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posted by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the #define-soylentnews dept.

You know, this is probably one of the hardest things I've had to write since we went live. My first few attempts just lead to writer's block and frustration, so I tried to take a different tack with this and do it the way I usually do my write-ups for anything; by the seat of my pants. The staff have poked and prodded my early attempts, and I think we're ready to open this up to everyone to add their two cents in as we work towards a final version.

Since we've gone live almost three months ago (yeash, time flies), we've already had our fair share of debates, strife, and conflict, yet at the end of the day we remain operational with an involved community that keeps growing day after day. As I continue my relocation to NH, we're getting scary close to the point we're going to need to start drafting the bylaws and operating principles for this site. One of the pressing questions that have been asked time and time again is, "What will we be?" I'm ready to give you that answer.

Without further ado, let me present the current draft copy of the site manifesto. I'll read through and debate feedback below, and keep refining this until it becomes the defining statement for what SN will be.

SoylentNews Manifesto: Version 0.1

Preamble:

In recent years, many alarming trends have surfaced regarding the free interchange of news and ideas on the internet. The practice of selling users' information for profit, without their approval or even knowledge, has become rampant. People are being prosecuted simply for expressing their opinions. A "Big Brother is Watching" mentality from both state and commercial actors, with universal surveillance now becoming common, has created a chilling effect, preventing people from exercising their rights or speaking up.

Unpopular or unusual views are being actively suppressed, diversity of opinion is too often deemed a problem, and actively restricted, at the whim of corporate and political power.

Too often, the focus upon profit has led to owners forgetting that sites exist for the benefit of their community, and the leadership and staff live to serve that community.

Too often, useful help and input from a site's community is ignored by staff and management who are so out of touch with the very people they serve that they will destroy the support of the community they built, and eventually the business itself.

Statement of Purpose

Our aim is to stand in stalwart opposition to these trends. We will be the best site for independent, not-for-profit journalism on the internet, where ideas can be presented and free discussion can take place without external needs overshadowing the community.

Our Principles

Right to Privacy

We will limit the amount of data collection we do whenever and however we can.

Our user database, and the information in it, is not, and never will be for sale.

Any data collection we do will be done with the consent of the community, and destroyed once we are finished with it.

Any information we collect for legal purposes (i.e., DCMA safe harbor protections) will be destroyed as soon as legally possible.

We will continuously look at ways to shore up users' privacy, including, but not limited to, the tor proxy presently available to our users.

Right of Opinion

Diversity will be respected and encouraged as an important aspect of our community, as groupthink can easily prevent people from seeing other, perhaps better, ideas.

Except as required by law, no one will be banned or have their comments deleted due to stating a fact or opinion, no matter how unpopular or repugnant it is. We will not ban or silence a user for merely stating an opinion.

Freedom of Access

Access to information needs to be available to all members.

We will, to the extent possible, attempt to accommodate members of this site with disabilities, such as those dependent on screen readers.

Content produced by this site shall be available in a format that does not require proprietary or patented software. Non-free methods of access in addition may also be provided for sake of convenience (i.e., a YouTube video)

Freedom from Financial Backers/Handling Advertising

Media can be influenced by those who fund it; to prevent us from becoming slaves to a new overlord, the LibreNews Foundation shall be funded independently by the member sites (such as SoylentNews) which comprise it.

Should fundraising efforts prove insufficient, at the discretion of the staff, we may run advertising on this site in an attempt to supplement income.

No attempt to block access to this site shall be made by those who use ad-blocking software, though we urge such users to subscribe.

Permissions granted by the user to this site shall not extend to other sites (i.e., if you give us permission to email you, we're not going to give anyone else permission to do so).

Third-party media hosted on this on this site shall be limited to a form which is non-distracting, and non-disrupting.

Freedom of Topic

We recognize that the free flow of ideas can only take place in an environment free of taboo subjects.

No topic will be deemed unsuitable for our community to discuss.

Right to Criticize/Right of Reversion

A true community can only exist when communication can flow in both directions.

The right of our community to criticize, make suggestions, and help us improve our site will be respected. No staff or leader will ever be above criticism.

We recognize that mistakes will be made, as we are all human. It is both the right and privilege of others to correct us when needed.

If serious errors are made, we promise to revert them and fix the problems.

Related Stories

Meta: SN Financial "Stretch Goal" 2015 25 comments

Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters, we have exceeded our financial goal for this period! This period covers the second half of 2015, so we still have a few months before this period is over. Up until now, the only thing we have budgeted for was immediate and expected expenses (hosting, tax preparation, domain registrations, etc.). While we have been luckily staying ahead of these projected expenses by a small margin (about 10% in the first half of the year), it appears we have an opportunity to exceed the goal set for this period. Subsequently, we had the idea of a stretch goal. There are quite a few things that we could use this money for (not for more more servers.)

One of the biggest "expenses" that we rarely discuss is the initial capital outlay that went into the site's startup costs — $3,417 coming out of the personal accounts of our staff. Of course, we aim to reimburse these sizable contributions. Though they have noted that they wished us to first focus on making the site self-sustaining, it appears we are already doing that.

Another possible use for "extra" funds would be to have some money on hand for lawyers. We often talk about how any kind of lawsuit or legal proceedings would be a huge financial burden on us. We do try to avoid any case that may invite that; for example, we are registered for DMCA requests, we take steps so that we are not breaking laws here in the USA (etc.). However, even if we are following the laws/guidelines exactly, that does not rule out the possibility of a lawsuit, so it would be ideal that we had some funds in case such a situation ever arises.

Further down the road we would love to be able to compensate some of our dedicated — and so far entirely volunteer staff — many of whom have been working tirelessly on this site since it went live; taking time away from their lives and families so that we can have this community. This is a "for the future" thing. It would have its own quirks and issues that we would have to figure out. It's a nice-to-have-problem in case we ever do have the extra capital. Surely, having a few paid employees, at least, would help ensure the long-term viability of the site, as well as open up the opportunity to really improve and expand on what we are trying to do here.

For this stretch goal we are aiming for an additional $2,000. This should cover any unexpected costs that come up in the way of taxes for last year (yes, we are still working to finish up the filing for last year) and give us a buffer that we could just leave in the bank for now. If things continue financially in this direction (or even grow), then we can start to use this money to begin to pay back the the startup costs for the site, and keep a few dollars on hand for things that come up in the future.

I also wanted to mention that we are working on getting direct credit card payments possible through Stripe for those that prefer not to use PayPal. Though we don't have a timeline yet, it is in the pipeline.

Once again, I am personally astounded by the support that we have seen since we went live in February of 2014: over a quarter-million comments as well as all the submissions, volunteers, and subscribers — the feeling of being a part of this is hard to describe. So thank you all for being you.

-mrcoolbp

Expanding SN: Adding Community Nexuses 77 comments

I've long wanted SoylentNews to have much more in terms of content, and user participation. Many discussion sites such as reddit allow users to create their own independent communities-within-communities and as of the rehash upgrade, we've finally laid down most of the fundamental ground work for us to do the same. Right now, we have two nexuses, Meta, and Breaking News, and plans to add more. As one can see, by browsing these nexuses directly, you can see the intended communities-within-communities effect we want to generate. Right now, users can configure their home page to exclude or include nexuses they are directly interested in.

To clarify, rolling out community nexuses will not impact the main page; the intent of this upgrade is to allow more niche topics to have their own place of discussion and allow users to customize their home page as they see fit. For instance, if we have a nexus about Minecraft, you could elect to have those posts show up on the main page. To prevent us from falling into pitfalls experienced by other sites, I want to make sure we get the dialog going on this now and have a firm plan to hit the ground running. Our community defines this site and without that we are nothing, so we both want to make sure we do this right and provide opportunities to give back.

Overall, here's what I want to discuss

  • Avoiding Community Fragmentation
  • Community Governance
  • Monetization and Revenue Sharing
  • In Closing

Check past the fold for more information.

Upgrade Plans: Slashcode 15.03/Rehash 15.04 54 comments
As we get past our first anniversary, its time to sit back and talk about future site updates. While I alluded to it in a journal post, we're getting ready to roll out a fairly large update to the site, which is in line with the first major update we made in April 2014. For those of us who were with us back then, you'll likely remember that the site finally got to 'mostly usable' status with that upgrade which fixed many of the broken CSS (such as users.pl) and the like.

Given the unique nature, we're breaking it into two parts. The first is Slashcode 15.03, which is mostly a housekeeping/bugfixing update. This will be the final update of the legacy mod_perl 1 branch, and our final update using Slashcode. Here's what you can expect with this feature-packed installment.

Slashcode 15.03 - Changelog
  • Moderation Improvements (better handling of Spam mods, template fixes, etc) (credit: TMB)
  • Require prior moderation to use Overrated/Underrated (credit: TMB)
  • No karma hits for someone moderated Overrated/Underrated (credit: TMB)
  • Add karma floor of 10 to be able to down mod, tweakable in vars (credit: TMB)
  • Monthly and Semiannual Subscriptions (credit: paulej57)
  • User Selectable Pricing, with minimum (credit: paulej57)
  • Auto Renewing Subscription option from PayPal (credit: paulej57)
  • Reorganized the moderation dropdown list to avoid miss-moderations (credit: paulej57)
  • Mod-bomb detection page for admins: this can now get you banned from moderating the same as if you'd abused Spam (credit: paulej57)
  • Closed out the following bugs:
    • Fix for issue #412: fixed login redirects to user Apache request_uri string.
    • Fix for issue #411: added mod_banned info to admin user screen, now with date validation
    • Fix for issue #405: removed users email from the daily stats email.
    • Fix for issue #401: remove coremetrics scripts from few templates.
    • Fix for issue #378: updated moderation FAQ to reflect new mod system.
  • SN-specific: Retiring nitrogen, carbon, and beryllium back-end servers (in progress)
  • Other Miscellaneous Fixes

If you can't wait to see what this is all about, take a look at our development version of the site. Feel free to create an account and try things out. If you find a bug, please Report it on GitHub or let it be known on the #Soylent or #Dev channel on IRC using your favorite client, or using a web-based interface.

