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Off topic: Let's eliminate off-topic forums
Thread poster: RHELLER
RHELLER
United States
Local time: 20:22
French to English
+ ...
Jul 10, 2005

I am tired of being censored. I would prefer to eliminate this pretense.

The rules are very "iffy" and unclear. So, let's just do away with the whole thing.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:22
French to English
Set up a poll? Jul 10, 2005

Yup, no argument from me.

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swisstell
Italy
Local time: 04:22
German to English
+ ...
I certainly second your motion Jul 11, 2005

since I was a victim of censorship when reading an article (I seem to remember that it originates with you) about LIBERTY and innocently added my personal 4th of July wishes to the publisher - connecting this article to our special freedom day in the USA. It did appear on that date. This one-line greeting, on the National Day of Independence and with a constitution safeguarding our right of free speech and expression, was apparently taken as "politics" and deleted. A total outrage as far as I am concerned. Eliminating off-topic items altogether might assist overzealous moderators from having to apply Gulag technics.


[Edited at 2005-07-11 02:37]

[Edited at 2005-07-11 02:37]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:22
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Topic fundamentalism Jul 11, 2005

I can't see why anyone would make this suggestion. There was a lot of debate about this years ago, as a result of which the present system was devised, whereby those who don't like off-topic topics can elect not to see them. Why don't you just do this?
What is the logic of saying you are tired of being censored, and going on to try to impose a total censorship on everyone else?


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two2tango  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:22
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why eliminate it? Jul 11, 2005

Rita Heller wrote:

Let's eliminate off-topic forums

I am tired of being censored. I would prefer to eliminate this pretense.

The rules are very "iffy" and unclear. So, let's just do away with the whole thing.


Hi Rita,

You have every right to dislike the off-topic forum, or any other part of the site. Yet, with all due respect, the most obvious solution would seem to be that you skip the areas you dislike, not eliminate them.

Regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:22
SITE FOUNDER
If something is unclear, let's clarify Jul 11, 2005

Rita Heller wrote:

... The rules are very "iffy" and unclear.


For anyone who is reading this thread and wondering what Rita is referring to, here are is the definition of scope: http://proz.com/scope

Which parts of this are "iffy" or "unclear"? If necessary, let's clarify.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 22:22
SITE FOUNDER
Don't blame the moderator Jul 11, 2005

SwissTell wrote:

Eliminating off-topic items altogether might assist overzealous moderators from having to apply Gulag technics.


Moderators pledge to uphold the definition of scope. The post you refer to was outside the site's scope, as defined in that document, so the moderator was obliged to remove it.


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RHELLER
United States
Local time: 20:22
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I am not blaming the moderator Jul 11, 2005

Topic areas within ProZ.com's scope

Content posted on or via ProZ.com should be limited to the following areas:


Topic areas within ProZ.com's scope


language services (translation, interpreting, etc.)
language services business issues
general business issues pertinent to site users
language
the ProZ.com site
the ProZ.com community
Content not related to the above categories is not within ProZ.com's scope and will not be permitted. Postings containing content not related to the above areas will not be vetted. If already public, such postings will be removed promptly whenever encountered by moderators or staff members.

Note that not all postings in these topic areas will be permitted. Postings that are in violation of ProZ.com policies or rules will not be vetted, and if already public, will be removed whenever encountered by moderators or site staff, even if they fall within ProZ.com's scope. Consult the Forum Rules and KudoZ Rules for more information.

Possible Off-topic Exceptions

"Exceptions may be made in which postings outside of ProZ.com's scope are allowed, but only on the condition that no part of the content could be considered by any reasonable person to be objectionable or even controversial."

Examples of content that is outside of ProZ.com's scope but may be allowable in some circumstances:
Possible Non-Translation Exceptions

travel tips
poetry contests
holiday greetings
recipes
discussion of literary works
humor
birthday greetings
memorials
natural disasters (see FAQ)
If made to the forums, postings that are outside of ProZ.com's scope but may be allowable must be marked "Off-Topic."

Note that postings such as those listed here as exceptions will not necessarily be allowed. For example, discussions related to politically oriented literary works will not be allowed. Birthday greetings for controversial figures will also not be allowed.Topic areas within ProZ.com's scope

--------------------------------------------------------
MAY BE ALLOWABLE
POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS

is that "iffy" enough for you?


