The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies

Topic dilution seems to be something @Warren has been doing. His posts are never clear and intended to be that way.



I have an idea what you mean but as a mod I can’t assume what I think or feel about a poster is what members of the community think. So before mods can act on anything we need you to be specific when making comments about others behaviour, and also to use a proper mention so the poster can read and respond to what is being said about them.

So please lets make it ok for anyone to make comments on posters and/or postings they feel are unhelpful, but I suggest not doing this unless you provide a specific example and explain why the point applies to it, as well as a proper “@” mention of the poster when this is done in public.

That’s not to say all such comments should be public. I suggest it is also ok to “flag” posts (or communicate privately with mods by PM, though we prefer “flags” because we all get to see those and it saves our time).


Updated with an example and @ reference.


In regard to flagging, this is useful in most obvious instances of things like swearing or trolling etc, but sometimes things are more insidious and it would be difficult for a mod to spot what’s actually going on really. In these (usually more serious) cases a personal message may be more appropriate, stating the nature of the concern.


Thanks @hamiltino I appreciate you taking the trouble and helping us get the best out of the forum and project :slight_smile:

This post is bang on the mark and perfectly timed. Just watch this space I suspect some posts already, they can be spotted to an extent. I think this is a hugely difficult effort to keep the forum as it has been so far. I think we have some great mods though so we may stand a great change. Thanks again Chris.


perhaps revise the official forum guidelines, or maybe not - but they are quite “fluffy bunny”

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Do the elephants in the room really think we don’t see them? It’s laughable.


I’m surprised we even have mods or “flagging” of posts.

Don’t we want anyone to be able to say anything?

Isn’t that the whole point here

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maybe nsa and

management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company helping clients become high-performance businesses and governments.

will make a fuss; be prepared.
we’re still on internet classic lol;

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Some of this strikes me as being cultish. There are some good points, but other points have a bit of the “distrust outsiders” and “don’t question things” tone. Not believing in conspiracy theories makes you suspect? That’s crazy, and dangerous. You should be questioning your surroundings, including (especially) conspiracy theorists, the most notorious for not fact checking anything and suffering from apophenia.

A good portion of these list items are normal human behavior. Focusing on side issues, straw man arguments, apologizing for being wrong (really? ugh), fitting the facts to alternative conclusions… These are things the majority of normal people do without knowing it, because they want to just win an argument. It’s almost never grand and nefarious. It’s just micromanaging an argument, usually around things we know (its easier and more interesting to argue about things we believe we know).

A lot of the things on this list seem like they actually do promote better discussion. But “forum spies” is sensational.

I hope I’m not put on the Forum Spy list. Because then I’ll be on TWO lists (I’m sure everyone here is already on some NSA list). And the self-aware meta-spiral we’ll go on by trying to avoid these things will drive us all mad! Mad I say!


You;re right, I wanted to add earlier; that these things at first glance are scary, and would require observing them in action each facet in order to truly grasp what this means, and so it could deviate the attention of readers; But no doubt today there were visitors who exhibited
inhibiting behavior and diverting behavior, very strategic, a little absurd; “trying to help” yet typing out “cruelty”

The feeling this picture evokes is my true self:

But now I am being too distracting; though it’s called comic relief it means I have sense of humor lol.

I’m so grateful for chrisfostertv having introducing this subject and to read the subsequent posts. I’m new to the MaidSafe forum and from day one I worried that contributors to it seemed oblivious of this very real risk. Back in the days when I was administrator of a small correspondence school teaching an alternative brand of economics and honing real political skills for the purpose of changing government we were mercilessly attacked. Our then defence was to research the techniques used by our opponents who turned out to be government agencies and NGOs and we published our findings in a two volume 1200 page tome titled Gangs, Counter-gangs and Other Political Crimes and we made it part of the essential reading material for our politics course. We exposed hundreds of these operatives over the past 100 years including most of those who we had innocently welcomed to join us.
In retrospect our reaction at the time was a micro version of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

The wake-up call of chrisfostertv is timely.

Interesting quote I found:
There is currently a controversial debate concerning whether unusual experiences are symptoms of a mental disorder, if mental disorders are a consequence of such experiences, or if people with mental disorders are especially susceptible to or even looking for these experiences. --Dr. Martina Belz-Merk

“…nothing is so alien to the human mind as the idea of randomness.” --John Cohen

The last bit is spot on, we are pattern seeking beings. I have wondered about others (and others about me probably). I have initially ascribed certain behaviours to bad intent, then wondered if it was a case of mental health issues (I have a good friend who’s bi-polar - it’s the bane of his life unfortunately, and some posts remind me of the huge amount of texts I get when he’s on a high. It’s a real shame and vicious circle - he needs his lithium to steady his moods, but always gets fed up feeling like his mind has been numbed and he can’t think or feel anything properly, so stops his meds then off we go again. Another issue is, when he’s high he has no desire to take something to dumb/numb him down -who would? It’s a massive shame and conundrum).
Tricky one this, though I believe Apophenia may well be being mistaken for ill intent and also that this same pattern seeking behaviour of ours may ironically itself display the apophenia, we are ascribing to others…if that makes sense…lol
Well said Russell

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I moved 6 posts to a new topic: Interventions for bi-polar disorder

It’d be stupid for the gov’t to bother with MaidSafe. Sure, they regularly download source code to find out they can spy on certain users, but it’s futile to fight an open source project.

Who will be visiting often are folks from other projects who try to copy MaidSafe features (if only in names) and ideas. Politely speaking, they’ll come for “inspiration”.
This second group is the annoying one, but what can you do? That’s the idea of GPL-ish approaches to licensing.


I agree…what was this in reply to though?..I must waffle a lot.

Sorry - my fault… I meant to comment on the topic, not on your post in particular.

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I enjoyed reading this again. I won’t say why I had the motivation to find it and read again, but the relevance and foreshadowing of the OP is uncanny.


Forum capture. Sponsored consensus. Bribery is speech. Censorship and misinformation. Theft of attention. Conflict of interest based media. On and on and on. We can build systems that rule this stuff out. Thank you again to the OP, so important to recognize these things are wide pervasive. The are the best supports for backward power.

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