A thought on consequences vs censorship

in community •  2 months ago  (edited)

Recently the team was required to take action in regards to a violation of our community standards and rules that had appeared on our own platform.

The sudden nature of this enforcement has since raised some concerns and questions about censorship.

We wanted to address these.

First, we might consider a few definitions:

The institution, system, or practice of censoring.
Censoring is defined as:
To suppress or delete as objectionable.

1 A conclusion derived through logic. 2 Something produced by a cause or necessarily following from a set of conditions.

These have been pulled from Merriam-Webster via their website, and I think are handy to have on hand for this discussion.

Did we make up these rules just to enforce them?

We have been a Discord server and community long before we became our own front-end for the Steem blockchain. A little less than two years ago, we released a post regarding community rules. These primarily applied to Discord, but also reached to actions taken on the chain. They indicated a ban from our Discord for violating them. There are bans on our Discord that were enacted entirely for actions taken in posts. While we didn't envision them extending to a then unknown future front-end, it's not a stretch to assume we were going to protect palnet.io the same way we protected the PAL Discord server.

Example from our recent actions:

No harassment of individuals or groups of individuals:
Respect for each member of the community is vital to the success of our community. Harassment of any kind (religious, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, or sexual orientation) has no place on the block, within the Minnow Support Project Channels, or between members through other communication avenues. This includes but not limited to digital and terrestial overt acts of physical assault, as well as unnecessary touching, suggestive remarks, verbal abuse, unwelcome sexual advances, posting pornography, graffiti, epithets, threats of violence, or purposefully over-the-top humor. This also includes posting content intending to cause emotional distress or disturb others. (Violence, gore, nudity, etc.)

Not all of these are carrying over. We don't plan to restrict general nudity (properly tagged) on palnet.io. This was meant to indicate things like underage or other illegal forms of nudity. Also keep in mind that moderation of a chat server requires different rules, as in some cases, you can't opt-out of viewing it on a chat server the way you can in a post.

We have had these kinds of guidelines in place, and as a result have one of the most accepting and inclusive community servers you might find on the internet.

We do plan to look at all of our existing community rules going forward, and find the most acceptable use of them across our now larger community. The entire leadership team has been working for this large extended family to make it a place we are all proud to spend time.

Do no harm, take no shit.

It's literally in our by-line. We want freedom of expression, but we won't provide freedom from consequences either. We shouldn't have had to tell anyone coming into this that they are going to be prevented from placing threats of violence on our front-end.

Is what we are doing with these 'mute' rules and mechanics considered censorship. Yes, by definitions listed above. We are preventing the distribution of that content on our front-end. This is the consequence for doing something unacceptable in our community with malice of forethought. They indicated they were intent to use our platform to continue those actions. We are preventing that from being visible on palnet.io.

What we haven't done, nor can we do, is take your tokens. However, we can remove a disruptive presence in our community, without impacting your abilities or freedom on the blockchain as a whole.

Great, so now you are going to remove anything you don't like?

Peace. Abundance. Liberty.

Some see those words and assume we just use them as some sort of imagery to brand ourselves a friendly place. Or that we wanted to sound like a place to get each other wealthy. Some even ignore the first two and assume we are a great place for no rules, zero control, pure liberty.

These terms have been present long before we knew exactly what we might become. They come from the type of people that started our community. People who firmly believe in all of them. Each word has its own meaning, but together they have a greater meaning. One that has at times required the leadership to dance a fine line in meeting them. That doesn't mean we don't intend to uphold them as best we can.

We don't take extremes lightly, we discuss a lot of our decisions that would probably seem silly to decide as a committee, but we do it anyways. If we work as a team for even the smallest decisions, you can be assured that the big ones are done as a team.

This was discussed even before it occurred. Circumstance required quick action, but it wasn't something we hadn't planned for. The feature to platform mute had been added as an option to all Tribes for just such a circumstance.

It was always going to be considered a nuclear option, but one that we felt would be necessary to avoid devolution of a community into the same anarchy that occurs elsewhere.


Do we intend to remove content from viewing on our front-end just because we disagree with it?

Absolutely Not.

Everyone is entitled to opinion, different or otherwise. Everyone is free to express their beliefs, their ideas, and even their arguments.

Do we intend to remove content that will clearly harm others, ask for or encourage harm to others, etc?

Absolutely Yes.

Everyone is entitled to a place where they can feel free of those attempting to harm them. Everyone is allowed to not be attacked, or bullied for being themselves.

