censorship (was: Re: Can I store Thunderbird's data in my documents?)

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Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:47:24 AM2/23/07
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On 2007-02-22 16:16 (-0700 UTC), Chris Ilias wrote:

> On 22/02/2007 5:49 PM, _Brian Heinrich_ spoke thusly:
>> On 2007-02-22 13:08 (-0700 UTC), Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:
>>
>> <snip />
>>
>>> Listen Terry, please dont make assumptions when it comes to what I say.
>>
>> Dan, would you /please/ stop being such an eristic sonofab****?
>> Please? Pretty please?
>>
>> All you're managing to do is to p*** off people and generate endless
>> giji-bird-like arguments. :-(
>
> While we're at it, could you please lay off the profanity in the Mozilla
> newsgroups. Asterisks fool no-one. :-)
> It's one of the reasons I removed your previous argument with Andrew.

I'm replying to this by posting to mozilla.general because I strongly feel
that this needs to be made public.

While this is not the first time I have received such a request from you
(or, for that matter, from others), I will say that this /is/ the first time
I've been told not to use profanity when I wasn't actually doing so.

You're right: Asterisks fool no-one; they're not intended to. But, with or
without a leading character, they -- along with hyphens, dashes, and
underscores -- have been used at least since the 18th century in place of
minced oaths.

(I suspect their use is to some extent related to the growth the novel
experienced following the Licensing Act of 1737; the funniest uses, without
leading characters, I've encountered are undoubtedly in /Tristram Shandy/.)

And, although the most recent edition of CP Style, for instance, permits the
use of 'fuck' (and I'm /citing/ the word here), the use of such relatively
transparent obsurantist tactics is still common in the press today -- and is
so precisely because one can /imply/ the word without actually /using/ it,
thereby still being able to claim to be a family-friendly newspaper, &c.

Personally, I find the tactic fairly specious (if not hypocritical) in this
day and age, especially given changing community standards over the past 35
years or so, but it does have a long history of legitimate usage. To
castigate me for using profanity on the basis that asterisks fool no-one is
not only ridiculous but also indicates a lack of understanding of how and
why they are used to obscure profanity.

All of which begs a several questions:

1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known that
you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of what you did
bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)

2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others) making
the determination that a post should be removed?

3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not moderated
when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of posts) -- a
form of content moderation little different from what those who would ban
certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?

4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge on
questions of freedom of speech?

/b.

--
String quartets don't march very well.
--Donald Barthelme, /The Dead Father/

Gervase Markham

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:38:01 AM2/23/07
to Brian Heinrich
Brian Heinrich wrote:
> All of which begs a several questions:
>
> 1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
> transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known
> that you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of what
> you did bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)

As far as I'm aware, only Dave Miller and Chris Ilias have the necessary
permissions to remove posts. If anyone else does, I'd like to know how
they got them, please.

> 2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others)
> making the determination that a post should be removed?

When Chris was given permission to remove posts, I gave him the
following guidance:

"If you take appropriate account of the "respected project contributor"
status of anyone involved, if you warn first (now that you have
something to back it up with) and cancel second, if you escalate the
amount of cancels gently as long as people don't learn their lesson,
then you may use this power for removing messages which are offtopic, on
the grounds that the more noise there is in the support newsgroups, the
less useful they are for support."

> 3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not
> moderated when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of
> posts) -- a form of content moderation little different from what those
> who would ban certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?

If you like, we can just "moderate" by preventing you from posting at
all. Would that be an improvement? I don't think so.

Removal of posts after they have been posted is a way of giving people
multiple second chances to say something useful.

Your right to speak does not imply our obligation to listen. If you want
to say something that doesn't fit here, get a blog.

> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge
> on questions of freedom of speech?

Many people write to the letters page of newspapers; that doesn't mean
the editor is obliged to publish all the letters. Yet no-one complains
about being censored when they are not chosen.

Anyone's right to free speech in the Mozilla newsgroups ends when the
speech reduces the usefulness of the newsgroups to the project. Spam
obviously falls into that category, but so does off-topicness, because
that causes developers to leave for less noisy channels. Content-free
personal abuse is offtopic.

More leeway on the "noise" question is usually given in mozilla.general.

Gerv

Chris Ilias

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Feb 23, 2007, 6:02:29 AM2/23/07
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On 23/02/2007 4:47 AM, _Brian Heinrich_ spoke thusly:

> 1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
> transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known
> that you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of what
> you did bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)

I guess that's my mistake. I was just granted that power last week; and
I wasn't sure if announcing it would be a good thing. An announcement is
bound to create more OT noise, which is what we don't want. And there
are two or three people I think would react rebelliously.

> 2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others)
> making the determination that a post should be removed?

If an OT discussion is not taken to private email, mozilla.general, or
any place where it is not considered off-topic, and is by someone who
knows they should be taking it elsewhere, that discussion is *eligible*
for removal from the news server.

With the exception of one other post, your argument with Andrew is in
fact the only messages I have removed. Not only did they fit the
criteria; but knowing both you and Andrew, that discussion was
guaranteed to go back and forth for thirty to fifty posts. Within the
course of two or three posts, the two of you already managed to post the
most vulgar language I've read in the support newsgroups (without
asterisks). The fact that they were OT made them eligible, and the rest
was the straw that broke the camel's back.

> 3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not
> moderated when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of
> posts) -- a form of content moderation little different from what those
> who would ban certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?

Just so there's no confusion, the Mozilla Champions program is not
involved in this.

WRT any denials of moderation, all refer to the technical term of
"moderated newsgroup"[1][2]
Plus, this is a policy change that happened last week.

[1]<http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.general/msg/bc032b6058f1fa57>
[2]<http://ilias.ca/newsserverinfo>

> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge
> on questions of freedom of speech?

