Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I'm not going to get into a big argument about something subjective. There's already a showdead option and people willing to point out to hellbanned users when it looks like they've been inappropriately banned, so i'm happy to see that the system is being at least somewhat subverted.

I don't think that Losethos should be the standard by which we should judge the merit of hellbanning. Yes, seeing his posts plain would probably be irritating (though I have showdead on and I can see them anyway.) No, his being hellbanned still doesn't prove that it does more good than harm, because most hellbanned users are not necessarily like him.

From slashdot to resdit to forums to hacker news, one thing is clear.

Forum health is not about free speech.

And the people who are most upset are this are those who genuinely believe in free speech. I did too.

It's only after seeing many forums devolve that its clear to me and many other mods, admins, writers and foru users that forum operation, forum discussion health and real world free speech do not overlap perfectly.

As a moderator on a popular forum I entirely agree.

Free speech is great so long as it doesn't descend into anarchy. And when that happens, you're effectively in a situation where nobody really gets chance to say anything because the forum is flooded with hate. So it sometimes takes a little weed killing to allow comments to fully blossom.

We should also bare in mind that there's a difference between hateful comments and trolling - which are only posted to offend, and unpopular or incorrect statements. Sometimes unpopular comments will lead to heated discussions; it's a pity when that happens, but that's sometimes unavoidable because humans are often passionate beings. But generally such comments shouldn't be down-voted (instead the helpful, insightful or correct arguments should be up-voted). The only comments that should be down-voted are the hateful and trolling remarks. And when it becomes clear that such remarks are inducing anarchy, then it's clear that stricter moderation is required to restore the balance so that everyone else doesn't have their freedom of speech removed due to the lack of an open discussion on the forum.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact