Anonymous Coward writes:
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!]
A serious problem: Some things are matters of opinion and/or taste; other things really do have objective "right" and "wrong" answers (or more complicated multiple "acceptable" answers). Categorization is blurred; issues of fact are dismissed with "That's just your opinion" while issues of opinion (or "belief" or "taste") are stated as fact. For example, I just messed up the parallelism by reversing the order of discussion; is that bad taste, poor writing, or deliberate juxtaposition?
My girl loves it in juxta position!
Since you're so much into details you might want to specify whose "it" it is.
Troll/Flamebait/etc... do not mean Factually Incorrect. That ideally warrants a response and citation but if you absolutely must vent your spleen then do it with Disagree.
And how silly is it that we don't have a mod for "factually incorrect" (a somewhat objective criterion, though how it is applied can often be subjective), but we have a bunch of mods for things are expressing a subjective opinion?
I understand what you just said as one appropriate response, but the question is what follows that. If I see one post that's been modded up as "informative" (with no citation of anything) or even "insightful," and then another post points out with a clear citation that the first post is full of crap, how am I supposed to moderate the first post? "Overrated" is I guess the closest, but that's not really the problem. The problem is that the post is objectively WRONG -- and worse, it's is WRONG but has been upmodded for spreading false information.
That's not just "overrated." In my opinion, spreading objectively false information is serious issue and deserves a specific downmod. But our choices now are "troll" if we think the person was knowingly spreading false info just to get other people riled up (often a very subjective categorization), "flamebait" but only for posts with a particular tone that are unlikely to be modded up as informative in the first place (also often subjective), or "overrated," which is just blah.
I'm not saying our current moderation can't handle this, but I find it somewhat bizarre that we have a moderation for "informative" (generally a somewhat objective characterization), but no similar downmod to counter objectively incorrect information.
A Factually Incorrect mod would be the opposite of helpful if your goal is to promote conversation and spread knowledge. Downmodding something for being incorrect means it stands less of a chance of being corrected. The correction may not mean much to the person you're correcting but it very well could to everyone else who reads it. You don't fight falsehood with censorship or punishment, you fight it by speaking the truth.
And now we have the classic Zerg Rush problem, the Ur-example of K-type vs r-type strategizing: it's easier for a Zerg swarm to do their thing, on a unit by unit basis, than the more K-type Terrans or Protoss. There's not enough time or interest to counter with a well-reasoned, well-thought-out response every time you or one of your fellow-travelers decides to shit on the rug for laughs.
And I think you know this, and are being disingenuous as hell here.
Eat a dick. You know perfectly well why we don't play god with moderations on staff. It's been discussed openly so many times that I'm actually a little sick of hearing myself talk about it.
You haven't answered her question. What does GOD need with a Starship? [youtube.com] And after The Mortiarity Broussard so blatantly intervened in a God-like fashion on the Original Aristarchus Alt-Right Submission, lo these many years ago? And you are sick of hearing about your editorial interference and right wing bias, you gulper of offal? Please, recluse your self from the discussion. That pissant Trump Attorney General had the guts to do it.
My voice holds no more weight in #editorial than anyone else's, ari; I'm not in the editorial hierarchy at all. The only stories I have any more say in than anyone with a good argument does are Meta stories. You should try that sometime, by the way. Having a good argument that is. It's more deeply satisfying than witty trolling.
YOU FUCKING TROLL. YOU MOTHERFUCKING TROLL. YOU IGNORED THE PLAIN MEANING OF WHAT I SAID AND ARE PRETENDING TO HAVE AN ARGUMENT ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
I SAID I ACKNOWLEDGED YOUR RESPONSE WAS CORRECT -- YOU ***SHOULD*** PROVIDE THE CORRECTION. I AGREED WITH YOU, YOU FUCKING TROLL. ("I understand what you just said as one appropriate response, but the question is what follows that....") I was TRYING to talk about what should follow up with future moderation after someone already posted your suggested correction.
But no, I know you're not stupid enough not to read what I wrote. You're just an asshole.
The point of moderation is to, as you said, deselect posts that are NOT HELPFUL to community as whole. A post that is LYING or even one that mistakenly is PROMOTING FALSEHOOD is NOT helping this site, you fucking troll.
I hereby rescind my offer to contribute any more money to this site, you fucking troll. I defended you and this site repeatedly over the past week from those who would say this site is promoting bullshit authoritarianism. And here you are, saying it would be inappropriate to downmod LIES!
I wasn't even trying to legitimately reform the moderation system here. I was just pointing out something it was theoretically lacking. But I don't care how much good you do for this site, I cannot support a site with someone like you who would argue in favor of promoting lies as a major presence.
