Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 15 submissions in the queue.

Why do you post less frequently on internet forums than you used to?

Displaying poll results.
I work longer hours.
  6% 8 votes
My kids take up my time.
  6% 8 votes
I spend more time on a hobby.
  3% 5 votes
Due to my physical or mental health.
  11% 15 votes
I'm less interested in communicating with others.
  21% 28 votes
OK, Boomer. Forums are for Boomers.
  17% 23 votes
I post more frequently, you insensitive clod!
  11% 15 votes
Other (please specify in comments)
  20% 27 votes
129 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Reply to Article Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @06:51AM (132 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @06:51AM (#1357462)

    The death of anonymous posting (here and elsewhere) curtailed my posts online. Raising the amount of user friction overcomes the amount of fucks I give to shout into the rising flood of inanity on the increasingly dead Internet.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @07:01AM (129 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @07:01AM (#1357463) Journal

      But you are posting anonymously. You can do so anywhere on the site if you have an account. Your posts will still be anonymous - even from staff.

      Furthermore, the internet is still growing at a good rate. There are more opportunities for you to post than ever before on a multitude of sites. The internet is not 'increasingly dead'.

      My own observation is that many ACs want to be able to post anything that they wish on any forum that they wish without being responsible for what they say. In many cases they also want to disrupt the conversations of others or try to suppress someone else's views. This might not be applicable to you personally, which is why I am interested in your reasons for insisting on anonymity.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @02:11PM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @02:11PM (#1357493)

        different AC here.
        there's already a story out there about someone generating an AI chatbot mimicking his father https://www.bbc.com/news/business-68944898 [bbc.com]

        one thing I'm trying to do is to prevent the hijacking of my ideas and/or persona in the creation of such things.
        I would call them abominations, but I'm not sure it's the right word.
        in any case, I think it's morally wrong to create such things because they may be self-aware (I haven't bothered researching whether they are self-aware or not).

        obviously bullfighting is worse than creating a self-aware chatbot that you casually delete when something else comes along, but still.

        anonimity is the best I can do to prevent my kids being taken advantage of at some point in the future by a bot that sounds like me.
        it is also the most I can do to not facilitate the creation of a self-aware agent condemned to life as a brain in a jar.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @02:46PM (6 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @02:46PM (#1357495) Journal

          I completely understand the use of anonymity to ensure privacy. At some point in the future we will be able to permit ACs to post anywhere on the site again. For us to make this acceptable to both the community as a whole and to the ACs in particular it is necessary to understand what the drivers are for anonymity.

          I have considered the use of a nickname as sufficient but that does not mean that everyone else will see that the same way. Most nicknames on the site tell us nothing about the individual but provide an identity by which we can prevent abuse by others. A few are happy to have their names known by all.

          Thanks for your reply.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Freeman on Tuesday May 21, @03:52PM (5 children)

            by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 21, @03:52PM (#1357673) Journal

            At some point in the future we will be able to permit ACs to post anywhere on the site again.

            I very much doubt this. Our resident troll has just about proven that it's impossible. Sure, you can, until the next troll comes along. Assuming the resident one ever leaves.

            --
            Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 30, @01:37AM (1 child)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 30, @01:37AM (#1358694)

              This is always true. Trolls, griefers, spammers and their ilk thrive in anonymously accessible systems.

              The only way to effectively throttle them is some form of non zero cost identity, which can be fairly far removed from your passport, home address, etc. but, being non zero cost, you are unlikely to throw it away fast enough to preclude the possibility of it being linked back to the real you.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 30, @01:32AM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 30, @01:32AM (#1358693)

          Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

          From my relatively obscure perch on the global tree of notoriety, anyone imitating me is doing more to boost the value of "my brand" than they are likely to profit for themselves.

          If they are corrupting my ideas, then they aren't my ideas anymore... Not much to worry about IMO.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @03:51PM (117 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @03:51PM (#1357498)

        My observation is that any named users want to be able to post anything they want without consequences and diligently work to disrupt conversations while pushing false information. You should also include that logged in users and their AC comments are tied to the hashed IP (assuming you are honest about logged in user AC comments not being explicitly tied to user ID) because when you say you hash IPs most reasonable people will think they are truly obfuscated so that posting as AC is actually anonymous.

        When you do not include that disclaimer and push it on to the users as common sense you are doing yourself a disfavor by reducing trust when some admin comes in and identifies the poster, or at the least lets on that they know who it is.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @04:01PM (11 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @04:01PM (#1357501) Journal

          This is plain WRONG. Login. Change your IP address. Post anonymously. We have no idea who you are. There is nothing recorded to show your login ID with the new IP address. We have told you this numerous times.

          Users compromise themselves by staying on the same IP address. That is not my problem. They are compromising themselves.

          This was documented in the wiki in 2014 and has not changed. If people cannot work out how to change their IP address then it is not my fault.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @04:58PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @04:58PM (#1357508)

            Login. Change your IP address.

            Try for a hundred years, and you will still fail to instruct my wife how to do this.

            Try hashing the posting name together with the IP. Then AC posts will hash different to username posts. Problem solved.

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @06:21PM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @06:21PM (#1357513) Journal

              If we could make code changes and build the software we wouldn't be having this discussion. We have not had a dev-ops staff for almost 2 years now.

              The original software showed the true IP address. Cmd Taco changed it to a hash.

              --
              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
            • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Gaaark on Saturday May 18, @06:27PM (2 children)

              by Gaaark (41) on Saturday May 18, @06:27PM (#1357516) Journal

              Try for a hundred years, and you will still fail to instruct my wife how to do this.

              That's SN's problem ...uh...why?

              joke
              I taught your wife how to give a better blowjob... why can't you teach her how to change her IP?
              /joke

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @07:15PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @07:15PM (#1357522)

                I taught your wife how to give a better blowjob...

                I keep telling her - Honey! Please, please, please... do these things anonymously. But even _you_ sussed her out.

                Oh yeah - and thanks.

                • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday May 20, @07:58PM

                  by Gaaark (41) on Monday May 20, @07:58PM (#1357554) Journal

                  My wife never thought that the Beatles song "Please please me" was about wanting teh GF to give blowjobs, lol.

                  And don't get me started on the song "Lollipop lollipop"...

                  --
                  --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @06:28PM (2 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @06:28PM (#1357517) Journal

              Does your wife use SoylentNews? Good for her.

              I have no interest in who people really are. My interest in them begins and ends with our servers. The is a whole world out there but I have no wish to know who everybody is.

              --
              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
              • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, @04:54PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, @04:54PM (#1358527)

                I have no wish to know who everybody is.

                You are obviously not employed by Google or the CIA!

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @04:05PM (75 children)

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @04:05PM (#1357502) Journal

          You are still using the same IP address that you have been using for months.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @05:01PM (72 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @05:01PM (#1357509)

            It is a TOR address, already known to be shared by SN visitors that use TOR and clearly you were triggered (emotionally compromised) since I made the distinction about hashed IPs beimg the tie in and how you should be proactive about making sure people understand the necessary steps for privacy. If someone posts AC while logged in, then their AC post is 100% tied to the hashed IP they logged in with. Getting upset about saying you should be clear about that since not everyone knows says a lot about you. Slight allowance for your ADS.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @06:14PM (71 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @06:14PM (#1357510) Journal

              In the last 10 years that TOR address has ONLY been used by a series of 4 sock puppets and you as AC. One of those sock puppets was Azuma Hazuki 2.0, which an AC on the very same TOR connection admitted he used. You could be that very same AC. Statistically, I suspect that you are. After 10 years you claim that you are innocent user. Fine. I have not deleted your comment. You have not been moderated adversely.

              Now, if you don't like the fact that the IP address of every comment is staring me in the face - change your TOR routing. It is simple to do. If I tried to find out the source of that TOR address then that is all I will find - a TOR exit node. They are published openly. Why on earth would anyone be surprised? What would it tell them?

              If someone posts AC while logged in, then their AC post is 100% tied to the hashed IP they logged in with

              WRONG! If they log in on an IP address 1 and then only post as AC on IP address 2 there is NO recorded connection between the two. You keep saying that there is - you are wrong. As an editor I cannot see any information that is not presented on my display. All that gets submitted as a comment is exactly what you type in the comment page. There is no hidden information that links me to the address that you logged in on, only the IP address that you are using as AC.

              Never post with your username and as AC on the same IP address - the connection between them can still be seen. (The usernames that are connected to your current address are 4 sock puppets and AC.) This is the error that most people make.

              Now this is a poll - I have explained the hashes situation to you many times. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean that anyone is lying to you. I am not tying this Poll up just to tell you again that you are wrong.

              --
              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @08:03PM (34 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 18, @08:03PM (#1357530)

                You are weird. All I ask is you be proactive about explaining the need to change IPs and you attack me due to your own reading comprehension failures.

                If someone posts AC while logged in, then their AC post is 100% tied to the hashed IP they logged in with

                That statement indicates the user logged in and then used the ability to mark a message as AC, all from the same IP. They must logout, change IPs, then post AC.

                Why you get upset and start accusing me of being other people is a mystery. I suspect you suspect I am aristarchus, thus the triggering. Interesting how you say you cannot track people, yet you have a wealth of information on TOR addresses stored since the dawn of time and thus think you can make correct assumptions.

                Wasn't my goal, but you outed yourself on the whole privacy issue here.

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday May 20, @04:38PM (3 children)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 20, @04:38PM (#1357531) Journal

                  The system has been using hashes since day 1. It is designed around hashes. We have no option because every display I see with user data on it contains the hashes. I have no idea what they point to - I am not interested in how people get here or where they actually are.

                  --
                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, @05:44PM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, @05:44PM (#1357537)

                    An apology for your mistaken interpretation would have been better, but I will not hold my breath.