If you want to know what this mysterious 'Rehash' is, check past the break.

The 501(c)(3)/Tax-Exempt Question 44 comments
For non-US folks: 501(c)(3) refers to tax-exempt status in the United States. Unlike most countries, non-for-profit organizations are NOT automatically tax-exempt, I've included a larger summary in the 'Read More' section.

So, on the slow but progressing front of incorporation, I've been working on drafting the bylaws for the umbrella non-for-profit for SoylentNews. Our current plan is to have all the documents ready for incorporation done in a single go, then involve a lawyer to review them to make sure that we meet all the requirements. Once that is done, I'll finalize my move to New Hampshire (which has gotten unfortunately sidetracked due to real life), and submit the documentation to the state.

When I took over this site, I said that we would incorporate and (eventually) become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. At the time, I had not dug into the specifics of what this would entail, and I've got some concerns that makes me wonder if 501(c)(3) is a good thing for our future. My biggest concern involves a prohibition that prevents 501(c)(3)'s from being involved with anything related to "political activity". While seemingly benign on the surface, this prohibition may create some difficulty for us.
Back To The Drawing Board: Rethinking Subscription + Explaing Expenses 110 comments
First off, before we get into this, I do want to apologize for a delayed response. I had to sit, and think long and hard about the on subscriptions feedback before responding. The largest points I got out of this is that too broad, too complex, and too expensive. There was some choice comments that I'm going to highlight below and address below. It quickly became apparent it was to the point I need to scrap it and go back to the drawing board. So let's try this again:
SN Subscription - $20 USD per year
  • Subscriber Badge
  • Early Access To Features (i.e. Improved Threading, to help work bugs out before roll out to the general community)
  • Exemption from ads if we ever run any
  • Full comment histories/access to database-intensive operations
  • No rate limiting/spam filtering

Subscription can either be bought, or gifted to anyone. From the feedback we got, $20 USD per year (approximately $1.66 USD per month) would roughly be the right "sweet spot" for people.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @08:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @08:08PM (#42297)

    Didn't read it.

    har har har

  • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Monday May 12 2014, @08:09PM

    by fliptop (1666) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:09PM (#42298) Journal

    We recognize that the free flow of ideas can only take place in an environment free of taboo subjects. No topic will be deemed unsuitable for our community to discuss.

    I'm not sure I understand these 2 sentences. Does this mean no topic, except taboo subjects, will be deemed unsuitable...?

    --
    It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @08:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @08:12PM (#42302)

      I vote to discuss soybeans. Now. Taboo soybeans.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:15PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:15PM (#42303) Journal

      It means that the environment of this site will be free from taboo subjects. If it helps, insert an implied sentence in between the two sentences you quoted. "Our site will be that environment which has no taboo subjects."

      We intend to allow a forum where any topic can be discussed. Does this clarify our intentions?

      • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Monday May 12 2014, @08:30PM

        by fliptop (1666) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:30PM (#42312) Journal

        We intend to allow a forum where any topic can be discussed. Does this clarify our intentions?

        Yes, it does. The way the sentences were worded they seemed to be contradicting each other.

        --
        It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday May 12 2014, @08:36PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @08:36PM (#42321)

        See there's two problems. First in another post I mentioned separation of where your going from what you're going to do. One is a statement of 100% certainty of how you'll behave, and the other is just smoking stuff and coming up with a nice idea of where you'd like to get but whatever. And/or prioritize those two totally separate concepts. So you'd sacrifice X to save Y if you had to, where X and Y are I donno.

        The other problem is some peculiar wording about opinions "no one will be banned or have their comments deleted due to stating an opinion" So I could get the axe if I posted some rather unpopular facts, like "there exists an average racial variation in IQ (admittedly inter is smaller than intra) as described in the Bell Curve book". That is a fact of little debate, surely not an opinion unless you're claiming I misread the book (LOL, I suppose possible) but it is a fact of much flame throwing. I'm guessing you wrote "opinions" with the implication along the lines of "something I wrote" rather than fact vs opinion. Or maybe not.

        The ole open source thing of publish early and often will likely pay off for you...

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:53PM

          by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:53PM (#42331) Journal

          Where we are going and what we're going to do. That is part of the point of this article, to differentiate between the two and spark some healthy discussion on those. We'd love to hear your thoughts specifically on those points.

          Regarding opinions and facts, we the staff will not be deleting accounts. Stating unpopular facts or opinions might get you modded down into oblivion, but we won't delete you. I'll clarify that point in the article.

          • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday May 12 2014, @09:05PM

            by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @09:05PM (#42337)

            "That is part of the point of this article, to differentiate between the two"

            I liked the general story, just saying I think it would be clearer to separate them in the outline. A simple three part recipe, here's how we'll do things, here's where we're trying to get, and when they conflict X or Y wins.

            Right on, WRT "The ole open source thing of publish early and often will likely pay off for you." this is all part of making version 0.2 better.

            I still think it would have been hilarious to put it all in a github project and see the pull requests rather than doing it in this format.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hash14 on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:56AM

        by hash14 (1102) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:56AM (#42563)

        I think a better way of phrasing this is "no topic shall be considered taboo". Writing something like 'this environment has no taboo subjects' could alternatively mean taboo subjects exist and should not be considered here - I feel that there is an ambiguity here.

        --
        In developed societies, "copyright infringement" is merely the sharing and partaking in culture.
    • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @09:54PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @09:54PM (#42359) Journal

      I think I get what you're saying. To be "free of taboo subjects" could mean "without discussion of bestiality, because bestiality is a taboo subject".

      That sentence could be reworded to something like:

      We believe that the free flow of ideas can only take place in an environment in which taboos are not recognized.

      • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:03AM

        by fliptop (1666) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:03AM (#42422) Journal

        We believe that the free flow of ideas can only take place in an environment in which taboos are not recognized.

        This. The bestiality analogy is spot on, although I'll admit I was thinking of this instead [imdb.com]. I mean, who doesn't think of that when they hear the word, "taboo?"

        --
        It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
      • (Score: 2) by Techwolf on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:51AM

        by Techwolf (87) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:51AM (#42477)

        While I find it strange that some folk rank pedophiles that abuse children as less evil then someone that cares and loves there companion.

        I do agree that no subject should be taboo as long its an intelligent/sane/debate discussion on it. Such a debate can help curb some myths, bias, and even educate folks.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:19AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:19AM (#42568) Journal

          While I find it strange that some folk rank pedophiles that abuse children as less evil then someone that cares and loves there companion.

          Not to mention those who abuse the English language. ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by Techwolf on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:33PM

            by Techwolf (87) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:33PM (#42669)

            Sorry about that. English was not one of my strong points in high school.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:09AM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:09AM (#42514) Homepage

      Perhaps is should be phrased, "No subject shall be taboo".

      • (Score: 1) by hendrikboom on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:12AM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:12AM (#42516) Homepage

        Well, technically, I suppose it should also say, "The Queen shall not be taboo", because the Queen is not a subject. :)

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by skullz on Monday May 12 2014, @08:18PM

    by skullz (2532) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:18PM (#42304)

    If I want to remove my content (all stories / posts / messages sent) from the site by deleting my account, will that be covered? So a delete delete, not a Facebook delete.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:47PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:47PM (#42328) Journal

      This is an interesting topic, and there is no easy answer here.

      On the one hand, we state that "The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way." If I own something, I can do what I want with it, to include copyright it, sell it, or trash it.

      On the other hand, other sites running slashcode have not implemented any similar features. I can't answer why or why not at this point. Perhaps it is due to threaded nature of comments, possibly with direct quotes of your words. Also note that any comments posted publicly should be considered available in perpetuity due to search engines, caching, etc.

      We will have to tread carefully as we proceed with regards to this. This has not been a feature request to date, if you desire something like this I'd suggest you open an issue on our github repository [github.com].

      We (so far as I can tell) have not yet established terms of service or a EULA for this site. We will certainly engage the community at large in implementing these in accordance with the principles set out in this manifesto.

      • (Score: 1) by hellcat on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:56PM

        by hellcat (2832) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:56PM (#42680) Homepage

        Terms like "ownership" have multiple meanings - and it can get confusing.

        Rather than worrying about that, let's follow the spirit you're creating here and think about what the site aspires to become:

        A neighborhood of intellect, courageous enough to tackle any topic, courteous enough to respect conflicting opinions, and cautious enough to protect themselves and others from those we do not trust.

        I would like to suggest that correcting past entries is not a sign of ownership, but courtesy. I like good comments that are written in proper English. Muddling through lots of silly comments is a waste of time.

        Knowing I have a neighborhood resource that covers many subjects with incredibly insightful comments means it's a place I can return time after time.

        Finally, my caution requires that I would prefer a site that refuses access to search engines and bots, encourages encryption for all its users, and works to keep too many prying eyes away from all of us.

        You're on the right track. Keep it up! By the way - if some of us with a few extra bitcoin want to help out financially, where do we send it?

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @08:56PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @08:56PM (#42332) Journal

      Good point. It's something that probably should be covered somewhere (not necessarily in the above document), one way or the other.

      I think my vote would be "you can request partial deletion of your account, which will cause us to forget your email address and password hash, so that the account can never be used again. Prior to doing this, you may wish to consider deleting any journal entries you have. Comments on stories can never be deleted. If you are concerned about comments being associated back to you, you may wish to use an arbitrary username, or post anonymously, and take counter-measures to avoid stylometric identification [33bits.org]."