Good bye folks. This time it's for real. If I could get my $200 contribution back, I'd ask for it, you trollish authoritarian ass.
I have better things to do with my life than waste it arguing with you schmucks, and I'm leaving before I go insane or senile or whatever happened to Aristarchus.
My interpretation of TMB's message was that it's far better to engage in debate with someone who you believe is wrong about something that to just slap a "you're wrong" sticker on their post via a 'Factually Incorrect' mod. That's an easy thing to do, but it doesn't help to explain to them why they are wrong.
Looking from the outside, I really don't think that TMB was trying to troll you there. A shame that you may never see my post since you may have already left.
I have logged back in for one reason only.
After taking the night off, I admit I was curious to see what the reaction was. I posted a journal entry (much more calm and reasoned than this post here) about an hour after my post last night explaining my thoughts in more detail. I declared I was never coming back. In my journal entry, I criticized many of our editors and admins, particularly those who do not stand up to The Mighty Buzzard.
My journal entry has apparently been deleted. Free speech is dead on this site. I doubt this post will be allowed to stand either. Apparently, I finally went far enough that Mr. Buzzard felt the need to delete my journal entry, so anything is possible now.
To those who replied to my post: in this thread, TMB has explicitly told us that he wants to live in a post-truth era where downmodding false things isn't required. In another response, he told us all that he's fine with posts that contain anti-Semitic rants, and we shouldn't bother downmodding them. (Maybe if they're at +5, we might think about it, he says.) Those of you who think I overreacted need to read his other replies in this thread. You also need to carefully read Janrinok's disturbing opinions too, which I called out in my now non-existent journal entry. And contemplate why my journal entry is now gone. Note that my journal entry contained no personal attacks, other than (if I remember correctly) calling out some of the admins here "self-righteous assholes" once and asking them to stand up to TMB and call out his bullshit. Apparently that was over the line.
Perhaps TMB will declare that my journal entry was somehow deleted by some mysterious "database error" or something. I don't believe anything he says anymore, though, and neither should you. I guess I finally told the truth here, called out the admins mostly for their inaction, and they figured if I was leaving anyway, they'll just remove a little bit of "bad press" since I had done so much in the past week to defend this site, which I now realize was in error.
I don't even know how to express how disappointed and shocked I am to be treated this way (i.e., the deleted journal entry) by a community I tried to support. I hope this post lives long enough for at least some to see. I'd try posting it in another journal entry, but I have no confidence anything on this site will stand.
I had meant to say a proper goodbye, but this will have to suffice.
I've been on here for over 6 hours today - I never even saw your journal post arrive, let alone be deleted. Are you sure that you posted it successfully? I, for one, would have liked to have seen it.
Yes, I'm sure. It would have been posted before 6 hours ago; my guess is TMB likely "took care" of it as soon as it came in, before anyone could see it. But as I never contemplated that such a thing would happen here, I have no idea what happened.
I know for certain it posted because I even tried to post with "comments disabled" (just because I am tired of trolls, but I had never tried that before), which seems to be an actual option posting a journal, but it won't let you post that way. (Strange that an apparent "option" for posting doesn't even work.) So I explicitly had to enable comments in order for the post to go through, which it then did. I just did the exact same thing with a test post, which got the same error and then posted fine.
But I don't feel like wasting my time arguing with you. I'm sure you and TMB and everyone else will claim to have no knowledge -- that's typical of oppressive regimes which want to rewrite history. Once you enter this sort of world where people and posts just disappear, you can't believe anything that is said. So I don't even know whether to believe you or your post anymore.
But I don't feel like wasting my time arguing with you. I'm sure you and TMB and everyone else will claim to have no knowledge
I'm not here to argue with you - if you posted it then I would like to see it. I will most certainly NOT be pleased to hear that posts are being deleted because of their content if there isn't a legal requirement for us to do so. Additionally, you have paid a significant sum to support this site and the fact that you might have said something in haste does not justify removing your journal entries on a whim. Your journal is for you to say whatever you wish - indeed that is the primary reason that they exist at all.
And since I'm apparently still here, because despite the fact that I am appalled at a number of things, I once cared about this site, and my heart is sick at the idea of what it is becoming...