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday May 20, @05:45PM (29 children)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 20, @05:45PM (#1357538) Journal

                  I know that you are not aristarchus - and I have told you that before. You are however, using a connection that, other than yourself, has only been used by sock-puppets. As such, much of our software will display that information on the screen whether I want it to or not.

                  The 'post anonymously' facility on the system for logged in users does exactly what you would want it to do. It scrubs all personally identifiable information from the comment. The staff cannot see it, other people cannot see it, there is nothing to associate that user to the anonymous post. Changing your IP does NOT log you out of the system. It does tag the comment with your current hash - which it does for every comment, submission, moderation etc. If you have never posted under your username on the IP that you have just changed to, then there is no other information in the database to connect to your comment.

                  So please stop repeating the error - if you change your IP then the comment is NOT associated with the IP that you logged in with. It is associated with your IP at the time that you submit your comment.

                  --
                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, @08:24PM (16 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, @08:24PM (#1357557)

                    I hear your correction of past information, but you also say you have custom tracking software to help deal with AC spam so once again you leave it uncertain. Assuming the slashcode only stores as you claim we still must trust the server is not logging extra information such as a new IP authenticating as user on previous IP.

                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by janrinok on Tuesday May 21, @02:10AM (15 children)

                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 21, @02:10AM (#1357586) Journal

                      we still must trust the server is not logging extra information

                      You don't have to trust the server at all - the code is available for you to look at on github. Furthermore, you choose to post here but you are not compelled to do so.

                      Alternatively you could join the staff, help improve the site for others, and see what we actually do rather than speculate about things that we are not doing.

                      If you wish, I am prepared to show you personally my own private data so that you are able to see exactly what I can see. However, I think that you will be disappointed. I cannot show you anyone else's data because we have promised to protect it.

                      --
                      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @08:49AM (14 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @08:49AM (#1357614)

                        Just your speculation on my identity based on shared TOR IPs is enough to show your integrity is very limited. My original comment was about named users being shitty and abusive, not just ACs, and to point out that regular users will likely not be paranoid enough to hide their IPs and so will have their AC posts easily connected to their username.
                        I'll take some tiny amount of blame for not using more precise language, but you still fell off the deep end of reactionary. I have thought of helping out before, but I simply do not trust you or the integeity of the site's ethos. Reeks of "cause daddy said so."

                        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Tuesday May 21, @09:13AM (7 children)

                          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 21, @09:13AM (#1357617) Journal

                          Well this conversation has run its course then. I have explained what I see on my screen. However, I have not deleted your comments, nor have I adversely moderated them. We've simply had a discussion in which we do not agree.

                          I have offered to show you that the entire site is built upon hashes - comments, moderations, activity, journals etc. It is inherent in the design of the sign. Couple this with the fact that you have, over the last 12 months or so, repeatedly complained about me makes me believe that you are less interested in discussions but rather in attacking me personally.

                          You choose to post anonymously but complain that you are doing so. There is nothing I can do to change that. I have explained repeatedly that you could have an account, continue to post anonymously, and have access to the entire site. You choose not to do so.

                          I hope that you enjoy your future time with us and, if you decide to move elsewhere, then I wish you the very best and I hope that you find a site more to your liking.

                          --
                          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @06:47PM (5 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @06:47PM (#1357693)

                            I added commentary, you felt attacked and then attacked me because I was not clear enough. It has been a long time dragging out the details of how users are tracked, with apparently miscommunication on both sides. Glad it is more sorted, but the extra tracking and non-database tracking software you mentioned is still somewhat unknown.

                            Normally I do not make a fuss about such details, but SN is advertised as privacy respecting and pro free speech. Thank you for providing details and refraining from downmods.

                            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 22, @08:45AM (3 children)

                              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 22, @08:45AM (#1357776) Journal
                              --
                              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                              • (Score: 3, Interesting) by OrugTor on Wednesday May 22, @04:50PM (2 children)

                                by OrugTor (5147) on Wednesday May 22, @04:50PM (#1357826)

                                This is why I lean towards a "just ban the fucker already" policy. I understand such a policy is anathema to you (and the troll!) and I have the greatest admiration for your dedication to freedom of speech. I accept that your position is best for the well-being of the site. And yet...

                                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @01:17PM (1 child)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @01:17PM (#1357927)

                                  I understand your ignorantly antagonistic position, but it is more part of the problem than the annoying users trying to hold those in power accountable. Similar to how protesters in the USA habe been assaulted for peacefully exercising their Constitutional rights e.g Kent State. Re-examine your position and decide if a fascist approach is best for society.

                                  P.S. this is more of an ideological point not tied to SN specifically

                        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 28, @08:06PM (5 children)

                          by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 28, @08:06PM (#1358545)

                          I'll take some tiny amount of blame for not using more precise language, but you still fell off the deep end of reactionary. I have thought of helping out before, but I simply do not trust you or the integeity of the site's ethos. Reeks of "cause daddy said so."

                          Were you around for the drawn-out aristarchus debacle? I love me some free speech as much as--probably more than, considering the times--the next guy, but the dude was in a declared one-man war against the site. I don't envy all the effort Management had to spend dealing with the asshole.

                          To the point, yeah, I would be (am) suspicious of any AC complaining about how janrinok handles his duties vis a vis AC posts being aristarchus again, too. Especially if I could see the post IP hashes.

                          It would be great if everybody could responsibly use their ability to post anonymously, but that's not the world we live in. Compromises had to be made, and I think they were justified given the circumstances.

                          --
                          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
                          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, @09:33PM (3 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 28, @09:33PM (#1358558)

                            That AC was around for the aristarchus debacle. It's Azuma Hazuki 2.0 [soylentnews.org], a user with quite a troubled history on this site.

              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @12:18AM (34 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @12:18AM (#1358205)

                Did you know the creator of the Azuma Hazuki 2.0 account stated that they were able to regain control of the account because the email associated was declared unchanged. Use your sleuthing powers to find the user that created that account with intent to harass? Hope the info wasn't purged in one of the DB reloads.

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday May 26, @04:22AM (33 children)

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 26, @04:22AM (#1358222) Journal

                  regain control of the account because the email associated was declared unchanged

                  Please read my sig.

                  --
                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @09:59AM (32 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @09:59AM (#1358238)

                    Please get a brain, user account not real id. Maybe that person was in your secret naughty list with double secret probation.

                    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday May 26, @10:46AM (31 children)

                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 26, @10:46AM (#1358241) Journal

                      The problem that you face is that your statement is incorrect. The password was changed in 2022. Now if you want to 'imply' that something happened which you have not substantiated (or perhaps cannot substantiate) while posting as AC I will simply call your bluff.

                      It is your claim - your responsibility to prove it.

                      I have a brain - the difference is that I use mine.

                      --
                      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @10:18PM (29 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 26, @10:18PM (#1358312)

                        Thank you for the corraboration, now figure out which SN user reset the password, they are your culprit. Thinking for you is tiring.

                        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday May 27, @12:06AM (28 children)

                          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 27, @12:06AM (#1358318) Journal

                          I am afraid that you do not understand. We do know who originally created that account with a reasonably high degree of certainty.

                          When we disable a sock-puppet account we change the password and we reset the email address so that any future requests will be directed to OUR email address and not their own. The password and email address were both changed on the same date in 2022. That is recorded in the database. Any subsequent attempt to recover the password will only send the new password to us, and not to the person requesting it. No such request has been received. The change is completed by software and therefore it should not change one and not the other.

                          Thank you for your well intentioned advice - but you are not thinking for me, you are thinking far too naively. There are over 1300 such disabled accounts (not the 30000 that our resident troll claims that there are).

                          One thing that could help me would be if you can show me the comment which informed you that a third party claims to have recovered the password, if it exists. The date/time of that comment (assuming that it was a comment that you read and not something that you heard about elsewhere) and the comment ID would corroborate the claim itself and provide some additional information.

                          It is possible that the claim actually refers to a period when moderation ban that was issued several months prior to the account being disabled. Such a ban is temporary (and only affects moderation) so the email address would not be changed, although somebody might think that they have beaten the system.

                          There are over 1,358,000 comments in the db. I am not about to attempt to manually check even 10% of those comments searching for an unsubstantiated claim.

                          --
                          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Monday May 27, @12:08AM

                            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 27, @12:08AM (#1358319) Journal
                            * when a moderation ban was issued
                            --
                            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:45PM (10 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:45PM (#1358607)

                            You say you already know who created the account so wjat is the point of digging through commeny history?

                            As usual you and others dismiss facts in favor of your pet theories while covering for the actual abusive users. I'm leaning towards it being someone close to tbe SN inner circle, thus the fuss about laying blame elsewhere.

                            This site has come to a sad state with heavy handed yet paradoxically sometimes lite moderation by staff.

                            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 29, @03:27PM (9 children)

                              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 29, @03:27PM (#1358620) Journal

                              so w[h]at is the point of digging through commen[t] history

                              I want to know how the account changed hands. There must have been some communication and both people have used the account for attacking other community members. You seem to know more than most about this but you are equally concerned that anyone should be bothering to look for it. It looks like 2 people cooperating together to disrupt the site, and they are both present now. That is the point.

                              covering for the actual abusive users.

                              It is called freedom of speech, and it applies to those that you do not agree with just as much as with those that you do. You do not see any actions that the staff take with other accounts. Attempts to prevent anyone from expressing their view is, and always has been, against the site rules.

                              The purpose behind journals is to allow a community member to express ANY opinion that they wish; the site is NOT responsible for those expressions of opinion. Complaining about those opinions is pointless. If you don't agree with them then just stop reading them.

                              You have been invited to see how we manage the site and you have been asked to contribute to the running of the site. You have said that you are not interested. Yet you keep raising your objections as distractions from the topics under discussion.

