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A Conversation on the TED Terms of Use.

I'd like to have an open conversation about the terms of use here on TED.

It's obvious to anyone here that has read them that they either aren't enforced or are no longer applicable.

WE NEED CLARIFICATION, but first a conversation to get the best and brightest ideas in here.

"TERMS OF USE
Welcome to the online TED.com community!

1.This website is provided as a public service to promote the spread of good ideas. It welcomes anyone willing to join us in this pursuit.
2.You are encouraged to view as many TED Talks as you wish for free, and to share what you learn with others both online and offline.
3.Anyone 13 and over can join TED.com by providing basic contact information (first and last name, email address, country of residence). Once registered, please feel free to set up a profile and join the community in rating and commenting on TED Talks, participating in conversations, translating TED Talks, or by getting involved in a local independently organized TEDx event.
4.By inviting you to participate in TED Talk comments and TED Conversations, we are seeking to build a mature online community centered around ideas that matter. Please be aware, when participating, that we will remove:
*content promoting pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, zealotry, proselytizing, *self-promotion, product-hawking, and new-age fluff
*content written in txtspeak, all-caps, or otherwise lazy grammar
*content posted by members using joke names or non-names
*disrespectful, distasteful, unconstructive, or illegal content
5.If you are under the age of 13, you may not create a TED.com account. You're welcome to watch TED Talks and enjoy the site, but you need to be at least 13 to create an account on TED.com.
6.If you act disrespectfully, disruptively or illegally on TED.com, we reserve the right to terminate your membership, at any time, and without prior warning."

Topics: TED Terms of use
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    Dec 10 2013: It seems to me you're correct in your proposition that the TED Terms of Use are pretty much redundant and need to be redrafted. The problem however is that an accurate redraft would ask some fundamental questions concerning the purpose of TED and what it professes to represent.

    Over the past few years that I've been watching TED talks, I've noticed a sort of accelerating evolution through various paradigms; from modernist, through post modernist to what may only be called post-postmodernist. It's no real suprise, this is how society itself has evolved as a result of the crowd's importance in generating its own cultural artifacts (and ideas).

    What we see is a move away from the audience as recipient and critic of an author's originality (in terms of knowledge and ideas and viewpoint) to the audience as joint author.

    There are some benefits to this paradigm, but along with the benefits we also gain the disadvantages of banality and vacuity. We're only shown what we already know, originality and rigour are superceded by consensus and what used to be called groupthink.

    As a result "pseudo-science" is only pseudo-science if the vocal/active members of the community don't choose to recognise it as science. "new-age fluff" is only such if we don't choose to adopt it as a new "philosophy for the digital age".

    There isn't actually any requirement for logical or academic rigour either. If anyone should have the temerity to seriously test any theory or "novel" idea , they are simply rebuffed by the majority on the basis that they don't "get it".

    As for the conversation forums, a simple strategy for collecting badges is not to attempt to contribute in any meaningful way, just the word "awesome" posted as many times as your sanity will cope with, is sufficient to get you as many "likes" as you need.

    So yes, a new set of Terms is required, but if they were actually designed to represent the values of TED and its audience, the website strapline may need changing too.
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      Dec 10 2013: Stephen, you make several excellent points. I suspect that there have been rigorous-thinking science-minded people who have moved on because they find there to be too much pseudoscience and "new age" discussion here for their tastes. Their departure, as well as the reluctance of those who remain to engage on the subject, makes it less likely that ideas in this area, when they arise, are subjected to a good critical airing. On the other hand, I suspect there have been people who have left because they believe the site provides inadequate opportunity to discuss and promote New Age ideas, which they believe to be a new and rigorous science about which scholarly science is in denial.

      Do you see a way for the community to solve this problem constructively as a community rather than leaving it to the small staff that moderates?
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        Dec 10 2013: Don't we want the intelligentsia here? If TED has to choose, the choice should be clear.

        But I really recommend TED Conversations adopting most of Reddit, it's something that works, promotes really good content and allows free speech.
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          Dec 10 2013: My question to Stephen was in part whether there is a way to be a broad community where everyone can learn and from which everyone can benefit rather than one that selects one population and rejects another. There is at least an opportunity for bringing together in discourse people of diverse experience and education who can increase everyone's level of understanding.