You've got mozilla.general.
--
Chris Ilias <http://ilias.ca>
List-owner: support-firefox, support-thunderbird
mozilla.test.multimedia moderator
(Please do not email me tech support questions)

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:05:16 AM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 03:47, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> 3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not moderated
> when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of posts) -- a
> form of content moderation little different from what those who would ban
> certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?

This is not a "Champs" issue but an issue of Chris (alone) being given
permission to act.

> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge on
> questions of freedom of speech?

Freedom Of Speech is not guaranteed in anything outside of government
control (USA), such as flag burning or yelling out loud when congress is
in session, or anti-government marches on government property, etc.
That's the only Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Curious as to why your posts were deleted and/or received negative
comment when Andrew DeFaria's reply to me laced with F'word
non-asterisked profanity wasn't even acted upon in any fashion. I guess
it's your turn in the barrel 'eh? 8-)


--
Jay Garcia Netscape/Mozilla Champion
UFAQ - http://www.UFAQ.org

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:22:29 AM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
Hi

I was wondering if someone could summarize the issue-so-far for those of us
who haven't got the context required to really understand this thread.

I must say that I do find it somewhat alarming that non-spam posts are being
removed from the newsgroups -- I didn't realize that this was at all part of
the policy and can't find mention of it anywhere in any of the
newsgroup-related docs I've read through this morning. Could someone point
me at the relevant current policy information?

I'm also not sure what "Mozilla Champions" are...again, there's clearly some
context/history I'm missing here.

Thanks for helping me better understand the issue!

~ deb

> _______________________________________________
> general mailing list
> gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/general
>
>


--
Deb Richardson

Ron Lopshire

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:40:12 AM2/23/07
to
Deb Richardson wrote:

> I'm also not sure what "Mozilla Champions" are...again, there's clearly some
> context/history I'm missing here.

Deb,

http://mozillachampions.ufaq.org/

Ron :)

Ron Lopshire

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:43:52 AM2/23/07
to
Chris Ilias wrote:

> And there are two or three people I think would react rebelliously.

Two or three, Chris? hehehe ...

FWIW, I would have thought that you had this capability from the day
that the Mozilla NG server was launched. Shows what I know.

Ron :)

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

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Feb 23, 2007, 12:51:47 PM2/23/07
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Gervase Markham wrote:
> Brian Heinrich wrote:
>> All of which begs a several questions:
>>
>> 1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
>> transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known
>> that you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of
>> what you did bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)
>
> As far as I'm aware, only Dave Miller and Chris Ilias have the necessary
> permissions to remove posts. If anyone else does, I'd like to know how
> they got them, please.
>
>> 2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others)
>> making the determination that a post should be removed?
>
> When Chris was given permission to remove posts, I gave him the
> following guidance:
>
> "If you take appropriate account of the "respected project contributor"
> status of anyone involved, if you warn first (now that you have
> something to back it up with) and cancel second,

Does this also applies to Dave? Because I'm talking about the removal
of postings back in January 2007. There was a bunch of postings by an
individual, lets call Garth. He asked a question, there was many
/helpful/ responses. And yet, those entire threads were removed. No
warning was given. So, since Chris received the authorization last
week, then someone else was removing all these postings.

--
Peter Potamus & His Magic Flying Balloon:
http://www.toonopedia.com/potamus.htm
http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/46347-Peter_Potamus_Show.html
http://www.toonarific.com/show.php?s_search=Potamus&Button_Update=Search&show_id=2778

Please do not email me for help. Reply to the newsgroup only. Thanks

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 1:51:10 PM2/23/07
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On 2007-02-23 08:05 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

> On 23.02.2007 03:47, Brian Heinrich wrote:

<snip />

>> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge on
>> questions of freedom of speech?
>
> Freedom Of Speech is not guaranteed in anything outside of government
> control (USA), such as flag burning or yelling out loud when congress is
> in session, or anti-government marches on government property, etc.
> That's the only Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the US Constitution.

I'll reply to both Gerv's and Chris' postings later, but I did want to say
that the comment regarding freedom of speech was intended to be a kinda
gimme, although my context is a bit different from yours.

The sections of the Canadian Criminal Code regarding hate speech make it
clear that certain kinds of /public/ utterances are /not/ 'protected
speech'. Within the context of media, that is related to the act of
publishing/broadcasting.

IOW, any posting I might make to a publicly available newsgroup to some
extent loses its status as 'protected speech'. If I advocate hatred, I'm
criminally liable. If I publish obscene material, I'm criminally liable.
/Et cetera/.

Most obscenity tests are to some extent based on 'community standards'. But
within the /ad hoc/ and virtual communities of the Internet, the concept of
'community standards' itself becomes irreal.

The 'gimme' is that it is possible for you (Gerv, Chris, whoever) to argue
that, within /this/ community, /these/ kinds of things (whatever they might
be) constitute '/un/protected speech' that make one's postings subject to
/ex post facto/ censorship -- or, perhaps more to the point, suppression (by
removal).

Personally, I find that rife with problems, regardless of whether or not
there is formal statement of etiquette and 'community standards' (/i.e./,
what is 'protected speech' and what is not). But without such a formal
statement, censorship/suppression can only be considered to be whimsical --
and therefore authoritarian.

That said, I would suggest that the various conventions that have evolved
over time -- the use of [OT], the masking of profanity, &c -- should be
respected in any such formal statement.

And I would suggest that posters whose postings have been suppressed (for
whatever reason) need to be informed of the fact.

Am I upset that the my response to Andrew was suppressed? -- Yes.

Was I informed of the fact? -- Yes, but not directly in response to the act
of suppression.

Am I upset that I was not directly informed of the suppression? -- Oh, yeah.
. . . :-(

> Curious as to why your posts were deleted and/or received negative
> comment when Andrew DeFaria's reply to me laced with F'word
> non-asterisked profanity wasn't even acted upon in any fashion.

I would assume because that happened more than a week ago. . . . :-P

> I guess
> it's your turn in the barrel 'eh? 8-)

? -- Not quite sure what you're getting at here. . . .