                              --
                              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @04:17PM (5 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @04:17PM (#1358625)

                                I am obviously not the same AC you just replied to. Part of the value in having the journals is that front page stories and polls need not be cluttered with off-topic political arguments. I've noticed a lot of political trolling in polls and on the front page recently. It seems to be fairly common for users to write a post that mostly seems reasonable, then add some political flamebait at the end. It's pretty much trolling 101, where you initially sound reasonable, then add something crazy at the end to get people to reply.

                                Here are some examples of political flamebait/trolling:
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=61082&page=1&cid=1358427#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (blatant flamebait about Republicans)
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=61082&page=1&cid=1358450#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (trolling about stuff like "wokeness")
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=61078&page=1&cid=1358469#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (completely off-topic partisan politics in a discussion about municipal broadband)
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=60971&page=1&cid=1357176#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (completely off-topic flamebait about "wokeness" in a discussion about piracy and streaming)
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=61070&page=1&cid=1358239#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (started a totally off-topic discussion about the meaning of "woke" for a book that the comment poster says isn't "woke")
                                https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=60465&page=1&cid=1351598#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] (blatant anti-semitism in an article about antitrust laws)
                                https://soylentnews.org/pollBooth.pl?qid=178&aid=-1 [soylentnews.org] (this poll about Star Trek got completely trashed with arguments over the meaning of "woke")

                                I really just don't give a damn about things like the meaning of "woke" and how people choose to interpret it. It's just not interesting to me. I'm here to discuss STEM issues and other topics that are relevant to nerds, not to have an inane discussion over the meaning of "woke". If people want to discuss that here, they have a place for it. That place is the journals. We don't need that crap cluttering up the front page stories and polls.

                                Obviously people should have a longer leash if partisan politics could potentially be relevant. An example is the recent article about shadow banning. If a particular site is using shadow banning to skew the discussion one way or another, that is actually on-topic. But in the examples I cited, the trolling and flamebait were completely off-topic. When I see that type of behavior, I find it really off-putting, and it discourages me from participating in a discussion that might otherwise be interesting.

                                Can SN please do something to clean up the political trolling and flamebait where it just doesn't belong? I suggest if a logged-in user does that, they get a warning or two, then they start to incur temporary bans. If it's done as an AC, the offending comment would be eligible for a spam mod. This should be applied evenly regardless of the user's political views. Whether or not you agree with these specific suggestions, I would really appreciate it if the off-topic political trolling could be curtailed.

                                As an example, in the Star Trek poll, I tried writing a criticism of Voyager, then I put a lot of effort into a detailed criticism of Rick Berman. But the political argument got all the attention. When nobody seemed interested in actually discussing Star Trek, I just gave up and moved on. That's a big reason why I just don't participate as much now.

                                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 29, @05:01PM (4 children)

                                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 29, @05:01PM (#1358629) Journal

                                  The only options that are possible at the moment are moderation and deletion. We cannot delete part of a comment - it is all or nothing. The argument will be that we are removing valid comments in order to suppress a political view. Moderating them as you see appropriate is, IMO, a much better solution at the moment.

                                  --
                                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @05:22PM (3 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @05:22PM (#1358631)

                                    Fair enough, sir. Thank you for the reply.

                                    For anyone reading this who might think there's political bias from the staff, from what I can see, SN tries very hard not to exert any political bias. Any criticism of alleged political bias is wholly unwarranted. People have always been free to post whatever they want in the journals as long as it's not illegal. That's how it should be. Nobody has been censored for their political views, and I see no indication that it's going to start happening anytime soon. I know there are certain users here who love to make accusations like this, and they've always been wrong.

                                    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 29, @05:32PM (1 child)

                                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 29, @05:32PM (#1358633) Journal

                                      If truth be told, I wish everybody would leave their politics out of discussions. It is rarely relevant to the topics that we publish, although it is possible to twist any topic into a political discussion if one is determined enough to do so.

                                      Unfortunately, as we saw in 2016 and 2020, things will only get worse over the coming months because it is an election year. I do not notice many community members from other countries pushing their own political agenda during elections - it is predominantly an American trait, and it is not limited to our site alone.

                                      --
                                      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 30, @02:47PM (15 children)

                            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 30, @02:47PM (#1358754)

                            The person gave the account away, it was a string of n-word slurs, easy enough to find. Then they said since the email was unchanged they were able to reset the password and take back the account. This was explained before, and given your obsessive attempts at pseudo-doxxing (long running practice by you admins while you refuse to disclose only some of the users who were sock puppeting) attacks one would think you'd pay more attention. You have the info you need, and searching for "password reset" or similar around the time should be easy enough. Not holding my breath, trust in SN integrity has only increased ever so slightly lately.

                            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday May 30, @03:08PM

                              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 30, @03:08PM (#1358758) Journal

                              With over 1,300,000 comments it is a mammoth task even if I can reduce it by 10% by guestimating when the transfer took place. Which is what I said in the last response. I have exactly the same search facilities that you have - in the box on the left hand side of the page. I'll bet you cannot find it using that method - if you could you would have produced it by now.

                              As you probably recall, there are also several hundred "Fuck You Niggers" accounts and numerous apk posts which will also be found in a search, plus multiple other uses of the term.

                              --
                              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                            • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday May 30, @03:18PM (13 children)

                              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 30, @03:18PM (#1358760) Journal

                              your obsessive attempts at pseudo-doxxing (long running practice by you admins while you refuse to disclose only some of the users who were sock puppeting)

                              You do not understand the meaning of the word doxxing. Nowhere have we revealed personal data relating to an individual that agrees with any accepted definition of Personally Identifiable Information. Only 1 account has done that on this site and that account is banned.

                              I think what you are actually asking for is the username of each disabled account. The answer to that request would be 'No'.

                              --
                              I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, @01:35AM (11 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, @01:35AM (#1358824)

                                Lame, I sincerely doubt your sincerity. Your dedication to "misunderstanding" and pushing your own narrative is amazing. You asked for information available on your site, information I have no need to search for, and I have already given you what you need. Seems you do not really care who the abusive sock puppeteer is, and at this point it seems more likely it was someone closer to your inner circle which is why you bother with accusations without bothering with the effort part.

                                I do not care about sock puppet names, I do care about which regular users engaged in such community manipulation. You seem comfortable sharing info on certain people but not others. Says everything.

                                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 31, @06:51AM (10 children)

                                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 31, @06:51AM (#1358832) Journal

                                  Seems you do not really care who the abusive sock puppeteer is

                                  I don't want to know who anybody 'is'. We have all the records relating to accounts, temporary bans or actions taken. Who people are in the real world is of no interest to us.

                                  The information that you have suggested that I search for does NOT support your claims.

                                  [ see https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=48726&page=1&cid=1237116#commentwrap [soylentnews.org] and https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?noupdate=1&sid=48726&page=1&cid=1237235#commentwrap [soylentnews.org]. In particular, note the dates which are well before the account was disabled and the password changed.]

                                  The journal of Azuma Hazuki 2.0 is referring to a temporary moderation ban for which emails are never changed. The 'reset password' was unnecessary as it had not been changed at this point. The claimed transfer (which the account holder admits that he only 'pretended' to do) of the account to another person precedes all of this yet there appears to be no record of it. So it suggests that the account never actually changed hands. Now it might be that there is additional information somewhere on the site, or perhaps elsewhere, but it is not being revealed by a search. The AH2.0 account, along with several other sock-puppet accounts, is repeatedly linked to various IP addresses that you use, but which do not appear to have been used by anyone else during the last 10 years. I will let you mull this point at your leisure.

                                  I do care about which regular users engaged in such community manipulation.

                                  Two people took part in the 'sock puppet war' and both received the same punishment for their involvement. Their usernames are known to the community.

                                  One of those was subsequently also found to have been involved in doxxing the other over an extended period of time for which he received a temporary ban. The doxxing material included information not gathered from this site and included references to other members of the target's family. He refused to accept this temporary ban and as a result he was permanently banned. [soylentnews.org]. Following the permanent ban he went on to create hundreds of sock puppet accounts which have been disabled.

                                  There are well over 30000 fake accounts but they are NOT banned nor disabled unless they become active. Most never do so. On becoming active (spamming in journals) we have a way in software of challenging them and ascertaining that they are still using the original email address. Most do not respond and the account cannot be used until they do so. This is built in to the original Slash/Rehash software. The fake accounts currently pose no significant problem to the site.

                                  --
                                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, @07:17PM (8 children)

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 31, @07:17PM (#1358880)

                                    Ah, so Runaway1956 created the Azuma Hazuki 2.0 account with the racial slurs he is no longer allowed to say. Got it, thank you, now stop accusing anyone else of his misdeeds.

                                    • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 31, @07:22PM (7 children)

                                      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 31, @07:22PM (#1358881) Journal

                                      It was not created by Runaway1956. I haven't said who it was created by.

                                      --
                                      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, @10:52PM (4 children)

                                        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, @10:52PM (#1359033)

                                        Strange.

                                        You said you were very sure you know who it was, then prompted me for details about the comment where they admitted to resetting the account password. Next you said only two people engaged in the sock puppet war. I have a hard time believing aristarchus would use racial slurs, though apk sure would. All these oddities add up to a very suspicious look for you. So do you know who it is? Are you simply protecting runaway1956 or apk who absolutely fit the profile of abusive sock puppeters?

                                        Sad stuff seeing a community manager so twisted up they cannot tell the truth or cannot tell what is true. Your comment history just in here is inconsistent with honesty and integrity. But thanks for all the troll mods and baseless accusations!

