TED Conversations

Josh S
  • Josh S
  • Washington, MO
  • United States

This conversation is closed.

Would you report a topic because it is not politically correct or offends you?

The question is pretty straightforward but I think it is very important. I've noted how a certain type of comments are removed by Ted because of certain viewpoints. for example, on the video of the young women on feminism, almost all comments remotely against feminism were removed. Or in the video of the 'bubble' building, all comments saying that it was a bad idea were removed.

I can only assume that moderators were notified by these comments by other people, by people who disagreed.

So my question is this, would you report someone for disagreeing with you on the basis that they were politically incorrect/ against most opinion/ offending you. Of course in certain situations, comments should be removed, like hate comments and the like, but as seriously as they are now?

Ted is a place to communicate, to illuminate your views on the world. But can we actually do this if we are being constantly edited for opposing viewpoints?

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    May 20 2012: Never for political weirdness, after all, everyone can't be correct by agreeing with my view. But for offensiveness you bet! Vulgar, mean-spirited and otherwise unproductive comments should be flagged swiftly and often so the Staff can deal with it. We really must play well together.
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    May 20 2012: Hi Josh,
    We remove posts only if they violate our Terms of Use: http://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms
    Reporting or flagging a post doesn't guarantee removal, but it gets immediate attention of moderators who'll then decide, based on the Terms of Use, to remove or to take no action.
    We do not practice censorship. Instead we welcome differing opinions as long as they are expressed in respectful and constructive manner. If you have questions please email us at conversations@ted.com
    TED Conversations Team
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      Josh S

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      May 20 2012: I do not mean to argue, but at the same time find this a bit different from what i have experienced. Under your terms of use, specifically the 2nd item, you label what you will remove comments for. As an example, i made a comment that simply said that the conversation was boring until 7- minutes into the talk, when she actually began talking about her idea. This was removed. I do not see how this constitutes a :
      'comments which criticize the physical appearance or mental capacities of others, or which constitute harassment or stalking of others. Threats or implications of violence towards any individual or group, as well as repeatedly posting misleading implications or false claims that any individual or group promotes hatred or unlawful violence'

      Ted also reserves the right to remove comments for any reason, which i think any website should maintain. Both terms are completely reasonable, and i support. However, when comments are removed that do not violate the terms of use, i get a bit suspicious.
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        May 20 2012: Hi Josh, thanks for bringing this to our attention. I'm Aja from the Conversations Team, and I'm the person who removed your original comment last week.

        You're correct that many of the comments on the Liz Diller talk were flagged as inappropriate. Several of the flagged comments were in what I'd call a "grey area", and I did choose to leave quite a lot of comments posted that were negative without being overly rude. In the case of your comment, it was the combination of calling her "boring" and criticizing her speaking voice ("monotone"), along with the fact that it was flagged, that tipped the scale for me. However, I admit that I could have spent more time considering it, and after reading through the rest of the comments on the page, your original comment has been restored.

        It's endlessly tricky trying to find the right moderation balance on such a large and diverse community as TED.com. We absolutely do want people to be able to discuss big ideas and important topics here and on the Talk pages, but we also want to avoid the sort of ugliness and pettiness one often sees in such discussions elsewhere online. The line between "constructive criticism" and "knee-jerk rudeness" is a thin one, and in our efforts to maintain a high level of discourse here, we can sometimes be a tad overzealous.

        So yes, thank you bringing this up, Josh. This is a great community, and with thoughtful feedback like this, my hope is to make it even greater. :)


        Aja B.
        TED Conversations Team
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    May 20 2012: Josh, you are alleging here that comments are deleted that express unpopular opinions. This is the sort of charge that I think warrants specific support in terms of concrete examples. Next time you see it happen, do record the specific comments that were deleted that you think should not have been.
    Normally in moderated discourse comments are removed if they violate normal standards of civil communication, which is to say they are rude, involve vulgarity or namecalling, or something like that. In my experience of this site, I have seen very strong comments here and opinions that are probably minority opinions on the subject being discussed, which is to say they were still there when I got to the discussion.
    Another sort of comment moderators of discussion sites often delete are comments that seem very much like using a free, widely read platform to promote a good or service someone is selling. Once a platform allows itself to be used for such private purposes, as a venue for marketing products and services, or as a venue for seeking employment, those uses change the nature of the site away from ideas and toward commerce.
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      Josh S

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      May 20 2012: I have had a comment removed myself, see above. I have also seen multiple comments removed on the talk about the young feminist not because they were rude/ vulgar, but because they were against feminism ( in a civil way). These were just a few examples ive seen. I only go on Ted for maybe an hour a day on the weekends, but the fact that i have noticed 3 specific instances in 1 week, i think is a pretty high occurrence; that's why i made this conversation, to see how people feel about this.