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SteveDee
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Free speech

Tue May 05, 2015 9:26 pm

ukscone » 04 May 2015 13:02
lots of threads like this and any possible Raspberry Pi 3 is years off so pretty pointless to discuss as who knows what will be possible by then so locking
You may not agree with the subject or content of this post, but it is not harmful or offensive. No one has been abused, no one has been attacked.

To lock this thread is just to limit free speech. It is pointless censorship.

If you are bored with the content, then just move on.

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Re: Free speech

Tue May 05, 2015 11:41 pm

1. "Free speech" in the way I think you are using it is a right guaranteed by the *US* Constitution as a protection against *government* action.
2. The RPF Forums are located and controlled from the UK, hence not covered by the US Constitution.
3. The RPF is a private entity, hence not constrained to follow restrictions on government actions...let alone constraints on the wrong government.

You're barking up the wrong tree.

Now, as it happens, I do agree that the threads on where the Pi should go next are kind of interesting, harmless, and--so long as there is no acrimony (and there generally isn't)--could be left live. I also understand why the moderators are inclined to close them. Such threads are repetitive and often not very informative (though they do constitute a form of feedback to the RPF, and there is value in that). There needs to be some sort of middle ground. Such a middle ground is *probably* (a) to ensure that there is only one such thread at a time, (b) let the threads get to the point that any given one starts going around in circles, (c) get closed if any arguments break out, and (d) are kept in "Off Topic" (not because they are off topic, but because they don't really address any current issues).

However, attempting to chastise Forum Moderators by using a grossly inapplicable reason is NOT the way to get such threads tolerated.

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Re: Free speech

Tue May 05, 2015 11:54 pm

The internet is run by trolls that abuse free speech and troll moderators that abuse power.

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 3:50 am

gandar wrote:The internet is run by trolls that abuse free speech and troll moderators that abuse power.
On the whole and i'm sure if you took a straw poll among the other mods (and most users of this forum) i'm pretty much the most laidback of the mods as to what i'll let go in most threads. i hardly ever lock a thread or chastise a user unless it is/they are degenerating to personal attacks, it's a completely whackadoodle thread or the 100th version of a thread that has been done and dusted. Spammers I stomp on with a passion but for normal users i'll normally let it go.

That said if you piss me off i can be a right b*****d

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 7:35 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:...You're barking up the wrong tree.... attempting to chastise Forum Moderators by using a grossly inapplicable reason is NOT the way to get such threads tolerated.
I am not a highly educated man, so Free speech, freedom of expression and censorship are closely linked in my mind. When I was young there was no internet, and less than a dozen radio and television stations. Although the government made laws to limit free speech, the media also applied censorship, often to protect their own interests, but also due to "invisible" pressure from the establishment.

Stopping people from expressing a view, or discussing a subject, fits somewhere within this "freedom" spectrum.

Like all "spaces" on the internet, this forum can be described as a "private entity", but it still has to respect the laws of our government (...whatever shape that may be in come Friday 8th!) and it also has the right to apply censorship, for whatever reason, or for absolutely no reason.

However, this forum does invite and encourage people to post questions, offer support to others and express their views. I haven't read the terms and conditions, but I'd expect it to suggest that users steer clear of a range of topics which might fit under the general heading of: sex, politics & religion. If there is also a RaspberryPi taboo list, I guess I need to read it.

The original subject (Raspberry Pi 3) is of no interest to me. I find this topic boring and rather naive, but defend the right of others who probably like to speculate about such things and swap specifications.

I'd also like to point out that the person making the Pi3 post only joined the forum a few weeks ago, and has already had a thread locked. What kind of impression has that made on them?

Unless there is some kind of bandwidth or storage space limitation, I cannot see any plus points in locking harmless threads. However I can see a few negatives, the most serious is that you may squash someones enthusiasm.

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 8:05 am

Free Speech is like Free Beer, means different things to different people

Regards next RPi there have been enough suggestions made over the last 3 years to last a lifetime, so posting a want is just regurgitation ;)
Retired disgracefully.....

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 8:28 am

This is not a free speech issue, there are already open threads that discuss futures Pi's, use one of those. It's simply a 'we've already got a load of threads discussing this we really don't need another one' issue.

But it's also worth remembering that there is no right to free speech on this forum, in fact there is no right to free speech in the UK AT ALL. And there are also limits to free speed in other places, e.g. the USA. For example, you are not allowed to shout fire in a crowded cinema.

