Zaphodista Army of Cybernautic Liberation

62 Conversations

smiley - smiley - smiley - party like it's 1999!smiley - smiley - smiley -

The Return of Reactive Moderation!!

If everything goes well with the Peer Moderation Pilot Project, it will resolve about 80% to 90% of our complaints. The sections below were written during the period when Moderators reviewed all entries on h2g2 and removed the ones that seemed to break rules, whether or not the community knew or cared or agreed.




Got Moderation?

Show how you feel about it. Sign the
Petition for Greater Freedom on h2g2.


See Zaphodista Communiqués page

for related articles and

the latest developments.

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELE-TUBBIED.

First Declaration of the Zaphodista Army of Cybernautic Liberation

Writing from near the jungles of Lacandon, Chiapas, Mexico1.

Forty-seven days our gathering place was down. You know how they talk about things moving fast in "Internet Time?" It is as if our beloved forum and community had been down for years. Many of the people who used to count themselves as fans of the h2g2 community will likely not return.

But I have enjoyed this community too much to let it go. When it reappeared in full bloom, I was thrilled.

Then I tried to read my old entries, which were "hidden pending moderation."

Then I read the new House Rules.

Our beloved revolutionary sweetheart, the hitchiker's guide website, has been absorbed by the BBC -- British Bureaucracy Clampdown. It appears that new guide entries will be available to read instantly, but pre-BBC entries remain "hidden pending moderation2." This proactive moderating will take time. Time that you wouldn't have to lose at most other boards, forums, communities. Your friends are all saving time posting on those other forums, because they don't have your loyalty to h2g2 the site, or your fanatical devotion to h2g2 the book. Is it worth it?

Further, there will be no more vulgarity. It's not that free speech is curtailed exactly. Just your vocabulary. Because somewhere in merry old UK, people believe that the web should be tailored to kids, that adults should all give up their freedom so that parents and teachers do not have to take responsibility for policing children.

Shall we discuss what "vulgar" originally meant? It meant common. As in, the lower class. Didn't you people get this all worked out of your system on tv shows like "Upstairs, Downstairs?" Speech should be common. To classify speech as unacceptable because it is "common" is to classify people as "common," is to raise yourself up undeservedly. We are all commoners now, because All Your Upper Class Privilege Are Belong To Us.

To fight back against these ridiculous new policies, we present an unofficial h2g2 club -- a new, mostly non-existent group for fans of the old h2g2 site who are displeased with the changes made by BBC.

Two Thai/Buddhist gods; one throwing water over the other

Zaphodistas, as obedient members of the h2g2 community, seek to struggle within the existing rules of h2g2 for a reform of the system towards more democracy, openness, away from the pre-emptive moderating and the ridiculous ban on posting URLs. For the sake of the continued survival of h2g2 as a peoples' forum, these rules should be removed. Since there are so many other forums where people can write what they want without waiting for it to be moderated, without worrying about posting URLs, you can rest assured that frustrated contributors and visitors will not remain at a site with this slow and backwards system. These new rules are inconsistent with standards followed everywhere else on the web, and will likely prove detrimental to the survival of h2g2 when people can easily turn elsewhere.

THESE ARE OUR DEMANDS:

(Okay, they're not demands really. It's not a war, and we won't do any denial-of-service attacks like the real Zapatistas did. These are our heart-felt suggestions: )

1. Any page you come across that says "hidden pending moderation" is a frustration you won't experience at most other online communities. Return to the system of moderation after the fact, as used by most other message boards, forums and online communities.

2. Allow URLs everywhere, in forum posts and contributed guide entries. If they point to something naughty, you can zap them after someone complains. That's how it works on every other forum and online community. The Beeb has done allright in radio and tv, but Welcome To The Web. It's not like your father's Oldsmedia. If you don't match the freedom and openness of other forums on the web, yours will be a ghost town before long.

3. Allow all languages. Are you kidding me, you desperado you? The idiocy of this policy has a certain JE NE SAIS QUOI. Will segments of this page be rejected because I write VIVA ZAPHODA!?

In case this is your first day on the web (and I thought Beeb had a little more experience here), let me explain something else y'all failed to notice: INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE. Limits placed on information by sites that censor, sites that flirt with censorship (as this one now does), and sites that forbid languages, will find themselves left in the dust. If you can't let your information be free, there are many other forums that will3.

Anyhow, I would think you'd be disgusted at how this policy flies in the face of democracy and freedom of speech, but apparently that stuff gets lower priority than, say, making a safe place where kids can read about Radio One.

4. For aesthetic purposes, will you just chill out with all the disclaimers? I don't remember there being this many on the old h2g2. Here I sometimes see the same junk repeated at the top and bottom of the same page, just so everyone knows about the new House Rules and Policies and Terms of Servitude and whatever.

Maybe they have more weird laws in the land where you come from, but couldn't you just post the fine print and disclaimers once, buried in the "Terms of Service" that everyone has to read when they sign up for your service? This is how most other forums and online communities do it4.

5. Bring back the "Don't Panic!" button. I know real estate is scarce on the front page, but if you're so worried about people needing and searching for the word "HELP", then put it at the bottom in your stupid fine print disclaimer or something. You're fiddling with tradition, dog gone it! (I mean, "d** **** *t!")

