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Updated on Friday, August 28

#21230

OMG: Dear Mods,

I imagine there is a process for what gets accepted onto the website and what is filtered out. Lately I've noticed a lot of hate being accepted and posted. The fact that you guys have the ability to stop this hurtful ignorance from inciting more ignorance yet you chose to allow this forum to contain such disgusting message is sad. I'm not saying people can't disagree and have unpopular opinions. I am saying that there are different ways to go about conveying this. The internet is an uncontrolled environment for horrible things to be said to other with no repercussions. The least you guys could do as mods is do your job. Whatever race, sexual orientation, religion etc. you have we should all be respectful of one another.

Cut the crap guys and stop perpetuating this sickening cycle of unregulated cyber ignorance.

51 comments

  1. OP (and others): Currently, the MOD team is a one man show and I've taken a policy of letting 95% of posts go through this term. I have not yet had the time to evaluate the impact this policy.

    Of the years I have been MOD, I have observed two stark side of the OMGUW: those who want utter and complete free speech and those who want censorship to curb, as you say, "hateful" posts. It is difficult, to say the least, to find that balance.

    This is your community. I welcome any constructive feedback you have to make sure this site serves you and continue to be an open and anonymous forum for UW.

    Thank you,
    MOD M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's important to learn to recognize stuff that's nothing but flamebait, and keep that stuff out.

      When someone submits a post whose only goal is to, say, hate on black people, and that post isn't even related to something happening at UW (for example "change my opinion: blacks are naturally more predisposed to commit violent crimes"), that isn't an OMG - it's just somebody looking to start a flame war.

      I'm not suggesting you should sanitize this site - I don't even know if that's possible. But there IS a balance to be struck, and IMO you've struck too far in the wrong direction. At this point, it feels like racist, misogynistic, bigoted discussions are ALL that's on this page, because that stuff has become so predominant that it overshadows all the other stuff. That isn't what I come to OMGUW for, and there's no good reason that's what it should be.

      Delete
    2. Hey there, M. Long-time visitor here - been dropping by since 2010 and still going strong! Here's what I think.

      It's your site - what kind of place do you want it to be? You aren't sure which posts should be filtered? Use your best judgement - if it feels like the submission is hateful just for the sake of spreading hate, then block it. If you're still unsure, HIRE MORE MODS and get a second opinion!

      Not every anonymous forum on the internet NEEDS to be 4chan, and honestly it'd be better if LESS of them were. But the point here is that it's up to you. Don't beat around the bush - just do it, and if you do it badly it'll show as the number of visitors/commenters on this site will drop.

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    3. You said it yourself, M. You want this to be an 'open and anonymous forum for UW.'

      Here's the thing - allowing all the hateful bile through makes this forum LESS open, not more. Because that stuff is SO shocking, and SO hateful, and because SO much of it gets through, normal people just stop coming to this site. More than that, a lot of the other, ordinary posts - complaints or exclamations about ACTUAL parts of University life - get left by the wayside because nobody is paying attention to that stuff. The depressed student saying "I feel I'm good at nothing because everyone around me seems to be so much better than I am at what they do" gets ignored (with only 2 or 3 comments) because everyone's too busy commenting on the rant about Muslims praying being gross.

      If OMGUW is doing its job, everyone gets heard. Right now, only the sickest stuff is getting heard, and everything else is a mumble in the background.

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  2. NO don't censor anything!

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  3. OMGUW is not a "safe space" and it should never become one. Freedom of expression is important for our development, even when such freedom is used in negative ways. For more, read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

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  4. They're talking about censorship at the expense of learning. I don't think anything constructive is coming from some of the extreme misogyny, misandry, and zealotry that's been appearing on the site.

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  5. In North America we value the freedom of speech above all other rights. Unless a direct threat is made to someone specifically, giving away the personal details of an individual or group, I don't believe that the moderators should be censoring it.

    If you want a system where people are more "politcally correct", then Reddit seems to be the more appropriate choice, where downvoted posts are automatically hidden. OMGUW is a nice site because it honestly shows the true colours of those in Waterloo and provides each individual with an equal opportunity to share their views. I don't think that if someone posts "hate speech" that everyone will suddenly become racists. I know I haven't.