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 1:56:28 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 09:22, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> Hi
>
> I was wondering if someone could summarize the issue-so-far for those of us
> who haven't got the context required to really understand this thread.
>
> I must say that I do find it somewhat alarming that non-spam posts are being
> removed from the newsgroups -- I didn't realize that this was at all part of
> the policy and can't find mention of it anywhere in any of the
> newsgroup-related docs I've read through this morning. Could someone point
> me at the relevant current policy information?
>
> I'm also not sure what "Mozilla Champions" are...again, there's clearly some
> context/history I'm missing here.
>
> Thanks for helping me better understand the issue!
>
> ~ deb

Please bottom post, thanks.

Mozilla Champions - mozillachampions.ufaq.org

And BTW: The Mozilla Champions, as a group, has nothing to do with the
issue at hand. ChrisI is a MozChamp but his position with this server is
not that of a MozChamp as regards server policy, etc.

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:03:07 PM2/23/07
to
Brian Heinrich wrote:
> Am I upset that the my response to Andrew was suppressed? -- Yes.
>
> Was I informed of the fact? -- Yes, but not directly in response to the
> act of suppression.
>
> Am I upset that I was not directly informed of the suppression? -- Oh,
> yeah. . . . :-(
>

IMO, if posts are being remove, an annoucement should be made to the
group, or within that thread, not just with private emails to the
individuals involved.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:01:22 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 12:51, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

This is not a Canadian server nor is it bound by Canadian Law.
Interesting concept tho as to just what jurisdiction prevails on a
public server no matter where it's hosted. Thing is that this is not
really a public server AFAIK but rather owned and operated by Mozilla of
sorts. But then again it feeds from public accessed servers?? dunno.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:18:38 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 13:03, Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> Brian Heinrich wrote:
>> Am I upset that the my response to Andrew was suppressed? -- Yes.
>>
>> Was I informed of the fact? -- Yes, but not directly in response to the
>> act of suppression.
>>
>> Am I upset that I was not directly informed of the suppression? -- Oh,
>> yeah. . . . :-(
>>
>
> IMO, if posts are being remove, an annoucement should be made to the
> group, or within that thread, not just with private emails to the
> individuals involved.
>

That's the purpose of online guidelines ... Now that Chris is at the
helm, give 'em a chance. Works well on Secnews.

Moz Champion (Dan)

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:25:19 PM2/23/07
to
Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:
> Brian Heinrich wrote:
>> Am I upset that the my response to Andrew was suppressed? -- Yes.
>>
>> Was I informed of the fact? -- Yes, but not directly in response to
>> the act of suppression.
>>
>> Am I upset that I was not directly informed of the suppression? -- Oh,
>> yeah. . . . :-(
>>
>
> IMO, if posts are being remove, an annoucement should be made to the
> group, or within that thread, not just with private emails to the
> individuals involved.
>


Why?
This isnt a public server offered by the government, there is no
'free speech' requirement for it. If a post exceeds/goes beyond what
the owners wish, even in retrospect, then they can remove it.
That the owner of the post might be notified of such in private email is
a nicety offered. There is no need to embarrass the person in front of a
wider audience by calling it to everyones attention.

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:35:08 PM2/23/07
to Jay Garcia, gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> Please bottom post, thanks.


Why?

Mozilla Champions - mozillachampions.ufaq.org
>
> And BTW: The Mozilla Champions, as a group, has nothing to do with the
> issue at hand. ChrisI is a MozChamp but his position with this server is
> not that of a MozChamp as regards server policy, etc.


I didn't ask if it was relevant, I asked what it is. I've never heard of
that organization before.

~ deb

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:43:58 PM2/23/07
to Jay Garcia, gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> That's the purpose of online guidelines ... Now that Chris is at the
> helm, give 'em a chance. Works well on Secnews.


Could someone please post a link to these guidelines?

~ deb

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:45:58 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 13:25, Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> That the owner of the post might be notified of such in private email is
> a nicety offered. There is no need to embarrass the person in front of a
> wider audience by calling it to everyones attention.

If the post is THAT bad there is no need to call it to attention, it
already is.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:48:41 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 13:35, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

>> Please bottom post, thanks.
>
>
> Why?

Because that is the posting convention followed here and because I asked
.. nicely.

And you got the answer to "what it is" if you followed the link. And you
asked about relevancy in your post concerning the issues in this thread
and since MozChamps was brought up before in this thread as relates to
Chris I thought I'd expand a bit and give you a more complete answer.

Irwin Greenwald

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Feb 23, 2007, 2:48:23 PM2/23/07
to
On 2/23/2007 2:38 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:

> Removal of posts after they have been posted is a way of giving people
> multiple second chances to say something useful.
>
> Your right to speak does not imply our obligation to listen. If you want
> to say something that doesn't fit here, get a blog.
>

Just curious. Does removal of posts from this server also remove them
from the Google Archives?

Irwin

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:05:04 PM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
I apologize for my tone, I'm just a little frustrated that I can't find a
link to the policy document where it is explained under what circumstances
message removal is appropriate. I was not aware we had such a policy for
the Mozilla newsgroups prior to this morning, and I would like to understand
it more clearly.

The only reference I can find to OT posts is from this document:

"Will the moderators close threads with a high amount of OT discussion?

Right now, there are no plans to close threads. The Mozilla Foundation is
approaching the new groups and moderation, with a 'Let's see if we need it
first' philosophy."[1]

This doesn't mention removal of messages at all, so you may see why I'm a
little confused.

[1] http://ilias.ca/newsserverinfo

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:10:44 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:05, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> This doesn't mention removal of messages at all, so you may see why I'm a
> little confused.
>
> [1] http://ilias.ca/newsserverinfo

If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:11:01 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 13:43, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

There are none on the censorship and/or the removal of posts issue yet.

