Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures all of our main content remains free for everyone with no article paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.
An Open Letter to Liam Dawe on Censorship
Page: «2/5»
  Go to:
Poll results: Which of these two extremes would you find preferable?
Never Close Comments, *EVER*
 
28 vote(s)
93%
Remove Comments Feature Entirely
 
2 vote(s)
7%
kshade Aug 28, 2019
QuoteHonestly, I find that pretty ridiculous. So you want comments to either always be open so everyone can have their opinion (and I'm not allowed?!) or have them entirely off. I shouldn't and won't be scared to voice my opinion on my own website and no one is going to stop me, sorry.

Ask yourself what you are doing, though. Have you added anything worthwhile to the discussion that hasn't already been said? Do you have any specific insights/perspectives that others might not have seen?

Your unique perspective is that of a Linux user, that's why we're here, that's why you have an audience. But it doesn't apply to this story, so what we are left with is pure opinion. Something you'd maybe post on a forum if you were angry at the developers. Except without comments, it comes off as you telling your readers what to think of the controversy, with no talking back.

Maybe either try and post better, more thoughtful op-eds, hoping that the comments improve as well, or don't play the Internet slap fight game. I think that might be the only winning move, really.
tuubi Aug 28, 2019
Quoting: kshadeYour unique perspective is that of a Linux user, that's why we're here, that's why you have an audience. But it doesn't apply to this story, so what we are left with is pure opinion. Something you'd maybe post on a forum if you were angry at the developers. Except without comments, it comes off as you telling your readers what to think of the controversy, with no talking back.
There's a big difference between him telling us what he thinks, and him telling us what to think.

Also, I don't see why it matters if someone else somewhere has already written about the same thing, or had the same opinion. That's no reason to keep silent, especially if it's an issue he feels is important.
Salvatos Aug 28, 2019
I don’t have much to say on this debate because I feel like I’ve seen it played out numerous times already and ultimately it will be up to Liam, but I’m curious about one thing:
Quoting: Liam DaweI've been thanked a large number of times for closing the comments on the first article.
I’m trying to understand why it would benefit anyone other than yourself (because it saves you from moderating a flame war). Anyone who doesn’t like the discussion can just not read it and unsubscribe from the article’s comments. Locking it stops the argument but doesn’t restore everyone else’s ability to have a pleasant discussion there, so the thread is still a wasteland, and I’m confused. Has anyone mentioned why they were thankful for it?


Anyway, generally I find that Liam does an alright job of drawing the line between arguments and personal attacks and is not overly quick to quell heated arguments. Preemptive locking does feel heavy-handed to me, but I can’t really blame him for sparing himself the trouble. Maybe a warning/cooldown system would help? Instead of blocking comments because you know some users will take them too far, maybe removing those users’ commenting privileges temporarily when they cross the line would serve to remind them to keep it cool, and if repeat offenders don’t take the hint you could mute them permanently without impacting everyone else. We already have the ability to block users individually, so this would be your site-wide version of the same approach for the benefit of unregistered users, I reckon.

You could have a "User was muted for this post" banner associated with it to help show where you draw the line and warn others to cool their engines. As a sidenote, I wouldn’t remove people’s ability to use the forum based on those warnings, though. I think it’s good to have a backup place you can express/explain yourself and engage in other, non-sensitive topics, and if people abuse that too it might be time to consider banning them altogether.
Luke_Nukem Aug 28, 2019
The only thing I have to say on this is people really, really need to learn the difference between hate-speech and free-speech.

Free-speech is not an absolute in almost every country except America, and it comes with consequences. American values translate poorly to the rest of the world.

---
Oh and, this is a site that Liam owns, and has done a freaking amazing job of building up. And also maintains a generally very good community on. He is well within his "rights" or however you want to phrase it, to administer his property in the way he chooses - and his judgement is fantastic in every case (from sound ethics and morals, but also a heavy dose of experience).

---
Bloody hell. Just noticed the poll. Okay sure, have a poll with only two extremes. Good job mate.
vector Aug 29, 2019
Quoting: Luke_NukemAmerican values translate poorly to the rest of the world.
I'd be surprised if the totality of any nominally ideological multitude's professed values translated well to all outside that multitude, whether internationally or intranationally. Granted, control and influence are unequally spread, often disproportionately so.
dvd Aug 29, 2019
Quoting: brokeassbenThe number of gamergate types coming out of the woodwork on GOL is a little scary and a lot disheartening. If you target an already extremely marginalized group with hate speech, there should be repercussions. Claiming censorship when you get called out on it is an extremely weak argument at best.

Also, this is Liam's site and moderating how he wants is his prerogative and nobody is censoring anybody. There are unlimited places for you to voice your opinion, regardless of how it affects others. If you want a full-on anti-censorship experience, give *4chan a try. That place is a cesspool of bigots, trolls, and the like. No one will stop you from anonymously saying whatever awful thing pops into your head.

*
Spoiler, click me
No one should actually go to 4chan. It's a terrible place.