          There is, I think, a public interest in such an undertaking. I see TED as an important resource for continuing education and for filling in gaps in what people have had the opportunity to learn elsewhere. There is an important opportunity to shed light on assumptions and on misconceptions.

          But I want to hear Stephen's perspective also.
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        Dec 11 2013: Yes Stephen, we'd both appreciate a response when you read this.

        Fritzie, I do not wish to reject anyone...

        But since we don't have free speech here it's obvious that some opinions aren't allowed, and if we have to choose... Suggestions for making it a better community have been made thousands of times in hundreds of ways by TEDsters...

        I was able to assess some of my frustrations, maybe it'll help you understand me better... Scroll down a bit http://www.reddit.com/r/TEDconversations/comments/1saz8l/is_ted_invaded_by_lobbyists/
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          Dec 11 2013: I read it and have also read your presentation of the same ideas here over the months.

          I remember Ladan's thread. It drew a lot of response, which suggests to me that people still had things to say on her question. I wouldn't have interpreted running the new thread as meaning the old wouldn't be read, though. Just because TED staff doesn't comment doesn't mean they are not reading!

          As I expressed elsewhere, I don't think the deletion of comments is because an opinion is not allowed, other than a sales pitch. I would guess most of the deletions that are not of spambots are about name-calling and over-the-top rudeness. So it isn't the opinion but how it is expressed

          Thread openings are a little different. Right now, for example, you have three threads open simultaneously, I think. If I were an admin approving threads, I would probably prefer not to have any one person running much more than that at a time. In fact, I could see limiting people to one at a time if they are getting more threads proposed than they think the site can accommodate at once, given limits on people's time and attention.
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      Dec 10 2013: Thank you Stephen,

      And I completely agree that it would ask the fundamental question of TED's purpose. That's a question that I've been trying to ask for years, and it's been a battle I can tell you that.

      Pabitra pointed out that he was surprised that they'd even allow this conversation, something that they've been reluctant to do for a long time.

      I agree with everything you say.
      And I wish that the organization TED would have values of TED...
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    Dec 10 2013: I haven't submitted that many conversations to have any rejected... yet.
    But, I have had comments removed...

    Maybe I was a little harsh on a proselytizing zealot who was distasteful and unconstructive... at least in my opinion. It would have interesting to know what I said that was so unacceptable as a matter of self introspective.
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    Dec 10 2013: Jimmy, I am certainly not without blame. I have submitted conversations that were dear to me ... not really in line with the rules of TED. Most of the time TED sends me a "NO WAY" notice. However, I have seen the same topic posted another time ... I think that different people have the go ahead key and they do not use the same criteria.

    When TED reformatted they ask for reviews and recommendations. I ask them to make a name and a country a requirement .. as stated in rules #3 and 4 ... not long ago we had a person who had a number of sign on names and violated almost every rule ... he would just change names and have another go. There are ways of identifying these people. I ask TED to monitor for those specific abuses. By the way he is back under a new name but the same MO.

    I also ask for a box in the flag area for a brief explanation of why I flagged this reply, and for a direct line to contact TED to address grievances or to notify them of system issues ... such as the long term down time of the recent commenters box about 6 months ago.

    I have eaten crow many times for putting something out that was not factual ... I found out later. I do try to check sources but even creditable sources put out garbage .... still my bad. I use the National debit clock as a reference for all numbers ... straight from the government ... should be accurate .... however if you look at it it has two unemployment figures .... official unemployed and actual unemployed ... so I will be wrong to at least half of the readers while using the same source. LOL.

    You and I have both agreed and disagreed on many items as long time users of TED ... but always with respect and with regard to the rules. Thank you.

    As for grammar .... I would not hold this to rigid ... I only speak one language (sort of) and have great respect for those of other languages who use English to the best of their ability ... take this one easy.

    See Ya. Bob.
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      Dec 11 2013: Bob, your first paragraph!
      This is what humans feel most strongly about, unfair treatment, it sucks!

      Most sites today usually tracr IP to prevent this abuse of multiple accounts... sometimes i wonder what the T in TED stands for...

