New Additions to the Code of Honor -- Let's Try This Again

The Newsvine Blog Cyborg apparently needs to write with a little more clarity. Let's try this again:

1. Newsvine will be updating the Code of Honor shortly.

2. If you, as an upstanding member of the Newsvine community, have a suggestion for something you'd like added to the CoH, please post it below in the comments.

3. Please use the comment thread below for the posting of actual suggested additions to the CoH (not feature requests, debates about the nature of debates, etc).

4. Please keep all suggested additions to 1-3 sentences so as to keep each CoH tenet brief, readable, and free of complication.

5. Feel free to comment on other peoples' suggestions, but each top-level comment should be an actual suggested addition to the CoH.

The Newsvine Blog Cyborg apologizes for any confusion caused by its imprecise previous blog entry.

Discuss this post

Jump to discussion page: 1 2 3

Don't poison the well.

A first comment which invokes an imagined negative response does little to encourage civil debate.

  • 24 votes
#1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:54 PM EST

Part of this, of course, is not providing something for passionate debaters to latch onto, when leaving comments. If you have a point to make, make it. Leave out the vague assertions that everyone on the other side is childish. Leave out the aside about being "above politics because people are usually so hateful -- but here's my controversial take anyway."

Every aspect of a comment should be fair game for criticism and rebuttal, and no one should be faulted for choosing to focus on one specific snarky comment, ignoring other valid aspects of the comment. If people are constantly taken to task for small portions of comments -- and don't like it -- people should consider sticking to the points they really want to address.

This is a form of drive-by flaming, in which a person tries to sneak one negative comment into an otherwise acceptable commentary, and somehow thinks that this makes the negative comment off-limits.

  • 14 votes
#1.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:24 PM EST

"above politics because people are usually so hateful -- but here's my controversial take anyway."

That's anti-Socratic method. Socrates was not political; he was philosophical, though politics is part of philosophy, he specifically abstained from that part.

  • 1 vote
#1.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:46 PM EST

Other versions of "poisoning the well"

Leave out the vague assertions that everyone on the other side is childish.

I agree many people appear to follow the addage that if you can deny that a comment applies to any particular person, then it cant be a violation of the CoH. Furthermore, vague assertions leave nothing to learn.

Accordingly:

Avoid generalizations and stereotypes such as All liberals or Conservatives are X.
and
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but consider when expressing yours to rather than merely vent, provide the an actual basis for your views.

Some people claim to know that someones tone as insulting or dismissive without reference to what is actually said.

Accordingly:

Try to respond to what is actually written, instead of what you feel or assume is being writtten. Remember that tone is difficult to determine in this format, and people vastly overestimate their ability to accurately detect the tone of statements in this format.

  • 12 votes
#1.3 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:38 PM EST

Try to respond to what is actually written, instead of what you feel or assume is being writtten. Remember that tone is difficult to determine in this format, and people vastly overestimate their ability to accurately detect the tone of statements in this format.

This goes both ways, though. People need to try to understand that tone isn't easy to determine, and the more heated the topic, the more important it becomes to say what you mean and mean what you say. If understanding a comment requires body language, it might be a good idea to rethink the comment.

  • 3 votes
#1.4 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:20 AM EST

Fruit flies like oranges.

Are you saying that Fruits Fly? And oranges fly, are you drinking Kool-aide?

This is an over simplification to illustrate the kind of purposeful semantic, misinterpretation of comments that I hate the most. "Reading into it, putting things between the lines that are not there. or twisting things out of context in which you say them" and responding to their new revision, attacking this "made up" position they place you in, as if that is what you said, rather then just responding to what you say, after you ardently strived for brevity. It's a sophistic trick used by the Nazi propaganda machine of Hitler, to create a specious argument and confuse the issue with others who may be listening and in the case of Newsvine reading, for the purpose of discrediting their dissenters credibility and veracity. You know when to be aware of this if they begin with: "I don't understand.." or "Do you mean.." or "Are you saying.." or "So what your saying is.." and then they begin to obfuscate what you said into something that they can counter, and reply to, too their advantage, rather then what you actually said.

If it were just a simple request by someone for you to tautologize something you wrote for the purpose of clarity and they leave it at that, then you can do so. But the former method is deception and disruption for the purpose of clouding the issue. If they can't dazzle with brilliance they will baffle with Bull@!$%#. I just point out that they did not understand what they read, and were they seem to have lost comprehension, and give them one more reiteration in a much simpler version. If they still don't get it, then I end the discourse and don't waste anymore time with them and say as much. rather then get drawn into an endless and pointless merry-go-round of feigned misunderstandings, or in what is called a (Circle Jerk) of mutual mental masturbation that fills the article. It may feel good but has no purpose or conclusion.

  • 5 votes
#1.5 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:18 AM EST

Review the following comments:

5.9

30

35.3

  • 3 votes
#1.6 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:51 AM EST

On the "net", and here on Newsvine, we seldom see [never] hate groups identifying themselves publicly as such. But they are here, nonetheless. They prefer a subtler more subversive approach. Undermining honest discussions and debates that expose them and how they operate. But you always know them by the rhetoric they use, and the positions they defend. If an intelligent and well read person of history recognizes this, and by inference see's them for what they are, and calls them on it, by reminding everyone of these ideas, mentioning Hitler, or Fascism, the one so accused sometimes invokes Godwin's Law and cliam they have won the argument by default. This is used as as sophistic red herring, by the American Nazi Party, neo-cons and Fascist hate mongers to "kill the messengers" Or anyone who would reveal their true affiliations and methods. Thereby, and for the purpose of, maintaining their anonymity by ending the conversation.

Saying someone is like a "Nazi" only confers that they use the same tactics as Hitler's propaganda machine, and calls attention to this fact.

Using the CoH to hide behind, when this is made clear that they are using agitprop as a debating tool. is the same as inciting Godwins Law. A Law made by Nazi hate groups to shield themselves from discovery and ridicule. But Nice try anyway.

  • 5 votes
#1.7 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:33 AM EST

Dan, I have seen you identify people as members of hate groups. Myself included. With no basis for the accusation. probably why the comment was deleted so quickly...
In my opinion you use that as a technique to attack those that have disagreed with you. in my opinion anyway

  • 11 votes
#1.8 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:12 PM EST

Deleting something because it is deemed offensive to you or anyone, does not change the fact.

The irony is easy to illustrate, Dogs don't know that when they crap on the floor that it is offensive, and consider someone who rubs their noses in it as being offensive to them, until they learn that what they are doing is just spreading filth and they learn to stop doing it.

A person is known by what he rejects as well as what he accepts. (A tree is known by the fruits it bears). I don't claim anyone should take my word for anything, no one should take anyones word without looking in to it for themselves, and not yours either.

I never called you a Nazi, I said you use the same methods and false arguments as they do. As others here do as well. This is an observation in fact, that anyone who knows these methods and have studied the fall of the pre WWII German Democracy and the rise and subsequent take over of it by the "National Socialist German Workers' Party. (Nazi Party)" would recognize these tactics, nothing more, any inference made by anyone, for me pointing this out, of you being an actual "Nazi", is inconsequential to this.

  • 6 votes
#1.9 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:08 PM EST

I did not delete it.

  • 3 votes
#1.10 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:36 PM EST

Catch 1.3:

Your recommendation, if implemented, would be too great a restriction on the discourse, not to mention that it would be impossible to enforce.

You simply CANNOT do political discourse without some degree of generalization, much of which is destined to be "offensive" when framed negatively rather than positively. That's just the way it is. "Liberals" do indeed think a certain way in opposition to "conservatives," who think another certain way.

There's two ways a conservative might say "Conservatives care about personal responsibility," one of which is likely to fall foul of your proposal.

Now, mind you, I think the statements "Conservatives care about personal responsibility" or "Liberals don't care about personal responsibility" are unmitigated b.s., but the way to rebut them is not to prohibit such generalizations but to counter-argue them.

Frankly, I'd say the far FAR greater problem is when "liberals" like you take such generalizations personally. "It's not personal, Sonny," as Michael Corleone said, "It's strictly business."

  • 4 votes
#1.11 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:37 PM EST
DAWebDeleted

Boy, I sure wish the cyborg would "moderate this sub-thread responsibly." I'm not seeing much worth in the bickering, and it's making my excellent initial comment look guilty by association.

:P

  • 11 votes
#1.13 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:46 PM EST

Brian:

Yeah, well, you're complaining about moderating a thirteen-comment (now fourteen) sub-thread here when I have any eighty-one-comment sub-thread below?

No cutting in line.

:^{)>

  • 3 votes
#1.14 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:12 PM EST

Yeah, but Brian is in this one... LOL

  • 4 votes
#1.15 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:15 PM EST

Jack, in my defense: When it comes to your thread, I stated up front that I thought the first comment would be deleted, and that the second one was an unnecessary return to an old debate.

  • 2 votes
#1.17 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:38 PM EST
DAWebDeleted
Jay ButlerDeleted

Ooo! I know, let's dig a little deeper into this completely worthless discussion, that has absolutely nothing to do with my initial suggestion.

  • 8 votes
#1.20 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:54 PM EST

Jack -- my mistake, you're talking about your "150 words or less" suggestion thread. At least that one is on topic.

:)

  • 2 votes
#1.21 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:57 PM EST

Brian:

Just joshin' ya.

I think I figured out yesterday that cyborg had gotten what it was going to get out of this thread and that moderation seemed an extremely unlikely eventuality. As I mentioned once before (I have the link but won't post it publicly), when meta threads get to the 100-or-so mark, they've either already gone bad, leading to things like re-fighting old fights, or they've gone stupid.

I'll leave to readers to judge which this thread is tending towards.

:^{)>

My personal view is that such articles should either have comments closed or simply be de-published.

  • 3 votes
#1.22 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:00 PM EST

My personal view is that such articles should either have comments closed or simply be de-published.

Wouldn't a "jumps the shark" button be great? If enough people click it, the comment thread is automatically closed, pending an evaluation. I can certainly think of one comment thread that fits the bill, though I admit that I'm not doing a good job of abandoning it.

  • 2 votes
#1.23 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:05 PM EST

Brian:

Could we have a little shark-jumping icon?

Oh, but rather than closing the thread, anyone who adds to it after it's jumped gets a "shark jumper" warning tatooed on all their comments for a day or so.

  • 5 votes
#1.24 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:20 PM EST

Not an icon, but something I made for something else months and months ago.

Also, once a thread has jumped the shark, all references should be automatically taken off the front page.

  • 3 votes
#1.25 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:26 PM EST

So, If I see a duck, but I am not allowed to use the name "Duck" because ducks don't like being called ducks because they think they are swans and want everyone else to think so as well, and claim umbrage for being called a "DUCK" ...... Ok. I see some here, who hold to the ideologies and practice the same techniques that are reminiscent of 1945 Germanys authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization, which tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader with a strong demagogic approach..

Sorry, it's not being called a name, it is a term used to describe an ideology."fascism", and "fascist" is a term that describes those who adhere to this ideology, simple, one word. If we can't use it then who benefits? Not anyone who wants to live in free society. if I see a pedophile, but it is against the law to use this word to describe a persons actions or the positions he argues for, as being one of a pedophile because it is offensive to the pedophile ... No, Kick me out of Newsvine then, because I don't want to be here.

But don't expect me to give respect to a pedophile. I don't care how he rationalizes his beliefs to himself or anyone else. I'm just old fashioned that way.

  • 6 votes
#1.26 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:43 PM EST
jfxgillisDeleted

Ducks,

The last time that the V.P. Cheney was hunting (I don't really know) he confused the duck w/the rear back of a friend.

Mirages happens when posters are obfuscated.

  • 3 votes
#1.28 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:09 PM EST
jfxgillisDeleted
DAWebDeleted

Dennis-

I'm just going to go ponder this for a while.

trust me, it won't help and will only serve to make your brain hurt..

:-)

  • 3 votes
#1.34 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:54 PM EST

Dan 1.32:

Noted.

  • 3 votes
#1.35 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:04 PM EST

Frankly, I'd say the far FAR greater problem is when "liberals" like you take such generalizations personally.

I disagree. Since this isnt about me and you provide no examples and no basis for your assertion or why it is a "FAR greater problem it doesnt leave much to discuss. Personally I'd sau the FAR greater problem is when people maks such conclusory accusations without any rationale. Which underlines my point. Are you claiming this is a liberal trait or just mine? Why link the two at all? Why not just address the claim to me? Why just vague innuendo?

You simply CANNOT do political discourse without some degree of generalization, much of which is destined to be "offensive" when framed negatively rather than positively. That's just the way it is. "Liberals" do indeed think a certain way in opposition to "conservatives," who think another certain way.

This is to some degree true, but to be more specific, this is a consistent method whereby people show a complete lack of respect. Generalizations are one things, slurs are another. One of the problems in newsvine isnt generalization per se, but is a leap to negative generalizations and sweeping insutlting statements. You cant have rational discourse when people are shouting past each other based upon what they imagine others to stand for.

  • 5 votes
#1.36 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:17 PM EST
jfxgillisDeleted
DAWebDeleted
Mars313Deleted

Bravo, Mars313. Breaking the CoH on a thread about the CoH...

  • 5 votes
#1.40 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:09 PM EST
Mars313Deleted
Brian FordDeleted
Jay ButlerDeleted

Mars 1.41:

You silly goose, it's self-deprecating humor on my part since I am a lib/lefty.

  • 4 votes
#1.44 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:09 PM EST
Jay ButlerDeleted
DAWebDeleted
Brian FordDeleted
Jay ButlerDeleted

I find it really @!$%#ing ridiculous that the very next thread, #2, was begun by Brian Ford and contains the following:

Moderate responsibly.

