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posted by martyb on Friday March 06 2020, @01:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the alliteration++ dept.

I have a couple things to bring to the attention of the community concerning site funding and comment moderations. As always, if you are not interested in these matters, feel free to skip past this one; another story will be along shortly. Otherwise read beyond the fold for an update.

Finances:

A recent comment to a journal article about SoylentNews now having a privacy policy prompted me to pursue something that had been nagging at me for a long while.

In short, I have learned it costs more to run this site than I had estimated. We have actually been operating at a loss for the past couple years. I have, therefore, provided a revised fundraising goal of $3500.00 for the first half of this calendar year in the "Site News" slashbox (that appears on the right-hand-side of the main page).

I have been advised our current funds on hand can support the site for just six months.

For those who have been around for a while, it will come as no surprise to learn that I try to keep a handle on subscription income for this site. Further, I have been maintaining what we affectionately refer to here as the "Beg-O-Meter' that appears in the "Site News" slashbox. It provides a running tally of our financial goal for the period and how far along we are towards attaining that goal. Lastly, I have posted stories in the past apprising the community as to our progress towards those goals.

We are an entirely volunteer organization (no staff member has ever been paid anything for their work on SoylentNews). All funding for the site comes entirely from the community (we have never run advertisements and are strongly resistant to any suggestion to do so). The vast majority of our funding comes from subscriptions.

My prior estimates of $4000.00 per year were based on the only information I had available at that time. Our monthly web hosting costs ($260/month), the fact that we needed to file and pay taxes, and that we paid an accountant to prepare them. Twelve months at $260/month works out to $2160 per year. I reasoned a goal of $3000 for the year would give us about $840 for those other expenses... that should do it, right?

Apparently not.

Thanks to the above-referenced comment, I reached out to a member of our board of directors and inquired as to our financial status. In very short order I received a pile of PDF files. A separate file for each fiscal year's Profit and Loss Statement and a separate file for each year's Balance Sheet. It took a surprising amount of effort, but thanks to the concerted effort of a few staff members, these have been uploaded to our Wiki and can now be accessed through the SoylentNews Finance page.

A couple things bear explanation. You may notice that there are expenses associated with subscriptions. The amount of a subscription made to SoylentNews is a gross amount. From that, Stripe or PayPal charge a processing fee for each subscription. These fees do add up and amount to the aforementioned expense.

Also, why is a Delaware company paying Massachusetts state taxes? I reached out for an answer from a board member, and here is his reply:

We pay Massachusetts income tax (since we are not profitable, we pay the minimum amount of $456 each year, but if we ever become profitable, we will have to pay more) because we are physically located in MA (through me). A physical address was required to open our checking account with BoA[*], and for various other things. For example, we need a physical address to sign the engagement letter with our accountant every year. Note that we are not required to pay Delaware income tax because we are not physically located in DE. The tax that we pay to Delaware each year is technically a franchise tax that we pay for the privilege of being incorporated in Delaware (allowing us to be a Public Benefit Corporation, among other benefits).

[*] BoA - Bank of America.

I will keep the community appraised should I learn anything more.

Moderations:

We had had a discussion on the site a few months ago about moderation on the site. I have been pursuing a possible implementation of one of the suggestions raised there: adding a "-1 Ad Hominem" moderation. Discussion among staff has suggested we would need a counter moderation should a "-1 Ad Hominem" be perceived to have been in error. That wold mean the addition of a "+1 Not Ad Hominem" moderation, too. (In proper geek fashion, they nicely abbreviate to: "-1 AH" and "+1 NAH"!) There is more to its implementation than just adding these options to the moderation table; coding changes would also be needed. This, in turn, would require the modifications be submitted through GitHub as a pull request, then testing, and finally a rollout to the community. It is important to note that this would be on a trial basis! If it proves to NOT be workable, we need to be able to roll that back. This is easier said than done! The previous moderations will need to remain in the system (what's done is done) but future moderations must be able to be blocked... and the code is not designed for this at all.

It bears mentioning that our goal is to provide a forum for the community to comment on stories and to moderate those comments. We strive to be as hands-off about these matters as we reasonably can.

In short, this is mostly an announcement that AH moderations have not been forgotten, design work is in progress, and that when time and developer availability permits, we hope to be rolling this out for a test run. I would not expect anything to happen in the next month, but wanted to provide as much advance notice as to the intention as possible so as to encourage any feedback, discussion, etc. that could help inform our implementation.

<Note class="TMB">

s/next month/next few months/

Contractor woes (just because I technically can do everything doesn't mean it's always the wisest idea) wound up pushing move-in date on the church I've been remodeling back a couple months (end of April is what we're currently shooting for as a best case scenario) and I don't want anything hitting production servers that hasn't had at least two weeks worth of testing on our dev server after me calling it done, because I'm quite often wrong about that. The end of May is the soonest anything is likely to hit production servers, with some time in June being far more likely.

</Note>


Original Submission

Related Stories

WTF is Up With the "TROLL" Mods? 483 comments

I was going to post this to a particular story, but thought this might generate more attention and discussion as a general submission.

