Why excluding people from a Community is a serious matter

This recent comment got me thinking:

“Anyone cares whether you support other community forums. You can just go whereever you like - but as we all know, you won´t because you don´t want to be alone, that´s obvious :wink:

This is actually a correct observation I thought…people like to feel they belong to some kind of community. Loneliness and isolation are major causes of health problems. This is why I don’t think people should be excluded from the Safe community, without the larger community’s consent. Essentially, a very important connection to others is potentially broken by suspending members, particularly for weeks on end. People have made connections here over the last 2 years, helped build the forum by commenting etc and at least some are being made to feel unwelcome.
At the end of the day, it is all about having a “Network” to interact with.
I found this short TED video be be quite thought provoking; it is about addiction and how we have misunderstood/mistreated for years. I see it as allegorical to the Safe Network and how best to produce a healthy vibrant and networked community.


On most other forums people just get a permaban, ip-ban or whatever. We only did that with spam accounts and 1 extreme fudder that didn’t took part in any conversation alone from spreading fud. So I think this is quite a social community allowing people back in. Same for the fact that we don’t have any active bans at the moment and less than 5 members were banned once or more out of the almost 2500. That’s 0.2% out of a community that involves money and prices (Maidsafecoin etc.) as well. I think this community is doing great :thumbsup:.


My OP was deliberately more general talking of the larger concept and tying it in with current ideas about addiction. [quote=“Al_Kafir, post:1, topic:9342”]
This is why I don’t think people should be excluded from the Safe community, without the larger community’s consent.
You are correct, however that I did mention what happens on this forum, so I should respond to your reply. So having read my OP, you appear to have selected only one aspect of it (the one that could be possibly construed as a criticism of the private forum operation of which you are a representative) and totally missed the larger point.
All you just did was jump in to defend the system you represent by giving statistics and suggesting that people excluded from the community should count themselves lucky they are allowed back in!
You seem to suggest that you and the private owners represent the Safe community, which you do not (anymore than anyone else does).
You even have the temerity to register all the “Safe Network” related websites/forums and now Redditt…all private, yet claiming to be representative of all the Safe community.
To achieve legitimacy, you would first have to achieve community consensus by Democratic process if you want to be really representative and really gain legitimacy for your positions, then it is the only way.
As I’ve said, I’m not getting into all the minutiae of “modding complaints” - I’m talking about the politics of the situation in off-topic remember…however:

This is a meaningless statistic…I mean it really is…

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

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I don’t own a thing here, not a URL, nor a security certificate or anything else. Maidsafe is paying the bill, not me. Somebody own the URL, not me either. If I was evil and wanted to take this forum down right now I couldn’t.

I’m no longer a mod on r/maidsafe or /r/safenetwork. I was for some time but never had to do a thing and said I would rather focus on 1 place if things got busy. You could offer to help out as well, no one is stopping you. Everybody was free to register a name on Reddit. And when unclaimed, some people from this forum did. You could have done it as well. Or start your own Reddit right now next to the “official” Maidsafe and Safenetwork. Promote it here as another Reddit for safe, owned by you, or a democratic group or whatever. I promise I will follow it and add it to my other reddit list. Same for Bitcointalk, there’s a Maidsafe topic there, but not a community safenetwork sub. It’s free for anyone to open it up.

I’ve read that part, but from 2500 users we had 203 online today, so how on earth could we create a vote on something like that? Two problems here, 1) a lot of people just don’t vote. look at this POLL. It was on the frontpage for days. 73 votes! And look at the views:

So it got 289 views and only 73 votes. Now imagine we go to the frontpage before we ban a person for some time. And we reach 100 votes from the 2500 member. Would that be helpful? democratic?

And we have a second problem as well, 2) We have to exactly explain with all details why we want to ban someone. It’s like 6 to 10 people against 1 marking someone publicly. “Hello dear fellow community members, we have user @ABCD here, he did this, this and this” want to vote to ban him??

It sounds quite stupid and I think it is. Better to have some active members here that decide together what to do. We have 10 folks that were on this forum quite from the beginning. And as long as people don’t do any name calling, keep it a bit civil and don’t troll around all is good.

I didn’t say you did in the above statement?[quote=“polpolrene, post:4, topic:9342”]
If I was evil and wanted to take this forum down right now I couldn’t.

Ok…who could?[quote=“polpolrene, post:4, topic:9342”]
You could offer to help out as well

I did…I told Happybeing in a PM to pass my offer on to all mods in respect to the “reasoned arguments” part of the original guidelines not being adhered to. I fully explained why it was very important as arguing dishonestly is a way to propagandise. As I believe I can spot a non-sequitur at 100 paces etc, I thought I may have been of use as a mod helper - not a mod, as I do not seek any office. I heard nothing back.[quote=“polpolrene, post:4, topic:9342”]
Everybody was free to register a name on Reddit. And when unclaimed, some people from this forum did. You could have done it as well.

Yes, I could have done it as well, however integrity would have stopped me. I would have recognised that I had no legitimate right to privately acquire someone else’s name - which is essentially what was done. Private interests do not represent the “Safe Network” - the community as a whole does. [quote=“polpolrene, post:4, topic:9342”]
Or start your own Reddit right now next to the “official” Maidsafe and Safenetwork.