                                        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday June 01, @11:22PM (3 children)

                                          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 01, @11:22PM (#1359035) Journal
                                          by Anonymous Coward on 02/06/24 0:52 (#1359033) [3801f 3801f Strange. You said you were very sure you know who it was, then prompted me for details about the comment where they admit ted to resetting the account password. Next you said only two people engaged in the sock puppet war. I have a hard time believing aristarchus would use racial slurs, though apk sure would. All these oddities add up to a very suspicious look for you. So do you know who it is? Are you simply protecting runaway1956 or apk who absolutely fit the profile of abusive sock puppeters? Sad stuff seeing a community manager so twisted up they cannot tell the truth or cannot tell what is true. Your comment history just in here is inconsistent with honesty and integrity. But thanks for all the troll mods and baseless accusations!
                                          --
                                          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday June 01, @11:47PM

                                            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 01, @11:47PM (#1359040) Journal

                                            I have a hard time believing aristarchus would use racial slurs,

                                            Then you haven't been paying attention. The Fuck You Niggers series of accounts (now over 200 of them) use aristarchus' email addresses.

                                            Then try some of these:

                                            • Janrinok's Dead Wife was a Nazi
                                            • Ralph JewHater Nader
                                            • You Niggers Can't Stop Me
                                            • aristarchus wins again
                                            • Fuck all Niggers and Kikes
                                            • Aristarchus Will Win, Nigger
                                            • Unban Me Now Or Face My Bot
                                            • Fuck You Fags
                                            • Fuck You Wetbacks [1-10]

                                            and there are plenty more. As I have often said, ari's security is not good. He compromises his email addresses frequently.

                                            --
                                            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday June 01, @11:53PM

                                            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 01, @11:53PM (#1359042) Journal

                                            Next you said only two people engaged in the sock puppet war

                                            That is correct. There have been a lot more sock puppets, but only two people created multiple sock puppets to attack each others accounts. They both got penalised for their participation.

                                            --
                                            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
        • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Wednesday May 22, @07:59AM (28 children)

          by shrewdsheep (5215) on Wednesday May 22, @07:59AM (#1357772)

          The hash does very little to obfuscate. Computing an MD5 takes roughly 400 cycles on x86_64, which means that you can recover the IP address in a matter of ~5 min on average. One can also compute the full table (10 min + IO time) taking only 64Gb and have the reverse computation instantaneously. Only if the hash was salted, there would be true anonymity. This was discussed elsewhere but would require code changes.

          I personally see the current situation as a good balance between privacy and control. The site is now civil again but only because the worst offenders could be curtailed. If you speak up, be prepared to bear the consequences.

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Wednesday May 22, @08:32AM (27 children)

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 22, @08:32AM (#1357775) Journal

            I suspect that most of the hashes would resolve to either a TOR exit node or a VPN. It doesn't matter because I don't want to know who people are off this site, nor where they live. I am not expecting an invitation to tea and crumpets, nor will I be sending anyone birthday cards.

            Every comment, moderation, submission etc has to have something unique about it. The only thing that they all have in common is a connection to the site. We subsequently allocate a specific user ID (uid) comment ID (cid), story ID (sid), etc to them. To me the hash is just a number. Certain numbers do not change often and I can remember a fair number of them. I am only usually looking at the first 5 characters of the hash. It isn't rocket science or some marvellous bit of tracking software. I can do it with a pencil and a sheet of paper. With only approx 350 active members most people have a unique set of hashes that are continually being displayed on my screen.

            People used to remember lists of phone numbers - modern technology has taken away that ability from many people. I am not a young person, and I still remember phone numbers and family car registration (tag) numbers from the 1960's ( e.g. PTJ x44, DLV x64 - I'm not going to make it easy :)). But at my age I cannot remember why I have just walked into a room...!

            --
            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @08:56AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @08:56AM (#1357777)
            • (Score: 1) by shrewdsheep on Wednesday May 22, @09:07AM (24 children)

              by shrewdsheep (5215) on Wednesday May 22, @09:07AM (#1357779)

              Sorry, meant to reply to GP. My intention was to stress the point once more that it is a mistaken belief that applying the hash adds (any) anonymity (which has been extensively explained here before). Whoever distrusts the editors to the effect that they might stalk/subdue should not visit the site as even without (hashed) IPs in the DB such behavior would be possible.

              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @02:22PM (22 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @02:22PM (#1357809)

                I don't think the issue is whether the admins are trustworthy. If SN is compelled by law to turn over data, they don't have the financial resources to contest that in court. I believe they'd have no choice but to comply with the order. Governments do have a tendency to make overly broad requests for data, so it's conceivable that they might request all data about access to the site for a long period of time, whether that's months or years. If the hashes are generally unique to a single user, that information along with the commenting history might allow a government to piece together a lot of details about people who are accessing the site. The same thing is also true if the RIAA or some large corporation demanded the data because of, say, they suspected that there was discussion of circumventing DRM. This could be used to violate the privacy of otherwise innocent people.

                The real issue is the data retention policy, specifically how long the data is retained if SN has no expectation that it will be requested by force of law. I don't believe the admins have either the desire or the time to abuse the data they've collected about users, but a third party who compels SN to turn it over might be willing and able to abuse the data.

                I've no desire to weigh in again on how long hashes should be retained. The real issue is a privacy policy that clearly discloses how data are used and stored. Specifically, a privacy policy should contain: 1) what data are collected, 2) how the data are used, 3) who has access to the data, 4) where the data are processed and how it's safeguarded, 5) under what conditions data can be disclosed to third parties, 6) how long the data are stored, 7) if and how users have the right to examine any data collected about them, 8) if and how users can request the data be deleted, 9) and a procedure for notifying users if there's a data breach. Add to the policy a commitment that SN won't modify the policy to reduce user privacy unless required to by applicable law, and have a procedure for notifying users of any changes to the policy. Then make this privacy policy conspicuous, perhaps with a link in the "SoylentNews" section of links on the left side of the page. As long as all of this is disclosed, and in a way that's easy for users to understand without lots of legal jargon, SN will have done better than most sites.

                If there's going to be a new privacy policy, someone else will have to take the lead. I'm neither willing nor able to lead that effort again. However, I do think it's a worthwhile endeavor, and I hope it happens. I generally agree with your take, but a clearer and more conspicuous privacy policy would make it easier for users to make an informed decision about whether to share data with SN.

                dalek

                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Wednesday May 22, @03:25PM

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 22, @03:25PM (#1357821) Journal

                  The changes to the current software to do away entirely with hashes is simply a massive undertaking. Nevertheless, there was an informal discussion about it on IRC only a few days ago and with Docker and containerisation there is at least a possibility of rewriting the code base in stages using up-to-date software. The hashes will have to be replaced with something that serves the same purpose.

                  The problem is not hashes but INSECURE hashes. The world has moved on from MD5 and there are now hashes which which are secure and irreversible. But they do not fit into the database as it stands. If we switch to the more secure hashes then we lose all the data and discussions that we have built up over the last decade. As hashes are used for comments, submissions, moderations, subscriptions, activity etc one should not underestimate the magnitude of the task to implement even this 'simple' change. So demanding changes to the existing software would come at a cost, even if there were the manpower to implement the changes.

                  For site management the staff log on to the main servers. However, just as you can read data that appears on your screen so it is the same for all of the staff. If you can read it then theoretically you can scrape it and extract whatever you want from it, and nobody will be any the wiser. The 3 letter organisations can do this now. They can probably do it to every site on the internet. They can probably find every email that you have sent, or SMS text too. You must also remember that the ISPs probably keep records of connections, the VPNs probably do although they assure you that they don't, and how many of the TOR exit nodes are compromised is anyone's guess. If you are trying to hide, don't use the internet.

                  We have already removed hashes from comments after 3 months. We can no longer look at complaints that go back over 3 months. So comments that were posted anonymously cannot be attributed to anyone by using the hashes after a 3 month period.

                  The policy documents already clearly state that we will only reveal the data to someone with a legally binding court order instructing us to do so. The only data we have is data that you have given us. If you have given us your email address then we have that. If you have made a subscription then we have a record of a Stripe or Paypal payment unless you have made it anonymously. If you have made a comment, a submission or even a moderation then we have that information. If you have created a sock puppet, or abused an account, then we have that too. Some of the information must be kept for legal reasons (financial records, or minutes of meetings for example) so it is not only the site itself but the official records of SoylentNew.Org too.

                  As you personally know, I sanitized your own account so that there is no PII kept on that account record. We cannot load every backup and remove the information from there too but over a period of time it will be overwritten.

                  The content of future policy documents is for the community to decide in conjunction with a new Board. Like you I hope to be taking a back seat with that task. I can explain to the community why things have been done the way that they have, but whether they chose to change the policy is not for me to decide.

                  --
                  I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @11:21PM (20 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @11:21PM (#1357864)

                  Another thing is the legal liability. Hashed IP addresses are still considered personal data. I've tried pointing it out before, but if you really are worried about a certain individual intent on destroying the site, the last thing I'd give him is the ability to have SN fined out of existence or get it banned in many Western countries for violating their privacy laws. To be frank, I'm a bit surprised it hasn't happened already. One of the bigger sites I help administrate gets superfluous legal complaints all the time just to harass the staff.

                  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 22, @11:55PM (19 children)

                    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 22, @11:55PM (#1357866) Journal

                    So every website must stop using server logs, or Fail2Ban, or any one of many bits of software that use and record IP addresses? I am not convinced that it is as clear cut as you claim. Please provide a link to the law that you are alleging covers this matter.

                    Hashed IP addresses are still considered personal data

                    Does that apply to any hashes, or just the one's that you think you can crack? How do we store passwords and salt?

                    Are cookies personal data too?

                    The European law for example states that data can be kept until it is no longer needed. What does the US version of the Data Protection Act say? What is the act called?

