that way.)
I'm a demographic outlier. I often stick out like a sore thumb. I've had to work at figuring HN out. It didn't come naturally.
I try to not take things too personally and to remember it's a forum with a whole lot of traffic, so you are occasionally going to get downvotes or not great replies just due to "laws of large numbers" kind of thing.
An awful lot of humor is either really ugly stuff or vacuous. Either of those violates the guidelines here. Trying to be funny without being either ugly or vacuous sets the bar pretty high on what you can successfully joke about.
what you describe is basically just Reddit, but with the people nobody wants to talk to on Reddit ... so mostly just the people you don't want to talk to on Reddit talking to each other,which has no mass appeal
lots of things exist without mass appeal: hn, brussel sprouts, speedos, etc.
the real reason free speech forums don't exist isn't because "nobody" would use it. i suspect its merely the safest thing to do legally. nobody wants to get sued for some controversial content. simple as that.
I personally seek the most undesirable opinions in the depths of the worst comment sections - because there's knowledge about the world to be gleaned from all of that that I'll use as a competitive advantage against someone who couldn't be bothered to read something "icky" for a few seconds.
There's no hivemind. Calling an opposing view part of a hivemind implies that people who disagree with you are either following a script or are incapable of agency, self-awareness or independent thought, when they simply hold opinions and values different from your own.
I use HN with showdead on by default, and I sometimes post a userscript for people to uncensor comments and I've complained about the greying out of downvoted comments often ... I understand wanting to read everything and make your own decisions about what's worth reading rather than have others make them for you. However, most of what winds up flagged deserves to be.
Look at the flagged comment at the bottom of this thread, for example. It's just a rant against the "global socialist LEFT." There's nothing there that no one has read before. Even if you agree with the "validity" of the opinion, it's just stereotypical anti-leftist edgelord nonsense.
And now and then, albeit rarely, perfectly legitimate and inoffensive comments do get flagged. I try to vouch them when I can. But even then, I have yet to see anything I'd consider a true jewel in the rough.
There seems to be a trend among people to consider content that goes against the establishment to be inherently more valuable than that which goes with it, as if offensiveness maps to truth. Seek the bottom of the barrel out if you want, but I think it's a mistake to expect enlightenment from it.
On sites like Reddit and HN, hiveminds absolutely occur from the voting algorithm. Content that caters to the lowest common denominator of the site or subreddit is what ends up at the top, and people with differing views stop expressing their views due to social pressure. Plus the owners of all social media sites have a financial incentive to influence the trends of the site and its users.
I'm not saying alternative viewpoints and free speech sites are all sugar and flowers, because they often are filled with deplorable content. I do feel, however, that they serve a purpose in providing alternatives to the corporate.
I co-run a discourse community that basically operates on these rules. Absolutely nobody has been banned and weve had many...odd people come by at one point or another. Id rather not name it but I think the kind of thing youre describing is less rare than you think. It just relies on your existing userbase having thick skin and the willingness to self-moderate and come up with creative solutions for problematic users.
I would advise against sorting by new on /r/programming. It's constantly bombarded with low quality content and people spamming low-quality tutorials and homework problems/solutions. /r/programming has something of an identity crisis.
Lobsters is a really good site. The invite setup they have has been keeping the quality good, but they need a better way to get them out. I've been a lurker for a while now since they don't have a queue type system.
I'm not kidding. I just came here from writing, elsewhere, about this very topic and mentioned that I thought HN has drifted--liberal, left leaning--over the years but not as bad as most and doesn't seem to have as many posts by kid pretenders.
Just few weeks ago I started a Slack workspace mvphacks.slack.com for all developers working on their MVPs, or developers who want to join with other developers to build their ideas together.
The aim is to allow developers to create their own channel for the project they are working on. The developers can then post about their project or idea under the "general" channel to invite others to their channel for participating in their project or idea.
The most interesting questions (which made StackOverflow awesome in the past would be swiftly closed today because they are not specific enough or are highly opinionated. They are free to do so, of course, but it's a bit sad.
I'm working on developing a new community (currently in stealth mode) associated with a well-known publication. Please let me know what you would like in a community forum (Discourse based). We're #deplatforming and want to make a place where great discussions happen.
The discourse community is in desperate need of more plugin development I think. Maybe your forum can foster some discussion on plugins or some in a subcategory or something. Alternatively, it could be a subcategory to specifically discuss discourse, as I feel like there could probably be more places to do that. I just think discussion on discourse is probably shut down a little quickly on the actual forum and that organic discussion from HN-type posters might lead to something that could benefit discourse admins who are interested in more, I guess you could say creative? uses for discourse. Theres just a big hole where bots and category customization and feature toggling could be, and I feel like Im probably not the only discourse admin who thinks that.
"laarc is a tech mashup of Hacker News and Reddit by two long time fans of both forums.
The initial impetus behind the site is a desire to try to recapture the early spirit of Hacker News. HN currently has about 5 million visitors a month. It's different than it was back in the day when it was a much smaller group of people.
We're aiming for a cross between Pinboard and HN: a central place for all your bookmarks, with the ability to make private submissions. (pg mentioned that he used HN for all of YC's internal software in the early days; it's handy to have a place to keep all of your notes!)"
It's going to fundamentally be a different group of people and that will make it different.
Some technical differences:
It uses tags to try to categorize stuff somewhat. Unlike on HN, your threads page also has links to your posts, a feature I requested probably at a point where it was basically me and the guy coding it up kicking around ideas for a forum.
It's grown substantially in a short period of time, but it's still very new and if you want to shape a forum into a place with the kinds of discussion that interests you, it's an opportunity to do that.
2. Submissions go straight to the front page. This won't last, but everyone has shown restraint and good taste so far. If something catches your interest and teaches us about the world, it's probably a good fit for the site; go ahead and submit it.
3. You can tag stories as whatever you want. Some of my favorites are:
The app is pretty great for reading HN as well, so we're hoping to maybe offer both a site reader and an HN reader.
We have an Android plan too.
7. Much of the community hangs out in our Discord server: https://bit.ly/2URZcOx (There are some top-shelf programming memes in the #silliness channel. Feel free to append to it.)
8. Private submissions. If you submit to /l/private, no one can see the submission except you. I've been using the site as a personal bookmarking service, and I find myself using it more often than Pinboard nowadays. https://bit.ly/2WURqW0
(There's still the question of how to import 4,000 bookmarks from pinboard. not sure yet. https://bit.ly/2BulZsu)
3. A vibrant community with quality conversation. You might like burntsushi's comment about his two-way string matching studies: https://bit.ly/2TE6VPT
4. You can show your projects and ask the community whatever you want. (The only threshold for a Show submission is that you have to have put significant work into whatever you're showing. That said, you don't need to have something for people to play with. It can be an idea you've been working on, an unfinished side project, or a full product launch.)