So while the mods here are pretty easy going about most subjects, and will let a threads meander around, sometimes, things will be locked or deleted. That's is 'just the way it is'. It's not a free speech issue, because there is not right to free speech on this forum. It's privately owned, and therefore when you use it you have to follow the rules, as implemented by the moderators.
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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 9:05 am

Since we don't know what Eben and the RPF team are planning, we don't know when they're planning it or any whys or wherefores and because Eben and his team get the final choice having discussions of "I'd like a v3.0 widget rather than a v2.0 foobar" are 100% pointless.

The basic design of the next RPi is probably done and dusted, the detailed hardware design (new ARM, new VC, USB, SATA, whatever else, etc.) is unlikely to be influenced by a random new poster posting a random thread on the forum. All that stuff should be concealed behind a non-disclosure agreement for the folks who need to know the plans.

Even speculating on the DSI display, the possible Pi2A and the CM2 doesn't have any value. Because nothing written on here is going to change the plans. When they are generally available (and announced early on The Register as usual) we can rejoice, grab a beer and click the "BUY" button on the RS or CPC/Farnell website and wait for the postie to knock a few days later.

What we have to do is wait patiently for the day that the Pi2B becomes obsolete and the next, best RPi-next emerges from it's cocoon.

Anyone who wants to believe there's any semblance of free speech here in the UK needs to stand at "Speaker's Corner" and rant about it to the listening audience. There's still some things you can't say there without getting arrested due to the victorian values that persist in English law.
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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 9:31 am

DougieLawson wrote:Even speculating on the DSI display, the possible Pi2A and the CM2 doesn't have any value. Because nothing written on here is going to change the plans. When they are generally available (and announced early on The Register as usual) we can rejoice, grab a beer and click the "BUY" button on the RS or CPC/Farnell website and wait for the postie to knock a few days later.
But we can't be certain that those things exist until they are dismissed by Dougie. :lol:

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 10:13 am

Free speech is a democratic concept. This forum is not a democracy. There are many forums on the web that allow "free speech" -- they tend not to be pleasant places to be.

The stuff that mods (and employees) have to deal with day-to-day would shock most people. Behind the scenes we have to deal with personal attacks, threats, abuse -- and, let's face it, outright nutters -- that a large, successful organization strangely attracts. So much for free speech.

We don't lock threads for no reason. We know what is needed for the smooth running of the forums. So while you see a locked thread as "pointless censorship" I see a non-arbitrary decision based on the experience that comes from years of running one of the most open and non-judgmental tech forums on the web.

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 5:03 pm

SteveDee wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:...You're barking up the wrong tree.... attempting to chastise Forum Moderators by using a grossly inapplicable reason is NOT the way to get such threads tolerated.
I am not a highly educated man, so Free speech, freedom of expression and censorship are closely linked in my mind. When I was young there was no internet, and less than a dozen radio and television stations. Although the government made laws to limit free speech, the media also applied censorship, often to protect their own interests, but also due to "invisible" pressure from the establishment.

Stopping people from expressing a view, or discussing a subject, fits somewhere within this "freedom" spectrum.

Like all "spaces" on the internet, this forum can be described as a "private entity", but it still has to respect the laws of our government (...whatever shape that may be in come Friday 8th!) and it also has the right to apply censorship, for whatever reason, or for absolutely no reason..
While I largely agree with you, and--if you read my first post in this thread--you will see that I agree with the more general point that the OP is complaining about, the salient point is that "free speech rights" are the wrong approach. The UK doesn't (last I looked) have a formal constitution. While the UK *does* have a pretty free press and a lot of free speech (so long as one steers clear of some pretty draconian libel/slander laws...the reason that some people file such claims in the UK instead of the US...and why US courts won't enforce the results), the most general principle involved is protection from *government* action. The RPF simply is *not* the government, so the rules and expectations are (or should be) different.

The whole use of "I have a right to free speech and don't you dare stand in my way!" is, so far as I can tell, primarily an American stance done by people who have a lighter understanding of the US Constitution than they ought to. To some degree, I find it rather odd to see an attempt to apply that reasoning on a UK-based site. And, if it comes to that, I am *assuming* (with all the risk that entails) that the OP is from the western side of the Pond. It would be rather more alarming if he is from the eastern side of said Pond...

To seek a change in a moderation decision, one would be better off to (1) send a private message to the moderator involved, reasonably and--above all--*calmly* asking that the decision be reconsidered, and (if that effort fails), (2) sending a private message to someone at the RPF that is higher up the food chain--again, reasonably and calmly--requesting that the original moderator be overruled. One should also be willing to take "No!" as an answer and let it go.

