Stratics bans anti-Kerry .sig

by Alphaville Herald on 21/10/04 at 7:34 pm

Ohhhh Stratics, you’ve done it again!

Just when you think the Stratics Thought Police have run out of speech to ban, a stratics user now claims that the following .sig was banned by the Mods:
banned sig.png
I mean, I’ll be voting for Kerry too, but it would never occur to me to ban a siggy like that. Given that Stratics is really the only common space for discussion for tens of thousands of gamerz, this really raises serious issues about whether such draconian censorship is not violating a basic public responsibility one takes on when running such public discussion forums. Message from stratics mod follows.

Change of signature
From: Lyliane Dea
Received: 10/16/04 08:52 PM

This is warning to modify your signature.

Political discussion isn’t allowed on the game forum, and are more suitable for the Off topic stratics forum.

Furthermore, supporting your own view in your signature is acceptable, however, attacking the other side is not.

Please modify your signature before posting again. Not complying could result on actions on your stratic account, and the removal of further posts done with that signature.

Have a nice day.

banned sig.png

57 Responses to “Stratics bans anti-Kerry .sig”

  1. ian

    Oct 21st, 2004

    i am not understanding this…they are allowing it just not in the Sims Stratics forum. they allow it in the off topic folder, and clearly state it. it isn’t like they are totally dis allowing the signature.. did you read the letter?

  2. ian

    Oct 21st, 2004

    oh yes and surprisingly once i side with stratics (even after being banned again). but i will pose another question… Why are you saying they banned it, when clearly they are allowing it in the off topic forum (where it belongs) and not the actual gaming forum (where it doesn’t belong). I just never considered john kerry apart of the sims online ?

  3. urizenus

    Oct 21st, 2004

    This isn’t an off topic argument about Kerry, it is the equivalent of wearing a campaing button or putting a bumper sticker on your car. Suppose you went to a football game and you were asked to remove your button or told you couldn’t park in the parking lot because of your bumper sticker (“this stadium is only for the discussion of sports”). I understand that discussion should be on topic, but that shouldn’t entail that all politcal expression should be prohibited outside of certain permissible Political Speech Ghettos.

  4. MattyS

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Isn’t that just like when like the president visits a area and they have surtin spots for protesters………do you get what i’m talking about? Thats what this is like. His siggy has nothing to do with sims online….but if he wants to talk about it he can go to an off topic forum. Its not a big deal. But I still think Stratics sucks lol

  5. urizenus

    Oct 21st, 2004

    This isn’t a protest, its like going to see the president with a Kerry button, which should certainly be permitted imho. but it isn’t really like going to see the president, because,well the president isn’t a stratics moderator or even on stratics. Its more like going to the mall or a football game with a political button on. There is absolutely no reason to ban this form of nondisruptive political expression. None.

  6. TBT

    Oct 21st, 2004

    It’s like going to the mall and seeing someone with a NY hat on or a redskins hat on… It’s the most ridiculous thing really..

    There is no such thing as a place for appropriate signatures thats absurd by just the thought, lol..

    now as to appropriate or unappropriate sigs yes there are some, but this sig is not offensive in any way.. I think it’s quite funny just like “it’s hard work, you have to work hard” that another famous person repeatedly said one night not long ago, LMAO..

    A good example of an unappropriate sig might be to go look at micks new forums for anything posted by “romeo love” they border on pornography and definitly showing young women darn near without anything on and certain poses etc. Now that definitely I could see someone taking as offensive.

  7. ian

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Uri you just refuted your argument when you told Matty was wrong, however you used the same argument in the post in the reply to me. I don’t understand?

    Also, he didn’t get banned..just warned for the signature. They asked him nicely to remove it and only use it when posting in the Off Topic forum.

    A gun wasn’t held to his head, nor was he even suspended. I am still not understanding.

    Free Political Speech, is darn well allowed almost anywhere..but not on a forum that is devoted strictly to gaming. With your logic, since there is a two (and more ) areas for posting. Why bring his signature and argument (that was intentional) to a forum that is not devoted to it. While on the other hand, there is a FORUM devoted to “heated political discussions”.

