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  Spam bot cleanup
Posted by: Lije - 01-Aug-2011, 09:17 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (1)

Over the past week I've been deleting spam bot registrations. If you see the number of registered uses, the count has gone down.

I've installed a spam check plugin, so we should be seeing less of this problem (the occasional spmabot does get past the plugin).

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  Forum Rules
Posted by: Lije - 19-Jun-2011, 12:59 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (1)


  1. Trolling is unacceptable - posting disruptive/inflammatory content, including (but not limited to) broad generalisations and personal accusations about specific people or groups that incite hatred or provoke emotional responses, misrepresenting other people's opinions after being corrected, posting off-topic after being asked to stay on-topic by forum staff.

  2. Caste prejudice, racism, homophobia and sexism are all unacceptable. Posting abusive/disparaging content about people's caste, race, sexual orientation or gender creates a hostile atmosphere in which a reasonable exchange of views is not possible. Serious offences in this regard should lead to a permanent ban.

  3. Respect the forum organisation. Read the descriptions of each forum and its subforums before posting and choose the most appropriate place. Staff may move/split/merge posts/threads which are deemed to be better placed elsewhere.

  4. Keep the discussion healthy. Avoid personal attacks against individuals but practice criticism of ideas. Disagree without being disagreeable. Defend your opinions without being defensive. And avoid making assumptions about other people when defending your viewpoints.

  5. Do not divert the topic or make off-topic posts. Deliberately trying to hijack a thread with off-topic posts is prohibited.

  6. Preaching and proselytising are prohibited. Nirmukta takes a stance that is against religious dogma of any kind, and presents atheism and scepticism as a legitimate and highly respectable standpoint. While members are free to discuss religious faith in these forums (with some caveats. See the next point), it should be possible for members to get into the debate without religious harassment or pressure to convert. These kinds of behaviour are expressly prohibited.

  7. On idealogical debates - Debates that we determine to be unsuitable for a particular forum because of various reasons, may be directed to a different forum or website where the conversation can be had in the proper setting. We are not opposed to debating and discussing the foundational ideas behind freethought with believers in various forms of supernatural beliefs, even if we have had those same debates many times in the past. However, we realize that there are some who are not interested in following the rules of reason and logic during debate. Such redundant and pointless debates cannot be allowed to prevent the important discussions from happening. There are other venues, such as our Indian Atheists facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=grou...7719156733) , where we encourage debates between believers and atheists/skeptics/rationalists/naturalists.

  8. Commercial advertising is not allowed. These forums are not a place for members to advertise or promote a business without explicit permission from Nirmukta. Members posting such content frequently may be removed with/without warning as will their posts.

  9. Sex and Nudity - Discussions of these are limited to scientific studies and topics only. No discussions of personal sexual issues, or posts containing images/descriptions/discussions of sexual acts are allowed. Images containing such nudity is limited to established works of art or in a scientific/medical context. They must however be suitable for all ages and safe for viewing at work.

  10. Identity and Access. Members may register and use only one account on these forums. Members are assumed to agree to not let anyone else use their account on these forums for any kind of activity.

  11. Monitoring and Disclosure. nirmukta.net does not and cannot monitor all the postings in the forums and other public areas. However, forum staff reserves the right (but assumes no obligation) to delete, move or edit any postings that come to our attention that we consider unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or any other reasons. We will not, in the ordinary course of business, review Private Messages (PMs) that are not addressed to nirmukta.net, or members of its staff. However, nirmukta.net and its forum staff will comply with any applicable legal requirements regarding disclosure of such messages to others, including law enforcement agencies.

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  A formal set of rules for the forums
Posted by: donatello - 13-Oct-2010, 03:28 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (20)

The purpose of these forums is enable the building of a freethought community in India and in other parts of the world, where the movement is yet to take off. As a freethought community we face significant challenges from disruptors who seek to be obstacles in our progress. Please see Ajita Kamal's post about this.