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:20:05 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 12:03 (-0700 UTC), Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:

> Brian Heinrich wrote:
>> Am I upset that the my response to Andrew was suppressed? -- Yes.
>>
>> Was I informed of the fact? -- Yes, but not directly in response to
>> the act of suppression.
>>
>> Am I upset that I was not directly informed of the suppression? -- Oh,
>> yeah. . . . :-(
>>
>
> IMO, if posts are being remove, an annoucement should be made to the
> group, or within that thread, not just with private emails to the
> individuals involved.

While, in the interests of openness and transparency, I agree, let's be
honest and admit that any such public announcement is, at least in some
quarters, likely to be greeted with a great hue and cry. . . .

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:22:39 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 12:01 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

<snip />

> This is not a Canadian server nor is it bound by Canadian Law.

It just happens that, for what should be obvious reasons, I'm more familiar
with Canadian law than with American.

I wasn't trying to suggest that this is a jurisdictional matter; I was
trying to indicate how my question was intended as a 'gimme'.

/b.

<snip />

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:25:30 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 12:18 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

<snip />

> That's the purpose of online guidelines ...

Er, what guidelines?

> Now that Chris is at the
> helm, give 'em a chance. Works well on Secnews.

The only times I can recall postings being removed on secnews were when
people deleted them themselves or asked that a posting be removed.

However, I might be misremembering. There were more than a few flamewars on
secnews. . . .

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:28:18 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 12:25 (-0700 UTC), Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:

> This isnt a public server offered by the government, there is no
> 'free speech' requirement for it.

You might wish to think through the possible consequences of that statement.
. . .

/b.

<snip />

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:31:10 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 12:45 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

> On 23.02.2007 13:25, Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:
>
> --- Original Message ---
>
>> That the owner of the post might be notified of such in private email is
>> a nicety offered. There is no need to embarrass the person in front of a
>> wider audience by calling it to everyones attention.
>
> If the post is THAT bad there is no need to call it to attention, it
> already is.

Umm . . . that kinda assumes that the posting has already been read; if
you're coming across it /after/ the fact (after it's been
removed/suppressed), the matter is completely undecidable. . . .

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:37:27 PM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> Perhaps mozilla.dev.governance would be an appropriate place to post
> those?
>

I mean mozilla.governance, of course.

~ deb

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:38:21 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:22, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> On 2007-02-23 12:01 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:
>
> <snip />
>
>> This is not a Canadian server nor is it bound by Canadian Law.
>
> It just happens that, for what should be obvious reasons, I'm more familiar
> with Canadian law than with American.
>
> I wasn't trying to suggest that this is a jurisdictional matter; I was
> trying to indicate how my question was intended as a 'gimme'.
>
> /b.
>
> <snip />
>

If you wouldn't have <snipped> then included would have been my text
about jurisdiction.

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:32:26 PM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
> Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.


I hate to be a stick in the mud, but enforcing as-yet-unwritten rules seems
a shade premature. May I suggest holding off on further enforcement until
the policies are finalized, published, and publicized?

Also, are the drafts of these policies going to be posted publicly for
review and feedback? I would like to at least read the threads where this
takes place. Perhaps mozilla.dev.governance would be an appropriate place
to post those?

~ deb

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:41:06 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:25, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> On 2007-02-23 12:18 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:
>
> <snip />
>
>> That's the purpose of online guidelines ...
>
> Er, what guidelines?

T'was a generalization. If I would have said "THE" online guidelines
then ............

>> Now that Chris is at the
>> helm, give 'em a chance. Works well on Secnews.
>
> The only times I can recall postings being removed on secnews were when
> people deleted them themselves or asked that a posting be removed.

Since the server came online sometime in 1995 I can only remember
cancelling ONE post which contained a very obscene image. And I/we
cancelled posts by an individual that was officially banned.

> However, I might be misremembering. There were more than a few flamewars on
> secnews. . . .
>
> /b.
>


--

Jay Garcia

unread,
Feb 23, 2007, 3:43:05 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:28, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> On 2007-02-23 12:25 (-0700 UTC), Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:
>
>> This isnt a public server offered by the government, there is no
>> 'free speech' requirement for it.
>
> You might wish to think through the possible consequences of that statement.
> . . .
>
> /b.
>
> <snip />
>

What is there to think through?? Free Speech as outlined in the US
Constitution does not apply here. Nor does anyone else's "constitution"
apply here.

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:44:42 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 13:10 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

<snip />

> If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
> Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.

With all due respect, publishing and publicising that policy should pro'ly
have preceded Chris' acting upon his new responsibilities. . . . :-(

squaredancer

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:55:28 PM2/23/07
to
On 23/02/2007 10:47, CET - what odd quirk of fate caused Brian Heinrich
to generate the following:? :
> On 2007-02-22 16:16 (-0700 UTC), Chris Ilias wrote:
>
>
>> On 22/02/2007 5:49 PM, _Brian Heinrich_ spoke thusly:
>>
>>> On 2007-02-22 13:08 (-0700 UTC), Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:
>>>
>>> <snip />
>>>
>>>
>>>> Listen Terry, please dont make assumptions when it comes to what I say.
>>>>
>>> Dan, would you /please/ stop being such an eristic sonofab****?
>>> Please? Pretty please?
>>>
>>> All you're managing to do is to p*** off people and generate endless
>>> giji-bird-like arguments. :-(
>>>
>> While we're at it, could you please lay off the profanity in the Mozilla
>> newsgroups. Asterisks fool no-one. :-)
>> It's one of the reasons I removed your previous argument with Andrew.
>>
>
> I'm replying to this by posting to mozilla.general because I strongly feel
> that this needs to be made public.
>
>
>

<<snipped>>
> All of which begs a several questions:
>
> 1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
> transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known that
> you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of what you did
> bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)
>
> 2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others) making
> the determination that a post should be removed?
>
> 3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not moderated
> when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of posts) -- a
> form of content moderation little different from what those who would ban
> certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?