  8. ian

    Oct 21st, 2004

    Here is some proof of the poster’s ignorance…he knows he was wrong (he even admits it in the first post)…

  9. CherryBomb

    Oct 21st, 2004

    The W Bush campaigners have gotten used to turning away from their rallies anybody who is not already converted to their cause.

  10. Amira

    Oct 21st, 2004

    This is so dumb. Obviously John Kerry is a stratics mod – can’t you all see it?

    I don’t care, I’m still not voting for the frat boy fortunate son. Go Kerry! The only vet that bothered to show up…

  11. urizenus

    Oct 21st, 2004

    I never said he was banned, I said the siggy was banned.

    Sober political speech on a regulation sized siggy should be allowed in any forum, whether the topic is politics or not. This is not even an issue that intelligent people should have to argue about. It is just a basic principle of democracy that it is important to protect nondisruptive political expression in the commons. I don’t care how many times the stratics mods say otherwise, they are dead wrong, and their insistance that such expression is out of place is deeply offensive to basic democratic principles — and poisonously so. They should be ashamed of themselves and they should be given an F in citizenship for failing to understand the basic principles of free speech and democracy.

  12. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Well this is what we can do: Picket outside of the stratics forums. I now understand your point of “Free Speech”. Which still, he is allowed to talk politcally on the Off Topic forum. His signature is spamming around Kerry is bad. Sims Stratics is not meant for politcal debates. That is meant for the bloody Off Topic forum, which is listed in the How’s Life forum of Sims Stratics for HEATED debates.

    Final Thought: Simon was warned once, twice…even a third time..and he purposely posted this (as noted in the forum) and ignorantly went ahead and did it. Then he goes and cries about it..It isn’t like this is up for interpretation, when he was given the same warning numerous times.

  13. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Also let’s see the RoC Broken..

    L) Spamming the forums is prohibited.
    N) Not responding to or ignoring moderator warnings can lead to suspension.

    So, even if so he did listen to the Moderator.

    Here is a big one, Mr. Uri

    P) Off Topic (OT) are not prohibited, but should be posted within reason. There are some topics that are not appropriate for the forums. All posts are subject to these rules. Excessive OT posts will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

    Q) All Forums have a main topic. When starting a new thread, make sure you do so in the proper Forum.

  14. Amira

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Why do we give our freedom up so easily? So sad.

  15. TBT

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Well a signature has ZERO bearing on any post on any forum.. There is no right nor wrong place within reason of course.. I mean no site is going to allow say pornographic signatures or one with obscene language within reason of course..

    It would be the equivelant of having a nfl team as your signature in a tso forum.. Although there is no relation betwen the two theres no reason to remove the signature or ban it or the person because of the non-relation of football and tso..

    If that were the case I’m sure some people might be banned at many web sites for non-relating signatures and thats completely the most ridiculou thing i’ve heard..

    If i post about tso in a tso forum my signature has no bearing whether its the correct forum or appropriate place unless there are clear and printed rules on them which you may find keep a sig to as few lines as posible or image sizes within a certian limit and depending how crude the individual may be how objectionable the material is..

  16. ajdown@jp

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Amira, you aren’t giving up your freedoms so easily.

    A private message board can have as many or as little rules as they wish, and you agree or disagree to abide by then when you sign up, same as when you install new software you have to tick the “I won’t copy and distribute this” box – although some still ignore it.

    All I see is americans whining on about this “free speech” first amendment thing… get used to the fact that it doesnt exist online in the majority of places.

    You may have ‘the right to bear arms’ in america… come to England and you’d get arrested for exercising that right, because it’s not part of our laws. Stratics is the same, just because of the things you accept as ‘your rights’ in one place are not universally accepted as normal.

    There are plenty of places to discuss politics, sims.stratics is simply not one of them, it’s totally irrelevant to the subject matter. I just don’t understand how anyone can be dumb enough not to know what ‘relevance’ means. I’m sick and fed up of hearing crap on the news about this bloody election of yours, so lets keep that in its proper place and outside of TSO eh?


