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Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license


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    Aja B. 20+

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    Apr 7 2013: Hi folks.

    This topic is meant to be used for respectful discussion regarding the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license, not as a general forum for personal attacks, insults, and other violations of the TED.com Terms of Use. No participants in this discussion are secret members of our moderation team. Please stay on topic.

    Also, regarding the problems linking to the Theory of Condensed Matter group: As I explained to Mr. Campbell last week, this is a glitch in the automatic spam filter we use. Attempts to correct it have met with little success, possibly due to the frequency the link is being posted.

    • Apr 7 2013: The link to the TCM site is not really the concern here, that he is an admin is beyond question. I know it's got nothing to do with TED. Your reply last week confirmed this and I said this publicly on this site.

      What is the concern here is we watched him deleting posts en mass within a few minutes. Live, as it were.
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        Aja B. 20+

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        Apr 7 2013: If only my team were so numerous that I might be unaware of a particular moderator's existence!

        Sadly, this is not the case, and I am quite certain that John Hoopes has not been deleting anyone's comments on this topic. Or any other on this site.
        • Apr 7 2013: Aja, with respect, and I mean that sincerely, I can prove that he most certainly has been deleting comments. I mean, we all watched him do it in action.
        • Apr 7 2013: We watched it happen and we took screenshots.
      • Apr 7 2013: Hi John, would you consider emailing me the details of what occurred here?
    • Apr 7 2013: BTW, I do want to thank you for your reply to my email earlier this week. I learned a lot about Akismet as a result.
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        Aja B. 20+

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        Apr 7 2013: Of course! It's a great tool when it works as intended. :)
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        Aja B. 20+

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        Apr 7 2013: Are you referring to the off-topic and insulting comments I removed a little while ago? No conspiracy there, just me trying to keep up with the challenge of maintaining a respectful debate.
        • Apr 7 2013: No, you missed a whole lot of comments before that. He started deleting at about 23:44. The comments you deleted were only the tail end of what was left of a deletion spree. At any rate, you see that notice I just got about a comment I made being inappropriate? I'm guessing you sent that, and I have no problem with it. That was the first message I've received about a comment being inappropriate. But I've had maybe a dozen comments deleted, likely more. I never once got notice. I have all relevant screenshots.

          At any rate, Aja, I do appreciate you coming here to sort this out.
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        Aja B. 20+

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        Apr 7 2013: If this is about comments being deleted without emails being sent, I'm afraid that's also my doing. It really has been a challenge to keep up with this topic, and there's not much help in the wee hours of a Sunday morning.
        • Apr 7 2013: Are you saying the emails have to be written? Surely this is just an automated message that operates from some tick box or something. If not then adopting such a system would surely help you in your job.
        • Apr 7 2013: Aja, Do you not realize how bad it looks to have comments about deletion of comments by a secret admin deleted? It makes you look like you're part of a cover-up for TED. If you had simply left the comments in place and then argued that there is no secret moderation, you'd have more credibility. Deleting everything, off-topic or not, looks shady. It looks like just another indicator of TED's lack of transparency.
        • Apr 7 2013: This is my last comment on the matter. Aja isn't at fault here. She's been helpful and pointed out that they were using the Akismet software, and it's Akismet that's doing strange things.. From everything I can tell, she's been open and honest and missed what was going on here until she arrived after 1:00, I believe.

          I have nothing more to say on this. Some comments I posted today here after 11:00 were deleted by me due to an implied legal threat. For the record, none of my comments posted here since 11:00 have been deleted by anyone but me.
      • Apr 7 2013: John, can you think of a reason why "Hoopes" can post the link, while no one else can, that does not involve him or her having administration privileges? It seems to give him/her no shortage of enjoyment that he/she can do this.
        • Apr 7 2013: No, I can't. I've written a detailed email to Aja just now explaining very carefully, and respectfully, what happened here tonight and how I know he is an admin. I will not copy and paste this email here, but I won't discuss it much more here. But I will say that because Aja advised me that it was Akismet, I can show anyone how this aspect of it works at Wordpress sites.

