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I am polite, yet I get my post removed.

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2013

I am deeply hurt.

Looking at the thread with my posts deleted it appears I must have said something horrendous. I in fact gave a dictionary definition of a word that is continually being thrown about here by people who are unable to discuss an issue politely.

I did not say anything horrendous. I was completely polite and gave my point of view. I did not call anyone names which it seems is quite alright for people to call me. I was taught that it was wrong to call people names instead of rational discussion. Calling people names is the sign of losing an argument because there is no rational response. Now I am the one being victimized by it.

It seems that dictionary definitions are not acceptable forms of discussion and need to be deleted.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Not the only one
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Don't feel bad, there are many posters who get comments deleted. It may be something not PC, or something that could cause trouble legally for the Weekly. Who knows? Sometimes posts are not deleted for more than 24 hours, sometimes immediately.

There are some posters, one in particular comes to mind, who argue with anyone and everyone else who posts. Some try to reveal the identities of other posters. They deserve deleting. But you may have written something without realizing it offended someone.

Don't give it another thought, let it go.


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Posted by E
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

The censorship at Palo Alto Online is arbitrary. If you happen to hold an opinion that the censor does not agree with she will just axe your comment! No threat. Perhaps she should read the first amendment of the US constitution - the one about free speech. Palo Alto Online also just simply shuts down a thread - the very moment when a real topic emerges.

They just want banal platitudes about a tree being too big or a racy paint color.

Its truly shocking. Sure if you swear But if you simply criticise or comment you are axed. The New York Times censors less!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

The First Amendment has nothing to do with the PA Weekly removing posts. They're not the government. It's also not, by the same token, censorship. It's their forum, they have the right to moderate.

As for what gets removed/blocked/etc., it's not that consistent. Often I understand why, at other times, it's a bit baffling. Different moderators have different issues. I once had a reference to Michelle Rhee removed--even though she's a public figure and the matter to which I referred was publicly reported.

Sometimes I think a given moderator just gets bored with a thread and cuts it off.

Don't take it personally, Resident. I've had comments edited and threads cut off. I've also found my comments showing up in print in articles that refer to the forum. You've posted here a long time and I think you have the respect of other regulars and, I'd guess, the many lurkers.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

OhlonePar, I concur with your points, but how do you differentiate among all the people who post as "Resident", particularly those from the nebulous "another Palo Alto neighborhood"? Are all these the same person? I'll try to pay better attention to the tenor and nuance. I've had my share of posts deleted, sometimes when I just couldn't help myself from saying something too obvious, or sometimes not realizing that I am being insensitive. I most enjoy comments from people who have something constructive to say.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:45 am

musical,

There's usually a difference in capitalization and,yeah, the neighborhood ID. IDing is far from perfect though. I've thought of changing mine because I post on non-school subjects, but consistency . . .


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Posted by Nowhere Man
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

We had one poster who managed to find out the identities and addresses of some of the other posters several months ago. This poster sent Christmas cards with some very snarky greetings to these other posters, as well as to the extended family of one! There are a couple of guesses about who the perpetrator may be, but nothing definite.

However, for this reason the PAPD suggests that posters NEVER use their real names or neighborhoods. They also suggest that posters should not register, even though that means not being able to place comments after certain threads have been limited to registered users only.

Better safe than sorry.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Probably not a good idea to register to vote either. Anybody can get that public information. ;)


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Posted by stick to the facts
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm

With reradr to nowhere man's comments:

Let's get the facts straight. I already posted a version of these comments on a previous thread in which the above poster (using a different identity made the same misleading claims)

1) I discovered the identity of the poster as follows--this person wrote a letter to the local paper-the poster then copied the letter verbatim to this forum--identity known--no magic or hacking or unterior actions

2) this was the only poster that i identified (how would the above poster know if I identified other posters??? See what I mean about misleading claims)

3) I sent the poster a christmas card to say hello--nothing malicious about it--I wished the poster's many identities a happy holiday season

4) the claim that PAPD is involved is misleading--what would they be involved with? A christmas card? The PAPD does not give out the kind of advice the poster is claiming.

Why don't stick to the facts, nowhere man.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Years and years ago, in another dimension (okay Usenet), I got cyberstalked. It really only takes one nut reacting badly to make your life hell. So I don't register. It's not that I don't believe that the PA Weekly has bad intentions, it's more that there are lots of hackers out there.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for the support.

I think I have got over my initial feelings. More frustration than anything else when I see that my posts got deleted when the other posts on the thread were left intact and I couldn't do anything after the thread was closed except flag them for their objectionable content and then they were just edited in part whereas mine were deleted completely - probably just because the moderator didn't agree with them more than anything else as you suggested.

But going on from that there is some good discussion here.

Like everyone else I like to remain anonymous and although I know I'm not the only poster to use this name I don't mind because it adds to my anonimity. The fact that there may be subtle ways to see who is who is OK, because it means that someone looking into that is also actually reading and digesting my posts rather than just scanning.

Remaining anonymous is part and parcel with being able to make honest comments and post honest opinions. Knowing that I am not going to be approached when I am out and about is a bonus but protecting my family and property is my main concern.

The fact that we have secret ballots is so that we can honestly vote how we think is a similar rationale. If we had to be identified as how we vote would take away the value as many of us would vote differently if we thought there might be some retribution from those who disagreed with us.

The downside of course is that by being anonymous, many then take it that they can say things they would never say if their identities were known. It allows snide comments, vitriole and hateful language to those who don't know how to debate and listen to both sides of the issue. I acknowledge that others have different opinions and their opinions are just as valid as my own. I will read other's opinions and answer as I see fit, respecting the discussion as if we were speaking face to face (although valuing the fact that we aren't). However, there are many here who won't do that and are ruining it for all of us. It is often completely understandable why some of the threads here get locked, but often that is not the case. The moderators can of course do as they like, but it hard for those of us who are entering into civil discussion even when we have strong opinions. It is better I think though to have the moderators as otherwise this would turn into some of the other forums where civility is non-existent.

I thought initially that people who are making these uncivil comments are doing so only because they are anonymous. But, I have come to believe that is a false assumption. On reading some of the media pages on Facebook where people have to comment with their names and usually their profile pictures, it is amazing to me that they can still make hateful comments and not care anymore than they would if they were totally anonymous. I can only say from this that many people don't really care whether or not they are identifiable when they are sitting at home behind a keyboard. They will say it anyway. I can only hope that they would be more civil if it was a discussion face to face. Unfortunately, having seen snippets of shows on TV like Maury, I think that there is a certain section of the population that have absolutely no scruples whatsoever when it comes to what they will say in public, particularly if they think they will be financially rewarded for doing so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrunchyCookie
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

CrunchyCookie is a registered user.

It happens all the time; the moderators around here simply don't have much respect for free speech, and aren't very good at distinguishing what's inappropriate. It probably explains the somewhat homogenous feel to the comments on these forums.
What's even worse is when the moderators remove only a portion of your post, lessening the impact/cohesion of the rest of it. Others posters have even pointed out times when they modified the phrasing in certain posts to reduce offensiveness, which ends up putting words in the author's mouth.
Let's see how long this post lasts.


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