There have been a couple of forum remarks calling ellmer’s posts “spam” and there have also a couple of behind-the-scenes things which occurred today, so I’m making this post to make both official and unofficial comments about the situation.
Speaking officially as TSI’s primary spamfighter:
ellmer’s posts are not spam.
His posts are about seasteading or seasteading-related topics.
One thing that the complainants would not be not aware of because it happens some time ago … ellmer used to have his discussions in the TSI forums, not on his own website. It was the behavior of other forum participants (at that time) which drove him away. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t have an issue with his frequent links to his own website.
Speaking unofficially as just another forum user:
I personally think he posts too many pictures in the forums, particularly ones that are just an artist’s conception or computer model rather than something which actually exists. However as I’ve indicated in my official comments above, his activities are not actionable.
Even though TSI has given me full authority to do whatever I feel needs to be done in the forums, I volunteered as the primary spamfighter, not as a user moderator. I have done some user moderation in the forums in past and it was not a pretty sight. Some people thought I was too heavy-handed. Others thought I wasn’t heavy-handed enough. Because I didn’t volunteer as a user moderator, and because I don’t like doing it, and because I think it’s better to error on the side of non-interference, basically it’s the wild, wild west around here.
If a user is not an actual spammer but is being disruptive enough to warrant being banned from posting (repeated personal insults, foul language, etc.), and the people who are currently active participants in the forums feel that is the appropriate action, then I’ll do that. ellmer clearly does not fall in that category.
If something is drastically enough off-topic, I will split the thread or delete the postings as appropriate, but I do very little of that. Splitting a thread screws up the Activity Stream links. And in the spirit of non-interference, I prefer to not delete postings, though I will if warranted.
If you want more moderation in the forums, then you should email info <at> seasteading.org and express that. (However I have made the request myself in the past to no avail.)
I don’t want this to turn into a big ol’ discussion about ellmer or about what does or does not constitute spam or how much user moderation may or may not be appropriate, so this topic is blocked from replies.
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