This, this and this. It's probably off topic, but it sure seems crying muh freeze peach and censorships fools a lot of people (and makes a lot of bucks for some). I think that people that look at issues of free speech in video games or on related forums might not just be looking at the right issues, or just deliberately trying to cause a flamewar.
Luke_Nukem Aug 29, 2019
Quoting: vector
Quoting: Luke_NukemAmerican values translate poorly to the rest of the world.
I'd be surprised if the totality of any nominally ideological multitude's professed values translated well to all outside that multitude, whether internationally or intranationally. Granted, control and influence are unequally spread, often disproportionately so.

Pardon?
vector Aug 29, 2019
QuoteAs long as people remain respectful this forum topic can stay open to have a productive chat about it.
Although I find incivility incredibly tiresome and unrewarding, the productiveness of a conversation is ultimately more important to me than the respectfulness it contains, although it can be a challenge to conduct a productive conversation when respectfulness is lacking (although not impossible, as has sometimes been demonstrated on the Linux kernel mailing list).

That's not to say that all conversations need to contain informative, insightful, useful, or otherwise productive commentary. There is nothing wrong with a little inanity from time to time. But certain topics have a way of inviting hostility, and whatever thoughtful exchanges there are to be made can easily be lost amid a cacophony of reflexive outbursts.

When Liam closed the comments to the article "Some more thoughts on Ion Fury, the FPS from Voidpoint and 3D Realms", I was in agreement with the move, as I felt, given the commentary up until that point, nothing productive was going to be added. It's a judgment call; I happen to agree with it and think it was for the best. I honestly would have preferred no further articles on Ion Fury dev commentary barring something truly redefining beyond what is already known, but that's Liam's call to make.
rkfg Aug 29, 2019
I think articles like those two shouldn't even appear on GoL. But that's just me. Thing is, they're not about Linux or Linux gaming except they happened to happen to a game that supports Linux. But they're not about Linux gaming. It's like posting an article about some developer that made a recently released Linux game and then it's been revealed he's a rapist/serial killer/crook/whatever. It's related to Linux gaming but it's not about gaming. Following this logic wouldn't make any good to the site in my opinion. If I want to read and/or participate in a controversy there's plenty of other sites writing about that.

Good controversies are those that affect the Linux gaming.
  • A Linux-supporting game decided to move to EGS that doesn't support Linux? That's interesting, what are other options to play it outside Steam then?

  • A developer decided to drop Linux support? Whoa, of course I want to know more! What's gonna happen to the existing customers? What to do next? Is it the final decision?

  • This game is now playable on Linux! Whether via Steam Play or natively, that's a good news. Tell me more!

  • This game has been updated and now experiences difficulties, here's how to make it work again and when the patch is going to release.

  • In this game you can find a soap bottle with a made up word "Ogay" on it, whoa! Thanks, but no, thanks.


Some time ago I also said in the comments for a Steam Play article that Wine gaming is fine by me unless the game doesn't work out of the box. If you press "Play" and the game launches and works just fine I don't care what's under the hood. It's gaming on Linux. This does apply to this situation as well. Those articles are not about gaming, they're about what the developers said in their chat, whether "Ogay" is a slur or not, what group of people is more valuable to the devs (because it's impossible to please everyone) and so on. The only thing about the game there is a tiny sprite and I don't think it deserves a whole article. Because it's not about the sprite.

I always appreciated that GoL is pretty much politically/socially neutral so it's good to read about games with no political strings attached. It's good when the games are in focus, not gender identities, sexual orientations, political leanings, race issues and so on. If anything of the above issues (and many other like that) appears it ultimately only brings discord to the community and radicalizes it, makes people pick sides because they are all different and have different beliefs and backgrounds. And saying some beliefs are right and others are wrong is like saying that some people are invalid/trash and others are valid/good. Which is not true most of the time.

Big controversies are usually already all over the social media and people not living under the rock would find them anyway. Why even bring them here? Why take a stance? It looks like scoring political points because the admin and article authors have quite a bit of influence over the readers. They have a megaphone and some power to push their ideas. Until now I believed that megaphone is used so that the Linux gaming news can be heard even far away. Now I see that it's used to silence those who don't agree to a political agenda. Not a good outcome if you ask me.

Due to my disappointment I decided to lower my monthly GoL pledge on Patreon (I don't urge anyone else to do the same, of course). I'm not going away like some people did, one failure is not worth it. And I hope to change this decision in the future if things won't get worse. I hope it won't come to the situation where someone with power here publicly says on his Twitter "I hate gamers" because that's exactly what the Ion Fury forum moderator said. You're better than that.
Liam Dawe Aug 29, 2019
@rkfg, I respect your decision here.

However, there are times and likely will be in future when we write about things not directly related to Linux and Gaming. I hope you stick around of course :)

Still, it's new territory for us and there will always be some people who do not agree hence my point about not being able to please everyone. I mean jeez, the kinda of salt some people threw at me when I covered 1 or 2 Steam Play games in the space of a month was quite painful. All I want to do is spread some news, what people do with it is their choice.

In this case, perhaps some sort of cool-down timer on the comments may have been quite helpful, it's something that has recently been suggested for heated topics and I must admit I quite like the idea. Gives people time to read, have a think and then eventually comment. Believe me, I do not like locking comments. As mentioned, it's been all of twice.

Additionally, it was pointed out that the article made it to the linux_gaming Reddit. Guess what happened there? The moderators hid it from view, without a direct link you wouldn't know it was posted.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.