While I, personally, disagree with some moderation actions taken, I have yet to see one that is so far off the mark that I'd actually complain about it, though I have on a couple of occasions sent messages to moderators asking them to think carefully about the action taken and consider changing it.

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 5:13 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:I have on a couple of occasions sent messages to moderators asking them to think carefully about the action taken and consider changing it.
...a couple... :roll:

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Re: Free speech

Wed May 06, 2015 5:14 pm

On the underlying topic of "why can't we make lots of threads about future features?", I would agree that there are existing threads and finding and using them is a good idea. At the same time, necroing threads can also be a problem. Not much point in discussing desired changes if the thread is about the 256MB Model B...we're long past that point.

From the RPFs perspective, this sort of discussion activity can at least provide some feedback on what features are desired and/or what parts of the Pi need improvement. Granted, this isn't going to be a very good sampling of opinion, since it's pretty clear that the Forum posters are a tiny minority of Pi users *and* they'll tend to be the outspoken ones. On top of that, like any such forum, there will be a tendency to have discussions dominated by a few very active posters.

I agree that the next iteration of the Pi is almost certainly under active development (and if it isn't, it should be). I also agree that--with possible one exception (which has been discussed)--the next iteration of the Model A is pretty much set in stone, as is the next iteration of the CM. The only issues are timing and some hints have been given about that.

Possibly there needs to be a semi-official thread that is closed with a new version created at the time of each major change for each board type. Such threads could be stickied with a caution that the results are pure speculation by people who don't know what is actually in the pipeline.

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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 3:44 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:On the underlying topic of "why can't we make lots of threads about future features?", I would agree that there are existing threads and finding and using them is a good idea. At the same time, necroing threads can also be a problem. Not much point in discussing desired changes if the thread is about the 256MB Model B...we're long past that point.

From the RPFs perspective, this sort of discussion activity can at least provide some feedback on what features are desired and/or what parts of the Pi need improvement. Granted, this isn't going to be a very good sampling of opinion, since it's pretty clear that the Forum posters are a tiny minority of Pi users *and* they'll tend to be the outspoken ones. On top of that, like any such forum, there will be a tendency to have discussions dominated by a few very active posters.

I agree that the next iteration of the Pi is almost certainly under active development (and if it isn't, it should be). I also agree that--with possible one exception (which has been discussed)--the next iteration of the Model A is pretty much set in stone, as is the next iteration of the CM. The only issues are timing and some hints have been given about that.

Possibly there needs to be a semi-official thread that is closed with a new version created at the time of each major change for each board type. Such threads could be stickied with a caution that the results are pure speculation by people who don't know what is actually in the pipeline.
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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 5:28 am

W. H. Heydt wrote: I agree that the next iteration of the Pi is almost certainly under active development (and if it isn't, it should be).
Yes, and no. Constant upgrade is a marketing ploy, not a good foundation stratagem. On the other hand, let's suppose someone decided to 'keep' the PI 'stable' and improve 'just' the usb interface?-- or work with the pyboard people (and micro python) for a dedicated mcu on-board with the PI?

One of the things that is desperately wanted is a stable standard platform for prototyping and education. RPi has earned a reputation for both. What is not wanted is scaled revision every six months driving costs up and reducing incentive for prototyping and education!

Just tuppence for thought on free speech... with great freedom of speech comes great responsibility in self-control and reasonable thoughtfulness; yes, I know, I push the envelope all the time. Even in the U.S. 'free speech' was designed into the Constitution NOT to mean, "say what you will". The original design was to guarantee the 'right' to free criticism of the government without governmental reprisal. I think the moderators on this site do a pretty good job, frankly, for keeping things going whilst keeping the pressure point down... I've seen plenty of tech boards and forums NOT moderated so well. I've had some of my posts trimmed, and that's ok. I've been asked to be careful about certain phrasing and idioms (privately). That is ok too. In that regard the moderators are OUR conscience. When passion points drop a bit we can even 'see' why they took the action they did. I think a good rule of thumb is that when all points have been made and there appears to be repetition in the points (or if things have degenerated into ad hominem) then its a good idea to lock the thread. On the other hand, how hard would it be for someone to send a private message to a moderator with a reasonable request to let this or that 'new point' through, and make warrant for the case?
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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 8:53 am

MarkHaysHarris777 wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: I agree that the next iteration of the Pi is almost certainly under active development (and if it isn't, it should be).
Yes, and no. Constant upgrade is a marketing ploy, not a good foundation stratagem. On the other hand, let's suppose someone decided to 'keep' the PI 'stable' and improve 'just' the usb interface?-- or work with the pyboard people (and micro python) for a dedicated mcu on-board with the PI?

