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Trumplestiltskin

Acceptable language use, the profanity filter and TOS

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I would like to request an official clarification of site policy in regards to acceptable language use, the profanity filter and the TOS.

I am asking because last week I was given a warning for using a three letter slang word to describe the late Jim Morrison - using an @ symbol in place of an 'a'. The wording of the warning explicitly referenced the 'unacceptable language' as being the reason for the punishment.

However, on the same day I found a thread in the off topic forum that two of the moderation team were (and still are) actively participating in that included a number of words that are clear violations of the word filter - one a variation of a common 4 letter word beginning with 's' and another 4 letter word beginning with 'f'.

Despite reporting the thread in question, no action was taken. In fact, one of the moderators - TBoneTx, had actually quoted one of the 'profane' posts, indicating that he didn't see an issue with it.

On the face of it, this seems unfair.

In the spirit of transparency I would like to request an amendment to the TOS to include explicit reference to 'sidestepping' the profanity filter as a breach of TOS.

Further to that, it would be useful if we could have an official statement on what the punishment is for evading the profanity filter so that there is no confusion going forward.

Obviously, the moderators are only human and a degree of inconsistency is to be expected, however given that this is a site with a diverse global membership - each individual poster is going to have a different idea on what constitutes acceptable language. For example, Britons generally swear more than most and have a higher bar for offensive words than many Americans.

I think such a clarification would be of benefit to the collective membership who may not be aware of which cultural, moral or ethical standards we are supposed to adhere to.

This will help to make moderation consistent on the issue of unacceptable language and perhaps combat the perception among established members that moderation decisions are driven more by personal prejudice against individuals than by site policy.

I don't know what anyone else thinks but a zero tolerance approach should be zero tolerance across the board - regardless of context or who the poster involved happens to be.

Appreciate your kind consideration of this request.

Edited by For Ffolkes Sake

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Well, we both know that some people are more equal than others on here. I myself admit to being an active sidestepper of the asinine language policy that renders the name of a former vice-president to look like profanity of the highest order. Sometimes using mild profanity is the best expression of a particular concept. So while I support clarification, I also know that I'm likely to fall afoul of a clarified TOS on this point.

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Well I think clarifying the point will limit the extent to which individual moderators can read TOS violations into things based on their own personal morality and cultural perspectives.

People shouldn't be punished by the mandate of an individual. That's just unfair.

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I say run through the last 4000 posts, from a pc, click the report button and watch the f@llout after.


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I say - just be clear what is and what isn't acceptable in relation to language use and apply that thinking consistently to moderation decisions.

It's a serious point IMO. This is an international site with an international membership - and a diverse range of cultural values. That is going to inevitably lead to misunderstandings around what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to language use.

I think it's of interest to the entire membership to know that the values that drive moderation decisions are based on a clear set of community values and not those of individuals acting out their own. Whether or not there is bias in certain moderation decisions - the lack of clarity feeds that perception and creates more problems than it solves.

Edited by For Ffolkes Sake

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We will be improving the TOS to help clarify -- also revising this (older) thread that tried to do exactly what you are saying.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/322-tos-violations-and-moderator-responses/

For now I'm going to close this thread, with my promise that we will re-open discussion within 2 weeks once we make revisions as noted above. If you have any feedback on how to clarify it, send them my way to admin at visa journey... dot com.

Thanks!


I am an Ewok. I am here to to keep the peace. Please contact me if you have a problem with the site or a complaint regarding a violation of the Terms of Service. For the fastest response please use the 'Contact Us' page to contact me.

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we've decided on revised language for the TOS> We will update it in the next few days. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!!


I am an Ewok. I am here to to keep the peace. Please contact me if you have a problem with the site or a complaint regarding a violation of the Terms of Service. For the fastest response please use the 'Contact Us' page to contact me.

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