    Rather, learning how to deal with problematic posts without resorting to childish censorship techniques allows one to deal with their own personal issues. That's an invaluable skill: you will have to deal with problem no matter where you go in live. If I read something awful in the news, I always think about both sides of the story, rather than just siding with what the newspaper says. That's a skill called critical thinking. I did see that post you were talking about, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy to restrict their freedom of speech, even if they were saying the most evil, hateful things to me.

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    Replies
    1. Even a newspaper could be sued or faced with criminal charges if they published hate speech.

      Delete
  6. Fuck you OP. I hate racists, misogynists, but nothing compares to the hatred I have against people like you. YOU are the real danger for society. If you don't like this website, nobody is forcing you to stay.

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    Replies
    1. People who want their community to be more respectful of other people are 'the real danger to society'?

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    2. @6a
      The motherfucking thought police is the real danger to society.

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    3. 6b, nobody is saying you can't have horrible racist thoughts. But that doesn't mean you deserve a stage to spread them to other people.

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    4. @6c
      Who are you to decide? Are you afraid that people won't see for themselves that racism is stupid and immature?
      But the goal isn't to stop racism from spreading, it's to "make the community more respectful", whatever that means. Today it's the racists, tomorrow it's gonna be people who don't agree with your ideology.

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    5. Oh sorry 6d, I didn't realize your tax dollars were paying to maintain this website. *rolls eyes*

      This is a private website which functions as an unofficial extension of the University community, with the benefit of anonymity. There is a line between "anonymity is beneficial" and "anonymity is being used to create a harmful, toxic environment." Most of the time, that line is patently obvious to everyone sane.

      Good moderation understands where that line is, and blocks posts that, in the moderator's opinion, serve no purpose other than to make the community a more toxic place for everyone.

      I'm so fucking sick of people hiding behind free speech as some sort of shield to protect their right to be hateful. This isn't America - you don't have the right to spew venom however you please in public, and you shouldn't online.

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    6. 6d, I guess I'm just a Canadian - one of those people who thinks ideal free speech needs to have its limits to avoid infringing on other rights. If you want uninhibited "right to be a toxic racist asshole" free speech, go South. I'm sure the Americans will welcome you into the fold.

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    7. @6e and 6f (who are the same person)
      You denounce racism and yet you covertly imply that I am less Canadian than you are. Is this meant to be irony? Because honestly it's pretty bad.

      Delete
  7. I think OP mostly has it right. There's a balance that the MODS are missing here.

    ->This is Canada. Sure we have free speech, but we believe in reasonable limitations on free speech. The right to speak freely isn't the right to stand on a soapbox and discriminate against others on the basis of race, gender, religion, etc. - because the right NOT to be discriminated against is ALSO protected by the SAME LAW.

    -> This isn't a public venue, it's a private website. It's an anonymous online community too - which means a certain amount of moderation IS needed. It's easy for 1 or 2 hateful people and a couple trolls to make bigotry feel like the majority opinion when nobody knows who is saying what, but coming here shouldn't feel like stepping into a cesspool of human hate. Best way to combat that is to avoid handing out pedestals to the truly hateful stuff - don't post those submissions.

    -> It's an online community, and THERE ARE TROLLS. Learn to recognize submissions that are just trying to start flame wars, and don't let those through. We'll all be better off for it.

    One last thing: remember this is OMGUW. The posts should be at least SOMEWHAT related to life at UW, I think. That's literally the purpose of the site.

    Anyway, that's all. MODS, don't let the angry people fool you - this site can and will thrive WITHOUT the input of The Worst People. If racist, bigoted posts are all that's keeping this site afloat, then you're better off taking it offline. But I don't think they are.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So why don't you go ahead and sue the OMGUW trolls?

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    2. 7a, you didn't really read what 7 said, did you? The whole point was that it's actually possible to block out the horribly offensive hate speech without ridiculous amounts of moderation, and the community wouldn't be any the worse off for it.

      But yeah, go ahead and respond with ridiculous barely-related hyperbole.

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    3. @7 and 7b
      I read it and I pray to whatever god is the real one that you people are trolls.
      But in case you are serious, I am serious too.

      >the right NOT to be discriminated against is ALSO protected by the SAME LAW.

      This is fucking bullshit and you know it. There is no law that protects a group of people against being offended. There are laws against libel i.e. defamation against an individual, but there are no blasphemy laws in Canada.

      This website is not illegal, which is what you are implying with your statement. And if you don't like it, nobody is forcing you to stay. You don't like this community? Piss off.