One of the things that is desperately wanted is a stable standard platform for prototyping and education. RPi has earned a reputation for both. What is not wanted is scaled revision every six months driving costs up and reducing incentive for prototyping and education!

Just tuppence for thought on free speech... with great freedom of speech comes great responsibility in self-control and reasonable thoughtfulness; yes, I know, I push the envelope all the time. Even in the U.S. 'free speech' was designed into the Constitution NOT to mean, "say what you will". The original design was to guarantee the 'right' to free criticism of the government without governmental reprisal. I think the moderators on this site do a pretty good job, frankly, for keeping things going whilst keeping the pressure point down... I've seen plenty of tech boards and forums NOT moderated so well. I've had some of my posts trimmed, and that's ok. I've been asked to be careful about certain phrasing and idioms (privately). That is ok too. In that regard the moderators are OUR conscience. When passion points drop a bit we can even 'see' why they took the action they did. I think a good rule of thumb is that when all points have been made and there appears to be repetition in the points (or if things have degenerated into ad hominem) then its a good idea to lock the thread. On the other hand, how hard would it be for someone to send a private message to a moderator with a reasonable request to let this or that 'new point' through, and make warrant for the case?
What he said.
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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 4:32 pm

MarkHaysHarris777 wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: I agree that the next iteration of the Pi is almost certainly under active development (and if it isn't, it should be).
Yes, and no. Constant upgrade is a marketing ploy, not a good foundation stratagem. On the other hand, let's suppose someone decided to 'keep' the PI 'stable' and improve 'just' the usb interface?-- or work with the pyboard people (and micro python) for a dedicated mcu on-board with the PI?

One of the things that is desperately wanted is a stable standard platform for prototyping and education. RPi has earned a reputation for both. What is not wanted is scaled revision every six months driving costs up and reducing incentive for prototyping and education!
I am NOT suggesting a constant churn new, and--likely--incompatible versions. When I say that the next version should be worked on, I'm thinking along the lines of careful observation of what is available and careful planning for what should be next...not in six months, or even a year, but 3 to 5 years in the future. If you've read very many of my posts concerning issues of what features various people have requested for the Pi, you'll see that I've consistently expressed an expectation of a "Pi3B" in 3 to 5 years. That's 5 years because the original time frame stated for what has become the Pi2B was 5 years, and 3 years because that's how long it actually took.

So, yes, I expect that the major iteration is being looked at, but, no, I don't expect to see it any time soon.
Just tuppence for thought on free speech...
Generally agreed, but no need to quote in full. Especially agree that the Mods are doing a very good job dealing with a difficult task...and--all too often--rather cranky people.

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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 8:49 pm

FWIW, the US Constitution does protect "Free Speech" far beyond just criticizing the government. I can stand on a public corner and spew about my distaste for my neighbor, or ice cream, or pigs in spaceships, or beg for money.

It does not protect one's right to blather on like this in a privately owned web forum, nor should it.

That said, I'm a moderator for a fairly popular backpacking/hiking forum and we very seldom lock or delete threads or posts. We delete spam, and rude, demeaning, threatening posts, but there's not a lot of that to delete. It makes little sense to me (personally) to lock a thread where there is no aggressive behavior going on because you never know when something of real value may pop up.

For an example on how this kind of moderation can kill a forum I'll point out the Mac Perl mailing lists. I was chased off the "Mac Perl" mailing list for asking a question about Perl on Mac OS X. I complained to the list's creator, who was moderating it, and his rude response included advice for me to request a "Mac OS X" mailing list, so I did, and to my surprise one was set up.

It quickly became one of the busiest and most popular Perl mailing list with a vibrant and active membership. Then a few "Perl Experts" joined and complained viciously every time anything was posted they considered off topic or redundant. It didn't take long for this to kill the spirit of community. As far as I know, no one has posted anything on that mailing list for at least 5, maybe 10, years now, and even longer on the "Mac Perl" list.

The Perl community is fairly well known for this kind of behavior and I tried hard to soften it on the mailing lists I subscribed to, but over the years if became increasingly more difficult. When I first heard of the Pi I tried to get the Perl community to get involved here. I posted several times on several mailing list asking for Perl community members for help on supporting the foundation and explaining how this could benefit Perl and the community. No one there wanted to hear about it. I was "Off Topic" everywhere I went.