                    --
                    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @07:05AM (3 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @07:05AM (#1357887)

                      Just so nobody gets confused, the intent of my original post is a list of what I consider to be privacy best practices, not an assessment or criticism of the current state of SN. I think the policy of removing hashes from comments after three months is a reasonable balance between privacy and the need to prevent abuse.

                      I don't think there's any way to avoid the issue that many users will be uniquely identified by the first five digits of a hash. SN has far fewer users than the 16^5 possible combinations for the first five digits of the hash. Many sites associate actual IP addresses with comments, so I'm not too bothered by the use of an antiquated hash function like MD5.

                      A few years ago, TMB said that US courts had decided that IP addresses weren't PII. From what I can tell, TMB was correct. I believe the EU does consider IP addresses and anything directly derived from them (e.g., hashes) to be PII. Because PII seems to be defined differently in some states and countries, I suggest just listing the types of data collected by SN and avoid the term PII. It's a fairly short list because SN just doesn't collect that much data. But this isn't legal advice, just a practical suggestion to avoid confusing users.

                      US law is complicated because it varies from state to state. California's privacy laws are relatively strict, for example, and they're going to be different from the laws in states like Delaware or West Virginia. I'm not a lawyer, and I just don't know enough about the privacy laws in different states to give you useful advice. If data retention is a legal concern for SN, I recommend consulting a lawyer who is familiar with privacy laws in different states and is qualified to answer these questions.

                      dalek

                      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday May 23, @08:41AM (1 child)

                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 23, @08:41AM (#1357896) Journal

                        I understood that, and I thank you for your interest and useful contributions over several years on this matter. I don't think anyone was suggesting otherwise.

                        See also my comment here [soylentnews.org].

                        --
                        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @07:55AM (14 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @07:55AM (#1357893)

                      Pseudonymisation reduces the linkability of a dataset with the original identity of a data subject; as such, it is a useful security measure but not a method of anonymisation.

                      https://ec.europa.eu/justice/article-29/documentation/opinion-recommendation/files/2014/wp216_en.pdf [europa.eu] Section 4.

                      Personal data — Personal data is any information that relates to an individual who can be directly or indirectly identified. Names and email addresses are obviously personal data. Location information, ethnicity, gender, biometric data, religious beliefs, web cookies, and political opinions can also be personal data. Pseudonymous data can also fall under the definition if it’s relatively easy to ID someone from it.

                      https://gdpr.eu/what-is-gdpr/ [gdpr.eu]

                      Natural persons may be associated with online identifiers provided by their devices, applications, tools and protocols, such as internet protocol addresses, cookie identifiers or other identifiers such as radio frequency identification tags. This may leave traces which, in particular when combined with unique identifiers and other information received by the servers, may be used to create profiles of the natural persons and identify them.

                      Recital 30 Online identifiers for profiling and identification

                      By the way, here is some guidance for cookies in particular: https://gdpr.eu/cookies/ [gdpr.eu] There is a lot of other good info on the GDPR.eu website or you can look at the official guidance, such as this one: https://commission.europa.eu/law/law-topic/data-protection/reform/rules-business-and-organisations/dealing-citizens/are-there-restrictions-use-automated-decision-making_en [europa.eu] or this one: https://commission.europa.eu/law/law-topic/data-protection/reform/rules-business-and-organisations/principles-gdpr/how-much-data-can-be-collected_en [europa.eu] Or maybe you want some guidance specifically on hashes https://www.edps.europa.eu/sites/default/files/publication/19-10-30_aepd-edps_paper_hash_final_en.pdf [europa.eu] Don't take my word for it, I'm not the one potentially at risk here. There is plenty out there to find.

                      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday May 23, @08:18AM (13 children)

                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 23, @08:18AM (#1357895) Journal

                        Have you tried asking yourself in which country our site is established? If you look at US legal documents they quite specifically state that the IP identifies an end point, not a person. Additional evidence is required in the USA in order to link it to a specific individual, all of it information that we do NOT have. It is the reason that I repeatedly say "I am not interested in who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers."

                        The USA is as much bound by the GDPR as China, Russia, Chile, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Turkmenistan..... I think you get my drift.

                        The location of the site has been considered several times. It is in the USA for a reason.

                        --
                        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @09:24AM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @09:24AM (#1357898)

                          Sadly the European Commission doesn't agree. [europa.eu] Nor does the European Data Protection Board. [europa.eu]

                        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @09:42AM (11 children)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @09:42AM (#1357899)

                          And you should note that many places do consider IP addresses to be personal information that can identify you. Such as California [ca.gov] and the FTC. [ftc.gov]

                          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Thursday May 23, @10:45AM (10 children)

                            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 23, @10:45AM (#1357907) Journal

                            I have asked you to please provide a link to the relevant law.

                            An IP address on its own does not identify an individual. This was ascertained by TMB and verified by others several years ago.

                            We are not located, registered or established in California.

                            The FTC link is related to Child Protection (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)) and it declares "This document represents the views of FTC staff and is not binding on the Commission." in its first paragraph. I am not aware of any children (as defined in COPPA) active on our site.

                            Nevertheless, we choose to provide as much protection of the data as we can and as is required by the GDPR but we are not legally bound to be compliant. As an EU citizen I have made a declaration to the appropriate Data Protection Administrator to cover me personally. I was not obliged to do so but I was thanked for at least considering it.

                            The concern that you suggested that one of our community might decide to take legal action is not as grave as you might imagine. They cannot do so anonymously, and those that might have an interest in maintaining their (perceived) anonymity know what they have previously posted. It would be a can of worms for them too, and expensive.

                            Whenever we have been requested to remove PII and to close an account we have done so.

                            --
                            I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @12:18AM (8 children)

                              by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @12:18AM (#1357962)

                              That page may not be binding on them, but the Rules [ecfr.gov] absolutely are.

                              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 24, @02:19AM (7 children)

                                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24, @02:19AM (#1357987) Journal

                                If you are going to persist this pointless argument about a law that is related to children aged 13 or younger, which is something quite different....

                                The Rule defines personal information to include:

                                • First and last name;
                                • A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
                                • Online contact information; ✓
                                • A screen or user name that functions as online contact information; ✓
                                • A telephone number;
                                • A Social Security number;
                                • A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services;
                                • A photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice;
                                • Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
                                • Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.

                                Which of those items do you give us, or which can we deduce from your hashes? You give us an email address and choose a username, both of which we protect. You can remove the email address as soon as you have created your account but it must initially be verifiable and valid in order to receive your password.

                                Anyone revealing anything else about another individual we treat as doxxing. I have also in the last few years voluntarily referred 2 items which contained links to potential child abuse / pornography to the appropriate US authority.

                                I hope that you are now convinced that we are taking every reasonable precaution to limit the information that we hold and that we are also providing it with the protection that it deserves.

                                --
                                I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @04:50AM (4 children)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @04:50AM (#1358015)

                                  You literally had to change the text of the rule in order to try to win that argument. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't something quite so blatant.

                                  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Friday May 24, @06:22AM (3 children)

                                    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24, @06:22AM (#1358025) Journal

                                    You provided this link:https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-16/chapter-I/subchapter-C/part-312#312.2 [ecfr.gov]

                                    This is a cut and paste from the Definitions in that link:

                                    3. What is Personal Information?

                                    The Rule defines personal information to include:

                                    1. First and last name;
                                    2. A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
                                    3. Online contact information;
                                    4. A screen or user name that functions as online contact information;
                                    5. A telephone number;
                                    6. A Social Security number;
                                    7. A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services;
                                    8. A photograph, video, or audio file, where such file contains a child’s image or voice;
                                    9. Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
                                    10. Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described above.

                                    The link that you provided does NOT support your claim. I will accept your apology.

                                    --
                                    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
                                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @06:59AM (2 children)

                                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @06:59AM (#1358032)

                                      Oh please. The link I provided was to this rule [ecfr.gov] in the comment you replied to. Remember? You specifically asked for it and it was in the comment you replied to and in yours. But apparently you didn't read it and decided to quote a different source claiming it to be that one. If I may quote the actual section and highlight what you are leaving out:

                                      Personal information means individually identifiable information about an individual collected online, including:

                                      (1) A first and last name;
                                      (2) A home or other physical address including street name and name of a city or town;
                                      (3) Online contact information as defined in this section;
                                      (4) A screen or user name where it functions in the same manner as online contact information, as defined in this section;
                                      (5) A telephone number;
                                      (6) A Social Security number;
                                      (7) A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different Web sites or online services. Such persistent identifier includes, but is not limited to, a customer number held in a cookie, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, a processor or device serial number, or unique device identifier;
                                      (8) A photograph, video, or audio file where such file contains a child's image or voice;
                                      (9) Geolocation information sufficient to identify street name and name of a city or town; or
                                      (10) Information concerning the child or the parents of that child that the operator collects online from the child and combines with an identifier described in this definition.

                                      I'll consider accepting your apology.

                                      • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Friday May 24, @08:14AM (1 child)

                                        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 24, @08:14AM (#1358036) Journal

                                        The original link that you provided was in comment #1357899 [soylentnews.org] and is entitled "Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions"

                                        On that page there is a definition of Personal Information. I cut and pasted my response from that page. Note that it does not include the expansion of IP Addresses which you refer to subsequently. There was nothing malicious in this action. The same document quotes 2 slightly different versions of their own definition.

                                        I will, of course, apologise for the confusion that this has caused but it was not intentional. The source document is inconsistent, and I quoted from the original link.

                                        The COPPA rules, which the linked document refers to, are limited in scope to:

                                        $312.1 Scope of regulations in this part.

                                        This part implements the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, (15 U.S.C. 6501, et seq.,) which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from and about children on the Internet.