Seriously, what is going on with all these troll mods? Just because you disagree with someone, thus earning a "disagree" mod, does not mean that person is a "troll." To steal a definition from Urban Dictionary:

An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

Just because you disagree with someone, does not mean they are trying to do the above. Be faster on the "disagree" and slower on the "troll." Under such abuse, it is hard to have a good discussion and, in itself, is trollish behavior by "generally disrupt[ing] normal on-topic discussion." Other than people disciplining themselves, a concerted effort to police such abuses, or making moderation logs public on the bottom of a comment where the score is shown now, I'm unsure of what to do about. As it stands, it is getting increasingly ridiculous to read what discussion is here on any topic remotely controversial, and is expanding outside of even those. It is starting to drive me away from the site, and I'm somewhat confident it is doing the same for others. I'd be interested to see what others think about the depth of the problem, if they even believe it even exists at all, and what solutions you all have for it.

[Ed note. This story is published exactly as received. First off, it bears repeating that complaining about moderations in the comments often leads (rightly) to an off-topic moderation. That is a contributing factor to my decision to run this story. Secondly, moderation is something that I on occasion have found I've fat-fingered and given a different moderation than expected. Thirdly, in the grand scheme of things, a comment's moderation is — relatively speaking — small potatoes. It is NOT a measure of your IQ or value as a human being. or standing in the community. Just accept that stuff happens and that as likely as not, someone will be along to moderate it the other way. Which is a good opportunity to say: PLEASE USE YOUR MOD POINTS! Lastly, if you think a comment was moderated in error, then send the CID (Comment ID) link e.g. "(#876543)" in an email to admin (at) soylentnews (dot) org. Keep in mind however that we are all volunteers here and there most likely will be a delay between when you send out an email and when we can get around to it. --martyb]

[Updated: 20190823_111312 UTC See comment from JR who far more precisely and eloquently expressed the idea I was attempting to. I concur with his assessment. If I want people to upmod a comment of mine that I believe was unfairly downmodded, then I need to be willing to upmod other's mis-modded comments. For perspective, so far this month, anywhere from ~150-~350 mod points were used in any given day. It bears repeating: use your mod points!]


Original Submission

Meta: Conspicuous Privacy Policy 141 comments

Bleh. Apparently not caring what you do on other sites or even requiring any personal information isn't good enough for the state of Confusion^WCalifornia, so we have a shiny, new, temporary Privacy Policy posted on every page and linked at the top of the nav bar.

If you feel like prettying the language, layout, or whatever up before I get around to it, feel free to do so and submit a pull request.

Happy Anniversary SoylentNews — Seven Whole Years Since Go-Live! 42 comments

On Monday February 17 2014, at 02:06AM SoylentNews announced itself to the world!

(That's exactly seven years ago from the time this story posts.) Does it seem possible? I know it certainly amazes me.

A lot can happen in a year. Here are some items of note. As always, if you are not interested in this kind of stuff, ignore this post — a new story will be along shortly. Otherwise, this story continues below the fold.

  1. Random Statistics
  2. Site News
  3. Staff Activity
  4. Folding@Home

NB: An earlier version of this story containing much more detail seems to have jumped into a bit bucket. Please forgive any errors that crept into this quick reincarnation attempt!

Random Statistics:

Over the past year, activity on the site comes to:

Journals:2,161
Stories:3,927
Moderations:114,020
Comments:155,098

We previously had a great number of posts on the COVID-19 pandemic. It is still with us, but vaccines are starting to be rolled out. Sadly, variants of the coronavirus have appeared, and some appear to be more contagious than the earlier strains. We had let up on our coverage of late, because trying to merge 20-30 story submissions was extremely demanding of time and energy — yet with decreasing amounts of discussion.

In spite of the hit that COVID-19 had on the community, we had a successful fundraiser last year. When we have official results, we will get them to you.

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(1) 2
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:18PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:18PM (#967381)

    nah nah nah nah nah nah

    you need some paperwork with that paperwork?

  • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Friday March 06 2020, @01:21PM (2 children)

    by opinionated_science (4031) on Friday March 06 2020, @01:21PM (#967382)

    can't you deduct your state taxes from federal return?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @02:29PM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @02:29PM (#967413) Journal

      We should pay for an expert to help us - oh, we do, that's one of the things that is included in the running costs of this site.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:26PM (#967447)

        Yes, you hired experts, but if management is asleep at the wheel they will just work with that.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:22PM (16 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:22PM (#967383)

    fuer ne weile wahren eure nachrichten immer ein paar tage der zeit hinterher. das funktionert aber langsam, aber die grotesken ungebildeten unwuerdigen kommentare die hier die mehrzahl der user-beitraege darzustellen scheinen gehen mir so auf den keks dass ich langsam schon gar keinen bock mehr habe hier in diskussionen hinein zu schauen. Traurig aber wahr. ne loesung, ausser halt mal die kosten zu halbieren, hab' ich nich. echt doof. euch allen aber alles beste!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:30PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:30PM (#967385)

      This is a decades old form from slashdot. We've probably all seen it. I don't have the wit to adapt it to the current crisis, but it still works to express conclusion:

