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So a week ago, a new user posted a series of recordings from secret Mitt Romney fundraisers -- recordings that are now getting a huge amount of play in other media outlets and threatens to become yet another headache for Team Red.

For reasons that I cannot fathom, you guys a bunch of you autobanned this user.

Here is a goldmine of Mitt uncensored, and you guys a bunch of you zapped him/her? I get that s/he was kind of spammy, but the content that was being posted was incredible. And rather than amplify that content, you guys a bunch of you squelched it. Unbelievable.

Update: Fair point on the "you guys" thing. It was a small number of users.

And to elaborate, we had what is essentially a whistleblower who was posting these recordings, not totally aware of the site rules and conventions. Clicking through the recordings, they are pretty freakin' incredible. Skepticism is always warranted, but skepticism doesn't mean you ban someone. It means you seek verification. That whistleblower/leaker never had the chance to try and verify.

2:07 PM PT: We're having a spirited internal debate about this at HQ, and the pushback is "it's not fair to get mad at the community for trying to protect the site's reputation." I'll admit that I'm persuaded by that.

It's hard trying to differentiate the The Nephew's from people who are genuinely well-meaning, but kind of clueless about community norms. And we actually have plans in place, hopefully to launch soon, to make it easier to acclimate and integrate new users into the site.

It's always good to be skeptical. And the line between being too tolerant of a genuine troll, and not tolerant enough for the well-meaning but blundering new user is impossible to define.

So I guess this time, the latter happened. But it easily could've been the former. So can I get mad at that? No. I just have to acknowledge that we have an imperfect system and that false positives will always be an unfortunate possibility. So sorry for flying a bit off the handle.

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