      Go make your own fucking OMGUW, with fascist moderators and tumblerinas in need of a father figure.

      Delete
    4. 7c, I was actually talking about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which simultaneously protects Freedom of Speech while ALSO stating that all people have the right to be free of discrimination due to race, religion, gender, etc. This contrast has been upheld in Canada's Supreme Court as a "reasonable limitation on Freedom of Speech" on more than one occasion. Your speech is free insofar as you aren't using that freedom as a shield to allow you to launch attacks on others based on personal choices.

      I was never implying this site is illegal though - again you misread me. What I was trying to draw attention to was the fact that: a) some of the things said on this site would literally get you arrested if you said them in public, and b) this IS the acceptable mentality in Canada, and a little bit of moderation on this site wouldn't be out of line with that.

      I tried to be as balanced as I could in my post, but you seem to have a lot of anger which is causing you to read my words differently. Maybe find somewhere better than an internet forum to work that stuff out?

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  8. I feel like things that aren't even related to UW get thrown as people are saying above. Like just completely racist, sexist etc. etc. posts. I agree that this site is helpful. A lot of people feel comfortable posting here about personal issues, depression etc. due to anonymity. It's a safe space to ask questions TO AN EXTENT.

    But seriously, you should have common sense to know what things should be filtered.

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  9. It's one thing to have people bring up their opinions in the thread. It's quite another to post bullshit as a thread to begin with.

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  10. Dear OP.

    Fuck you. Eat a sack of baby dicks you faggot.

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  11. I agree with #5. I think that as long as these posts are not violating any laws directly, such as conducting terrorist threats, they should be allowed. It doesn't seem fair to only disallow one type of post that only discriminates against a popular race or religion, and then allow another type of discrimination against a lesser known race or religion. That kind of censorship is definitely not fair.

    Of course needlessly provocative posts could be filtered. But, I think that if one provides background research and wants to criticize an aspect of a religion or race in a constructive manner, they should be freely allowed to do so.

    These issues don't even need to necessarily be related to UW. Otherwise, we'd just get sad posts about geese, late construction for buildings and academic questions all the time. By allowing the freedom of speech, you're actually giving a spice of flavour to the site. One that, at least in my opinion, seems to have gone missing in this new era of social media and political correctness.

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    Replies
    1. There's a difference between criticism and hate. Criticizing a religion's practices isn't discrimination - hating on it just for existing, or handing it the blame for the world's ills - that is discrimination.

      I'm all for criticism, but those posts (of which we've had a few lately) which just want to rage against a particular group with shitpost after shitpost... good moderation keeps that crap out.

      Hopefully Mod M hires a few more mods soon who have a good sense for this sort of thing.

      Delete
  12. I am an international student, a member of the most attacked group on this website. Yet I feel there is no need to filter anything. Let people have their voice.

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  13. Rule 1 of Moderation on OMGUW: Daily updates are everybody's friend.

    Rule 2: Moderation matters - keep the worst stuff off the front page.

    Rule 3: Never talk about moderation - just do it, or else all the trolls get mad.

    A good example of rule 3 at work: at least one post that was on the front page near the top about 48 hours ago just isn't there any more. It's been removed. Anybody know what post that is?

    Good on you, mods. :D

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  14. @13. Agree with the above post. Update daily and moderate without being asked to

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  15. 1. Free speech rights apply to the society as a whole, not to individual websites.

    2. The "this is canada fuc off 2 murica!!!!!1!!" posters are displaying enormous levels of stupidity. Sure, Canadian speech laws are more restrictive than those in the USA (and I personally think the American version is better), but they define hate speech by an incitement to violence. Just saying that you hate X group is not hate speech. The "luv it or leev it!!1!" attitude is just absurd (and by the way, was the motto of the fascist dictatorship in Brazil...) and doesn't address any arguments or issues.

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    Replies
    1. +1 to keeping current policy. And I'd encourage people to keep in mind that this is just a silly student website, after all.

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  16. Every one is arguing about this from a law/legal perspective, like freedom of speech and the like. I don't care about that on this site. I'm down for discussion and shit, but when I'm scrolling down I don't want to see the drivel that is often on here. Not for political correctness at all, simply because its utter bullshit, it makes my brain hurt.

