Recently there have been some discussions about the political stances of the Lemmy developers and site admins. To clear up some misconceptions: Lemmy is run by a team of people with different ideologies, including anti-capitalist, communist, anarchist, and others. While @dessalines and I are communists, we take decisions collectively, and don’t demand that anyone adopt our views or convert to our ideologies. We wouldn’t devote so much time to building a federated site otherwise.
What’s important to us is that you follow the site rules and Code of Conduct. Meaning primarily, no-bigotry, and being respectful towards others. As long as that is the case, we can get along perfectly fine.
In general we are open for constructive feedback, so please contact any member of the admin team if you have an idea how to improve Lemmy.
We also noticed a consistent criticism of the built-in slur filter in Lemmy. Not so much on lemmy.ml itself, but whenever Lemmy is recommended elsewhere, a few usual suspects keep bringing it up. To these people we say the following: we are using the slur filter as a tool to keep a friendly atmosphere, and prevent racists, sexists and other bigots from using Lemmy. Its existence alone has lead many of them to not make an account, or run an instance: a clear net positive.
You can see for yourself the words which are blocked (content warning, link here). Note that it doesn’t include any simple swear words, but only slurs which are used to insult and attack other people. If you want to use any of these words, then please stay on one of the many platforms that permit them. Lemmy is not for you, and we don’t want you here.
We are fully aware that the slur filter is not perfect. It is made for American English, and can give false positives in other languages or dialects. We are totally willing to fix such problems on a case by case basis, simply open an issue in our repo with a description of the problem.
Feel free to announce new communities here.
Other than that, this is reserved for admin use only.
My one big fear right now is that a mod could delete my words, and they would be lost forever.
Sometimes I write long essays here. They are ideas that I think are important and original. I write them so people will be able to read them many years into the future.
It’s important that anything deleted by a mod or an admin can be saved by the creator afterwards.
I’d argue it’s necessary that nothing can ever be fully deleted, if you want people to ever write anything important here.
That’s why historically most of the most important world-change essays were written to newspapers. Once a newspaper is published, it is available forever. It can never be expunged.
I see your problem but I dont think this can be fixed with any rule change or Lemmy feature. It would be possible to let people access posts after they are removed by a mod, but that wont help if your account gets banned. Or if your account gets hacked and deleted. Or if the instance goes down permanently for some reason.
If you are worried about your content disappearing, you should keep backups. For example with an API client which regularly downloads everything to a local file. There is also a feature request for a functionality to export an archive with user data. Even better would be an external service like reveddit.com which reads content from the API and stores it.
I suggest you create a new post to discuss this problem, then more people can give their ideas and opinions.
Thanks. I have made many feature requests and you always consider them seriously (but usually reject them).
I should do one of those things.
Although there are many flaws, and we do complain, Lemmy is still the best (or least dysfunctional) forum in existence. So yous must be doing something right.
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Thanks, i updated the link.
Hi, I’m new to Lemmy. I saw the post about LemmyBB on hacker news and it brought me here. On the HN thread you can see the discussion on the slur filter right from the beginning. I consider myself very tolerant and I personally would not have added it by default. I also understand that the authors see things differently.
I want to thank the team who made this project a reality. You’ve built a serious alternative to a massive echo-chamber propaganda machine. THANK YOU. The slur filter is a non issue and whoever is only focused on that doesn’t understand the dire situation we reached with walled gardens being built everywhere on the internet, which is actually becoming more of an intranet …
New to Lemmy and the decentralized realm in general but really appreciate the work you’ve done here and the community thats been cultivated. As a long time Reddit Mod I have to say while I’m pretty anti content filtering in general…bravo to the slur verboten list. It is as you say a net positive for reasonable minded non hateful people. As long as the code is open source I’m fully behind it.
I think the slur filter has been removed a while ago.
yeahhhhh…new here and didnt realize the post date on the piece I was responding to. So, down with slur filter!! :) Oh well.
I like how the slur filter is described here:
“Note that it doesn’t include any simple swear words, but only slurs which are used to insult and attack other people.”
but I guess the devil is in the details. Where do I see the actual words that are being blocked? When I clicked on the link I just saw a page of code which I cannot understand.
Lemmy is a fabulous creation - keep up the good work. I am excited to see what the future holds for Lemmy.
I dont know if the slur filter for lemmy.ml is posted publicly anywhere, but its just insults which no one would use in normal conversation. Also, each instance can define their own filter, or disable it completely.
The slur filter has been removed since this post was made.
@nutomic test reply.
going to reply to this test
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removed by mod
Can you post a link to your Lemmy? When I ask the Duck about it, it shows me this old guitarrist from UK. I don’t wanna ask Google. When I type “Lemmy net” it shows me an internet company in Germany but nothing with forums.
