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No Pedophiles, No Ethnic Hate Groups, and No Child Abusers

I have always supported freedom of speech and expression and I have always felt censorship in any manner is a very dangerous and slippery slope for anyone to travel down. I cannot in good conscience watch Experience Project turn from a wonderful social forum of people sharing their experiences and trying to provide support and advice to other people into a site that allows stories/posts/images/etc. that in any way, shape, or form try to make **********, abuse (animal, child, spousal, whaever), and other socially abhorrent behavior 'acceptable'. I would ask other members to echo my comments and perhaps the EP adminstrators will listen to our concerns. I have heard other members voice concerns about the direction EP seems to be heading the last few months and I too dread that it becomes an uncomfortable place for so many of us that have found enormous comfort and friendship on this site. Thank you for your time.

Shoreboy Shoreboy 41-45, M 35 Responses Jul 9, 2009

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I'm actually entertaining the thought that EP staff is made up of pedophiles. Why else wouldn't they have eliminated that threat yet?

You know what I never realized I hadn't updated this. I guess I was just so disappointed myself I 'forgot' unconsciously to tell everyone. We were 'shot down' by EP. I don't blame them and the reason made perfect sense but it's still a disappointment. They simply don't want to be known even remotely as a site that allows censorship in any form. Can't argue that one really.

I totally support banning these groups.

Great post. Sign me up as well.

M0oooo - Yep, I've already discussed that with them... we aren't the first to have some concerns obviously... lol... They immediately reacted positively to many of our ideas, but needless to say want to see more 'nuts and bolts' before any kind of implementation plan could be created.<br />
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CE - lol... I'm pretty sure that wouldn't make the 'criteria' list, but you're welcome to give them the 'great raspberry' from me if you like... tthhhbbbbppppttttt<br />
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CaptianMac - It's not a matter of 'legality' as with the free speech provisions in the US Constitution none of what we're discussing is 'illegal' it's just the topics/groups/comments that are so heinously 'unsocial' we would like to have some input on whether they are allowed to post in this forum. Obviously, any and all illegal actions EP will absolutely jump all over, but as an example it isn't illegal to discuss 'NAMBLA's 'topics' due to free speech, but I'm pretty sure a majority of EP members would probably prefer that 'Man/Boy Love approval' not be a topic on this site. This is more what we're suggesting... giving topics/groups/comments the 'sniff test' to impose some form of control to ensure the main 'thrust' of EP remain a socially positive force.

A "volunteer police force"? Oh goody, can I join and censor all the posts that advocate censorship?

Gang,<br />
I apologize for the delay in getting this plan together! I've had several unanticipated personal and professional obligations crop up in the last week. Hopefully, I should be able to finalize this over the weekend get it posted up for your perusal. Thanks for your patience!<br />
SB

Exactly! You two have hit upon the one truly 'risky' issue... at what point are we stopping a useful and enlightening conversation from going forward despite the 'controversial' topic at hand? That is why I'm going to do my best in developing the 'basic plan' for everyone to beat up and find the flaws. One of the major aspects of that plan will be that any 'moderation' would be 'after the fact' and not 'mid-stream' so to speak. People WILL be offended on this site, and will find comments not only distasteful but downright appalling upon occasion. My goal is to ensure that those users, comments, and group creations that fall outside a 'comfort zone' for the bulk of our users be asked to post on more targeted websites for those topics. I KNOW we won't always get it right, but if we improve things even a little bit I think it's worth the effort, no? Thanks guys for your comments and keep them coming as they are extremely helpful in my formation of a 'basic plan'.

I guess that's part of the reason why, as Shoreboy suggests, we also have to "police the police" per se. :) So long as the community can also review what's getting flagged and what isn't, then hopefully it will help us prevent censorship as you say. I don't think anyone can stop other members from posting nasty comments on your stories, GA (and I remember the one you're referring to) - but that's a part of free speech on this site too. People have a right to say that they're upset, even if you feel that they're missing the point somewhat. Such is life, I'm afraid...

Good luck Shoreboy. It sounds like you've got your heart in the right place and you're willing to put some work behind it, so that's great.<br />
Personally, I prefer a more ad hoc approach - keeping aware, posting comments of dissent on ob<x>jectionable sites and informing EP & police where appropriate.<br />
I'm not 100% convinced about the "volunteer police" idea, although you've obviously put a lot of thought behind it.<br />
That's because when I tried to make some points about paedaphilia as a topic myself, I got a lot of comments saying that I was sick, should be ashamed of myself, etc etc. It made me doubt that many people have the judgement to actually tell the difference between discussion of these topics, and encouraging hurtful and abusive behaviour. So I guess I'm worried that these anonymous police might misuse their powers.<br />
That said, I could be wrong. I like it that your trying to make EP a safer place.<br />
Peace,<br />
GA.