But wait...

The questions above might sound to counter-act each other, and in some extreme cases they might. Those cases will probably arise from someone claiming it is their freedom to say those things, and that we can't say they don't have that freedom.

The counter to that is of course, as a community we have the freedom to not let it be part of us.

So what about remediation?

We have had policy and procedure in place for our Discord bans for quite a while now. A way for anyone banned from our primary Discord to speak to leadership about their ban and learn of any methods to recover from it.

This isn't going to be any different. We will gladly talk to anyone about the enforcement of a 'mute' from palnet.io (Coming from the account @nopal4u)

As always the decisions regarding this are going to be determined by the team as a whole.

Currently, Discord bans can be enacted by a single Moderator, though removal of the ban can only be done against the wishes of that Moderator by an official team vote.

In the case of these mutes, they require more consensus than a single Moderator deciding to take action for them to be enacted. To prevent delayed action, it probably won't go all the way to the next weekly meeting to act, but it will be done on consultation with the team.

TL;DR - In closing

  • Yes, we did it suddenly because we needed to.
  • No, it wasn't some made up rule.
  • No, we can't take your tokens.
  • Yes, we can prevent you from being displayed on the palnet.io front-end.
  • No, we can't remove you from the blockchain or other front-ends.
  • Yes, we have ways to remediate your removal and allow you back in.
  • Yes, it will require us to decide if you are allowed back in.
  • Yes, you can consider our existing rules as a guideline until we release more detailed information on @nopal4u

Helpful Links

MSP Community Rules
MSP Community Standards - The Spirit of MSP

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I'd mention too that a mute has the feature that the muted can still post one post/comment per day on the platform. The idea isn't to silence them completely so much as limit their speech, which we deemed as a community to be unwelcome. That said, they have a right to their defense and possibly rally a strong defense if we've acted in error. If they choose to spend their 1 post/comment per day talking shit about us that'll be their right and we'll defend that right, but in regards to our particular front end we have the liberty to say "sorry, we're not taking this shit from you."

hi @aggroed

Are you also part of PALnet team? Just curious.


Aggroed founded the PALnet server :)

WOW the first flags ive seen on Steempeak! image.png @asgrath @jarvie very nice man very ncie design I love the broken heart :D very cute @whatsup i bet you like that

Small fish here but I appreciate you guys trying to work with the community on this one.

How come you can’t implement a minimized feature like steemit does, instead of completing erasing a post from the front end?

Posted using Partiko iOS

What you put out in the world is exactly what's coming back to you. If you find things coming back to you that you don't like or you don't understand, don't ask yourself why, ask yourself that you're doing to make them come back to you

  ·  2 months ago (edited)

What we haven't done, nor can we do, is take your tokens.

But you totally can though, which is the entire point.

By taking these recent actions you reinforce that SCOT bot is under complete central control. If that somehow isn't the case it requires a lot more explanation. The kind of explanation one would expect to find in the whitepaper.

I fully believe you when you say coins won't be confiscated from users, however, to make the claim that they can't be confiscated seems like a stretch.

Amen. This is all a 100% centralized shittoken sham.

Remember back in 2016 when everyone was creating their own coins? @aggroed is trying to take us back to that time since he missed the boat back then.

This is the type of shit that makes Steem and crypto look like a fucking joke.

Have some SHIT!

I'm going to hang this on my wall and use it as motivation and a way to laugh at you every day.

Sounds like you need some shit.

You have been rewarded with some SHIT! Take a trip to the bathroom to stake and manage your worthless tokens.

So they could take away tokens.. How?

The same way any centralized database can change any piece of data without permission. What keeps a network like Bitcoin (or even Steem) honest is that there are multiple nodes out there that would reject unapproved changes to the ledger.

The question isn't how would they do it,
the question is what stops them from doing it.

An exit scam would be possible at any point?

Exit scams are very popular these days anywhere, especially here on steem:)


Posted using Partiko Android

Thank you, something to withdraw from that private chain:)

Is it amateur hour? HODL that nugget :)

Posted using Partiko Android

Hodl or exit scam, that is here the question

You can theoretically see who owns what by parsing all the info from the blockchain. How can they exit scam when they haven't made any money yet? All 12.6 million coins are still for sale at 1:1.

Hmm. But everything would still be documented on the blockchain? So it wouldn't be lost. Only the steem, that you send to that account.

yes, but what other group is going to set things right and continue development? Probably no one. It's not decentralized yet, and that's fine for now.