      Your post advocates a

      ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

      approach to moderation. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

      ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
      ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
      ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
      ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
      ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
      ( ) Users of email will not put up with it
      ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
      ( ) The police will not put up with it
      ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
      ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
      ( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
      ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
      ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

      Specifically, your plan fails to account for

      ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
      ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email
      ( ) Open relays in foreign countries
      ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
      ( ) Asshats
      ( ) Jurisdictional problems
      ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
      ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
      ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
      ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
      ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
      ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
      ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
      ( ) Extreme profitability of spam
      ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
      ( ) Technically illiterate politicians
      ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
      ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
      ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
      ( ) Outlook

      and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

      ( ) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
      ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
      ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
      ( ) Blacklists suck
      ( ) Whitelists suck
      ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
      ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
      ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
      ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
      ( ) Sending email should be free
      ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
      ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
      ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
      ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
      ( ) I don't want the government reading my email
      ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

      Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

      (*) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
      ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
      ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday March 06 2020, @03:18PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday March 06 2020, @03:18PM (#967440) Journal

        I'm pretty sure I've seen this first on Usenet (although IIRC it used square brackets, as after all you can typically select more than one option)

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:24PM (12 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:24PM (#967445)

      Das hättest Du auch auf englisch schreiben können, das "währe" deiner Mühe wert gewesen.
      He's saying that why don't we try to halve the costs, which sounds like good advice. Why are we paying $456 to be a Delaware corporation resident in Taxachusetts, and with the amount of supposed competition in the cloud, can't we do better that $250/month?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:29PM (11 children)

        Oh we could absolutely run this site on significantly less. We could run it on my desktop if absolutely necessary. We're kind of fond of having two load balancers so we can down one for updates while the other picks up the load, two web frontends so we don't have to put all the page rendering load on one of them as well as redundancy, two db nodes so if one shits the bed we're not completely screwed, one dev server so we don't have to test things out on the production servers, one staff server so we don't have to run strictly internal things on production servers and so we can have a single point that ssh access is allowed on that doesn't hold any data worth stealing, one non-critical services server for things like IRC/the wiki/mail/etc..., and one offsite backup server on a completely different provider.

        Yeah, we could consolidate a little bit. If hard pressed the first thing to go would probably be the dev server (lithium) and we'd move dev work over to the staff server (boron), though we'd have to increase the capabilities of that server to handle it. Anything beyond that would either introduce unnecessary security risks where your data is concerned or cause much greater risk of downtime/data loss problems though.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:46PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:46PM (#967505)

          One way to attract and keep good volunteers is to make sure they aren't frustrated by lack of resources.
          I'm about to ante-up again!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:57PM (#967519)

            ...and done -- $20 added.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:59PM

            Cheers, yo. I wasn't worried. You guys always cover whatever we say we need and then some. It's our own fault for not having our math right.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday March 06 2020, @05:05PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 06 2020, @05:05PM (#967528) Journal

          If you play your cards right, you could siphon SoylentNews funds to pay for your Starlink 1 Gbps Internet connection.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:19AM (1 child)

            Nah, my 1Gbps connection comes from 1Tennessee (nice bunch of local hippies, run a good business) and it's like sixty bucks. I'm pushing for enough for a corporate private island so we can all go shitpost while drunk on the beach.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Saturday March 07 2020, @09:06AM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 07 2020, @09:06AM (#967855) Journal

              so we can all go shitpost while drunk on the beach

              So what you really want is a beach... ;)

              --
              It's always my fault...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:50PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:50PM (#967547)

          I recently bought a gift subscription for another user for $20. I bought it as an AC. It was a one time subscription paid from my CC via Stripe. I entered my email address. It appears my CC was billed but I never got any sort of email confirmation or receipt. That seems quite odd and made me wonder if the subscription was even credited. What gives?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @08:30PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @08:30PM (#967632)

            If it's useful in the event you're planning to check on it, the subscription was purchased for Knowledge Troll shortly before he announced he was retiring the account. An AC suggested purchasing a subscription for a user who I thought had made good contributions. I thought Knowledge Troll had made constructive contributions and seemed a little less caught up in the political bickering than some other users. In particular, he said he was modding up a post of mine that I'd made in good faith and he thought was unfairly modded to -1 troll. My online banking shows that the transaction was finalized on March 2. I did have to enter an email address, so I expected an email confirmation. I just want to make sure SN actually got the money, especially now that I don't think Knowledge Troll will use the gift subscription. And in the future, an email confirmation would probably be a good thing to avoid confusion.

            • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday March 06 2020, @10:49PM

              by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @10:49PM (#967688) Journal
              Investigated, subscription payment located, and... payment confirmation e-mail sent! Thank you VERY much for our subscription! NB: If anyone else reading this failed to receive a confirmation email for a SoylentNews subscription, please send me an email with as much information as you can provide (date, time, amount, confirmation code, account, e-mail address... the more the better) and I will personally look in to it. My address is martyb (at) soylentnews (dot) org
              --
              Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday March 06 2020, @05:58PM (1 child)

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday March 06 2020, @05:58PM (#967559) Homepage Journal

          You might want to shop for a cheaper host. Some of them are crazily high priced. I've been using R4L for two decades, haven't found anybody better or cheaper. If you do, please let me know.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday March 06 2020, @06:05PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday March 06 2020, @06:05PM (#967563) Homepage Journal

            Sorry to reply to myself, but I just re-read the article and WOW! I'm paying $50 per YEAR for 10 gigabytes. Not sute how much space s/n needs. Their paid hosting has a plethora of tools, none of which I use since my sites are vanilla HTML with no programming, but I'm pretty sure s/n would use the heck out of them.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Friday March 06 2020, @07:05PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @07:05PM (#967586) Journal

      Ehrlich, was noch aergerlicher als dumme kommentare ist, ist schimpfen um dumme kommentare statt etwas intelligentes zu schreiben. Mann soll immer aufbauen and verbessern statt abbauen und beklagen.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:33PM (63 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @01:33PM (#967388)

    It's surprising that it's hard, it really seems like something that should be a data change only.

    But, is it really that much better than -1 Troll or Flamebait? And is a specific opposite really necessary? Is there -1 Boring to go with +1 Interesting? :)

    Although the idea of moderation where every -1 is a specific fallacy would be amusing. -1 No True Scotsman (corresponding +1 True Scotsman)

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @01:39PM (39 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @01:39PM (#967392) Journal

      I'm gonna go as far as to say it's fucking stupid idea.

      There's legitimate reasons to call a fucking idiot a fucking idiot when they're being a fucking idiot.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @02:06PM (29 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @02:06PM (#967399)

        well you would know.

        testing testing "-1 Ad Hominem"

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @02:17PM (28 children)

          by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @02:17PM (#967409) Journal

          The fact that you think describing a scenario where it's warranted and calling an idea stupid is an ad hominem is precisely why it's a bad idea as a mod.

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @02:33PM (27 children)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @02:33PM (#967416) Journal

            a fucking idiot

            refers to a person.

            a fucking idiotic idea

            would refer to an idea. You were attacking the person, therefore it is an ad hominem attack.

            --
            It's always my fault...
            • (Score: 5, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @02:48PM (18 children)

              "being a fucking idiot" is a verb clause though, so it's really attacking the action and not ad hom.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:57PM (14 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:57PM (#967468)

                The "-1 Ad Hominem" mod is a democrat thing. Please don't do it. They are only looking for a way to mete out greater punishment, like in that experiment where they press a button, believing they are electroshocking their antagonist. They use moderation as a weapon. Other than that the system works great.

                I still wish you would make the down modders write a lengthy essay on why they are down modding, we need a defense mechanism.

                • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:26PM (13 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:26PM (#967489)

                  This is a stupid comment by a stupid person. This FACT is evident from the use of "democrat" with derogatory intent. It is also evident in that the Anonymous Coward cannot be bothered to actually remember the name of the Milgram Experiment. Further, the AC is a paranoid nutcase, as it believes that when others notice his partisan idiocy, and down mod its comment accordingly, he takes that as assualt, and says modders are "weaponizing". Moron. Idiot. Would not read again. -Framebait - Trollop

                  • (Score: 3, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:35PM

                    It read as largely tongue-in-cheek to me, so you really just proved him right on some semi-serious ribbing by getting cranky about it.

                    --
                    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:35PM (6 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:35PM (#967497)

                    Welp, if you were the one who down modded that, you have just made my case. This is so far the only problem with the system

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:57PM (5 children)

                      On second glance, that may have been some some quality shitposting rather than a serious response. This is where not being AC would help to tell the difference.

                      --
                      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                      • (Score: 5, Informative) by aristarchus on Friday March 06 2020, @05:13PM (1 child)

                        by aristarchus (2645) on Friday March 06 2020, @05:13PM (#967532) Journal

                        Not very subtle for a Master Troll, are you, TMB? But I, for one, vote against any moderation based on logical fallacies, whether formal or informal, simply because so many soylentils have such a week grasp of them. Not understanding what an argumentum ad hominem is, is a case in point. If we added the strawman and "No True Scotsman", the "Texas Marksman", or ignorantio elenchi, all hell would break lose.

                        I still do not understand the umbrage taken at down mods. Usually it is not too bright right-wing nut-jobs, without much actual education, that get upset that someone has downmodded them, bruising an extremely fragile ego. But that comes from the holes in the Dunning-Kroeger effect, where they are vaguely aware that they might be a full-of-excrement racist idiot. Of course, this means the more they deny it, the more true it is. They should take down-mods as therapy, or a lesson to be learned, or possibly a badge of honor.

                        --
                        You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:15AM

                          Dude, have I ever appeared to be even as subtle as putting a half brick in a sock and swinging it rather than just throwing it? Seriously though, it's not easy to tell on a good one without having some context. That's what makes it good.

                          Yeah, I don't get it either. Getting downmodded for making people think things they didn't want to think is praise for a job well done not an insult.

                          --
                          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:15PM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:15PM (#967533)

                        Sorry, it is because of these arbitrary down modders that I post AC. I'm not sticking my karma out for them. Knowing the identity of a poster can be helpful in some instances. This isn't one of them. And after all, moderation is done anonymously. Why don't we ID them too? Don't we have the right to face our "accusers"?