>
> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge on
> questions of freedom of speech?
>

> /b.
>
>
PURITANS TO THE FRONT - gather arms, dear friends, fight in the name of
the [word censored]

reg

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:04:21 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:32, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

>> If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
>> Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.
>
>
> I hate to be a stick in the mud, but enforcing as-yet-unwritten rules seems
> a shade premature. May I suggest holding off on further enforcement until
> the policies are finalized, published, and publicized?

That's giving free rein to act without constraint until the policy is
written barring what it is you're doing prior to being written.

> Also, are the drafts of these policies going to be posted publicly for
> review and feedback? I would like to at least read the threads where this
> takes place. Perhaps mozilla.dev.governance would be an appropriate place
> to post those?
>
> ~ deb

The policies are not up to public scrutiny, the public has no say-so,
not a micro-democracy. It's a "it's my server, you behave like I tell
you to behave". But it's not for ME to say, I have no authority here.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:05:09 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 14:44, Brian Heinrich wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> On 2007-02-23 13:10 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:
>
> <snip />
>
>> If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
>> Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.
>
> With all due respect, publishing and publicising that policy should pro'ly
> have preceded Chris' acting upon his new responsibilities. . . . :-(
>
> /b.
>

True to some extent but it's his ballgame now.

squaredancer

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:13:55 PM2/23/07
to
On 23/02/2007 22:04, CET - what odd quirk of fate caused Jay Garcia to
generate the following:? :
ah, but!!! Jay

If the policy is not publicised then how can the public conform??

reg

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:20:11 PM2/23/07
to

I would have to disagree with you on that part. There was a thread,
started by Garth, where I had several postings within it, aswell as
postings by others. Not only was all his postings removed, but mine
also, and the postings of the others. I was not notified that this
would happen. Therefore, if this is going to happen, then the entire
group should be notified that this sort of thing is happening.

--
Peter Potamus & His Magic Flying Balloon:
http://www.toonopedia.com/potamus.htm
http://www.bcdb.com/cartoon/46347-Peter_Potamus_Show.html
http://www.toonarific.com/show.php?s_search=Potamus&Button_Update=Search&show_id=2778

Please do not email me for help. Reply to the newsgroup only. Thanks

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:19:33 PM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> The policies are not up to public scrutiny, the public has no say-so,
> not a micro-democracy. It's a "it's my server, you behave like I tell
> you to behave". But it's not for ME to say, I have no authority here.


I'm sorry, maybe I'm confused. What newsgroups in particular are we talking
about this as-yet-unwritten policy applying to?

~ deb

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:38:58 PM2/23/07
to
Jay Garcia wrote:
> On 23.02.2007 14:44, Brian Heinrich wrote:
>
> --- Original Message ---
>
>> On 2007-02-23 13:10 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:
>>
>> <snip />
>>
>>> If I understand correctly there be a written policy forthcoming now that
>>> Chris has expanded responsibilities of only a week now.
>> With all due respect, publishing and publicising that policy should pro'ly
>> have preceded Chris' acting upon his new responsibilities. . . . :-(
>>
>> /b.
>>
>
> True to some extent but it's his ballgame now.
>

if Chris hasn't received a bad rep by now, he certainly will when he
starts removing postings. I think the various newsgroups will be
flooded with complaints and people wanting to know what happened to
their postings. Especially, when their posting was removed and they
were not told about it. And I'm speaking from experience here.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:54:05 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 15:13, squaredancer wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> If the policy is not publicised then how can the public conform??
>
> reg

Ahh, conform to basic intelligent communications as if you're talking to
your strict Grandma ... 'nuff said? Your Grandma ever take after you
with a switch !? yowza!!

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:54:55 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 15:19, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

This server, news.mozilla.org in it's entirety.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:56:59 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 15:38, Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> if Chris hasn't received a bad rep by now, he certainly will when he
> starts removing postings. I think the various newsgroups will be
> flooded with complaints and people wanting to know what happened to
> their postings. Especially, when their posting was removed and they
> were not told about it. And I'm speaking from experience here.
>

Comes with the territory/job. Those in charge are always sitting on the
powder keg. It comes down to if Chris has enough water in his pistol to
drench the fuses. :-)

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:00:47 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 15:20, Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> I would have to disagree with you on that part. There was a thread,
> started by Garth, where I had several postings within it, aswell as
> postings by others. Not only was all his postings removed, but mine
> also, and the postings of the others. I was not notified that this
> would happen. Therefore, if this is going to happen, then the entire
> group should be notified that this sort of thing is happening.
>

I would agree with that, to publish the rules before the game begins.
Doesn't take much for a melee to ensue. Heck, I went to a boxing match
once and wouldn't you know it, a hockey game broke out.

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:10:18 PM2/23/07
to
Jay Garcia wrote:
> Heck, I went to a boxing match
> once and wouldn't you know it, a hockey game broke out.

don't you just hate it when that happens! ;-)

Brian Heinrich

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:12:59 PM2/23/07
to
On 2007-02-23 15:00 (-0700 UTC), Jay Garcia wrote:

<snip />

> Heck, I went to a boxing match


> once and wouldn't you know it, a hockey game broke out.

Once a upon a time, mebbe, but nowadays it's more like going to a diving
competition and finding a [ hockey game | soccer match ] breaking out. :-D

Deb Richardson

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:20:28 PM2/23/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> > I'm sorry, maybe I'm confused. What newsgroups in particular are we
> talking
> > about this as-yet-unwritten policy applying to?
>
> This server, news.mozilla.org in it's entirety.


And policies for this server are decided how, and by whom?

~ deb

Chris Ilias

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:45:46 PM2/23/07
to
On 23/02/2007 10:22 AM, _Deb Richardson_ spoke thusly:
> I was wondering if someone could summarize the issue-so-far for those of us
> who haven't got the context required to really understand this thread.
>
> I must say that I do find it somewhat alarming that non-spam posts are
> being removed from the newsgroups --

I think the issues can best be illustrated by looking at the following
thread in mozilla.dev.planning:
<http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/19c50f7256d658bd>

- The thread very quickly spiralled off-topic
- The OT discussion also maintained the cross-post (between three
newsgroups)
- There was a request to take it elsewhere (notice Mike's wording,
"please stop *spamming* this list.")
- That request was ignored.

