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Author Topic: "Ignoring" posts
Jordan
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First, I have to admit that G2 went up about 120% in my estimation when I discovered that he:
  1. has installed Greasemonkey; and
  2. knows enough about Javascript and the DOM to write a script to ignore users, or at least to modify an existing one.
But then, I'm a professional web developer, so code is a quick way to my heart. [Smile]

At any rate, the reason I started this thread was to ask: what do people think of actually choosing to ignore certain posters entirely? By which I mean, not simply avoiding their posts, but actually choosing to expunge them from threads completely so that one never has to read or respond to them?

Personally, I think it's a loathsome idea in principle and a splendid possibility in practise. On the one hand, saying that there are people whose opinions are so odious, or their contributions to meaningful discussion so meagre, that it is actually legitimate to eliminate them from all consideration once struck me as a particularly cruel and emphatic arrogance. On the other hand, it would go a long way to improving civility if certain posters with a unique "dynamic" going on weren't able to read each other's responses.

Make no mistake, I am heartily guilty. On another board I vividly recall a poster who was so deeply unpleasant and inconsequential that reading anything he wrote could easily compete with the subtle joys of having a lead brick rammed into your nasal bone. To illustrate, my "favourite" post of his was when he stated, matter-of-factly, that allowing women to lead a nation in any capacity would be ungodly and bring ruin upon that nation, all in two short, grammatically-avoidant sentences, culminating with a charming colophon of seven apoplectic "banging head on a wall" smileys. And he meant every one. I specially searched for a means of hiding his posts, seeing it not as a conceit, but rather a simple matter of improving my happiness.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"At any rate, the reason I started this thread was to ask: what do people think of actually choosing to ignore certain posters entirely?"

I think it's awesome. Virtually the only thing I've admired about G2 is that he has steadfastly ignored me.

I don't think that's easy to do.

That he invented a little bot to do so adds to the luster of this.

That he stooped so low as he did to conquer on the ad hominem thread put, alas, a tracery of cracks in that otherwise gleaming veneer.

Myself, I prefer to choose at will whom I will and won't ignore. It makes it so much more *meaningful*. [Wink]

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RickyB
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What's 120% of... oh never mind [Razz]
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Daruma28
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Why bother to write code to do what one can do with a simple exercise in personal choice? One can simply look at a user's name and choose to pass on the opportunity to read their written thoughts...it's really not that hard.

Wait...did Kenmeer just write something here? [LOL]

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scifibum
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Jordan, I think I agree with what you said. It bothers me in the abstract but in some specific instances, it seems like a good remedy.

Sort of like the death penalty. I tend to be against it in principle. But if I let myself get acquainted with the details of particularly nasty crimes, I start to want for certain individuals to die.

Not that I draw any equivalence between forum postings and truly heinous acts.

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rightleft22
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I think it’s a great way to insure that one’s core beliefs aren't challenged. Just block out anyone you don't like, any opinion you don't like and well your illusion can remain complete.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Wait...did Kenmeer just write something here?"

Nah. I beamed it into your head through the tinfoil.

Makes an awesome antennae.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by rightleft22:
I think it’s a great way to insure that one’s core beliefs aren't challenged. Just block out anyone you don't like, any opinion you don't like and well your illusion can remain complete.

That's only true if you block everyone that disagrees with you. Obviously I don't do that. There's only a couple/few that I consistently block because I have found that they do nothing but follow me from thread to thread spewing personal attacks and little else. IMHO, they should get lengthy suspensions if not outright banned but it's a liberal forum and I understand that liberals will get a free pass on the rules, all part of the price of admission here and I'm cool with that. Since the moderator(s) here decided to do nothing, I figured I had to do it myself - a little personal responsibility instead of depending on others to do it for me, very conservative of me if I do say so myself. [Razz]

I have put a few others in the ignore list for brief periods of time, rarely more than a week. More of a cooling off period than anything else.

It works out pretty well. [Cool]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"There's only a couple/few that I consistently block because I have found that they do nothing but follow me from thread to thread spewing personal attacks and little else."

It's precisely accurate statements like this that earn you such respect in this community, G2. Not to mention that touch of solipsism.