      I've also suggested this improvement, and I've seen others do it many times... TED Improvements is sadly something that I don't want to get into on TED.com... Lastly I tried "The Great TED Conversation" http://www.ted.com/conversations/18816/the_great_ted_conversation.html and that will be my last attempt at discussing those kinds of things on TED more thoroughly.

      I too have deserved censorship (under the terms, I'm for free speech) at times, so I fully understand.

      Grammer isn't my idea, I think it shouldn't be in the terms.

      Yeah, see ya Bob!
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    Jan 1 2014: Hi Jimmy
    To start with , I see a number of posts here already deleted, don't know which terms applied here , curious I am , do you know ?
    Agree with many here about grammar , as someone naive like me whose mother tongue is non English can be penalized.
    Other point about "disrespectful" "distasteful" ness is these are ideas, those at times have got lot cultural biases...so which culture are referred here while applying those , need to have some clarity .....
    With the point of "illegal" I am more scared.....as in the history of mankind many times innovative thinking had been considered to be illegal......
    Freedom of speech is my preference but I also observed how this being misused , abused by even Main Stream Media...so don't know how to ensure it...!!!
    It's really good to find here in your discussion that second innings of my good friend Pabitra is going well..... :)
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      Jan 1 2014: Salim,

      The posts that were deleted was in fact an account that was removed and therefore all of the comments made by that account. He was causing great mayhem here at TED, deemed by me and others to be a very sophisticated troll, simply here to cause maximum disruption. So the deleted comments are according to me totally fair.

      Now about grammar, disrespectful, distasteful. I fully agree with your points. Some will try to justify this by saying that "they are only enforced when necessary" which is to say nothing except that Admin is free to do as they wish.

      Illegal is also a really weird term. I'm guessing that it's for legal reasons somehow, but if TED intended to protect itself legally with a good user agreement the Terms is really not even close to enough as they are, so that's just silly according to me. It also does not state which laws we have to follow, is it US law? it probably is since the Sapling Foundation is located in the US but still. There are just so many crazy laws in every country and if we would have to abide to all of them we'd have nothing to say at all. And I don't want to abide to US law, I'm Swedish and have some great disgust for the US legal system (as I have for my own legal system).

      Did you notice how everyone here only criticized what is in the Terms, not what may be missing.

      All in all it's very poorly written document, if you can even call it that.

      I too am a great proponent for freedom of speech, there was a time when I thought that content curation was needed here but I've outgrown that.

      The thing is that we can never be free from obscenities, instead we should put systems into place to ensure that that is still something that you can write but that people won't have to read unless specifically asking to do so.

      Reddit has a very evolved system for this kind of self policing, where things that are downvoted much are hidden and something that you are warned about before expanding to read that comment. I'm out of characters...
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        Jan 2 2014: Thanks Jimmy for the background about the deleted posts......though it's sad but I have to agree with your comment as you said "The thing is that we can never be free from obscenities"...

        My feeling is whenever innovation happens, even law of most developed country can't embrace it immediately until it evolves. Law never ever can drive innovation rather innovation all the time drove law to change or evolve. ....i.e. well known Galileo case...

        It's sounds Reddit have done good work about self policing or self censorship...thanks for your information, will check your link
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      Jan 1 2014: THIS is how a conversation between a company and it's community should be with regards to User Agreement.

      http://en.reddit.com/r/blog/comments/1sndxe/weve_rewritten_our_user_agreement_come_check_it/

      Reddit is just really wonderful! Notice that you only get to see the 200 most upvoted comments out of 2500 by default. It's a really good way of creating the best content.
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    Dec 11 2013: I agree with "unconstructive". "Let no man ignorant of geometry enter here", was on Plato's mat. It meant that there is no point in discussing with someone who can't reason one's way out of a wet paper bag.
    But who cares about "disrespectful and distasteful" content? This should be removed. I'm tired of all the "how do you promote education?", the "let's have more empathy", the "spread ideas" peace and love and political correctness. We need more wicked questions asked, and I personnally need a lot of answers to my own. We need infuriating debates, stick it right where it hurts.