In my opinion, the Perl community lost out big by considering the RPi foundation to be "Off Topic".

One of the wisest men I've ever met taught me that "You can learn something from everyone, if you listen.", and I've found that to be quite true. Among the things I've learned right here, on this forum, is that I don't need perl anymore, Node.js has pretty much brushed it aside for the kind of work I did with it.

So, while yet another "Model C Wish List" might well be annoying or redundant for the moderators, one could pop up with the potential to shed light on real opportunity and I'd hate to see that snuffed out before it could seen by anyone. That's why, as a forum moderator myself, I believe it's best to keep my hands off as much as possible.

Finally, as a member here I won't argue with your decisions, but I may, from time to time, tell you what I think of them. I couldn't be a member of a place where I felt I couldn't do that.

That's probably all I have to say on this...

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Re: Free speech

Mon May 11, 2015 9:50 pm

Interesting post Bill.

I would say that actually, we delete and lock very few threads indeed. Most locks are down to duplicates (ie someone posting the same Q in multiple forums). There are just a few chestnuts that tend to rile up forum posters enough to keep reporting them. Model C posts are one of those, so they tend to increase the amount of mod work we have to do.

As for the Foundation - Eben the boss is not a stupid man. He is very aware of what is going on out there with other boards, and what people are looking for. Every time I talk with him and the rest of the crew they are always discussing future plans.
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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 12:08 am

gandar wrote:The internet is run by trolls that abuse free speech and troll moderators that abuse power.
I'm really hoping that's sarcasm.
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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 12:17 am

jamesh wrote: As for the Foundation - Eben the boss is not a stupid man. He is very aware of what is going on out there with other boards, and what people are looking for. Every time I talk with him and the rest of the crew they are always discussing future plans.
Ha! Do I win an internet today? :-)

Eben may well know about other boards, but two years ago when I showed him a Cubieboard-1, he said he'd never actually seen one. I have another board for him to get a first hand look at when next I see him...and I'll be interested in his reaction to it.

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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 12:33 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
jamesh wrote: As for the Foundation - Eben the boss is not a stupid man. He is very aware of what is going on out there with other boards, and what people are looking for. Every time I talk with him and the rest of the crew they are always discussing future plans.
Ha! Do I win an internet today? :-)

Eben may well know about other boards, but two years ago when I showed him a Cubieboard-1, he said he'd never actually seen one. I have another board for him to get a first hand look at when next I see him...and I'll be interested in his reaction to it.
I think jamesh may have been taking about forum boards...?
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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 12:56 am

eggbeater wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:
jamesh wrote: As for the Foundation - Eben the boss is not a stupid man. He is very aware of what is going on out there with other boards, and what people are looking for. Every time I talk with him and the rest of the crew they are always discussing future plans.
Ha! Do I win an internet today? :-)

Eben may well know about other boards, but two years ago when I showed him a Cubieboard-1, he said he'd never actually seen one. I have another board for him to get a first hand look at when next I see him...and I'll be interested in his reaction to it.
I think jamesh may have been taking about forum boards...?
Context would suggest otherwise. Perhaps jamesh will enlighten us. If it comes to that, why would Eben care what is said on other forums? Other hardware,yes, other forums...what would be the point?

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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 2:49 am

jamesh wrote: As for the Foundation - Eben the boss is not a stupid man. He is very aware of what is going on out there with other boards, and what people are looking for. Every time I talk with him and the rest of the crew they are always discussing future plans.
Sitting on the outside we can only wonder what goes on. It's taken time, but I've learned that you all know what you're doing and good things happen in good time there. I stopped second guessing when the B+ arrived, and was pretty much stunned when the B2 came out. That really shut me up.

I'm sure there's little or nothing I could ever add to them, but I would sure love to sit in on those discussions...

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Re: Free speech

Tue May 12, 2015 6:34 am

Free speech is at root a moral issue, and those who argue 'this forum is not a democracy' or 'free speech is a U.S. constitutional right, and doesn't apply here' are arguing from a legalistic standpoint, and are thereby completely missing the point.

A wrong is neither excused nor justified by the fact that 'there's no law against it'. Similarly, 'this is my space and I can do what I like' isn't the sort of 'reason' a thinking person should accept.


I'm not talking about the original post, btw. Just something to think about whenever the subject of forum censorship comes up...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

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