I dont understand, you are using Lemmy right now. Welcome!
The way the first post was written leaves me with the impression that lemmy.ml and Lemmy are two different things ran by the same person or people. I also saw somewhere on this site the sentence “lemmy.nl is the flagman of the Lemmy network” which also suggest that .ml and Lemmy are two different things.
Lemmy is the software project, lemmy.ml is one instance where it is running. There are also other instances.
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I encourage you to start an instance.
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I agree with the policy in concept, and I think it has generally done good. As a new user to the platform I am impressed by how friendly and non-vitriolic it seems to be.
Having the filter hard-coded and public is a great way to keep things transparent and free from abuse.
However, I do have some issues with the actual content of the list.
I’m not going to even allude to them for obvious reasons, but there are many slurs that really should be included and are not.
There’s also the case of reclaimed slurs. While some of the slurs on the list are pretty much purely used by racists, a few are frequently used in a reclaimed context, and excluding them may harm or exclude the targeted group - possibly more so than to allow them.
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Isn’t instance-blocking alone sufficient for being able to prevent the environment from being overrun? I understand the hesitancy to platform reactionaries, but as it stands the network effect is easily the biggest hurdle the Fediverse is going to face. Right-libertarians and actual reactionaries might be a net negative on the main instance, but as far as the software itself goes, numbers are numbers, and could end up making a world of difference.
Let them form their own circlejerks away from everyone else and have slur-blocking be on a per-instance basis, after all that’s why the federated design works so well.
There are more important things than making numbers go up. Just the existance of the slur filter makes right-wingers upset, and stops them from even considering to use Lemmy. That makes our job much easier because we dont have to deal with them.
Can’t they just remove the slur filter, recompile and join the federated network with their instance?
Would take a lot of effort and would be immediately unfederated when it was noticed. Not worth the time investment
I disagree just due to the aforementioned network effect. Numbers with social media have a snowball effect, where people make their decision on whether or not to participate based on existing levels of activity. What sets Lemmy apart from stuff like Lobste.rs and HackerNews IMO is that it’s integration of federation gives it potential to break out as a serious alternative to the platforms rather than catering a specific niche, so I’d say the snowballing is important also since it has the potential to help bring up the rest of the Fediverse.
Given Lemmy’s reputation as being a platform run by communists, the fact that such a hardcoded filter even existed to begin with, and also per-instance blocking/slur filtering, I’d think that should be enough to keep them away and stop them from polluting the communities associated with the flagship instances, then again I’m not an admin so I can’t say for sure. It’d also help the issue you mentioned regarding ambiguity of what slurs to include, since each community can decide that for themselves.
Lemmy is growing quite well, one year ago we only had 800 users, now we are already at 13.000. Sure the slur filter might limit growth a bit, but we are not a silicon valley company whose goal is growth at any cost.
The question is where you draw your line. Yes you have written rules, but rules are never clear enough not be overstepped or interpreted to the liking of the admins. Most abused rule would be “hateful, hurtful, oppressive remarks”. These are the same rules that made reddit a liberal safe space. If that is your goal, then I deem lemmy redundant.
I ask you concretely what is your stance on reddits ban of:
r/the_donald r/gendercritical r/braincels r/pizzagate r/darknetmarkets
Your answer I have to take as a starting point of where things will be in 1, 2, 3 years, because a development towards abuse of power is almost inevitable.
I can tell you one thing, your username is not acceptable.
Because it has “hitler” in it? because that automatically makes me a fan of him? If that’s all you can answer to my post that’s incredibly sad. Go on living in your little bubble, go on living a life where the main purpose is to identify people to look down on from your little ivory tower of virtue. Congratulations, you’ve created a completely useless project. Bet you think you’re a man of great thought. What makes a man great is going beyond his ego, having original thought and the integrity to stand by it. So literally the opposite of you. Bye.
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While I very much get and respect the general sentiment, I think from the perspective of a Central European non-English person in a country with a significant number of, also non-English speaking Nazis, the current approach of filtering slurs based on an English regex is fatally flawed. You can happily use Lemmy to create a hostile far right community where everyone is easily able to use whatever hurtful slurs they want as long as they are not the few specifically blocked English ones.
On the other hand you create a situation where people feel the need to question the choice of software of their community because they read about censorship or whatever to be used in Lemmy and might stay away and move to other software even though the would maybe never be affected by the slur-filter as the number is not so large and the overlap with other languages not very big.
So I would argue that this specific implementation of a slur-filter just doesn’t achieve what it aims to achieve and should be fundamentally rethought, maybe as configurable per instance.
We are definitely going to add slurs in other languages if fascists start using Lemmy. But for now we are trying to keep it minimal to avoid false positives.
I see. Thanks for the reply.