    Strange that one can't talk about illegal content, too. I understand that my atempt to discuss eating our dead was dumb, but it got refused on the grounds that consuming dead human flesh was a crime (even though there is no victim). Funny to pull the "illegal content" card on such an obviously stupid idea.

    With all that said, I know how hard it is to keep this forum as intellectually clean as it is. And if having most of the questions that keep me awake at night unanswered is the price to pay for this tidiness, then so be it. But it's still worth asking whether it actually is.
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    Dec 10 2013: I would like to ask the readers of this conversation to post new comment regarding the Terms of Use for TED. I enjoy the in-depth conversations but I'd really like some new viewpoints on this.
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    Dec 9 2013: Jimmy,
    This is a very interesting topic for conversation. I wish you good luck.
    Have you seen TED terms of use for conversation during 2011 (between February to May to be precise) ? There used to be 11 terms of use. That page has been changed and now they have 6 terms of use. Things got better.
    This is my second stint in TED. I once left TED for those old set of terms of use, particularly term no. 8 that read : TED reserves the right to remove any conversations, comments or content from the site, for any reason and without prior warning.
    I always prefer to interact with users with real sounding names and some basic info in a profile. That's my personal preference. But pseudo names is not an issue for me as long as those are not disrespectful parodies of others or hurtful in any way..
    13 year clause is a disclaimer basically since many of the topics are not suited for minors.
    TED's stand is not against discussing topics bordering on pseudo science and the lot but apparently against promoting those.
    I am sure these terms of use can be modified to be even better. But I think TED is open to that idea now. Staff and monitoring are an issue - they run it free so yes may be they cannot enforce some rules. But at least they have thought better not to 'direct' the conversations now.
    Do they mean words like gre8 or ROFL or U etc. by txtspeak? I can live with LOL, particularly when Colleen uses it :) For no clear reason I think all caps indicates a person is shouting at me - so don't like it. Can't be too strict on grammar, I am a non-native user of English.
    I agree that the terms of use should be clarified, but I won't demand it.
    All the best for TED.
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      Dec 9 2013: I actually think that I've been damaged by the early rules, either there's something wrong with me and I don't get what's really allowed and what's not anymore. Or nobody cares and everything is just done on random by the admins.

      Over the years I've had so many conversations removed, to then be allowed back and featured, I've had conversations totally wrecked by the admins to then go back and restore some of it.

      I FEAR the admin hammer and I don't know which rules apply,if I did I could follow them and I wouldn't have to tip-toe. Well, I'm not tip-toeing anymore, now I'm just really testing the bounds to try to understand what's allowed and not since I've been away for a while. But this testing may get me deleted from TED and that would be such a shame since I'm kind of leaving this as my diary for when I die.
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        Dec 10 2013: I went through all those Jimmy. Moreover, I experienced people ganging over on me, trying to steal away the relevance of a topic by posting super lengthy sugar coated vitriol etc. I am sorry for you. But in my second innings in TED my experience is better.

        One lesson I learnt that TED is not a platform for free speech. There is a limit here about to what extent an user can take liberty of proposing a subject of discussion.

        I know very good members from TED leaving and creating their own discussion forum. It is really a shame if users here have to be scared or limited while exchanging their ideas. That's not an idea worth spreading.

        However, it is interesting to see your topic getting approved by the Admin. That's something positive.
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      Dec 9 2013: Oh and I think rule 8 still applies...

      Maybe TED is open to that Idea now, well see in the near future.

      And I'm not making any demands either, that would be weird... But rules is what makes a community function, and it's all in the details...
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      Dec 9 2013: Yeah, so either take the rule away or enforce it, right?
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          Dec 9 2013: I'm not sure how long you've been around here Jason but "thriving" is certainly not a word I would use for TED Conversations...

          There seems to be less and less content all the time, and less diverse conversations.
          You know there used to be 2 featured pages, and most of those conversations had many hundreds of comments. Today we average at not even 100.

          And if you've ever had a conversation denied or removed to find that one just like it was allowed before and after you, you'd feel differently.
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          Dec 10 2013: I agree that perhaps the badges aren't that good for the community, but I must say that in the beginning it motivated me to participate more.
          I haven't seen the group mentality anymore then I do on other places and I haven't heard of many leaving because of it. I have however known many TEDsters who've been more or less forced to leave because they didn't agree with the admins way of moderating...
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          Dec 10 2013: Well, yes. On TED you have to learn how to behave in a certain way. Although I'm not surprised that you feel this way as you're philosophical viewpoints don't really go hand in hand with the TED-spirit.

