I understand from Alf that he's been banned - can I ask why?

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Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
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Apr 7 2011 22:26

Conversation, maybe? Intervention is what you either do to your enemies, or to your comrades when you think they are taking part in negative behavior, which doesn't quite apply here. ("Libcom, we need to talk about your revol problem, etc.")

But regardless of the words, making all discussions be about the ICC line - yes or no? is disruptive to an atmosphere fostering debate. As is making low-content posts on discussion threads, to borrow terminology from another forum.

Sir Arthur Stre...
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Apr 7 2011 22:46

Making all discussions be about the ICC is disruptive. But so is 'intervening' and banning such activity, as this thread proves.

IMO this discussion is pointless. Even in our wildest communal society fantasies there will be some rules. Unfortunatley it is impossible to live without some kind of compromise, this internet forum line is a compromise.

Otherwise there would be Anarchy red n black star

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Leo
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Apr 7 2011 23:39
Quote:
i'm making no comment on your english, which is excellent, and i assumed you meant what you said, but the atmosphere around here used to be "lad-ier", and libcommunity posts were taken off the 'recent posts' page to discourage this somewhat, which worked, along with other developments.

Ah ok, I misunderstood I'm sorry. As nice as it is for you to say that my english is excellent, it actually isn't and Devrim for one occasionally does correct my mistakes, and though I might have made of those. Anyway though, I do think that the libcommunity posts being taken off the 'recent posts' page to be one positive step. However I also think this suspension and the mocking and supposedly funny or ironic posts made by lots of posters on this very thread rather makes it feel rather like a high-school locker room where the bullies and their toadies are messing around with the other kids or something. I remember it used to be better some time ago, but of course as I said I don't really spend that much time on libcom.

Quote:
i mean on the big picture though you'll see above that i agree fully with your sentiments on the alf-banning.

Yep.

Quote:
Conversation, maybe?

Well conversation, participation, discussion, posting etc.

Quote:
It isn't a great choice of words. It is translated from the French, and almost certainly over used in English in places where it isn't really at all appropriate. I think 'post' is probably a more suitable term for internet forums.

Incidentally, posting also happens to be the commonly used term as well.

Quote:
Intervention is what you either do to your enemies

Evidently, the ICC doesn't see it like that at all.

Quote:
or to your comrades when you think they are taking part in negative behavior, which doesn't quite apply here. ("Libcom, we need to talk about your revol problem, etc.")

This did make me laugh, I'll admit.

Seriously though, most ICC comrades use the term 'intervention' to describe talking in an internal meeting - there isn't anything malicious at all to this.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 7 2011 23:50

Unbanned.

Intifada1988
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Apr 8 2011 00:37

A couple questions/points I feel like we still haven't talked about enough

1) What is the Admins definition of spam/spamming?
It shouldn't be a subjective thing, therefore we should be able to establish a clear line for posters not to cross. If that's even necessary...which leads me to my next question

2) Is posting ("excessive") links really the issue here?
I think not. From what I gathered most people feel like the actual act of posting the links is whats detracting from the discussions and conversation.

People feel like..(at least, I think this is the consensus)..by posting a link a poster is either a) avoiding explaining a concept him/herself, in his/her own words; or b) pushing ("plugging") a group/organization/party.

So here's some ideas: Enabling Signatures (text/linking without graphics shouldn't take up bandwidth), Limiting the number of Links a User can Post in each Thread, Restricting Links to one Forum (or a select few) only, etc etc etc

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 8 2011 00:49
Intifada1988 wrote:
1) What is the Admins definition of spam/spamming? It shouldn't be a subjective thing, therefore we should be able to establish a clear line for posters not to cross. If that's even necessary...which leads me to my next question

It's inevitably subjective, because it's decisions made by human beings. You can draw up the most objective rules in the world, and then people would just complain we were applying them subjectively. There's no getting away from the fact human decisions are subjective. But subjective's not the same as arbitrary. We're not just banning any old people, but someone who's been previously warned, after thousands of words of discussions, numerous complaints and some posters leaving the site because of the group's behaviour.

