Deceptive censorship

Posted by Dan on Nov 29th, 2007
2007
Nov 29

Trend or coincidence? Recently I’ve come across two examples of deceptive censorship in computer forums. If the San Francisco Chronicle deletes your comment, the comment is invisible to other readers, but it remains visible to YOU, presumably so you don’t realize you’ve been censored and start complaining. (Thanks to TTB for the link.)

Prosper, the online lending platform, censors their forum. The lender community responded by setting up an alternate, uncensored forum at Prospers.org. (If you’re thinking about lending at Prosper, you REALLY need to read what the other lenders are saying in the uncensored forum.)

Well, OK, but how do people at Prosper.com find out about Prospers.org? It used to be possible to post at Prosper.com and mention Prospers.org. Now Prosper’s forum software automatically changes “prospers.org” to “prosper.com”. If you mention the competition, it’s turned into a mention of Prosper.

Both the Chronicle and Prosper are private businesses, and I really don’t have a problem with a bit of censorship to remove spam and maintain a civil atmosphere. However, I think they ought to be honest about their policies. Post the rules and provide a referee to enforce the rules, but don’t have secret rules that you enforce when no one is looking.

5 Responses

  1. TTB Says:

    Would writing ‘prosper dot org’ get thru the deceitful software?

    If so, might be worthwhile to use it a lot on prosper’s site, tho I suppose they would eventually catch on and one would have to move on to ‘prosper you-know-what org’ and then to ‘prosper that-little-round-doohicky org’, ‘prosper period org’ and so on.

    I guess I’d be thoughtful about giving meaningful amounts of money to anybody in the Nigerian banking indus…I mean, anyone who works at keeping marks…I mean potential investors from hearing the critics.

  2. 112233 Says:

    oh wise prophet, how did you make this connection between the chronicle and prosper? guess what, prosper is doing the same exact thing with it’s new blog as the chronicle. more info at prospers.org

  3. Xenon481 Says:

    No, that would not work as Prosper’s new “Fauxrums” (all information in the old forums have been deleted) and their Blog have the FULL Moderation options turned on. This means that Prosper is wasting away their venture capital by having an employee sit there and read every single comment and decide whether or not it will be posted.

    It should also be mentioned that when you post a comment to Prosper’s blog, you can see your comment posted with everybody else’s, but it isn’t really there yet and nobody else can see it. They only allow positive meaningless comments through and don’t even allow valid questioning of methodologies employed in the blog post.

  4. dan Says:

    112233, I just happened to hear about the Chronicle’s policy on the same day that the people on Prosper.org were complaining about the new Prosper.com forum.

    Xenon481, I don’t know whether Prosper is wasting their venture capital or not. I think they have an exit strategy in mind, and they’re trying to get their numbers up by any means possible. The fauxrums (nice word!) are part of that.

  5. prosperlender Says:

    read how prosper is using their attorneys to silence critics
    http://www.prosperreport.com/

    http://www.prospers.org/forum/prosperreportcom_received_a_letter_from_prospers_lawyer_cybersquatting-t4735.0.html

    http://www.prospers.org/forum/public_citizen_responds_to_prospers_threats_against_prosperreportcom-t4870.0.html

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