          I have contact outside of TED with many that have left, and they are mostly for the reasons i give.

          By your measurement TED is unsuccessful, and I agree. Many TEDsters stayed and fought for a year or two, until they were finally defeated... They made great contributions and were very active and TED has lost most of it's greatest members through the years as I see it.

          How do you suggest this broadening take place?
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          Dec 10 2013: I actually think that we're both right now, we're just seeing our own part of it... So many issues... How do we solve them?
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    Dec 9 2013: Hi, I think yours are good. However, I have a question, how do you confirm every person's age is no younger than 13? Especially for the foreigners?
  • Dec 9 2013: Jimmy,
    I suspect that these forums aren't regularly or aggressively patrolled by the moderators.
    I'd recommend that if you see a post that does violate the terms of service, flag the post.
    That doesn't necessarily mean the post gets deleted or the author gets banned.
    Flagging a post just alerts the powers that be that there may be an issue.

    At least, that's how I THINK it works...
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      Dec 9 2013: Hey Kevin,

      Yes, the TED Admin team is quite small and they lack most resources. And If I find grave violations I often flag them.

      The problem as I see it is that the code of conduct is very unclear, what's allowed and what's not?

      If we look at point 4 ".By inviting you to participate in TED Talk comments and TED Conversations, we are seeking to build a mature online community centered around ideas that matter. Please be aware, when participating, that we will remove:
      *content promoting pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, zealotry, proselytizing, *self-promotion, product-hawking, and new-age fluff
      *content written in txtspeak, all-caps, or otherwise lazy grammar
      *content posted by members using joke names or non-names
      *disrespectful, distasteful, unconstructive, or illegal content"

      This is basically all the rules for TED conversations, there used to be one in there saying that "conversations must be good for the community as a whole" but that's gone now for instance.

      So let's talk about "*content promoting pseudo-science, conspiracy theories, zealotry, proselytizing, *self-promotion, product-hawking, and new-age fluff"

      Over and over we see content promoting pseudo-science here on TED, often disguised as questions or debates, here's a search I did for Intelligent design, many of the results clearly promote pseudo-science. http://www.ted.com/conversations/search?type=keyword&cat=convos&term=intelligent+design&submit=Go
      And many of those conversations have even been featured.

      Now that's just pseudo-science, don't even get me started on new-age fluff, zealotry or conspiracy theories.

      "*content written in txtspeak, all-caps, or otherwise lazy grammar"
      This is a guideline that is actually followed quite good on TED, but I really disagree with the lazy grammar here since many TEDsters don't know correct grammar, they should not be expected to use it if they barley know English and should not risk censoring because of it.

      And I'm out of characters.
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        Dec 9 2013: I cannot imagine a post has ever been removed for grammatical errors. Many posts contain grammatical errors.
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        Dec 9 2013: I can see why a site would limit abbreviations if it wants to have a broad base of participation across cultures and age groups.
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          Dec 10 2013: I too can see that, but what I do see is also people from a broad base across cultures and age groups use abbreviations on a day to day basis.
          I think that TED somehow thinks that it's online audience is it's academic speakers that won't touch something that isn't properly written. I think that not being allowed to use abbreviations makes TED look like it's not part of the internet.

          So people go "what, I can't say LOL or ROFL, you mean I actually have to write hahaha... I'm not doing that"... I'm not suggesting that we open up for everything that's on http://www.internetslang.com/ but maybe TED could make a list of 20 abbreviations or something... It' would also be like an internet school for those who are unfamiliar...
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        Dec 10 2013: I would only be guessing about that homework thread.

        One possibility is that the Terms of Use do not actually say you can't seek help on homework here. I think it doesn't serve a student for people to do a person's homework for the student, but I think there is little harm in giving the sort of advice a parent might give if a kid were seeming stuck.