  17. TBT

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    AJ don’t be so fucking ignorant by automatically being a racist or by posting racist remarks about americans.. 1 Person mentioned free speech, bot a bunch of “whiney americans” as you say, you bloody bastard..

    Go back to your stratics haven and whine about the recent new content that tso finally gave to you.. I’m sure you’ll find something to complain about, you usually do..

    You can have your “england laws”, we broke free of those tyrants some 200 years ago when we came to the us and later kicked their asses out and we surely don’t want nor need to go back..

    We also have the right to “bear ass” so i’m bearing mine and banding over for you to kiss it.. ;-p

  18. Ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    TBT, maybe the situation you refer too, doesn’t have rules like I named. Perhaps 4-5 simple rules, that have nothing to do with having a political signature. However, this one does..and I took my time to name 4-5 of them. it is odd that I agree with stratics (actually i just tend to agree with who is right on this matter). this blogged story, has nothing to do at all with the un fair modding at stratics. what does though, is the one about the guy with the “Sim Bot TradeS” signature. Sims Stratics does excercise free speech…however has a limits to it. It is not like they want to limit your speech, but they don’t want to have totally off topic signature..and come on we all knew what he was trying to do. I have pointed out 2 seperate threads that showed what he was doing and he was warned for it. ON THE SAME THING. Jesus christ, they knew what his motives were. and not to mention on he even told us what his intentions were.

  19. urizenus

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Guys, as much as you worship Stratics and the rules that they invent, no rule that stratics invents (or that mods think they invented) trumps the principles in the United States Constitution, nor the more general democratic principles of the Enlightenment that are enshrined there. That is to say, one dumb decision by a stratics goon does cannot make free speech and democracy illegal anywhere. So site the *rulez* all you want, you can take your stratics “rules” and shoe them because (i) they don’t count, (ii) they are wrong, (iii) they are destructive, and (iv) they are in violation of deeper principles and rules that have been beta tested for over 300 years now (at least going back to John Locke and the British Enlightenment, although AJ has yet to get the news). So get over it and stop quoting these stupid stratics rules like God himself handed them down. He didn’t. But maybe satan did.

    And Ian, when I read your posts here I weep for the future of America.

  20. Trimda

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    OMG, Stratics’ mods are dense little creators. So someone’s sig now constitutes the entirety of a post. Jeeezus…

    Furthermore, hows this really an attack on anyone? Jest and humour are not allowed? If someone had posted “You’re all dumb fucks for voting/supporting so-and-so” or “So-and-so are fucktards, and those who’d vote for them are too”. Hmm, you could constru that as an attack, but a little humour? OMG, if that was an attack, guys like Bob Rivers and Wierd-Al, they’re just soooo doomed. “Yes, Mr Rivers, we recieved today 3 more C&D letters and 6 summons.”…

  21. Trimda

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Oh AJ, where is Stratics? As a company, they are bound by their local laws. And as such, since they are a firm based out of the United States, the US constitution does apply to them. In actual fact, they have clearly been in direct conflict with this law, applying censorship to posts, and enforcing a set of unlawfull rules. In the past, ISPs have and other service providors have been held accountable for various “censorship” practices and were forced to discontinue administrative policies because of it.

    So, anyone up to sending them a C&D letter? Be ready to back it up thou :P

  22. TBT

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Ian I understand something like that tsobot guys sig he was just advertising i see that in many forums and i understand *if* there are rules, but geez gimme a break this kerry is obviously a joke one like your zing one..

    I don’t know i just think the whole thing is crazy…

  23. Cocoanut

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Don’t have time to respond carefully now, but I think they are right to prevent a Kerry-bashing signature on the forums in question.

    And the wearing of a button to a football game is a bad analogy. This would be more akin to – oh, I don’t know, say standing up in the middle of a football game and using a portable loud-speaker system to start shouting anti-Kerry comments that the entire stadium can here.

