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Thread: therian.org community hub

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustWolf View Post
    I find ethics debate about how public content may be used kinda pointless TBH. If you've made your posts public they might be re-shared on a hundred platforms that index this material and you'd never know. As a forum administrator I am keenly aware of the dozen or so bots that index all public contents of my forum at all times of day.

    If you are concerned with how your posts are used, don't consciously post them on public media, or use hashtags which are specifically intended for this purpose.


    Of course there are also advantages to standing in this global spotlight, if you wish to share your views more widely. As you know usually advertising isn't free. My offer is free.

    LP,
    Dusty
    A question, then? Does this rule

    Quote Originally Posted by Rules - Therian Guide
    10. You may not copy what people say on this forum to other websites without their permission! Content posted on the forums is the property of the respective authors and may not be distributed outside the forums as text, screenshot, or any other form, without the author's permission.
    not apply to public content?
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  2. #12
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    Pretty much agreeing with what other people said here. Decent idea, but there are issues with the execution. People choose their platforms, however public, for a reason. And they choose to forego others for a reason and don't want to overlap. Maybe they don't like someone there and don't want them reading their personal thoughts, or have trusted friends in another. They shouldn't really be made to associate with the platform they didn't want to use. Gonna be real with you, you and other TG staff are in hot water atm and you've made lots of enemies lately. Whether it's warranted is besides the point, you'll make it worse for yourself if you snatch up posts from different platforms. Potentially from people who would choose not to be involved if you asked. Asking is polite and considerate, the Internet is a bit of a lawless wasteland but doesn't mean you personally can't be polite yourself.
    A site like this could work out rather well as long as the material is ethically sourced as it were.
    Last edited by Lopori; March 13th, 2021 at 09:30 AM.

  3. #13
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    In terms of feedback, obligatory note that I have little to no experience running websites which utilize unchanged public content posted to other places on the Internet as the bulk of what they host. This is just my personal observations and thoughts on the matter.

    One of my biggest moral qualms with Therian.org running public posts from other websites, this and other nonhuman forums theoretically included in that, is that quite a decent number of nonhumans do not want to be associated with Therian Guide nor those who run it. Whatever the reason each individual has for those feelings aside--because please don’t misunderstand me as trying to argue over the reasonings behind these feelings or their argued legitimacy; I’m just pointing out their existence in spheres of the mutual community--people who feel in such ways have often taken active or conscious steps to not be involved in circles that also frequent Therian Guide or members of your staff. They deserve to have those efforts to distance themselves respected, and it feels somewhat invasive to see such efforts potentially unknowingly circumvented since it’s not common knowledge that Therian.org is tag-trawling and similar.

    Even if you are logically right when you say that privacy online is essentially just security theater at best within public forums, it makes me a little uncomfortable and wary to see you saying that in the context of talking about using content from non-consenting and unaware individuals for your website. People exist and make choices online about how they interact with others and who they interact with. And taking that choice away from people-- saying that it essentially "doesn't matter" because the option to disrespect it and ignore it is always there-- just leaves a bitter taste behind.

    I’m a nonhuman creator who is very particular about which forums I advertise my essays and artwork on. Sometimes it’s a matter of avoiding misinterpretation: I don’t want to be classified as a therian or otherkin when the simple fact of the matter is that I don’t align myself with either term. Other times it’s an issue of privacy: a large reason I have avoided posting essays and artwork to your forum, Therian Guide, is because of how often I have heard past members say that individuals largely lose control of what they have posted on the website and that getting content changed or deleted can be difficult, if not occasionally outright impossible. Still times beyond that it can be a factor of audience and what sort of responses and potential criticisms I am looking to take in from a piece: I’m not going to post one of my alternate’s anti-community essays on an uncritical community-based forum, for instance. Doing such would be merely combative, not constructive. There's also certain things we've created which we deem suitable for human audiences--such as Shenani-kins--versus unsuitable for human audiences--such as our after dark content, to use the simplest (albeit not the most relevant) example. When the wrong audience is exposed to certain types of nonhuman work, it can sometimes have explosive results based on misunderstandings, maliciousness, mockery, and more, especially with the existence of the unreasonable anger and ridicule that is often directed at nonhumans and alterhumans in public spheres.

