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User Journal

Journal Journal: Rogue element or freedom fighters?

There's a new kind of campaigning group emerging, perhaps predictably, from Web 2.0 site "Slashdot". This group calls itself the Campaign for the Protection of Minority Opinions (CPMO).

Its members claim to be fighting for the right to express opinions that go against Slashdot's so-called "moderation" system that automatically hides some comments from view. The CPMO claims this is censorship and violates freedom of speech.

A spokeswoman from claimed that the moderation system is based on feedback from users and that all comments, even those that have been "moderated down" are still accesible (but we couldn't figure out how to see those comments when we tried it).

She further went on to explain that by combining the knowledge of thousands of experts in IT and science, Slashdot's moderation system has a higher level of cumulative knowledge then most governments or universities and, "it is unlikely that a group like that has anything constructive to add".

CPMO are presently growing at an alarming rate, having gained some 450 active members since their inception in 2004. Their presence is still low-key at present, but suppose they turned nasty? CPMO member xpage claimed that this was unlikely since the movement is self-limiting. "If we began to move in a bad direction as a campaign, our own procedures to eliminate bias would act on us and bring us back to what we want to do and that is preserve fairness for everyone", he commented.

xpage is cagey about whether the CPMO might operate in other forums such as "It depends whether the need is there", he said.

The CPMO's website may be found at

User Journal

Journal Journal: Campaign for the Protection of Minority Opinions

Hi there!

Welcome to the CPMO. Already numbering over 100 members, our aim is to protect individual Slashdot contributors from unfair biased moderation that results when certain more popular opinions become "right-think" in the words of George Orwell, and dissenting opinions become the subject of censorship.

Here are the tactics we use to introduce more fairness:

Dissociated Embedding

This is a scary sounding name for a simple concept. We place the comment we wish to make inside quotation marks ("") and then surround the quoted text with a comment that disavows the opinion and claims to disagree with it. So, for example, if I want to say:

I believe water is green, not blue

That that would get moderated down if Slashdot's "right-think" is that water MUST have a faint blue tint instead. So instead we write something like:

I was reading someone's blog the other day, and came across this ridiculous comment: "I believe water is green, not blue". I can't believe the rubbish you can read on the internet these days.

The benefit of this method is that you get your point across, and you get Karma too, which helps with moderating for balance (see below). Remember to disavow the quoted opinion ant both the top and bottom of your comment to make sure it is not missed. Stay on topic and avoid out any bad language (it is not our aim to protect obscene language).

You may also create a fake followup by posting a top level comment (not a reply to another comment) such as:

Spanky writes: I believe water is green, not blue Please mod Spanky's comment down, he's a fool, it's obvious that water is blue-ish. Duuuhhh!

Here, the name "Spanky" indicates that this is a CPMO comment and Spanky's quote is the real opinion being expressed.

CPMO tagging

If you do not wish to use the dissociated embedding method for a comment (perhaps because you're not convinced it will get modded down) you can indicate your CPMO status by embedding the letters as capitals, in order. For example:

Capital cities Pose Major Obsticles to redistribution.

You can also tag comments by creative use of the words: campaign, protection, minority and opinion, for example:

In my Opinion, a Minority of people appreciate having their toes pulled.

Moderation for Balance

The CPMO believe that in a biased community, the moderation system actually polarises opinion so that it appears even more extreme than the actual individuals involved believe. This is because (a) modded down comments are censored and (b) moderators are not required to indicate their vested interests.

Therefore, we must pro-actively compensate. Since the CPMO is a small proportion of Slashdot, we must act strategically in our moderation practices. This means we must focus ALL moderation points that ANY of us might obtain on modding up other CPMO members. No CPMO member should ever mod a comment down. No CPMO member should ever moderate a non CPMO member even if you agree (but see Recruitment, below). All moderation of CPMO comments should be "insightful".

If you are undecided whether to moderate on a thread or post a comment, I suggest you moderate if you can find a CPMO comment to mod up otherwise post. Mod points don't last forever, you know!

Metamoderation for Balance

When metamoderating, you should "agree" with "insightful" moderations on CPMO comments. Use "search" to find out which comments are CPMO (or just recognise the "Dissociated Embedding" or "CPMO tagging" in the comment itself). ALL other moderations should be metamoderated as "disagree". This is necessary in order to compensate for the fact that the CPMO is a minority, and would otherwise have a disadvantage in the moderation system.

Make Good Quality Comments

Never post obvious trolls, obscenities or otherwise provocative comments. Ask yourself whether a reasonable person who accepts your point of view would also accept the way you express it in your comment.

Try to post comments only in stories with less then 100 comments so far (ideally less than 40). Make your comment a reply to an early comment that has +4 or +5 moderation already. Change the subject in the reply. You may say "I agree" in order to inherit Karma from the parent and avoid "offtopic" moderation, but do not quote any of the parent article.

Remember that the rewards of CPMO membership (the ability to not have your minority opinion supressed) will take time to achieve, and until that time, we must work within the system that opresses us and we must sate the egos of those who would mod us down for our beliefs. That's just how it is - all CPMO members understand this.

Joining Up

To join the CPMO, simply copy this entire article into your journal, and send a message to Slashdot user CPMO ( and to the CPMO member who recruited you. If your Karma is negative, this would be a good time to create a new Slashdot user for yourself to get back to neutral Karma.

Note: when you copy this article, make a few random changes to the text, eg different examples, different wording etc. This will prevent any automated utility from identifying all CPMO members by simply searching for the text.


CPMO already has over one hundred members but we need more in order to be able to effectively resist the tyranny of censorship on Slashdot. You may offer membership of the CPMO to any Slashdot commentor who you believe would be a good "fit" with the campaign's aims.

If you're thinking of recruiting someone, check their history - there should be at least 10 articles going back at least 6 months. Their comments should be minority opinions, but well written and polite.

That's All Folks!

Looking forward to seeing your minority-but-just-as-valid opinions with +5, Insightful on Slashdot!

Signed, CPMO

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"We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities." -- Robin Williams, _Good Morning Vietnam_