6. Allow your readers to be adults by assuming they can survive reading a naughty word. It won't hurt us, it won't hurt your children, who probably know more versions than you by now. It won't even hurt your numbers, because everybody accepts this as normal on the web. It may hurt your Aunt Gertrude, but her boycott will be no great loss...and she too probably knows more versions of that word than you!

BY-LAWS of the Zaphodistas

Can you hold up the moonlight in your palm and say, "I own you, moonlight?"

No! Such are the rules placed on membership to the Zaphodista Army.

Anyone may be a Zaphodista who loves democracy, liberty, justice, and that scene where Marvin triumphs over the tank just by talking to him. To become a Zaphodista, simply call yourself one. Too lazy to announce it? That's okay: you may already be a Zaphodista!

The following guidelines are subject to change (if anyone else joins the group besides me who is writing this):

A. Zaphodistas are patriotic about h2g2! We love the idea of the site, and strive for its continued prosperity. We may even be generally pleased with the past of BBC, due to their involvement with the h2g2 radio series and Red Dwarf and The Jimi Hendrix Experience BBC Sessions, in spite of their involvement with the h2g2 tv show and Doctor Who5.

However, we do not support the recent changes to h2g2 made by the BBC, changes which seem to be working against the open system of the original h2g2 site.

B. Zaphodistas must struggle within the rules of BBC h2g2 to reform those rules. We do not seek to overthrow h2g2, but to save it from the misguided policies of silly people from another world who do not understand the way our world turns. (In case you missed the metaphor, I'm talking about BBC's experience in the "world" of radio and tv shaping their policies toward the "world" wide web.) Getting ourselves kicked out probably won't help.

C. If you have any pre-BBC guide entries "hidden pending moderation," by all means, update them and make them visible. Each of these hidden screens is a scar on the good name of what was once a healthy and open forum.

The Revolution will not be Tele-Tubbied. Zaphodistas A520769.D. Eventually, h2g2 will likely allow outside graphics to be displayed on guide entries. Until then, the graphic symbol of Zaphodista struggle should be a broken graphic link with text message. View the Source code of this page to put a similar graphic on your page. For the ALT portion of the IMG SRC tag, insert whatever text you feel.

X. In the course of struggling for greater democracy, liberty and justice, it may be necessary to perpetrate a little subversion within the bounds of the h2g2 system. Namely, it may become necessary to move pages about the Zaphodista Army away from h2g2 to some other site, if they are rejected. And as the system of "Official Approved" guide entries becomes more and more elitist (and I would argue that they already were elitist before BBC took hold), it falls to us to support and emphasize unofficial guide entries. This section of h2g2, if it returns to the kind of shape before being tainted by BBC, is like an Underground Guide within the Guide, entries not marked by the elitist approval of whoever these people are in charge of giving approval.

Z. All of the above demands and terms are subject to debate and discussion, and probably ought to be reworked by little local committees just like the EZLN does, but I can't remember what they call em. Anyhow, please post your ideas on the forum at the bottom of this page.

JOIN THE INSURGENT FORCES OF

THE ZAPHODISTA ARMY

OF CYBERNAUTIC LIBERATION.

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELE-TUBBIED.

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE PRE-EMPTIVELY MODERATED.

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT NEED A DISCLAIMER.

THE R********N WILL NOT BE HIDDEN BENEATH ASTERISKS.

THE REVOLUTION WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN ALL LANGUAGES.

YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COOKING THE REVOLUTION, BECAUSE IT WILL NOT BE PRE-DIGESTED FOR YOU.

VIVA ZAPHODA!




[Signed,]

Subcomandante Insurgent Deidzoeb
[[email protected]]
U33856.
U76600.
U99843.
U124956.
U135642.
U55447.
U87448.
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U183367 (U183367 and U46417 are same person).
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[229 members as of 5 JANUARY 2005.]



[A588602 is an
Alphabetized Zaphodista Roll-Call,

thanks to Increase Mathers]




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See Zaphodista Communiqués page

for related articles and

the latest developments.




Got Moderation?

Show how you feel about it. Sign the
Petition for Greater Freedom on h2g2.

1Actually "near" in this case means several thousand miles north and a little east of Lacandon, more in the vicinity of Kalamazoo.2Apparently you can make pre-BBC entries visible by updating them. Still, any page you come across that says "hidden pending moderation" is a frustration you won't experience at most other online communities. As long as there are any pages "hidden pending moderation," there will be work for Zaphodistas to do.3I know, I know: this would have been a great point to talk about how stale, old copyright laws left over from the Twentieth Century will also crumble when exposed to the world's desire for blisteringly free information. But we'll save that for another time.4On the web, you have an even better trick for "fine print" than you have if the fine print were on paper. On the web, you can make one of those tiny scroll boxes that only show two or three lines of text at a time, and make your victims read yards and yards of convoluted legal jargon inside that teeny box. Nobody reads that junk, they just skip down and click OK.5I'm only kidding about Doctor Who. Please don't send your robot to zap me, flailing its vacuum cleaner hose arms. As for the h2g2 tv show, I meant it.

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