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Mark of Zorro

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Sorry if I posted this before. The news feed here includes Japan Today in many headlines so a search calls up a million hits; I cannot find a similar thread. Also sorry if this is not cool to post on the forum being about another web site.

Anyway, I am wondering if there are any members of Japan Today using this website? Since they killed the forum over there all JT members are in their own bubble as they will shut down any attempt of members to reach out to each other.
 

Lothor

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I used to be on the site a lot and regularly made comments underneath the articles, but I loathed the moderators so much with their micromanagement of the comments, lack of humour, and the occasional emails that they sent you explaining why they had deleted your comment that talked to you as if you were a naughty little child that I gave up in disgust and now never visit the site. The comments were also full of trolls whose job was to the promote views of particular countries or political parties and even foreign people pretending to be Japanese nationalists complete with fake limited English skills (why?!).
 

TGI-ECT

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I cut my teeth, in a manner of speaking, at the first arrangement of JT, before it was broken up and sold.

I suppose you folks that spent time on the first site would know me --- I was one of two User Admins. I believe one member here already knew that, but has been very polite not to carry that baggage to here and that is very kind of you.

And I recognize a few IDs here as being from the older days at JT.

And I am very proud to finally make it public that I was able to talk the owner into not banning all IP addresses that were out of both nations of China and that helped create some outstanding discussion between the Koreans, both groups of Chinese, and the Japanese. Very heated sometimes and very, very difficult sometimes, but a good education as to where the Net was heading, because those were really early Net days for that sort of platform.

An amazing education for an admin or moderator was that first JT. Absolutely amazing and should be written about for historians down the road when all this early stuff is buried and probably forgotten, in a manner of putting it.

But the most horrible 24 hours or so when I was on duty at the older JT was when that Boxing Day tsunami went all over the place killing people. We at JT actually became a communications hub for a whole mess of folks that didn't know if this or that individual had survived the disaster.

Okay, enough of all that. I'm going back into my shell.
 

Lothor

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Was anyone here on the former Gaijinpot forums? Now that was a lot of poo-flinging fun!
 
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Mark of Zorro

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I had debated with myself whether to start this thread. I am glad I started it, seeing the replies. Thank you.

Lothor, your first post gave me a little more faith in humanity. I saw much the same things you did and its all so very disgusting. That you also saw it is what gives me that little more faith. To answer your question of why it is like it is, well I think the site still gets a ton of hits.

TGI-ECT, as a former moderator I imagine there is a wagon load of behind-the-scenes details you could tell us. But am I correct in thinking you want to hold back? To be honest I want to completely dissect Japan Today and lay bare all its ugly inner-workings for all to see. The site is more harm than good in my opinion. It needs to be disinfected with light....lots and lots of light.
 

thomas

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I remember we collaborated with JT in the early 2000s. Those were the days when the Devlins still ruled.

To be honest I want to completely dissect Japan Today and lay bare all its ugly inner-workings for all to see. The site is more harm than good in my opinion. It needs to be disinfected with light....lots and lots of light.

Please do keep us updated, Zorro, but don't turn JREF into a bridgehead for that crusade. :cool: 🙏
 

TGI-ECT

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Yes, I remember back then, thomas. And I love that you let slip an understanding of the operation that only somebody who was inside the tent, in a way of stating it, would know. You used that plural form, Devlins. Only somebody who was involved would know that Mrs. Devlin was seriously involved in all decision-making and it was a two-member team situation at that level of management.

There is serious historical value in the early days at JT, Mark of Zorro, and I do have one heck of an archive of all that. As some may have already figured out, I keep meticulous records of all manner of stuff and back then was no different.

But any collaboration on any sort of work to properly sort everything out has to be done out of the limelight. And the present-day JT cannot be any sort of target for any work on archives, in my view. My view is this is for historical purposes only for researchers down the road a bit.

But I also think that the archives need to be stored in multiple locations in case there is some bad thing that happens and one set gets wiped out.