                                        We do NOT use "unfair or deceptive acts or practices". We do NOT collect any data "from or about children on the internet." The law that you are suggesting we ought to be complying with does not apply to our site.

                                        But it is also irrelevant for other reasons.

                                        We do NOT save cookies, or IP addresses, or any of the other things that it is quoting. We save 'hashes'. When the software was designed and written they were considered to be secure. I have no way of reversing those hashes. There is no software on the site to carry out that function. While it might well be possible to write and use such software I cannot see why the site would ever need to, or what additional useful information it would provide to us. The use of IPv6 (our site is IPv6 capable and has been for many years) has made the existing rainbow tables of very limited use, and I would imagine that rebuilding tables to accommodate IPv6 would be a monumental task. The original slash code actually did save raw IP addresses but CmdrTaco, either as a result of astute thinking or by pure luck, decided to change the IP addresses to hashes, and display only abbreviated hashes (5 characters) on almost every site management screen.

                                        I am usually looking at the first 5 characters of the hash which is insufficient to be decoded to anything whatsoever. I can search for the full hash if I should require it, but I don't for my purposes. We do not share full hashes publicly - they have the same protection as email addresses or usernames which are the only other items of what might be considered PII that we store. Note that some of our users have compromised themselves by quoting their hashes in their own comments.

                                        Users choose their own usernames on the site. If they wish to compromise themselves by doing so then we are not responsible. They can delete or change any email information as soon as their account is activated, but doing so might limit our ability to contact them and provide support at a later date should they need it. They have the ability to use VPNs, TOR or any other means to hide their IP address should they wish to do so.

                                        We also clearly state that nobody will have a copy of our database unless it is as a result of a legal court order, suitably authorised by a court having jurisdiction over this site. In which case, as I have already pointed out elsewhere, the organisation or individual demanding the data will probably also have access to ISP records and possibly to VPN/TOR records too.

                                        Finally, please read my sig. I appreciate the time that you have taken to bring these matters to my attention, but I and previous administrators are confident that we are complying with all the relevant laws applicable to this site.

                                        --
                                        I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @01:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, @01:47AM (#1357581)

        First, for important context: dead Internet [wikipedia.org] but please not I don't think it is dead, but it increasing feels that way due to the rise of bots and users that might as well be bots or are even worse than the bots. And yes, I am posting as anonymously as possible here, but I cannot do so anywhere else other than select journals. In other areas here and on other sites I cannot do so freely or with low friction. Others like Reddit are lower friction (click a couple buttons and have an account, no email required) but are upfront about tracking. But many places require emails (like here and most forums) or positive history (some Reddit-style social media) or referrals (like lobsters or certain parts of the fediverse) or other sources of user friction or ability for them to track you, dox you, or cancel you. And again, that just outbalances how much I care to comment. If you are going to require effort, then users need to see you as worth the effort. If you are going to require my information, then users need to see you as worth that information. But they just aren't, especially given how stupid online discourse has become due to the above dead-Internet feel.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @02:33PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @02:33PM (#1357815)

      the rising flood of inanity on the increasingly dead Internet

      You are posting anonymously. Therefore, nothing you say can be taken seriously.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by BlueCoffee on Saturday May 18, @06:36PM (3 children)

    by BlueCoffee (18257) on Saturday May 18, @06:36PM (#1357518)

    It's not specific to just this site, nor it it the fault of the admins or users of this site, but the quality of articles are lower. Many of them are speculation or just opinion but they are treated like someone discovered Relativity 2.0. The whole www has declined in quality. Quantity is up, but quality is way down. It shows everywhere.

    Consider all those ridiculous "Massive bBeakthrough in Fusion energy " posts over the last year. Sustaining fusion for a few seconds longer is not a breakthrough-that's been happening incrementally and steadily for as long as the average livespan of Americans is. Once fusion can take energy put into it to turn water into steam, run generators, and put MORE energy back into the electrical grid than what was pulled from the grid, then that would be a Massive breakthrough.

    Every Harry, Dick, and Tom is on big (un)social media posting. One person posts a link to some news article on Twitter, and people immediately post the same on all other social media sites and it just expands exponentionally. It takes a day at least to trickle down to webforums, and by that time it's old news to many people who have already posted somewhere else.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by janrinok on Saturday May 18, @06:57PM (2 children)

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 18, @06:57PM (#1357519) Journal

      I agree that the quantity of good quality sources is reduced from what it was 10 years ago. Many of the pages that the bots find are so full of crap, tracking, ads etc that even extracting the story is difficult. 'Arthur' can find over 500 hundred stories a day but it still takes a person to select the ones worth submitting.

      However, we are not trying to bring up-to-the-minute tech news to you - we are trying to find stories that will provoke a discussion and original thoughts and ideas. You may have read the stories elsewhere but maybe not discussed them in the same way that we do here. At least I hope that is the case for at least one story a day.

      We are a small community now of around 300 people, so I do not expect every story to have hundreds of comments. The comment count is slowly climbing and the number of active accounts has been climbing too for the last year or so. As long as that trend continues, or at least doesn't reverse, we will keep providing the stories.

      --
      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Freeman on Monday May 20, @07:59PM

    by Freeman (732) on Monday May 20, @07:59PM (#1357555) Journal

    I don't post a lot on random online forums. I've probably used SoylentNews more than I've ever used any "social forum" or otherwise. The idea of "social forums" / "social apps" are generally cancerous. Do not recommend. SoylentNews is about as "social" as I care to have a random forum with people from who knows where that do who knows what with who knows who for whatever reasons. Not meant as an insult to random people. Just that there are lots of crazy people.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by pTamok on Tuesday May 21, @09:02AM (19 children)

    by pTamok (3042) on Tuesday May 21, @09:02AM (#1357616)

    I realised a few years ago that posting, whether to Usenet or forums, used up a lot of time. The xkcd 386 [xkcd.com] (its from 2008) definitely applies (still) to me.

    I am still trying to make better use of my time.

    I still think it is valuable to educate people and expand their world views - see xkcd one-in-10000 [xkcd.com] - but I've realised that that number of irrational, ignorant people out there exceeds my capacity to enlighten, and my time is better spent trying to improve my own life, rather than other people's, many of whom don't appreciate my (well-intentioned) efforts*.

    Of course, others might regard me as irrational and ignorant (I am human, after all), so I try to keep an open mind. If I point at other people, three fingers are pointing back at me.

    I try to contribute well: that is, leave the place better than I found it (or at least, not worse). I don't always succeed.

    But I post less, for my sanity, for my own well-being, and because I'm beginning to learn to recognize a Sisyphean task to which I'm not required to contribute.

    I miss academic real-life conversations where you can disagree with people without disliking them, and have a rational discourse, filling in gaps in each other's knowledge. Writing a good post is much harder work than having a reasonable conversation.

    So I post less, because the costs (to me) currently outweigh the benefits. I am in awe of the prolific posters who seemingly effortlessly generate well-structured, elegant, well-founded prose. I am not in their league.

    *I might be a little jaundiced right now, having come back from a 5-hour board meeting where I volunteer, and have found that previous boards have landed the organisation with some large legal and financial headaches which might be terminal for the organisation.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday May 21, @03:19PM (13 children)

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 21, @03:19PM (#1357665) Journal

      Part of the problem also is that there seem to be a lot more trolls around. People that troll, because they think it's funny, just want to be contrary, or whatever reason. Astroturfing is a thing nowadays too. Stupid things have risen up, because Money, Power, Fame, all the usual suspects. Once upon a time the internet was the domain of the geeks. Now, just about everyone uses it to their own ends.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 28, @07:48PM (12 children)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 28, @07:48PM (#1358543)

        Part of the problem also is that there seem to be a lot more trolls around. People that troll, because they think it's funny, just want to be contrary, or whatever reason.

        I'm also rather disturbed at this thing I run into on Reddit where people will be on a sub "just to make fun of you guys". And they'll tell you that to your face.

        Like, if you're a liberal and hanging out on r/conservative just to mock and insult the people there...dude. Get a life. You're contributing to the downward spiral :(

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:51PM (9 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:51PM (#1358608)

          So don't disturb the echo chambers pushing blatant lies? You are asking humans to not engage with politics the way they always have. While I agree people should be more constructive, sometimes simple mockery is the correct response to insane levels of hatred and lies. A real chicken and egg problem, who ruined the discourse first and who is sticking the chicken in the ovens?

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday May 29, @03:07PM (8 children)

            by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday May 29, @03:07PM (#1358615)

            No, when somebody is obviously crazy or trolling, just don't engage with them. Screaming at them and calling them names helps nothing.

            Otherwise debate somebody in a civil, level-headed manner. Treat them as you would want them to treat you.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @03:46PM (7 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @03:46PM (#1358623)

              I'm a different AC than the one you replied to.

              No, when somebody is obviously crazy or trolling, just don't engage with them.

              There can be value in sometimes engaging with crazy people, and I'll explain why in a moment.

              Screaming at them and calling them names helps nothing.

              This is mostly sound advice. But there is sometimes value in engaging with crazy people. One of my arguments against banning people for horrible speech (e.g., racism, calling for civil war, etc...) is that it doesn't actually stop that speech. It just drives that speech underground to places where it's tolerated. When you push that speech off mainstream forums where the users have a wide range of opinions, those users seek out new forums where the range of opinions is much narrower. You might call the second case an echo chamber.

              In the first case, there are lots of people around to tell the person with the horrible ideas that their ideas are, in fact, horrible. When people get that kind of negative feedback, it might discourage them from following through with those ideas. But in the second case, the echo chamber, the response is often encouragement. When people get driven to echo chambers, it makes radicalization more likely. If that person has violent ideas, the encouragement they received from an echo chamber might make them more likely to follow through.

