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.

Slur Filter

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.

In general we are open for constructive feedback

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.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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2egun bat

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.

@Austin_Skeldon@lemmy.ml
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hilabete bat

Hi @nutomic@lemmy.ml ! Please consider fixing the Code of Conduct link, it’s now dead. The post is 2 years old but is pinned, so as long as it’s pinned and relevant for users, it’d be good to keep it up-to-date.

Also thanks for posting this message. It’s good to state the rule, and that different ideologies are welcome.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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2hilabete bat

Thanks, i updated the link.

@blob42@lemmy.ml
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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.

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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.

@letstry@lemmy.ml
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10urte bat

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.

@sexy_peach@feddit.de
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5urte bat

The slur filter has been removed since this post was made.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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2urte bat

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.

creek
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0urte bat

@nutomic test reply.

@grimmi@lemmy.ml
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1urte bat

going to reply to this test

@SloppilyFloss@lemmy.ml
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And developed by people who hate the fact that you’re alive!

A comment about Lemmy I saw on Reddit. The slur filter really pulls its weight and keeps the bigots out, it was a great idea.

Dessalines
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Every time we get recommendations to remove the filter I think of this. These bigots end up staying on reddit, or moving to other bigoted platforms, and avoid lemmy, making our lives a LOT easier :smiling face: . I could care less about “growth” if that growth means an influx of disgusting racists. I’d much rather have a smaller, positive community that defends members of targeted communities.

@AgreeableLandscape@lemmy.ml
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I keep saying this: the very existence of the slur filter, even though it’s actually trivial to remove or modify, acts like an alt-right/MAGA/bigot/freeze-peach repellent even though it’s trivial to remove or modify. Just look at the types of people on /r/RedditAlternatives who say they’ll never go to Lemmy because of this, and what their priorities on platforms they’re actually interested in are. To me, that’s half the battle.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this stance!

I think the slur filter is a brilliant idea, especially given the type of person it seems to bother most, and this site feels a lot less toxic than other online communities, probably as a direct result.

Dessalines
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Thanks! :)

Question: is it hardcoded or just active on lemmy.ml? Can it be disabled (by an instance admin)?

From my understanding it is hardcoded into the source code. Not sure how hard it would be to remove if you ran the site yourself.

I guess should not be hard to just change the regex to ^$ so it only matches an empty string… then there is also Lenny

@Kroktann@lemmy.ml
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I could care less about “growth” if that growth means an influx of disgusting racists. I’d much rather have a smaller, positive community that defends members of targeted communities.

You have no idea how good it is to see this attitude from the central developers of the platform. How much better wouldn’t the world be if more people were thinking like this? Kudos to you all!

@xe8@lemmy.ml
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Federated social media platforms may always be smaller than the for-profit platforms which use all kinds of tricks to turn people into commodities: tracking users, using targeted advertising, having psychologists on the development team to “gamify” everything, incentivizing people to turn themselves into “content creators” and “influencers”, create and exploit addictive behaviour by having infinite scrolling pages and adjusting content based on “engagement” data.

So Lemmy won’t make you rich - but I think you’re ok with that.

@Deadnaut@lemmy.ml
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I’m a fan of the current approach, especially if it allows the devs to focus their resources elsewhere. Can always be revisited later.

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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.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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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.

Gfdy

@Tomat0@lemmy.ml
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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.

@nutomic@lemmy.ml
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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.

m-p{3}
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Can’t they just remove the slur filter, recompile and join the federated network with their instance?