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  Forum software upgraded to MyBB 1.8
Posted by: Lije - 21-Mar-2015, 11:33 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (5)

I upgraded the forum software to MyBB 1.8 as it appears to have better options to prevent spam registrations.

As a result of the upgrade, the old forum theme no longer works and I had to revert to the default MyBB theme.

There are a few features missing and some rough edges. I'll work on them over the next few weeks.

But currently the main forum features should work. If you notice any problems, please post in this thread. If you can't post, send an email to info@nirmukta.com

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  A Persistent Troll
Posted by: Lije - 21-Oct-2014, 07:10 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (2)

Sometimes people believe in something so strongly that they can't resist showing why other people are wrong. What they believe in can be anything. Atheism, religion, leftist/rightist/centrist stuff or whatever. There are healthy ways to channel that energy. One decent way to do that is to run a website articulating your ideas, build up a social media presence and use it to publicize the ideas. The worst way to do it is to be a complete pest about it and keep showing up at places where you've been told in clear terms that you are not welcome.

This post is about one such pest. I'm doing this because it's unfair for Nirmukta moderators to keep wasting their time on second guessing which burner account he is using this time. So I'm dumping all the information I have on him in the hope that someone will know who this guy is, and that will deter him from being a pest.

These are the various user names he had used on the nirmuka.com website and on these forums:

Venkata Rao
S (yes, just the letter 'S')

Most of his comments are from these IPs:

They all are registered to Emory University. My guess is that he is/was a student there. Another guess is he is/has been taking some religious studies there. Quite a few times he referred to academic material on Hinduism in his comments. IIRC, he had also mentioned Paul Courtright, a Professor Emeritus there.

Some comments were from another IP which is in Ashburn, Virginia.

He has used a number of email addresses all of which I suspect are made up. I don't want to post them here in case they are real email addresses of someone else.

After getting booted from the forums, he had sent a diatribe to me and in it he confessed to using sockpuppets:

Quote:And at any rate, there is nothing wrong with sock puppets. Engels used them, as did John Quincy Adams, to effect change. And I've relished that my different handles have gotten very different responses for saying the exact same things-- you are not free from ad hominem, FYI.

Lately, he has taken to using a proxy. He even tried to impersonate Prof. Narendra Nayak just to see if he can get past moderation. How do I know it's the same guy that is using the proxy? It's an educated guess. He has a burning desire to show how smart he is (and how stupid everyone else here is). So even after getting banned, he kept coming back using different user names. The proxied comments started soon after I banned all his user names and known IP addresses.

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  New users - email issues
Posted by: Lije - 11-Mar-2012, 11:52 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (1)

If you have registred newly, you might have not got an activation email. We have moved to a new server and are looking into the email issues. For now, I'm activating new users in the backend. If you are not able to post on the forums, please drop an email to info@nirmukta.com. I will activate your user.

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  Ajita Kamal
Posted by: Lije - 09-Jan-2012, 11:28 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (19)

"With deep sorrow, we regret to inform of the untimely death of Ajita Kamal. Ajita is the founder of Nirmuka and was a great champion of freethought in India. He died in an incident in his home town in Tamil Nadu, the details of which are unknown at this moment. We are in contact with his family for further details.

A formal note of his demise and a brief bio will be posted on Nirmukta.com in the next few days."

-Nirmukta team

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  Copying facebook comments to the forums
Posted by: Lije - 29-Dec-2011, 10:20 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (3)

I think we need a policy with regards to how we post content from facebook. I suggest the following:

  1. Ask the permission of all people who are involved in the content being posted.

    There are cases where we don't need to ask - if the people are already on the forums, and are known to be okay with the content being copied, and if the copying comes under fair use. The case where we do need to ask is - if someone posted a lengthy comment which is not covered by fair use.
  2. If no permission has been (or cannot be) obtained from participants, blank out their names or anonymize them.

    People who participate in facebook may do so believing that only people who they have allowed in their facebook settings can see what they post. Copying content with their names on a publicly visible forum which is indexed by search engines will be a violation of their privacy.

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Star Announcing the nirmukta facebook page and 4 new subject specific groups
Posted by: LMC - 08-Dec-2011, 05:14 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

As you may be aware, the Nirmukta community has grown a lot over the past year, much of the growth happening in the various Regional Facebook Groups. Also on facebook, our national Nirmukta group, the Indian Atheists page and the Indian Atheists Debate Corner group are very active these days, bringing freethinkers together.