Well, since I'm still here, let me just say that trolls don't always come in the same manner. Milo, for example, is a self-declared troll, who liked to argue by being calm and apparently reasoned, while he was spouting stuff that was intended to disrupt, to annoy, and to inflame. In one of my first extended exchanges on this site, I called TMB out for his views on the Milo protests. TMB is in favor of free-speech, so he claims, but he's not in favor of similarly disruptive responses to said speech. I don't agree with everything protesters have done on college campuses, etc. -- in fact, I've explicitly argued against a number of their actions in my posts here. But I respect their right to counter disruptive speech and actions with other disruptive speech and actions. Similarly, I believe that it should be okay for moderation here to counter disruptive speech. I have never argued for suppression or deletion of any posts, only better communal moderation to help us sort through the crap and call out those who are spewing it.
Just because speech has the veneer of civility doesn't mean it is civil. Those who have defended TMB here in response to my admittedly ranty and extreme comment last night are missing the point. This is TMB's modus operandi -- try to act calm and civil, while insincerely using argumentation strategies that obfuscate or ignore criticisms. It was very clear that TMB was saying that it's better to respond to incorrect information with facts, rather than just summarily downmodding something. I acknowledged that in my first reply to him (and elsewhere on this thread). His reply was to reiterate what he clearly already was saying and to ignore the fact that I was asking about subsequent moderation and how we flag posts as actually good for the community vs. useless to the community.
Those who are defending him -- think about his argumentation strategy and realize what's really going on here. He wants to maintain the veneer of civility while arguing disingenuously. What he's really saying is: "I believe it's fine for objectively false information to be shown with high scores on this site." (Note if you read my posts: I wasn't even necessarily arguing for downmods -- I was even just suggesting informative neutral mods to flag incorrect comments for the good of the community.) What he even explicitly said in another post is that he's fine with offensive ethnic-centered rants to have high scores on this site, though maybe we might consider modding them down if they get all the way up to +5.
TMB agrees with Milo's playbook, and he's using it. Appear calm, say stuff that most people will agree with, even if you're ignoring the points of others, and so make yourself look level-headed while steering discourse in your direction. That opens the door then to advocate for increasingly concerning things, because you are ignoring the subtleties of the criticisms against you.
And to his one other reply in this thread -- I completely agree that moderation should NOT be about rewards and punishment. He's pulling something else out of the totalitarian playbook there, because that was actually something I said explicitly in my now missing journal post and twisting it to serve his own agenda. (Even more shocking, and evidence of the culprit who deleted my post, I suppose.) I was trying to argue in that journal entry that we need to look beyond moderation as "punishment" for bad posts, which is mostly what downmods are used for, and actually provide informative mods about the value of posts to the community. I have repeatedly argued for decreasing the influence of single-post moderation on community standing (especially from the perspective of a single user mod-bombing another) in order to remove the benefits of mod-bombing and to promote moderation here that actually scores quality posts highly and those that are not useful to the community lower.
That TMB is so brazen as to coopt the actual language from my deleted journal and use it here to claim to "take the high ground" -- that's the sort of crap that caused me to have such an extreme reaction last night to his obvious bad-faith argumentation (if you pay attention to how he does it). I just never believed he'd take it to this level.
Can you give me a more precise time (and tz) for the occurrence, or even a more accurate window? 'Earlier this morning' gives me far too big a timeframe to pin it down to anything in particular.
At this point, I really don't care, because I will no longer believe anything you or any admin says here, no matter what excuse you come up with.
But if you legitimately don't believe TMB is a disingenuous jerk who needs to be stood up to, maybe you won't believe he's capable of crap like this. I already said it was roughly about an hour after my ranty post (with all the all caps) last night. I don't have a more precise estimate than that.
Dollars to donuts he hit Preview instead of Submit.
Well, look, if you don't find it extremely coincidental (i.e., beyond belief) that a journal entry that I explicitly declared would be my last interaction with this site, and where I called out TMB for really bad behavior, calling the other admins to action is the ONLY time that I can recall in years of interacting with this site that I've ever seen a post appear and then disappear... if you think that's just some sort of weird coincidence, or you believe TMB's bullshit that I would somehow just hit "preview" and forget to submit what I intended to be my last interaction with a community I've supported for years... if you really think that any of that sounds likely, you're already a lost cause.
But I already came close to saying that about you in the journal entry too, so all I'm getting here is response from the specific two admins I called out, who are both trying to act like I just did something stupid, so it must be an error: "nothing to see here."
If there's one thing I hope I've accrued over the years here is that I don't make shit up. I try my best to seek out facts. And I've gone to the bat for this site against those who would criticize it many times. My post history is there for all to see. I do NOT make such an accusation against an admin in this community lightly, but it beggars belief to claim this will turn out to be some random error that just HAPPENS to coincide with the perfect opportunity for an admin to abuse power and protect himself by deleting a post from a user who is leaving the site.