                        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:02AM (1 child)

                          I wouldn't sweat it. If EF can keep his between 45 and 50 when he half tries, anyone can.

                          --
                          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @06:59PM

                            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @06:59PM (#967951)

                            He is a good man. The facade can't hide that.

                  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:23PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:23PM (#967535)

                    Leave it to a Democrat to assume that their own name is a derogatory insult.

                    Stop hitting yourself

                  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday March 06 2020, @06:08PM (1 child)

                    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday March 06 2020, @06:08PM (#967567) Journal

                    This FACT is evident from the use of "democrat" with derogatory intent.

                    And then to imply his ideas were wrong because of it!

                    Boy, maybe we need some kind of moderation option for crap like that!

                    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:01PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:01PM (#967585)

                      Boy, maybe we need some kind of moderation option for crap like that!

                      :-) On the contrary, lack of that option will do more to compel a written response, which is far better, so we don't have idiots just "pushing a button" *BZZZZT!*

                  • (Score: 4, Informative) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @06:53PM (1 child)

                    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @06:53PM (#967580) Journal

                    Derogatory intent is not required for an ad hominem

                    A. You're a well paid, well respected lawyer
                    B. You're arguing that poor people are suffering
                    C. You couldn't possibly know that because of A

                    That's an ad hominem argument. It's fallacious because it circumvents the content of the argument to focus on the person saying it. It doesn't really matter if it's derogatory or not.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:09PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:09PM (#967871)

                      A. You are fucking stupid idiot
                      B. You're arguing that poor people are suffering
                      C. You couldn't possibly know that because of A

              • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Friday March 06 2020, @03:57PM (2 children)

                by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @03:57PM (#967470)

                There really cannot be a more classic example of ad hominem than "being a fucking idiot".

                • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @04:12PM (1 child)

                  by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @04:12PM (#967475) Journal

                  See all the other posts that explain exactly why that thought is incredibly stupid.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:17PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:17PM (#967534)

                    Not just incredibly stupid, but whoever wrote it is a fucking idiot!! Which is NOT an ad hominem.

            • (Score: 5, Touché) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @02:51PM (7 children)

              by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @02:51PM (#967425) Journal

              And here, dear class, we have an example of a mind that is incapable of abstract reasoning. It's an interesting case, because while they can recognize words and their literal meaning, they're utterly incapable of using the sentence's structure to determine that the application was hypothetical in nature and not a literal usage.

              This kind of extremely befuddled reasoning is quite normal among those who like to cite fallacies in discussions as "I win" buttons. It doesn't matter to them, if when the fallacy is applied it deconstructs flawed reasoning(as fallacies should) or is merely possessed of an entirely superficial similarity. This kind of mind isn't capable of applying concepts meaningfully.

              The distinction, in this explicit fallacy, the ad hominem, between "This person is of dubious moral character therefor what they say should be disregarded" an invalid piece of reasoning, and "This person puts forth morally repugnant ideas, thus is of low moral character" a potentially valid deduction would be utterly lost on them. Don't even try to explain it.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 06 2020, @08:34PM (4 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @08:34PM (#967636) Journal
                It's the "some fallacies are superficial, so stop picking on me, 'k?" fallacy.
                • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday March 06 2020, @09:51PM (3 children)

                  by ikanreed (3164) on Friday March 06 2020, @09:51PM (#967666) Journal

                  People can pick on me all they like, I just don't like bad ideas that enable stupid reasoning.

                  • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @10:30PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @10:30PM (#967680)

                    but you keep coming back to SN ;)?

                    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:36AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:36AM (#967734)

                      We are the Soylent Amigos! Wherever there is stupidity and bad reasoning, we'll be there! Wherever there is ignorance and bias, we'll be there! Wherever there is injustice and unsocial behavior, we'll be there!

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday March 07 2020, @02:30AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 07 2020, @02:30AM (#967767) Journal

                    I just don't like bad ideas that enable stupid reasoning.

                    I don't either. That's why I point out these bald fallacies where they occur. I'm not going to bother to pretend that someone's fallacy-ridden argument is rational or sound.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by aristarchus on Friday March 06 2020, @09:20PM (1 child)

                by aristarchus (2645) on Friday March 06 2020, @09:20PM (#967658) Journal

                Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens. We have been over the ad hominem thing before. Behold!
                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=16556&cid=428738#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]

                --
                You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 08 2020, @03:25AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 08 2020, @03:25AM (#968067)

                  But see, in your case...

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @02:45PM (2 children)

        I tend to agree. I very much prefer the "comment rather than moderate" approach to things. The former creates discussion while the other inhibits it.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday March 06 2020, @07:10PM (1 child)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @07:10PM (#967588) Journal

          I was about to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. My take on moderation is conservative in the sense that I only do it rarely if somebody has really succinctly stated something, contributed useful additional information or insight, or has come out with a bon mot that could brighten everyone's day.