Civil discourse begins and ends with the author of any given seed or article.

That this entire comment stream is purportedly Newsviners discussing and suggesting changes to the Code of Honor is quite telling.

My forehead is bloody. Why? Because I've been banging it against the wall, literally, while everyone here is banging theirs figuratively.

Is this what y'all want? And by y'all, I include the blog cyborg. Do you want the typical Newsvine thread to be another version of what's found here?

  • 9 votes
#1.49 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:20 AM EST

Viki, I'd love to be able to moderate this thread, I did what I could within my power, which is limited, as I can't delete comments on an article which I didn't create. All I can do is point out violations as I see them and ask people to stay on topic. If they don't listen...

  • 5 votes
#1.50 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:40 AM EST
DAWebDeleted
Brian FordDeleted

I know Brian.

I think in addition to Moderate Responsibly, I'd love to see Comment Responsibly.

  • 6 votes
#1.53 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:57 AM EST
DAWebDeleted
Brian FordDeleted

Oh for crying out loud will you people just drop it! This whole bleeding thread looks like something my siblings (ages 16, 14, & 12) would have posted.

Seriously, it gets tiresome to watch otherwise intelligent people keep beating the same dead horse for 50+ comments. I thought this nonsense was what this thread was supposed to keep from happening.

  • 3 votes
#1.56 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:17 AM EST

This exchange illustrates my point very well. Thanks.

  • 3 votes
#1.57 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:22 AM EST

It also ruins what is supposed to be a productive thread that is meant to discuss how to elevate the level of discourse on the Vine.

  • 4 votes
#1.58 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:24 AM EST

Thanks, bluejohnny. Your help would have been appreciated 40+ comments ago when I tried to quell the off-topic discussion. Moderating is much easier when bystanders don't wait until the @!$%# has passed through the fan to chime in with disgust.

  • 3 votes
#1.59 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:28 AM EST

Sorry; been busy.

Besides, they weren't listening to you. Or Viki. Or Jack, from time to time. Kind of felt useless.

  • 5 votes
#1.60 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:24 AM EST

Well, they weren't listening to me, or Viki, or Jack because of baggage that goes along with our names. Sometimes, an impartial observer makes a difference.

  • 4 votes
#1.61 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:37 AM EST
DAWebDeleted

You silly goose, it's self-deprecating humor on my part since I am a lib/lefty.

LOL awesome! I require lots of winky faces and whatnot before I get a joke.

ummmmm, and I'm a fascist conservative, so i was joking on myself too! ;) i swear! lol

  • 2 votes
#1.63 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:50 PM EST

Anything worthwhile I have to say about this topic or any other topic is likely to take place over here.

In other words, I'm abandoning this sinking ship.

  • 2 votes
#1.64 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:56 PM EST
jfxgillisDeleted
DAWebDeleted

The flipside to not having baggage is that it comes, in this case, with being handily less significant.

Good to see the enforcement now, though.

  • 1 vote
#1.67 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:23 PM EST

I have some questions, hope that someone on the Newsvine team can answer them for me:

1. What are the standards with seeding Youtube videos and blog entries?

2. Is it appropriate to seed blog entries that are filled to the brim with misinformation?  For example: Obama Born In Kenya? His Grandmother Says Yes

3. Do either of these questions fall under the CoH guidelines?

Thanks in advance for your time!

Jennifer Mohr

  • 11 votes
#1.68 - Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:31 PM EDT

Did I come too late? =[

  • 4 votes
#1.69 - Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:19 PM EDT
Reply

Moderate responsibly.

Civil discourse begins and ends with the author of any given seed or article.

  • 24 votes
Reply#2 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:55 PM EST

Adding a comment to my own suggestion, pulled from one of my comments on the other article:

"Whether [comment threads underneath volatile content] should be civil or not, is really beside the point, as two years of topics like that have shown. It's a perfect world scenario, and part of getting closer to that perfect world is going to require putting a bit more responsibility on the shoulders of those who want to tackle these topics head on. We can't fix the jerks, but if people are seeding these articles with honest intentions (leaving aside my obvious views on that matter) we can hope to fix their ability to lead a better discussion."

  • 10 votes
#2.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:12 AM EST

That's a very good suggestion, but I believe this (otherwise common sense comment) must be worded - or explained -  so that everyone can understand it to mean that responsible moderating translates into removing only posts which violate the CoH/UA, not censoring other people's comments willy-nilly.

  • 1 vote
#2.2 - Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:40 PM EDT
Reply

NV Blog:

I thought my original suggestion fit the criteria; however, because of the subthread beneath I do have a one-sentence suggested addition:

Impugning the motives of other Newsviners for their choice of material to seed or the subjects of their articles should be disallowed.

  • 12 votes
Reply#3 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:57 PM EST

I assume you mean "impugning the motives as part of a comment" should be disallowed? Reporting someone (for certain types of violations) calls motives into question.

  • 3 votes
#3.1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:25 PM EST

Incidentally, the Newsvine Blog just realized it only has 5 Vineacity branches. What's up with that?

Sorry, but you got "Pruned" for too many COH violations. Please try and clean up your act, OK ?

  • 15 votes
#3.2 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:39 PM EST

Brian:

Yeah, that's pretty much it as long as you mean "clicking the exclamation point" when you say "reporting."

  • 6 votes
#3.3 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:42 PM EST

Yeah, in essence, I'm saying that if I'm reporting someone with the exclamation point, I'm calling their motives into question. So, the problem, as you're laying it out, is doing so publicly.

I can buy that, but I think coupled with my #2, the issue would be less of an issue anyway.

  • 3 votes
#3.4 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:50 PM EST

!. Avoid generalizations and labels
and

Assume good will.

(That's my concise summation of the suggestions by Brian and Killfile, except that I wrote it before reading theirs)
This from Killfile:

The most innocuous of your comments may be seen as the most grievous of insults and the that verbal slap in your face may be nothing more than a misinterpreted quip absent its usual wink and grin.

Well said. That's what I've meant by "assume goodwill."
Another possible wording would, "When in doubt if you just got flamed, ask first instead of responding."

  • 5 votes
#3.5 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:10 AM EST

Excellent point, Scott. Assuming good will, and displaying it yourself in the way you mentioned, could help to avoid many misunderstandings, which are the basis of so many flame sessions.

    #3.6 - Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:08 AM EDT
    Reply

    Give The Benefit of the Doubt

    Assume the best of all you read and the worst of all you write. The internet is a volatile medium and discussions on it even more so. We tend to write as we would speak, forgetting that tone and body language are conspicuously absent from our discourse.

    The most innocuous of your comments may be seen as the most grievous of insults and the that verbal slap in your face may be nothing more than a misinterpreted quip absent its usual wink and grin.

    • 35 votes
    Reply#4 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:58 PM EST

    I think this is one of the most important things, and I find that the most civil responses to comments that seem to be trolling are from people who presume that the other person is genuine and well-meaning. If you respond by attacking them then the conversation won't go anywhere. If you follow this advice, though, then you may find out that there was an honest misunderstanding, or you may just get someone to open their mind a bit.

    • 9 votes
    #4.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:42 AM EST
    titseyDeleted
    Reply

    Make no personal attacks. If you disagree with someone's ideas, stick to explaining why those ideas are wrong. If you have a personal issue with someone, express it via private email or chat.

    • 34 votes
    Reply#5 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:30 PM EST

    More succinct version:

    Make no personal attacks. If you disagree with someone's ideas, stick to explaining why. If you have a personal issue with someone, express it privately.

    • 17 votes
    #5.1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:39 PM EST

    I really like this one. People should comment on the topic of the seed or article not verbally abusing somebody who holds a different stance or said something that they didn't like. I seem to get the personal attack one a lot.

    • 6 votes
    #5.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:33 PM EST

    vas: consider this one done.

    • 16 votes
    #5.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:19 PM EST

    express it privately.

    Well, I'm not sure we should encourage people to express personal issues via email, either. "If you have a personal issue with someone, keep it to yourself -- or involve the staff, privately" might be better?

    I received three emails today because someone wanted to get personal (apparently, I'm an idiot for having correctly pegged him for self-promotion) and don't particularly want people to think that this is the ideal way to handle a situation.

    • 8 votes
    #5.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:55 PM EST

    I have a G-mail account just for Newsvine.

    • 4 votes
    #5.5 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:03 PM EST

    (Brian) Oh C..., I sent you a email last week, a heads up, hope that was ok...

    However on the direct emailing, I agree. When you do that, you just gave away your private email address, I don't really like to do that very often. Maybe have a third party (hello Ellen ?) would be the best way to handle it.

    • 2 votes
    #5.6 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:05 PM EST

    "If you have a personal issue with someone, keep it to yourself -- or involve the staff, privately"

    I agree with Brian. To encourage Viners to sort out their differences with another via private email (which assumes that the recipient has enabled Direct Contact) plays into the hands of predators as per my suggestion at #16.6. If matters have got to that point, the most professional solution is to do this via the staff, privately.

    • 5 votes
    #5.7 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:07 PM EST

    (Brian) Oh C..., I sent you a email last week, a heads up, hope that was ok...

    No, that's fine. Anyone who wants to email me to discuss something that is bothering them, go for it. I get emails all the time where people I don't even know are asking advice, and that's great. I'm even okay if someone is slightly offended by something I write emailing to ask for clarification.

    I was only saying that I don't want to get emails from people who can't yell at me here because of the Code of Honor, so they're doing it via the contact this author tab instead. We'll never be able to prevent it, but we certainly shouldn't encourage it, either.

    • 7 votes
    #5.8 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:20 PM EST

    The word Nazi should trigger a flag immediately.

    I read that word Nazi more often that it's true.

    • 3 votes
    #5.9 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:32 PM EST

    Tedd:

    hello Ellen ?

    I think you probably mean Emily. But, I suppose it's possible you're an Ellen Degeneres fan...

    • 5 votes
    #5.10 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:49 PM EST

    The word Nazi should trigger a flag immediately.

    I read that word Nazi more often that it's true.

    I think that's a good point.

    Actually-- its part of a larger situation-- name calling. I have read long posts-- sometimes one or more pararaphs-- that really aren't discussing the topic--either pro or con. .Rather-- they are merely name calling.

    Nazi-- Class Whore-- whatever. Comments that consist only of name-calling without any real content-- should not be allowed.

    • 10 votes
    #5.11 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:26 PM EST

    I think you probably mean Emily. But, I suppose it's possible you're an Ellen Degeneres fan.

    Opps !! Yes I did mean Emily....Sorry about that, Brain Fade occurs at my age

    The other Ellen is kinda cute and far more interesting then Oprah..

    Thanks for the correction Brian.

    • 4 votes
    #5.12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:56 PM EST
    Reply

    Respect the moderating decisions of the columnist in whose column the discussion or debate takes place. If you dislike the columnist or the decisions, go elsewhere. If the columnist doesn't accept your thoughts under his/her column, express them in your own!

    • 20 votes
    Reply#6 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:34 PM EST

    I actually got this and #5 from the incomplete Rationalists Code of Honor, which was abandoned long ago. Credit to Lucid and Aine MacDermot.

    • 6 votes
    #6.1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:38 PM EST
    Reply

    Comments will be constructively enforced under the COH

    "Your comments have been collapsed by the community for violations of the COH. To reactivate your privilege to comment in a constructive way please follow this link to the COH and indicate your willingness to contribute under the guidelines of this community."

    • 9 votes
    Reply#7 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:42 PM EST

    In theory, it's a good idea -- but where's the incentive to correct behavior? People would just go, click the check boxes, submit, and that would be that.

    • 3 votes
    #7.1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:53 PM EST

    indicate your willingness

    To where or whom ?

    • 1 vote
    #7.2 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:53 PM EST

    but where's the incentive to correct behavior?

    First, it forces a brief cooling off period.

    Second, it is automatic - requires no NV staff intervention and may wear down repeat violators.

    Third, the enforcement can be much more than checking boxes. It can be progressive. It can result in forced 24 hour cool down periods or retyping of the entire code. It can have a programmed escalation of enforcement. It is limited by our imagination and I submit would be more effective than adding more rules to the COH.

    indicate your willingness

    To where or whom ?

    To the NV Blog Cyborg

    • 6 votes
    #7.3 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:08 PM EST

    Well, there's this too: It's not unheard of (cough, cough) for a comment to be collapsed that shouldn't by any reasonable standard be collapsed...

    • 7 votes
    #7.4 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:14 PM EST

    We could force people to watch a slide show that gets progressively longer which each repeat offence, with pictures of the Clintons if they're conservative, of the Bushes if they're liberal, and of Hillary and George doing the tango together if they're libertarian.

    • 10 votes
    #7.5 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:17 PM EST

    vas :-) it is meant to be enforcement not torture!!

    Brian, yes collapsing the "violations" will carry more weight and require more thoughtful consideration of that process. I saw that Pamela suggested some ideas for possibly weighting "!" reporting.

    • 3 votes
    #7.6 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:27 PM EST

    TopJedi, didn't you learn anything from Clockwork Orange? The best way to subdue destructive behavior is to hardwire painful associations into their brains!

    • 5 votes
    #7.7 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:35 PM EST

    I'm a slow learner vas, I thought collapsed comments meant I scored a "+" vote.

    • 6 votes
    #7.8 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:39 PM EST
    Reply

    Mr. Blog, so if someone on this thread phonies up a NY Times headline this evening, that's an infraction, right?

    • 6 votes
    Reply#8 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:57 PM EST

    NV Blog:

    I almost hate to suggest this, but somebody's gotta. Explanation not even required:

    Articles must include at least 150 words and two topical hyperlinks

    [cringe]

    • 14 votes
    #9 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 PM EST

    For those who share the cringe at this suggestion, I would point out that Jack's comment includes 25 words, which means he's one sixth of the way to a compliant article. (Though, he's short two links.)

    Either Jack is getting soft, or he meant 1500 words.

    • 12 votes
    #9.1 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:19 PM EST

    Guess Jemery Yo is out then....

    • 9 votes
    #9.2 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:28 PM EST

    Brian:

    Either Jack is getting soft, or he meant 1500 words.

    Then you, me, Blaise and Pamela would be the only persons ever on the front page.

    Oh.

    Wait.

    Yeah!! I DID mean "1,500"!!

    • 4 votes
    #9.3 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:30 PM EST

    I could go along with a length requirement, but not with a requirement that links be included in articles.

    • 17 votes
    #9.4 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:31 PM EST

    9.2:

    Jemery Yo

    Jeromy Wo disciple dutifully corrects spelling

    • 5 votes
    #9.5 - Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:58 PM EST

    1500 words YES.

    Topical Links : NO. We might end up with Wiki or IMDB or weird links. Also I hate writing HTML.

    • 3 votes
    #9.6 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:14 AM EST

    Viki:

    My reasoning is simple. Looking at it way big wicked philosopically: On the genre or medium side, what's the point of the Web anyway? What makes it a unique and significantly advanced medium of information transmission different from it predecessors? Answer: Hyperlinking. Constructing the connections between bits of information to establish context and a line of thought both into and away from the anchor article. THAT'S what makes the web a "new" way of writing. So NV should encourage that.

    The the teeny-tiny just looking at NV's columnist block way of looking at it: Let's get real. The stupidest @!$%# ass just-some-blowhard-blowing hard articles on the Vine are invariably somebody just taking a few minutes to spew some bull@!$%# compliant that's been heard a thousand times before in every media from talk radio to the local paper letters to the editor. Requiring a couple of hyperlinks will probably have the effect of reducing the already high garbage to worth reading ratio.

    I'll freely concede that some of the the kind of writing you seem to favor, personal narrative and fiction, say, doesn't seem to match up well with my proposal. We could build in an exception or other requirements. Say, 150 and two links or 900 words and no links or something like that.

    I'll tell you what, though. On my branch of the Vine--as you know, mainly politics with a little pop culture--requiring links would vastly improve quality. How about if the links requirement goes only to politics, world news, U.S. news and science or something like that?

    • 10 votes
    #9.7 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:27 AM EST

    Thura:

    Also I hate writing HTML.

    Easy answer. Give us the "Link" button on our "Write Article" window!!

    • 8 votes
    #9.8 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:30 AM EST

    1500 words? No. I wrote opinion articles for my University paper my last semester, and we had a maximum of 500 words. You can write a decent article in that many words, and I think it would be a terrible idea to force people to write more. In fact, I think it helped the quality of those articles to keep them concise.

    I understand the desire to cut back on short, trivial articles, but you can't just quantify that with number of words.

    • 12 votes
    #9.9 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:40 AM EST

    Adam:

    My actual suggestion was 150--just kidding about 1,500.

    But as to your second point, look, we got to quantify it SOMEHOW or else it's impossible to cut back on short, trivial articles. Any place we draw the line there'll be exceptions at thedges one way or the other.

    • 6 votes
    #9.10 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:19 AM EST

    Give us the "Link" button on our "Write Article" window!!

    what JFX said!

    BTW-I disagree with y'all about article length. I mean-I know it's SUPPOSED to be about news and getting smarter, but I feel I've actually learned more about what makes people tick here because of the "trivial" articles.

    Most of the time the discussion about a seed tells you more about the people making the comments than the news item-and that's ok with me. The mundane day to day struggles of average citizens are never reported unless it's statistically significant. But I think this non-news tells you as much about the shape of things as the "real" news.

    • 10 votes
    #9.11 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:01 AM EST

    Easy answer. Give us the "Link" button on our "Write Article" window!!

    Amen

    • 6 votes
    #9.12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:10 AM EST

    Then you, me, Blaise and Pamela would be the only persons ever on the front page.

    Brilliant, that solves most problems for me right there!

    • 4 votes
    #9.13 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:33 AM EST

    I disagree with the hyperlink requirement. What if I (hypothetically) interview Barack Obama and post an article about my interview on Newsvine. It would be the sort of citizen journalism I think is wanted on Newsvine, but it shouldn't require me to link somewhere else.

    • 7 votes
    #9.14 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:15 AM EST

    boz:

    You couldn't hyperlink to his Congressional bioguide and his campaign website?

    • 3 votes
    #9.15 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:22 AM EST

    I could find related links if it were required. I'm just not sure it is necessary for citizen journalism. Whether it's interviewing a presidential candidate or reporting on a local school board meeting, there are plenty of examples where the links aren't necessary for a good article.

    On the other hand, I do agree on some sort of length requirement for articles.

    • 1 vote
    #9.16 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:38 AM EST

    I feel that any article should be just as long, (or as short) as the writer intends it to be.

    • 12 votes
    #9.17 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:55 AM EST

    I disagree. Sometimes, you don't NEED 150 words to get your point across.

    • 11 votes
    #9.18 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:05 AM EST

    Maybe it should be less of a matter of an actual requirement, and more a matter of weighting; "articles" that are too short (and there are plenty) would be less likely to make the front page, and above say 100-150 words, equal weighting kicks in.

    • 4 votes
    #9.19 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:20 AM EST

    Andrew 9.18:

    Fine. Then either it's a stupid point that shouldn't be gotten across anyway OR it belongs in a comment, not in the front-page columnist block.

    bluejohnny 9.19:

    That's a nice idea for a compromise.

    • 4 votes
    #9.20 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:55 AM EST

    Fine. Then either it's a stupid point that shouldn't be gotten across anyway OR it belongs in a comment, not in the front-page columnist block.

    What about Killfile's VT reporting? I'm not certain, but I imagine that was below the 150 word limit for some time, because he was filling in as he learned new details. Granted, he eventually exceeded the limit, but I think it deserved to be on the front page from the get-go.

    But, I would agree that in most cases, anything below 150 words is unlikely to be an article -- I'd call something like that a rumination.

    This comment alone is halfway to the requirement.

    Everyone else:

    You can pry my wikipedia links from my cold dead hands.

    • 5 votes
    #9.21 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:28 AM EST

    What about Killfile's VT reporting? I'm not certain, but I imagine that was below the 150 word limit for some time, because he was filling in as he learned new details.

    Here is the full text of the article as it was originally published. Less than 40 words.

    Several sources on Virginia Tech's main campus are reporting possible shootings on Virginia Tech's main campus. Emergency crews including fire, ambulance, and police are on the scene. This page will be updated as new information is made available.

    • 7 votes
    #9.22 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:57 AM EST

    I Don't feel a number could be connect with a article as quantity and quality have nothing to do with each other.

    Just as Killfile's VT story started out, same did the original 911 or Challenger Story. Same will happen with the elections.

    I could see maybe a recommended limit on the number of words and no question some guidance about paragraph breaks and line spacing as some article are run together and need line breaks.

    I could see a limit on the number of URL's in a article however, some of the articles that I have seen that have 8-10 URL's are just overwhelming to try and follow.

    • 4 votes
    #9.23 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:08 AM EST

    I disagree with any limit on word count. As the communication world gets louder with so much noise vying with each other for attention, I very strongly believe we should be encouraging brevity not discouraging it. As attention span for everyone becomes a key challenge, it is a skill worthy of development.

    Wired.com wrote a piece a while ago called Very Short Stories. No other than Ernest Hemingway wrote a story in 6 words. In case you are thinking of seeding that, Claus beat us all to it. I seeded something similar last year called 6-Word IT Stories based on a technology blog.

    It is up to the community to dictate what is good and what not so good, regardless of the length. Cream should rise to the top; the dross allowed to sink. Categorization should take care of stuff that is intended for the Front page and beyond and stuff that is really only meant for the community. That is something that has never been satisfactorily addressed, IMHO. It's very much hit and miss as to what hits the FP. There are some Viners who can be assured of a FP spot regardless of traffic etc. There are others who just won;t get there no matter what. C'est la vie

    As for links etc. Why try to limit? We can never preempt what sort of article a Viner may want to write. Some will simply not warrant any links. And those that do, perhaps even many, can easily overcome clutter by hyperlinking relevant words in the article. If someone really wants to link every other word, so be it. I personally would find that so distracting that I'm unlikely to read the article at all.

    Let writers write what they want. Let readers dictate what happens to it.

    • 18 votes
    #9.24 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:29 AM EST

    I was talking Raat about the articles (there have been a very few of them) that are basically a blank page with perhaps a intro statement and then contain just a long list of 20-30 URL's. Those in the past have been fairly tough to follow without some explanation included.

    • 3 votes
    #9.25 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:33 AM EST

    Raat, I wish I could vote for you twice.

    • 5 votes
    #9.26 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:39 AM EST

    Tedd - you are a far more patient man than you show (which is that you are very patient) if you are still interested in that article. Personally, if I saw that, I'd just run for cover. Who needs to give someone who couldn't even be bothered to follow the basics of the CoH any more than a second. Let them clutter their column with hundreds of such dross. Eventually, they will simply wither away.

    Thanks Yasmin - haven't seen much of you of late. That job is keeping you too far away from your community. Always good to have you visiting:-)

    • 6 votes
    #9.27 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:52 AM EST

    I'd just run for cover.

    I think I will do just that actually since my great idea of limiting the wordy articles did not go over so well above in comment #9.23 :-) I think I will go and find some safer grounds.

    • 2 votes
    #9.28 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:14 PM EST

    my great idea

    You actually did have a nugget in that comment which could get lost.

    paragraph breaks and line spacing as some article are run together and need line breaks

    Maybe not something in the CoH. But certainly anything that hangs off it like a Quick User Guide etc.

    • 3 votes
    #9.29 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:46 PM EST

    Brian:

    Look. I'm open-minded and flexible enough to understand that no "rule" anywhere in human collective relationships is ever going to match up with all the possible real-life permutations.

    What about killfile's VT coverage? I'd make an EXCEPTION for such cases. It's common freaking sense. I wouldn't write it down or anything, I'd just expect that all but the most anal-retentive rules-obsessed nitwits would realize that in extraordinary circumstances, rules like that don't have to observed.

    In effect, the question is: Do we have standards to which may sometimes be forced to allow exceptions or do we continue to just bumble along with two-sentence research-empty garbage clogging the columnists block?

    I'd rather have an imperfect rule establishing real standards than the stupid bull@!$%# we have now arising from no rule. Many people, it seems, differ with me. Okay, that's cool. I understand that either way there'll be problems.

    • 4 votes
    #9.30 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:35 PM EST

    Tedd:

    Now you have a point here:

    Just as Killfile's VT story started out, same did the original 911 or Challenger Story. . . .

    Since those are rare and unique circumstances entailing unique and original content. Cool. Since we're adults, we can agree that such circumstances warrant a relaxation of standards. However, this:

    Same will happen with the elections

    is NOT an analogous situation. Dennis is watching the same tv coverage of the same event I am and that millions of other people are watching, and that's "citizen journalism"? There's nothing rare or unioque about that, and certainly nothing that couldn't be handled by SEEDING whatever mainstream source he's watching from the couch. I can understand an exception in chill's case because he was watching the French elections and he may well have been utterly unique in covering them for Newsvine. That's fine. But an American election is not "breaking news" comprable to kf's VT coverage.

    • 3 votes
    #9.31 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:45 PM EST

    I'd make an EXCEPTION for such cases.

    But, how do you make exceptions in software/code? What you're suggesting makes perfect sense, but it's probably not simple to implement in software, and not realistic for a staff of 7 (?) to handle.

    I can envision a system where you hit publish, words are counted, and anything below 150 is met with a message which says, essentially: "You are 50 words short of producing a worthwhile thought."

    That seems easy enough. But, okay: Now we want to make an exception for certain types of content. Chances are strong that those "types" of content are going to be pressing "breaking" news. If we just allow a person to say: "But, my story is important, I promise!" we'd run into an issue with everyone claiming to be the exception.

    Or, the word tally can take place after the fact. All articles are published, and someone is required to police instances in which < 150 words are used.

    I suppose that could work. In short, any story short of the mark would have some sort of symbol that indicates that it's short of the mark. ("This article does not meet the 150 word minimum.") If so, that symbol would serve as a report icon, and anyone who feels that the article doesn't qualify as an exception can click it. A certain number of clicks later, the article is taken down, pending a revision, or added content.

    • 4 votes
    #9.32 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:47 PM EST

    while some people will probably be put off by this anecdote I figure I should add it because it is both a good metaphor and totally applicable:

    An article should be like a woman's skirt. Long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to keep our interest.

    Sadly, I can't take credit for coming up with it; one of my English profs at University used it as a response to the constant question of how long a paper should be. I always thought it was both funny and dead on. Thus, I side with the position that no minimum length should be dictated.

    • 4 votes
    #9.33 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:57 PM EST

    @jfxgillis
    Agree, Point well taken on the elections. I was thinking more about the updates from the polls with Time Zone Changes. However its not a big issue at all.

    • 1 vote
    #9.34 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:03 PM EST

    "You are 50 words short of producing a worthwhile thought."

    That would be tough if Newsvine had been around for a few more years. :-)

    pi = 3.14159265
    E = mc2
    Don't tase me bro
    I think we need a bigger boat
    I=V/R
    Houston, I believe we've had a problem here.
    Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one

    • 2 votes
    #9.35 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:14 PM EST

    Bran:

    I hadn't thought of code at all. It literally had not crossed my mind. I was thinking more like a reader grading a written essay, you were thinking like a software analyst.

    I wonder why that is?

    :^{)>

    • 2 votes
    #9.36 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:23 PM EST

    And who is going to write the code ? Ellen (in all of her spare time ?)