(Yes, I'm still leaving. Whether that has an impact on your "investigation" or not, I don't care. I'm sticking around to see the ridiculous spin you guys may try to put on this. I want to make sure that everyone knows what you're doing. I'm already out a bunch of money recently for putting my faith in a site administered by a troll, but I took my chances. I was willing to just leave last night, but this sort of action is an egregious offense against the community, and that has tipped me from "I don't care what happens to this godforsaken place" to "People need to know there's serious internal problems here before I depart.")
all I'm getting here is response from the specific two admins I called out, who are both trying to act like I just did something stupid,
You have had a response from 1 of the 2 admins that you called out. I'm still waiting to see what we discover.
Jesus Christ, really? You aren't even aware of what you wrote [soylentnews.org] as your initial response? "I've been here and didn't see it, so nothin' to see here. Are you sure you aren't an idiot and actually didn't post it?" And you said that despite the fact that my first post clearly stated a time frame that wasn't within the time frame you claimed to be present in your post.
I'm willing to believe your post was more in ignorance than actively trying to be a snow job, but realize that your first reaction was PRECISELY what the "other admin" has basically already concluded.
I knew TMB was a troll. I wasn't aware until this thread (before our present discussion) how much you seem to support trollish behavior. So no, I don't trust you. I don't trust anyone here anymore. Sorry, but that's gone.
I didn't say:
I've been here and didn't see it, so nothin' to see here. Are you sure you aren't an idiot and actually didn't post it
What I did say was:
Are you sure that you posted it successfully?
by which I was asking if the system had accepted it properly and I did not suggest that you were an idiot. Did you access it from the front page or did you do all of your editing from the editing pages and then press submit? Can you give us more details of the sequence that you tried to deselect comments or re-enable them again? Did it appear at the top of the journal list - in which case we might find evidence of it in the list of journal posts? If you are not prepared to answer simple polite questions then it will significantly hinder our chances of finding out what happened to it.
We have had a couple of minor hiccups since the system went down a few days back. These are nothing unusual but, for the moment, we are looking at each one. Bytram had a problem downloading pages at around the same time that you stated that you posted your journal. Bytram is at work and so we cannot get all the details from him until he gets home, logs in (which might not be today) and we get to discuss the problem. We also need TMB to look closely to the DB logs to see if there are any artefacts that your post left behind i.e. at what stage of the posting sequence did it go missing? If you are expecting an immediate answer then you will be disappointed.
If you have already reached your own conclusions then so be it, and if you are still in a mind to you can go on your way. I am trying to be polite, civil and to find out what happened. I haven't got any irons in this fire, so if you don't care what we find I will wish you well for the future and I am genuinely sorry that you are leaving us. You have supported this site well, as you have claimed, and I think that the community will be the poorer for your leaving.
I have no idea what you wrote about me in your journal - nor do I care - but I do care if there is a problem with posting in general. I also care that you are making serious yet unsupported allegations and claiming that there is some kind of cover up going on behind the scenes. I can only shake my head in disbelief as to what you think we spend our time doing here. But that doesn't prevent me from offering my help in finding out what occurred.
I find it highly unlikely that you genuinely believe I shied away from an argument of any sort.
That doesn't fit what we have seen of TMBs actions in the past. There is nothing you can post that is more scathing than your typical Aristarchus journal, and he does not block those. He appears to much prefer to continue to argue which he cannot do if you don't make a JE. Not that i think he couldn't have done it, i just think he would prefer wait so he can stir the pot more.
Aristarchus is a known troll. While I appreciate his good moments, it's clear he's a troll a lot of the time. I sincerely hope that my post history here demonstrates that I am not. While I admit to very rarely losing my temper (literally like half a dozen times over the past three years), and perhaps in another dozen or so posts over the years, I may have gone overboard in responding to a person acting like a jerk by acting too much like a jerk in return, 99% of my thousands of posts here have been trying to support the community, to be informative and offer facts, and to promote quality discourse.
So, yet another rant from Aristarchus is unlikely to garner much concern. Maybe a journal entry from me might have been perceived as carrying more weight and seemed more threatening or sowing more dissent. I don't know.
To me, it does seem a stupid thing to TMB to do, but the last time I "took a break" from this site, I didn't come back even to read comments on my post for a week, and then I did take a break for several months. Maybe he didn't expect me to show up again this morning. Which I wasn't planning on doing -- I logged out last night and navigated to the site this morning without logging in, just curious to see what comments may have appeared on my journal. Except it wasn't there. I tried searching. No dice. I thought maybe there was something that determined which journal entries could appear in the "list," so I logged in, and it was gone. Hence my posts in this thread.