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  17. Why can't people just learn to have enough value and self esteem to not be offended by what other people say? You will NEVER be able to control (and never should be) what other people say, you can only control how you react to it. If we raise children to be self aware and self loving they will understand that when someone spews "hate speech", that it is just that. In fact I bet it would happen less if we raised children in this way. Don't raise children and tell people to have to walk on eggshells because they might offend someone. Fuck that.

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    1. Thank you. It's like that whole cis and trans debacle.

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  18. Man, in my case I'm not offended by what people say. Its just I come here to read stuff relating to me and my time in UW, you know, stuff within the community. I don't want to see the shit on here when I come on this site. I'm not offended by it. Just like how when you watch TV you don't want to see commercials.

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    1. Oops, meant to reply to you 17 :p

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    2. Agreed 18, at the very least the posts on this site should be UW-related in some way.

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    3. So stuff within the community as long as it's what you like. Offensive or not there's a lot of real, relatable conversation about the community on here that falls into what butt-hurt people are trying to censor.

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    4. 18c, I think posts (not talking about comments yet, just posts) should be UW-related. I also think hate for the sake of hate should be screened out - serious or not, it's effectively trolling, and the front page shouldn't be cluttered with troll posts. The 'standards' for deciding what that means - MOD discretion. Since they're the ones with the final power, they should have the ability to make the decision. It's not that there can't be anything controversial - or even offensive - on OMGUW, but the posts shouldn't be so easily divisible into either "actual posts" or "troll shitposts." They should all be *actual* posts.

      To some extent this moderation already happens after the fact - over the last 6 months, some of the most offensive posts on this site were quietly removed by the mods. I just think it should happen before posting to avoid the major stink that people sometimes make about their posts being deleted.

      As for comments... that's a different story. Less moderation in the comments is a good thing, and deletion should only happen in extreme circumstances - like that one last year where all those commenters discussed the times they'd raped people, or posts that share personal info/call someone out by name.

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  19. I come here for the controversy. Please no censorship. Thank you.

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  20. Before the mods worry about what should and should not be censored, IMO their top priority needs to be bringing back daily updates in the Fall/Winter, and every other day in the Spring.

    The awful crap that sometimes gets posted is usually a lot less likely to prompt major outcries about a lack of censorship, when its spot near the top of the page isn't lasting the week or two it currently gets.

    With daily updates, the worst stuff isn't being discussed anymore after 3 days, and it's off the front page completely after 4. It gives us fresh content to discuss, instead of stewing and going around in circles over the same old stuff.

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  21. LEAVE UW ALONE!!! LEAVE THEM ALONE

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  22. Fuck off OP.. you're the cancer on society. Freedom of speech nigga

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    1. Freedom of speech was created to ensure you couldn't be persecuted for criticizing the government or its policies. It doesn't exist to shield hateful people being hateful for the sake of it. Those are arguments AGAINST freedom of speech, not for it.

      This is a site where the mods get to decide what does or doesn't go up, and they get to do it in secret without reference to us. By definition, speech here isn't free to begin with.

      I think this is relevant, I'm surprised nobody's shared it yet: https://xkcd.com/1357/

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    2. Screw you. If you don't allow us to say what we want, people will simply go somewhere else. We know damn well you're profiting off of us using your site.

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    3. damn right niggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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    4. ya man din do nuffing wrong

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    5. 22b, that's the whole point. We WANT those people to go somewhere else!

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  23. The statement "At Least We aren't York" promotes hate to me. It's catchy and will attract attention, however I am aware of people who have had experience at York and also UW. It seems to be that generation x's are concerned about their reputation. Reputation is more than just the school you go to, and I don't want to continue the cycle of hate by hating a post or a website, but it is appropriate to set boundaries when needed. The end.

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    1. True, but isn't it worse to assume that someone will hate the school simply due to an anonymous board online? Do you think that an employer will not hire a student simply because they attended a particular school?

      Not likely - it's usually the other way around (ie: employers will preferentially hire from the own institution they attended, regardless of the institution's reputation). Oh look, this guy has many projects and has had so many years of experience - let's not hire him/her because I saw that someone posted something nasty on a chat board!

      Reputation isn't necessarily the school you go to. People will be nasty anywhere. Nastiness is defined only for a majority that votes; they are hundreds of atrocious actions committed each day, but they're not punishable simply because no laws have been made. Freedom of speech is more important. Students will dictate the boundaries just as the voters dictate the laws through voting for the party platform they prefer. The end.

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