Those of us, who have been using these forums regularly do so with an unwritten but common understanding of what constitutes acceptable posting behaviour, streamlined by the guidelines for conduct. However there have often been misunderstandings over this.

While we would like to enable the free exchange of ideas, as the community grows, administrators and moderators cannot (and do not intend to) review every single post. A set of formal rules stating what constitutes unacceptable posting is required, as it will enable the community to report bad posts to moderators.

The current guidelines for conduct are pasted below:

Quote:This list of guidelines is designed to maintain a friendly and productive atmosphere at the forums.

1. Before responding to a post or comment please read and understand its gist thoroughly, asking for clarification if necessary.

2. Avoid personal attacks against individuals but practice criticism of ideas.

3. Disagree without being disagreeable. Defend your opinions without being defensive.

4. Avoid posting sexually suggestive material or using language considered impolite in public settings.

5. Avoid making racially prejudiced, bigoted or hateful remarks of any sort.

6. Avoid making assumptions about other people.

7. Be informed about common logical fallacies before challenging the arguments put forth by others.

These guidelines were arrived at by public discussion on Nirmukta's Facebook page.

By definition, guidelines are not mandatory, and so in my opinion a formal set of rules to describe unacceptable posting behaviour is required. We would like to build these rules with inputs from the community, so please give your suggestions and discuss your ideas about this here.

From here on, it is going to be a long ride, so pick up a coffee GoodMorning and settle down. smile

Here are my own set of suggestions for rules:

1) Trolling is unacceptable - posting disruptive/inflammatory content, including (but not limited to) broad generalisations and personal accusations about specific people or groups that incite hatred or provoke emotional responses, misrepresenting other people's opinions after being corrected, posting off-topic after being asked to stay on-topic by forum staff.

2) Caste prejudice, racism, homophobia and sexism are all unacceptable. Posting abusive/disparaging content about people's caste, race, sexual orientation or gender creates a hostile atmosphere in which a reasonable exchange of views is not possible. Serious offences in this regard should lead to a permanent ban.

The above two should be IMO, very seriously enforced with bans.

3) Respect the forum organisation. Read the descriptions of each forum and its subforums before posting and choose the most appropriate place. Staff may move/split/merge posts/threads which are deemed to be better placed elsewhere.

4) Preaching and proselytising are prohibited. Nirmukta takes a stance that is against religious dogma of any kind, and presents atheism and scepticism as a legitimate and highly respectable standpoint. While members are free to discuss religious faith in these forums, it should be possible for members to get into the debate without religious harassment or pressure to convert. These kinds of behaviour are expressly prohibited.

Note: I have written (4) from the point of letting theists also get into the debate, but I think others may disagree including some forum staff members. This definitely requires some discussion.

5) Commercial advertising is not allowed. These forums are not a place for members to advertise or promote a business without explicit permission from Nirmukta. Members posting such content frequently may be removed with/without warning as will their posts.

6) Sex and Nudity - Discussions of these are limited to scientific studies and topics only. No discussions of personal sexual issues, or posts containing images/descriptions/discussions of sexual acts are allowed. Images containing such nudity is limited to established works of art or in a scientific/medical context. They must however be suitable for all ages and safe for viewing at work.

The remaining are aspects that may be required to comply with law enforcement agencies.

7) Identity and Access. Members may register and use only one account on these forums. Members are assumed to agree to not let anyone else use their account on these forums for any kind of activity.

8) Monitoring and Disclosure. nirmukta.net does not and cannot monitor all the postings in the forums and other public areas. However, forum staff reserves the right (but assumes no obligation) to delete, move or edit any postings that come to our attention that we consider unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or any other reasons. We will not, in the ordinary course of business, review Private Messages (PMs) that are not addressed to nirmukta.net, or members of its staff. However, nirmukta.net and its forum staff will comply with any applicable legal requirements regarding disclosure of such messages to others, including law enforcement agencies.