I said I would look into the site DB when I got back home and I have done so.
I'm a bit rusty on the schema for the site, but persevered and worked things out and came to a few conclusions:
I have, so far, found no evidence of any tampering or deleting of someone's journal story.
IDs for the journals table are a key field and appear as monotonically increasing values; I found no gaps in their sequence.
I did find a journal entry posted by AthanasiusKircher titled "test" and to which some comments were posted... one of which explained that he was testing what happens when trying to delete a journal article.
Be aware that I am making an intended distinction between there being no untoward deleting of a journal article and there being (so far) no evidence found of such activity.
Rest assured that I will continue to look into this and will report on anything I find. Unfortunately, I had an exhausting day at work and need to get some shuteye, and tomorrow has all the markings of being even busier at work, so don't expect anything more for a day (or more, though I will certainly make the attempt as soon as I can).
tl;dr: So far, no impropriety has been found with the journals posted to this site, but investigations are not over and will continue; I will report back with what, if anything, I find.
I'm not supporting either side of this conflict, but deleting the rows with the highest values for an auto_increment field in MySQL and then committing that transaction before any other transaction issues a query against that table will just reuse the deleted values because those row values are still unused and increment. In addition, you can manually reset the starting value of the row to whatever value you want. Also worth mentioning is that the person or persons capable of doing such a change are probably in the position to change whatever logs they want on the machine as well. But that's what paranoia will do to you.
Thank you for the reply!
If you look closely, you will note my choice of language was deliberate to allow that exact possibility (deletion of an entry and subsequent reuse of the now-available-again ID), but I was not certain of that possibility; I appreciate your confirmation!
Something that got edited out as I was trying to express what I had found so far (and while fighting a strong urge to got to bed and sleep) was about the test journal entry. Though I could not find the actual text of the 'test' journal entry (that would be in the journal_text table), I did see reference to such an entry in the journals table which provides an "abstraction", if you will, in which various time stamps as well as local and foreign keys exist.
NB: DELETED can come in two forms. An actual removal from the database (DELETE * FROM ... WHERE ...) is one of them. The other is flagging an entry as to be ignored and thus making it effectively deleted (UPDATE TABLE foo SET visible = FALSE where ...) and, yes, those are general, conceptual examples and are not intended to refer to anything in our actual database.
It is way too early for me to be up, but the upshot is that — for the test journal entry — I found references to said journal entry, and what appear to be comments made to that test journal entry, but did not see the *text* of that journal entry. Whether that is because it really doesn't exist or because I'm still getting up to speed in some respects with the schema is still open to discussion... I am making no statement or assumption one way or the other with that!
With respect to the purported deleted journal entry, I have NOT, as yet, found any vestiges of it: neither an abstraction of it in the journals table, nor the text of it in the journal_text table, nor a comment made to such a journal entry. That one is a bit murkier to sleuth out as there is much more data to sift through. I am explicitly claiming "absence of a finding (so far)" rather than a "finding of an absence" and am remaining open to the possibility that I may just have missed something.
That all said, to summarize I *have* found evidence to support that a test journal entry was made, comments made to it, and that that test journal entry was deleted (as the user said they had done). I have not found any evidence of a separate, non-test, journal entry being made, deleted, or any comments having been made to it.
Related, if somewhat tangential, I have lost count of the number of times I thought I had finished processing a story submission and posted it to the site only to find that I had *previewed* the story, but had as yet not clicked the submit button, so it was still sitting in a browser tab awaiting final release. I am beginning to suspect that something like that may have happened here. It is just that, a suspicion, among all the other possibilities I am keeping open as to what may have happened.
My comment to which you replied was made after a *long* day at work and a meeting afterwards when I would rather have just had a bite to eat and gone to bed (I was *tired*) and this comment is made way too early in the morning before I have even gotten up for the day. Today promises to be even busier than yesterday. But, the community deserves a timely, honest, and independent examination so I have posted this comment with my updated findings. NOTE: I have no illusions that a sufficiently-skilled and motivated person could hide their work to preclude discovery, but Occam's razor suggests caution with that line of thinking.
That's it. My brain is tired and I am going back to bed. I hope this has been informative and helpful. Thanks again for your reply and for the salient information you provided.
MartyB - I will only say that I thank you for your effort. I would like to say that I of all the admins here, I put most faith in you. Though I must admit that I truly do not trust anyone here anymore. But I am willing to believe that you put in an effort to do the right thing here. As I said in my deleted journal entry, this place is too good for you. I encouraged you to find another place to volunteer your time.