          John didn't know when he posted the link that the reason it gets through is because his privileges are most definitely elevated.
        • Apr 7 2013: So most of the comments have been restored as of 5:10, though (understandably) not the ones where I was playing with him a bit. I'll admit I was, because he was outed and he panicked. After I posted the comment outing him as an admin, he deleted it. And then I started having a one way conversation with him, and he'd delete my comments but he couldn't keep up. He kept deleting my comments and many more once people understood that he was an admin and began posting about it. It was very clear then that he was the admin. We weren't getting moderator messages, they were just getting trashed.
    • Apr 7 2013: "No participants in this discussion are secret members of our moderation team."
      Hi Aja, if that's the case please explain why John Hoopes seems to be the only person who can add the link to Brian Josephson's page and everyone else who adds the link has their post automatically deleted? This is not an unimportant matter so please don't try to sweep it under the rug. It seems likely based on what John Campbell has posted that Hoopes has administrative privileges and that is why he/she has been able to post the link, delete posts, etc.
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        Apr 7 2013: I honestly have no idea why it works for his account. I'm not even able to post it. Such are the mysteries of Akismet.
        • Apr 7 2013: Aja you don't know why it works for his account and not yours because he's an admin and you're not. You're a moderator, not an admin, or don't have the same admin privileges.as he as.
        • Apr 7 2013: Explain why all the comments pertaining to Hoopes being a secret admin have been deleted, then.
    • Apr 7 2013: Hi Aja,

      " No participants in this discussion are secret members of our moderation team. Please stay on topic"

      Now do you see how the lack of transparency distorts reality? Rather the berating the audience for having doubts, become transparent.
    • Apr 7 2013: Aja
      This forum topic itself violates TED's Terms of Use and could be removed for exactly one of the reasons you are now asking us to moderate our commentary. It's a bit disingenuous to host it and then ask people not to discuss the subject matter of the talks that caused the trouble.
    • Apr 7 2013: Then you should just switch off the system now, just to send a clear signal you do not sympathize with this.

      Also, I don't understand why you did not explain this to Professor Josephson when he repeatedly tried to connect to you.

      Why is there no whitelist, for sites that are definitely *no spam*, like TCM group? What a broken system is this?

      How long is this broken? Weeks, months? Switch it off until it can be fixed.
    • Apr 7 2013: Please also consider that your site has been hacked, if you didn't actually delete all those comments as mentioned by John Campbell . Get an expert for help, immediately.
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      Apr 7 2013: Thank you, Aja. I am not an admin on this website and I have not been deleting any posts other than my own. The only reason I delete them is to make sure they are in the right place in the thread. There have been several occasions when I inadvertently posted a reply to a comment in a way such that it appeared not as a reply but as a new comment at the top of the conversation. Other times, I mistakenly reply to a different comment thread than the one I intend. When that happens, I delete the comment from the wrong place and put it in the right place. Chris Anderson did the same thing with one of his comments in this conversation last week (which also provoked needless speculation).

      I respectfully submit that the tendency of Sandy Stone, John Campbell, and Time Walker to jump to unwarranted conclusions before they have considered and evaluated all reasonable possibilities has been a significant factor in their failure to understand TED's vigilance with respect to pseudoscience. The speed with which an unsupported theory blew up into full-fledged conspiracy theory accompanied by accusations and demands is extremely troubling and indicative of the dangers of fallacious thinking. Mobs armed with pitchforks clamoring for a lynching come to mind, which is precisely why I posted a link to this website earlier in the conversation:

      Without Sanctuary

      It is a collection of photographs of lynchings in the U.S. that were reproduced as postcards and distributed as warnings about the powers of a mob. The images are horrifying and unforgettable, but that's the point.

      People can be stupid and stupidity, especially in groups, can be dangerous.

      Thanks to you and TED staff for being both reasonable and vigilant.

      They’re selling postcards of the hanging.
      They’re painting the passports brown.
      The beauty parlor is filled with sailors.
      The circus is in town.
      -- Bob Dylan, "Desolation Row"

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