      • (Score: 2) by skullz on Monday May 12 2014, @09:09PM

        by skullz (2532) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:09PM (#42340)

        That sounds reasonable. As mentioned it wouldn't really do to delete threaded comments and replies but you could replace the username and uid with "Null User" similar to the anonymous coward "account". That would give someone who was considering a scorched earth solution some level of confidence that while their content would still be there, linking it to a specific username after a delete would rely on screenshots and living memory.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday May 12 2014, @10:09PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @10:09PM (#42367) Journal

          What about "dangling user", in analogy to the dangling pointer you get when you delete an object you still have pointers to?

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Monday May 12 2014, @10:47PM

            by paulej72 (58) on Monday May 12 2014, @10:47PM (#42386) Journal

            If we take the user's account and delete the journal, user info and then move the comments to point to a new user account Null User (99999999999999999), then there will be not dangling user problem, unless someone linked to that person's journal in a comment or journal.

            I think this method could be accomplished if necessary.

            --
            Team Leader for SN Development
            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday May 12 2014, @11:40PM

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @11:40PM (#42412) Journal

              I meant as displayed user name, of course.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 1) by J053 on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:04AM

              by J053 (3532) Subscriber Badge <dakineNO@SPAMshangri-la.cx> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:04AM (#42453) Homepage
              This sounds like a good solution. If a user wants to remove hir account, all comments would remain, but tagged as "Deleted (or Dangling - I like that) User". The conversations would remain readable, and I suppose by deep-mining archive.org or something one could reconstruct who the previous user might have been, but I think that's OK - you really do need to realize that anything you post to the Interwebs is going to be there forever.
            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:24AM

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:24AM (#42494) Homepage

              I think that would work fine from a discussion standpoint, but would also encourage disposable troll accounts.

              If you're going to remove the username from the comment, I'd suggest that for accounts less than a certain age (say one year) the posts should also be automodded down by one point, to discourage hit-and-run trolls.

          • (Score: 2) by mindriot on Monday May 12 2014, @11:45PM

            by mindriot (928) on Monday May 12 2014, @11:45PM (#42415)
            I do like this name. I was thinking along the same lines: If I want to completely delete my user as suggested, including deleting all comments made by that user, I will retroactively destroy conversations which involved replies to my comments. This would lead to confusion and possibly even abuse (troll the heck out of some people, write provocations, then delete user). So I think the comments must remain - but the user could be replaced with a "deleted account" user. And why not name it "Dangling User"? :-) It could even link to a page explaining what is going on.
            --
            soylent_uid=$(echo $slash_uid|cut -c1,3,5)
            • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Wednesday May 21 2014, @06:48PM

              by urza9814 (3954) on Wednesday May 21 2014, @06:48PM (#46068) Journal

              But if the comments are owned by the individual users, as stated, they have every right to have those comments deleted if they so desire.

              The troll then delete thing is a Facebook meme; there's no reason that SN has to hold the same behavior. It's a problem on Facebook because there's no threads, so you can't tell what someone replied to. We have threads here. So just don't re-thread the comments when you delete one -- change the username to 'deleted user', and replace the comment body with something like "this comment has been deleted". Of course, when deleting their account, deleting the comments should be optional.

              The user should have the option to delete any content they themselves created. This includes comment text, this includes their username, this includes journal entries. But it doesn't include comment IDs, user ID numbers, links between this data, and other things of that nature.

              In fact, I'm not even sure we should delete user accounts. Just null out the username field, any personally identifiable information (contact info and such) and any additional information the user requested to delete. Have a couple extra checkboxes when someone deletes their account:

              [ ] Erase Comments
              [ ] Erase Journal Entries

                    [ Erase Account ]

      • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:04AM

        by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:04AM (#42513)

        I see the possibility of delete functionality being enabling abuse - and technically difficult for the reasons stated.
        Perhaps it is better to say that SN does not own the content, but neither does the user. Anything posted publicly is in the public domain. Period. No copyright, no removal.

        Similarly to the fact you can go to any real physical venue and say what you like. You cannot unsay the fact that you told your family that your brother blows billy goats at the reunion. There is no delete for that.

        If you do not feel comfortable with speaking under those conditions, then perhaps this is not the place for you. Openness means being open to scrutiny, and deleting content can have a detrimental effect on recourse, and on record-keeping.

        Perhaps if it is felt to be absolutely necessary, then once can choose to have their name stricken from the record, but not their words. After a delete request, all your previous posts revert to AC status.

        • (Score: 2) by dmc on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:21AM

          by dmc (188) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:21AM (#42519)

          I see the possibility of delete functionality being enabling abuse - and technically difficult for the reasons stated.
          Perhaps it is better to say that SN does not own the content, but neither does the user. Anything posted publicly is in the public domain. Period. No copyright, no removal.

          The problem with that approach is that public domain means unlimited rights to use for whatever reason. If I write a well thought out 4 paragraph comment on a subject, and my government doesn't like me, I don't want their agents to be able to repost the same 4 paragraphs, with 3 key words changed, under the username "ILoveToRapeChildren" in an attempt to discredit me. I say stick with the tried and true upstream approach. Users own the comments, and have decided to publish them in the comment thread of an article on the website. Other's may quote and use them at the discretion of the laws in their jurisdiction. I.e. a user living on AnarchIsland is free to use the words however they like, a user in China is only allowed to use the words in ways which don't draw attention to the events of 1989, and a user in the U.S. is allowed to copy the words subject to U.S. copyright and fair use laws.

          $0.02...

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:36AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:36AM (#42558)

            I don't want their agents to be able to repost the same 4 paragraphs, with 3 key words changed, under the username "ILoveToRapeChildren" in an attempt to discredit me.

            Uhh, what? You mean feds stop and check the license to be sure they're not infringing copyright before breaking the law?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:40AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:40AM (#42561)

              the more law they break, the more vulnerable they are to inconvenient public court cases, even if they find a way to get them dismissed due to reasons of national security.

            • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:58AM

              by BradTheGeek (450) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:58AM (#42629)

              I wish I could mod this up. Any person or group with an interest in discrediting you is not going to care about the license. And the smart ones never change your words. The just take one sentence from paragraph 2 and put it with paragraph four, to make it seem like you are saying whatever they want to make you look bad.

              Public domain has no bearing on that.

          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:10AM

            by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:10AM (#42613) Journal

            Perhaps it is better to say that SN does not own the content, but neither does the user. Anything posted publicly is in the public domain. Period. No copyright, no removal.

            The problem with that approach is that public domain means unlimited rights to use for whatever reason.

            Well how about "By posting this comment you agree to license it under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License [creativecommons.org]." ... or one of the other licences [creativecommons.org]?

             
            And the "fine print" changes to "The following comments are owned by whoever posted them, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License [creativecommons.org] . We are not responsible for them in any way."

      • (Score: 2) by crutchy on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:13AM

        by crutchy (179) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:13AM (#42588) Homepage Journal

        what does the terms of use and privacy policy have to say about this?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:30PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:30PM (#42405) Homepage Journal

      Conceptually, I like the idea of being able to delete yourself from the site; allowing to be forgotten. My problem with this is that reddit allows this, and because of that, massive swatchs of conversations have been deleted and are unreadable because half (or more) of the content is deleted. We might allow for account abandonment, but I'm really on the fence allowing comments to be removed, even by those who posted them.

      This is likely a topic for a Q&A in the future.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 1) by nsa on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:59AM

        by nsa (206) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @01:59AM (#42481)

        Conceptually, I like the idea of being able to delete yourself from the site; allowing to be forgotten. My problem with this is that reddit allows this, and because of that, massive swatchs of conversations have been deleted and are unreadable because half (or more) of the content is deleted. We might allow for account abandonment, but I'm really on the fence allowing comments to be removed, even by those who posted them.

        This is likely a topic for a Q&A in the future.

        I disagree. The "allowing to be forgotten" I think was a naive concept for the E.U. govt or whoever to push. I think it falls along the lines of 'illusions of security/privacy/etc'.

        Also, this talk of deleting usernames from comment threads bothers me because I think the intelligence agencies and other organized criminals have engaged in massive propoganda and trolling/discrediting campaigns using provocative usernames extensively. (seriously, dwell on what the hell the spooks could have been talking about on their 'magic techniques' page 24 of the snowden jtrig document).

        Thus if the spooks had established a nuanced psychological profile of a target they wanted to discredit including subtle religious and other beliefs, and crafted a comment, and a username to enhance the trolling/discrediting/provoking effect of that comment, and then you delete the username, the discrediting can become even more effective.

        $0.02...

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:20AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:20AM (#42490) Homepage

        I like Open4D's suggestion, above. "We forget you exist, but you can't take your words back."

        I think the ability to delete all one's posts might lead to even less "think before you type", because people will know they can kill that insanely-stupid/snarky post, if only they don't care enough to keep the username.

        [I've noticed significantly more snark lately, compared with SN's early days and its two cousins. We don't need anything contributing to more snark.]

      • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Monday May 19 2014, @04:22PM

        by etherscythe (937) on Monday May 19 2014, @04:22PM (#45275)

        Easy answer: give an option to rename the "deleted" user to Anonymous Coward (with leaving the username intact as the alternative). Leave the UID visible on the comments if you want, it will come up as AC, making correlation at least relatively difficult, and the thread will remain intact.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dast on Monday May 12 2014, @08:20PM

    by dast (1633) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:20PM (#42305)

    Okay, I love this site but "journalism" is a bit of a stretch. Posting links to and summaries of articles is not quite journalism...