              My point? Telling someone they have shitty ideas can actually be helpful. That kind of negative feedback, when done properly, might keep a person from completely going over a cliff into radicalization and violence. I believe there really are benefits from engaging with crazy people if it could nudge them in the right direction.

              While I mostly disagree with banning people for crazy speech and think it can be helpful to engage with such speech at times, there are limitations. If someone is trying to start an argument over politics or wedge issues where it's off-topic -- and this has been happening a lot on front page articles recently -- it's completely reasonable to shut down the off-topic discussion.

              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday May 29, @04:53PM (6 children)

                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 29, @04:53PM (#1358628) Journal

                I cannot argue against anything that you have said. And if they kept their criticism inside the journal that contains the 'horrible speech' I would let it stand providing it wasn't an attempt to suppress somebody from expressing themselves. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. The criticism is appearing in various journals completely unrelated to the opinion or views that they are objecting to, and even into the majority of the recent polls.

                I know that you have seen some of the comments before they are deleted, but I can assure you that you have not seen more than a handful of the ones that have actually been removed. It is a much bigger problem than you might imagine but we are up to the task.

                --
                I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Wednesday May 22, @06:24AM (1 child)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday May 22, @06:24AM (#1357765)

      I still think it is valuable to educate people and expand their world views - see xkcd one-in-10000 [xkcd.com] - but I've realised that that number of irrational, ignorant people out there exceeds my capacity to enlighten, and my time is better spent trying to improve my own life, rather than other people's, many of whom don't appreciate my (well-intentioned) efforts*.

      Well, there's your problem right there. If the scale of irrational, ignorant people that could be enlightened too much for puny human, AI can damn well start carrying its weight in this area.

      Sure would be nice if there was a way to switch a flame war with some loser over to an AI bot. Bet that would provide a well-deserved savings of a *lot* of time and aggravation.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pTamok on Wednesday May 22, @08:56AM

        by pTamok (3042) on Wednesday May 22, @08:56AM (#1357778)

        Perhaps put people in a sandbox with a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer [wikipedia.org]?

        If a recaptcha could test people for rational thinking before allowing them to post, rather than being able to identify stop lights, it might solve a few problems. It would be hard to avoid it applying biases, though.

        Such tests might be a bit long - so perhaps they could be administered separately, and you get a certificate bound to a posting identity. Makes it difficult to be properly anonymous, though - and you could always pay someone else to take the test for you.

        Slowing down communications might be a good thing. James Madison thought that "factions born of passion will tend to dissipate before they can have an effect." [lawsandsausagescomic.com] (Yes, I'm citing a Zack Wienersmith comic).

        Interesting essay: Madison’s Five Lessons for Overcoming Polarization [realclearpublicaffairs.com]

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by standingdesk2024 on Monday May 27, @10:09AM (2 children)

      by standingdesk2024 (46093) on Monday May 27, @10:09AM (#1358350)

      Are you ready to revolutionize your work routine? Dive into the world of productivity with Fezibo Standing Desk, the ultimate companion for your office or home workspace. In today's fast-paced environment, optimizing productivity is key, and having the right tools can make all the difference. Let's delve into why Fezibo Standing Desk is the game-changer you've been searching for.

      The Rise of Standing Desk [fezibo.com]

      Before we explore the wonders of Fezibo Standing Desk, let's take a quick look at the trend of standing desks. With the increasing awareness of the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, more and more people are turning to standing desks as a solution. Research suggests that alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day can alleviate back pain, improve posture, and boost productivity.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Revek on Tuesday May 21, @01:04PM (2 children)

    by Revek (5022) on Tuesday May 21, @01:04PM (#1357649)

    Reddit has me by the balls.

    --
    This page was generated by a Swarm of Roaming Elephants
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Tuesday May 21, @03:23PM

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday May 21, @03:23PM (#1357667) Journal

      Scum and Villainy [youtu.be] - Okay, perhaps Reddit isn't that bad compared to some places.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday May 22, @02:37PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 22, @02:37PM (#1357817) Journal

      Reddit has me by the balls.

      Apparently Reddit allows things more unusual than what appears on this present site.

      --
      The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by turgid on Tuesday May 21, @07:49PM (1 child)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 21, @07:49PM (#1357699) Journal

    First, the forums are more toxic. There' s more hate and less cooperation and civil discussion. The signal to noise ration keeps decreasing.

    Second, 99.9% of it is effectively a DoS attack against my brain and therefore my life.

    Third, as I get older, there's less I haven't already seen many times before.

    Fourth, I realise my time is limited and I'm missing the real world.

    Fifth, it makes me very stressed, frustrated and angry too often. There's too much stupid.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 28, @07:43PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 28, @07:43PM (#1358541)

      First, the forums are more toxic. There' s more hate and less cooperation and civil discussion. The signal to noise ration keeps decreasing.

      Fifth, it makes me very stressed, frustrated and angry too often. There's too much stupid.

      This is the second year I've made a new year's resolution to cut back on getting in fights online, as that seems to be one of the main use cases of Reddit now ;) Can't say that I've been overly successful.

      Man, I miss the good ol' days of 2013-era Slashdot.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by DrkShadow on Wednesday May 22, @06:39AM

    by DrkShadow (1404) on Wednesday May 22, @06:39AM (#1357766)

    Why do you post less frequently on internet forums than you used to?

    I've thought about it, but I just don't post to forums much any more --
    and I don't feel like posting now.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @01:19PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @01:19PM (#1357802)

    I don't post on forums as much because so many forums have gone away. Many have been replaced by discord which is worthless for retaining information.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by acid andy on Wednesday May 22, @03:06PM

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday May 22, @03:06PM (#1357819) Homepage Journal

      I don't post on forums as much because so many forums have gone away.

      Some of them go away because people don't post on them. It creates a vicious cycle. And yeah discord is not a good replacement for a forum. It should be for chat.

      --
      Consumerism is poison.
    • (Score: 2) by Ingar on Wednesday May 22, @04:37PM (2 children)

      by Ingar (801) on Wednesday May 22, @04:37PM (#1357824) Homepage Journal

      I've seen a few forums die. It usually happens when the amount of spam exceeds the capabilities of the admins to clean it up.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Thursday May 23, @01:34PM (1 child)

        by VLM (445) on Thursday May 23, @01:34PM (#1357929)

        It usually happens when the amount of spam exceeds the capabilities of the admins to clean it up.

        Live example, for now: Proxmox webforum. It's about a hundred posts a day from people with hardware problems (ram errors, overheating, outright incompatibility) or they absolutely refuse to read the docs and instead shitpost on the forum blaming the software. Its impossible to have an intelligent discussion on what amounts to a helpdesk for users who shouldn't be trying to use the product. They'll likely close the forums soon. There's just too much trash posts because of VMware self destructing itself as a company, resulting in enormous flux of utter noob hand-holding being required by every possible competitor of vmware. People who've like never installed an OS trying to figure out how to get VLAN prioritization working, it's just wild out there in Proxmox-land right now. And noob-shitposting taking the entire forum over means everyone trying to have a non-noob discussion has to leave because nobody else is there and its just too much shitposting to filter thru.

        I would propose the other different problem seen more in propaganda / social control / corporate advertising forums which is massive levels of bots / NPCs with a side dish of 'dead internet theory'. That drives away the humans, also. I still remember leaving /. due to the Tuesday afternoon 2pm submarine marketing e-ink display post. Just too many of them and the schedule was disappointing, after a weekly team meeting I'd have a late lunch as always and seemed like every week I'd eat lunch and look at /. and the first new article would always be the incredibly tired e-ink marketing post and it was just too much. The next dotcom 3.0 crash is likely to be fake social media sites with fake users having fake interactions to show expensive online ads to bots and companies are eventually going to wake up and stop funding that scam leading to a big collapse with lots of collateral damage.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @03:53PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 22, @03:53PM (#1357822)

    I posted on Reddit for several years but it was obvious by 2016 or so that I was only feeding bots. Sometimes I saw my own comments re-posted word for word.

    Upvoting / downvoting comments really made discussion impossible and more for karma whoring. And it was weaponized in the last decade to make sure only certain narratives got across. You can usually figure it out -- Winnie the Pooh for articles about the Chinese; bezel sizes for phones that compete with Samsung, etc.

    Old fashioned forums where you just donate to an old dude who has a very specific interest and probably a pet macaw are still good for discussion. These days, I only post in a few communities anymore because I don't want my contributions to be monetized.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 28, @07:39PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 28, @07:39PM (#1358538)

      Upvoting / downvoting comments really made discussion impossible and more for karma whoring. And it was weaponized in the last decade to make sure only certain narratives got across. You can usually figure it out -- Winnie the Pooh for articles about the Chinese; bezel sizes for phones that compete with Samsung, etc.

      And that's assuming you don't get permabanned the first time you express an opinion slightly against the community groupthink. Any decently-sized subreddit these days is basically kept in line by instabanning anybody who looks at the sub wrong.

      Which, I mean...yeah, there are a lot of assholes who will just post straight-up racist etc. etc. crap if they aren't moderated. But it's still unfortunate when somebody posts a thoughtful critique of the subject matter and gets banned because they don't like the entire 20something bridge crew of the new Enterprise crying every episode or whatever.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @11:34AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, @11:34AM (#1357916)

    1) Being self-employed means I spend a lot of time on work. I enjoy the work, but it does mean less time for posting on forums.

    2) In many cases, the quality of discussion has declined. If you go back and look at an article from Slashdot around 2000 and compare it to the present, there's a noticeable difference in the comments. I'm less inclined to read those discussions, which also means I'm less likely to post comments. I'll also suggest that the types of articles posted now might not lend themselves as much to more interesting technical discussions.