    My guess is any "code" is still the old fashioned kind around this place.......

    • 2 votes
    #9.37 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:29 PM EST

    An article should be like a woman's skirt. Long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to keep our interest.

    This is a misquote. It is old axiom in advertising that goes like this.

    "The body copy of a well designed Ad is like a woman's skirt. Just Long enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to hold interest."
    I heard this over 30 years ago.

    • 5 votes
    #9.38 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:04 PM EST

    Well I converted the quote to fit this particular discussion :O) I am not sure it is a "misquote" so much as an evolution of it to cover a variety of other subject matters.

    My instructor used it relative to a "term papers" and "essays" - I just used it for articles to stay in context for newsvine.

    With all that said it is cool to hear the original version and to know the history behind it - thanks.

    • 1 vote
    #9.39 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:32 PM EST

    Not the version I heard, but maybe mine is the "new age version" and yours is the original :-)

    "A news story should be like a mini skirt on a pretty woman. Long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting."

    NewsPort.org

    • 1 vote
    #9.40 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:33 PM EST

    finalcut, Fair enough, whatever works, its not like it's copyrighted.... I just wanted to point it out. :)

    • 1 vote
    #9.41 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:40 PM EST

    It is kind of depressing that I can no longer credit my professor for it :O) I always thought he was kind of witty for it.

    • 2 votes
    #9.42 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:55 PM EST

    Ted, "The only thing that remains the same is that things always change".... I don't know who said that first, I've been saying it for so long, it might be me and I just forgot. :)

    Here's another saying in Advertising I tell my clients sometimes. The trick to every successful business. "Early to bed, and early to rise, work real hard and advertise." Don't remember where that came from either... so it must be Creative Commons. :)

    • 2 votes
    #9.43 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:01 PM EST

    Teachers are the most notorious plagiarizers.

    • 4 votes
    #9.44 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:08 PM EST

    Teachers are the most notorious plagiarizers.

    Can I give this to my professors ? I think he might say the students are the guilty ones...

    • 3 votes
    #9.45 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:11 PM EST

    Can I give this to my professors ? I think he might say the students are the guilty ones...

    Do they give sources for everything they say? Or do they just let you think they are clever? It's human nature. Of course you learn and expand on it with your own thoughts based on what you learn. This is the main goal of a teacher, teaching you how to think. I was just being sarcastic, after all. I teach as well. Sometimes.... If students don't learn how to think then you're not a teaching, your just a bore who gets paid.

    • 1 vote
    #9.46 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:29 PM EST

    Do they give sources for everything they say?

    Never...Except if they want you to buy their book :-)

    I know you were kidding, just giving you a hard time...What do you teach by the way ? I am attempting to get my ancient brain working again and back to Grad school, yikes....its not easy, its been a long time since school days for me !

    • 1 vote
    #9.47 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:37 PM EST

    I teach Graphic design, aka Commercial Art.

    • 2 votes
    #9.48 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:01 PM EST

    Ah..nice...Something I have always admired very much. I do a fair amount with Web design and things like PhotoShop and Aperture, but true art, I am lacking...My brain seems to be better with straight lines I am afraid :-(

    • 1 vote
    #9.49 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:13 PM EST

    I could teach you to draw. It's like the Jedi Mind trick, only different. In that it works. A straight line is a sign that you have the ability. Talent is just when someone figures out the tricks on his own.

    • 4 votes
    #9.50 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:41 PM EST

    Interesting, so there is hope after all !

    • 2 votes
    #9.51 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:44 PM EST

    But, how do you make exceptions in software/code?

    The way I read the original comment was that "short" articles wouldn't be completely prevented from reaching the front page, only that they would be weighted differently from longer articles. I presume that enough votes and comments would still get them to the front page. "You've submitted an article of less than 150 words. It may take longer for this type of article to reach a wide audience. Continue? Y/N"

    Some of this could even be controlled by Vineacity. Think of this: A new user comes in, and publishes a bunch of short articles. These articles are weighted less heavily in the algorithm, but with enough votes or comments, he or she will still make the active users box. It will be harder, however, to "break through" so writers will generally be encouraged to write longer articles.

    One branch of Vineacity could explicitly be set aside for recognition of generating original content. Imagine our user above now at the site for several months, and he or she has submitted 15 or 20 articles of "sufficient" length to count towards the Vineacity branch. He or she gets a new branch. He's proven himself as an author of substantial content. One "benefit" of getting this branch (and, really, I'd like to see more "benefits" linked to achieving Vineacity) would be that "too short" articles from an established author are not disfavored in the algorithm (or disfavored less).

    Fast forward a couple months, and a significant local event occurs. The author throws up an article with 40 words. However, since he's an established author, his article easily makes the front page.

    A couple of caveats. An author could achieve that Vineacity branch and from then on only submit short articles. I think a pattern of short submissions should cause the Vineacity branch to disappear. (This isn't the first time this has been suggested; certainly, though, it makes more sense if Vineacity is linked to a tangible benefit.) Second, I think the word count should only include text outside of quote or blockquote tags. If an author is just copying large blocks of text in order to "make" the numbers, that shouldn't count. Similarly, if an author repeatedly attempts to game the system by including long quotes (without substantial original material in addition) outside of quote or blockquote tags, that should be grounds for reporting by the community and action by the admins.

    Is this fair? Who cares. The Greenhouse isn't "fair," but it allows us to cage users until they've proved themselves in certain ways. Similarly, this isn't "fair" to new users, but it does allow for users who have proved themselves authors of substantial content to occasionally bend the "rules" for the sake of exigency.

    How hard would this be? I can't see it being very hard. You add a word counter to the article submission process. You add (or repurpose) one of the Vineacity branches. You make an algorithm change (or a couple of changes).

    An alternative suggestion: Newsvine could even set up another box "Short and Sweet" which contains short articles if they wanted. "In a hurry? Get your news faster!" Take them out of Featured Authors altogether.

    • 9 votes
    #9.52 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:10 PM EST

    An alternative suggestion: Newsvine could even set up another box "Short and Sweet" which contains short articles if they wanted. "In a hurry? Get your news faster!" Take them out of Featured Authors altogether.

    That's a great suggestion.

    Being the eternal optimist that I am, I'd rather forego word limits in favor of widespread encouragement and pushing towards better writing, regardless of length.

    Jack, I see what you're saying about the goodness and necessity of hyperlinks. In many AP stories, you'll see links towards the bottom to relevant sites.

    But again, to me, the spirit of Newsvine is in the encouraging of people to do so, not requiring.

    • 8 votes
    #9.53 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:32 PM EST

    I'd rather forego word limits in favor of widespread encouragement and pushing towards better writing, regardless of length.

    I know, but I don't think that the Newsvine algorithm will be, anytime soon, discriminating enough to judge "quality" instead of quantity. Article length isn't a perfect proxy for substantive argument, but it's not a horrible one either, and it's probably the easiest to implement.

    Without an editorial staff, and with the volume that Newsvine sees, a certain amount of automation is a necessity. However, the current algorithm isn't very discriminating at all, that I can tell. This is about giving the algorithm a little more intelligence.

    • 5 votes
    #9.54 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:40 PM EST

    150 words!

    Professor, when I was "invited" to Daily Koss the condition was not my short sentences.

    I accept. Will count the words in the recipes.

    • 2 votes
    #9.55 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:43 PM EST

    What I've noticed is that if you write an article of any kind, it gets in the Newsvine Columnists box -- in a cycle -- it doesn't have anything to do with how many votes or comments it has. Go try it. How long you stay on the front page depends on how many other people are writing articles at the time.

    • 3 votes
    #9.56 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:50 PM EST

    I could see a limit on the number of URL's in a article however, some of the articles that I have seen that have 8-10 URL's are just overwhelming to try and follow.

    But-- just because a link is there doesn't mean you have to click it. Having a lot of links gives the reader many opportunities to expand their knowledge ...but you can click only those that interest you.

    • 4 votes
    #9.57 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:36 PM EST

    Viki:

    But again, to me, the spirit of Newsvine is in the encouraging of people to do so, not requiring.

    I hear that, too. Can we compromise somewhere around strongly encourage?

    • 3 votes
    #9.58 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:55 PM EST

    det:

    Don't be silly. Your recipes are great. We'll add a special exemption for them.

    :^{)>

    • 3 votes
    #9.59 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:58 PM EST

    We don't even need to compromise. Strongly encourage is perfect. But I think we'd each have our different ways of going about it.

    You can have a 150 word article, or a 1500 word article, that sucks. I'd rather encourage quality. But, as spiffie points out, there's no ability to automate judgement.

    So, how do we get there without automation and without editors making those choices?

    I guess that's where your requirements come in. But I fear that all that will happen is that we'll have the same amount of worthless, go-nowhere articles. They'll just be longer.

    We can encourage quality by only patronizing the comment threads of the articles we believe are extraordinarily well-written. We can remark no only on the topic at hand, but also on the fact that we appreciate the quality of the article.

    I'm not saying that'll work. But I don't know what else to do about it, frankly.

    • 7 votes
    #9.60 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:25 PM EST

    Viki:

    So, how do we get there without automation and without editors making those choices?

    You @!$%#ting me? Editors making choices was an option?

    I'll go for THAT in a heartbeat.

    :^{)

    • 3 votes
    #9.61 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:43 PM EST

    I know, Jack. But I think the possibility of editors is far down the road (though I might be wrong) if at all likely.

    I could see editors being an option for portions of the site. Some groups have attempted to create magazines of sorts, where a panel of group members reviews submissions by viners.

    I'd like to see a kind of "elite" (for lack of a better word) section of the Vine that features work that has been chosen by editors. It might foster a sense of competitiveness, and people would try harder, hoping that their work would be chosen for this "elite" section. It would fall outside the algorithm, as frequently, very well written articles don't get any attention at all. Unfortunately.

    Or even if there could be one editor-chosen article for each Newsvine section per day. Politics would have one, Sports would have one, Entertainment, World News, etc. That way, regardless of where one's interest lies, they would have available an example of very high-quality writing in any category they choose to visit.

    Of course, I am right now sitting on the can of worms that is the discussion of who gets to be an editor, who decides what is quality, etc. I'll leave that for someone else to open.

    • 7 votes
    #9.62 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:19 PM EST

    I don't think editors are a realistic option. There's simply too much material.

    I'm also skeptical that refraining from participation in "those types" of threads will be effective. First, enculturating new users not to participate would be impossible. There are simply too many new users. Second, we need to come to terms with the fact that people in general and Americans in particular, in the aggregate, like crap. :)

    American Idol, McDonalds, Spam, Stephen King…. The list is endless.

    Finally, even some short articles require a response. That doesn't mean the form is validated, but if I see someone spreading information that I believe to be inaccurate (not necessarily doing so maliciously), for the benefit of other readers I usually try to counter the assertion(s) of the author.

    That means the only way, in my opinion, to effectively increase the visibility of better articles is to systematically favor it. Systematically in the most literal sense, in the very system itself. That's an algorithm thing.

    Are there longer articles written poorly? Sure there are, but my sense is that there are a lot more crappy short articles. There's an entire class of articles that are, virtually in toto, exactly the sort of thing that "quality snobs" like me don't want to see. And I think this class makes up if not a majority then certainly a large plurality of the "problem." It seems like it should be easy enough to build in an exception for users who have proven their abilities for those rare instances when a short article really is appropriate. (One possible idea above, Newsvine! No charge for this one!)

    Like I said, article length is not a perfect predictor of "quality" (for whatever definition of quality we're using). But the simple fact is that the longer the article is, the more effort the author has put into it, and the more likely it is that the author has spent at least some time considering his or her words. The writing itself may not be wonderful, but we can't all be BlaiseP. Regardless, longer articles are much more likely to contain ideas (plural), not just the random thought (singular) of the author.

    • 7 votes
    #9.63 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:25 PM EST

    Hetep and Respect Angel_C that is interesting. I must try that some time. It is a puzzle to me who gets positioned where, for what reason and for how long.

    As to the length of articles.

    A person could make a good article with one picture and one word. For it is not the number of words that makes a good article IMHO. It is the thinking and the quality of discussion it produces that makes and article useful.

    • 6 votes
    #9.64 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:37 PM EST

    For anyone curious, my first comment in this sub-thread had 528 words (not including quoted text). My second 87 words. My third 363 words. I don't really feel that 150 words is shooting for the moon. From my position in Austin, TX, I don't even feel like I'm shooting for Pflugerville, an immediately adjacent suburb. But if we want to disfavor two-line articles, a determination of minimum desired length will be required.

    150 words is approximately 3 paragraphs of moderate length. I've contributed some 7000 comments on this site, and I would guesstimate that at least a quarter were that length or longer. If I were a whole lot smarter than I am, I would have spun some of them off into articles. But it's hardly the case that 150 words is an unreasonable request by any reasonable standard.

    • 8 votes
    #9.65 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:44 PM EST

    It is the thinking and the quality of discussion it produces that makes and article useful.

    With due respect, no it's not. It's the quality of discussion that makes the discussion useful. That is, I don't need to read the letters to the editor in the paper to appreciate the article I read the previous day.

    An article can be (and probably should be) useful in its own right to those who read it. Not everyone participates in the comment threads. I certainly didn't for the first nine months that I was on this site. (Perhaps not coincidentally I rarely ventured into the original articles, finding it difficult to discover truly worthwhile content.)

    Ultimately, this isn't PromptVine (sorry, Jon!). That's not to say we couldn't accommodate prompts, as we sort of did when the QotD was still around. (We desperately need more article types.)