    • (Score: 2) by skullz on Monday May 12 2014, @08:22PM

      by skullz (2532) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:22PM (#42307)

      Sure it is! Haven't you seen all the "Top 5 Tweets in the Last Hour" and "7 Things I found about XYZ when I searched Google" articles? This is top notch stuff.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday May 12 2014, @08:29PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @08:29PM (#42311)

      A perfectly good goal. As a meta point might be better to unmix "what we will do" from "where we want to be". They're pretty good, I'd merely suggest unmixing them.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:34PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:34PM (#42318) Journal

      I completely agree, it is a stretch, and not where we are now. This is sort of a vision statement, which, you might note, is in line with the vision of the founder, Barrabas, as indicated here [soylentnews.org]. We're not there yet.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @11:01PM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @11:01PM (#42391) Journal

        How about "We will be the best site for independent, not-for-profit journalism and news dissemination on the Internet"?

        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:38PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:38PM (#42410) Homepage Journal

          Oooh, that's actually better than what I came up with. I'll look at putting this in at 0.2

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Thursday June 05 2014, @08:06AM

            by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 05 2014, @08:06AM (#51545) Journal

            On further reflection, I would suggest giving more prominence to the discussion aspect than to the 'news dissemination' aspect.

            Admittedly it does mention that "free discussion can take place", but still ...

            For me, SN is all about the community discussion. AKA 'crowd-sourced news analysis'. Done by a technically-minded communtiy - mostly (but not always) on technically-oriented news stories.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:13AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:13AM (#42425) Homepage Journal

      I'd agree, this isn't what we are now, but it is what I want us to become. It may take a year or two before we get there, but I'd like to see us become a combination of both news dissemination and original reporting. Call it the evolution of SN.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 1) by arslan on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:41AM

      by arslan (3462) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:41AM (#42573)

      I've always thought that this site provides more journalistic impact, in terms of the end effect to me, than the news nowadays. Definitely not by the articles, but more from the comments.

      However, if we really want to officially label it as journalism, I'd think we need better editorial standards, not just on submissions but in terms of regulating comments

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Ray Stantz on Monday May 12 2014, @08:26PM

    by Ray Stantz (3311) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:26PM (#42309)

    Please continue to post something close to news in a slightly less annoying format than Slashdot. The bar is really that low. All this "who are we? what should we be?" crap sounds like a bunch of liberal arts majors at a liberal arts place doing liberal arts stuff. Gross.

    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Monday May 12 2014, @08:28PM

      by buswolley (848) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:28PM (#42310)

      Are you trying to make something taboo????!!

      Yer kicked out, yo!

      --
      subicular junctures
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:07PM (#42338)

      Amen. They're in too deep to stop now though.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday May 12 2014, @09:19PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @09:19PM (#42345) Homepage

      In case you haven't noticed, the press in the United States is no longer free. If it is not beholden to corporate interests, it is beholden to Government interests.

      Even Slashdot, which was proud of its tolerance of free speech and lack of censorship, succumbed. That's the number-one reason why we're all here. Small independent media is now the only source of news in the United States that the big guys are unwilling to share.

      Soylent News is only the beginning. And I wouldn't call it "liberal arts," I'd call it "libertarian" without the religious fundamental connotations which often accompany that phrase.

      Oh shit, I was trolled again. Dammit.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:00AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:00AM (#42421) Homepage Journal

        This is a large portion why I want to slowly begin to move us towards original journalism vs. the current model, and why the financial independence section exists in the manifesto. Its going to be a long and slow journey, but I want to get us there, bit by bit.

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:33AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:33AM (#42498) Homepage

          A good goal, tho one must be wary of the disguised self-promotion, which often bit original stories on Slashdot. Of course, an editor's job is to peel those out before they hit the front page.

          On the other side, perhaps once there are subscriptions in place, sub points (say equal to a buck apiece) could be awarded to folks whose original journalism efforts are accepted.

          As to the manifesto, I am glad to see that it sticks to basic points and simple language (and I don't have any specific objections). -- If you try to address every possible case, you wind up creating more corner cases than you fix.

    • (Score: -1) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:46PM (#42355)

      It might be because your #3311 is too high to be part of the *we

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:40PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:40PM (#42413) Homepage Journal

      Once we have nexuses setup (hopefully next major release), you can filter out "meta" in the control panel.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:42AM

      by Tork (3914) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:42AM (#42545)
      Please continue to post something close to an intelligent on-topic reply to the article at hand. All this "liberal arts majors at a liberal arts place doing liberal arts stuff" crap sounds like a whiny adult living in his parents basement beating off to pictures of Leia in a bikini. Gross.
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 1) by Ray Stantz on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:20PM

        by Ray Stantz (3311) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:20PM (#42761)

        I'm proud to carry on that nerd tradition. I was hoping soylentnews would carry on the tradition of an aggregate news source for nerds (leia bikini beater offers if you will), but it sounds like NCommander has other ideas.

        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:31PM

          by Tork (3914) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:31PM (#42767)
          Your sense of proportion is mis-aligned.
          --
          Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
          • (Score: 1) by Ray Stantz on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:59PM

            by Ray Stantz (3311) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:59PM (#42853)

            Is it? What do you hope to get out of soylentnews?

            • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:49PM

              by Tork (3914) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:49PM (#42905)
              Let's just say them taking the time to fill us in on their goals for this community didn't put me in a dress to complain about the state of my panties.
              --
              Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
              • (Score: 1) by Ray Stantz on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:04PM

                by Ray Stantz (3311) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:04PM (#42960)

                Am I wearing the dress before or after the princess leia thing?

                • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:10PM

                  by Tork (3914) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:10PM (#42961)
                  So what mood did you say you were in when you wrote about this on LiveJournal?
                  --
                  Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
                  • (Score: 1) by Ray Stantz on Wednesday May 14 2014, @12:36AM

                    by Ray Stantz (3311) on Wednesday May 14 2014, @12:36AM (#42985)

                    Melancholy. Cause I can't figure out what I did to make my #1 best internet buddy Tork so cross with me. Was it that I posted an opinion? Took a shot at the liberal arts? Is it because of the dress wearing thing? I could probably meet you half way and wear kilts. But you have to call me Wee Hamish from now on.

                    • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday May 14 2014, @12:59AM

                      by Tork (3914) on Wednesday May 14 2014, @12:59AM (#42996)
                      It sure is a good thing you came to a place to be all emotional about your objection to a website being all emotional!
                      --
                      Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
                      • (Score: 1) by Ray Stantz on Wednesday May 14 2014, @01:50AM

                        by Ray Stantz (3311) on Wednesday May 14 2014, @01:50AM (#43017)

                        Oh you loveable rascal! Your logic is irrefutable. As is customary on the internet I congratulate you on your good intentioned and well thought out argument and respectfully bow out of this discussion.

                        • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday May 14 2014, @01:55AM

                          by Tork (3914) on Wednesday May 14 2014, @01:55AM (#43020)
                          What a great time to bring up that you're interested in everybody showing logic and well thought out logic but you. If I were a terrible lyricist I would call that irony.
                          --
                          Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
                    • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:39PM

                      by GeminiDomino (661) on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:39PM (#51747)

                      I thought it was Mad Hamish?

                      --
                      "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 1) by kcdills on Monday May 12 2014, @08:31PM

    by kcdills (4159) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:31PM (#42315)

    Media can be influenced by those who fund it; to prevent us from becoming slaves to a new overlord, the LibreNews Foundation shall be funded independently by the member sites (such as SoylentNews) which comprise it.

    What is the LibreNews Foundation?

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:36PM

      by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:36PM (#42320) Journal

      LibreNews Foundation is the Not-For-Profit Corporation that will own and operate SoylentNews.org, (whether we retain that site name or move to another as selected by the community) its subsidiaries, its sister sites, etc. It will be the umbrella organization, similar to how wikimedia foundation operates wikipedia.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday May 12 2014, @08:47PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @08:47PM (#42327)

        At the same time as this story posted, I got today's "Debian Project News" in my mailbox. Is the long term goal to host "stuff like that" (not specifically that, but similar, like Gabby's Perl newsletter or the Clojure newsletter) or more like "news for women who scrapbook" and "recent battles in star fleet battles" (good thing I'm not picking domain names). Just idly curious if its intended to be a single shell for liability and tax reasons or a tech empire or a more general news empire.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by mattie_p on Monday May 12 2014, @08:58PM

          by mattie_p (13) on Monday May 12 2014, @08:58PM (#42333) Journal

          NCommander had something about this in an early draft, but removed it to be more concise and general in principles, not tactics. Without going into detail that would be inappropriate at this time, I can foresee LibreNews Foundation hosting multiple sites on a variety of topics we believe to be in the public interest.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:34PM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:34PM (#42407) Homepage Journal

          The NFP is a shell for various sites to exist as a legal entity, we may only ever have SN under that shell, or multiple sites, but this gives us a lot of flexibility for the future.

          --
          Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by LaminatorX on Monday May 12 2014, @08:41PM

      by LaminatorX (14) <{laminatorx} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday May 12 2014, @08:41PM (#42322)

      That would be the no(n/t-for) profit legal entity that NCommander has moved to New Hampshire in order to set up. (It would also have been good to state that explicitly.)

      --
      Banjo - Fiddle - Tolkien: The Lonely Mountain String Band. lmsb.me [lmsb.me]
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday May 12 2014, @08:59PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @08:59PM (#42334)

    "Content produced by this site shall be available in a format that does not require proprietary or patented software."

    http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Harm_to_standards [swpat.org]

    Just sayin, the gif patents expired a long time ago, and if I pull up "view source" and search for gif you've got a couple not yet converted to png (yes I'm old enough to remember the unisys scare and everyone converting gifs to pngs in a semi automated way, which means they must be older than dirt?)