Intifada1988 wrote:
2) Is posting ("excessive") links really the issue here? I think not.

As has been pointed out repeatedly, we're not saying it is. This is getting somewhat exasperating. The only people obsessing over links per se are the people erecting straw men and apparently ignoring what admins are actually saying on this thread and the previous ones.

Mike Harman
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Apr 8 2011 03:46
Joseph Kay wrote:
Intifada1988 wrote:
1) What is the Admins definition of spam/spamming? It shouldn't be a subjective thing, therefore we should be able to establish a clear line for posters not to cross. If that's even necessary...which leads me to my next question

It's inevitably subjective, because it's decisions made by human beings. You can draw up the most objective rules in the world, and then people would just complain we were applying them subjectively. There's no getting away from the fact human decisions are subjective. But subjective's not the same as arbitrary. We're not just banning any old people, but someone who's been previously warned, after thousands of words of discussions, numerous complaints and some posters leaving the site because of the group's behaviour.

Right. It is usually easy to identify spam that's created by a robot (or an extremely low paid human), however even this takes some thought sometimes - for example some spammers don't always link in every post, or quote bits of other people's posts and say something similar etc.

However, apart from that 'commercial' spam, it is all completely subjective. If someone registered on here, and all they ever did was post links or cut and pastes to the Conservative party home page, you would think it was spamming (or trolling). If it was socialist worker, infoshop or similar, then you'd also think it was spaming or trolling. Clearly that is not all the ICC do, so there is a spectrum between all spam all the time, some spam some of the time, and no spamming at all.

Another user we've had several complaints about is ajohnstone of the SPGB- who also manages to post a link to his site on nearly every post along with long copy and pastes. However, 1. this is not about links, it's about overall behaviour, links is just one example of that behaviour that can be quantified with a few minutes of queries (and apparently dozens of hours of arguing about whether it's important or not and explaining that it's just an example, oh well). 2. there is only one of him. This doesn't mean we won't take any action on it, this is after all only the second time (the first time was when I banned the wld_rvn account in 2005/6) we've ever banned an account belonging to an ICC member. Note that we've banned plenty of other people who aren't robots or paid spammers, including members of Organise! and the IWW before, both temporary and permanent.

A note on signatures - every site I've ever posted on that's had them, they've been really, really disruptive to conversation (and very annoying). Also I have seen sites (not political ones) where people clearly only post on high traffic articles to get their signature in there (posts like "oh this is great" (150 word signature follows)). So no, we're not going to that. You can put all kinds of stuff on your profile, as long as it's not viagra or far right groups it's unlikely to get you banned, and no-one has to look at it when reading your comments since it's off to the side.

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Apr 8 2011 06:49

Well, that was a strange experience, like being a ghost haunting a house where everyone’s talking about you and you can’t make yourself heard...

First off, many thanks to all those who ‘intervened’ on this thread to express their disagreement with the ban, which I agree was a bit of a sledgehammer to a nut. And it was not just fellow left communists, but a good number of comrades who consider themselves anarchists or libertarian communists. It was encouraging evidence that we are not deluded when we think that there should be and can be basic ties of solidarity between revolutionaries whether marxist or anarchist. I was genuinely moved by this.

That said, I have to admit that it was a mistake just posting the link, and it ended up having the complete opposite effect of what was intended – ie to continue the discussion about March 26 and the black bloc. That discussion hasn’t moved on an iota since this latest links/ban furore, even though it has lost none of its importance. Beltov (in an email) mentioned the name of Peter Crouch, which was a little cruel given that I had to deal with the ban at the same moment as coping with the End of Tottenham’s European Dream.

