removing unsupported, non-factual and potentially FUD producing posts

i would like to begin a discussion and offer a suggestion that mods
should routinely remove posts placed in these fora which present
untruths (or part-truths) as if they are established fact–if they
also could cause Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) among our users or
potential users as regards the usability or security of openSUSE…

if you do not have a good understanding of the FUD i’m talking about,
please pause now to catch up, here:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt>

i believe FUD producing postings in the fora based on a
misunderstanding of the facts should be removed even if they are
posted with the very best of intentions…for example, it is
impossible (for me) to determine if the recent postings in this and a
similar thread
“Virus protection Clamav HOWTO”
<http://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php?t=442909> is the result of
a person trying to helpful or hurtful…

in my mind it is unnecessary to learn how or why s/he became
misinformed about either “google chromium” or a supposed “number of
linux viruses” found in an AV program’s db.

see, it make no difference if the FUD was intentional or not…the
bottom line is that in this case the individual is incorrectly putting
forth the idea that AV is so important to install that there needs
to be a forum supported how-to to follow to that safe place in
computerland…

imHo: such posts need to be removed because they are based on fear,
promote fear, uncertainty and doubt and are unsupported in either fact
or need…

i propose that the ‘report’ function’s use be expanded to cause mods
to deliberate and possibly remove FUD in all fora (ok, you wanna
let’er rip in chit-chat and soap, go ahead…but, i’d ban all FUD
based on non-facts everywhere)

ymmv.


DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD [posted via NNTP w/openSUSE 10.3]

The problem here DenverD is that this is very broad and starts to encroach on freedom of speech/expression. One can post something, and post links to support their argument, and someone else will see it as irrelevant and just opinion or bad information. The entire debate of Linux versus Windows is one filled with opinions. Security is something that is dependent on each person as each person handles security their own way. Besides, posts like what you call FUD, many may agree, and it can become an informational exchange. So what may be a bad post can still bring about good and desired fruits.

Jonathan R wrote:
> The problem here DenverD is that this is very broad and starts to
> encroach on freedom of speech/expression.

as i am sure you know, even the places on this earth with the most
freedom of speech still places limits on how free the speech can be,
and is allowed…

for example, if i’m not allowed to use my favorite “dirty words” then
why should someone be allowed to insert the FUD that ClamAV is a
necessary thing for all openSUSE users, when it absolutely is not–no
opinion involved.

or, why should we (the Community) take the chance that some lawyer in
Mountain View California thinks we have maligned and smeared the good
name of Google by not removing incorrect information from our forum,
and decides to sue for damages?

of course, i know we have contra-deep pockets and that is not gonna
happen, but still: why allow obviously incorrect and FUD producing
information to persist? it is not in our best interest.

it is two different things to allow disputable facts or opinions from
whatever source and allowing wrong information…“Chromium imported a
trojan !!!” is not a disputable opinion, instead it is a non-fact.

ymmv


DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD [posted via NNTP w/openSUSE 10.3]

You are comparing apples to oranges. Dirty words do not compare to FUD. We filter dirty words to keep it family friendly. FUD is not even in the same ballpark.

As to something like chromium importing a trojan, that is somewhat a fact. See, the ant-virus software reported it as a trojan. That’s a fact. The problem with with the anti-virus software. It’s what is known as a false positive. I can get anti-virus scanners to think that fonts are virus/trojans. Is that FUD? No.

So let’s chill and let freedom ring. :wink:

On 2010-07-26 15:36 GMT Jonathan R wrote:

> The problem here DenverD is that this is very broad and starts to
> encroach on freedom of speech/expression. One can post something, and
> post links to support their argument, and someone else will see it as
> irrelevant and just opinion or bad information. The entire debate of
> Linux versus Windows is one filled with opinions. Security is
> something that is dependent on each person as each person handles
> security their own way. Besides, posts like what you call FUD, many
> may agree, and it can become an informational exchange. So what may
> be a bad post can still bring about good and desired fruits.

Correct.

He is free to express what he thinks; just rebate it.

A different thing would be if that incorrect post were posted in the
final howto forum. I think that some of the posts in the howto forum
are incorrect, but… it doesn’t matter much.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.2 x86_64 “Emerald” GM (Elessar))

On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 14:45:50 +0000, DenverD wrote:

> i would like to begin a discussion and offer a suggestion that mods
> should routinely remove posts placed in these fora which present
> untruths (or part-truths) as if they are established fact–if they also
> could cause Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) among our users or
> potential users as regards the usability or security of openSUSE…

That would get us into grey areas where opinion is a point of
discussion. Of course, if we were to do this, then we’d also be
obligated to deal with FUD about non-openSUSE platforms as well,
including Windows.

