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    This is a very good article and I learned quite a lot from it.

    Four years later, though, Stratton Oakmont, a securities investment banking firm, sued Prodigy for libel

    I believe this is the company featured in The Wolf of Wall Street.

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      It is that company name.

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      Lobsters: where politics isn’t allowed about Google, but is allowed about 8chan.

      This is pure politics and has no technical value whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleasantly surprised to see it being discussed on Lobsters. But perhaps we can clarify that politics is allowed now.

      For example, I would be very interested to see a discussion on this – it’s every bit as relevant as this article, if you’re going to argue that relevance to the internet is the criteria for discussion on lobsters.

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        Although the subject matter is political, the article is actually about the role of moderation in technology companies, which is no less technical than (scans front page at time of writing) an article about coding without typing, the Feynman lectures about physics, the secret history of software easter eggs, or the weekly thread about what we’re all doing this weekend.

        So: chill.

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          There’s effectively two groups active on flagging and downvotes here: one that wants it strictly technical in its focus with minimal noise; one with far-left politics, similar to Coraline Emke, that want politics allowed so they can discuss their type of it, evangelize, call people out, etc. The latter was the larger group vote-wise in the last thread on the topic. In other threads, they demanded and voted for people to bring it up in any thread. So, Lobsters is definitely about politics (theirs mostly).

          There’s definitely people in the middle or just different beliefs. Those two positions just get the most upvotes and supporting comments over time. The big tech companies do get special treatment far as people working for them. Rarely called out. I did here when I noticed people signing a pledge to not do things worked for the companies doing them the most. Google and Facebook mainly. One did message me about quitting Google later. I’m not sure the discussion impacted that, though.

        2. [Comment from banned user removed]

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            I’ve written an article on key qualities moderation should have and one of them is consistency

            Hmm, depends what you mean by consistency.

            Moderation of human beings is, like any other social endeavor, fundamentally a subjective act. So if you mean consistency as a programmatic ruleset, a flowchart for decision-making, well, that’s misguided. Bad faith actors and trolls will always win that arms race, so the only winning move there is not to play.

            Instead, platforms must embrace that invariant subjectivity, and moderate not by a flowchart, but by reacting to each situation individually, and according a consistent set of ethical principles, ideally rooted in the reduction of suffering. If that’s the kind of consistency you mean, I’m on board.

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              The obvious counterpoint is how many murders, mass-murders, suicides, and other such things have been published on Facebook and Twitter. Since those are both clearly controlled by the US government, though, it’s fine for them to do this.

              This is a motte and bailey. It balance precariously between two meanings, one of which is trivial and true, the other of which is earth-shattering but unproven.

              • One of the interpretations is obviously true, to the point where it really isn’t worth bringing up: because both of them are incorporated in the United States, they are under the jurisdiction of that countries laws. So are Lobsters and prgmr.com, according to whois. Most websites are under the control of some government or the other.

              • The other interpretation, which would be very important if it could be proven, is that they are a CIA psy-op or something: this implies that large swaths of recent public history are a lie, to the point where their supporters and their critics are both wrong about the nature of what they’re arguing about. Most websites are not being secretly run by the government.

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                Prostitution doesn’t harm anybody if done right (i.e. no coercion & regular checks for STIs).