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[–] 10248263 1 points 6 points (+7|-1) ago 

I don't disagree with any of that, but at the same time we cannot say with certainty that a bunch of people behaving like autists or aggressively and espousing unpopular opinions are necessarily paid shills. Are we not, who possess free speech, strong enough to refute their baseless claims without limiting the number of claims they can make per day? If they spam their paid viewpoints they will get banned for spam; if they manipulate votes so that they can downvote they will get banned for manipulation -- but if they are just commenting as much as any other user and they happen to get downvoted for it, what justification do we really have for restricting their speech? We are stronger than that, and they are weaker than for us to need to restrict them.

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[–] Crensch 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

I don't disagree with any of that, but at the same time we cannot say with certainty that a bunch of people behaving like autists or aggressively and espousing unpopular opinions are necessarily paid shills.

What we can do currently is force them to jump one single hurdle to continue posting here. A hurdle I posit is extremely trivial to overcome.

Are we not, who possess free speech, strong enough to refute their baseless claims without limiting the number of claims they can make per day?

I think you're missing some of my point here. When 5/6 of the comments are from those paid-for liars, those looking for the truth will stop looking and upvoating, and those writing the truth will conclude that their input is not appreciated.

The truth is strong enough to survive when not drowned out by bullshit. If the lies had to meet some kind of criteria that the truth requires by definition, the truth would always win.

I think we've seen the truth lose plenty of times IRL to a hailstorm of lies, because lies are held to absolutely no standard, and the liars go unpunished.

If they spam their paid viewpoints they will get banned for spam

Is not the definition of spam currently just posting the same words over and over? How would you justify calling it spam when it's really just 12 "users" in cubicles posting their "thoughts" that aren't just copy-pasted?

As it stands, I think it's difficult enough pinpointing these users when the users of the site are working to do so. We seem to be right often enough, though.

but if they are just commenting as much as any other user and they happen to get downvoted for it, what justification do we really have for restricting their speech?

The users downvoated into restrictions didn't get there from simply unpopular opinions. Or if they did, they only posted unpopular opinions, which I posit is simply trolling.

Anyone can get plenty of upvotes here without much effort. Even those heavily downvoted users can make comments with +7 if they set aside their "unpopular" opinions for a single comment. Are we saying that asking them to do that more is too much?

We are stronger than that, and they are weaker than for us to need to restrict them.

The truth is only strong when it's not drowned out by half-truths, lies, and irrelevancies.

All of which would have garnered downvotes, and allowed the users to limit that username.

Imagine a username that goes around and lies on purpose. Every comment. Constantly. In order to make himself seen and heard.

No downvotes can stop him.

Now there's 10 of them.

Or 20. Paid for.

Only some small amount of mods or admins or council members to deal with them. Only nobody can, because they're not spamming.

Every political post, and comment in that post, is now responded to by 20 of these "users".

No hail of downvotes can stop them. 20 clicks of downvotes by five real users to even hide them - if they don't get upvoted a bit by each other.

But maybe I'm missing something. Some puzzle-piece of information that didn't fit.

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[–] 10248596 2 points 5 points (+7|-2) ago 

What we can do currently is force them to jump one single hurdle to continue posting here. A hurdle I posit is extremely trivial to overcome.

Though is is rational and reasonable on the surface, what it boils down to is: "Behave the way I want you to or have your speech restricted" which just isn't freedom of speech. If people aren't spamming or otherwise breaking the site, they ought to be able to post a bunch of incoherent nonsense as often the rest of us can post our coherent nonsense. We can downvote them and push their incoherence out of sight, at least.

I think you're missing some of my point here. When 5/6 of the comments are from those paid-for liars, those looking for the truth will stop looking and upvoating, and those writing the truth will conclude that their input is not appreciated.

But we will identify the paid comments if they are so evident, we will downvote them, and they will be pushed to the bottom, leaving only the quality comments we are looking for at the top, no?

As it stands, I think it's difficult enough pinpointing these users when the users of the site are working to do so. We seem to be right often enough, though.

And we can continue to moderate in this way as a community. If only a few words are changed from a two paragraph rant, it will still be considered spam. If the same argument is made, but re-typed every time, and it is posted to twenty threads in five minutes, that's probably spam. These are the judgments we can make transparently and act on, and if there is outcry there can be reversals.

The users downvoated into restrictions didn't get there from simply unpopular opinions. Or if they did, they only posted unpopular opinions, which I posit is simply trolling.

Again, a fair point, but they are free to troll without consequence so long as the trolling is not actual spam etc..

The truth is only strong when it's not drowned out by half-truths, lies, and irrelevancies.

Notice the key words in that definition: short span. If the bullshit is essentially the same then the community might decide it's spam. Of course we have to be careful about this which is why its all transparent. But if five 30 minute accounts show up and fill a thread with different ramblings about how great Stalin's USSR was, we can probably safely deduce it's spam and ban the accounts if it is truly agreed to be spam. IF NOT we can downvote and the comments will collapse out of sight anyway.

magine a username that goes around and lies on purpose. Every comment. Constantly. In order to make himself seen and heard.

No downvotes can stop him.

Downvotes push his comments out of sight. Same with the other 20. If they spam (or the accounts are linked, thus confirming the spam) they'll be banned. All the arguments I'm making from the point of "ban the spammers" depends on it being obvious spam, though, which is why generally I'm responding with "downvotes still hide the shills/ lies"