TED Conversations

Product Development, TED Conferences


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Do you have a suggestion for TED? Something we could do better?

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Please note: If you wish to suggest a speaker please use the following link: http://www.ted.com/nominate/speaker


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    Jun 11 2011: The act of deleting comments, you do not "like", is undemocratic, manipulative, limiting, etc.

    Many may not agree with certain positions especially about delicate, taboo, controversial subjects presented on TED or expressed in comments by some users. It is very annoying and wrong tendency to delete comments when you in TED do not share or like them.

    The voice of the "minority" or the "unorthodox thinkers" has to be heard also if TED is to be believed to uphold the values it promotes.

    Here is my proposal for TED:
    INSTEAD REPLACE THEM WITH A LINK. You might be surprised how many people would click on those links and would want to read those "condemned" comments or have something to say about them.

    "Idea WORTH spreading"??? It seems you in TED have a tight grip on what to be considered "worthy" of spreading. Why not let the people say what they really think about the ideas you present? Moderate what appears but do not Delete - let the people have the means to read, reply to, rank the "condemned" comments.
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      Jun 12 2011: I totally disagree! There are a lot of F*****-** things that people say that are not worthy of sharing. Now, you might be under the impression that the opinion you have is the correct one and what you are saying is "the truth" but that, George, is very unlikely!

      Go here to speak freely! http://www.ted.com/conversations/3273/nothing_s_off_topic.html

      Edit: have you read http://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms ?
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        Jun 13 2011: No more. TED just killed the conversation. So much for transparency and free speech.

        @Jimmy: Two days remaining. If it goes, I go.
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          Jun 14 2011: I'm sorry to hear that Tim!

          Edit: seems to be back.
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          Jun 15 2011: "@Jimmy: Two days remaining. If it goes, I go."

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          Jun 15 2011: Transparency and free speech YES!

          But slanderous statements and personal attacks NO!

          There's got to be a line somewhere.

          I was the recipient of just such attacks here in a TED conversation and it was more than offensive - it was hurtful.
          TED can be faulted for being big brother, but when it comes to personal attacks, what would you propose TED do?
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          Jun 15 2011: I am supporting Jim on this one.

          We need a balance.
          I absolutely value Tim and his contribution and it is strange that he is the one who ends up in this confrontation for I have never seen him treat anyone without consumate respect and all of his comments are on point and often deeply insightful as well. The problem is that does not apply to everyone.
          When my comments have been removed- they deserved to be in most cases.

          I am surprised that TED did not leave Tim's thread alone as it was a happy little cul de sac for people - it was tactically a poor manoever but TED has to have the right to prevent threads from dissolving into chaos.
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          Jun 15 2011: Can we request that there be a review of the terms and agreement policy and that we, the users, have input? I really do think the process would benefit from a more formal review. For our part, if as a group we formulated new guidelines we think would be more fair for removal of a comment?
          It may not satisfy everyone's every wish, but it likely will result in something better than what we are tied to now.
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          Jun 16 2011: this^^
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          Jun 16 2011: EA

          5.TED is seeking to foster a grown-up conversation about ideas that matter. When conversing with other members, engage in a reasoned exchange of ideas -- avoiding flaming, name-calling, obscenities and insults.
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          Jun 16 2011: Well Kathy,
          I have to admit that I have read some things in the last day or so that have shocked me and are causing me to rethink my position.
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          Jun 18 2011: TED is not about free speech. It's about spreading ideas "they" agree on. We should be aware of it, accept it, or refrain from posting. I do enjoy some of TED's contents but I do not share the "pedestal" statues some users seem to have given to the brand name. When you look at the speakers, it is quiet clear the direction TED is moving forward to, and it ain't free-speech. Some speakers are in fact invited for their notoriety rather than for the content of their speech. It's a shame that in many cases, the speakers are people that have more than one platform to express their ideas/interests to the masses. TED should allow more "out of the dark" speakers, and focus more on the life's experience of the speaker rather than on their academical bureaucracy or the amount of books they have published; or even worst, their celebrity statues.
      • Jun 14 2011: They may not be worth sharing, but certainly they're not worth censoring. Mr Spilkov presents a seemingly perfect solution.
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        Jun 14 2011: @Birdia: They apparently decided it wasn't serving their interests.
        • Jun 15 2011: Hi all -- the purpose of TED Conversations is to provide a deeper and wider discussion amongst the TED community, to hear voices and meet people that you otherwise wouldn't have interacted with; there is no 'interests' that are being served. The Admins don't have an agenda they are serving besides doing their best to host engaging and productive conversations.

          Every single comment doesn't need to be perfectly on topic, but if you want an example for the reasoning behind comment removal, take a look at this very sub-thread within the suggestions thread. It has grown with many topics that I myself might consider off-topic to a point that suggestions for TED.com are being pushed down 'below the fold' and those users aren't getting their voices heard. In my opinion, off-topic comments and sub-threads provide a barrier to the original poster's discussion and have the potential to derail entire conversations.
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        Good one Jimmy! But you know there are certain causes which justify martyrdom. Free speech is one of them.
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          Jun 15 2011: Yeah, I know Tim.
          Talk to the admins, I really think you guys can come to a solution that works for all!
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        Jun 15 2011: Jim Moonan: RE: "I was the recipient of just such attacks here in a TED conversation and it was more than offensive - it was hurtful."

