Calls for censorship will basically be ignored.

Sometimes, the comments are a lot more provoking than the posts are. At least to me.

This morning, there's a great example of that. The post reads, "I fucked my neighbor's dog. I enjoyed it very much." While I find that morally reprehensible and sick - I'm totally fine with that going on the site. PChis and I, and later TintedFragipan and I, got into discussions over that going on the site. And during those concurrent discussions - comments started flying up. One of which declared that we should censor it. Obviously, that person didn't read our censorship policy (aka we don't censor except when names are used for the purpose of defamation - or in the case of teachers*).

The comment that got to me though, and that the two admins posted replies to, was the one declaring our site is less credible for allowing that post to exist.
Let's imagine for a moment: I'm a regular Enloe student who heard about this website from a friend. I had a really crucial secret that I had to share and I knew this was the perfect place to do it. This was my dream come true.

The first thing that I see when I get on the site is this post. I am disgusted and this site's credebility is severly compromised. Do I really want to be sharing anything with these sickos? I will never come back. I will tell all of my friends to stay away as well.

Moral of the story: Some things are better left unsaid.
Honestly, that's one of the most close-minded things ever said on this site. So congratulations to that commenter. Not that they'll read this if they're never coming back. But kudos all the same. On previous posts, the commenters who were called closed-minded are nothing compared to you. At least they were open-minded enough to debate the people on the other sides of the various issues. They're weren't going to listen to them (or even think of changing their opinions), but at least they engaged them.

Tangst, its administrators, its contributors, its regular posters, and most of all its creator (namely, me) pride themselves on the fact that the site posts everything, no matter how sick or twisted or wrong it seems to any individual. The fact is, if it's a valid secret, confession, poem, statement of emotion, whatever, it will be posted. And then promptly commented on. The only things we delete are spam. And those are really damned obvious because they're always trying to sell something or promote a site.

If that commenter's secret was as crucial as they thought it was - the bestiality post wouldn't have scared them away. Because the point of the site is to help yourself. I know everyone enjoys reading other people's comments - I do too - but the purpose is to get the release of knowing your secret is out there.

I'm glad that person's not coming back. If I knew who it was in real life, I'd probably want to fight them. Instead, I just feel sorry that they can't deal with two simple sentences. If any of that makes me a bad person, well, I can deal with that and I'll happily accept it as a consequence.

The post itself will probably cause a high level of controversy. It may even be more "popular" than the one by the guy that hates gay people. But the fact is, it belongs. If the site loses posters and commenters for it, I'm sorry, but it's staying.

Everyone should feel free to post whatever it is that's on their minds. Not everyone will agree with it. I may not agree with it (that's happened a couple of times, actually). But it will go on the site. And that's a blanket rule.

P.S. I don't think there's such a thing as a "regular" Enloe student. We're all pretty offbeat in our own way.

P.P.S. Also, on the credibility issue - I think the site gains credibility every time a highly controversial post goes up. It reinforces the fact that we do welcome everything. From every point of view. No matter what.

P.P.P.S. Lastly, that the commenter spelled "credibility" and "severely" incorrectly just really bothers me. If you're going to flame the site, do it properly with capital letters and bold words that show just how mad you are. Use correct English (spelling, grammar, mechanics) as well. Otherwise, we're just going to laugh at how sad you must be.

* Teacher Exception: The Dr. Hoffman post. The only reason his name is still there is because he approved it. Which was really nice of him.


Blogger TintedFragipan said...

Heather, you do know the poster was being hypothetical right? "Let's say that I am," the post began. He or she is probably a regular Tangster. I can understand, to some extent, where he or she is coming from, because the OP (yay! we're developing jargon!) in that case was probably not taking Tangst seriously, and we Tangsters defend our roost. It hurts our feelings when people don't take the forum seriously. Of course, other than that, I completely disagree with censorship. I hope that Tangster understands why we do, too, and maybe agrees with us.

Also, I have a question, there should be clearly set down rules on what will be allowed or not, so that this issue doesn't happen in the future. Here's one potential problem you can address in an edit to this post: What degree of toleration will be allowed for explicit content. The dog post was not explicit, obviously. However, assume it had been written, well, like a porn story. A very long, detailed description of genitals, noises, sensory images. Would that be censored?

Something we should discuss as Admin Board.

1/21/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger 龙年 said...

Yeah, we should discuss the limits a bit. AIM chatroom, anyone?

Granted, I'm also opposed to censorship of the forum, but I agree with the sentiment of a limit for something thats "way too far" out of bounds.

I think its a tad obvious that the poster in question was speaking hypothetically, but the point is valid nonetheless, as is the discussion and policy notice that spawned from it.

1/21/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Certain admins need to be a bit more discerning regarding their sarcasm and deatdowns. There's no reason to get catty or personal.

2) Thank you all for being willing to discuss what will and will not be censored. It's simply ridiculous to think that you'll let anything and everything through, while at the same time we all want to be heard.

3) We understand that decisions regarding censorship will be solely in the hands of administrators, and I admire that you're all willing to be so liberal concerning what will be allowed on this site. (I think 95% of us were fine with the whole dog thing)

1/21/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I submitted a secret about a sexual practice of mine. It was about something A LOT MORE NORMAL than 'sex with a dog' and it didn't get posted.

It was obviously too much for somebody here.

1/26/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger sithgirl said...

Um, that's a lie. I know, and have a copy of, every single comment ever posted to the site.

There are, in tangst history, only 7 comments that were posted but got deleted without the poster's permission. 5 of those were clearly spam. 2 regarded someone that was quoting Lewis Black.

However, in the case that you aren't lying, please retype your secret and if I find it in my e-mails, then I'll change everything to put it in. If I don't find it, then yeah, you're a liar.

It's really easy to lie when you're anonymous.

1/26/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what reason I
would have to lie about that.

I am not lying and I don't appreciate your accusatory cocky
tone on the matter.

I now have a strong suspicion that it was you 'sithgirl' who removed my post.

That makes at least as much sense as your attack on me.

1/26/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger 龙年 said...

I'm more inclined to believe sithgirl, dear poster. That's just my overly-biased personal stance.

I would take her up on the suggestion of retyping it for validation, instead of dispensing unvalidated accusations in an anonymous forum.

However, that's not to say it really wasn't an accidental deletion, due to the inefficiencies of the Blogger system.

It is possible that Blogger simply "ate" the post before it was published to the blog. This has happened at least a couple times when I've gone to publish user posts. Most times I catch it immediately, though sometimes it has to be restored later. Either way, it still gets published.

If this is the case, she/we will be happy to replace your tangst. I encourage you to send the post you described to the Tangst email address or simply repost here in this thread.

1/26/2006 04:46:00 PM  
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