    Also much as ipv6 is cool:

    http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t576610-alan -cox-on-software-patents.html [velocityreviews.com]

    "The same has happened with IP version 6. You notice that everyone is saying IP version 6 is this, is that, and there's all this research software up there. No one at Cisco is releasing big IPv6 routers. Not because there's no market demand, but because they want 20 years to have elapsed from the publication of the standard before the product comes out -- because they know that there will be hundreds of people who've had guesses at where the standard would go and filed patents around it. And it's easier to let things lapse for 20 years than fight the system"

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday May 12 2014, @10:15PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @10:15PM (#42372) Journal

      Well, only four more years to go ...

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:37PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:37PM (#42408) Homepage Journal

      I thought all the GIF patents were fully expired by now. Most of the GIF files we have is the stuff we got from /code itself, all the assets we added have been png to my knowledge. That being said, I should reword that slightly for 0.2; WebM is patented but free to use, and I wouldn't have issues with us posting something in that format (i.e., if we had a face-to-face interview).

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:32AM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:32AM (#42645)

        True, and both replies to my list covered those two individual detailed topics pretty well, just saying theres a lot more than two patented pieces of software out there to deal with so a manifesto not to use anything patented means pull the plug, pretty much.

        Something along the lines of "Always avoid using something patented when unpatented alternatives exist" might be more realistic to implement.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday May 12 2014, @09:04PM

    The right of our community to criticize, make suggestions, and help us improve our site will be respected. No staff or leader will ever be above criticism.

    And that's the truth. Just today our benevolent dictator got RTFA'd [soylentnews.org].

    --
    My favorite Trump protest sign: All in all you're just another prick with no wall
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @09:25PM (#42346)

    I'd suggest a clarifying re-phrase to:

    No attempt shall be made to block access to this site of those who use ad-blocking software, though we urge such users to subscribe.

    IMHO The current phrasing is ambiguous/confusing as to whom may be blocking whom.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Monday May 12 2014, @09:34PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:34PM (#42350) Journal

      Content will be available even if you remove ads with help of ad-blocking software.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NCommander on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:15AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:15AM (#42426) Homepage Journal

        ^_ This.

        We might put a message like "We see you're blocking our ads, but if you wish to support this site, either whitelist us, or buy a subscription" if the ads are blocked, but I do not want to block people from using the site (i.e., someone who doesn't want to deal with ad companies at all, but is unable to buy subscription)

        --
        Still always moving
        • (Score: 1) by idetuxs on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:56AM

          by idetuxs (2990) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:56AM (#42627)
          Done. You should totally put that banner. I use adblock every day (for security reasons too, as it got malware domain and privacy protection) so I honestly forgot that I was blocking ads that may contribute to SN.

          Also, don't know how the ad system works and how much it pays, but adblock-plus whitelists non-intrusive ads, so you might check on that.
        • (Score: 1) by idetuxs on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:05AM

          by idetuxs (2990) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:05AM (#42636)

          I disabled the ad-blocker now (SN whitelisted forever) but where are the ads? Disturbing :P

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday May 12 2014, @09:27PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:27PM (#42347) Homepage

    You know, the "no topic is off-limits" and the like seems great and all, but what about criminal activity? Say, for example, somebody is using SoylentNews to plan a burglary, grand theft, or even something more serious. Does SoylentNews try to prevent that activity from going through, assist the authorities in finding out who's doing it, etc etc?

    How about if the criminal activity in question is criticizing the government where the commenter is living, which is a crime in some places? I could imagine that being on a different side of the line of OK/not-OK.

    It's a hypothetical, but my experience is that when somebody says "no limits" they often have some limits, even if those boundaries are very wide.

    --
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
    • (Score: 2) by skullz on Monday May 12 2014, @09:43PM

      by skullz (2532) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:43PM (#42353)

      Similar to this, and I know this would never happen here and all but suppose someone with a good reputation gets their account taken over and starts posting well crafted click bait to some blob of bits that just happen to exploit some zero-day oops.

      Seeing as this is the manifesto the SN overlords may consider throwing in some "except where it is reasonable to protect the community" bits in there. Its vague, undefined, and open to wild interpretation but you are communicating human intent and a thought process through English, not math.

      Or say you won't even block that, which would be fine as well.

      • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Monday May 12 2014, @11:18PM

        by paulej72 (58) on Monday May 12 2014, @11:18PM (#42400) Journal

        That "except where it is reasonable to protect the community" phrase or something very similar was in an earlier draft. We are for free speech, but that does not give a person the right to yell FIRE in a crowded theater. We will have the same restriction, spamming the site will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

        We had one user so far spamming comments for a day or so, but it stopped before we had a chance to make any decision on what to do. What we will need is a TOS to be created so that these types of events and what we do will be spelled out.

        --
        Team Leader for SN Development
        • (Score: 2) by Techwolf on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:01AM

          by Techwolf (87) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:01AM (#42484)

          I think you was meaning free speech != free of responsibility. Meaning if you yell fire and someone gets hurt or killed, you can be charge with a crime, like manslaughter. One is still responsible for said speech.

          A while back, a weatherman recommended getting out of the area due to a incoming tornado. I-10 got jammed hard and said tornado came very close to I-10. Said weatherman almost got fired.

          • (Score: 2) by crutchy on Monday May 19 2014, @10:12PM

            by crutchy (179) on Monday May 19 2014, @10:12PM (#45399) Homepage Journal

            that is an unfortunate story

            sort of seems like blaming the power company if you get robbed during a power outage

            i wonder if anyone cared to look at why the I-10 got so jammed up? aren't there multiple escape routes in high tornado risk areas and predetermined recommended primary and secondary escape routes for various suburbs so that not everyone bails out using the same route? i guess it's always easy to think of these things in hindsight armchair thought exercise though, and most governing authorities are probably normally busy thinking up ways to increase their authority instead of serving their constituents

            seems like if weather reporters are threatened with firing in circumstances like that, they may instead intentionally/inadvertently understate the threat, and then who gets blamed when people get killed in their homes because they weren't advised to get out of the area?

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:32AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:32AM (#42569) Journal

          We are for free speech, but that does not give a person the right to yell FIRE in a crowded theater.

          Unless it's an actor, and yelling "FIRE" is part of his role, of course. In which case doing it in a crowded theater is actually preferred. ;-)

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:16AM

        by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:16AM (#42427) Homepage Journal

        Paul already said it, but I think this got removed by accident during one our the editing rounds, and I'll look at readding something to that effect for version 0.2

        --
        Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Monday May 12 2014, @09:49PM

      by buswolley (848) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:49PM (#42358)

      Down modding is enough to stop criminal activity in it's tracks.
      Dont fuck with the unicorns though.

      --
      subicular junctures
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday May 12 2014, @10:04PM

      by c0lo (156) on Monday May 12 2014, @10:04PM (#42363)

      You know, the "no topic is off-limits" and the like seems great and all, but what about criminal activity?

      Speech should never be a crime. Actions, yes, go after them perps and catch them... but not for speech.

      • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @10:31PM

        by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @10:31PM (#42379) Journal

        You know, the "no topic is off-limits" and the like seems great and all, but what about criminal activity?

        Speech should never be a crime. Actions, yes, go after them perps and catch them... but not for speech

        "I'll pay you $20,000 to kill the person who insulted me last week." It wouldn't matter if I had no intention of paying up, as long as I managed to convince the assassin that I did intend to pay up. I'd still be a murderer, just as much as the assassin.

        I suppose you could define speech as "general ideas rather than specific details". But in that case, it is possible to go beyond speech on SN, so we may want to have a way of dealing with that, as Thexalon said.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:59AM

          by c0lo (156) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:59AM (#42528)

          "I'll pay you $20,000 to kill the person who insulted me last week." It wouldn't matter if I had no intention of paying up, as long as I managed to convince the assassin that I did intend to pay up. I'd still be a murderer, just as much as the assassin.

          I'd say you'll have to go to jail for the action of instigating to murder (with or without intent, doesn't matter), not for the fact the you've done it by speech.
          True, it may not be the view of the current legislators, but I do not find as sound the idea of convicting a "paper manufacturer" (SN) only because the paper can be used to ignite a criminal fire.

          • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday May 19 2014, @02:45AM

            by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 19 2014, @02:45AM (#45071) Homepage Journal

            Actually, the DMCA more or less protects us in this case, under safe harbor laws; we aren't liable for what users post as long as we comply w/ the other requirements of the law (I did a writeup of this on the Incorporation wiki page, but there are still some lingering questions). This is something that will be very much "if/when we get to that bridge, we'll deal with it". I don't think /. ever had this issue in the 20(?) years it been online, nor have I heard about something similiar on reddit.

            While a lot of people hate the DMCA, aside from the DRM-related articles, it does a LOT to protect online hosts.

            --
            Still always moving
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 19 2014, @07:28AM

              by c0lo (156) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:28AM (#45117)

              Actually, the DMCA more or less protects us in this case, under safe harbor laws;

              While I see your post as relevant to the topic, my mind still find unsettling one need DCMA's "safe harbour" to be protected against "speech related legal offenses" - what's wrong with the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" or US constitution that the extra protection of DCMA was needed?

              • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Monday May 19 2014, @09:30PM

                by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 19 2014, @09:30PM (#45385) Homepage Journal

                The difference is who is liable. The DMCA protections prevent the site from being hurt from users content. That content however is still protected all-the-same; for copyright/takedown notices, once you post a counter-claim, the site itself is immune to liability, and it is the responsibility of the takedown issuer to prove their claims. Pre-DMCA, it was unclear if a site was or was not liable for what their users posted on it.

                I'm aware of the issues of this (specifically the cost of a legal defense), but the common carrier protections help allow sites like this to exist.