          Agreement or disagreement is better expressed through a reply, because conversation is what this site is all about. It's the secret sauce.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday March 07 2020, @03:41AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 07 2020, @03:41AM (#967794) Homepage Journal

            So, we need a sauce chef? As opposed to a sous chef? But, where can we get a chef with secret clearance to keep the secret sauce secret?

            --
            Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Friday March 06 2020, @03:27PM (5 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday March 06 2020, @03:27PM (#967448) Journal

        There's legitimate reasons to call a fucking idiot a fucking idiot when they're being a fucking idiot.

        That's not even technically an ad hominem! That's just namecalling.

        'Your argument is wrong because you're an idiot' would be an ad hominem.

        But people are mostly going to use it for the first example, aka incorrectly, when flamebait or troll would actually be more accurate.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:39PM (4 children)

          You forgot Informative. They may not think they're an idiot while actually being one and in need of that information.

          Go ahead, I know you want to. I'll probably even laugh.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday March 06 2020, @07:14PM (2 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @07:14PM (#967590) Journal

            We're all selectively idiots. I've seen everybody on here say dumb things sometimes, on certain topics. We each know what we know, and paper over the rest with supposition and personal perspective/prejudice. If moderation is doing its job it places those in proper relief, right?

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @11:59PM (1 child)

              I serve up a slow pitch like that and you take it seriously? Come on, man!

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @01:42AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @01:42AM (#967754)

                It is the Catch-22 of being an idiot. When you're serious people think you're trolling, when you're trolling people take you seriously. Time to see a neuropathologist.

          • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday March 06 2020, @09:23PM

            You forgot Informative. They may not think they're an idiot while actually being one and in need of that information.

            Go ahead, I know you want to. I'll probably even laugh.

            As someone I used to know liked to say, "People get mad when you call them an asshole, because they don't realize you're trying to get them to stop being stupid. They think you're just being mean."

            --
            No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @02:47PM (15 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @02:47PM (#967422) Journal

      It's surprising that it's hard, it really seems like something that should be a data change only.

      It was explained in TFS. Once a moderation has been used it cannot be deleted from the database, otherwise any moderations that had been given would no longer make sense - they would be moderations without a reason. Therefore the logic of the program has to be able to cope with a moderation value in the moderation table which can no longer be considered valid, but must remain otherwise the database will have errors in it. That changes the logic in the code that handles moderations.

      If we change the code, we have to test it. Therefore there will be a period of testing, including testing on dev.soylentnews.org where we will try to break it, martyb will QA the life out of it, and eventually assuming that it passes it will be released.

      But I suspect that you already know that, or you don't write software....

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @02:54PM

        Yup. Remove an entry from the modreasons table that's been used and the script would error out any time you tried to load a page it'd been used on. Leave it in and add a disabled flag to the table so it doesn't show up in the dropdown boxes and you still have to programmatically check that the reason isn't disabled before accepting moderation requests to keep people from crafting POST requests by hand to use it even after it's disabled.

        tl;dr Not just a data change.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:09PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:09PM (#967434)

        (+6, Extra large penis) I feel this is a necessary change for me to continue on this site.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:44PM (2 children)

          Nah, we'd run into all kinds of issues like how do you categorize trans folks or those who otherwise buy aftermarket penises in their myriad varieties. It'd be entirely too much bother.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by MostCynical on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:00AM (1 child)

            by MostCynical (2589) on Saturday March 07 2020, @12:00AM (#967721) Journal

            no, parent poster is asking for a +6 larger penis. Not sure php or perl or any database changes can help with that, though.

            --
            “I've learned from experience that asking politely never works unless you have the upper hand.” Daisuke Aramaki, GIS:SAC
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @03:51AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @03:51AM (#967797)

          You do realize that +6 is not "extra large"? It is only about average, or maybe just a bit below average, depending on your source. I suspect that if you ever see an "extra large" you will suffer inadequacy complexes for the rest of your life.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @05:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 07 2020, @05:59AM (#967819)

            Complexes? You mean sore throat.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday March 06 2020, @03:24PM (7 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday March 06 2020, @03:24PM (#967444) Journal

        Wouldn't it suffice to remove the value from the dropdown menu? That way the moderation would stay valid but it would be impossible to actually submit it.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @03:42PM (2 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @03:42PM (#967456) Journal

          If you subsequently roll-back the code having decided that ad-hom moderations are not a good idea, how would the code know what moderation names should be applied to historic moderations? How would it know that the AdHom moderation should not be allowed for future moderations? We roll back the code but NOT the contents of the database - otherwise you lose everything that has been discussed during the period that the moderation was acceptable. Story and comment IDs become invalid, and a whole host of other problems ensue. Therefore, we keep the database as it is and the moderation name MUST remain in the moderation table, even though it is no longer available for use.

          One way to do that is to flag that moderation name as invalid, but that requires changes to the logic so that any attempt to use it as explained by TMB [soylentnews.org] cannot be actioned. The change is simple in concept, but requires a non-trivial effort to implement.

