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Censorship on Gardenweb web site

     This may help to explain all the confusion in recent postings. It
appears to be a fair representation of what is happening on the Garden Web
site. "Spike" allowed it to remain posted so I can safely assume that he
approves of the explanation. Well, I don't know if it is safe to assume
anything especially on a Censored Forum. The "rules" could change tomorrow,
or today, damn maybe the changed yesterday! Well, who knows.........One thing

                                             Jim Towle

Posted by: Monte z-5 NJ ( on Sat, Apr 7, 01 at 10:46

>>>>>>To clarify the Disney references. The webmaster and owner (Spike) of
the Gardenweb and it's sister sites has little tolerance for discord and
"unfriendly" behavior or postings. Foul language or argumentative postings
(AKA flaming). Oddly, references to turning compost with ones anatomy are
quite accepatble though. ;-) (Hi Ann) LOL He also keeps a list of "banned"
websites. Some of these are his competitors (this is a business you know, the
attracting of new visitors to a web site) and others are sites that are
maintained by folks who have consistently violated the forums rules on the
posting of advertizing. The contents of this list are on an automatic
"filter". If you make a post that contains one of these banned sites URL's
or, in some cases even mentioning the site in the body of the text, the
software will not allow the post to go thru and redirects you to Disney.com.
Most often folks will do this unknowingly and are at a loss as to what has
happened. The other avenue to Disney is to ban the individual poster. That
happens when someone repeatedly posts argumentative or otherwise disruptive
messages. In that case the persons name (electronic signature if you will) is
placed in a filter and they will not be able to post at all. At least under
that name as there are a number of ways around this mechanism as Bill has
mentioned. This will last for a few days to weeks or months. Spikes version
of a "Time Out". Repeat voilations can trigger a permanent ban. Sometimes he
will filter keywords also as with the recent outbreak of panic postings about
the porn spam that was plauging a number of users. As you can imagine dozens
of posts discussing this problem and scaring new visitors away is not good
for business so he was filtering out those posts. Fortunatly the site that
was harvesting GWeb user names to send this junk to has been stifled and I
have seen no further episodes. (at least until the next pest crops up, a fact
of 'net life) There is a feeling among some that Spike is heavy handed and
somewhat arbitrary with this brand of justice. Others feel that any kind of
censoring is unaaceptable. It is his world though, he pays the bills to
maintain these forums and allows us to freely chat the hours away so he gets
to make up the rules. His feeling is that maintaining civility on the forums
is paramount. Also that if you want to advertize some product or service to
the GWeb visitors you need to pay. No free rides. In any case none of this
has anything to do with Jon and Katie's absence as far as I know. From my
e-mail with them I think that it was just a personal decision to step away
based on their perception of Spikes less than aggressive effort to squelch
the porn spam outbreak. I can't speak on the fate of the others that have
been mentioned. Jon is one of the folks I hold most responsible for my
current "Wacko" status (a debt I will never be able to repay LOL) and his
contributions here are greatly missed. Maybe a few heart felt pleas to him
and Kate directly would bring him back into the fold but I fully understand
his motivations and stance. <<<<<<

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