                --
                Still always moving
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:11AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:11AM (#42424) Homepage Journal

      Reddit summed up my position on this better than I could. To quote their CEO, "We stand for free speech. This means we are not going to ban distasteful subreddits. We will not ban legal content even if we find it odious or if we personally condemn it"

      Under United States law (and I touched on this on the initial incorporation post), the test is known as the "imminent lawless action" test, as defined by Brandenburg v. Ohio [wikipedia.org], and one of the few exceptions to protected speech in the United States.

      Under the safe harbour laws provided under the DCMA, the site isn't liable for content posted on it; i.e., we can't be prosecuted just because someone used it to plot something illegal. If we become aware that someone is plotting something via this site, we'll address it when that time comes, but I'd like to think criminals are not THAT stupid. Involving LEO is not something we should ever do lightly, but we need to prepare ourselves if and when we ever have to ...

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dmc on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:09AM

      by dmc (188) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:09AM (#42485)

      You know, the "no topic is off-limits" and the like seems great and all, but what about criminal activity?

      Theory 1: Add a CYA phrase to the ToS that is so vague, you can cite it when dealing however you want with any unknown event in the future. Unfortunately such vague CYA ToS IMO have a chilling effect.

      Theory 2 (my preferred): Let the legitimate authorities with the proper jurisdiction deal appropriately with criminal activity if and when it happens.

  • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @09:46PM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @09:46PM (#42354) Journal

    1 - Quick fix: delete 2 words from "hosted on this on this site"

    2 - Probably should replace every occurrence of "i.e." with "e.g." - as per this [quickanddirtytips.com]

    3 - "legal purposes" - Does that mean 'purposes that are not illegal' or 'purposes that are required by law / recommended by our lawyers'? The latter, presumably. Does anyone else agree with me that "legal reasons" is a more common way of expressing the latter? (And I've just found one definition [businessdictionary.com] of "legal purposes" that seems to be a very specific instance of the former.)

     

    4 -

    Should fundraising efforts prove insufficient, at the discretion of the staff, we may run advertising on this site in an attempt to supplement income.

    No attempt to block access to this site shall be made by those who use ad-blocking software, though we urge such users to subscribe.

    Replace "this site" with any "member site(s)"? Perhaps combine into 1 paragraph?

    Should fundraising efforts prove insufficient, at the discretion of the staff, we may run advertising on member site(s) in an attempt to supplement income. We will not attempt to restrict or prevent the use of member site(s) by people who block advertisements, though we may urge them to subscribe.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @10:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @10:37PM (#42381)

      1 - Quick fix: delete 2 words from "hosted on this on this site"

      Ok, so now we're left with "on this on this". That didn't really fix anything, did it?

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:34AM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:34AM (#42571) Journal

        You clearly misunderstood. He certainly wanted to leave "this on this site" ...

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday May 12 2014, @09:49PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 12 2014, @09:49PM (#42357) Journal

    What hinders any feature ownership to break these commitments or rules?

    About the site: Let this be about content that really makes a change in life with special focus on technology.

    That Facebook break privacy. Samsung makes a phone that is slightly faster than the last one. That politicians are bribe-able. Volcanoes are hot. Someone discovered that you can cool you fridge using ice etc.. It doesn't really change stuff. A battery that can be made from abundant silicon and be charged like a super capacitor for pennies. Now that has impact, etc..
    (still waiting for hot fusion using sea hydrogen)

    On the wish list. Make comments that are new since the thread was last visited colored in a different way so one can find them easily. Support HTTP/1.1 properly because currently it takes ages to load. A list of ones own article submissions would be useful to have some kind of statistics on what is good to submit and what one shouldn't waste time on.

    • (Score: 2) by stderr on Monday May 12 2014, @10:45PM

      by stderr (11) on Monday May 12 2014, @10:45PM (#42384) Journal

      A list of ones own article submissions would be useful to have some kind of statistics on what is good to submit and what one shouldn't waste time on.

      When you try to submit a story [soylentnews.org] you get a list of "Your recent submissions", each of them marked with either "accepted" or "rejected" (or "pending", I think).

      Is that what you're looking for?

      --
      alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday May 12 2014, @11:09PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 12 2014, @11:09PM (#42395) Journal

        It should be moved to a separate page and have links to each submission. Some kind of color coding would help with the different statuses.

        • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Monday May 12 2014, @11:28PM

          by paulej72 (58) on Monday May 12 2014, @11:28PM (#42404) Journal

          If you go to http://soylentnews.org/~kaszz/ [soylentnews.org] (i.e. your info page), your submissions should be at the bottom. Color coding the lines can be done. It would not take much to do. I'll put it on my todo list.

          --
          Team Leader for SN Development
          • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:01AM

            by lhsi (711) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:01AM (#42581) Journal

            The user page has the links to stories with the title that appeared when they were posted, but does not show rejected/pending stories. The submission page has the titles as they were submitted, but no links. The pages are similar, but slightly different.

            Maybe combining the two would be useful (but don't have it at the top of the Submit Story page, I have to scroll for ages to get to the form, PR here: https://github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode/issues/13 9 [github.com]).

            Also useful would be showing the number of comments for a story next to it in the list. I have a list of over 100 but I don't know which ones were more popular without looking at every one. Bonus would be showing the number of views that the story got (i.e. the number of people who clicked to read the whole story/comments), maybe just for the submitter instead of public if you don't want it to be public information? It would help in knowing what stories are more popular than others.

            Should I add this to my open PR about decluttering the submit story page, or raise a new one?

            • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:23AM

              by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:23AM (#42618) Journal

              The user page has the links to stories with the title that appeared when they were posted, but does not show rejected/pending stories.

              When I look at my own user page, "Open4D's Recent Submissions" section, the columns are "Title", "Datestamp", and a 3rd column with no heading, but saying "Accepted" for every row.

              I haven't had any stories rejected, but wouldn't they show up in that list, with the word "Rejected" instead of "Accepted"?

              • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:36AM

                by lhsi (711) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:36AM (#42648) Journal

                I just checked and it does show Rejected/Pending stories on my user page (but according to a message at the bottom of your user page "(Rejected submissions are not listed.)"). So I think it shows rejected/pending stories to you but not to other users. The titles are still what they were posted with (the Submit Story page shows what they were submitted as).

                The submit page also has a count of pending/accepted/rejected which is handy if you don't want to have to count them up.

    • (Score: 1) by Open4D on Monday May 12 2014, @10:56PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 12 2014, @10:56PM (#42389) Journal

      Make comments that are new since the thread was last visited colored in a different way so one can find them easily.

      Completely off topic, but still a nice idea. You could have raised a new issue for it at https://github.com/SoylentNews/slashcode/issues [github.com] But you're too late now, I've raised it [github.com]!

       

      A list of ones own article submissions would be useful

      Can't you see your own submissions at the bottom of http://soylentnews.org/~kaszz/ [soylentnews.org] ?

      • (Score: 1) by bryan on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:21AM

        by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:21AM (#42617) Homepage Journal

        Make comments that are new since the thread was last visited colored in a different way so one can find them easily.

        I've wished for something like this too, so I've implemented it [pipedot.org] on Pipedot.

  • (Score: 2) by crutchy on Monday May 12 2014, @10:27PM

    by crutchy (179) on Monday May 12 2014, @10:27PM (#42378) Homepage Journal

    the maifesto reads like a nice warm blanket of libreness, but it's not clear what practical purpose it will fulfill.

    is this a legal requirement or something?

    tbh i didn't realise i needed permission from some document to voice my opinion on the web, but i guess that's the way things are going (particularly in the usa).
    if i say something defamatory etc (or anything deemed by the listening nsa spooks to be worthy of gitmo hospitality) i wouldn't have thought anything like this would save me (or soylent).

    how does the manifesto relate to the usual tos, privacy, copyright and disclaimer notices?

    assuming the manifesto is a requirement for nfp incorporation or something legalish like that, has the need for incorporation has been identified by a swot analysis, or is a step in the objectives of those managing the site?

    sorry, maybe i haven't consumed enough coffee yet thismorning. these questions don't need to be answered. i don't consider anyone here to be under any kind of obligation to satisfy my curiosities (libreness works both ways). ncommander and rest of the staff are nice enough to offer their valuable time and expertise in establishing and maintaining a cool nerdy forum site that i can feel part of a community in, and that's more than anyone could/should expect.

    have fun!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by NCommander on Monday May 12 2014, @11:55PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Monday May 12 2014, @11:55PM (#42420) Homepage Journal

      Strictly speaking, we don't need a manifesto, and much of whats in it is what we're doing. However, instead of just relying on goodwill of the powers that be, I rather have it explicate what we will and will not do.

      People change over time, myself included, and I rather be explicate on what is acceptable for the staff, and what the community can expect from the TPTB. If we do something like delete posts, or censor a topic without a manifesto, we would have had the defense "we never said we won't do that"

      The manifesto keeps the staff honest, and creates a set of expectations that the community will know to expect on this site.

      --
      Still always moving
    • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:27AM

      by fliptop (1666) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:27AM (#42431) Journal

      establishing and maintaining a cool nerdy forum site that i can feel part of a community in, and that's more than anyone could/should expect

      I think you very succinctly described why I've been coming here more often and visiting /. much less lately. Which brings to mind a question, at what point does a Website reach critical mass and stop becoming the "cool nerdy forum you can feel part of a community in?"

      --
      It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @11:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12 2014, @11:06PM (#42393)

    If there is one figure of speech that is more overused right now, I'm not sure what it is!

    Could we please stop using 'at the end of the day' ?

    Like. Right. Now. ??

    I think it's making me crazier than I already am. My brain is always "what about tomorrow, Slick?" Stop! Please?