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TomDavidson
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The way I look at it, if this is what G2 needs to do to contribute usefully to the community, more power to him. For my part, I think a forum with weak moderation probably does require some form of "ignore" option, either applied by individual users or -- as at Slashdot and Digg and others -- ultimately voted on by the "mob."

[ September 01, 2009, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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hobsen
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Of course Ornery members can ignore others as they wish, either by looking at their names and then skipping their posts, or by installing added software to blank such posts automatically.

Posters such as the one described by Jordan have I think been banned on Ornery in the past, and I am quite willing to continue that practice:
quote:
On another board I vividly recall a poster who was so deeply unpleasant and inconsequential that reading anything he wrote could easily compete with the subtle joys of having a lead brick rammed into your nasal bone. To illustrate, my "favourite" post of his was when he stated, matter-of-factly, that allowing women to lead a nation in any capacity would be ungodly and bring ruin upon that nation, all in two short, grammatically-avoidant sentences, culminating with a charming colophon of seven apoplectic "banging head on a wall" smileys.
Expressing the opinion that women should keep silent in public or never have authority over a man are in themselves simply offbeat Christian beliefs which can be tolerated. And since they have Biblical support, it is fair to ask any Christian who claims to follow Biblical precepts in their entirety why he does not follow those, if that is the case, as picking and choosing among Biblical admonitions should be based on more than whim. But coupling that with attacks on individual women who post on Ornery, or with the smileys described, would draw a warning and eventually a permanent ban if continued. Such posters would do nothing to make Ornery better, and would degrade its present state, so I see no reason to tolerate them. But at the present time I do not think Ornery has anyone who posts regularly who never contributes anything of value, or even who does more harm than good.

But as G2 remarks some posters do seem to have such a history of disagreement than even an intended compliment may be taken the wrong way. Perhaps it would be better if such posters could stand to read one another's posts, to prevent misunderstandings from skipping something important to a discussion, but if they cannot passing over one another's remarks is better than getting in a catfight. And G2 seems to be using his ingenious software in an entirely responsible manner, just to temporarily block those he finds temporarily infuriating, and to permanently block only those with whom experience has shown he can never agree.

Anyway Jordan has started an interesting thread. People will no doubt differ on when ignoring someone is appropriate; and my ideas expressed here are no more than a personal opinion, upon which others may improve.

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IrishTD
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quote:
Why bother to write code to do what one can do with a simple exercise in personal choice? One can simply look at a user's name and choose to pass on the opportunity to read their written thoughts...it's really not that hard.
Seconded. If you actually block the posts, you might miss the rare nugget that someone may produce (i.e. blind squirrels and acorns).
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Kuato
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quote:
Originally posted by RickyB:
What's 120% of... oh never mind [Razz]

I love a mathematical mind.
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philnotfil
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I enjoy reading message boards more when I make the window a little smaller and scroll over so I can't see the names.
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threads
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Having a script that automatically filters out certain posts doesn't really change anything considering that people can ignore posts anyways.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"I enjoy reading message boards more when I make the window a little smaller and scroll over so I can't see the names. "

You... are a genius, and a light of inspiration to us all. I will have to try this.

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Jordan
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I thought everyone had played the "guess the poster" game! [Smile] I enjoy it plenty. You quickly discover that, in fact, many posters have styles so distinctive that you can't help but recognise them. (Incidentally, this is why it's hard to maintain a convincing sock-puppet.)

As for why one would want to use a script, I personally find it impossible to not read anything on a screen in front of me even if I don't want to, and suspect others may be similarly disposed. Even if you read someone's name and decide that you don't particularly wish to hear from them at this particular time, you'll still catch some of what they're saying. If this person were inclined to stalking or personally attacking you, or if you find their personality or opinions excruciating, this could be somewhat dispiriting, especially if they are a regular poster. It seems perfectly sensible to recruit some external assistance and maintain your peace of mind.

For the post part there isn't too much that I mind reading, but I might give thought to implementing a "Ken and Tommy are talking to each other" filter. [Wink]

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Rallan
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I've never ever used the ignore feature anywhere I go, except to tune out crapfloods and bots. And I've never seen the point of using Ignore for anything else. Anyone who lacks the willpower to just stop reading posts that they know will annoy them written by someone they know they can't stand seriously needs to go take a walk and get some fresh air and a sense of perspective.
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hobsen
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How true.
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Jordan
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Perspective? Have you forgotten that this is the Internet we're talking about, Rallan? It's Serious Business!