Fact is, I've been very lucky because I've been sitting on all the files for way too long. Some are stored on another continent, but not all and also none are properly sorted out. And there is a whole lot I cannot possibly post out here in the open. But there has already been a process of exchanging some information due to this thread, as of a few hours or so ago and using another communications tool.

Yep, this whole business could finally be done right and we can save something for folks that in a couple hundred years want to study the early days of that sort of platform like we had at JT back then. That really was something special.
 

Lothor

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I had debated with myself whether to start this thread. I am glad I started it, seeing the replies. Thank you.

Lothor, your first post gave me a little more faith in humanity. I saw much the same things you did and its all so very disgusting. That you also saw it is what gives me that little more faith. To answer your question of why it is like it is, well I think the site still gets a ton of hits.

TGI-ECT, as a former moderator I imagine there is a wagon load of behind-the-scenes details you could tell us. But am I correct in thinking you want to hold back? To be honest I want to completely dissect Japan Today and lay bare all its ugly inner-workings for all to see. The site is more harm than good in my opinion. It needs to be disinfected with light....lots and lots of light.
I get the impression there were a lot of people who absolutely hated the way that the comments section was run. For a bit, there was a guy posting on the Rocket News/Sora News Japan site with the name 'Japan Today moderators have issues' and there was a Facebook page of the same name. There was (is?) a site of long-term foreign Japan residents called 'F****ed Japan' and they were often writing posts with awed horror about just how anal the moderators are. And of course, there were often absolutely furious posts on the Japan Today site directed toward the moderators themselves that got very quickly deleted.

And while I'm on the subject, something was extremely strange about the upvote/downvote system, with any anti-LDP comments sometimes getting multiple downvotes in the space of a few minutes.

I think I have a bit of talent at divining the sort of person someone (or an organisation) is from a relatively small number of online posts, and I really felt there was something badly wrong somewhere that I couldn't put my finger on.

I don't feel the need to dissect them like you do Mark of Zorro, but this could be a very interesting thread if other people give their comments.
 
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Mark of Zorro

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Please do keep us updated, Zorro, but don't turn JREF into a bridgehead for that crusade.

Thank you and sorry to cause you any worry. I shall endeavor to not cross that line. Here I shall only gather information, if that is acceptable to you. I think no one can lodge a legitimate complaint that true information was shared, but yeah, if I made a group here called "Enemies of JT" that could be a problem.

Mindful as I will be of the line, let me know if you have any other thoughts for avoiding troubles. My understanding of your side of things is limited after all.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I really felt there was something badly wrong somewhere that I couldn't put my finger on.

Same here. What I felt was a bias toward third wave feminism combined with a near cultish adoration of authority, including police, the military and yes, the ruling LDP. But also a simple desire to get hits and users no matter what it took, including annoying members to a small degree while not turning the comments into massive brawls.

Its also important to note that headlines often mismatch articles, or, important details are missing from articles. I believe both were merely intentional methods to spark discussion (ie hits) as members try to fill in the blanks or ramble on in confusion.

Also quite annoying that the moderators are now in the shadows without even aliases to identify them.
 

TGI-ECT

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Okay, I first need to ask the "other party" related to this subject that came up earlier today to please not identify yourself as being the "other party" for the time being, please. That is a Big Please.

BUT this is a significant event that took place in July of 2008 and it does not, I don't believe cause problems for JREF for me to now divulge this to the public.

This is only a part of a lengthy correspondence I sent out to a certain party and only one piece of correspondence of many over a period of about 10 days that finally resulted in my resigning because of my view that what was being done was just plain wrong.

============ Copy starts ============

I suppose it may be easier if I were to quote myself from a message I sent to our Team.

One: we are being asked to exercise censorship on an issue that is already in the public domain. According to the instructions we are being asked to delete stories that may not be directly critical of WaiWai itself. Just stories that were started by WaiWai.