          --
          It's always my fault...
          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @03:51PM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @03:51PM (#967464) Journal
            You must also remember that the code is stored on GitHub. Anyone is free to inspect the code and it is impossible to hide how the code hangs together. People WILL try to abuse the system - they already have and they probably always will.
            --
            It's always my fault...
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:49PM

            Oh it's relatively trivial but not purely cosmetic. The latter I'm okay with hot patching into the live code, the former I want run past martyb's perfectly good code breaking eyes for a bit.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:47PM (3 children)

          Nope. If it remained in the db, the code would see it as a valid moderation and allow it to be applied if you were to hand roll a POST request using the removed moderation. Also, the API doesn't know squat about a dropdown box, just what reasons are in the modreasons table.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Friday March 06 2020, @09:46PM (2 children)

            by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @09:46PM (#967663)

            May I suggest quick and dirty solution if you are just trying things out? Make the new mods with ids 100+ or something. The rollback code change would be "WHERE id 100". Easier than adding a flag.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Friday March 06 2020, @03:37PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 06 2020, @03:37PM (#967453) Journal

      -1 Flamebait is the obvious moderation to use in place of -1 Ad Hoominem.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Saturday March 07 2020, @11:50AM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 07 2020, @11:50AM (#967869) Journal

        Obvious? -1 Troll seems more appropriate for an Ad Hominem. Flamebait is for negative propaganda, like insinuating that maybe there was something to Pizzagate. Or that there should be +1 Democrat and -1 Republican mods. Or that LibreOffice can't handle every MS Office file, as if MS Office itself can.

        Anyway, Ad Hominem just doesn't seem a category important enough to deserve a place of its very own in the moderation system. Else, why not have -1 Strawman, -1 Gaslighting, -1 Politically Incorrect, +1 Nerdy, -1 Tool, etc.

        -1 Fallacious covers Ad Hominen and all the rest of the fallacies.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:49PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @04:49PM (#967509)

      How about a write-in mod? +1 and -1 versions.

      Log them, it might be fun/funny to look through the list.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:52PM (3 children)

        Hrm... Not terribly difficult and could be hilarious. If I had the time, it would so be our 4/1 goof this year. Not sure how good an idea it'd be for day to day use though.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:01PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:01PM (#967522)

          OK, for 4/1/2021 then. I can wait, unless this damn virusoverreaction shuts us all down.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by takyon on Friday March 06 2020, @05:03PM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 06 2020, @05:03PM (#967526) Journal

          One dropdown with +1, 0, -1, another with the mod reason.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @06:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @06:10PM (#967568)

          Geekizoid was a parody-ish site run by Slashdot trolls. I don't remember all of the moderation choices. I believe four of the upmod options were Worthwhile, Intriguing, Troll, and Totally Gay. And I remember that two of the downmod options were Inciteful and Not Gay Enough. I distinctly remember getting a 24 hour IP ban once for picking up six Not Gay Enough mods.

          I also remember getting five first posts on Slashdot on one April Fools Day. All of them were modded up to +5 or close to it. It did wonders for the karma of my troll account.

          I miss when the trolls were actually clever and contributed to the culture of Slashdot rather than just APK spam and political crap. The cows guy and the app appers guy were pretty good but the trolling mostly turned to shit a long time ago. Even some of the more obnoxious crapflooding actually involved some effort like the numerous fiction stories involving Slashdot editors having relations with each other. I think that era ended when the GNAA spam took over and the crapflooding was more about quantity than being clever.

          Anyway, you could definitely have some fun with the moderation on April Fools Day. I wouldn't mind seeing first posts and other dumb but mostly harmless trolling get modded up that day. And troll should definitely be an upmod.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:44PM (19 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @03:44PM (#967461)

    Putting the moderation change stuff in this article seems like a blatant attempt to dilute attention from the apparently disastrous governance of this site.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @04:53PM (8 children)

      Yeah, you should probably join staff and show us how it's done.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @05:03PM (#967527)

        Where's the "-1 feeding the troll" mod?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:26PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:26PM (#967596)

        Nah, you don't need my humble self to come on board and say that there are pretty serious problems in an organization that doesn't update its finance and board meetings / governance pages for years and then comes out "Oh My! We only have six months of funding left."

    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday March 06 2020, @06:53PM (1 child)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 06 2020, @06:53PM (#967581) Journal

      And your suggestions for resolving any issues are where? Your comment seems to have been cut short and only contains a single sentence. OK, you would do it much better - so come on and join us and give us the benefit of your as yet unproven expertise.

      As an aside, how much have you contributed financially to the running of this site? Only asking, of course, so that we can refund your contributions.

      --
      It's always my fault...
      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @07:31PM (#967599)

        As an aside, how much have you contributed financially to the running of this site? Only asking, of course, so that we can refund your contributions.

        You apparently couldn't afford that.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @09:03PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @09:03PM (#967654)

      I've been pretty critical of SN in the past and actually got into some arguments with Buzzard over it. That matters because I have no particular incentive to defend SN.

      When you're donating to a charity or other non-profits, it's reasonable to expect they disclose their finances. Donors have good reason to want to ensure their money isn't wasted on overhead or embezzled, but actually gets where it's supposed to go. Non-profits also get to avoid some taxation, meaning there's a general public interest in ensuring those privileges aren't being abused.