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mindriot on Monday May 12 2014, @11:39PM

    by mindriot (928) on Monday May 12 2014, @11:39PM (#42411)

    Just some minor text (not content) issues I noticed:

    • Right to Privacy: Any information we collection for legal purposes... -- should read "collect", or remove the "we"
    • Handling Advertising: No attempt to block access to this site shall be made by those who use ad-blocking software... -- you mean against those, right? How about a more readable non-passive version: "We will not attempt to block access to this site to those who use ad-blocking software..."
    --
    soylent_uid=$(echo $slash_uid|cut -c1,3,5)
  • (Score: 1) by arslan on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:46AM

    by arslan (3462) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:46AM (#42445)

    Funny you should use that word. If you really mean it, that would mean you have to be prepared to shut down/close/retract posted submissions when it gets proven by the readers/commentators to be bogus/misleading. At the very least put a big note next to the topic/summary.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @12:49AM (#42447)

    Manifesto? RIght?

  • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:36AM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @02:36AM (#42500) Journal

    I have NO problem with ads, but sadly few places follow best practices. what are best practices? 1.- NO third party hosted ads, because you have just handed security of the site over to someone who may or may not care about security, this also ruins the experience by slowing page loads. 2.- NO FLASH OR JAVA ADS...do I really need to explain why? The amount of zero days for these two platforms make them too risky and again with flash ads you are handing off security to a third party ad broker who will sell to anybody with enough cash. 3.- No pop up/under ads. Again should be self explanatory but with XSS its just too easy to use a pop up/under ad for nefarious purposes.

    But if the ads are first party and vetted by the staff? I'd have NO problem with them, hell make the ads for geeky places (like the big GOG sale going on now [gog.com] and I'll be happy to buy. As long as this site doesn't treat us like the previous site did, all backstabbing and treating us like product (which is why I like Soylent as a name, because they considered us product and that puts a funny spin on it) then I'm sure 20 years from now the kids will be making UID jokes and we'll be telling the little twerps to get off our lawns.

    And I think we should give a little toast to NCOM for writing such a well thought out declaration, hats of to you good sir....end of line.

    --
    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:49AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:49AM (#42575) Journal

      I agree, but I'd add more requirements:

      No constantly animated ads. Ads which animate once for a few seconds, or a few seconds every five minutes, or something like this, are OK, though.

      No compromising of the layout for ads. The first time Slashdot annoyed me was when they put ads in the right column which were simply too wide for that column. Then later they "fixed" it by changing the layout so that the wider ads fit in. That's bad. It should always be clear that it is the site which determines the layout, and whoever wants to put ads there has to adapt to that layout, not the other way round.

      And of course, ad placement should not be disruptive (like in the middle of a story, or between comments; ads between story and comments would be OK, though. Ads at the top are only OK if their vertical size is low enough (for example, the space between the site logo and the subject logos at the top might be used for ads, but only as long as those are not higher than the logos).

      One might also think of adding something analogous to the "community ads" of StackExchange, free ads which are restricted to free stuff, and voted on by the users. This could be anything from a pointer to posts in your SN journal to advertisement of free software projects.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:43AM

      by lhsi (711) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:43AM (#42598) Journal

      Currently my Ghostery icon says "0". If there are advertisements (I'd rather other avenues were explored), I really hope that it stays at 0.

      Also, as there are very few images on this site as is, text based ads would be preferable to avoid drawing attention.

    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday May 14 2014, @03:03AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday May 14 2014, @03:03AM (#43038) Homepage

      GOG is exactly the sort of outfit whose ads I'd be happy to see. Back in the olden days, I probably discovered Compgeeks (later geeks.com, now defunct) through an ad on some tech site. A few of the back-when ad banners were so clever that I saved them for my own amusement. Etc, etc.

      Here's a thought: give ads a Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down for us to apply, and use that to see which ought to be looked at more closely (maybe we want more of 'em; maybe they're being annoying). Maybe we can influence advertisers by promoting eye-friendly ads and demoting annoying ones.

  • (Score: 2) by dmc on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:38AM

    by dmc (188) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @03:38AM (#42522)

    Too often, the focus upon profit has led to owners forgetting that sites exist for the benefit of their community, and the leadership and staff live to serve that community.

    Apologies if this is a dupe, I thought I just submitted a comment like this but don't see it. I was just going to point out how I strongly disagree with this, from the perspective of the canonical reasons described in Orwell's "Animal Farm" or Ayn Rand's novels. I hope a majority of the community don't truly feel that sites exist for the benefit of the community and that anyone lives to serve the community. I would hope the leaders of the site operate the site because it is what they would prefer to do with their life. And I hope they have plenty of life outside their work on this site. I'm the type of FOSS developer that values the collective effect of individuals "scratching their own itch". The verbiage here sounds pretty far left wing and not in line with what I would hope motivates the operators of the site. I don't want them to be doing it because they feel like they owe it to me, the community or anyone else. I'd rather be in a community operated by people who are selfishly enjoying the task of operating the site.

    $0.02...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:16AM (#42541)

      so people "scratching their own itch" by serving the community is "far left wing"?

      wow, just wow.

      and to ascribe that to the 'canonical reasons described in Orwell's "Animal Farm"'
      is an absolute travesty. you're talking about Orwell! Orwell ffs! do you even know
      who Orwell is? go read The Road To Wigan Pier you selfish little libertarian.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @06:14AM (#42555)

        so people "scratching their own itch" by serving the community is "far left wing"?

        wow, just wow.

        Um, ffs, no dude. What is arguably "far left wing is"

        Too often, the focus upon profit has led to owners forgetting that sites exist for the benefit of their community, and the leadership and staff live to serve that community.

        If the subject of this musing was *only* this site, then I wouldn't see it as being perceivable as "left wing". The subject however was "owners of sites" *in general*, or at least in a wider context.

        • (Score: 2) by AudioGuy on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:02AM

          by AudioGuy (24) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @07:02AM (#42564) Journal

          This is NOT left wing:

          "sites exist for the benefit of their community"

          THIS would be left wing, note the difference please:

          "sites exist only for the benefit of their community"

          All businesses exist for the benefit of their customers. But they do not exist ONLY for the benefit of their customers - there is MUTUAL benefit. That is the very basis of a free economy.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:33AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:33AM (#42597)

            yes ok fair point.

            but i think its fairly likely that NCommander was not making some push for
            global communism, i read it as a dig at the other place.

            but in any case, the libertarian then goes on to talk about this
            specific site, and how he'd prefer it if people were selfish.
            sheesh.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:36AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:36AM (#42622)

            I have to still disagree. And it's one of those "never say never" things. When you say "All businesses exist for the benefit of their customers.", I have to say- it's easy to see you are wrong. Surely amongst this globe of 7 billion people and countless businesses, you must concede that at least a few "don't exist for the benefit of their customers". While I was trying to highlight the case of businesses that _exist_ because the founder thought they would enjoy operating that particular business, obviously there are also many a ponzi-scheme and other less than benevolent business out there that actually _exist to screw over their customers_. So I'm saying you are wrong on that point from a simple observational logic standpoint.

            As to what you said prior to that, I agree with what you are trying to express, but the fact that the meaning for you completely changes with the subtle extraction of the word 'only' is _precisely_ why the verbiage is problematic in this site's manifesto. If the meaning can be so radically altered with that one word, I would hope you can take a step back and realize that- my original point in commenting wasn't to accuse NC of _being far left_, but to highlight that with the word choices he made in the manifesto- it could reasonably appear that way to someone who wasn't reading with a careful attention to the nuance that you believe is so entirely changed with a single 4 letter word.

            Now honestly, my real critique would be that I suspect that NC fell to the temptation to choose words that "sound noble" in a traditional sense that values selflessness and considers selfishness to be vice. And Ayn Rand, though she scares the hell out of me in my later life realizing how nasty nazis and slave owners were and how viscious a world of actual leisse fairre capitalism could end up, made some very good points attempting to get people to reexamine the virtuousness of selflessness versus selfishness.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13 2014, @10:59AM (#42632)

            (note: 42597 is not me, dmc)

            Please also realize your comment loses persuasiveness when you consider the other word snippet I emboldened in the quote- I.e. with a narrow focus, I agree with your NOT/THIS comment, when you expand your focus to include the VERY NEAR CONTEXT of "and the leadership and staff live to serve that community." it is hard for me to be persuaded that my comment was poor based on your NOT/THIS analysis.

            When I look at the plethora of sites on the internet, I absolutely do not see "the leadership and staff life to serve their community" as a generalization I can make about them. I view internet sites as far less motivated by the needs of the community than that sentiment suggests. Many sites may be motivated by such community service, but hardly all of them. As many sites are simply motivated because the operators wanted to operate that sort of site, knowing that maybe a community would develop long term, and maybe a community wouldn't. The internet is filled with lots of experiments. The idea that sites in general have "leadership and staff that live to serve their community" sounds to me like an incorrect generalization to make, both about the actual current internet, or what the internet ought to evolve towards.

            Don't get me wrong, NC and whoever else are amongst the leadership and staff of this site are absolutely welcome to have whatever beliefs and whatever wording they like in their manifesto. If I don't like it, I'll leave, and I won't consider it bad in any way. Because to me, that kind of _loose voluntary_ association between community and operators is what I think is perfectly fine. Honestly Slashdot and SoylentNews aren't enough instances of slashcode in my opinion. I want to see thousands of slashcode based communities, all with differing ideas about what they ought to look like and be about. I don't think one size needs to fit all. The best thing about the multitude of sites on the internet is the diversity of motivations. The fact that some have leadership and staff that live to serve their community, and some that have leadership and staff that live to drink mountain dew, eat doritos, smoke pot, make snarky comments, and not care if their snarky comments cause their community to number in the tens instead of the tens of thousands is fine by me.

            ITS NO BIG DEAL.