        In contrast, when a student posts an examination question which is clearly recognizable as such, I think it gets deleted pretty quickly. Even if an essay exam is "open book," TED Conversations is clearly not a setting that makes it possible or likely that the test-taker will be citing someone else's idea in the paper .Exam guidelines with respect to plagiarism surely cannot encourage lifting ideas from people without attribution.

        Another possible explanation is that the moderators may get many more flagged comments than any of us realize and that the team struggles to get through them all. Some conversations yield many more flags than others, so during some periods things might fall through the cracks.

        I am only speculating on this.
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          Dec 10 2013: So am I... And I really have the need to know because I'm wondering why some conversations are allowed and some are not...

          Every time I see one of these, I get the feeling that I'm being unfairly treated, because I've had so many conversations turned down or deleted that would really serve as good conversations for TED Conversations.
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      Dec 9 2013: Moving on.

      "*content posted by members using joke names or non-names" THIS, I've seen an explosion of lately.
      But more importantly, why not let them? TED doesn't wan't to put the manpower into monitoring this, and some names that may not seem like names, could very well be that
      .
      "*disrespectful, distasteful, unconstructive, or illegal content"

      Once again, on what grounds? Is me claiming that there is no God disrespectful? Is talking about how marijuana affects the brain unconstructive on a conversation asking why it's illegal?
      What is bad taste? Seriously, WHAT THE HELL IS BAD TASTE?

      And Illegal...? I'm guessing that we all have to follow US law here, because basically everything is illegal in one place or another.

      And that's just some of my issues with point 4. I haven't even begun to ADD point's that might be needed to make the Terms of Use better...

      Any thoughts?
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        Dec 9 2013: I don't think that on a site like this claiming there is no God is disrespectful. Being rude to someone because she is religious is disrespectful, in my opinion.

        Talking about how marijuana affects the brain, particularly if such statements are supported by links to reliable evidence, is obviously constructive in a conversation about why marijuana is illegal in most places.

        I think you are right that the words "bad taste" are ambiguous. I interpreted it as a euphemism for vulgar speech- "potty talk" and so forth.
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        Dec 10 2013: I couldn't say, but I haven't seen such comments deleted, so I assume so. Further, we have TED speakers who in their talks state they do not believe in God.

        The curation standard for the talks is, of course, much higher than the standard here.

        What I see deleted are over-the-top rude stuff, spam, and sometimes extra identities of a single individual.
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          Dec 10 2013: I really feel the need to point this out Fritzie "What I see deleted"... Do you have admin access?

          I'd like to compile all my emails ever with TED so that you'd get the idea of what actually gets censored, it's been soo much for me and more often then not it's been the admins bad.

          Because what you see deleted... well... do you understand what I'm saying?
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        Dec 10 2013: May I ask why "hahaha" is not good? I feel it's much more lively and natural than "LOL"... I never use "LOL". But if there's some sound reason, I 'll reconsider it. In China, we use "hahaha".:)
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          Dec 10 2013: Well, for many (about half it seems) using "haha" is just not the way you do it. Here's a vote with comments which explains why: http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/f36/haha-vs-lol-228150/

          Note that this is from Social-anxiety-support.com, it matters to people.

          Now this is just one example of abbreviations that many prefer. Mostly I think my problem is that TED has decided that this should be a place for the ones who don't speak text at all, like that would bring more intellectuals somehow... It doesn't...
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        Dec 10 2013: When I say "what I see deleted", I mean only that I might notice posts on a thread and then later see them gone. Sometimes I see people "going at each other" in a personal way and then a couple of days later, those comments are gone.

        Or, particularly in the comments on talks rather than in conversations, almost every day there are posts in which someone expresses surprise that her neighbor's mother has earned x amount of money working from home and a link. Those last a few hours, maybe, and then are gone.

        You are right that I don't have any sort of comprehensive picture of what is deleted. I do not know which posts people are flagging or how much flagging is going on of posts. I have no idea.

        The posts of mine that have been deleted have all but once been cases in which the message I get says, "Sorry, your comment was deleted because the comment you are responding to was deleted."

        I once had a comment deleted that was not a full sentence. But when I asked why it was deleted, I was told it was an error and the comment was put back. Since then, I have used only full sentences, in case form of response might trigger something automatic.