Yes, I made a test journal entry to figure out whether the system responded as I recalled it did when my journal entry went missing. Yes, it had a few comments despite the fact that I actually hit a "delete" link somewhere, which asked for confirmation for the deletion, but then didn't delete the entry. (I'm not sure why.) After I saw it started to accumulate comments, I tried another method and used the checkbox to attempt to delete it (I just wanted to get rid of an obvious "test" entry), which did work.
As for the actual missing journal entry, I've already stated some things, but let me repeat the following facts:
(1) I intended this journal entry at the time to be my final interaction with a site I've supported for several years. I find it highly unlikely that I would have accidentally hit "preview" and just left.
(2) As I mentioned in the above posts, I encountered an error when I tried to post the entry with "comments disabled" (which I had never attempted before). It throws up an error that says you can't do that. I find it weird that such option appears in the drop-down list, but is apparently disabled. Since the error appears at the top of the page, I at first didn't understand why the journal wasn't posting. So, I probably hit "preview" and then attempted to "save/submit" several times (I think the journal system says "save" not "submit," but I'm not going back there now) before I even noticed the error. I was very clear on which button did what, since the "submit/save" button wasn't working for me at the time.
(3) Once I saw the error message and figured out what the problem was, I deliberately made the change to allow all comments. Then I made an additional comment at the end of my journal entry about my annoyance that the system has an option for "comments disabled" but doesn't actually allow you to do it. (I also encouraged all the trolls I knew would show up to have at it in comments, since I didn't care anymore.) I hit "preview" then to make sure my new comment was added correctly at the bottom of my journal entry, with correct formatting (as I used either italic or bold for that latter portion of my message). I then hit submit. I remember all of these steps so clearly, because I had never encountered this particular obstacle before in posting a journal entry (or anything) on this site. And I distinctly remember the change in screen when I finally hit submit, since I had deliberately previewed the final change and then hit the submit button. And I had previously encountered (as I said) several times when it wasn't doing what I wanted to due to the "comments disabled" button, so I deliberately checked to make sure it had finally gone through correctly.
(4) My recollection is that I even navigated back to my journal entries and saw the new entry listed there, because I had tried doing so before when I was encountering the "comments disabled" error but hadn't realized the error message was at the top of the page yet. I will admit that whether I went through this final step or how I did it is a little hazy, but I do recall doing several steps to verify the entry had been posted, due to the previous problem I mentioned in (2) above.
(5) Once I had verified the entry appeared to be submitted, I logged out. This is also an extraordinary step, because I almost never log out of this site. Once again, I find it unfathomable that I would have done so without making sure that my final step had been taken and posted correctly (as I recall it had).
(6) As noted in one of my comments, TMB subsequently made a post not that long after my journal entry that took my comment about not using negative moderation for "punishment" and turned it against me. In addition to all of the above, and the fact that my journal entry went far beyond any criticism of him before, calling our editors and admins to action against him, it seems incredibly coincidental that he would appropriate my language from the missing journal entry and use it to support his point. I'll admit this is a bit more tenuous, but given TMB's pattern of taking terminology from posts he's arguing with and twisting them to make them seem like they're supporting his argument, it's really weird that he posted that particular comment in response to mine.
Take from this what you will. I hope my thousands of good comments and contributions to this site will at least give you some pause to consider that I would not make something like this up. I also have made clear over the years that I am NOT prone to conspiratorial thinking and generally fight anything that sounds like a conspiracy theory, so I make this accusation with great hesitation and only because I have deep concern about the integrity of this site. I hope my general attention to detail displayed in my attempts to post factually correct posts will also convince you that I am unlikely to be mistaken in all of this, and that I am the sort of person to take care in an action like this (i.e., when making a final farewell post to a site). I'm not saying I'm infallible. But I have a much stronger collection of memories about this particular process of posting due to the unusual roadblocks I experienced before my post went through, so I'm very sure I saw different behavior on the site when it did finally get accepted.
Regardless of whether this brazen act was done by TMB or another admin in support of him, I am unequivocally convinced that this site has lost its integrity and has corruption that inhabits its admins and/or editors. I am now more likely to believe Aristarchus than I am to believe most of the admins of this site, which is a very sorry state of affairs.
Believe what you like. That I argue vehemently against censorship in all its forms and levels (including against you in this very story) every time it's brought up should tell you that much. If not that then the fact that I never pass up a decent argument on any subject should clue you in. But whatever. Your butt is hurting because I disagree with you on censorship and you're going to write whatever mental story it takes to keep on believing that you're right.