This happened because users reading the thread in mozilla.general didn't
pay attention to where they were posting. They see something they want
to chat about, click reply, type, and send. While that is very rare in
the developer newsgroups, it happens frequently in the user support
newsgroups. User support newsgroups are an entirely different animal.
When users read the Mozilla newsgroups, they're not working on a
project. To them, it's not a place of work or responsibility; so when
they are asked to take OT discussion out of the support newsgroup, that
request is usually ignored.

> I didn't realize that this was at all part of
> the policy and can't find mention of it anywhere in any of the
> newsgroup-related docs I've read through this morning. Could someone point
> me at the relevant current policy information?

I don't think there is anything on www.mozilla.org, that outlines a
policy regarding message removal.

> I'm sorry, maybe I'm confused. What newsgroups in particular are we talking
> about this as-yet-unwritten policy applying to?

The user support newsgroups that I am list-owner of, and have the OT
problem. That would be:
mozilla.support.firefox
mozilla.support.thunderbird

I wouldn't remove a post in other newsgroups, for being OT. Certainly
not without the permission of the list-owner. Plus the OT issue doesn't
even exist in the dev groups.
--
Chris Ilias <http://ilias.ca>
List-owner: support-firefox, support-thunderbird
mozilla.test.multimedia moderator
(Please do not email me tech support questions)

Frank Tabor

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Feb 23, 2007, 6:18:01 PM2/23/07
to

By the owner of the server. The one paying Giganews for the bandwidth
and server space.

--
Frank Tabor
Your domestic life may be harmonious.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 8:01:27 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 16:20, Deb Richardson wrote:

--- Original Message ---

Dunno, I'm not involved with this server. I can only answer a limited
number of questions.

Deb Richardson

unread,
Feb 23, 2007, 8:55:06 PM2/23/07
to Chris Ilias, gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> The user support newsgroups that I am list-owner of, and have the OT
> problem. That would be:
> mozilla.support.firefox
> mozilla.support.thunderbird


That's a significantly more limited scope than earlier discussion implied,
which is reassuring.

I understand that those newsgroups are likely to be special cases, possibly
requiring more stringent policies than the normal run of mozilla.*
newsgroups. That said, I'm still concerned that we do the right thing, the
right way, for the right reasons, which is why I suggested posting draft
policies for public (or, at very least, project-participant) review prior to
finalizing and enforcing them.

I was genuinely surprised by the fact that we had removed non-spam messages
from a newsgroup, doubly so when it turned out that no policy existed
regarding the appropriate circumstances for removal, as I had assumed I had
just missed that discussion/announcement. I understand full well that this
project is not run as a "micro democracy", but when it comes to potentially
controversial acts like removing messages from newsgroups, I think it's best
to err on the side of caution.

~ deb

Ed Mullen

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:39:10 PM2/23/07
to
Chris Ilias wrote:
> On 23/02/2007 10:22 AM, _Deb Richardson_ spoke thusly:
>> I was wondering if someone could summarize the issue-so-far for those
>> of us
>> who haven't got the context required to really understand this thread.
>>
>> I must say that I do find it somewhat alarming that non-spam posts are
>> being removed from the newsgroups --
>
> I think the issues can best be illustrated by looking at the following
> thread in mozilla.dev.planning:
> <http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.dev.planning/browse_thread/thread/19c50f7256d658bd>
>
>

That is a developer group, eh? I agree with you, the dev groups should
be sacrosanct and protected from abuse and proliferation of nonsense.
I've been around long enough to understand the historical issues.

However, unless I'm mistaken, all the talk about removing posts most
recently has, so far, referred to the user support groups. Users and
devs are a different breed. Their needs are different. Users do,
sometimes, need to vent. Most of us users don't mind reading (or
ignoring) that. I would think that, if a dev were actually reading a
support group, that they would be able to do what we do: Ignore it.
Highlighting it seems to be only creating /more/ noise on the channel,
the opposite of your (seeming) aim.

If the issue is that people are replying to a cross-posted post in a
support group without looking to see that that reply is also going to go
to a dev group, can't something be done about that at the server level?
I, frankly, have too much going on to be that tidy; to examine the
headers of every one of thousands of posts I read every day to make sure
that (oops!) the OP came from/is going to other places. The OP's
improper etiquette is something I will never take the time to deal with.
If it annoys one segment of the community, can't you deal with that in
an automated fashion? Such as not accepting cross-posts on the dev
groups? Or blocking posts to the dev groups from the support groups?
As opposed to opening up the community to this divisive discussion?

Open Source. Just not /that/ open. Geez. You either want community
(and a community is not just the people you like, who say the things you
like, in the way you like, it's /everyone/ in the community) involvement
or you don't. Consider the marketing consequences of this strategy
vis-a-vis long-standing supporters of the Mozilla platform as well as
those new adherents we have brought and might bring to the fray. Those
less "seasoned" than we.

Frankly, one of the reasons I partake of the Mozilla experience is the
diverse viewpoints, sometimes outlandish personalities, and lively
discussions that pop up. I relish it. It is what makes all this
interesting and worthwhile. If that is unreasonable, in the latest
context that the Mozilla Foundation (or Mozilla, Inc.) has promulgated,
well, let me know. I can always unsubscribe. And start using and
changing all my users to Opera.

This is just silly. At no time since the creation of these new groups
have I ever thought that they were being abused. It's 2007 fer God's
sake. Calm down. Learn the "k" key. Learn the "r" key. Learn the
"CTRL+SHIFT+C" sequence. Hell, I dance through the occasional detour on
these groups with nary a piece of BS on my shoes and my fingers don't
feel overtaxed.