Second: let us say that the Japan Times wrote a story they based upon a WaiWai initiated column and one of our members started a thread about the Japan Times story. We are being asked to delete that, also. We are being asked to censor a third company's story. I think we have a legal problem there.

Third: I am absolutely sure this request defies the rule of freedom of the press. I cannot be a party to that, and I cannot suppress that story, either.

But that is just my opinion, of course.

I will, though, ask for legal advice concerning the laws covering freedom of the press.

Whatever happens, I am sure my days at Japan Today are numbered -- probably I'll be gone before the end of today.
============ Copy ends ============

From the records I do not believe I left by the end of that day, but I did leave.
 

Mark of Zorro

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TGI-ECT I wonder how much if any trouble I caused you?:unsure: Or you me? ;)

All I can tell you is that I feel the truth is more important than anyone's feelings about it and also more important than hit counts. I took no pleasure in the aggressive actions I felt forced to take, such as the angry posts and multiple accounts. I cannot say I am sorry exactly, but I am remorseful that open, fair and rational discussion was not possible.
 

TGI-ECT

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Quite frankly, the watch we had to keep over the very bitter discussions that took place between the two Chinese groups and the Japanese and Koreans, and then the bitter discussions between the Koreans and the Japanese were more difficult than anything any western folks wrote. In fact, more difficult than anything I have ever seen since on any website and any of the newer platforms that sprang up over the past ten years or so.

Once in a bit we even had private correspondence with government folks because of the troubles.

We had a very hard time keeping our moderators from leaving us because things were very tough.
 

Mark of Zorro

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Once in a bit we even had private correspondence with government folks because of the troubles.

This was something I suspected. But my question to you is: Do you think that correspondence was valid? Or would you classify that as interference?
 

TGI-ECT

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Sometimes we indeed had interference, but sometimes there was genuine concern that matters were going too far in the arena of the two China governments.

We even had a DPRK IP address once and that was one strange bit of something that we never really could figure out and probably didn't really want to.
 

Lothor

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Same here. What I felt was a bias toward third wave feminism combined with a near cultish adoration of authority, including police, the military and yes, the ruling LDP. But also a simple desire to get hits and users no matter what it took, including annoying members to a small degree while not turning the comments into massive brawls.

Its also important to note that headlines often mismatch articles, or, important details are missing from articles. I believe both were merely intentional methods to spark discussion (ie hits) as members try to fill in the blanks or ramble on in confusion.

Also quite annoying that the moderators are now in the shadows without even aliases to identify them.
That was a very interesting post. Not knowing what third-wave feminism is (I've just read about it on Wikipedia), I didn't notice any bias or otherwise (I'd be supportive of it anyway!), but the idea that much of the behaviour of the site was a fanatical desire to get hits at all costs that went way beyond normal clickbait tactics is one that I didn't think of but makes a lot of sense.

I was thinking about the site more this morning and two things bothered me.
First of all, the amount of resources devoted to moderating - the alacrity with which posts were removed suggested that perhaps the equivalent of a full time job or more of work was being taken up just by moderating. Also, I've been a moderator in the past and you develop a traffic lights mentality with most posts being green, a small number being red that you have to remove and a small number being yellow that you don't remove but keep an eye on how the thread develops (like Thomas is probably doing with this one!). At the JT site, maybe 20% of the posts were red!
Second, I also sensed that authoritarian streak that you commented on. I visualised the moderators as obnoxious prefects at an old-style British private school who revelled in the small amount of power that they had been given to delete posts, send chiding little emails to people, and ban people who answered back. I'm convinced they enjoyed what they were doing.

TGI-ECT - your time there was before my time on the site, but it's difficult to understand why the WaiWai thing (I had to Google that too) was so controversial, and some background context to what was happening with these Chinese and Korean groups would be welcomed. Was it just a lot of nationalist groups hurling insults at each other or more than that?
 