That sounds good. Count me in. :)

@OGND - Yep... I'm certainly advocating a serious project both for any 'Volunteer Moderators' and for EP to undertake. The tack I intend to take with EP is that we aren't trying to create criteria that have any basis in 'legality' but rather a simple 'sniff test' if you will. One of the suggestions will be a quarterly review of all 'super flags' to see if there is a 'slant/bias' beginning to happen that crosses over from 'tasteful moderation' into censorship. I agree that we are discussing a very slippery slope here and I will be the first to admit there are certain topics it will be difficult for me to 'pass over' as distasteful but certainly not beyond the bounds of free speech. In other words I do not want EP to become a 'nanny site' in which a free flowing discussion about a topic some find uncomfortable is continually disrupted by a moderator. I think we can at least give it a try and approach EP with our suggestions and willingness to volunteer our time to help EP continue to be predominantly a place of comfort and support for the majority of the users.

I think you've certainly got your work cut out for you on this one, Shoreboy, but I commend your willingness to start the ball rolling. I can't imagine that it will be easy to form a solid line to show what is ob<x>jectionable and what is not. As Picard says: what about people advocating mental-health standpoints which might appear to be matters of personal choice, like encouraging anorexia or encouraging a schizophrenic to stop their meds? These are matter of personal conscience, and not illegal, but they have the potential to cause real damage to some particularly fragile lives. How long will it take before a few depressed EPeeps start a suicide advocacy group - or even a mass suicide pact? I guess that this is something that we all have to agree upon as a community. A lot of us came here seeking support for life choices which other people in real life may find strange or ob<x>jectionable - and that needs to be taken into consideration - but hopefully without putting others at risk.<br />
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I'd be quite happy to join the EP volunteer police force - and I've certainly never been flag-happy as a member. :) There are a lot of things on here that I find distasteful, but I try to apply the acid test: if it's not going to put someone's life at risk, then I should probably let it be. I don't even think that hurt feelings would be enough of a reason for me to want to flag a post - but as I said, I guess those are just terms that we need to agree upon as a community.<br />
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I'd like to hope that we also get some back-up support and advice from EP itself. I'm sure that the staff already have criteria that they use to determine what is ob<x>jectionable and what is not. I suspect that you're right - that EP currently doesn't have the resources to police itself with any diligence - relying instead on simple filters and adult firewalls (which plenty of people here have figured out how to get around). That's got the potential to cause the site some real embarrassment (and legal problems) if it gets out of hand - but more than that, it's got the potential to destroy our community as a whole. At the moment, we can flag ob<x>jectionable members, only to have them come back straight away. That's something that's outside of our control as members - and I'd like to hope that EP can work on improving that security in the future. I'm a business person too, and I understand that resourcing such a change may simply be outside of the realm of possibility at the moment.<br />
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As with any business, it's quite important that EP recognizes the problem though, and makes continued efforts to mitigate it. Every company needs improvement. The measure of a business if often in how openly it admits its mistakes and fights the inevitable fires. That's how you build a strong and trusted brand. If we can help them with that in any way, I'd like to make sure that we do. We have ownership of this problem too.

CHP - I agree that is the type of thing that could possibly fall underneath the category 'socially abhorrent' behavior. The 'borderline' things would be a discussion group about anorexic behavior where people try to discuss their illness seeking others who share it for support... then a particular comment 'crops up'. This will be covered by a weekly 'Volunteer Moderators' con call and vote... hopefully, we don't end up restricting someone's ability to get advice, consolation, etc. but keep unhealthy behavior from being advocated... it isn't going to be easy and I'm sure we will make mistakes along the way, but as long as we improve things I think it will be a worthwhile effort!

AirborneDevil - While many countries have legislation that you mentioned the USA for the most part does not. Our constitutional amendment that guarantees free speech has rarely been successfully challenged, thus even if someone did post something the fact that the post was 'anonymous' gives them enormous protection. They only have to claim it was a 'fantasy story' and even if someone confessed to a crime it would very difficult for the authorities in our country to prosecute them.

Nobody wants to censor, but I think everyone can agree that there are harmful elements here and some things just don't pass the sniff test. That's a bad analogy when considering the diaper people, but you get my drift. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...<br />
I commend you for not only starting this group, but also for coming up with actual ideas that the EP staff could consider implementing.

treeteeg - Yes, but I do believe that EP has created the 'adult section' precisely for a group like that... I agree I find the concept distasteful at a minimum, but I do support their freedom of speech to say it. Kind of like enjoying BDSM... while it's certainly not for everyone it IS between consenting adults, thus not really our business. On the other hand... comments supporting 'honor killings' that some cultures are ambivalent about I don't think have any purpose or reason to be posted on EP. These are the kinds of discussions that will have to happen before a 'criteria list of ob<x>jectionable items' can be finalized.