    But right now there are two problems that I see:

    1. Perception: "Prompt" articles are taking slots in the "Featured Authors" box from "genuine" articles. If we want to convinced casual browsers that they can "Get smarter here," how convincing is it when the first "article" they click on has two sentences?
    2. Reward: "Prompt" articles are effectively as rewarded in a number of different ways as "genuine" articles (in the algorithm/page rank, in leaderboard metrics, regarding Vineacity). Perhaps not everyone cares about all of these factors, but it certainly can't feel good to see the article you spent six hours sink like a rock down the Vine rankings while a two-liner garners 50 votes and 300 comments. Effort should be rewarded. (Caveat: I'm not saying "effort" is everything, but certainly it ought to count for something.)

    When we can segregate prompts into their own category, these kind of problems go away. If people want to post daily prompts, more power to them. But I don't see how rewarding someone for 3 minutes work as much as, or more than, someone who spent significant time researching and writing a "real" article encourages Newsvine's stated mission: getting smarter.

    • 8 votes
    #9.66 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:01 PM EST

    You're right, spiffie. 150 words really isn't that big a deal.

    The suggestion that hyperlinks be included, however, is a problem for me, though I understand Jack's reasoning behind it.

    • 6 votes
    #9.67 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:02 PM EST

    Viki:

    Of course, I am right now sitting on the can of worms that is the discussion of who gets to be an editor, who decides what is quality, etc. I'll leave that for someone else to open.

    Me.

    :^{)>

    • 4 votes
    #9.68 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:08 PM EST

    Aunk:

    A person could make a good article with one picture and one word.

    Well, yeah. They could. But the fact is, they don't.

    Alluding to Raat's Hemingway reference above, well yeah. If Hemingway comes to the Vine and posts a six-word article, that would be fine. For the rest of us mere mortals, though, six words is a garbage article.

    • 7 votes
    #9.69 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:18 PM EST

    Hmm, how about this blast from the past: Join the six word science fiction story vine!! Of course the article introducing it took more than six words...

    • 8 votes
    #9.70 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:24 PM EST

    Whoa that six word article bring up some old memories !

    • 3 votes
    #9.71 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:33 PM EST

    Me.

    You meant me, right?

    We'd make a good editorial team, Jack. What do you say we pitch that to the Newsvine team? ;)

    • 2 votes
    #9.72 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:48 PM EST

    Sorry I'm late to this discussion. I raised this length idea (aka size matters) in a discussion in Cyprah's article and then ended up deciding there'd need to be too many exceptions to make it worthwhile.

    I think we need something in between seeds and articles. If we enforced a 150-word requirement that would eliminate birthday announcements, writing exercises, trivia contests, help threads and discussions like this one we're having right now. Because I'd agree that those things I just listed as not articles but I also think there is value in discussions about why we chose the avatar we did or writing a fictional story together.

    The compromise I suggested at Cyprah's article was putting the word "announcement" in, well, an announcement but it didn't really get much feedback.

    • 2 votes
    #9.73 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:59 PM EST

    If we enforced a 150-word requirement that would eliminate birthday announcements, writing exercises, trivia contests, help threads and discussions like this one we're having right now.

    Not really. And I'm not talking about eliminating these things, I'm talking about systematically encouraging more substantial contributions. How many articles do you have, Scott? Hundreds? Certainly someone in your position would reach the threshold I described above.

    Let me be absolutely clear: I'm not advocating these things be eliminated, that they should be pulled just as an offensive article would be. I'm saying we should reward posters more commensurately with the effort they put into their contributions.

    • 4 votes
    #9.74 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:03 AM EST

    Also, regarding specifically this article, there are 137 words in it. One more sentence and it would have been there. 150 words really isn't that hard to hit.

    • 2 votes
    #9.75 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:09 AM EST

    "announcement"

    That does raise a good point, not really a COH point however. I would be nice if we had some method lets say on the front page that gave a Newsvine Health Check if a problem came up like "Tracker Down" as often people end up writing short articles asking others that question.

    • 4 votes
    #9.76 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:09 AM EST

    Viki:

    Deal!

    I elect you team spokeswoman.

    • 3 votes
    #9.77 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:39 AM EST

    Delegating already, I see...

    ;)

    • 3 votes
    #9.78 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:54 AM EST

    For the rest of us mere mortals, though, six words is a garbage article

    Perhaps. But something that is just 6 words long, is rubbish and still gets traffic says more about the readers than the writer.

    • 5 votes
    #9.79 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:55 AM EST

    Oh, sure my "articles" would be 150 words but at least one-third of stuff going under the article label are indeed the writing exercises, the b-day announcements, etc.

    One reason I do the newsvine's picks is to encourage those who DO write articles of their own because I do agree we should push for those - the more substantive writing we do, the better.

    I'm just saying the problem with word limits is one size limit doesn't work for all - you soon have to carve out a bunch of exceptions.

    • 3 votes
    #9.80 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:36 AM EST

    No. You really don't. I'm not sure how I can state this more clearly. I'm not saying short articles wouldn't be allowed. I'm not even saying that they couldn't make the front page. Why would there have to be an exception for behavior that's not disallowed?

    • 5 votes
    #9.81 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:29 PM EST

    Hyperlinks should remain optional. I personally find them distracting and annoying. Also it takes the reader away from the page and the adverts.

    Regarding source attribution, I prefer AP style attribution. If I want to investigate the source provided I can do so simply by researching the attributed source. It's really not very difficult to do.

    • 5 votes
    #9.82 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:01 PM EST

    Of course, I am right now sitting on the can of worms that is the discussion of who gets to be an editor, who decides what is quality, etc. I'll leave that for someone else to open.

    Selecting editors, if editors are going to be used at Newsvine:

    In the interest of objectivity any editors selected would need to be new people who remain personally uninvolved with all members.

    IMO, editors could be used to review articles prior to submission with the main purpose of ensuring a predetermined level of quality. A description of the "level-of-quality" requirements could be clearly disclosed in the COH to further discourage partiality.

    If the article fails to meet the predetermined level of quality cited in the COH, the editors could bounce the article back to the author with suggestions regarding ways to bring the content to the quality level specified in the COH.

    • 2 votes
    #9.83 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:50 PM EST
    Reply

    Be more specific about not linking to your own blog/website as a seed. I still see a lot of people do it, either they haven't read the CoH, didn't understand it or ignoring it. No matter what, being more specific would help - or making it a separate item.

    Posting full articles which also appear on your blog is acceptable but seeding your own stuff is not.

    Just saying.

    • 11 votes
    Reply#11 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:21 AM EST

    Dear God,

    There are already 38 comments. I just finished the 718 comments on some other column related to this development. I cannot bear to read them all. If I am duplicating a suggestion, beat me with a wet noodle.

    Could we add "Animals" "Family" and "Literature" categories?

    • 3 votes
    Reply#12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:25 AM EST

    COH #36

    The Newsvine staff will monitor the Front Page and may occasionally remove content that violates the COH without notice.

    All "removed" content will be available on the "So you Wanna Fight?" back page section. or some less inflammatory named section.

    COH#37

    Only 7 articles on Mr Obama will be allowed on the Front Page at any one time.

    • 18 votes
    Reply#13 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:37 AM EST

    COH#38

    A Newsviner member is only permitted one poll per month

    • 5 votes
    #13.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:13 PM EST

    All "removed" content will be available on the "So you Wanna Fight?" back page section. or some less inflammatory named section.

    I kinda' like that suggestion. :)

    • 3 votes
    #13.2 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:30 PM EST
    Reply

    Habitual false or vindictive ! reporting will be punished by clipping a branch or something equivalent. Or give a sprig of fennel for good behavior, fair moderating, something you can earn and lose.

    • 12 votes
    Reply#14 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:41 AM EST

    Or give a sprig of fennel

    What if you don't know the conversion table between a sprig of that vs a pinch of this vs a dash of that ? This fennel stuff is confusing....

    • 3 votes
    #14.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:53 PM EST

    Habitual false or vindictive ! reporting will be punished by clipping a branch or something equivalent. Or give a sprig of fennel for good behavior, fair moderating, something you can earn and lose.

    An excellent point, Pam.

    • 3 votes
    #14.2 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:31 PM EST
    Reply

    Newsvine is not a dating or personals column service.

    Any evidence that you are using Newsvine in this manner will result in your dismissal from the community.

    • 24 votes
    Reply#15 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:50 AM EST

    Amen.

    • 10 votes
    #15.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:34 AM EST
    Newsvine is not a dating or personals column service.

    I certainly "second" that comment.

    • 5 votes
    #15.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:58 AM EST

    Raymonty are you listening ?

    • 6 votes
    #15.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:47 AM EST

    I like!

    • 2 votes
    #15.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:47 PM EST

    Newsvine is not a dating or personals column service.

    Any evidence that you are using Newsvine in this manner will result in your dismissal from the community.

    Gee, Ranni, and I was going to ask ya' all to be my Valentine. ;)

    On a serious note: Good suggestion: Personal disputes and disagreements, too. Those should be handled through the moderator or other Newvine staff, IMO.

    • 5 votes
    #15.5 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:06 PM EST

    to ask ya' all to be my Valentine

    Well I never. Slot is currently taken and date has just passed. Try again next year. But I think you need another sort of Raani:-)

    • 4 votes
    #15.6 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:21 PM EST
    Reply

    Stalking and/or harrasing will not be tolerated

    Any reports or evidence of such behaviour will lead to instant dismissal. Please respect the age range for Newsviners - it varies from 13 to 70.

    • 20 votes
    Reply#16 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:53 AM EST

    My wife uses Newsvine as one of a number of media outlets her 7th graders can use to compare media outlets . I could presume she is not the only teacher using the site in this way. [I don't let it stop me as I'm aware there's a profanity filter]

    While I'm not willing to be dictated to by a bunch of 13 year olds it is worth bearing in mind there are some people on newsvine whose reason for sounding like 13 year olds is because they are.

    • 9 votes
    #16.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:23 AM EST

    Not sure if I understand your point winsome. I don't see any problem with anyone using, reading, tracking or following anything on Newsvine. I guess we all want more people to do that anyway.

    I am specifically refering to those who come here with the sole purpose of finding a vulnerable member of the community (could be a minor, perhaps a woman, maybe someone who is an elder) and then stalking or harrassing them. These are predators and vermin which every society and community has. Unfortunately even this one risks getting some; my suggestion is to ensure that the CoH allows the community with the ammunition to turf them out..

    It so happens that I have just seeded a UK Govt Report on bullying and how that permeates itself even on online communities.

    • 5 votes
    #16.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:46 AM EST

    I'm a woman, and an "Elder", but I certainly do not regard myself as being "vunerable".

    If you're "vulnerable", then just what are you doing writing on the Internet in the first place?

    • 3 votes
    #16.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:01 AM EST

    I'm a woman, and an "Elder", but I certainly do not regard myself as being "vunerable".

    Good to know Sandie. You will not fall prey to predators and will thwart any attempts by any who you see as such. Even if they appear to be harrassing someone else who may be unaware of the risk. As I said above, having it covered in the CoH gives us the ammo.

    As for vulnerable, those that are very rarely go around saying they are. Or even realise so. The whole subject on how predators prey on victims and who becomes a victim demands a separate article altogether.

    • 3 votes
    #16.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:53 AM EST

    Stalking and/or harrasing will not be tolerated

    I think that's going to be implied by other aspects of the Code of Honor, and I'm certain it's covered in the UI, and I agree -- with the following concern: It's as easy to abuse reports of stalking and harassing as it is to actually stalk and harass someone. As I mention in the other thread, I saw at least two articles last week in which it appeared that someone was indicating that they were being harassed, I notified emily in an email that it seemed like a pretty serious situation, and the next day there was a long apology about having written the article. Similarly, I saw another accusation about harassment that turned out to be a false positive. (That person sent me an apology email after I commented on his article, and after he realized he had made a mistake.)

    So, we need to be really careful about using strong language like "attack, stalking or harassment" because its my belief that a great deal of those accusations that we see on Newsvine are watering down the terms to the point of having no meaning.

    • 3 votes
    #16.5 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:22 AM EST

    Good build Brian. I do think it needs to be explicit and yet take your point into account so that the words are softer.

    Using what I had as a strawmodel, perhaps something like

    Evidence of stalking or harrasing an individual will not be tolerated

    Any reports or evidence of such behaviour will be fully investigated and where found to be true, will lead to instant dismissal. Please respect the age range for Newsviners - it varies from 13 to 70.

    • 6 votes
    #16.6 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:02 AM EST

    Raat

    My point was that you are right there is a large spread of ages here and there are [to me] a surprising number of 13 year olds who log onto Newsvine to get smarter.

    • 2 votes
    #16.7 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:06 PM EST
    Reply

    Just a general comment about these two Blog articles. The previous one should be closed to comments. Viners are still adding their comments there. Will get mighty confusing for all. I will add a link to this revised version.

    • 8 votes
    Reply#17 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:48 AM EST

    Don't delete comments you just happen to not like

    • 16 votes
    Reply#18 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:59 AM EST

    Or disagree with.

    There are a few (very few) authors that will delete any comment that opposes their opinion, that I feel it wrong, however that is a fairly rare occurrence.

    • 13 votes
    #18.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:49 AM EST

    There was one person that used to be on Newsvine that said that comments off topic would be deleted. However, she only deleted off topic comments from those she disagreed with. Those that she like stayed.

    • 7 votes
    #18.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:30 AM EST

    Reposted from the pther column
    Article/Seed Level:
    Deceptive Article/Seeding

    • Deliberately posting information that the poster knows is inaccurate or who's intent is to deceive the Newsvine community is prohibited. Users should refrain from posting articles from sites that are either known to be "rumor mills" or intentionally inflammatory in nature.