      SN is not a non-profit. They're a public benefit corporation. They have two shareholders, neither of whom has been repaid for their initial investment. A public benefit corporation can pay their staff. A public benefit corporation can turn a profit. The primary difference between a public benefit corporation and other corporations is that a public benefit corporation is not obliged to maximize profits for shareholders. A public benefit corporation isn't required to open their books and provide financial reports, except to shareholders. SN has chosen to be more transparent, which is why they're telling everyone the reason for raising the funding goal. Although SN doesn't choose to run their operation like a business, they are for all intents and purposes a business.

      At best, you're a customer, who subscribes to the site and receives additional services in return. Or perhaps you don't subscribe and still benefit from paying customers. Customers don't get to walk into businesses and demand access to financial records. SN can run their operation as they see fit. If you don't like it, you have the right not to pay for their services. If you're a paying customer, you don't have the right to demand anything in return other than the services you paid for. If you're not a paying customer, you're not entitled to anything.

      The only legitimate concern I think you could raise is that if you were a subscriber and SN ceased operating during the subscription period, you might reasonably be able to expect a prorated refund for services not received. I don't think SN actually has a mechanism for providing such refunds, nor would there be a pool of money to pay being back from. I suggest that perhaps SN should make it clear going forward that, in the event the site ceases operation, subscriptions cannot be refunded.

      As for you, I highly doubt you're a subscriber. You seem like someone who just wants to be an asshole and piss people off. At least a good troll is funny and provides some entertainment value. You don't even have that redeeming value.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @10:14PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @10:14PM (#967674)

        The primary difference between a public benefit corporation and other corporations is that a public benefit corporation is not obliged to maximize profits for shareholders.

        No organization is obliged to maximize profit for shareholders, not even for-profit corporations. Before you display more ignorance, let me refer you to this:

        The General Corporation Law (Title 8, Chapter 1 of the Delaware Code) was recently amended by Senate Bill No. 47, effective August 1, 2013, adding a new subchapter XV, which authorizes the creation of public benefits corporations. As defined in the GCL, a PBC is a for-profit corporation intended to produce a public benefit and operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. The PBC is to be managed in a manner that balances stockholders' pecuniary interests, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation's conduct, and the public benefit for which the PBC is formed.

        IMO, it have doubts it is run in a responsible and sustainable manner, and that both the stockholders interests and the public benefit are in jeopardy.

        Customers don't get to walk into businesses and demand access to financial records. SN can run their operation as they see fit.

        Sure they can. But that's the funny thing about money: It's scarce and hard to get. Try to tell the bank you won't tell them your salary, and they'll tell you to pound sand when you ask for a mortgage. This non-profit site asks for money to keep running, and I'm going to question how it's going to help. And my first reaction to hearing an "Oh My! We blew through all our money!" is not to say "OMG! Have another $20!" as the underlying causes continue to persist.

        Your opinion of my motives are irrelevant.

        • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @11:35PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 06 2020, @11:35PM (#967704)

          Yeah, money talks with more clarity than any comment here can. When you sign up for a subscription , it gives you a suggested amount of $20 or so for a year's membership. I always paid more because I could afford it and (if browsing at -1) could get a wide variety of opinions on a subject. I gifted subscriptions for two accounts, one of them being realDonaldTrump, whose channeling of Trump was hilarious. Looking at the financial statement, I was covering a good 5% of the hosting bill annually. Then rDT got run off, and therefore I chose not to not be as generous anymore and discontinued that gift subscription.
          I still contribute to the operation of SN, because it is a non-profit website run by volunteers who are dedicated to free speech. I would think the vast majority of people here doesn't contribute a cent, but that is fine by me.
          Personally, I would like to see the moderation changed to "deweaponize" it as a tool of censorship by the bands of people that up and down mod based on political opinion. An additional mod item is useless to combat that problem, and in light of the financial difficulties highlighted in this post, suspiciously timed.
          I still have hopes for this site, but if it ever turns into some sort of control-leftist wasteland, at least I won't have my hard earned cash going to support that.
          "Go woke, get broke" then.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @11:40PM (3 children)

            They're not difficulties. We've just been nibbling away at our emergency savings instead of slightly growing it like we thought we were. You guys have always pitched in whatever we said we needed, we just said the wrong number for a while.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 06 2020, @11:32PM

        Although SN doesn't choose to run their operation like a business, they are for all intents and purposes a business.

        We're absolutely a business. We have a business license and pay business taxes. We're just a business with a very specific, non-monetary goal and nobody on staff who cares if we make a gazillion dollars more than necessary to run the site or four dollars more.

        We're also staffed pretty much entirely by folks who don't want to do paperwork. If you have said desire, by all means get on staff and push that paper. Or get on staff for any other job you feel like doing and abracadabra you are now part of The Man and can help keep everybody down. I don't think we've ever turned anyone down for a staff job. I doubt Ari could keep story posting privs very long if he signed up to be an editor but he's welcome to give it a go.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
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