    The point of me explaining this is not to be pedantic, but to make it clear that creators often think critically before choosing where to host their work, and to demonstrate my own thought process behind such. My experiences here are not unique or special in any regards, as I am by no means the only nonhuman content creator out there.

    Ideally, I do not want my work re-posted anywhere online without my express permission, and while I know that is not always something I can enforce--for yes, as mentioned previously, the Internet is a unique place in which people have to hold themselves accountable online and the enforcement of civility and polite conduct is never something which can be unanimously applied--I still largely expect (or, at the very least, hope) for such feelings on my own work to be acknowledged and taken into account when it comes to the matter of nonhumans and alterhumans sharing content I’ve made. And I’m certainly not alone in this type of feeling, either. I know that at least many of the nonhuman and alterhuman creators I speak to feel much the same way, especially given that the communities surrounding us all are so small and niche. We, as creators, rely on herd accountability and community support in order to feel comfortable to continue creating without facing worries of threat or hostility, accidentally incurred or otherwise. This live feed feels as though it goes against that, even if unintentionally.

    (I think that where you were originally going with Therian.org--in regards to the original Therian Guide thread describing Therian.org's purpose and where you asked for relevant essays and artwork and, upon my submission of On Theriomythics, Divinity, and a Mythical Ternary, you clarified that you were looking specifically for content that had originally been posted on TG to be hosted on the Therian.org website--is a more productive angle than this idea of a live feed of a random amalgamation of therian-reated Internet tags, personally. Though that specific previous idea would probably make for a better sub-section of TG than it's own website, I feel like it's "closer to the right track" of what people would be interested in, so to speak. Perhaps a heavily curated live feed that people could opt into, one with an informational/artistic/whatnot lean, could work?)
    Last edited by Who-Is-Page; March 13th, 2021 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Fixed typos & added last paragraph

  4. #14
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    We do seem to have opened a can of worms here. To be clear, one of the core missions of this site is to support other therian sites and the people who are willing to put in the time and energy to create resources for our community. My perspective on other sites in the community goes something like this: we live in a village where there are always snowdrifts that need shoveling, and a limited number of people who are willing and able to share that workload. Everyone who wants to pick up a shovel and go to work beside us ought to be strongly encouraged, supported and appreciated.

    When I see other people picking up shovels and working beside us, that looks like help and cooperation to me, not competition. I really don't want to discourage them. Heck, I want to make hot chocolate for them and tell them they're doing a great job. Because if we do not nurture and support these hard workers, all that buys us is a tougher workload and more clogged driveways for everyone. The community is best served by more resources for all, and that means we need to think very, very hard before discouraging anyone who is constructively creating them. So let's try to don't, whenever we can.

    I definitely do hear the issues and concerns about the ethics of taking and republishing user generated content, and I also understand that there are perspectives on effectively curating searchable public content, such as with hashtags, just to collect it all in one place rather than the reader searching it out individually. I think it is very much worth an open community dialogue with regards to how people feel about use of their content and their level of control over it.

    To be very clear, we do have a duty of privacy and respect to our users on Werelist. We have always done our best to block bots and searchability and to leave our users in control of their own content, as much as possible. We do not own content generated by our users. We have no right to use it or publish it except in the ways that they have consented to, and only for as long as they consent. That's an important principle here. We are not the boss of anyone else and can not set rules about other people's sites, but this is a very hard rule for ours: no bots, no scraping our forums for RSS feeds or any other reason, no taking content created by our users and posting it elsewhere. What is posted on Werelist needs to stay on Werelist, unless there is explicit consent from an individual user to have their content appear elsewhere. I do have to formally ask you not to take any content from Werelist without getting permission from whoever created that content, and I trust you to respect that.