    Comment Level:
    Abusive of CoH

    • Excessive or biased use of the CoH in order to control or eliminate comments opposed to the views of the originally reporting party is a violation
    • 6 votes
    #18.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:30 AM EST

    Jimster, I think that your first point would be difficult to prove. I don't know what sites would be considered to be rumor mills (I might consider anything from Fox News a rumor!)-- that could be part of the conversations on any seed from there, for the edification of others. The articles and seeds here are to have conversations about (IMHO).

    • 1 vote
    #18.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:56 PM EST
    Reply

    I'm curious about 5,

    Although full internationalization is important to Newsvine, please keep all articles and seeds in English until the system can properly sort multiple languages.

    First off, I've always been confused why the system needs to "properly sort" articles in different languages. As far as I can see, alphabetical indexing is not supported anyhow.

    Are there any plans for greater "internationalization"? I think that, at the very least, Spanish should be enabled and encouraged on the Vine.

    • 1 vote
    Reply#19 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:28 AM EST

    # ∞
    A Newsvine member who fights for his personal Honor will not be punished or reprimanded for it. When a person defends his honor, he defends the honor of Newsvine, because we are a community. So we will award them with the "Newsvine Medal of Honor".

    The Ku Klux Klan, Silver Shirts, the American Nazi Party, the Posse Comitatus, the Aryan Nations, and the National Alliance, are racist Fascist, and will be permanently expelled with their IP addresses blocked.

    Trials will be held, with a jury of Newsvine peers can be requested and will be held to determine COH violations.

    • 4 votes
    #20 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:04 AM EST

    The Ku Klux Klan, Silver Shirts, the American Nazi Party, the Posse Comitatus, the Aryan Nations, and the National Alliance, are racist Fascist, and will be permanently expelled with their IP addresses blocked.

    I disagree. What about freedom of speech?

    • 6 votes
    #20.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:21 AM EST

    What about freedom of speech?

    I've been told, essentially, that Newsvine is not a government agency, and is therefore not obligated to allow for free speech. In essence, if something violates their standards of acceptable content, they will remove it. I'd provide the exact quote, but I don't want to without asking permission to do so.

    • 6 votes
    #20.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:33 AM EST

    So hopefully if some cult like Westboro Baptist Church took up resident here, they could be banned ?

    • 3 votes
    #20.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:38 AM EST

    the Aryan Nations

    Dan - there is no such thing as Aryan nations. Hitler and his evil men ruthlessly stole something that is very sacred to Aryans and bastardized it beyond a shred of decency and any comprehension at all. There were many atrocities Hitler committed against mankind. What he did to Aryan culture and civilization is rarely cited as an example. Mainly because the key parties involved didn't care much to search for the truth. And the victims (I am talking about Aryans) feeling their culture and civilization having been tarnished by an evil, ruthless and opportunist foreigner.

    There was little wrong with the culture that Hitler chose to bastardize. Nor generations of humanity that walk this earth as its descendants. In this case, it is right to shoot the messenger. Not the message. There is enough on the net about the source to the Aryans. Albeit grossly polluted and twisted by ignorance and fear of fascism since Hitler's rise.

    • 6 votes
    #20.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:41 AM EST

    Raat, I'm pretty sure he meant this Aryan Nation.

    • 2 votes
    #20.5 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:44 AM EST

    I've been told, essentially, that Newsvine is not a government agency, and is therefore not obligated to allow for free speech. In essence, if something violates their standards of acceptable content, they will remove it. I'd provide the exact quote, but I don't want to without asking permission to do so.

    I agree, but banning groups because of their beliefs? I love Newsvine, but I think I'd have to leave in protest over that. Even if I disagree completely with all of the groups that were mentioned (which I do).

    Raat, great comment.

    • 6 votes
    #20.6 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:46 AM EST

    I disagree. What about freedom of speech?

    You don't have any Right to incite Hate. This is an abuse of the freedom of speech, and if you abuse something you should lose it. Hate groups use lies and sophistry to remove your freedom of speech. Like a murderer takes away your right to live.

    • 1 vote
    #20.7 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:53 AM EST

    I agree, but banning groups because of their beliefs?

    Here's how I see it. If anyone from the Westboro Baptist Church wants to join Newsvine, they could do so. They could seed content, they could write articles. Even knowing their beliefs, they could do so.

    BUT:

    If someone from the Westboro Baptist Church joins Newsvine, writes articles about how "God Hates Fags" or about how Newsvine users are going to hell for being enablers, their "right" to believe something is trumped by Newsvine's right to boot them from the system for promoting a hateful agenda on their bandwidth.

    Call it censorship, call it a violation of Freedom of Speech -- I simply don't care.

    • 6 votes
    #20.8 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:57 AM EST

    Eric - thanks for that link. I had never come across Aryan Nations and am sickened by what I learn about them.

    Just for the record, Aryan points to something totally different on the same Wikipaedia. The first sentence is worth capturing here.

    Aryan is an English word derived from the Sanskrit "Ārya" meaning "noble" or "honorable".

    Dan - Sorry if I came across as ignorant of what you meant. It seems that the fascists have picked up where Hitler left off. And the world is sitting by and letting them. It is a travesty to the Sanskrit word for Aryan.

    • 5 votes
    #20.9 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:03 AM EST

    Brian, I think you're spot on. Ban them AFTER they violate the CoH. But what Dan was talking about was banning anyone who is a Nazi. It's possible that a Nazi could actually be a reasonable person who wouldn't attack anyone. Remember, America believes in innocent before guilty.

    • 9 votes
    #20.10 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:08 AM EST

    @Raat
    The Aryan Nations people are not nice at all. There are some good sized groups of them in Idaho (not that far from here) and it can be scary to pull off the road at the wrong stop and run into a group of them. We have had a few of their groups try to set up "training camps" in Washington State and that is one scary and sick group of people. They have two groups actually operating in Spokane and Tacoma (Seattle shut them down) so when I read about them spreading, I just feel sick.

    • 3 votes
    #20.11 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:13 AM EST

    So hopefully if some cult like Westboro Baptist Church took up resident here, they could be banned ?

    For what it's worth I'm pretty sure that I got a Phelps to comment in one of my seeds on WBC's plans to protest the VT funerals. I welcome their comments if only to hold them up to the scrutiny of an intelligent and critical community.

    I have faith in you guys -- and as much as the so-called "Conservitive Coalition" has demonstrated that it's possible to game the system, I'd hope that NV would ensure that collaboration outside of NV doesn't alter the tone of the site as a whole.

    As we get more popular that will prove a problem for commercial as well as ideological reasons.

    • 11 votes
    #20.12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:21 AM EST

    @Killfille,
    That is a totally different story. If it was a moderated story by any Newsviner, of course, that would be interesting.

    However if the Phelps family landed here and spewed out weekly messages of "We hate fags", "A good soldier is a dead one" Would that be welcome ? I think not.

    • 8 votes
    #20.13 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:28 AM EST

    Learning this whole thing about Aryan Nations is something that has thrown me completely by surprise. From the comments here since Dan brought it up, and checking on the net following Eric's alert, it seems to be a group that is well established and operating out of the US. I have never come across anything similar in Europe although I would not be surpised to discover links with fascist groups with a different alias.

    As a descendant of the Aryan culture and its true identity, it behoves upon me to bring these fraudsters to account. And reclaim what the word Aryan means and what it represents. I will start a Newsvine campaign to that effect and plead with this community to help me in that path.

    Thanks Dan and Eric. Every day, I come across a living example of what Getting Smarter Here really means.

    • 7 votes
    #20.14 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:39 AM EST

    Dan - there is no such thing as Aryan nations.

    In the sense that there are more then one of these groups who use this name. I used the plural.

    • 1 vote
    #20.15 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:06 PM EST

    Here is an example of an oxymoron used to defend, the indefeasible

    It's possible that a Nazi could actually be a reasonable person who wouldn't attack anyone.

    Reasonable Nazi? Sure, and you believe this because.... I know what side you stand on in this issue Andrew.

    • 3 votes
    #20.16 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:13 PM EST

    Nazi Propaganda and rhetoric is to free thought and the open public discussion of ideas, what child pornography is to art.

    • 4 votes
    #20.17 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:37 PM EST

    Dan - I would urge you to reread my comments in this section and look at the link to Aryan in my initial one. The Nazis deliberately picked up something from their 'so called' ancestral roots and twisted it way way beyond. I have no time with either them or these vicuos thugs who call themsleves Aryan Nations. I vehemently resent they have been able to use that name at all. It's an obscene violation of the worst kind imaginable. I thank you again for alerting me to it.

    • 5 votes
    #20.18 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:53 PM EST

    I'm sure there can (and have been) lengthy debates on whether there should be tolerance for intolerance. In terms of the CoH, I don't think anyone should be banned simply because they belong to a group. They should be judged on their actions here, not on their ideological leanings or group membership.

    If someone belongs to intolerant group abc, that's their right; if they start advocating for violence against group xyz, they'll be banned.

    • 4 votes
    #20.19 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:05 PM EST

    I agree with you, just pointing out that there are more then one. Sorry, but only that one post was directed to you....

    • 3 votes
    #20.20 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:25 PM EST

    Here is an example of an oxymoron used to defend, the indefeasible

    It's possible that a Nazi could actually be a reasonable person who wouldn't attack anyone.

    Reasonable Nazi? Sure, and you believe this because.... I know what side you stand on in this issue Andrew.

    Dan, how is that helping Newsvine get smarter?

    And I'm not a Nazi. I'm a conservative. There IS a difference.

    I'm sure there can (and have been) lengthy debates on whether there should be tolerance for intolerance. In terms of the CoH, I don't think anyone should be banned simply because they belong to a group. They should be judged on their actions here, not on their ideological leanings or group membership.

    If someone belongs to intolerant group abc, that's their right; if they start advocating for violence against group xyz, they'll be banned.

    Agreed.

    • 5 votes
    #20.21 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:12 PM EST

    I agree, but banning groups because of their beliefs? I love Newsvine, but I think I'd have to leave in protest over that. Even if I disagree completely with all of the groups that were mentioned (which I do).

    Why to leave, Mr. Andrew?

    You don't have to give the votes to the authors that are extremists.

    I am a conservative also but I found friendly antagonists that I give the votes up and enough comments to feel comfortable in their columns/seeds.

    Raat, great comment.

    He always does and he is very polite also. A poster that earned my respect a long time ago. And.....he likes my recipes.

    • 6 votes
    #20.22 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:08 PM EST

    Well, I felt like if Newsvine decides to ban people because they happen to believe a certain thing (guilty before innocent), I wouldn't want a part of it. Luckily, I doubt Newsvine will.

    I am a conservative also but I found friendly antagonists that I give the votes up and enough comments to feel comfortable in their columns/seeds.

    Same here!

    • 5 votes
    #20.23 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:13 PM EST

    I'm with you, Andrew.

    • 2 votes
    #20.24 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:26 PM EST

    Thanks Det. Food - the way to a man's heart:-)

    • 2 votes
    #20.25 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:59 AM EST

    One of the Westboro brain donors has an account here. She needed it to rant on a Westboro seed by a real Newsvine member. It appears that she ranted once before crawling back under her rock.

    • 2 votes
    #20.26 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:33 AM EST

    Regarding freedom of speech around here, a few people in this thread have identified the stance of Newsvine staff correctly:

    Do not confuse freedom of speech with membership.

    If you want to incite hate, there are other places you can do it. If you want to post porn, there are other places you can do it. If you want to systematically and repeatedly cause problems for the user population and the staff (even in a way which isn't at all illegal), you can take a hike.

    Having a policy like this requires that the staff check all biases (political or otherwise) at the door, which is what we do. We don't even have *time* to be liberal or conservative around here. Our decisions may not always be perfect, but we do the best we can based on what we see at the time. Thankfully, the community and the tools we provide for self-regulation provide a good first level of defense so staff intervention isn't needed at every first sign of flare-up.

    *Not* having a policy like this, however, and essentially letting people say whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter how hurtful, and creating a culture where this is the norm will turn a site into UseNet every time. This isn't UseNet.

    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions in this thread by the way.

    • 13 votes
    #20.27 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:19 PM EST

    Really appreciate you coming in with your initial view Mike.

    Do not confuse freedom of speech with membership.

    If you want to incite hate, there are other places you can do it. If you want to post porn, there are other places you can do it. If you want to systematically and repeatedly cause problems for the user population and the staff (even in a way which isn't at all illegal), you can take a hike.

    Simplicity is the key in my view. The above is an excellent example of that. In deriving at the above words, you have immediately distilled many specific suggestions in the discussion. Clearly there are a few more points to add but I think this is a good base to build from.

    Thank you.

    • 6 votes
    #20.28 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:47 PM EST
    Reply

    It would be nice if the Newsvine Blog Cyborg would provide a link to the CoH at the top of this story.

    • 4 votes
    Reply#21 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:34 AM EST

    It's not governmental control of speech

      Reply#22 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:34 AM EST

      Be Nice.

      • 6 votes
      Reply#23 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:59 AM EST

      Not sure if this on the thread already but it has always been a big thing for me and a few others.

      When seeding an article use the actual title not a catchy title that will get you votes or comments.

      I just thought I would put that out there not even sure it fits the criteria. I just think that making your own title to another persons work to generate page hits is a little wrong. But who knows maybe thats just me.

      Thanks for giving us some say

      Rob

      • 14 votes
      #24 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:49 PM EST

      I agree with that. If people have commentary, they should write it in the text of their seed or in a comment. Keeping the same title helps identify duplicate seeds as well.

      • 4 votes
      #24.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:58 PM EST

      I don't agree with it at all. I think using a "catchy" title is perfectly acceptable, and my goal when seeding content is always to get votes and comments. As it stands, the portion that needs addressing is not creating a "sensational" headline, which is very different from a catchy headline, and that's already addressed in the current Code of Honor.