This post is to announce that four new Nirmukta Groups and a long overdue official Nirmukta Page have now been launched as part of our community network on facebook.

The images on the left are clickable.

Nirmukta Skeptics: The purpose of this group is to discuss all sorts of events and ideas from a skeptical perspective, using the tools of science to evaluate dubious claims and expose the pseudoscientific ones.

Nirmukta Humanists: This group is for those atheists and freethinkers interested in discussing morality, ethics and all sorts of issues involving social rights and justice.

Nirmukta Science: This group is for atheists and freethinkers interested in posting and discussing science-related links, book suggestions, videos, documentaries and articles. The group is also a place for discussion on the scientific method and philosophy of science.

Nirmukta Politics: This group is for those atheists and freethinkers interested in discussing political events and ideas in a secular and rational framework.


Credit for the customization of the Facebook Page goes to Lalit Mohan Chawla for the coding and Bala Bhaskar for graphic design. Bala also designed the logos for the new Facebook Groups.

The new official Nirmukta Page has far fewer members than the Nirmukta FB group as of now, but it will become Nirmukta's main outreach page on facebook. Several new features have been added to this page, including a custom landing page and tabs that extend functionality. Please be sure to check them out.

How you can help us promote the page :

Eight ways you can promote the Nirmukta FB Page.

1) Add it to your profile
2) Post a testimonial in welcome page
3) Add it as a 'featured page' on your page
4) Share it (see # 2 in the image) on your profile (check post to profile while commenting in testimonials).
5) Invite friends (the conventional way)
6) Like the page Big Grin
7) Post and share images or share the image below.
8) Invite friends using Smart Suggest app

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  Saturday Evening Nirmukta Hangout Sessions (SENHS)
Posted by: Ajita Kamal - 27-Oct-2011, 01:07 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (6)

After a couple of earlier attempts to hold online discussions on Google+, last week a small group of Nirmukta members came together and "hung out" in cyberspace.

Our topic- 'A Freethinker's view on the Science and Ethics of the Environmentalism Movement'. The idea was to keep the conversation light and accessible to all, and still cover ground in the relevant area. We were able to have a fun discussion, and also record it properly. Having finally sorted out the technical issues involved, I'm glad to announce that this will now be a weekly feature.

Every Saturday at a predetermined time the SENHS group will meet to discuss a predetermined topic. The meet will be structured loosely, with the objective to have a thoroughly informative and engaging discussion on a topic related to science and freethought. Each SENHS meet will be recorded and an edited version will appear in the Nirmukta podcast.

Suggestions are welcome for topics that we can discuss. If you have an interesting idea, please do contact us. Also, we are looking for experts and people with experience/know-how in various fields. Please send me an email: ajita (at) nirmukta.com.

The recording of last week's meet should be ready by the coming Saturday, when we will be holding the second meet.

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  moderation open thread
Posted by: LMC - 04-Sep-2011, 12:34 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (162)

The 'moderation open thread' will be the sole venue for queries regarding moderation and discussions not pertaining to moderation will not be entertained therein.
The primary purpose of this thread is to encourage interaction between members and moderators for a better understanding of moderation rules and for refining them if necessary.
Members banned from groups besides the forum are permitted to make forum posts here pending resolution of grievances,but appealing against one's banning/removal should be avoided as such a personal discussion is unlikely to be conclusive in a public form.
In that case ,please send an email at moderators@nirmukta.com asking to be re-instated.
Present your case with as much detail as possible and linking to past references if need be.
Your email will be reviewed by both the moderation team and the nirmukta board and replied back as soon as possible.
Please read the rules before replying.

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  Nirmukta Email Lists
Posted by: donatello - 22-Aug-2011, 12:22 AM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

We are happy to announce that Nirmukta now has its own mailing lists. The "general" mailing list is now available to all Nirmukta members. We plan to use it for general announcements and event updates. This should especially be useful for people who do not use Facebook.

To register, please visit http://lists.nirmukta.com/cgi-bin/mailma...fo/general and enter your email address.

Very soon we will be creating email lists for the individual regional groups as well. We already have a list for the administrators, to enable us to collaborate in working towards our national organization.

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  Mobile theme installed
Posted by: Lije - 06-Aug-2011, 09:23 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

I've installed a theme for when accessing the site from a mobile phone. It should work with most phones. If anyone here is in the habit of accessing the site from a mobile, please do share your feedback.

If you want to see how the mobile version looks from a desktop/laptop, you need to change the user agent string of your browser. For Firefox there's an addon which does that.

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