Edicted, unlike the private blockchain where if SE ever decided to remove any tokens through a database change where it could be done privately that's not the case here. Every change that's ever made on the Steem Smart Contract Node is public because all the data is pubic. It's all verifiable. In the meantime decentralized data will have to suffice until the second P2P layer is complete for the Smart Contract Platform nodes.

I can't say for certain we'll never have an ETH/ETH classic case, but even if we did the whole thing is on chain. All the data is there for anyone who seeks to use public data as they see fit. You would still have the choice to view the data and take whatever steps you deem appropriate.

Thanks for the info. Yes, the data is all stored on chain, but only one node is processing transactions... which means you could easily freeze anyone's account. I don't think this would actually happen, just that it could. The mute feature proves it.

Steem-engine and scotbot needs decentralization and multiple nodes.

Such drama, you've earned a DRAMA!

To view or trade DRAMA go to steem-engine.com.

Dear @edicted

By taking these recent actions you reinforce that SCOT bot is under complete central control.

Would you consider centralization to be really bad? I'm sometimes wondering if decentralization isn't simply fancy word but it brings also loads of problems and challenges and sometimes decentralization = wrong solution.


Look at what happened to Dan. He made a decentralized platform and that got pushed off of his own creation... TWICE! If a project becomes centralized around more trustworthy people than decentralization can offer... then it's obviously a superior system.

Dear @edicted

Thank you for your kind reply.

I absolutely don't know how did things play out with Dan (behind scenes). All I know is that he moved on and STEEM was just another step in his amazing career.

I also wanted to make some suggestion.

My impression is, that the hardest part of attracting attention on STEEMIT is the fact, that our audience have very little chance to actually find our publications. Lack of solid notification system is an obvious issue. And regardless how hard I would try - there is very little chance I would find out about your new interesting publications (my feed is just flooded with to many posts).

Please allow me to share some suggestion with you. If you would ever publish content related to blockchain, crypto, artificial intelligence, psychology etc. then perhaps you could simply send me memo with link to that post.

This way not only I would have a chance to read your publication, but I will also upvote it right away with 20k SP voting power. If I would consider it interesting then I may also share it with wider audience.

Please let me know what do you think.

Cheers, Piotr

My impression is, that the hardest part of attracting attention on STEEMIT is the fact, that our audience have very little chance to actually find our publications.

If we are talking from the perspective of upvote rewards then we are in agreement. However as far as the search engines go we can be all equal. Try the search "novacadian cookies" in DuckDuckGo. 😎

You have been rewarded with some SHIT! Take a trip to the bathroom to stake and manage your worthless tokens.

  ·  2 months ago Reveal Comment

Play stupid games; win stupid prizes.

Yes there shouldn't be an absolute freedom because even in our own homes we have rules to follow. @nopal4u

I’m not sure if this is aimed at me because I did have an issue in the pal discord channel. While trying to muster up support for my anti-old people efforts, I may have been overzealous in some of the words chosen to further my cause or to open up a channel for meaningful discussion on the topic. I had a few too many drinks and was speaking out of turn. I apologize if I offended anyone and realize that general chat was no place for such drunken ramblings.

I seriously thought you were joking :o

Please tell me about this anti old people thing.

No, this was in response to something else. We deal with the in-Discord issues in there. I would have reached out to you if there was more to deal with on that. You're fine.

That's a relief, I still feel bad about my behavior so it didn't hurt to throw it out there. Sometimes I go all Carly Simon

I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you?
Don't you?
Don't you?

I think Nickelback did a cover of that one

That's a common misconception in the nickelback community, in 2006 they actually did a fresh song called "I Blame Shane" to the tune of "You're So Vain". Same beat just different lyrics. Speaking of covers, nice job on the REM song :)

Hmmm I missed something.

I’ll probably accidentally push this envelope just being myself and disco will get to shoosh me.

You’d like that wouldn’t you

Congratulations @nopal4u!
Your post was mentioned in the Steem Hit Parade in the following category:

  • Comments - Ranked 8 with 54 comments

Just out of curiosity, what does this mean exactly in the rules?

purposefully over-the-top humor.

This is my first time checking out the feeds through the eyes of PalNet. Cool idea and kudos to the team. My vision has every user running a Condenser of their own in the not too distant future. Was just at a store today talking with a fellow about the Acer Helios 300, which can handle a 64G upgrade. Might wait for it to become last year's model, first, before trying it out with MIRA. 😎

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