      When MSNBC posts our content to their entertainment pages or to their community section, they often choose their own headline.

      But, building off that, I think the bigger problem is going off on a tangent when you see an article by someone you don't like with an altered headline because 1) you're upset about the perceived treatment of people you agree with and want to score a point for your team or 2) you want to derail the comment thread. Most of the headline wars I see on Newsvine are spiteful, and have less to do with the headlines than with wanting to play "gotcha".

      In other words: I agree that there are instances in which the choice of headline can be a bad or inflammatory choice -- but I don't agree that "changing the headline" is necessarily a bad thing, even if doing so is in an attempt to earn readership. Anyone who isn't here to earn a readership: I have to wonder why they're here?

      • 6 votes
      #24.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:14 PM EST

      OK good call Brian by catchy I did mean sensational. But that is what I meant. I usually seed my articles with the original title, that is my preferance. Probably why I am not as popular as some here. But I also don't have to worry about explaining my title to others (at least not always). I like to keep things simple and if it keeps me from getting votes or comments then so be it.

      • 6 votes
      #24.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:33 PM EST

      The question about catchy titles vs the original article title. Doesn't that throw Doppelganger off when it tries (usually poorly) to match up articles by the same subject ? I was not sure if there was any copyright issue or anything if we did change the original title.

      • 3 votes
      #24.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:18 PM EST

      Tedd -- Doppleganger looks as the body text as far as I can tell. It's far from an exact science. If Newsvine wants to hire a full time web developer to work remotely (probably a hell of a lot less expensive than paying for someone in Seattle) I'll be happy to take a crack at sharpening Doppleganger's fangs.

      • 6 votes
      #24.5 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:32 PM EST

      More broadly, I can not stress how much I disagree with this "original headline" notion. Headlines set up the story and - if I'm going to put something on my column, I probably have a reason for it.

      Every story that I seed is put up because there's something about it I think would make for interesting conversation. I craft the headline to encourage readers to discuss that thing. Sometimes it's the main thrust of the article. Sometimes it's not.

      Moreover, let's not pretend that imposing this rather draconian rule would in any way change the nature of the headlines we see here on Newsvine. Sure - I can find a story at the WaPo or the NYT and seed it with their headline, but if I want something a little more charged I can find the same story at Daily Kos or a half dozen other blogs.

      If we, as citizen journalists, are to influence media and media coverage I see no reason why we should rely upon the judgment of others as to the best way to frame a story and direct a conversation.

      • 9 votes
      #24.6 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:36 PM EST

      It's far from an exact science.

      From what I have observed, there is little science nor logic to Doppelganger, at times it gets close, but your idea of some work on it I feel would be a great idea as we need something to catch dupe articles and D.G. just is not up to that task.

      • 3 votes
      #24.7 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:37 PM EST

      What I find rather interesting with Doppelgangers sorting sequence or filtering logic is why when I seed an article from the Seattle Times-Business, that in 4 cases, it matched it with articles that had 100% Cyrillic text ? Is this a secret plot against Microsoft by Doppelganger ? :-)

      • 1 vote
      #24.8 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:18 PM EST

      I can tell you for sure Doppelganger is broke, at least for NYTimes articles. They are sometimes seeded three or four times, so if it's looking at content, it's blind. I'll seed early in the morning, and see the same article seeded over and over through the day.

      • 3 votes
      #24.9 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:22 PM EST

      It was just an Idea, I know that some of the titles a few viners make up are pretty over the top. And can actually deter some of us who look for real news from checking out that seed. Honestly I won't look at a lot of the seeds that could be from a very reliable nonpartisan source because of some of the extreme titles people put on them. Unlike some I don't come hear to be pissed off or to piss others off I come here to learn and get news. Needless to say, I guess I understand where you are coming from and will do things my way and you can do thing your way. We all use this forum in different ways and who am I to complain.

      All that being said I think the COH is good the way it is, but I do think there should be stiffer penalties for habitual violators just my 2 cents.

      • 5 votes
      #24.10 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:23 PM EST

      Re headlines. While I understand the complaint, limiting heads to the exact wording in the article won't work for me. For example, magazines (especially the Economist) have shortened headlines that work because they are paired with an image. Without the image, they make no sense at all. I need to add a description or rework the title in some way if I want anyone to be interested enough to read it.

      • 6 votes
      #24.11 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:24 PM EST

      I feel that the headlines need to reflect the same thing the original one did. If the wording is changed around a little, thats fine as some of them are far to long or short, but they still should say basically the same thing, but its OK if the words are slightly different. What I have a problem with is people leaving lets say one critical key word out or throwing one in and totally changes the meaning of the article and when you click to read the real article, you feel like you have been duped into reading it by the author. That is false advertising and I have seen that a few times.

      It is going to have to remain a case by case issue if its a contested headline I feel to make it fair for everyone.

      • 6 votes
      #24.12 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:38 PM EST

      There has been at least one recent example (and the seeder is very much involved in this discussion) who completely changed the title to the reverse of the seeded article to try his 'gotcha'. Very unprofessional and clearly aginst the letter and spirit of the CoH.

      Despite several reports of the violation (some evidenced in that comment thread), last time I looked, the seed is still here. We do need a consistent application of the CoH and action when it if openly flouted.

      • 5 votes
      #24.13 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:51 PM EST

      Rob, that is a GREAT idea. I agree 100%. I do think it should be OK to add in the authors name if you wanted to tho.

      • 3 votes
      #24.14 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:21 PM EST

      Rob, that is a GREAT idea. I agree 100%. I do think it should be OK to add in the authors name if you wanted to tho.

      I'm curious -- why that exception? Adding the author's name is editorializing just as much as choosing a different (but still on topic and accurate) headline. Either way, you're changing the headline to attract a specific group of people / reaction.

      • 4 votes
      #24.15 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:28 PM EST

      Raat:

      Moi?

      As a matter of fact, judging by the very definition of "antisemitism" cited elsewhere in the thread related to this one, the headline was accurate.

      • 2 votes
      #24.16 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:07 PM EST

      Oui Jack.

      • 2 votes
      #24.17 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:01 AM EST

      When seeding an article use the actual title not a catchy title that will get you votes or comments.

      This appears to assume that "actual titles" are always superior and not themselves misleading or innappropriate.

      When seeding an article take responsibility for the title.

      All to often I have seen titles that are inflamatory and misleading or just factually incorrect and the seeder says they have no responsibility for the accuracy of their title.

      • 3 votes
      #24.18 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:17 PM EST

      I seeded one today that's catching some flack. I didn't edit the title in the slightest, even left the punctuation alone.

      We'll nuke Iran - Bush promises Israel

      It probably would have been more journalistically ethical to change that to say "Bush's Promise May Commit US To Preemptive Nuclear Strike" or drop the word "nuclear" altogether... but if you want the original title you're going to have to live with the ones that are non-descriptive or just outright inflammatory.

      Of course what angers me about that position is that is amounts to saying that you trust everyone else's judgment more than any Newsviner's.

      • 6 votes
      #24.19 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:02 PM EST

      Of course what angers me about that position is that is amounts to saying that you trust everyone else's judgment more than any Newsviner's.

      I don't think that is true at all Killfile, I think what it says is that if you are seeding someone elses work, use their work. You can always write your own article and then YOU get to choose the headline.

      • 4 votes
      #24.20 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:08 PM EST

      Headlines are important to people who navigate Newsvine like I do. I use the friends tracker almost exclusively (with a very small watchlist to supplement). My friends tracker gets easily a couple hundred articles a day. When I go through it, I look for interesting and descriptive headlines.

      Headlines should be provocative without being sensational. 90% of the time if I see a vague headline, I think "Well, I wonder what that is, but I'm not so curious to go check it out. I have plenty of other stuff to read." A lot of sources don't write headlines intended for the Newsvine format.

      Even in my own seeding, I frequently have to edit headlines just for clarity. A lot of blogs put inside jokes or terminology in the headlines. A lot of science sites use jargon that an average person may not know. A lot of local papers use place names only a native would know, or just the last name of a local personality. If only for the sake of adding clarity should headline modification not only be allowed but strongly encouraged.

      • 8 votes
      #24.21 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:26 PM EST

      The "use their work" argument when choosing a headline is nonsense, because many of the articles we seed have headlines that probably weren't written by the author of the article anyway.

      • 6 votes
      #24.22 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:40 PM EST

      To claim that that gives you the right to modify them is just wrong. Remember, you are seeding something that is the property of someone else. regardless of who wrote the article or the headline.

      • 3 votes
      #24.23 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:59 PM EST

      And we're not modifying their actual work, we're presenting it to an audience through another medium.

      • 2 votes
      #24.24 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:17 PM EST

      killfile:

      Of course what angers me about that position is that is amounts to saying that you trust everyone else's judgment more than any Newsviner's.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but Yes. And I absolutely do not trust yours.

      Through almost all my various meta disputes, the common thread is a foundation of calls for objective standards. I don't trust you to decide whether your headline is not "sensationalistic,"

      The beauty of the recommendation at the top of this thread is that it's objective. You can tell in an instant if the rule has been violated or not.

      • 2 votes
      #24.25 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:25 PM EST

      To claim that that gives you the right to modify them is just wrong.

      Provide evidence that there's any legal reason not to modify a headline as part of a link to an article, and I'll concede that you have a point. You've no ground to stand on here, though. You can oppose the choice to do so all you want, on personal grounds, but your personal views about it have nothing at all to do with whether it's acceptable and legal to do so.

      We're not republishing the article, we're publishing a snippet of the article -- with a link to the full article and the full original headline -- and so long as the headline we choose is accurate and a reflection of ideas actually found within the article -- no one has any right to dictate the headlines we choose on articles we seed to our own columns.

      • 4 votes
      #24.26 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:40 PM EST

      And all that does is make it harder for many people to find content. Sometimes changing the headline is absolutely appropriate.

      • 2 votes
      #24.27 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:42 PM EST

      Here's a good example: The Kansas City Star is owned by McClatchy News Service. Much of what you find in the Star came from McClatchy. But if you do a search at McClatchy using a headline you read in the Star, most of the time it won't come up. Thats because the exact same article has two different headlines for two different audiences. The Star headline is written to appeal to the KC metro area, McClatchy's is written for a national audience. Hence, they are seldom the same. Personally, I think that if the big boys can do that, so can we...

      • 7 votes
      #24.28 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:53 PM EST

      killfile, Jim:

      You know, reconsidering my 24.25 above I realized that there is reciprocal solution that I would also be perfectly in favor of.

      No rule at all, or only the minimal rule associated with the ToS, no racism, no obscenity, etc.

      Then we don't have to have this ridiculous perpetual and ultimately irreconcilable dispute about what's "sensationalistic."

      • 5 votes
      #24.29 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:00 PM EST

      Then we don't have to have this ridiculous perpetual and ultimately irreconcilable dispute about what's "sensationalistic."

      Or, people could accept that the same rule applies to headlines that applies to content: If you think something is sensational, report it -- and then move on. If it doesn't come down, your opinion on the matter was vetoed by the admins, and there's no need to be found elsewhere, days or weeks later, talking about how unfair the staff is.

      • 3 votes
      #24.30 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:04 PM EST

      Brian, when I mean no legal right, I will write no legal right. I stated it was just wrong. you have not demonstrated to me that it is right. Why do you insist on trying to argue about everything and anything?

      • 2 votes
      #24.31 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:34 PM EST

      I stated it was just wrong.

      Why do you think it's wrong? What does your personal view on whether it's right or wrong have anything to do with anything, if it's an accepted practice in just about every outlet known to man?

      The point I'm making is that you need to provide some legitimate reason to oppose the practice -- especially considering you carved a loophole in which you get to add the authors name, but no one else gets to make a change -- or else I don't see any reason for anyone to change their habits about headlines.

      Your stance seems to be: "I don't like it when people write their own headlines."

      You're using that stance to suggest an amendment to the Code of Honor which would make your stance a requirement. (No one would be permitted to rewrite a headline.) So, yes, I'm going to offer a point of view that differs (you can call it arguing if that makes you feel better) so that the amendment isn't considered, because I think it's a silly change, especially in light of the fact that there's already a rule in place about not making sensational headline changes.

      • 4 votes
      #24.32 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:55 PM EST

      Brian, I am not interested in arguing with you about that. would you like me to provide you a list of links to other places I am posting, maybe you can convince on one of those to argue with you. This is about changes to the rules and I already above stated my reasons. I understand you dont agree with them and tht therefor it means you want to ignore them and hope that I will eventually give up. Sorry, I won't give up and I won't bother arguing with you here. you bore me too easily on this subject.

      • 2 votes
      #24.33 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 PM EST

      Phew - a few bones to pick from that lot. My apologies for the length here. There is no other way to deal with this. I have no truck with Jack - it so happens he has provided the best example of something that can help us all get somewhere with this.

      Brian @ 24.30

      If you think something is sensational, report it -- and then move on.

      Agreed. That is the applying the CoH in letter as well as spirit.

      Jack @ 24.16

      He was responding to my comment on one of his articles although deftly linking to the predecessor to this CoH review. He used this title for his seed:

      Antisemitic Racist Bigot Arun Gandhi wins support of Arab News Columnist

      For an article that had this as a title

      Arun Gandhi: Man of Peace & Good Will

      The intent simply to goad those who had previously been debating an article by Gideon which had the title:

      Anti-Semitic Racist Zionists defame, sack anti-racist Gandhi

      Among that thread was this comment by Djehuty

      I'm sorry this thread got so sidetracked because I believe you were raising an important, and rather sad point Gideon. Rational debate about Israel's foreign policy is constantly squashed by accusations of racism, and Gandhi is a casualty of this. We can't even discuss it here on NV without the same problem surfacing again.