More Seriouslyer, if you don't find someone in real life particularly objectionable, you are unlikely to enjoy being around them, and may even try to avoid them. Of course, this can be awkward if they hang out with your peers; you're still somewhat exposed to them. Fortunately, some parts of the Internet make it a tad easier to forget about that person by providing an "ignore" feature—thanks to which you need never be exposed to their awful ramblings again! [Smile]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"For the post part there isn't too much that I mind reading, but I might give thought to implementing a "Ken and Tommy are talking to each other" filter. [Wink]"

****ing voyeurs. I mean, we'd get a room but this IS the internet.

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tonylovern
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the board might be a little more sensible if g2 would share his bot with gina and we all worked hard to get on both of thier ignore lists.
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Gina
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quote:
Originally posted by tonylovern:
the board might be a little more sensible if g2 would share his bot with gina and we all worked hard to get on both of thier ignore lists.

I do ignore lists the old-fashioned way.

And would be happy to put you on it.

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Jordan
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Gina! While you're here, there's a question I've wanted to ask you for a while: is there anyone on this forum whom you hold in good esteem?

I ask in absolute seriousness, and with no intention of being rude or "putting you on the spot". It is my impression that your approbation is rarely awarded, and certainly seldom on the basis of online communication, and I wonder how close I am to being correct. [Smile]

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Gina
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Lina Inverse has been polite.

Hobsen sits well in the moderator tone. God help him.

The rest can carry on with their little mocking insults, in the third or first person, if they feel they're saving the board by ridding it of me. Do what you gotta do.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I don't want Gina to go away. I want her to start trafficking in more honest discourse.
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Jordan
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Thanks for answering, Gina. [Smile] I'll admit I'm surprised to see that two of the people whom you hold in some regard are actually fairly liberal in outlook! I will also observe that I consider Lina and hobsen to be quite deserving of respect, both for their general contact and excellent names.
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hobsen
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Thanks for the kind words, Gina. And in truth I do not see your positions or style are any more likely to offend than Cherrypoptart's, who has got on well here for several years, so I am not sure what the fuss has been about. But he has a military background, so people may expect him to speak more forcefully. Can it be because you are a woman?
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Jordan:
To illustrate, my "favourite" post of his was when he stated, matter-of-factly, that allowing women to lead a nation in any capacity would be ungodly and bring ruin upon that nation[/i]

I have an uncle who once traced what he saw as the decay of our civilization to our society's decision to stop denying women the right to vote. My revenge on him was to pull a book from his shelf, and to prove, to his disbelieving horror and consternation that his hero, Ayn Rand, was in fact a woman.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
quote:
Originally posted by Jordan:
To illustrate, my "favourite" post of his was when he stated, matter-of-factly, that allowing women to lead a nation in any capacity would be ungodly and bring ruin upon that nation[/i]

I have an uncle who once traced what he saw as the decay of our civilization to our society's decision to stop denying women the right to vote. My revenge on him was to pull a book from his shelf, and to prove, to his disbelieving horror and consternation that his hero, Ayn Rand, was in fact a woman.
Hah! Fantastic. I love this kind of story...
Anyhow, welcome back from your absence, Pete (at least, I haven't seen you post in a bit).

[ September 06, 2009, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"And in truth I do not see your positions or style are any more likely to offend than Cherrypoptart's, who has got on well here for several years, so I am not sure what the fuss has been about."

And cherry, who originally introduced himself as 'liberaldisembowler', went through major baptism by fire from the likes of me. There's a history to much of this, and like most histories, there was war.

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hobsen
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As I recall, Cherry decided his original name was too provocative for this site. Of course people do speak sharply to one another now and then, and that does no great harm. But it need not be encouraged, and it rarely makes it easier to follow whatever is being discussed.
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cherrypoptart
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I think I've been pretty good all along about not getting very personal. I have enough fun with the issues themselves, and prefer to speak to them as opposed to the people supporting or opposing those issues.

