Feedback, Monitor, Report to AG Site
Posted in the Topix Forum
#1 Aug 9, 2010
OK - here it is. I ask for the following to be posted here please:
1) a copy of the topix terms of service, with emphasis on the alphabetical list, especially a, b, and r
2) a copy of the statement from various AG's including Conway and any others
3) a copy of the text of the agreement between the AG's and topix
4) an explanation of how to do feedback from someone who is accustomed to doing it correctly
5) suggestions on how to keep track on the comments one has reported on feedback, so one can go back and check whether the comments have been removed or not. maybe a sort of page to keep track of, like working hours, or something, listing
a) Forum Title
b) Thread Title
c) Page number
d) Comment number
f) Comment subject matter, key words
g) Commenter nickname, whether registered, ISP, motto, type of photo, &/or whatever reminder one wishes about the commenter
h) etc - whatever else someone else suggests that is sensible
6) statements from various groups about what they intend to do, if they wish to make such statements
7) statements from groups or individuals about what their priorities are, again if they wish to make them
8) other relevant suggestions to be added to this list, especially as new matters come up
9) reports on successes, if people have such reports to make. it might be helpful encouragement
10) complaints about topix failures to remove comments in a timely fashion, and reports to us that this failure has been reported to AG sites - this might wake people up to whatever they need to be awakened to see - not sure yet what it would be
#2 Aug 9, 2010
maybe it was not very nice of me to use oldfashioned words such as
put up or shut up
in some of my recent comments to certain people. But I do want to encourage people who respond best to encouragement, challenge persons who respond best to challenges, threaten to mock people for their failures if they are most embarrassed by failure, etc.
and I want to help people to make some sense out of what otherwise could be all sorts of random comments on fast moving threads.
really good stuff could get lost and passed by, as thread discussions continue. I do hope that this will be used sensibly, and that people - even me - will try to leave the other stuff out, and just indulge in that on fast moving threads that do not have a stated purpose.
I think there is a new opportunity here, with the topix-AG agreement, and the new AG site, especially, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of it.
#3 Aug 9, 2010
Good work. If everyone will only step up to the plate as you are doing here, the good citizens can take back Topix from the trolls. Once again communities across the nation can live in harmony and friendship. You are a fine example to Topix posters nationwide!
#4 Aug 9, 2010
Thank you, but I was not fishing for compliments. Truth is, I do not know how to put up those sort of links, or cut and paste, or do the fancy stuff. I was hoping we could include some of the official statements here, and also suggestions from people who have done feedback before. I do know how to set up threads, with obvious titles. I hope this one works as hoped for.
#5 Aug 9, 2010
THE THREE STEP PLAN FOR FORMING A TOPIX REPORTING GROUP
All that is needed is someone to organize a small watchgroup for each forum. I encourage the forum editor to ask for volunteers on their forum, or, if not the editor, maybe a registered user whom is respected on the forum could do so. The watchgroup could even be members of a church or other community organization who may not even post on Topix. Simply a group of people who are tired of their communities being torn apart due to the misuse of the Topix site by a few individuals. If only half the people who complain about the Topix site on every forum will step up to the plate there should be no problem with cleaning up the entire Topix site.
All that the members of the group need to do is familiarize themselves with the Topix TOS, and then spend a few minutes each day reporting the posts on their chosen forum to Topix through the "Feedback" link. Information on how to do this will be posted below. For all postings reported, it would be best if group members posted the following message to the thread: "This posting (include post # here) has been reported to Topix as being in violation of the Topix TOS. Do not reply to the posting directly, but simply leave a comment at the end of the thread. This is not necessary, but it will prevent other group members from reporting the same posting, and will help prevent Topix moderators from receiving multiple reports for the same post, therefore giving them more time to remove postings which are in violation.
Familiarize youself and your group with the Topix TOS. This way you will recognize a posting or thread which should be removed. Here is the link to the TOS which can be printed out and distributed to all group members:
Feel free to print these instructions and reporting tips for your groups usage. You may also copy and paste these postings to any threads you set up for your Topix watch group in your local forums.
HOW TO REPORT A POST FOR REMOVAL:
1. Go to the bottom of this page, find and click on "Feedback?". A new window should pop-up.
2. From the drop-down menu select "Report inappropriate forum post".
3. Follow the instructions on how to copy the permalink to the post you want removed.
4. Enter your email address.
5. Fill in the comments section as to why the post should be removed. Write in a calm and polite manner and briefly explain why the posting(s) you are reporting should be removed. An easy way to report is to simply say the posting is in violation of the Topix TOS and refer to the section of the TOS that the posting violates. For example: For a posting which contains vulgar language, you could simply write, "This post contains vulgar language. It is in violation of section 6-a of the Topix TOS and should be removed or edited."