9) Use of Materials and Proprietary Rights. This needs some serious discussion as well. Should they belong to the original poster or to Nirmukta.net? Should posters be able to license their material on these forums? (for example, should a member be able to choose the license for some original material posted by him/her?)

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  Interested in joining the Nirmukta team? Apply here!
Posted by: donatello - 03-Oct-2010, 03:09 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (14)

Hello Freethinkers!

Nirmukta has been promoting science and freethought in India for the past 2 years now, mostly through online activism. The main site, Nirmukta.com, the forums at nirmukta.net, and the atheist activism arm of Nirmukta, Indian Atheists, have all been successful in bringing together a large and diverse community of Freethinkers online. But there is a lot more we can accomplish, with your help!

Nirmukta is in the process of putting together a comprehensive formal list of coordinators, and there's room for you!

Nirmukta is looking for motivated freethinkers with a passion for science and a skeptical outlook, to join our team and help promote freethinking, science and reason in India. Specifically, we need webmasters, admins, writers, editors, designers, developers and anyone else who can help with technical issues online.

If interested, please reply to this thread with how you are interested in helping out.

Thank you for supporting Science and Freethought in India!

[Adapted from Ajita's mail to the Nirmukta FB group]

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  New forum features!
Posted by: donatello - 23-Sep-2010, 11:08 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

Thumbup Two new forum features are now enabled for general users:

1) Like System: Every post now has a like button, that can be used to show that you, well, like it! Yes One can even see who liked each post. It is similar to facebook's like button, but has nothing to do with facebook. If you decide that you don't like a post or that liking it was a mistake Blushing you can "unlike" it too!

2) Social Thread Sharing: Now any thread can be shared in any of the popular social sharing websites available at the bottom of the page. This feature is actually still being tweaked for better looks and available sites, but it is usable! Happydance

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  Tom Clark to speak at our 1000 Indian Freethinkers event.
Posted by: Ajita Kamal - 28-Jun-2010, 09:39 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (5)

Tom Clark, director of the Center for Naturalism, will speak to us live as part of our 1000 Indian Freethinkers event. The event will be held on Saturday, the 3rd of July, at around 7: pm IST. There will first be a brief interview which will be followed by a Q&A session. This will be a live streaming event and you will be able to ask questions through twitter and chat. Keep the date free! Details of the event will be announced tomorrow.
[Image: Nirmukta_1000_member_wallpaper_by_life1_version2.png]

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  A Thousand Indian Freethinkers event: Ideas needed
Posted by: Ajita Kamal - 04-Jun-2010, 11:52 PM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (24)

We are nearing 1000 members on the Nirmukta facebook group, and will likely hit that figure by the end of this month. To mark this milestone and to use it to increase our visibility, we would like to organize a fun online event. There are many possible ways we can celebrate, and we should have an open and lively discussion on how to go about doing this. Possible media options include use of video, audio, chat, virtual environments, polls and surveys.

Please share your ideas with us. Remember that this will be an online event, and keep bandwidth limits in mind.

Thanks,
Ajita

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Star New National Coordinator and Nirmukta Advisory Board
Posted by: Ajita Kamal - 03-May-2010, 03:12 PM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

The team of activists at Nirmukta have two big announcements to make. We believe that these announcements carry enormous implications for the future of organized Freethought in India.

As regular readers will know, the Nirmukta team has plans to register Nirmukta as a non-profit organization in the near future. There will soon be management and advisory roles to be filled on a permanent and official basis, but until then the Nirmukta Advisory Board is an unofficial solution to facilitate organization and planning. The board will coordinate the work through regular online meetings and frequent discussions on the forums.

At present the Nirmukta Advisory Board consists of:

1. Prof. Narendra Nayak - President of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA)
2. Dr. Prabhakar Kamath - Founder of the Consumer Rights Movement in India
3. Shobhit Gupta - IT Professional living in Florida, coordinating the Media Network.
4. Rakshi Rath - PhD student in Psychology, filmed Prof Nayak on his recent tour.
5. Babu Gogineni - International Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
6. Siddharth Singh - Social Networking Director and Associate Editor of Nirmukta.
7. Pankaj Kulkarni - Software Executive from Bangalore. Coordinator for Nirmukta Bangalore.
8. Ajita Kamal - Founder, Editor and general coordinator of Nirmukta

The Nirmukta Advisory Board has approved the appointment of Dr. N. Bala as the National Coordinator of Nirmukta, on a temporary basis until the organization is registered. Dr. Bala is one of the coordinators of the Orkut group, Atheism in India, which has over 2000 members. He is also the creator of IndianHumanist.org and is an active participant in the Nirmuka Bangalore regional group. Dr. Bala will work in concert with the Nirmukta Advisory Board.

Looking Ahead

The Nirmukta Advisory Board is working on two broad areas of interest.

1. Media Network - We are putting together a team of websites, journalists and writers, programmers, designers, artists, filmmakers and PR people to help form a network of media resources with the agenda of promoting Freethought in India. We have already held two meetings, and a report on the progress of the media network will soon follow.

2. Regional groups - The online organizational work at Nirmukta will run parallel with on-ground activism, beginning with the establishment of regional groups across the country. Although there are many rationalist groups in India, we feel that there is a need for a nation-wide network of groups that connect young and progressive Indian Freethinkers. Our Bangalore group is the most active one at the moment, although we are seeing interest from Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai.

Dr. Bala will begin acting in his capacity as coordinator, contacting individuals and groups across the country. His appointment helps bring the vast atheist community on the Orkut Atheism in India group together with the members of the Nirmukta facebook group, the Carvaka group on facebook, the Indian Atheists fan page on Facebook and the Indian Atheists group on Atheist Nexus, all of which have been under Nirmukta management since their inception.

Our plan is to build a large online coalition for Freethought in India. Join us, the movement needs you!

Email Us:
All General Inquiries contact, Ajita or Siddharth: info@nirmukta.com, siddharth@nirmukta.com, ajita@nirmukta.com
Coordinating with Nirmukta contact, Dr. Bala : drnbala@nirmukta.com
Media Network related questions contact, Shobhit : shobhit@nirmukta.com
Video/Youtube related inquiries contact, Bala: videos@nirmukta.com

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  new regional group!
Posted by: jayeshvv - 29-Mar-2010, 11:51 AM - Forum: Announcements - Replies (9)

would i be beheaded or stoned-to-death if i were to initiate a regional group for Dubai!!!! ...
also Ajita, the markers on the bottom of the homepage - "Forum Contains New Posts" doesnt seem to be workign ... or am i not seeing things?

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  Hello Fellow Freethinkers!
Posted by: Ajita Kamal - 29-Mar-2010, 09:22 AM - Forum: Announcements - No Replies

The team of activists at Nirmukta has created these forums with the intention of providing a safe and dependable communication platform for those of us interested in promoting science and reason in India. You may ask 'why exactly do we need another forum to discuss Freethought?'. Aren't there enough social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, Atheist Nexus, Orkut etc...?

The way we see it, these open social networking sites are just the first step in reaching out to Freethinkers. They offer us a public venue to promote our cause and to attract new members into our community. However, we think that it is enormously useful for our community of Freethinkers to have our own online portal to communicate with each other. The new Nirmukta Forums belong to all the Freethinkers of India. A powerful community-owned forum gives us security, privacy and customizability in ways that generic social networks don’t. This is why we hope that you will use these forums to their fullest potential and help propel the Freethought Revolution in India.

Through these forums we can focus on building a community of Freethinkers by Celebrating Science and Reason, providing support to the victims of religion/superstition, discussing Science and Philosophy with other Indian Freethinkers, planning ideas for eradicating the superstitions and oppressive beliefs of our time, holding Regional Group meetups, and planning strategies for Local Action….among other things

So pelase join us in creating meaningful, moral and naturalistic alternatives to religion and superstition!

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