    As for Stratics somehow trumping the constitution, well, there are lots of things in the constitution and lots of laws, too, which enable Stratics to have its own rules. That is ALSO freedom.

    The democratic principles and freedoms also protect the rights of people not to have their own rights stomped on in private venues. In the case of Stratics, the mods are protecting the majority of posters from the disruption caused in a game-discussion area by people displaying provocative, off-topic content.

    I say they called this right. No Kerry-bashing on the game discussion forums.

    (What you been smokin lately, Uri?)


  24. ajdown@jp

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    TBT, I don’t know who the hell you think you are, but unless you can explain your point civily, I am sorry but I cannot respond – for the simple fact that you are sprouting utter rubbish.

    You are advocating free speech…. so please, please tell me why I’m not allowed to say what I think.


  25. Trimda

    Oct 22nd, 2004


    I recommend you do some research on the subject before speaking out of your ass. Often, people are surprised how often companies have come under attack and have lost when attempting to “filter” content to their customers and employees.

    The only arguement that they can even think of trying to use is section 2 paragraph 2 sentence 1. I’ve seen this one fail many times. It all hinges apon whether a court would find them as a public forum, and to be honest, its not too hard to display them as this. Infact, they even, within their own TOS (and ROC), liken themselves to a “public library”.

    As for laws, do your research. CDA does not apply here, and furthermore, in many cases, such laws are often struck down by organizations such as the ACLU and EFF. Infact, they are unconstitutional, and if somehow are passed, are easily defeated. Heck, the ACLU exists pretty well to kill these.

    All that Stratics can do, and be safely doing, is warning and banning, thats all…

  26. TBT

    Oct 22nd, 2004


    Did i hurt yer little feelings and you can’t reply to me?

    Cry me a river…

    Instead go cry your river at stratics with the other children ok? No your age doesn’t designate you as a child, but everything else does you manboy you.. ;-p

  27. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Yes it is a bit hypocritical.

    Urizenus….I am all for Free Speech, it is extremely hard arguing with you (as I have learned in the past), and I have learned it is a waste of time..because you are always right and your opponent is always wrong. All I can say is if this was a debate, I would be eating up all the points.

    Free speech is allowed just not in the sims stratics forum, however in the off topic stratics forum. I mean gezus christ, how hard is it to grasp that concept. They aren’t banning the signature, but the fact that this person was ignorant enough to post it over and over after being asked to post it in the correct forum.

  28. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Also might i add, i see you all brought in the constitution…as AJ is not a US citizen, then he doesn’t have to abide by it.

    anyways the constitution argument is totally irrelevent because your free speech example would be allowed in the freakin’ Off Topic Stratics Forum. Coco’s argument of the loud speaker is the correct one in my opinion.

    You can’t just go in a public building (stratics) and yell fire (anti-john kerry signature). Now please explain to me, how that right is constitutional in the matter of, expressing free speech. I may also add, i doubt I will get a response since urizenus will go straight to taking some other part of my post and attacking it with bias.

  29. Stratics Pull’s Signature..Who Cares?
    The Alphaville Herald recently ran a story called Stratics bans anti-Kerry .sig. To describe it briefly; A Stratics user posted using a signature that was Anti-Kerry and it was taken down. The Herald, says that the right to free speech allows this…

  30. urizenus

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    ian, its a Siggy, and it’s smaller and less spammy than most of the other siggies on Stratics. How is it more spammy than a siggy that advertises in game contests?

    And I’m not citing the US constitution here, I am talking about the democratic principles that are enshrined there — including basic principles of free speech that have been recognized since the British Enlightenment in the 17th century. So I don’t want to here how Stratics or AJ or anyone else is immune from these principles, because they aren’t.

    And coco, this week I’m smoking salmon.

  31. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    damn what a surprise, I was right! you totally ignored what i thought you would. basic rights, is the constitution. I am not defending AJ, but they dont have a constitution, nor the bill of rights over in the UK. anyways back on topic, answer what I posed? go ahead mr. everyone has rights.

  32. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Uri, there is no level of spam…spam is spam.

  33. urizenus

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Ian, I no longer have any idea what you are talking about. The point is that the guy had a regulation sized siggy, hence it was no more spamish or off topic than any other siggy. It wasn’t banned from the main discussion areas because it was spammy. It was banned because it expressed a political opinion. That is wrong, and we don’t need a constitution to tell us that it is wrong.

  34. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    A) It was not banned, he was..after being warned..once, twice and a third time.

    B) He intentionally did it, as said on the tso.rlforums (aka just an attention whore)

    C) He was told to go discuss politics at another forum

    D) You fail to recognize my “FIRE” in a public building thought.

    You say you weep because I am the future of this country. I weep because you are the present of this country. You fail to recognize questions that require thought and logic, however you only address those that are simple to answer or continue to hammer down the same point over and over, and then over again.

    Until you give thought to Letter D, then you lose the argument.

  35. Cocoanut

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Free speech doesn’t guarantee you to the right to say what you want at whatever decible you like in whatever venue you desire.

    You do not have the right to start shouting anti-Kerry slogans over a loudspeaker at a football game and expect to stay in the stadium, because it wouldn’t be appropriate. It would be disruptive, and disturbing the peace.

    You also don’t have the right to say whatever you like on any web site you want to. You don’t have the right (nor should you, by any democratic principles) to come onto a web site pertaining to one thing and start slapping down repetitive slogans about another thing. Especially when the other thing something as controversial as this year’s politics. Especially when what you are posting is taunting, provocative, and disrespectful to one party. Tending, don’t you see, to switch the focus of the discussion from the game onto these other things. For which the appropriate forums do exist.

    Stratics was right and also well within their rights to determine that Kerry-bashing siggies (or probably any political sloganeering) are inappropriate to the purpose and potentially disruptive, and disturbing to the peace.

    I shouldn’t have to explain this stuff. I don’t weep at the future of this country, or the future of Sir. I don’t even weep at the thought that you are actually a professor in the philosophy department at the University of Michigan and yet we’re discussing this.


  36. urizenus

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    A. I see so you are saying that the tag wasn’t banned. He was merely banned for wearing it. And this is a difference how exactly?

    B. You say he intentionally did it (i.e. wore the tag). Good for him! *applause*

    C.”He was told to discuss politics in another forum”. Yes, Ian we know that. That is what is *wrong* with what stratics did. They told him he couldn’t wear the siggy in the community forum. We are saying that what they told him is *wrong* get it? Why you are opting for this “stratics said so so it must be right” argument is utterly beyond me. The stratics mods are not gods and their words do not trump the basic principles of free speech and democracy that have guided us for 300+ years. So please retire this idiotic parroting of the mods, ok?

    D. Your yelling FIRE in a public building argument. That analogy is so stupid it really doesn’t deserve comment. Think about it, please. Did he send people charging for the exits with his siggy?

  37. ian

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    Well if you bother to read the thread he did it in (one of the three), then yes people were running for the exits.

    Yelling Fire is freedom of speech, according to you? Perhaps you should invoke other rights/laws, such as “disturbing the peace”.

    And since when did a anarchist (sp).. like your self abide by the constitution of all things?

    I am not defending stratics, just who is right in this situation. The “Off Topic” is a “community forum” , because by defination there is a lot of people gathering on that forum to chat (one of hte most active forums on the website)

  38. Cocoanut

    Oct 22nd, 2004

    The local YMCA isn’t run by gods, either. Nor is the local Macy’s, or the local park. Yet those places have rules too, and some of them regard speech. So why the heck do you keep going back to this thing about who are gods and what does or doesn’t trump the basic principles of speech and democracy that have guided us for 300+ years blah blah?


  39. urizenus

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    kidz, we are looking at the siggy. its posted twice above. if that sent people running for the exits then they need to grow up and learn to understand that expressing political opinions is important and should be tolerated. if they don’t like it they can always try to resurrect the old soviet union. oops, forgot that you already tried that with your Simulated Soviet Union, Ian. Now it all makes sense…

  40. ian

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    lol if anyone is the ‘commie’ it is you, my friend.

