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Cake day: Apr 18, 2019

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this is still the case with manual moderation, if most moderator are privileged

Sure, but given a /c/blackfolks community, a white admin would probably think twice before getting involved in internal matters over there. Which an algorithm will have no clue about.

I am quite sure that when the devs made their filter, there was quite a lot of human interaction and debate around it, and the simple fact the put one show that they interacted with other people around them.

The latter is true, but i believe the former isn’t. Having some kind of filter shows great concern for people experiencing harassment/bullying online, but using a word-based filter is a known anti-pattern since about the end of the 90s. I remember i used to go to this library, and from there you couldn’t access the library’s own website because the name of the library contained a french slur inside (though the whole was not a slur really) and the library-wide MITM proxy had a slur list like the one lemmy implemented. That’s how clueless such systems are.

Why is an automated error worse than a human one if the consequences are the same ?

For the reason you mentioned: lack of context and empathy.

would this place be better if there was not this automated moderation ?

Certainly not. I’m not advocating for removing the slur filter on this specific instance. I’m arguing having it hardcoded into the source is a strong political posture and we don’t really measure the variety of consequences it may have on the ecosystem as a whole.

Thank you so much for your answer (…) <3

Thanks to you too <3! I strongly appreciate online debate in such settings. Are you by any chance too young to remember when (before Facebook) forums/BBS were the craze? We really lost something (on a human/political level) when everyone moved to these centralized platforms where interactions were turned uniform and bland, and real-name policies have led to real-life crisis (bullying, suicides…).


Or you could read the regex and have 100% success :P

If you’re new to regular expressions you can see what a regex does using a tool like regex101


it’s played a really important role in keeping Lemmy a friendly place just because of the kind of people it’s scared off

Thanks for that, i truly appreciate it! See also this other thread for more on my concerns (my concerns is not that fascists are not welcome :P).


I prefer having this filter rather than not having it, mostly because of the systemic effects I explained.

That’s also the case for me, in case that was not clear :)

I think some words are almost always meant to harm, and can be easily replace by more positive or neutral term.

I don’t think it’s that easy, because of the context. Should all usage of the n***** word by black people be prevented? Should all usage of w****/b**** words by queer/femmes folks in a sex-positive context be prevented? etc… I agree with you using these words is most times inappropriate and we can find better words for that, however white male technologists have a long history of dictating how the software can be used (and who it’s for) and i believe there’s something wrong in that power dynamic in and of itself. It’s not uncommon that measures of control introduced “to protect the oppressed” turn into serious popular repression.

Still, like i said i like this filter in practice, and it’s part of the reason i’m here (no fascism policy). As a militant antifascist AFK, i need to reflect on this and ponder whether automatic censorship is ok in the name of antifascism: it seems pretty efficient so far, if only as a psychological barrier. And i strongly believe we should moderate speech and advertise why we consider certain words/concepts to be mental barriers, but i’m really bothered on an ethical level to just dismiss content without human interaction. Isn’t that precisely what we critique in Youtube/Facebook/etc? I’m not exactly placing these examples on the same level as a slur filter though ;)


The devs explain here a clear intention to make this change difficult enough to prevent at least partially the migration of some communities they don’t want to support and/or give a platform to.

I’m happy it’s becoming harder for neonazis to find a home online, however i’m not happy that this makes lemmy english-centric, and i’m not happy that honest discussion about some topics (including thoughtful criticism) will be made harder.

Related example: on another message board a few weeks back i couldn’t post a message containing my criticism of “bitcoin” because bitcoin was part of the slur filter to filter out the crypto-capitalist clique… i understand and appreciate why it was put in place, but i felt really powerless as a user that a machine who lacks understanding of the context of me using this word, decided i had no right to post it. I appreciate strong moderation, but i don’t trust machine to police/judge our activities.


Thanks for clarifying the position!

You can see for yourself the words which are blocked

I have two problems with the slur filter. First i believe it should be configurable on a per-instance basis because this filter won’t be applicable to other languages. Second i believe a word-based filter is highly to produce false positives, as has been the experience with every “NSFW filter” in existence so far.

Maybe we don’t agree on that, but i don’t believe quoting/mentioning a word necessarily validates it. For example, how can i advertise an article that explicitly explains why these words are insulting without falling into the slur filter myself?

I appreciate this is the policy of lemmy.ml as an instance, but i believe having it configurable would be better. For example, maybe users could be warned that using a slur their message will be moderated and only appear once it has been approved?


Well it depends what type of “communism” we’re talking about. Fascism has usually a pretty clear understanding: repression of political dissent, emphasis on a national feeling and a sense of unique destiny to destroy/conquer whoever disagrees, various forms of eugenism (in the sense of killing people because they’re homosexual or handicapped), the cult of work as a duty to your homeland, as in some cases also strong racism (to my knowledge this is not a feature of italian fascism, but rather other forms of nazism/fascism).

So now, what is communism? According to marxists and anarchists, communism is the stateless, peaceful, egalitarian society. However, marxists believe an intermediary step is required to reach communism: the dictatorship of the proletariat, which has led to countless deaths and suffering. So if “dictatorship of the proletariat” is your definition of communism, then i would almost agree with you “communism” is just as bad as “fascism”. However, there still are some differences:

  • women’s rights (and often gay rights) are faring well under marxism-leninism ; that is, women are equal in their right to be exploited by the State
  • most leninist regimes, despite their atrocities, are not known for putting forward racial theories and committing genocides (although Stalin in the USSR had quite some genociding on his hands)

So no, it’s not the same. And in any way, most people you will meet through life will talk about communism as the principle free and equal society. That is, the abolition of privileges (remember 1789?) and freedom and equality for all. In this anarchist understanding of communism, then really there’s nothing wrong with communism.

Free association + Mutual aid + Solidarity against domination = <3 Short introduction to anarchism i wrote in another topic