        Are you sure the comments you have had deleted were not cases of being kind of rude to someone?
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          Dec 10 2013: Yes, full blown fight's should be deleted and I think that I've had two or three of those in my three years here (I'm really curious, how long have you been here?).

          Spam is spam, I always flag that in Talks since it's where it shows up.

          Well here's the semantics thing again "kind of rude", or simply honest. Like the time when I said that religious people are GENERALLY stupid, really rude (to those offended) but also really true, and I did provide evidence (and it wasn't deleted)... There are some truths that are simply offensive, and I don't feel like sugarcoating it all that much.
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          Dec 10 2013: I just got two deletions, according to the old rules I TOTALLY agree that those should be removed, but not with the current ones, could you explain why they were deleted, citing the Terms of use.

          Mail1: "Dear Jimmy Strobl,

          We're sorry. Your comment has been removed according to the TED.com Terms of Use: http://www.ted.com/termsofuse

          Want to rephrase your comment?

          Rejoin the conversation: http://www.ted.com/conversations/21561/why_is_marijuana_illegal_1.html

          Sincerely,
          The TED Conversations Team

          Full Text: Yes, of course.

          And if there was no God I'd go about raping and killing everything."

          Mail2 " Dear Jimmy Strobl,

          We're sorry, but we need you to stay on topic as you chime in on conversations, or consider starting a new topic of your own. The full text of your comment is included below, please let us know if you have any questions.



          Want to rephrase your comment? Rejoin the conversation: http://www.ted.com/conversations/21561/why_is_marijuana_illegal_1.html

          Start a new Conversation: http://www.ted.com/conversations


          Sincerely,
          The TED Conversations Team

          Full Text: THIS!


          EDIT: Okay, Mail1 is clearly "distasteful"... If we're part of the no cussing club...
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        Dec 10 2013: Thx a lot! I've also found other interesting things in western style of building a thread now. hehehe...
        I hope here we can start a discussion like that style too( a poll with voluntary comments), I guess here people can't use animation emoticon in order to make it more serious and rational. In China, we also use lots of animation emoticons.
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          Dec 10 2013: It's been requested more than once that we have more options then plain text, but TED has decided to keep it as dumb as plain as possible... Just having the BOLD option would be a really great improvement... But no...
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        Dec 10 2013: So you said that religious people were generally stupid and that wasn't deleted? That seems like evidence that the moderators aren't jumping at the chance to delete things that might offend others in your conversation about God.

        You wrote "THIS!" and it was deleted. Out of context it doesn't convey meaning, so I don't think anyone could guess what was going on. The admin's suggestion was to rephrase. Did you go back and add a few more words?

        I think you could ask administrators about the other post. I can see why someone might have flagged it to them for their review. But only the admins can tell you their thinking.

        I have participated pretty much exactly two years, i think. So I don't think there have been changes in the terms of use since I have been here.
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          Dec 10 2013: Well I backed it by links to evidence showing the correlation between religiosity and intelligence...
          I'm not saying that they jump on everything, I'm saying that it's inconsequential and you never know what might happen because of that... Makes you jumpy around here...

          I have asked the admins, waiting for a response.

          But after talking it out with you, I see it... But it was never clear to me from the start and I'm reading this over and over again and I'm not that much of a moron, there must be something else that's amiss...
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        Dec 10 2013: I think, Jimmy,that you often add a lot of value to threads about policy issues when you are here. I don't actually get why you are jumpy. What risk do you see to yourself?

        I agree you are an intelligent person. It makes me wonder whether your fear or jumpiness is a projection from some other setting in your life, or some other time, and that you might want to confront that and let it go. You are older and wiser now, liked and valued. (I am not asking or prying. I just suggest you think about whether there is something outside of this setting going on).

        The way I think of it, in TED Conversations you can add pretty much anything you like to a conversation as long as you aren't deliberately mean to other people and you don't sell things.

        For a lot of people, their workplaces have similar common sense boundaries that aren't even specifically articulated.
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          Dec 10 2013: I don't think it has much to do with something other in my life Fritzie, but I can understand that psychoanalysis. I think I got damaged by one (don't know who) admin once who really didn't like me... Perhaps that's over now but the scars remain here...