Factually incorrect information can be corrected without things getting
personal.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

In a moment of European unity… I think DenverD has a valid point.

We both assisted a newbie Question about the included firewall regarding his firewall query. This is not FUD. This is helping a self-confessed newbie to migrate from Doze to Linux

I also read the flamers - such as - My Take on Linux - Will it Ever Beat Windows? as they always seem to be proved wrong. Then again they would wouldn’t they. Like a cat-lover going to a dog-show is always going to tell you what a cat does better than a dog!

But the point of this forum is to assist and to educate isn’t it? reading stuff which is now obsolete and obviously wrong could misguide people. I was reprimanded (gently) by Jim H last week for pointing someone to a wrong repo for the NVIDIA drivers - rightly so, my information was misleading and wrong. So why not exercise this moderation to remove threads which are clearly wrong and likely to cause error.

Is this forum a knowledge resource for genuine users? Do we want to encourage people to try our favourite (or only) OS? I don’t know the answer to these questions. Do we want people (like me) to ask daft questions - I definitely hope so YES. That is not FUD that is assistance.

Just my thoughts…

This argument makes more sense, but still doesn’t quite capture it. See, even when one posts something wrong, it gives the community the opportunity to correct it. This is important.

In the matter of FUD, FUD is almost always opinions, but opinions based somewhat on fact. The facts may, and often are, distorted. Again, it is the community that needs to chime in and correct it.

By deleting such posts you create an atmosphere of intolerance. An atmosphere of “your only welcome here as long as you agree with us”. We may not agree with others, even vehemently so, but one should be welcome, and be able to freely express themselves.

On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 17:36:02 +0000, clatworthy wrote:

> But the point of this forum is to assist and to educate isn’t it?

Well, yes, but one of the main things that helps people learn is actually
making mistakes. (I actually work professionally for Novell’s technical
training group and am involved in discussions about how people learn on
pretty much a daily basis). Mistakes are one of the most important
learning tools.

Having those ‘mistakes’ out in the open also reinforces the learning
process.

The “workflow” that I think really works (speaking just for myself) is to
take information from an interactive venue (a forum, IRC, whatever) and
use it to build a knowledge store. The good information gets put in that
knowledge store and becomes the place where accurate information is
located.

For the openSUSE community, that place is the wiki.

So, what I would see as an “ideal” is that the good answers ‘float to the
top’ and someone (doesn’t have to be staff) takes that information and
converts it into a really good wiki article that can then be referenced.

What this proposal does is effectively convert the forums into a wiki,
which isn’t what the purpose of the forums is. It’s a question of using
the right tool for the job.

> reading stuff which is now obsolete and obviously wrong could misguide
> people. I was reprimanded (gently) by Jim H last week for pointing
> someone to a wrong repo for the NVIDIA drivers - rightly so, my
> information was misleading and wrong. So why not exercise this
> moderation to remove threads which are clearly wrong and likely to cause
> error.

I don’t think I “reprimanded” anyone for posting a link to a wrong repo
(I haven’t followed the NVIDIA discussions lately), but that correction
is important - but also it’s important to leave the information that was
corrected out there. Otherwise what can happen (and I’ve seen it happen)
is that people are not as concerned about posting incorrect information -
because they know someone will come along and fix it.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

Okay, from Jonathon_R and Jim’s responses I know why I am not a forum moderator. I think the clincher is (to paraphrase) the ability for someone to post something without fear of being rediculed. I agree with that. I’m sure I have a question like that lurking somewhere.

The point about the wiki was news to me. I only use this forum or google to find an answer. Ignorance on my part. Just as well you nice folk are around to help us idiots and point us to the right place. I’m off to browse Portal:Wiki - openSUSE

Cheers

On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 20:06:02 +0000, clatworthy wrote:

> I think the clincher is (to paraphrase) the ability for
> someone to post something without fear of being rediculed. I agree with
> that.

I also would agree with that, and if you see this happening, certainly
report the offensive post and we’ll deal with that. That’s one of the
things we’re here for - to keep the discussions respectful. People make
mistakes, and that’s fine.

Glad to have been able to help you by pointing you to the wiki - you may
note that it’s been moved to http://wiki.opensuse.org as well - that’s
where the new content is located.