Mark of Zorro

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Not knowing what third-wave feminism is (I've just read about it on Wikipedia), I didn't notice any bias or otherwise (I'd be supportive of it anyway!),

Its hard for anyone not to have a blind spot for when the opposition is being abused. I would still say I was a traditional feminist, although barely. My treatment at the hands of what I believe were mostly female moderators on subjects of female progress, rights and especially sex topics have instilled in me a great deal of misogyny frankly, and its funny because I always had, and still do have, a great deal of issues with males too. Basically I have come realize how both genders suck where I once put women on a pedestal.

To really help you differentiate between traditional feminists and third wave or radical feminists, you might want to listen to Christina Hoff Sommers. She is a traditional feminist and I generally agree with her views.
who revelled in the small amount of power that they had been given to delete posts, send chiding little emails to people, and ban people who answered back. I'm convinced they enjoyed what they were doing.

That was and is definitely part of it, even aside from the desire to just push their own biases. And yet, I think they STILL see themselves as the victims!

Also, I've been a moderator in the past and you develop a traffic lights mentality with most posts being green, a small number being red that you have to remove and a small number being yellow that you don't remove but keep an eye on how the thread develops

I absolutely hate that because my general experience is that there are far too few humans who can handle the power. My view is that only private information published without consent of the person its about should be removed. Basically, the internet should never be censored to the point that anything is removed, but users and posts should simply be flagged and users should have filters they can use where other users flagged as trolls will be blocked and posts marked as vulgar will be screened, things like that. Its all pixels on a screen and might as well be thoughts in a brain. Policing that is insanity.
 

Lothor

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I absolutely hate that because my general experience is that there are far too few humans who can handle the power. My view is that only private information published without consent of the person its about should be removed. Basically, the internet should never be censored to the point that anything is removed, but users and posts should simply be flagged and users should have filters they can use where other users flagged as trolls will be blocked and posts marked as vulgar will be screened, things like that. Its all pixels on a screen and might as well be thoughts in a brain. Policing that is insanity.
I'll watch your video another time but thanks for posting. I don't like the word censorship in this context - it's too emotive and there's a clear difference between an organisation that actively prevents opposing views and criticisms from being expressed and a site owner not wanting their sites full of abuse, p**n, spam, and so forth, though perhaps the boundary is less clear with what constitutes abuse. Anyway, good to hear your views.
 

Mark of Zorro

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I'll watch your video another time but thanks for posting.

I only posted the video for reference. I am listening now and its a very general interview, but in the first 11 minutes it does mention the hysteria and censorship of the current feminist movement. She has shorter videos of her own where she addresses specific points. Her videos are called The Factual Feminist.

Another thing she gets into later in the video though is how boys are treated at American schools these days, and it seemed very relevant to me about how you said the JT moderators would condescend to you as if you were a "naughty little boy".

a site owner not wanting their sites full of abuse, p**n, spam, and so forth, though perhaps the boundary is less clear with what constitutes abuse. Anyway, good to hear your views.

Its all solved thru red flagging and personal filters. And by law all web sites should be on that same level playing field, which is you don't get to delete...you get to mark things for the sake of your user to choose what to block. One big problem is that people are trying to hold sites responsible for content users uploaded and that's just nutz.
 

Mark of Zorro

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TGI-ECT you might find this interesting since you were talking about archiving internet forum beginnings for posterity. BTW, this man, Beau of the Fifth Column is a man for all seasons. I highly recommend anything he comments on and he has a ton of video commentary available.

Aside, its quite a coincidence that you should add that to the conversation, Beau would have just made a video about archiving, I should just happen to see it, and then put it all together in my mind. I hope you find it helpful and/or inspiring, even though Beau does somewhat dis the idea, its still inspiring its being done considering the expense.
 

Tomoko Tapewo'rm

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Was anyone here on the former Gaijinpot forums? Now that was a lot of poo-flinging fun!
No idea what you're talking about mate.

Glumski, Paul Haughty, those were the days. Somehwere I still have the GP site admin email account from when they made me moderator. That's where all the "On Report" emails were sent to by irate members.

Never read a one of them.
 
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