6. Keep a record of the postings reported. If they are not gone in 3-4 days contact AG Conway at:
#6 Aug 9, 2010
thank you - wow - even more detailed than I had hoped for. one little point to emphasize. if you object to a comment, and click on the reply feature, the objectionable comment gets reprinted in italics. then it is necessary for someone to come along and remove your comment - even if it was a strong criticism and rebuttal, and even if it had wonderful additional thoughts in it.
so do not click on the reply feature -
better to just do feedback on something awful, and try to get rid of it.
if a person feels something must be answered in the short run, because others will be reading it while we are waiting for topix mods to review the feedback and get to it, then refer to the objected to comment by commenter, page number, and comment number, but do not quote it by using the reply feature.
then make a more general comment that states the principle of your objection - perhaps even something like what you would tell a mod on feedback - comment on the particular term of service, perhaps.
be sure and tell us when you do feedback on a particular comment, we might want to monitor it also, if we are also offended.
it is very important that there be discussion somewhere of the basic principles upon which we base our objections. there is a lot of vagueness in the topix terms of service. explain torturous, for example! I think lots of folks who dislike my long comments would want to get me on that one! but would I have been given fair warning? not if there are 4,000 characters allowed in the comment box.
and people need to ask themselves, what would I do if it were my best friend who had posted the comment? well, I would want to get rid of the evidence that my best friend had ever slipped so badly! and then I would call my best friend and say hey, you did not mean it THAT WAY, did you?
I realize I just did what I sort of suggested that folks should not do - tried to discuss some of the deeper principles, and complications. I will try to keep even that to a minimum here. but we also cannot go about this mindlessly without thinking about deeper principles, and I hope people will go onto other threads and discuss these from time to time.
Since: Jan 10
#7 Aug 10, 2010
Terrific. And thanks for providing us with an email address.
I wonder, would they mind if people outside of Kentucky contact them?
#8 Aug 10, 2010
Please forgive my posting of the Kentucky AG's email for reporting non-compliance to the agreement. That guide was also posted as comment to the news story from the Kentucky AG's site, I neglected to change that information. You have asked a very interesting question, and frankly, one I don't know the exact answer to. I would assume that email would be intended for reporting by Kentucky residents. Most likely posters from other states should contact the AG for their home state. Although, this opens up a whole new group of questions, for example, what if a poster resides in Illinois, but is reading or posting to a Topix forum about Kentucky, or a city within Kentucky? Who should a Topix user in a circumstance such as this contact to report Topix not being in compliance with the agreement? Should that poster contact the AG for the state they reside in, or should they contact the AG for the state where the abuse of the agreement is taking place? Also, since 34 attorneys general were part of the agreement, are they jointly responsible to see the agreement is enforced regardless of the state of residence of a Topix user? Hopefully, we can get some answers to such confusing situations in the near future. It would be helpful if a Topix moderator could answer these questions for everyone.
#9 Aug 10, 2010
Excellent point. Thank you for placing emphasis on such an important matter. It is very important, and should be stressed in detail to all group members, the reason why it is so important not to reply to the comment itself. All members should leave a comment at the end of the thread listing the numbers for the postings reported. DO NOT REPLY TO THE ACTUAL POSTING BEING REPORTED. Doing so will only tie up valuable resources and slow down the removal process for postings which are in violation. All alerts as to the post numbers being reported should be separate comments left at the end of the thread.
#10 Aug 10, 2010
I suggest that you check to see whether your own state's AG is one of the ones who support the Conway letter and settlement, and maybe even check his or her website to see if there is any mention of a convenient way to contact the office, or to discuss topix. It might be a good idea to contact the conway site soon as possible, and suggest that he ask the other AG's to set up sites in their states.
I would think that comments on national sites could be reported to the Conway site, since he is sort of the head of the group, and would have communication with them, and could let them know what sort of response he is getting. Obviously he must have some sort of office staff task force set up, to handle incoming reports. They would call to his attention quickly enough the need to urge other aG's who agree with him to set up their own sites, for each of those states.
People from states with an AG who is not interested, could try to contact their AG's and urge them to participate, if they want to. Some may not want to do that of course. But people from all states should have a place to report to, to reach AG's. I suppose that new developments will be announced, and that these announcements will appear on topix threads, courtesy of someone. I obviously hope someone will post new AG announcements on the sites which discuss these matters, and/or start a new thread.
#11 Aug 10, 2010
Glad to have your additional comment on that. No one person can think of everything, or make a convincing case, and if a number of us agree, especially folks who are not known allies - or maybe even folks who have been in some disagreements in the past - it will be more obvious that it is just a practical matter, of how to do something most effectively. and not a controversial matter.
#12 Aug 10, 2010
The AG's offices should answer the questions, I think. but some matters are practical ones, where common sense rules.