The additional details and steps is a big help!
Given I have decades' experience testing software and know full-well how hard it is to provide good documentation of what happened when something unexpectedly went sideways...what you have provided is MOST helpful! I am impressed!
In short, I am not done looking and this exceptional level of detail will definitely help guide my search!
Thank you VERY much!
I understand that. What I was trying to point out is that if a story was deleted by one of your sysadmins who know their way inside and out of the database and systems, that would leave no real trace to find. So your evidence of "I found nothing" won't be convincing against the evidence of their memory. Likewise, from your perspective, their possibly mistaken memory won't be convincing against the missing evidence of tampering. I was trying to temper expectations and feeling of defeat on both sides because this may be one of those situations that, absent something else happening, detente is not possible and a satisfactory outcome will remain elusive.
Thank you for that.
I sincerely mean that, too!
Imagine, hypothetically, that there was evidence, but it was not found because nobody even looked. In my mind's eye, that would be even worse... so I will continue to look until I am convinced I have left no stone unturned. Then, I can in good conscience say to the best of my ability I did look and was unable to find anything.
It'll probably not be happening tonight or tomorrow, though. I am absolutely knackered after a VERY busy day at work, and the closing shift, at that. Add that I have the opening shift tomorrow, I need to get some sleep. But rest assured I have not yet finished my search.
Thanks again for providing an impartial perspective on things!
This is an important point. Did anyone in the community receive notification of the journal posting or even see the journal entry itself? Your input would be gratefully received.
You also need to carefully read Janrinok's disturbing opinions too, which I called out in my now non-existent journal entry.
I would love to know which 'disturbing opinions' you called out, I could then perhaps defend myself. But as I cannot can read them, and nor can anyone else, it is a bit of a slur to accuse me of even having 'disturbing opinions'. Am I accused of supporting sexual relationships with cattle, or perhaps believing that the earth is flat?
Nonetheless, everyone here is entitled to their own opinion. I'm not forcing mine, disturbing or otherwise, on anyone else
You disturb me, janrinok, whether you support Runaway's habits of animal husbandry or not. It is the naivete, and the purposeful ignoring, and thus supporting by default, Nazis. Brits should not support Nazis. Though, historically, many did. Peace in our time, and Free Speech on SoylentNews! Blimey.
As I haven't done any of things that you are accusing me of, I can sleep soundly.
I'm glad that I disturb you. Now that gives me a sense of contentment.
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is the world is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke, [realdemocracy.com], an Englishman, by the way. Oh, how the English have fallen, and become janrinok!
Who said I am doing nothing? You know little about my life away from SN and yet you feel you can pass judgements under the guise of being a dead philosopher. It is you that is doing nothing of any value here.
"Remains of the Day", janrinok. It is a great novel about the decrepitude of British society, and the support, tacit or otherwise, for the Third Reich. Which side are you on?
So, we'll put you down as a Nazi sympathizer, then. You know, you really hide the anti-semitism well! Any thoughts on Roma and Tinkers? Poles and Hungarian Phrasebooks? I think your hovercraft is full of eels. Be serious, janrinok! You are about to be left on the wrong (or, the right?) side of the Chunnel! Are you white, or are you a man? What is the frequency, Kenneth?
You just talk about things. What are you doing practically to address the issues that you object to? You blame everyone else for not acting but you do nothing yourself. Sorry, Ari, nothing you say here will ever change the real world. And you do not contribute on any other subject in any meaningful way. Show me where you have made a genuine contribution in a comment regarding any other story than alt-right or politics. How about something intelligent in one of the STEM topics? No, they are too difficult for you.
All you do is make unfounded accusations and try to goad others into responding. You can put me in any group you wish. You are wrong, again, but that has never changed anything you have done in the past so I'm not optimistic that it will today either.
As you have nothing of any significance to contribute I'm going to get on with the rest of my day now.
No, janrinok, you do not need to know what I do, practically, to fight fascists, nor do you have the clearance for it. And again, STEM is a SCAM for MAGA!
nor do you have the clearance for it
Well, at least that made me laugh. Tell Scully to get back to work.
I agree with Mykl: I think TMB is saying that a down-mod could HIDE inaccuracies from people who could CORRECT the inaccuracy.
Hiding the inaccuracy allows it to perpetuate.
TMB is wrong in all his specifics, and will accept no corrections. So, to hell with him, and the horse he rode in on. Not fair to the horse, but if you hang with the alt-right, you wake up with Nazis.
The point of moderation is to, as you said, deselect posts that are NOT HELPFUL to community as whole.