        Don't take it seriously Jim. Here on TED conversations I've been called an ignorant stalking rapist. Actually, I wish that comment wasn't deleted. It was really pretty comical.
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          Jun 15 2011: Really?! It's re-assuring to hear that coming from you... the attack on me felt more outrageous and sinister than comical. But if it were to happen again I suppose my skin is thicker now. It happened while I was rather new to the TED conversations and I was frozen by it because I think of TED as being a place were that kind of behavior is non-existent. But now I know it's not...
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          Jun 15 2011: tim, birdia, teach me how to get that kind of hate mail. i always get boring attacks only.
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          Jun 15 2011: I'm in good company then…

          But I don't think this is about what we get in terms of hateful, slanderous personal emails. We have protection against that if we want. We can protect our privacy as many do in this forum.

          What I think this is about is what the limits are to free speech in this public forum. Are there any??? I totally agree that TED needs to take a hard look at their rationale for removing comments and take what so many of us are calling for seriously. It is in the spirit of what is best about TED to do so.

          There's a music artist I enjoy that I think is a genuine musical genius and from time to time I find something on youtube by him and his band. The comments left are often supportive, but it's not unusual for ignorant, vicious people to spew their racist, bigoted, hate-filled venomous beliefs as well. My point is that’s apparently ok to a large degree on youtube – although there are times when the entire comment stream has been disabled and I assume that the speech got too far out of hand even that forum.

          But this is TED. I have been following this conversation closely enough to know that I may have to re-adjust my understanding of what TED conversations are and are not, but for now at least I see this forum as something of a safe-haven from that very small element of people that are so common across the internet... Is removing that type of comment so bad? Doesn’t removing that type of comment re-confirm who we are as a group?? A diverse group, but a respectful group as well.

          Btw, I'm always up for a good argument (Kristian, we have one going right now and your not playing fair). It's half the reason why I enjoy TED conversations.
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    • Jun 12 2011: I totaly agree with you sir:)
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      Jun 12 2011: I disagree with George.

      TED Conversations is not just another bulletin board. Here admins must delete comments to maintain the standard and most importantly the mere goal of this online conversation project.
      And in the conversations terms there are few adjectives repeated: mature, constructive, civil, relevant
      So, anything that does not comply with these adjectives should be removed.

      And radical openness in discussions never leads to anything constructive, even in your everyday meetings, you may try, it always leads to chaos and talking in vain for hours.
      • Jun 13 2011: Realy, here are some people who are very sophisticated radical and nobody deletes them. I believe that i have any rights to say when in disagree whit somebody, and not being deleted
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      Jun 12 2011: This would allow people to see who posts these uncouth comments so as to know if they the would like to engage these posters in other conversations.
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      • Jun 13 2011: I'd so red flag you right now, haha.
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        Jun 13 2011: I agree with that suggestion Birdia. The report of abuse can be misused
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          Jun 13 2011: I disagree with Birdia. Personally, I wouldn't use the flag feature if my name was showing up next to the flag. Besides, flagging a post doesn't automatically mean it will be deleted, just that the staff will look into it. A certain degree of anonymity is necessary to protect those who report abuse. I also can't quite imagine a mature community like the TED community would abuse the flag system. Don't tell me I'm wrong! :)
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          Jun 13 2011: How about having the option to put your name next to the flag?
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          Jun 13 2011: I like the system the way it is, it allows me to express what I like without having to explain myself why I like a controversial comment or why in one talk I agree with x and in another talk, I disagree with a similar opinion (I'm not talking about flagging it). I like the fact that I can raise my thumb for a comment which I find inspiring. I don't care much about my credit, but I like being identified as a translator. It motivates me to think twice about what I write.
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        Jun 13 2011: Ok then - you are not right :)

        You can't quite imagine a mature community like the TED community would abuse the flag system but what about imagining a mature community like the TED community would abuse the terms? If you can imagine that then perhaps you could imagine the latter also.
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        Jun 16 2011: I agree the red flags should appear in the conversation..maybe even with a counter so the commenter knows how many have taken issue.

        Since Red flags are invisible at the moment we can't know which are pending PED review. So as far as I know we have no knowlledge on the pattern of use of red flags.

        We only get to see the outcome , a notice "this post was removed by admin".

        In the few conversations I have been involved in I have never once seen a comment removed by admin that was simply an opposing view point. That is simply not a a truthful portrayal, Birdia, of what I have seen.
        In every case it has been about removing inapparopriate comments by members that breech the terms of use agreement. In one conversation sveral members got into a bitter relentless personal harangue with one another right in the middle of a conversation on transforamtive expetreiences, of all things. The moderator repeatedly asked them to stop. They continued really ruining the whole conversation. By the time admin removed all the posts it was too late.the entire conversation was ruined. That was the most dramatic one I have witnessed. Same people involved in all the others i have seen. Same issues..

        I have not personally ever ever ever seen deletion of a comment that is simply expressing a different opinion. That is simpy not a true statement from my observations.
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          Jun 16 2011: I can vouch for this statement:

          "I have not personally ever ever ever seen deletion of a comment that is simply expressing a different opinion. That is simpy not a true statement from my observations."
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        Jun 16 2011: I think the flags should be visible and that there should be a counter so the commenter has a sense of how a comment is received by the community

        .I am all for transparency. I think TED's guidance to "abusers" should appear publicly right in the context of the conversation. That way we would all learn. And that would certainly curb these tedenciesand self correct our community..

        .Didn't there used to be at thumbs down? Maybe that should be bright back?

        In another conversation I just saw three thumbs up on a comment that suggested that the appropriate response to a statement that "The holocause was a lie" is to present videos and documentation that holocaust did actuially happen if you disagree.

        Is red flagging a statement that " the holocaustis a lie" suppressing opinion? censorhip?

        I think not.

        In some parts of the world that is actually a crime. All over the wolrd in civilized and intelligent compamy that kind of thing just isn't said

        There are myths being spread here about censorship and repression and manipulation that really don't tell the underlying story. These are just the wounded little boys and girls who through rocks through the window and then wailed when they were caught.

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