I'm with you:-)

Where do i sign? you definately have my support, my friend!! well done to you,

Okay gang... it sounds like a potential consensus is starting to build. I'm going to contact EP directly via all methods in order to present our ideas and opinions. Hopefully, we'll have at least some response by early next week I can bring to the group. One thing... this site is designed to be anonymous. I'm going to make it a requirement for the 'volunteer moderators' to remain so... there is no purpose of having a volunteer then be hounded by complaints or suggestions that would make this a 'chore' rather than a 'pleasure'. I would ask EP to create an email 'distribution group' that would then forward comments, suggestions, complaints, and requests to a rotating 'sub-committee' of the volunteers for that month to review during a monthly conference call. I know this is beginning to sound complicated, but I'm convinced if we approach them with a 'plan of action' rather than just a 'shot in the dark' idea we will have a much better chance of success. I'll come up with a 'basic structure' and then you guys beat the crap out of it to find the flaws... no complaining about the structure unless you have a suggestion on how to improve/replace it though!! Anybody can 'b!tch' about something, but unless you have truly constructive criticism that is all it is. Thanks Gang! I've got some work to do this evening, but I'll definitely have something in place over the weekend for us to look at. I will go forward, however, with contacting EP no later than Monday, July 13 with at least our ideas and the promise that real planning will be forthcoming. Thank you all for being willing to help us all make this a place we can continue to be proud of and enjoy!

Count me in too!

I agree

Shoreboy, I'm on board....full support<br />
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i'd also be willing to offer an hour a DAY to help moderate this site and get rid of the ob<x>jectionable topics, particularly paedophiles

I know of places where members who have show themselves to be responsible have been made moderators.<br />
Paedophilia should have no place here.<br />
It's not easy but clearly "Hate Groups" are not desirable not just because of what they say they hate (gays, ethnic minorities etc) to rather than merely disagree with but also because of the attitudes there presence here brings.

No form of abuse is acceptable and should be tolerated within a group on any website or anywhere.Hideous, im on board shoreboy no Problemo :-)

@chipmunk Ernie - The list of 'ob<x>jectionable' topics would have to be agreed upon and created by EP. Obviously, I don't want to 'censor' any more than absolutely necessary. There would be no 'group/topic/comment curtailment' in regards to any particular 'position' i.e. Just because someone wants to discuss the Roman Catholic Church's failure to address the ********** and child molestation of it's priests and lay members would not automatically mean that group couldn't be created. There is clearly a fine line and I think a 'short list' of 'borderline' items could be created on a monthly basis and then the 'volunteer moderators' would be asked to vote on them... majority rules and then we move on. I know this is difficult and tricky to implement properly without becoming either a 'nanny site' or a 'slanted site', but I think it's worth making the effort at least!

@M0ooo - It may be as Tshooter says.. it's not a matter of their not wanting to.. it may be they simply don't have the resources to. Ergo, my volunteer moderator idea I have posted... I think if we approach this properly with enough 'long term' and 'newbie' members involved they will understand.. after all their membership count is what helps them generate ad revenue dollars. Appealing to the pocketbook usually works... lol.

@Tshooter - You may be correct in the thought that EP may not have the ability to fund enough moderators.... that is why one of my suggestions to them will be to ask for volunteers from the community. Would any of you be willing to volunteer say 1 hour every other month? If enough of us do this (a few hundred out of thousands upon thousands of members) we could 'cover' the entire month. Moderation would only involve a 'special flag' that would then 'whittle down' the number of truly ob<x>jectionable groups/comments that a then 'administrator' level EP employee could either delete and/or 'lock'. That means you would be responsible for 'surfing' through the site for ob<x>jectionable content 6 hours per year... I think all of us spend almost that much time per month surfing through the content on this site... you would just 'super flag' anything that met certain criteria agreed upon in advance. Perhaps EP would be willing to 'post a report' to the volunteers each month so we would have evidence that our efforts were making this a better place for all of us... keep us motivated so to speak. I'm game... anyone else?

I have to agree about the ********* thing, but you worry me with that "socially abhorrent" concept. There are obviously people here who would ban gay subjects, various religious views, political views, etc. as "socially abhorrent" in their point of view. Who's to choose? The geniuses who run EP? Doesn't sound like many people here trust their judgment. A dictatorship of the majority of members? <br />
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I think the best idea is is to continue flagging individual stories as you see them. Personally, the only way I've ever run across one of the ********* stories is because people are always pointing them out to everyone they know so they can be flagged.

I've joined, Shoreboy. Bless you.