No. It is not. It is to make comments that are good stand out above comments that are mediocre and the mediocre to stand out above the uninteresting. Only comments that aren't really even trying to discuss the topic ever warrant a downmod other than Overrated. Moderation is not there for punishment.
I think you should take a rest...
Thinking I should check. Is it alright if I mod this "insightful"? Would not want to incur such wrath upon myself.
And, by the way, I am quite sane, the mods of trolls roll off my back like rain on the back of a duck. You and I are scholars, Athanasius, people of science. We do not let the misunderstandings of the common run of people insult us, for indeed as the Savoir said, "forgive them, they know not what they do".
So calm down, rescind your rescension, sit with the aristarchus as we view the heavens. Now Aristotle said nothing in the heavens ever changes, and the Church went on to interpret that as the Order of the Mind of God. So when Tycho and Kepler discovered "stella novae", this challenged the orthodoxy. Fair enough. Now we are in a period where it is not just the eternal order of the celestial order that is in question, but what the President said yesterday. And indeed, the premonitions of this were in the Ideology Critique of Marxism, and the relativism of Structuralism, and the reductionism of Constructivism, but you know all of that. Is does not affect the fact that we seek the truth, what is beyond mere opinion and the pureyance of rhetoriticians and salesmen. The troll modders here do not. They are idiots, uneducated, possibly skilled handicrafters like TMB, but in essence idiots.
So hang in there, Kichner! It is part of Jesuit discipline, after all? Black Robes, among the pagans and disbelievers? I expect as much of you, fellow scholar!
Thinking I should check. Is it alright if I mod this "insightful"? Would not want to incur such wrath upon myself.
I don't know if you're expecting wrath from me or wrath from our overlords here. But given the suppression of my speech that apparently occurred here last night, I would fear the latter -- I now understand you completely. I don't know what to believe about this site anymore.
What I would really like to see are mods for:-logically flawed (where the mistake might be honest, like conflating type I and II error)-intellectually dishonest (where there pretty clearly seems to be intent to mislead through bad rhetoric)-nonsensical (related to offtopic but not quite the same, it can be ontopic but nonsense)
Troll/Flamebait/etc... do not mean Factually Incorrect.
But lying persistently and obnoxiously is Troll-ing in my books (even when the person really believes he's factually correct, a thing I cannot verify)Happens a lot with jmorris, he trusts more '/pol' than the reality.
Your book is wrong.
O'really? Wanna me allocating 10 mins of my time everyday to give you enough lies for you to set straight?
Or you could just, you know, go learn the meaning of the word. Annoying you != trolling, no matter how persistently it's done, unless the intent in posting is to wind you up.
Until you give me something to signal "That's a lie" by modding, I'll continue to use Troll mod.
If you don't want to give me another mod value for that, you will be abusing your power over S/N on the same approach as the Newspeak in 1984: reduce the vocabulary until no dissenting thought can be formulated.Go read the The principles of Newspeak [orwell.ru] Appendix to 1984, or try collateral sources [wikipedia.org] if it's to hard for you to grok it.
Do what you gotta do, man. That's why we give everyone so many mod points, so they can correct butthurt modding like your examples.
Do what you gotta do, man.
Do what you gotta do, man.
Glad we agreed on this one.Now, if only Jan would stop shouting his feelz are hurt whenever I'm doing it and insisting on insane solutions [soylentnews.org]...
Oh I'm disappointed that you can't put your own feelz aside and follow the mod guidelines but I'm not going to lose any sleep over one bad moderator. And the day a soylentil isn't free to suggest any old thing that crosses their mind is the day I tell the load balancer to redirect everyone to slashdot.
Oh I'm disappointed that you can't put your own feelz aside
Thanks for your show of care. Don't worry too much, tough, I'm not actually losing sleep over it, but...
and follow the mod guidelines but I'm not going to lose any sleep over one bad moderator.
... looking at TFA (and the number of comments on it), I can't stop noticing others aren't so blessed.
Yup. Lots of folks worry too much about how other people get away with bad moderation when there are literally thousands more people who have twice as many points a day each as when we started to counteract the small number of bad mods. If we can't as a community mostly manage the self control necessary to moderate properly then we deserve the shitty site that we get.
The Mighty Broussard is a bad mod. From the beginning. He really has nothing to say, other than he wants to pay lower taxes, and spend more time fishing for bottom feeders. I encourage the Fledgling Buzzard to take some more classes at at least a community college. A little Liberal Arts Education goes a long way. Perhaps, with some knowledge of history, political theory, and philosophy, our TMB would not be such an ignorant pill. I mean, other than coding, he is a Runaway clone.