    One of my original thoughts was to set up some kind of sub-forum where there was such explicit consent - post in this specific place and that is where your content goes. Because a curated RSS feed is a good idea and a potentially very useful community resource. I don't think the idea should be vilified or abandoned. I think it's quite a good one. I also think we need to hash out what people's expectations are for how their content is used and where it appears, since I think the average user of a small community forum does not expect (and very likely does not want or consent) to have their conversations broadcast to a wider audience. There are different expectations when using other media, and the ethics as well as the logistics is a discussion well worth having.

    Will you have it with me? Please? I would appreciate it, and I would learn something from your perspective and ability. Thank you.
    Last edited by Savage; March 13th, 2021 at 02:12 PM.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Who-Is-Page View Post
    One of my biggest moral qualms with Therian.org running public posts from other websites, this and other nonhuman forums theoretically included in that, is that quite a decent number of nonhumans do not want to be associated with Therian Guide nor those who run it. Whatever the reason each individual has for those feelings aside--because please don’t misunderstand me as trying to argue over the reasonings behind these feelings or their argued legitimacy; I’m just pointing out their existence in spheres of the mutual community--people who feel in such ways have often taken active or conscious steps to not be involved in circles that also frequent Therian Guide or members of your staff. They deserve to have those efforts to distance themselves respected, and it feels somewhat invasive to see such efforts potentially unknowingly circumvented since it’s not common knowledge that Therian.org is tag-trawling and similar.

    This is at the root of my concerns on such a matter personally. Kiso also made an excellent observation about how the views on ethics held by the purported curator of Therian.org are highly questionable. Speaking from experience and quite frankly professional training in IT in an administrative capacity one in such a position has the implied responsibility of holding themselves to a higher ethical standard than that of the everyday individual because of the trust inherit in a position of authority and I would like to stress that this is speaking in a strictly professional capacity all personal feelings aside.


    I know I myself have seen many times where private content has been moved into public forums, archived unarchived and edited on the whims of the individual with no regard to the content creators wishes. I am thankful Therian Guide exists as a resource for the community but things of this nature make me highly suspect of the motivations of the administration at times. It seems in many cases as a policy that TG takes possession of content once it has been posted there and will use it for any means seen fit regardless of what the original creator of the content wishes and at times in direct conflict with such. There are a number of cases where I've seen individuals run off the site because of this policy. My main concern with Therian.org and the collection of therian content is how am I or any of us in the community to expect the treatment of such matters to be any different.


    *edited for clarity.
    Last edited by Koba; March 15th, 2021 at 01:49 AM.

  6. #16

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    For what my two cents is worth -

    The #therian hashtag on Twitter being fed to Therian.org is a bad idea sheerly because of the number of shit posters, trolls and Pokemon Go people that use it.

    As far as the concept goes -

    The basic idea of integrating new activity and content from various platforms which are more likely to take therianthropy seriously, to the end of shining light on a broader, more mature base, I feel is a good idea. Regardless of rather or not we want our animality being in the spotlight or not, we've crossed (been forced across) the threshold by certain individuals and factions of the "greater" community and it's not something we're ever going to be able to 180. Our choices are to populate various mediums with thoughtful, articulate, serious content or be shut out by the younger crowd who, observably, wants to bastardize our experiences as some sort of social trend or fad. I have written volumes on Therian Guide about how I watched the furry fandom go down this same road and how it's lead to the burning dumpster fire that furry is today.

    I know that no one feels like arguing with teenagers over the internet. We're all grown and have better uses of our time. Therian.org, in concept, is a way to openly convey the mature view of being a therian without the hassle of having to interact with people who spend their whole lives looking for reasons to disagree with others over a topic. One of the most prominent observable trends in the therian community which can be evidenced outside of forums, in social media, is that it is cannibalizing itself with petty arguments and drama. Dust's concept is a method which can convey useful information and transcend a lot of the foolishness we've seen from some factions of the community.