He had a point. I was too impatient to point out that there was a new ICC article dealing specifically with the thread about the black bloc, hoping that all those who had taken part in the discussion would read it and reflect on it. I didn’t think clearly enough about the previous row about links. I did momentarily consider just sending a PM to all the comrades who had posted on that thread, notifying them of the article, but that didn’t seem right.

On the other hand, Crouch got two proper yellow cards and I don’t think I did. First of all, the previous discussion about ‘excessive’ ICC links ended rather inconclusively. The mods said they were thinking about what to do about what they saw as a problem, but a lot of people had written in to say that they didn’t see that there was a problem. Certainly I was never given a specific warning at that time: i.e. ‘do this again Alf and you will be banned’. So the mods seem to be basing their decision on some vague warning issued collectively to the ICC as a group. But when we first started posting on libcom, we were told that we couldn’t participate as a group signing itself wld_rev, and in retrospect we think that libcom had been right about this (although the rule doesn’t seem to apply to other groups, such as the ICG-GCI for example). So to be consistent, warnings about behaviour should be given to individuals not organisations.

Secondly, I think I should at least have been given a specific warning this time, and not an immediate ban. Not only that, the process of banning seems to be unnecessarily brutal. I was never told ‘to my face’ that I had been banned, and when I sent an email to the libcom collective about it, asking for the terms of the ban – in particular, whether it was permanent or not – I got no reply. Even bourgeois courts tell you what punishment you are getting – they don’t make you wait till they announce it in the press.

A couple of other points. At one point Ed says: “But if my memory serves me right, neither thread had been posted on by ICCers previously, nor was it said "in addition to that, you might like to read this".. it was just a blurb about the text with a link to it.. in fact, this is very often the case. So admittedly, while your fair enough hypothetical situation is indeed fair enough, this is not the reality of how the ICC have tended to post on libcom” (post 40).

This is true regarding the blockades thread, but it’s certainly not true regarding the black bloc thread. Both Miles and myself had done a number of posts on that one (and got not only political answers but also a fair amount of abuse in response, and from the mods at that). If Ed took part in the decision to ban us, he should have been clearer about the facts.

Secondly, although I have not checked the figures (and Miles’ question about it has not been answered), since the first row, there have been very few if any links to the ICC site. We not only cut down on the links, we have to some extent cut down on posts in general. So we had already changed our approach in response to the first round of arguments about links, even if we don’t agree with what the mods have put forward, nor welcome what we see as an increase in hostility towards us on this site.

This seems to be getting much longer than I had intended. I haven’t even got to some of the main points: the problem of libcom’s culture of debate and the reasons people are put off the site, which certainly cannot be reduced to the presence of the ICC. And equally important, the problem that Devrim pointed to: that while we do consider that ‘internationalist anarchists’ are part of the same movement as us, this view is often not reciprocated. For us, libcom is a ‘fraternal’ resource – a product of the proletarian movement – but the libcom collective does not appear to see the ICC and its site in the same way, and that, to me, is the basic problem behind the charge of ‘excessive links’ and behind the harshness with which we are often treated here.

Still, it’s good to be back, and fraternal greetings to all the comrades, including the libcom collective....

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Apr 8 2011 07:18

So your argument as both a poster and a Tottenham fan is "I deserved better than Peter Crouch"
I think we can all agree with that.

On the bright side Spurs have gone from the team that throw away huge leads to the one that claws them back so you might be in with a chance Alf.

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Apr 8 2011 07:29
jef costello wrote:
So your argument as both a poster and a Tottenham fan is "I deserved better than Peter Crouch"
I think we can all agree with that.

On the bright side Spurs have gone from the team that throw away huge leads to the one that claws them back so you might be in with a chance Alf.

Oh come on Jef, they are out. In my opinion Crouch has to shoulder a fair amount of the blame. It is not as if he is some inexperienced youngster. He is a seasoned international football player who should have been aware that those sort of challenges are not acceptable, and after the first one been especially careful. He left his team mates in what was already a difficult tie a man down.

Spurs appear to have shot their bolt, with the chairman talking about 'trimming the squad' and selling Bale, there most exciting player for years.