If someone is posting on a Kentucky thread, it does not matter where the complainer comes from, report it to Conway. Same with contacting the AG from any state where the AG is part of the Conway group. That list should be available on this thread, I hope, and is available on other threads, and in the article called:
Conway sends second letter to gossip site.
I am so amused by the thread title that that is what I look for to get the list.
If in doubt, people should use the method stated in the press release. Conway's people can then beg other participating AG's to announce their own sites for reports to be received.
If people pressure their own aG's, maybe a few will join the group, if they are not members. and those who are members, maybe will designate a staff member to review the topix complaints about threads in their states.
#13 Aug 10, 2010
I only have a few minutes of spare time, but I wanted to open up a topic for some input. This is an issue I think needs to be addressed first and foremost. How should group members interpret the Topix TOS? For example, what should actually be deemed as vulgar or obscene? To some people any "four letter word" may be considered vulgar. To others, there is no such thing as an offensive word. I'm thinking since different people are offended by different things, if they think a word is vulgar or obscene, they should report it to Topix and let the moderators decide. After all, the moderators are employees of Topix and they are perfectly capable of making the final decision. One final question which I've received from numerous parties already, what about obvious vulgar words which are disguised in a matter similar to "v*lg*r w*rd?" It is obvious to everyone that it is a vulgar or obscene word, but the poster craftily uses punctuation to keep the Topix filters from catching it. Should such postings as these be reported? Are they truly in violation. Thoughts and opinions please.
#14 Aug 10, 2010
With regard to vulgarity and profanity, I have a very strong hierarchy. I do not think the FCC should have gone after bono and Fox for his "f---ing brilliant" comment, at the awards ceremony. The 2nd circuit court of appeals ruled that the FCC rules were too vague, and did not give fair warning essentially.
The least offensive usages of vulgar or even obscene words, are in a discussion about them, to puzzle out the criteria for reacting to them. Next are when such words are used in passing, and not as directed with any hostility or said with any hostility or sort of verbal violence. Certainly the celebratory use of the f word by bono is not objectionable - except for parents who do not want children to hear it.
The very worst uses are when the obscenity is full of malice or threat or hatred or hostility, that is almost palpable, and is directed as an obscene hateful insult toward a person or a group of people. That would include racial groups, and women, for example. people of a distinctive group. It would even include in some cases the word "damn" - though not as in Damn Yankees or something silly when used about sports for example. Only when used with a sense of hostility and a kind of verbal violence.
Obscenities that are used as a pattern and practice by a specific commenter, should all be reported, to show the mods that the commenter is a repeat offender. Obviously I think that the worst of these are the hateful sort. But a repeated pattern is also objectionable I think.
There may be some sort of middle, where I think everyone has some reason to use his or her own discretion, without getting into any big arguments or quibbles about it. And I agree that to each his own judgment in those cases.
But I am curious whether people would agree with me about the least bad, and the very worst.
#15 Aug 10, 2010
I call people wimps when they do not fill out the entire word, except that the topix screening machine does not catch the little tricks, and does catch several words when spelled properly. I did make a comment that got through, to my surprize. It was to the effect that I am interested in matters of substance on politics and religion, and not just the uses of the word "fuck." I do think that the word often is used with a hostile message, and as a kind of assault on someone. I have even called some obscene comments as a sort of verbal group rape. I was severly criticized for that by a free speech type - Satan - who wrote that there is nothing at all comparable between words and reality. My point of course, was that the verbal assault is bad enough to be called a violation of the terms of service, not that it is as bad as an actual physical assault.
Since: Apr 10
#16 Aug 16, 2010
I am finally here.
#17 Sep 9, 2010
Since: Mar 10
#18 Sep 9, 2010
I have comments published on this article that are old, from last April, I thought it was time to update them definitely, I have submitted this new comments:
Paul, in the time since I published my April comments here, I have been on Topix 5 months since then and learned a lot. One thing I have learned is very positive, and that is that most of the trolls on Topix are not paid, they are simply there to enjoy the live theater, characterization and escape that Topix makes possible.
The Topix community has been self-moderating to an extent I did not realize last April, and so in this way, Tolles assertion that Topix is “our” community, has happened.
ALL agree for the most part, that the bullies are over-riding Topix, and when Topix is used as a tool for disinformation or human harm, this is just not acceptable, but I do not feel anymore, that the baby should be swept out with the bath water on Topix, not at all.
I feel that with help from the company with much better consideration of the people who are Topix’s participants and audience, Topix could reach the potential initially sought for it. Remember, the internet is relatively new, no one knew what it would breed, especially without regulation. The excesses of this media “baby” need to be reigned in, a balance needs to be found and a place made for Topix as is could be.
#19 Sep 9, 2010
Aw man does this mean the bonus check isn't coming?
#20 Sep 9, 2010
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