  41. ajdown@jp

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    Oh isn’t this fun :)

    The sort of rancid bullshit that’s been sprouted in this comments form is exactly why rules are required.

    I couldn’t care less what personal attacks some of you guys throw at me, why? Because you don’t exist, you aren’t part of my life, you will most likely never meet me, therefore you are no threat to me.

    When there are no rules, there is anarchy. Humanity regresses to its basic level, and I’m sure there are some fantastic research examples here (remember we are merely laboratory animals for Uri’s next book). Some drop back to the primaeval slime much quicker than others. When there are rules and guidelines, everyone knows what is expected of them, everyone knows where they stand, everyone knows what they can and can’t do.

    I assume that you are all aware that your precious constitution and bill of rights is, in fact, a set of rules, stating what you can expect out of your daily life. You have the law. You break it, you pay the penalty.

    Someone, please, tell me how its perfectly acceptable to have rules in one form, but not in another? Or is it merely down to people interpreting things how and when they want for their own benefit?


  42. urizenus

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    aj u are such a trip

  43. ajdown@jp

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    For a Professor of Linguistics….. you certainly don’t have much of a grasp of English. Perhaps you could kindly repeat your comment, using words that mean something?


  44. ian

    Oct 23rd, 2004


  45. urizenus

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    yes, in the future I will be more like Ian and use meaningful words like ‘zing’.

    But until then, aj, u r such a trip! A great big zingy zangy trip!

  46. Cocoanut

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    He makes a good point and you know it.


  47. ian

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    i am sorry it wasn’t as meaningful as escort, furry sex, or bsdm

  48. ajdown@jp

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    Well a ‘trip’ is either a stumble/fall, a journey, or the result of taking drugs.

    I still have no clue what pre-pubescent meaning there is to ‘zing’, therefore I can only assume it has no meaning.

    You know what, if I was American, I’d be worried that people like you are given the responsibility of teaching future generations. Is it any wonder things are such a mess already?


  49. urizenus

    Oct 23rd, 2004

    aj, linguistics isn’t the stipulation of how people *should* talk, it is the study of how people *do* talk. There is a descriptive part of the enterprise and an explanatory part of it. The descriptive part is interested in what language users do, and the explanatory part is interested in *why* they do (e.g. speak) the way they do. That explanatory part of the enterprise is in turn part of cognitive psychology, and by extension neurobiology, and perhaps it is even tied to low level mathematical and biophysical structures. Elements of language that are more context sensitive and “social” are also grounded in these facts, but with other factors that can be studied in terms of game theory (in the sense of John Nash’s work). Other elements of linguistics (like the study of meaning) employ contemporary work in logic ranging from recursion theory, model theory, possible worlds semantics (in the sense of Kripke) which are used for modelling the entailment relations that hold between sentences of the language and also to better understand their structure.

    I doubt that you learned any of this when you went to The School of Woolen Britches and Stiff Canes. So please do tell us how Doctor Marblehead would like us all to speak. I mean clearly, it is not enough for you to pronounce yourself the Guardian of Laws on TSO and Stratics, now you have appointed yourself the GM for proper speech not only in your own country but for the 250 million inhabitants of the US as well!

    Do you ever get tired of telling people how to behave/think/teach/talk? What’s next? You’ll be telling us the proper way to fold our toilet paper before we wipe?

    and all this is by way of explaining why you are such a zingy zangy trippy d00d!

  50. ajdown@jp

    Oct 24th, 2004

    Well you were doing ok until your closing paragraph…. never mind eh.

    I don’t claim to be an authority on anything in particular, however I do know what I’m talking about when it comes to TSO, and the fact that in over a year I have never been warned/suspended/flagged in game or on Stratics – which, unlike yourself and most of the trolls on this board, shows a basic grasp not only of understanding rules but common decency and civility.

    I’m sure you’re just like the rest of the trolls round here, perfectly decent enough in real life, but when hidden safely behind a computer screen, the worst comes out. Tell me, are you a lonely housewife too Uri?


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