I will offer this final observation.

This Mozilla community (the users) has an appeal. It is a community,
almost a nation, if you will, but without any over-riding governmental
control. It's refreshing. If I say something that the community
doesn't like, they'll tell me, not "the government." It's government by
getting along. Much better than government by smacking people upside
the head and reducing them to the least common denominator. Or making
everyone so bland and similar that no one cares about talking to or
listening to any of us.

My 3.5 cents adjusted for inflation. Let me know. As I said, I can
unsubscribe. No loss, I'm sure, in light of "the greater good." Still,
consider the path you are walking down. And every aphorism about
"power." It rarely turns out well for those who attempt to assume it.

--
Ed Mullen
http://edmullen.net
http://mozilla.edmullen.net
http://abington.edmullen.net

Ed Mullen

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:42:11 PM2/23/07
to
Jay Garcia wrote:
> On 23.02.2007 15:13, squaredancer wrote:
>
> --- Original Message ---
>
>> If the policy is not publicised then how can the public conform??
>>
>> reg
>
> Ahh, conform to basic intelligent communications as if you're talking to
> your strict Grandma ... 'nuff said? Your Grandma ever take after you
> with a switch !? yowza!!
>

Err, uh, defintion please? My Grandma was a salty lady. Who's Grandma
is the definitive source?

You can't have compliance without a rule.

Jay Garcia

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:51:52 PM2/23/07
to
On 23.02.2007 20:42, Ed Mullen wrote:

--- Original Message ---

> You can't have compliance without a rule.

You mean rule(r) .. :-)

nothing

unread,
Feb 23, 2007, 11:16:23 PM2/23/07
to
Jay Garcia wrote:
> On 23.02.2007 20:42, Ed Mullen wrote:
>
> --- Original Message ---
>
>> You can't have compliance without a rule.
>
> You mean rule(r) .. :-)
>

No, what I meant to imply was sensibility. And that, apparently, has no
place in the Mozilla dot something organization. Me? In this Brave New
World, I have not a place. I am gone. Enjoy yourselves. I may stay
about for a few follow-up posts but after that I'm outta here. Mozilla
dot whoever? Good luck. You are marketing clueless. (not directed at
you, Jay)

Good luck with that whole "We're gonna kill Bill Gates" thingie. Open
Source? Open what? Delete communications from our users? Err, um,
does this seem to anyone else but me to smack of a Microsoft tactic?
Like, uh, big business attacking small users? Hmm?

I've asked this before: Has anyone at Mozilla taken and passed a
Marketing 101 course? If so, was their head so far up their butt that
they couldn't hear the instructor?

Oh, whatever. Enjoy. I've had enough. this had degenerated into such
silliness that it begs ... well ... it begs ... I don't know, perhaps
abandonment of any hope all ye who enter here?

Geez. So much angst over, what? A few posts? You actually have time
to waste on this? Too sad.

I wish you all well. You are doomed.

Brian Heinrich

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 12:32:07 AM2/24/07
to
On 2007-02-23 18:19 (-0700 UTC), Chris Ilias wrote:

<snip />

> This discussion has veered from using an analogy to illustrate dangers
> of non-default profile locations, to being entirely off-topic. Please
> remember to take OT discussions to either private email,
> mozilla.general, or any place where it is not considered off-topic. It
> does not belong in the support newsgroups.

Or. . . ?

Peter Potamus the Purple Hippo

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 1:03:24 AM2/24/07
to
Brian Heinrich wrote:
> On 2007-02-22 16:16 (-0700 UTC), Chris Ilias wrote:
>
>> On 22/02/2007 5:49 PM, _Brian Heinrich_ spoke thusly:
>>> On 2007-02-22 13:08 (-0700 UTC), Moz Champion (Dan) wrote:
>>>
>>> <snip />
>>>
>>>> Listen Terry, please dont make assumptions when it comes to what I say.
>>>
>>> Dan, would you /please/ stop being such an eristic sonofab****?
>>> Please? Pretty please?
>>>
>>> All you're managing to do is to p*** off people and generate endless
>>> giji-bird-like arguments. :-(
>>
>> While we're at it, could you please lay off the profanity in the
>> Mozilla newsgroups. Asterisks fool no-one. :-)
>> It's one of the reasons I removed your previous argument with Andrew.
>
> I'm replying to this by posting to mozilla.general because I strongly
> feel that this needs to be made public.
>
> While this is not the first time I have received such a request from you
> (or, for that matter, from others), I will say that this /is/ the first
> time I've been told not to use profanity when I wasn't actually doing so.
>
> You're right: Asterisks fool no-one; they're not intended to. But,
> with or without a leading character, they -- along with hyphens, dashes,
> and underscores -- have been used at least since the 18th century in
> place of minced oaths.
>
> (I suspect their use is to some extent related to the growth the novel
> experienced following the Licensing Act of 1737; the funniest uses,
> without leading characters, I've encountered are undoubtedly in
> /Tristram Shandy/.)
>
> And, although the most recent edition of CP Style, for instance, permits
> the use of 'fuck' (and I'm /citing/ the word here), the use of such
> relatively transparent obsurantist tactics is still common in the press
> today -- and is so precisely because one can /imply/ the word without
> actually /using/ it, thereby still being able to claim to be a
> family-friendly newspaper, &c.
>
> Personally, I find the tactic fairly specious (if not hypocritical) in
> this day and age, especially given changing community standards over the
> past 35 years or so, but it does have a long history of legitimate
> usage. To castigate me for using profanity on the basis that asterisks
> fool no-one is not only ridiculous but also indicates a lack of
> understanding of how and why they are used to obscure profanity.