    All that said - Even though any expectation of privacy over the internet is a false sense of security, I am adamantly in favor of affording people the choice of what they do or do not participate in as a basic gesture of respect and decency. This world, our society, even as can be evidenced our own community may be trending towards bankruptcy of these virtues but I am a firm believer that we should make effort to raise or maintain the bar, not stoop to it.

    As far as the comments I have seen here - Savage's has been the most reasonable as they actually sought a way forward, to take an idea, something that Dust has put work into, and possibly work out some bugs and come out with something that might be of use to someone.

    The comments about people not wanting to associate with TG or otherwise hinting or taking passive-aggeessive swipes at us because I choose to stand on my principles and speak my mind and because Dust is Slovenian who isn't always the best with people but is a phenom with computers, I tire of.

    If people don't want to associate with us or if they hold something against us for whatever petty reason, let them go stage a riot or something - this thread was not about that and y'all should be ashamed of yourselves for taking it there.

    We've gone from us trying to establish an intercommunity hub of new activity to basically a public flogging of Dust and TG.

    Lyc
    Last edited by LycanTheory; March 22nd, 2021 at 06:44 PM.

    "It takes incredible strength and courage to be different from everybody else, but it's a good thing."

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post
    Even though any expectation of privacy over the internet is a false sense of security, I am adamantly in favor of affording people the choice of what they do or do not participate in as a basic gesture of respect and decency. This world, our society, even as can be evidenced our own community may be trending towards bankruptcy of these virtues but I am a firm believer that we should make effort to raise or maintain the bar, not stoop to it.
    This echoes my thinking on the subject. There definitely are legitimate concerns about who has the right to republish or broadcast user generated content without consent. There are also legitimate reasons to use things like hashtags and community hubs so that people can find content that is actually intended to be publicly accessible, with consent. I was hoping we could participate in your project while maintaining the trust we have with our user base that their content stays where they choose to put it, unless they give explicit permission for it to be searchable from elsewhere. So far it doesn't look feasible to be able to do that, on our technical end, but I'm definitely open to hearing ideas. If there was a shoutbox or something similar we could implement that had explicit 'ok to broadcast' terms that were clearly conveyed to users to consent to before posting there, I think that would be an excellent idea. I'm poking our techie folks on the subject and hoping we can figure something out. Our platform has a lot of native limitations though, and realistically we might not be able to participate to the extent of Werelist content being searchable from another site.

    I do want to make it clear that as it stands, with the agreement we have with our user base now, absolutely no rebroadcasting of user generated content, bots, links to content, etc, is allowed. It doesn't matter whether it's your bot or Google's, that kind of activity is hard line banned here. Sorry. I trust you guys to understand and respect that. If we can find a workaround that clearly demarcates a 'very public post' area where users explicitly consent to have content they put there searchable from other sites, I think it's a fine idea. I just don't know that we can. We definitely don't have a space like that now.


    If people don't want to associate with us or if they hold something against us for whatever petty reason, let them go stage a riot or something - this thread was not about that and y'all should be ashamed of yourselves for taking it there.

    We've gone from us trying to establish an intercommunity hub of new activity to basically a public flogging of Dust and TG.
    I really do not like to see content creators discouraged or insulted. That's not a constructive way forward for our community. We have an explicit rule against badmouthing other sites, communities or individuals, as Werelist is neutral territory. Questions, constructive criticism that is not personal insult, and dialogue about ethical concerns and issues is allowed though. If you see anything that isn't constructive or that devolves into unfair or personal insults, please let me know so that I can address it. A simple statement that not everyone likes your site doesn't cross that line IMO, but I am keeping an eye on the thread so that the dialogue remains respectful and constructive. I do think it's an important dialogue to have and I sincerely appreciate your participation as well as your efforts to create good resources for the community.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post

    We've gone from us trying to establish an intercommunity hub of new activity to basically a public flogging of Dust and TG.
    Perhaps in the interest of all parties this thread should be an internal discussion amongst community members versus a public thread. ( Just a suggestion. )

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LycanTheory View Post
    As far as the comments I have seen here - Savage's has been the most reasonable as they actually sought a way forward, to take an idea, something that Dust has put work into, and possibly work out some bugs and come out with something that might be of use to someone.