  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:45AM

    by Tork (3914) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:45AM (#42547)
    "Diversity will be respected and encouraged as an important aspect of our community, as groupthink can easily prevent people from seeing other, perhaps better, ideas."

    What sorts of things are you looking at to break up the GroupThink?
    --
    Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Thursday May 15 2014, @03:41AM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Thursday May 15 2014, @03:41AM (#43574) Homepage Journal

      Moderator rework: http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/04/07/134 228 [soylentnews.org]

      I haven't had the time I needed to really get behind it, but I think a lot of the base concepts are solid. THen again, I realize I'm trying to use math to fix a people problem, so it might be a loosing battle.

      --
      Still always moving
      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Thursday May 15 2014, @05:08AM

        by Tork (3914) on Thursday May 15 2014, @05:08AM (#43603)
        When we discussed this before, on the topic of Ethanol Fueled, my stance was "Throw the bum out". It wasn't popular and I think the reason for that is I have an almost completely opposing view of how a site like this should be run. I come from a couple of different forums (run by VBulletin if that gives you an idea) and we've always valued the community over the content. It seems like here, though, the content is more important than the community. We'd throw people out for being disruptive, but SN would keep the content and tell the community to deal. Which is cool, I think I understand that now. But the reason I asked you this specific question is that it was made clear in the manifesto that the offensive content would remain. From my perspective that could really tie your hands behind your back in certain scenarios.

        I do appreciate what you guys are doing to maintain openness. I hope I'm not coming off as poo-pooing it, it's not intentional.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
        • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday May 16 2014, @12:28AM

          by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday May 16 2014, @12:28AM (#44041) Homepage Journal

          I've come from it on the other side as well, as I used to be run and admin several Invision Boards (competitor to vB), and my stance on it comes from that experience as well.

          Some people are, to be blunt, shitheads, and moderation will (in theory) weed them out and send their posts straight to -1. Furthermore, we're larger than most forum communities are already, w/ approximately 3250 user accounts as of writing. Most forums I used to attend had a small number of regulars who you could more or less identify on site. Now that may be in part it was easier to ID a user (the user field here is kinda small), but with that many users, with only a small subset posting on each story, our community is never going to be one where everyone knows everyone.

          With an effective moderation system, in theory, no one ever need be hardbanned from the website; granted, I don't think the system is up to snuff right now, but I'm working to fix that. The staff acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and as history shows, that's far too much power for just one person with limited grounds to appeal.

          --
          Still always moving
          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Friday May 16 2014, @12:46AM

            by Tork (3914) on Friday May 16 2014, @12:46AM (#44046)
            It's appreciated. I'll tell ya something, I'm a Slashdotter going back to around 1999. I left them a couple of years ago (long before Dice...) because the community has turned rotten. This site, however, reminds me of why I liked Slashdot back then. I mean that as a sincere compliment. I thought you'd want to know that.
            --
            Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
            • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday May 16 2014, @01:19AM

              by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday May 16 2014, @01:19AM (#44058) Homepage Journal

              I'd like to say we'll never turn rotten so to speak, but as the community grows, change is inevitable, though I'd like to think w/ a steady hand, we can at least prevent it from coming what /. became. If I may ask, what sort of rottenness did you see on /. that caused you to leave?

              --
              Still always moving
              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Friday May 16 2014, @01:57AM

                by Tork (3914) on Friday May 16 2014, @01:57AM (#44061)
                Somewhere in the last decade it became fashionable on Slashdot to become a snarky asshole and argue your point into the ground, as opposed to having an actual two-way discussion.

                Here's an example: http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3056285& threshold=0&commentsort=0&mode=thread&cid=41033647 [slashdot.org]

                There's a lot to read there so I'll give you a summary: There's a guy who used the On-Line service, where video games are streamed over the net, and he gave his account of how well the service worked. Another guy insisted on telling him that his opinion was wrong despite admitting he hadn't had first-hand experience with the product. (The juicy bit is 3rd post from the bottom.) So many people have been modded up for complaining about the theoretical problems with that service that they thought their opinion was sound. You'll notice that he never once asked questions about that guy's particular experience, he just spouted out what he thought he was right about.

                Somewhere Slashdot reached a point where it just wasn't cool to ask questions anymore. I *think* it happened because there were too many average joes equipped with mod-points that were drawn into flamebait articles. Sooner or later topics with high polarization (smartphone oeprating systems, game systems, etc...) don't really require thoughtful replies, just jabs thrown at each other back and forth.

                Eventually Slashdot stopped being a place for me to come by and either see something cool or have a laugh, but it eventually became a game of Verbal Kombat. I reached my fill of it when one guy's argument sank as low as to ask me why I'd ever worry about running somebody over with my car when it couldn't possibly injure me. "Really? Your last avenue of attack in this debate is to get me to explain why I value human life?"

                I believe this can be avoided if at least a significant fraction of the moderation is professionally controlled (and not solely driven by the users...) and if SN stays away from pushing their own agenda like Slashdot did with Microsoft. (I personally wouldn't have approved of this story: http://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/05/14/124 9251 [soylentnews.org] .. 'Windoze', really...?)

                I hope that helps.
                --
                Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
                • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Friday May 16 2014, @08:17PM

                  by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <mcasadevall@soylentnews.org> on Friday May 16 2014, @08:17PM (#44409) Homepage Journal

                  Well, the moderation system will forever been one of those work in progress things that will be constantly tweaked to keep things interesting. THe "professional" thing is covered by supermoderation if and when I get around to implementing it >.;

                  --
                  Still always moving
                  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Friday May 16 2014, @09:06PM

                    by Tork (3914) on Friday May 16 2014, @09:06PM (#44439)
                    Sounds great! Thank you and have a great weekend.
                    --
                    Slashdolt Logic: "19 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 1) by Dr Ippy on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:56AM

    by Dr Ippy (3973) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @11:56AM (#42657)

    I assume that this site is physically hosted in the USA, and operated from the USA, and therefore when legalities are mentioned, they refer to US law.

    I'd like to remind the site owners that the English-speaking world is much larger than the USA, and that this is often forgotten by Americans. In particular, there's often an unspoken assumption that US law applies globally. This is far from the truth!

    I'd like to make a plea that you consider the large fraction (I hope) of your audience and contributors who, like me, are outside the US. I'd like to think of Soylent News as an international website with an international viewpoint, or at least one that welcomes divergent opinions from non-Americans.

    One aspect of internationalism is that there are conflicting world-views. For example, many of us outside the US don't much like the idea of advertising plastered everywhere; I for one block as many online ads as I can. I don't see that as unprincipled, unfair or unethical. If this site is to be funded by advertising, go ahead, but plenty of us won't see the ads, let alone click through.

    Thank you for reading!

    --
    This signature intentionally left blank.
  • (Score: 1) by jbWolf on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:29PM

    by jbWolf (2774) <{jb} {at} {jb-wolf.com}> on Tuesday May 13 2014, @05:29PM (#42812) Homepage

    There are a lot of websites that suck every bit of data they can from a user while pretending to offer the user something. There are a handful of websites that actively promote private data but don't have a lot "every day" things to offer a user. Then there is this Soylent News and the new manifesto.

    I am so friggin' tired of reading suck-your-soul EULAs that it was especially refreshing to read this from Soylent News. I won't rehash the few improvements that others have given. I will say this:

    Thank you. Thank you for doing something common sense and moral. It is a tremendous breath of fresh air. And thank you for all of your hard work everyday. I can't say it enough... Thank you!

    --
    www.jb-wolf.com [jb-wolf.com]
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by gidds on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:34PM

    by gidds (589) on Tuesday May 13 2014, @08:34PM (#42897)

    Should fundraising efforts prove insufficient, at the discretion of the staff, we may run advertising on this site in an attempt to supplement income.

    That sounds like a necessary evil — but you don't say anything about preserving editorial integrity.

    Will you take any measures to prevent advertisers or other funders (actual or prospective) having any effect (even indirectly) upon editorial policy?

    If so, should you mention that (at least in general terms) in the manifesto?

    (I'm not just thinking of having some bigwig calling up and demanding changes; there's also the possibility of editors being unconsciously influenced by the thought of making the site attractive for particular sorts of advertisers. I imagine the latter is harder to prevent.)

    --
    [sig redacted]
  • (Score: 2) by Open4D on Friday May 16 2014, @11:11AM

    by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 16 2014, @11:11AM (#44152) Journal

    A few people, including me, have suggested relatively minor things that could be re-worded.

    Why not put the manifesto on the wiki, with a disclaimer at the top: "Feel free to edit, but don't be offended if your edits are reverted without explanation".

     
    You could have a separate, locked, wiki page to keep track of which revisions of the manifesto are officially approved.

    I already have an account on the wiki, and would be willing to manage this process.

  • (Score: 1) by pyg on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:44AM

    by pyg (4381) on Sunday May 25 2014, @02:44AM (#47236)

    I decided to join after reading this having read chips&dips early on but not joining /. till 5 digit UIDs. I currently mostly only [!]participate via http://alterslash.org/ [alterslash.org]alterslash. I also applaud/sympathize with your writing style... better to just bang it out rough and then let it get refined by the environment. I played internet lawyer for my own not tax exempt not for profit and I would like to encourage adding a bit to this manifesto about financial disclosure. Consider the possibility of sharing at your annual membership meeting the details of who gets paid what for what, not that it's up for discussion, but that perhaps some members will choose to cease participating/contributing if said discussion does not agree with their expectations. Also by membership I mean all subscribers. As I grok the overall goals of SN (also terrible fucking name btw) it's essentially humanist in the good way. s/humanist/communist/

  • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:49PM

    by GeminiDomino (661) on Thursday June 05 2014, @03:49PM (#51751)

    So I'm guessing that LibreNews won the vote, then?

    Unfortunate.

    --
    "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"