There is a reason there is an “official” Maidsafe site - it is a private company. The Safe Network is not a private company it is owned by the community that formed and uses it. There can be no “official” Safe Network forum/site that is not endorsed/run/owned by the community - by consensus.

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Well, here’s an alternative safenetwork forum:


PS @happybeing has since stepped down as a moderator.

I can’t recall which ones he’s still moderator on, but I think its the Maidsafe one and another Safe network Reddit - he also chose most mods still in place here. When visiting a link to the new Reddit site posted by fabrunelle, it was asked what was going to happen about modding. Fabrunelle replied (paraphrasing) that he would check with moderator of the other forum (happybeing) and get back to them.
I believe that having this much control over all areas where the community can possibly meet has major security and PR concerns for the project as a whole. It is equivalent to Rupert Murdoch controlling the media in many respects.

But like you said, the community isn’t the company. So why are you so concerned about moderation? I thought this was about you feeling lonely.

@Al_Kafir - Wrong as usual. Corrected many times - opinions plus the same kind of inaccuracies about me, how moderation came about, works etc

Lol…I specifically said I’m not concerning myself with the minutiae of moderation… [quote=“smacz, post:8, topic:9342”]
I thought this was about you feeling lonely.

Lol…just…No…[quote=“happybeing, post:9, topic:9342, full:true”]
@Al_Kafir - Wrong as usual. Corrected many times - opinions plus the same kind of inaccuracies about me, how moderation came about, works etc

What bit of this is actual information, rather than opinion? Perhaps you’d like to correct my “inaccuracies” in order that you see them - right here…right now… :smile:

Moderation in inherant in the banning process. It seems that you are quite concerned about the possibility of being removed from this community again. Do you believe that your previous statements regarding your disregard for the forum guidelines puts you in jeopardy of being banned again?

No, not particularly personally. What I mean is that yes I’d miss it, but unfortunately I have to make my arguments as I believe it is necessary to avert many potential problems ahead. I was mainly pointing out the effects of exclusion from your “network” or community is similar to being kicked out of your home, rejected etc and so should not be decided by private parties - rather the larger community.
Whilst trying to talk publicly about my concerns, I feel a large number of my posts have been mis-categorised as concerning complaints about mods and the forum (Meta) - this entails them being removed from the main public view as Meta is treated like off-topic… now (it didn’t used to be) - so off the front page. Since raising this matter I’ve had a number of suspensions…its up to the community to decide whether to kick me out in my view, not private interests. I will continue to make my case and whatever happens…happens. No alternative I’m afraid…it’s the Humanist principles thing…I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try to at least protect the colony from what I see as a very serious threat. Just one solitary soldier ant that spotted some centralising ant intruders. If I have to start a new colony with ants that walk the talk…then so be it. I can’t stay here with the infection in the colony - too many ants are running up stalks with mushrooms growing out of their heads :smile:

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I thank you for explaining your point of view and your concerns in the matter. I would ask for one clarification though.

When you mention that being banned “is similar to being kicked out of your home”, do you consider these forums your private property?

These forums are indeed private property. However, they are not “public” nor are they your own private property. The owners are responsible for and entailed to the maintenance of this space on the clearnet.

Those owners - Maidsafe, the company - have delegated a portion of those responsibilities to the moderators. When actions are taken or rules put into place, they do so under that authority. Make no mistake, that authority is not over you as a free entity, but rather over your actions and conduct when you are here in this space.

By visiting these forums, you implicitly agree to follow all of the forum guidelines. However, you are not bound to them across the entirety of your presence online, just when you are here, visiting this private property.

You are of course free to homestead your own private property on the clearnet and pursuade others to join if you are able to, as long as while you are here, you follow these guidelines. I would suggest that you look into pursuing this course of action, especially if you feel threatened by an supposed sense of centralization of power. This would not only give you alternative avenues to contribute to that which you are passionate about, but others as well.

So feel free to let us and others know if you do intend to create your own virtual “home”, as you may not be the only one who wishes for a place to hang that follows different procedures. But here we have the moderators and admins who have their own responsibilities and follow our own procedures and will take any and all appropriate measures to ensure that those procedures are followed.


No, but others do.

Sorry? My whole point is that neither Maidsafe, nor the community own the forum - private interests do.


OK, just to summarize the responses from representatives of the private interests running the forum. I’ve had variations on the ever present “Why don’t you just clear off” argument, a list of meaningless statistics and further misleading information that conflicts with previous information given - oh yes, and of course the customary “How dare you” shriek from happybeing whilst again not substantiating anything when clearly asked.
OK, I’ll move on to my next off-topic subject. :smile:

So nobody should register a name that’s linked to SAFE on Reddit?? Just wait for someone outside of the community to register a name that’s close to SAFE? I agree on the term Maidsafe, but SAFE is just the network, you could register /r/safetalk right now and link to it from this forum saying it’s another community forum for SAFE. You could make it as democratic as you want. I encourage you to do so. Drop a message at moderators and we might pin it on the frontpage as well, just like the other reddits.

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