Devrim

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Apr 8 2011 07:30
Devrim wrote:
It isn't a great choice of words. It is translated from the French, and almost certainly over used in English in places where it isn't really at all appropriate. I think 'post' is probably a more suitable term for internet forums.
Leo wrote:
Seriously though, most ICC comrades use the term 'intervention' to describe talking in an internal meeting - there isn't anything malicious at all to this.

Yes, I don't think that there is anything at all malicious about it, but it is clear that the ICC needs to reconsider the language that it uses if it wants people to understand it.

Devrim

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 8 2011 08:47

x the ICC and FUCK SPURS.

Alf x I read one of the ICC "articles", which basically consisted of a synopsis of a Libcom thread. Jesus, how alienated and abstract can you get?

Can admins take this thread off the Tracker too? It kinda defeats the object of smoking them out in the first place.

admin: no flaming

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Apr 8 2011 09:32
Devrim wrote:
Oh come on Jef, they are out. In my opinion Crouch has to shoulder a fair amount of the blame. It is not as if he is some inexperienced youngster. He is a seasoned international football player who should have been aware that those sort of challenges are not acceptable, and after the first one been especially careful. He left his team mates in what was already a difficult tie a man down.

I wasn't trying to defend Crouch, getting sent of that quickly is ridiculous. I don't know if Spurs would still have lost but chasing a game with a man down is as hard as it gets.

Spurs are pretty much out, but I was being nice to Alf. Also as a local boy I'd quite like to see them put one over on Real Madrid. Spurs have got a bloated squad, if they could dump Keane and a few others then they could make a substantial saving on wages. I think it's also time to accept that Jonathan Woodgate's career is over, or at least put him on a pay as you play deal.

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Juan Conatz
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Apr 8 2011 09:56

So can we start talking about stuff that actually matters instead of this fucking shit now? My god. Time to fan out from this thread.

Jason Cortez
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Apr 8 2011 10:31

NO

gypsy
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Apr 8 2011 13:55
Juan Conatz wrote:
So can we start talking about stuff that actually matters instead of this fucking shit now? My god. Time to fan out from this thread.

Football can be brought up whenever we decide.

Boris Badenov
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Apr 8 2011 14:01
Joseph Kay wrote:
We're not just banning any old people,

Ah, so you admit you've banned Alf because of his age? I call AGEISM, your honour!

petey
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Apr 8 2011 14:27
Leo wrote:
As nice as it is for you to say that my english is excellent, it actually isn't

oh you're too modest cool

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Apr 8 2011 16:41

Alf, welcome back.

Dave B
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Apr 8 2011 18:28

I would also like to say that I am glad Alf and the ICC are back and presumably it goes without saying that we don’t exactly see eye to eye on everything or anything.

I think it is really important to have Bolsheviks on this forum as it gives ‘us’ the opportunity to attack their ideas as opposed to backslapping criticism whilst they remain gagged and bound in a corner.

As the SPGB also stand accused, I hope I tend to only post SPGB links and quotes in response to having been attacked as SPGB and having my position misrepresented in order to refute it. Thus in the recent thread we were pejoratively attacked by being accused of Menshevism etc and not having ever considered alternative theories on state capitalism etc.

Although I must admit when that happens I do relish it as an opportunity to ‘legitimately’ defend my position. If you want to introduce a libertarian law banning the mention of other political organisations in criticism or defence, and ban criticism of the ICC, SPGB or SolFed then fair enough.

I am quite happy to put my case, denuded of advertised and spamed party position, and for people to find out from the profile who I am.

On cut and pasting or providing links or references etc I have been trained as a scientists and as such to back up all assertions with facts.

In scientific papers, of which I have written several, that normally involves a synopsis in the text of another’s position referenced in the bibliography etc.

I find that giving the reference, or link, followed by the relevant passage helpful as it saves you trawling through the whole thing to find it.

And why spend the time paraphrasing what someone said, that is relevant to the debate, when the cut and paste says it all.

Actually we had a problem with ICC spammers on our forum a couple of years ago and they were just dumping ICC texts onto our forum that looked like original contributions.

But I don’t think Alf is like that, crypto Leninist statist git that he is, and he is prepared to tough it out and genuinely defend his position as opposed to just paste and run.

As a non statist guest on this list I would also like clearer guidelines on what constitutes breach of law, are these warning encluded into a thread and have I already had some that I am unaware of?

Just as I was getting paranoid and pissed of at my logging on difficulties at Revleft.

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Steven.
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Apr 8 2011 18:37

You have never been complained about or warned, don't worry

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Alf
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Apr 9 2011 23:45

Steven; I welcome your welcome

Yorkie Bar
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Apr 9 2011 23:57
Boris Badenov wrote:
Joseph Kay wrote:
We're not just banning any old people,

Ah, so you admit you've banned Alf because of his age? I call AGEISM, your honour!

What's all this about a gism?

mciver
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Apr 10 2011 09:55

This thread was launched as a complaint by an ICC member against the banning of an ICC member.

The whingeing Miles and Alf post here as militants of what can be described as a racket. Their presence on these forums is not as individuals, but as a corporate bloc linked to an external body, trying to expand their political investment. With the possible exception of Devrim, they relentlessly push a general line, to gain influence and recruit members, so the goal isn't an honest and open exploration and discussion, that could lead to the questioning of their basic assumptions. Those aren't negotiable. By that I mean the ICC's platform positions and their main 'position papers' like the Theses on Parasitism which their top apparat persistently defends, in spite of their (seeming) recent openness to 'revolutionary libertarians'. All discussion with the ICC is therefore a sham, as their agenda isn't the fostering of critical thinking, but the consolidation of their own ideas and power. Of course one rejects the self-appointed claim that they are an 'expression of the proletariat', representing humanity's interests.

It seems that there's a consensus here to tolerate the ICC's continuing 'intervention' on these threads. Thus Alf's presence, despite the temporary banning, will be ongoing. As others recognise correctly, in the end these decisions are Libcom's, that's their prerogative. The ICC's faux innocence and paranoid projections about being 'hated' are misplaced.

The real underlying issue between many posters here and the ICC was pinpointed by rata:

Quote:
And to make it clear, I can not see anybody who sees a role of the state in revolution, as ICC does, as a comrade. I might think that those people are nice individuals, that some of them might be intelligent and learned, but, politically, that is one of the walls that exist between libertarian communists and you guys.

post 76

Yes, a wall, and through their defence of the Bolshevik role in the Russian Revolution of 1917, it's a wall that separates Leninoid racketeers from a humanity stumbling to recreate itself as a species-being.

Intifada1988
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Jun 21 2015 23:23
Intifada1988 wrote:
this thread is ridiculous

without saying much, it's obvious to me people in positions of power/authority on the boards are not in agreement with the ICC which is fine.

however, a link is a link. it's a tiny amount of space on the website or in the post area. Long quotes...that's one thing. But banning "excessive" linking? Get the fuck out of here...THATS WHY THEY MADE HYPERLINKING...so you can be excessive.

Admin: Why not just move/split "thread deviations" into a new thread? Oh wait because that would be more "free advertising" wouldn't it?

It seems to me if you all were actually worried about link spamming you'd make a daily limit on users or something. But back to my original point...stop using the excuse that the ICC is spamming to cover up the fact you don't agree with their members having outstanding activity on these boards. So what if they wish to intervene here more so than others. I say we commend that. Plus the literature is miles better than any ISO bullshit. Whats the real reason you are complaining (JK, everyone else)

And since were on stats I'd like to request some. How many posters actually post links? Any/every link. Like what's the percentage per poster? So the hell what if I wanna put an ICC link at the end of my posts. You don't have to click it

Ayy lmao

Jamal R.