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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
English
+ ...
Seems "iffy" to me, too. Jul 11, 2005

We should just eliminate it altogether. Utterly and completely. It seems like some things are provisionally allowed, some aren't, and the exact criteria for what is "non-translation" related and allowable versus what is "non-translation" related but not allowed seems to be extremely subjective and very hard to "pin down". Very, very nebulous. Let's just make the whole site 100% translation with nothing extraneous and move on. I don't seem to be able to accurately describe or even understand the criteria that define whether one of my posts will be deleted or not and that bugs me. Just dump it, the sooner the better.

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Will Matter  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
English
+ ...
It's not a question of "disliking" anything. Jul 11, 2005

Enrique Cavalitto said: You have every right to dislike the off-topic forum, or any other part of the site. Yet, with all due respect, the most obvious solution would seem to be that you skip the areas you dislike, not eliminate them.

It's not a question of "disliking" anything, it's a question of participating, thinking that that participation is welcomed and then being censored, ruthlessly and unexpectedly, according to criteria that you can't or don't understand. If "off topic" isn't truly "off topic" (i.e. just for discussing topics that are not directly related to the business of translation) then just get rid of it. Either say "Even though this has nothing, at all, to do with translation it's OK" and let it be or say "Nothing that doesn't clearly, obviously, directly and unequivocally have a bearing on translation or interpretation is allowed, no exceptions whatsoever". One or the other. The present set of rules has so many "maybes" and "possibles" that it makes me feel distinctly queasy and very uneasy. Who decides and how? I don't know and I can't tell. Dump it.

[Edited at 2005-07-11 03:39]

[Edited at 2005-07-11 04:05]


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María Roberto
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree / Disagree / Neutral Jul 11, 2005

Rita:

I agree with the Off topic " Some music to relax"
Thread Poster: Flavio Ferri Benedetti.

It was a gift for all of us.

I´m neutral with the kind of topics you are discussing about (4 th July, etc, etc)

I disagree with the rules from the Off Topic Moderator´s, because I don't know them. My passion is poetry, philosophy, linguistics. What is wrong with that topics in a Translation site?

But I' ve also been censored.

Perhaps Moderator´s rules must been reviewed? Or the logic of communications has to be explain? Some members could post whatever they want and others couldn't?

Regards,
María de los Ángeles


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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
error in the English Jul 11, 2005

I have no opinion on this at this point. But I think there is an English mistake in the rules relating to it:


"Postings containing content not related to the above areas will not be vetted. If already public, such postings will be removed promptly whenever encountered by moderators or staff members.

Note that not all postings in these topic areas will be permitted. Postings that are in violation of ProZ.com policies or rules will not be vetted, and if already public, will be removed whenever encountered by moderators or site staff,."'

I thought to vet meant to thoroughly check something out. If the something is found to be OK, it is allowed to continue. The word came to prominence in Cold War spy novels...The British secret services were always vetting people ie checking them out to see if they were a security check. The word obviously was also used by the CIA and compagnie.

I wonder if the word that was meant was: allowed...


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Syeda Tanbira Zaman
Local time: 07:52
English to Assamese
+ ...
It is simply a matter of choice. Jul 11, 2005

Jack Doughty wrote:
What is the logic of saying you are tired of being censored, and going on to try to impose a total censorship on everyone else?


The off-topic is certainly the most interersting forum in proz.com. It informs, excites, provokes, amuses at the same time. It will be a pity if it goes.

[Edited at 2005-07-11 08:48]


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:22
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
It's not censorship, it's just a question of manners Jul 11, 2005

When you are at a business dinner table, or dining with people who are not your close familiy or your best freinds, and this could be the case of the proz.com community where you meet up with colleagues, "employers", "employees" etc. there are two subjects that good manners require you to refrain from exploring: politics and religion. I think that the rules concerning what is to be avoided in off topics reflect this golden rule even though it is not directly stated.
Unfortunately these seem to be the same subjects where we also become most passionate and it would be extremely difficult to be objective and scientific when vetting or replying to such posts, even if inspired by the best of intentions.
Let's keep our passion and commitment in our everyday lives, but away from the dinner table.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:22
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Well said, Daniela Jul 11, 2005

There are plenty of other websites where people can indulge in politics/religion/whatever. Talk of "censorship" on ProZ is just playing with words, given the scope elsewhere for such discussions. Let's keep ProZ for its prime purpose - translation - and remember our manners.

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