>
> All of which begs a several questions:
>
> 1. Why are you (and, presumably, others) removing posts without being
> transparent about it? (Had you not e-mailed me, I wouldn't have known
> that you'd removed a post, and the fact that I was not informed of what
> you did bothers me quite as much as the fact that you did it.)
>
> 2. On the basis of what criteria are you (and, presumably, others)
> making the determination that a post should be removed?
>
> 3. Why are the Champs still insisting that these groups are not
> moderated when, in fact, /ex post facto/ censorship (/i.e./, removal of
> posts) -- a form of content moderation little different from what those
> who would ban certain books from libraries undertake -- is occurring?
>
> 4. And, just as an aside, how does this kind of censorship /not/ impinge
> on questions of freedom of speech?
>
> /b.
>

you know, what gets me, is I already made comments about the removal of
postings, a long time ago, and it went completely ignored:
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.support.firefox/browse_thread/thread/b92ef415b5263182/00bf5a405eb2646e?lnk=st&q=&rnum=1#00bf5a405eb2646e

Now, today, this removal of posting has raised its ugly head again, and
now everyone is coming out of the woodwork and making a stand against it.

I wonder what the difference is/was between then and now?

Deb Richardson

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 1:11:17 AM2/24/07
to gen...@lists.mozilla.org
> Now, today, this removal of posting has raised its ugly head again, and
> now everyone is coming out of the woodwork and making a stand against it.
>
> I wonder what the difference is/was between then and now?


My excuse is that I read (well, skim) mozilla.general but I'm not subscribed
to the other. Turns out the subject line "censorship" is an attention
grabber. :)

I'm really not sure where it is best to bring up newsgroup policy issues,
honestly. Perhaps Gervase could enlighten us about which newsgroup would be
most appropriate?

~ deb

Chris Ilias

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 1:40:39 AM2/24/07
to
On 23/02/2007 9:39 PM, _Ed Mullen_ spoke thusly:

Ed, there's been a misunderstanding. Cross-posting to developer
newsgroups is not the issue. If you follow the SeaMonkey newsgroups,
you'll see that KaiRo often cross-posts to the dev.apps group and the
support group. There are also instances where a user is authoring a web
site, and we can cross-post their web-dev questions to the appropriate
dev.tech newsgroups. Earlier today, someone asked about helping with
localization; and a cross-post to the dev.l10n group would have been
fine. Basil's Firefox announcements are cross-posted to dev.planning and
support.firefox.

The issue here is about OT discussions. Using your "need to vent"
argument, if a person "vents" about Firefox or Thunderbird, they are
more than welcome to post.
The thread I linked to was an illustration of the problem. If you want
an example, there are a couple of threads, from *today*:
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.support.firefox/browse_thread/thread/47f453301bc5721e
http://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.support.thunderbird/browse_thread/thread/8a126a2e480aae1b

There are around 100 support-firefox list members. Only one of them gets
involved in the OT discussions. The rest are getting spammed with
messages irrelevant to what they subscribed for. Do you know how many
people unsubscribe from the support lists because of the OT spam?

It is great that you enjoy the personalities and discussions with other
community members. Devs are like that too. They just use the proper
venues for it. Presumably, people subscribe to the support newsgroups to
provide/get user support. In both cases, there's a social aspect. No-one
is intending to squash the community. This is why non-Mozilla
discussions are allowed in mozilla.general.

If a person misuses bugzilla.mozilla.org, and ignores requests to stop,
their account is suspended. If a user misuses the support forums on
MozillaZine, and ignores requests to stop, he/she is banned. IIUC, on
IRC there's the BS channel. On MozillaZine, there's the AfterDark forum.
Keeping user support and non-Mozilla discussion together is not how
things are don in other venues, yet they seem to be doing well.

You are telling people to "Learn the "k" key. Learn the "r" key. Learn
the "CTRL+SHIFT+C" sequence," yet according to you, you can't be
bothered to set a follow-up to mozilla.general. Every user acts like
his/her needs are what matters the most, and that his/her needs are that
of the majority. This is no different.

On one hand, I have users unsubscribing because there's too much OT
content. On the other hand, I have maybe a handful of people
unsubscribing because there's no OT content. If you can provide a way to
please everyone, I'd like to read it.

Besides, I know you prefer SeaMonkey. :-)

Terry

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 3:09:39 AM2/24/07
to
On 2/23/2007 10:40 PM On a whim, Chris Ilias pounded out on the keyboard

This is ridiculous. If users aren't able to have their online
conversations without being shoved into another group or even deleted
(!), what's the point? I subscribe to groups to offer technical
assistance, and to seek help to the occasional issues that I'm unable to
resolve. The OT discussions are often very interesting (if they're not
allowed why is there an OT acronym set up to use in the Subject line?)
If they're not interesting, I move on. That doesn't mean I get upset
and "unsubscribe".

What do you mean "Only one of them gets involved in the OT discussions."
This is NOT true. And HOW can you claim that users unsubscribe
specifically because of the OT discussions? Do each of them write to
you and explain why they unsubscribed? I think not.

Chris, you have been assigned a responsibility. As you had in the
secnews groups. Often in secnews I thought your comments were a little
heavy. Now we're seeing your "new power" used on mozilla.org. We're
mostly adults here. We can filter what is appropriate and what isn't
without being told. When I realized a thread I was involved in had
replies deleted, I thought, "why bother even responding if it may deemed
"inappropriate""? I have seen responses far more offensive than what
was removed recently that were left intact. Are YOU the one who is
going to decide what should stay and what should go? Hopefully those
guidelines will be black and white to EVERYONE.

If the powers that be are in agreement with this "New World" as Ed put
it, mozilla may lose the 100 users that make up the majority of
technical assistance in these groups. If they're more interested in the
ones that get their feathers ruffled rather than the consistent group of
dedicated followers, you may be the only one left here to answer all the
questions. Then again, that may be the ultimate goal.

--
Terry
Anti-spam measures are included in my email address.
Delete NOSPAM from the email address after clicking Reply.

Jay Garcia

unread,
Feb 24, 2007, 8:57:40 AM2/24/07