Jim


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

On 26/07/10 22:25, Jim Henderson wrote:
> On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 20:06:02 +0000, clatworthy wrote:
>
>> I think the clincher is (to paraphrase) the ability for
>> someone to post something without fear of being rediculed. I agree with
>> that.
>
> I also would agree with that, and if you see this happening, certainly
> report the offensive post and we’ll deal with that. That’s one of the
> things we’re here for - to keep the discussions respectful. People make
> mistakes, and that’s fine.
>
> Glad to have been able to help you by pointing you to the wiki - you may
> note that it’s been moved to http://wiki.opensuse.org as well - that’s
> where the new content is located.
…]
To correct a potential fact
(that is not meant to be an opinion/to contain a value judgment/rating)
that is not quite right:

The content of/in the new (sorted) wiki can be found both at/under
http://en.opensuse.org and http://wiki.opensuse.org nowadays.

The former content of http://en.opensuse.org could be found nowadays
at/under http://old-en.opensuse.org

And further combining the topic topic and the off-topic topic:

If I would write that the moving of the content to the new wiki were
made mostly by copy-and-paste actions -
this would contain a provable fact and (at least for the ones who read
some of my postings) also contain my rating/opinion about that way of
moving.

If deciding between right and wrong/fact and opinion would be the duty
of a forum moderator or administrator - only supernatural heroes could
possibly be able to do that. And what about the liability if a
moderator/censor would do his “duty” 99 times but misses one posting?
Would a user not think this one positing is the (‘holy’) truth?

Greetings
pistazienfresser

After all FUD is a point of view. For example in my point of view, DenverD himself has posted quite a lot of conspiracy theories without providing any deeper information which could prove his claims. Honestly: this very thread seems a bit hypocrite to me - but that’s my point of view (and btw: might be FUD as well…). I prefer DenverD posting whatever he has on his mind instead of admins deciding whether a claim is kosher or not, even though I often disagree with him.

Let’s not forget the parameter of social control. I think that works much more powerful than a handful of admins scanning for FUD.

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 10:47:21 +0000, pistazienfresser wrote:

> To correct a potential fact
> (that is not meant to be an opinion/to contain a value judgment/rating)
> that is not quite right:
>
> The content of/in the new (sorted) wiki can be found both at/under
> http://en.opensuse.org and http://wiki.opensuse.org nowadays.
>
> The former content of http://en.opensuse.org could be found nowadays
> at/under http://old-en.opensuse.org

Thanks for the catch - I found out about that change (from you on the ML
IIRC) yesterday. :slight_smile:

> And further combining the topic topic and the off-topic topic:
>
> If I would write that the moving of the content to the new wiki were
> made mostly by copy-and-paste actions - this would contain a provable
> fact and (at least for the ones who read some of my postings) also
> contain my rating/opinion about that way of moving.
>
> If deciding between right and wrong/fact and opinion would be the duty
> of a forum moderator or administrator - only supernatural heroes could
> possibly be able to do that. And what about the liability if a
> moderator/censor would do his “duty” 99 times but misses one posting?
> Would a user not think this one positing is the (‘holy’) truth?

That’s an excellent point and I think explains what I’m thinking as well
very well. One thing that was explained to me when I joined staff here
was that staff weren’t necessarily intended to be SMEs on the software
(as is the case in, for example, the Novell forums). The dynamic is a
bit different here as a result. But even if all of staff were considered
SMEs, openSUSE is such a huge product, there’s always going to be
things where there are knowledge gaps, and as you say, if 1% of posts
don’t get “corrected” by someone in staff, then some users will take that
as acceptance of what they’ve written as fact (whether that’s correct or
not).

Jim

Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

<;)>
Cool/Hot:
Solar Mesosphere Explorers that are build of Soy Methyl Esters and are trying to proof the
Standard-Model Extensions (if there would be than one [possible]).
G.
p. </;)>
](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SME)

On Wed, 28 Jul 2010 20:36:02 +0000, pistazienfresser wrote:

> hendersj;2197696 Wrote:
>> But even if all of staff were considered SMEs,…]
> <;)>
> Cool/Hot:
> ‘Solar Mesosphere Explorer’
> (http://lasp.colorado.edu/mission_history/missions/past/SME.htm)s that
> are build of ‘Soy Methyl Ester’ (http://tinyurl.com/32oyku2)s and are
> trying to proof the
> ‘Standard-Model Extension’ (http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/9809521)s (if
> there would be than one [possible]).
> G.
> p. </;)>
> ’
> ’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SME)

LOL


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at http://tinyurl.com/openSUSE-T-C

pistazienfresser wrote:
> hendersj;2197696 Wrote:
>> But even if all of staff were considered
>> SMEs,…]
>
> ’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SME)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subject_Matter_Expert

your observation is valid: folks should use more real words in
international fora…


DenverD
CAVEAT: http://is.gd/bpoMD [posted via NNTP w/openSUSE 10.3]