      Brian @ 24.30

      If it doesn't come down, your opinion on the matter was vetoed by the admins, and there's no need to be found elsewhere, days or weeks later, talking about how unfair the staff is.

      A wise principle, this is sound logic. Here is where I see the problem with Gideon's and Jack's posts. There were flames in both as we have unfortunately come to expect from such discussions and comments in both from all sides that got collapsed. The difference that I can see was one of who was active in each. There was better balance of disparate points of view in Gideon's whereas in Jack's, it felt as if an army of those sympathizing with Jack's stance had descended upon it with not the same level of balance. Mob rule is what it was all about.

      In my view, Jack's seed was more contentious because he had deliberately flouted the CoH. But with simply not enough people to report that, it was inevitable that the violation would not have triggered a RED warning with Emily and/or Calvin. The same was not true for Gideon's article. Admittedly, there was far worse obvious flamebaiting there. Jack's one had very subtle flamebaits in individual comments which from memory, none of the recipients rose to so it never turned really ugly. Gideon's did get visits from both Emily and Calvin. The last word from Calvin on Gideon's title was

      I concur with what Emily says; disrespectful commentary is not welcome at Newsvine (but healthy debate is).

      But an entire article that calls me a racist is fine?
      I am a Zionist. So are my parents, and their parents before them. Look at the title of the article.

      Without reading the entirety of this article and discussion, I'd like to point out that the headline refers to "Anti-Semitic Racist Zionists" and not to Zionists in general.

      So to touch on Brian's point here, I agree that once matters have passed, the arguments should cease. But we only have a chance for that to become real if there is consistency in all cases, and I am not directing that to Emily and/or Calvin. It is directed at the community. Why were so many seasoned veterans absent from Jack's seed? They should have elected not to comment – it was obviously a goad and a flamebait. But I question why that seed was allowed to stand by this community? It made FP for a few days so it is inconceivable that hardly any veteran saw it. Unless we are prepared to stamp out obvious violations of the CoH, what we are doing here in this discussion is meaningless.

      This thread is about titles. For seeds, the first part of the current CoH which says "Keep your headlines accurate…" should remain IMO. I agree with spiffie @ 24.21 to "…edit headlines just for clarity." I very rarely change the title but when I do, it is to achieve that where the source title is ambiguous.

      Moving back to Jack's comment above and the link he cited to the previous CoH review thread, specifically about a Newsvine definition of what constitutes anti-semitism. Initiated by Dennis with Jack inviting ideas, the exercise was broadened to hate speech with Djehuty suggesting

      So could we make a CoH rule against hate speech? Something like:

      Expressing hatred toward any religion or ethnic group, or holding a religion or ethnic group collectively responsible for actions carried out by some people identified with that group.

      There are not many subsequent comments (certainly not Jack) to that suggestion so the assumption has to be that it is close enough to incorporate. So yes, we do need to agree a consistent protocol for titles. But unless we do that in conjunction with something to cover hate speech, we will never get very far on this particular challenge.

      • 2 votes
      #24.34 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:08 PM EST

      Raat -- leaving aside my assumption that your comment will probably be taken down for the risk it poses of creating an argument on this thread -- if you are worried that Emily won't see an article -- use the "report bug" button in the upper right corner of your browser, copy the URL of the article, change the field to: "spam or malicious user" and then leave a detailed message concerning your bone of contention.

      I think you can be assured that someone will look into it at that point. (I don't always recommend this, but in some cases...)

      • 3 votes
      #24.35 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:19 PM EST

      Raat:

      Anyone who reads the entire thread attached to the seed under the headline you object to can see that just about at the instant Partisan Hack finally conceded that the original comment WAS INDEED antisemitic after all, the thread calmed down and it actually went rather well after that, I thought. Got any complaints? I thought you, PH, krish and jak actually FOR ONCE IN OUR #$%#ING LIVES got a decent discourse going on the Middle East, except we did it backwards. Instead of starting off all sweet before erupting into anger, we started off angry and leapt into sweet. We should try that more often.

      But why re-litigate at all? It's obvious that staff was aware of your grievance; they no doubt looked at it and the related materials and decided that my headline was in bounds.

      • 1 vote
      #24.36 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:30 PM EST

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is hate speech, it seems.

      When either side in this war of words cannot see the humanity in the other side, both sides suffer, and that pains me.

      I would add to the CoH that hateful speech contravenes the CoH.

      Hateful speech includes inflammatory speech against religions, ethnic groups, nationalities, sexual preferences, etc. This should not preclude discussion of conflicts. It is possible to discuss issues without using epithets such as: the N word, racist zionists., ragheads, commies, antisemites, etc. (More examples may be added, help me out here).

      • 7 votes
      #24.37 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:44 PM EST

      Jack - Just two questions that are at the heart of my view on your title.

      If Arab News (your seed) was to see your title, is there a risk that they could sue you for completely changing the context of an article of theirs that you were using here?

      And if so, does it seriously undermine Newsvine's credibility?

      I am not a legal eye, but if the risk is there at all, my concern is valid. And it is right that I bring it up here on this thread where we are reviewing the CoH.

      • 1 vote
      #24.38 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:04 AM EST

      Raat, I don't favor seeding a lot.

      Once in a while I do it in order not to forget how to do it.

      • 1 vote
      #24.39 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:41 AM EST

      If Arab News (your seed) was to see your title, is there a risk that they could sue you for completely changing the context of an article of theirs that you were using here?

      Well, I wouldn't say it's not a valid question, but I think you could bring it up without naming specifics.

      But, as I said to DAWeb (and I'm glad you took up the debate) I think the issue is that we're not republishing content at all. We're pointing to content, and headlines are our way of leading a discussion, or getting people to go read the content we're pointing to. So, as we're not a publisher, as we're not changing the original title (it's still there for all to see) or changing the actual point of the article (anyone can go read it and get the original point) there's no liability.

      Now, Newsvine can hold people accountable, and that's what the "no sensational" headlines is about, and I see where you can argue that saying in a new headline something opposite to what is in the actual article would be sensational, but that's really a call for the staff to make, once it has been reported.

      I do think we would have to be careful about attributing our views to an author, if the author didn't actually hold those views, and that's just something else the staff has to look for when an article is seeded and reported.

      • 3 votes
      #24.40 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:58 AM EST
      Reply

      I see no reason to fix something that is not broken. The CoH may have some verbiage that could be changed to better describe the letter and spirit of its constituents but its meaning or breadth should not change. As to fooling with limits or content of articles; as long as they fall within CoH forget it. Some people make us smarter with one word than others do with a book.

      • 11 votes
      #25 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:23 PM EST

      I happen to agree with this, I would just state it in this manner.

      Enforce the current CoH It is good, it is simple, if it is followed then we are good to go.

      Do we really want to do like Congress and believe the solution to people beaking the current rules is to create new rules?

      • 7 votes
      #25.1 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:23 PM EST

      The current code of honor doesn't really adequately address all the rules that are being broken, or all the ways in which people can be problematic within the system, and as the first one was created very early in the process, it makes sense to revisit it.

      • 5 votes
      #25.2 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:30 PM EST

      Then, in order to comply w/o the restrictions why not a questionair and a Yes or No check box?

      • 3 votes
      #25.3 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:17 PM EST

      @oldfogy AMEN

      • 3 votes
      #25.4 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:47 PM EST

      I have revisited and I feel that if it is followed and enforced it can handle the growth that Newsvine had experienced now and in the future. The problem comes from not enforcing it.

      • 4 votes
      #25.5 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:06 PM EST

      The problem comes from not enforcing it.

      Perhaps a portion of the problem. Another problem comes from those who can't handle it when it is enforced. Another problem comes from when people are accused of being cops when they correctly enforce it.

      • 7 votes
      #25.6 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:43 AM EST

      you are correct, and another problem comes when people just choose not to abide by it. I just dont' see how making more rules will make it any more effective.

      • 3 votes
      #25.7 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:08 AM EST

      ...when people just choose not to abide by it.

      I'd say that all of these problems are rooted in the fact that no two people have the same definition of "abiding by" the current Code of Honor. If this new version makes it harder to have differing definitions of what it means to do so, I'm all for it.

      It becomes impossible to enforce a system that the community doesn't understand, or refuses to accept. I don't think it's that they're not enforcing it, at all.

      • 4 votes
      #25.8 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:40 AM EST

      I'd say that all of these problems are rooted in the fact that no two people have the same definition of "abiding by" the current Code of Honor.

      It is ironic that some of the people who allege violations of the CoH are themselves arguably some of the biggest violators. Not only do some people have a different definition of the honor code, but at least appear to apply more than one version, with one applying to those they disagree with and a much more flexible version for themselves and those they agree with.

      While you cannot make people follow the golden rule, it may be worth encouraging people to do so.

      Apply the highest standard to your own comments. Do not assume ill will on the part of those you disagree with when evaluating what someone else has written. Carefully avoid applying a double standard unless you apply the more rigourous standard to yourself

      • 4 votes
      #25.9 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:49 PM EST

      Catch22, I am the biggest upholder of every one of the current CoH rules.

      • 3 votes
      #25.10 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:35 PM EST

      I meant to include:

      Lead By Example

      Upholding the CoH is first and foremost a matter of having it reflect in your own comments, not in being the first to report others you believe to be in violation or by placing comments announcing you have reported a comment everytime you do so.

      • 3 votes
      #25.11 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:23 PM EST

      I agree with you, DAWeb that the person that reported another poster should take the responsibility, it's more honorable and furthermore to explain why,

      • 4 votes
      #25.12 - Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:44 PM EST

      I see no reason to fix something that is not broken. The CoH may have some verbiage that could be changed to better describe the letter and spirit of its constituents but its meaning or breadth should not change.

      Well said. Agree.

      Enforce the current CoH It is good, it is simple, if it is followed then we are good to go.

      Agree again.

      The problem comes from not enforcing it.

      Completely agree.

      Another problem comes from those who can't handle it when it is enforced. Another problem comes from when people are accused of being cops when they correctly enforce it.

      Don't I know it. For once, I agree with you, Brian.

      I'd say that all of these problems are rooted in the fact that no two people have the same definition of "abiding by" the current Code of Honor.

      I wonder that sometimes about the Newsvine staff. I have seen differing opinions from the just here on the Vine. I don't see how more regulations could simplify the problem.

      Maybe instead of complicating what we have, the staff need to have a meeting on the CoH and come together on what it means. Than everyone needs to be enforcing it hard core.

      My opinion is that the staff are focused more on what is above the ground, trying to get the Vine to bloom, the whole time neglecting the roots. The plants roots are vital to the whole organism. When you lose those, you lose the plant, no matter what you do with it.

      • 4 votes
      #25.13 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:12 PM EST

      Maybe instead of complicating what we have, the staff need to have a meeting on the CoH and come together on what it means. Than everyone needs to be enforcing it hard core.

      After they have explained what it means to everyone here also. Maybe people should be made to read it the staff's article before can leave the Greenhouse.

      • 4 votes
      #25.14 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:19 PM EST

      As I understand it, there are only a limited number of people on the staff who are actually charged with moderation. I think so long as Emily and Calvin come to an understanding, once they revise the Code of Honor, make it a bit less subjective where it needs to be, there shouldn't be disagreement in the future.

      • 4 votes
      #25.15 - Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:14 AM EST

      I think enforcing the CoH really is the only thing that needs to happen. I have deliberately violated it on several occasions just to see if I would get called on it - and nothing happens. When a thread breaks down into pure partisan bickering and name calling, the current CoH is enough to handle it. I think the moderators just need to start being a little more firm when enforcing it.

      • 1 vote
      #25.16 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:55 AM EST

      I have deliberately violated it on several occasions just to see if I would get called on it - and nothing happens.

      I think people need to stop deliberately violating it "just to see what happens" or looking for ways to violate it without "technically" violating it. (I see the latter as the bigger problem, but I'm sure you're not alone in feeling like there's no reason to avoid violating the CoH, as it's pretty easy to get away with.)

      Perhaps if that were the case, I'd agree that we didn't need to revisit the initial Code of Honor but as I doubt that's going to happen, I can't wait for the new changes.

      • 7 votes
      #25.17 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:01 PM EST

      The thing about the CoH is that it is just what it says it is: an honor code. Not every violation will be picked up. There simply aren't enough Newsvine employees to police every thread. Some of this is farmed out to the user base through the reporting system and the automated processes for collapsing comments and pulling articles. But it will never be the case that every infraction is acted upon.

      Breaking the CoH just to see if your infraction is caught is kind of pointless, since it probably won't be. Rather than contributing to the problem, however, I would recommend instead recommitting to living up to it. That's what keeps this site generally enjoyable for a diverse group of commenters.

      • 3 votes
      #25.18 - Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:39 PM EST

      Than everyone needs to be enforcing it hard core.

      I totally agree that it needs to be better enforced, but a "hard core" enforcement will never happen... we don't want to be in the business of being the speech police. There are just too many grey areas to do a perfect job at that.

      Part of "better enforcement", however, entails making the Code a bit more specific though, and that's what we're trying to do here. That said, spiffie is correct in that "it is a code"... it works much better if members respect not just the letter of it but the spirit as well.

      • 7 votes
      #25.19 - Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:43 PM EST
      Reply

      SPAM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
      Blatant advertising, excessive tagging, business-related press releases, and special interest group related press releases will be considered spam. Spammers will have their profiles, seeds, and articles deleted.

      ****

      How's that for short and sweet? :)

      • 12 votes
      Reply#26 - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:55 PM EST

      You can add the obsessive sole source seeders to that list as well.

      While it may be difficult to tie some of them directly to the site in question, obsessively seeding several hundred articles from the one dodgy source is spamming.

      • 3 votes
      #26.1 - Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:36 AM EST
      Reply
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