    3) Trolling seems to have gotten worse. Trolls have always been around, sure. A lot of trolling was always inane, but at least the trolling was sometimes clever and funny. It certainly seems like a lot more of the trolling is now malicious low-effort harassment posted solely for the purpose of being disruptive. You don't need to do a lot of searching to find a prime example of this.

    4) There seem to be quite a few users who just can't help themselves from inserting divisive politics in just about every discussion. When it's on-topic, I have no problem with intelligent discussion of issues that are related to politics. I'm talking about irrelevant attempts to stir the pot. Again, you don't have to search very far to find prime examples of this.

    5) A lot of people just seem to enjoy being pricks. An example is the race threads on r/NASCAR. There are people who might be listening to scanners and have information that didn't make it on the broadcast or notice something that the broadcast didn't catch. Those comments are interesting and worthwhile. But a lot of the discussion is inane and just mean-spirited. We don't need lots of comments saying that Fox sucks and the play-by-play announcer is senile if he makes a minor mistake. The play-by-play announcer is actually quite witty and has a lot of random and interesting historical knowledge, so he's actually quite sharp. But if he stumbles over something, there's always a lot of people ready to pounce and say he's senile. It's mean-spirited and toxic. There seems to be a lot of this on some forums and it really just ruins my enjoyment. Again, you need not look very far, and certainly doesn't need to visit r/NASCAR race threads, to find examples of this mean-spirited behavior. I'd much rather read about a what would happen if a beowulf cluster of race cars was filled with hot grits in Soviet Russia, or about the agonizingly slow death of all the BSDs that may or may not belong to us.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Thursday May 23, @02:00PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) on Thursday May 23, @02:00PM (#1357931)

      A lot of trolling was always inane, but at least the trolling was sometimes clever and funny. It certainly seems like a lot more of the trolling is now malicious low-effort harassment posted solely for the purpose of being disruptive.

      I would mostly-agree with and extend your remarks that its not specifically humor it's effort. Circa turn of the century, here's a funny analogy or internet meme or pun or analogy or similar that a human put modest amounts of effort into. I think this is persuasive because "our side is more fun at parties and smarter", even if someone disagrees for political or political-religious reasons. Now a days its just, "hey AI bot / NPC pick one fallacy from this list and hit em with it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies" [wikipedia.org] its zero effort which is non-persuasive and very unappealing for all viewers. The purpose of bots seems to be a chilling effect at shutting down discussion of a topic, not pushing an agenda, mixed with very heavy handed censorship (see the toxicity levels at Reddit for an example of that)

      Example: Centrally coordinated anti-corporate propaganda widely simultaneously distributed in legacy media then a story posted as if the propaganda advertisement were actual journalism and not just free political advertising. Post appears, Uh we could try actually discussing the topic in a wider sense, or we could laugh at the weak sophistry of the low effort advertisement, or try to find a more balanced coverage of the topic, or really anything related other than a shitty quality political TV commercial in article format. Response is waves of anyone who's not with us is against us and therefore sucks corporate dick and any critique of our pseudo-religious belief being propaganda will be derailed by vertical spam and no discussion will be tolerated this is a message from above to be worshipped not thought about. The point of that kind of interaction is to eliminate discussion of a topic. Here's the propaganda and if you don't publicly support it or at least ignore it being awful, here's a pile of logical fallacies and very weak sophistry to derail discussion. And web forums being a technology to have discussions on, once discussion is eliminated, there's not much point in going there. It turns into an online prayer site.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @02:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @02:38PM (#1358066)

        Example: Centrally coordinated anti-corporate propaganda widely simultaneously distributed in legacy media then a story posted as if the propaganda advertisement were actual journalism and not just free political advertising.

        You have good points, but anti-corporate propaganda in legacy media? You sounds like pro-corp propaganda twisting reality, but I'll admit it is very likely your real non-bot feelings on the matter.

    • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Thursday May 30, @08:12PM

      by Hyperturtle (2824) on Thursday May 30, @08:12PM (#1358802)

      You could be me. I either agree with your statements, or am coming from the same perspectives you present.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Friday May 24, @01:34AM (1 child)

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday May 24, @01:34AM (#1357976)

    We have lost a lot of the more thoughtful commenters over the years, many of whom came here from Slashdot when it went beta. I suspect they, like myself, have gotten older and less inclined to spend time on an argument with someone who is fundamentally opposed to any transgressions against their viewpoint.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Tuesday May 28, @07:33PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Tuesday May 28, @07:33PM (#1358537)

      There's also the increasing normalization of when somebody disagrees with you, you just start calling them names and insulting them. Not just on this site but elsewhere as well.

      It's surprisingly rare that you can actually have a thoughtful debate online anymore, sadly. Now people prefer to scream at you then block you because it's *your* fault somehow for calmly disagreeing.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @09:10PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, @09:10PM (#1358102)

    Ever since the ban on anonymous posting in most threads, to signal-to-noise ratio has dropped, and even the banter has lower quality. There's just drama and posturing everywhere. I don't think the lack of non-logged-in anonymous is necessarily causal, just that the change drove away most of the non-toxic and more interesting users.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, @12:10AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 25, @12:10AM (#1358110)

      You can just look at the shadow banning story for examples!

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Socrastotle on Monday May 27, @03:20PM (4 children)

    by Socrastotle (13446) on Monday May 27, @03:20PM (#1358367) Journal

    It's kind of funny to see this posted after taking a rather long break from Soylent. But after visiting a wide array of sites and finding pretty much everywhere sucks, I can sum up the issue pretty easily. People have become extremely fragile. They're incapable of defending their beliefs and values. And this is quite often because they literally *cannot* defend their values, as they don't even really understand them, but adopt them out of either group identity or social pressures. See: everything from climate to Ukraine.

    So it makes for pretty boring discussions on average. If you find somebody who's really, like autistically, into their thing - then it leads to fun conversations, especially if it's something you happen to feel differently about. And I say autistically as a sort of trolling tongue-in-cheek thing but this is how pretty much everybody was in the days before the corporate internet. People had hobbies, interests, and values - and they were the Gods of those respective specialties. Now it's all completely superficial rubbish and platitudes. People waste their time on social media and doing other equally useless things and so generally just aren't particularly interesting people.

    And then there's the politeness. I'm an expat American and often chat with other Americans (in real life). And my god the amount of superficial friendliness, particularly among liberal Americans. I mean I try to like these guys, but it's okay to disagree with people! I have no idea what these people think or believe anymore, because they just agree with everything. I often find I can have easier conversations with Russians or Chinese because they're happy to disagree and express themselves, while also remaining mutually respectful. It's a lot like how I recall conversations being on the pre-corporate internet, and it feels good.

    If somebody feels like something is stupid they should say so, and get involved in a nice hearty debate. And people should also accept that the things they believe to be deep and insightful (or even personally very important) will also be seen as stupid by others. It's okay! Disagreement is good! And when you debate the purpose isn't to prove the other guy wrong or make him believe you - you're not going to. It's just to try to make it where if he had to adopt your position and defend it, he probably could.

    Anyhow, no clue where I'm going with this rambling brain dump - so that's a wrap.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:57PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 29, @02:57PM (#1358611)

      Way to be partisan. Maybe you've been an expat too long, but I'll take superficial nicety over the wild eyed frothing mouths of conservatives when you suggest something like universal healthcare or education. The enshittification of the internet is facilitated by the decades of corproate media lying and using outrage for clicks. People avoiding the shit show of reactionary politics, especially when on vacation, is entirely the norm.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 30, @02:50PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 30, @02:50PM (#1358756)

        No joke, last time I envountered one was an ex-marine complaining about health care. Said that is why we need public healthcare, nothing else, and he got in my face with his finger ranting about how Trump is the secret war time president. Pure lunacy beought to us by faux newz.

      • (Score: 2) by Socrastotle on Thursday May 30, @04:28PM

        by Socrastotle (13446) on Thursday May 30, @04:28PM (#1358775) Journal

        It's not about the politics, but about the personalities. Liberals, in general, just seem afraid of "confrontation" in real life. Not confrontation like being an ass or creating a hostile situation or whatever, but simply disagreeing and expressing their own views, values, and opinions. A conservative will happily disagree with you (and indeed they disagree with me plenty) and that makes for fun and interesting discussion. It also really helps to form better and more meaningful relationships because you know who the other person "really" is.

        I'm not even talking about hot button political issues but just on any random topic. I really think this could be causally related to the whole datum about conservatives being happier than liberals ( https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/opinion/conservatives-liberals-happiness.html [nytimes.com] ). Actually that's overall a really great article on what would ostensibly be a hyper-partisan and divisive issue. How can you ever form real relationships when interpersonal relations are so superficial?

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Wednesday May 29, @11:19PM

    by anubi (2828) on Wednesday May 29, @11:19PM (#1358680) Journal

    I lurk a lot.

    If I feel I have something meaningful to add, I will often leave a comment.

    I often get sidetracked and leave off topic posts.

    You guys have left me enough feedback to help me recognize when I am doing it, and quit cluttering the forum with crap. Incidentally, you guys aren't the only ones who tell me I do this.

    I don't want to emulate "Barney Fife" ( American TV show: "Andy Griffith Show" with sheriff Andy Taylor and Aunt Bee ). But I catch myself doing just that.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by GlennC on Thursday May 30, @03:24PM

    by GlennC (3656) on Thursday May 30, @03:24PM (#1358764)

    Perhaps the novelty has worn off but I'm less interested in posting and replying than I was.
    There used to be more curiosity and real discourse (or perhaps I just remember it being that way).
    Now it seems to be more snark, trolling, and flamebait (and I know I'm as guilty as others).
    In any case, I value my peace and sanity more than I value making myself heard.

    --
    Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
(1)