    The comments about people not wanting to associate with TG or otherwise hinting or taking passive-aggeessive swipes at us because I choose to stand on my principles and speak my mind and because Dust is Slovenian who isn't always the best with people but is a phenom with computers, I tire of.

    If people don't want to associate with us or if they hold something against us for whatever petty reason, let them go stage a riot or something - this thread was not about that and y'all should be ashamed of yourselves for taking it there.

    We've gone from us trying to establish an intercommunity hub of new activity to basically a public flogging of Dust and TG.
    LycanTheory, this is a purposeful misrepresentation of the criticisms that have been levied against the idea of trawling various websites for content without consent from the content creators. I hate to pull the "it's not personal" card, but you're bristling your fur and raising your hackles at shadows on a wall; you're making excuses and justifications that people shouldn't feel a sense of distance from the staff of Therian Guide and the forum itself, when the specific reasons people feel that way--whatever they are, and whoever they may directly involve--is not the crux of the matter. It does not matter if someone is avoiding Therian Guide because of something as small as disliking the color of your shirt; rather, it is the fact that people feel that way and are reacting in appropriate ways to distance themselves from association which matter, and the fact that trawling websites could step on firm boundaries they have placed with great difficulties (for potentially important reasons, as well! Mental health stressors are no joke when one is suicidal, for instance), which are important.

    If you did not plan on earnestly engaging with requested criticism, and instead wanted to take a moment to wax poetic about personal feelings surrounding how you feel you and Dustwolf are viewed in the community, this is not the best thread for such. You once asked me when introducing my system on your forum-- "I'm going to ask you flat-out are you here to cause or start trouble? Because if you are, we should cut right to the chase and not waste each other's time." I feel it relevant to now turn that quote back to you: you are involved with the creation and direction of Therian.org, by virtue of being close to Dustwolf and a co-owner of TG, which claims ownership of the website. Are you here to take honest criticisms to heart on the matter? Or are you here to defend the idea of Therian.org as a whole from those "factions" you imagine to be a threat? Because this response truly does not appear to be coming from a place of genuine reflection. And Therian.org is something I would truly like to see succeed and move forward with multiple perspectives in mind.
    Last edited by Who-Is-Page; March 22nd, 2021 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Typo edit

  10. #20

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    I figured I ought to just step in here for a moment and this is one of those things floating around in the community that I didn't want to touch with a ten foot pole and more than likely this will be my last input on the subject and let the powers that be slug it out to their hearts content.


    The only reason I felt the need to add my perspective on the ethical standpoint of collecting and displaying content was because of the cited knowledge of professional pretense that made the use of and collection of individuals content without their knowledge or consent an acceptable course of action in this endeavor and frankly, possibly in direct disregard to wishes of the same individuals because of specialized knowledge in the field of security and data management and I found myself possibly one of the few that frequents this site that would have similar such knowledge on the procedures and ethics surrounding such situations and what was being stated was in direct conflict with what I have been taught in coursework regarding exactly this very matter. Literally exactly. The ethics of collecting and using personal content and data in an online environment. I felt obliged to give my opinion on the matter, even if I did not want to be involved in the discussion and ensuing but hopefully not dispute over the matter.


    I'd like to further add that I'm pretty sure Lycan came too see what I wrote because I told him I had criticisms of how 'his camp' was planning to go about doing 'their' project and I had requested he review some other content I posted in regards to my objections to using the term "Psychological Therianthropy" and some of my reasoning behind why I felt that way. I quite literally, sent him a link to this thread and said "I feel this way about a project your involved in and I had some "stern" criticisms, and I'd rather you hear it from me so this is what I had to say about it". ( More or less. )

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