It probably also helps that a lot of people very close to me such as my wife, mom, sister-in-law, and others I dearly care about have diametrically opposing political views relative to mine. I'm perfectly fine being very friendly and caring about people as individuals while still disagreeing furiously on issues.

I like Gina and agree with her just about always but might humbly offer some little bit of advice which is not to respond to the person posting. Just respond to the post itself.

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kenmeer livermaile
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cherry, you are good at not being 'personally' personal, but you often call anything and anyone liberal that you don't like, deeming it your right to declare 'liberal' most anything you choose.

It's too convenient to call someone a liberal and then throw 'lib is bad' paint on them.

People don't like being made into strawmen.

You are not alone in this practice, nor is it limited to your preferred ideological group, and this is one of the main reasons why I often dispense with the political cover and go straight for the personal.

[ September 07, 2009, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"As I recall, Cherry decided his original name was too provocative for this site."

Correct. Part of that baptism by fire I mentioned.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
cherry, you are good at not being 'personally' personal, but you often call anything and anyone liberal that you don't like, deeming it your right to declare 'liberal' most anything you choose.

It's too convenient to call someone a liberal and then throw 'lib is bad' paint on them.

People don't like being made into strawmen.

You are not alone in this practice, nor is it limited to your preferred ideological group, and this is one of the main reasons why I often dispense with the political cover and go straight for the personal.

Which is why you've done far more damage than Cherry has. Even if Cherry's blanket attacks on liberals in general were not transparently foolish, they can be easily refuted in a public forum without even going off-topic or resorting to forum-poisoning attacks. Poisonous personal attacks such as the ones that you rationalize when you make them (but condemn when they are used against you) cannot be refuted without going off topic or resort to forum-poisoning attacks.

OTOH, Cherry, your blanket characterizations of groups discredit your claims of being "friendly" to individuals in those groups. The problem about making straw men isn't that people don't like it, but that it prevents debators from genuinely engaging each others' ideas.

[ September 07, 2009, 05:26 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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vulture
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From what I remember, the first week or so of Cherry's posting here was a little contentious, but IIRC he was fresh from Democratic Underground action, or some such place. Since then he's been a veritable asset to the site - if he does make some overly broad generalisations about liberals, then he does so with good humour (and good points); I find myself unable to take offence at anything he writes. Daruma likewise.

And while I'm on a 'giving credit' trip, I think Ron Lambert deserves a mention. I think just about the only opinion we have in common is that we just barely both fit under the umbrella term 'Christian', but I continue to be impressed by his ability to respond politely to people who are considerably less polite to him (including myself, sadly).

(There are plenty of other conservatives here worthy of mention for making this forum as good as it is - I'm just sticking to the more colourful ones for now [Big Grin] )

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hobsen
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Kenmeer Livermaile speaking of Cherrypoptart,
quote:
you often call anything and anyone liberal that you don't like
Pete at Home speaking of Kenmeer Livermaile:
quote:
Poisonous personal attacks such as the ones that you rationalize when you make them (but condemn when they are used against you)
Pete at Home speaking of Cherrypoptart:
quote:
OTOH, Cherry, your blanket characterizations of groups discredit your claims of being "friendly" to individuals in those groups.
Even if these assertions are true, those so characterized may see the matter differently and respond with anger. So kindly avoid such criticisms of other Ornery members' posting styles in favor of responding to their individual posts. If they want to post in a different manner, no doubt they will do so.
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cherrypoptart
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Groups couldn't be groups if there weren't some blanket characteristics they shared. [Smile]

I like what Gina said once about the people for whom her blanket characterizations didn't apply. I forgot what it was exactly, but I remember sharing the sentiment.

Obviously there are always exceptions. And certainly there are many very exceptionable people here at Ornery.

But I'm trying not to do it as much anymore. Or at least I'll try to say something nice if I absolutely must generalize so as to soften the blow. But sometimes it can be difficult to have a meaningful conversation if there isn't some baseline of understanding first. Yes, it can be fun to debate what is generally understood and accepted, but often it just becomes fatiguing.

Examples might be liberals for gun control. "Oh, but I'm a liberal and I'm not for gun control, except that people who own guns should control them."

Maybe liberals and their support of gay marriage. "Oh well, I'm a liberal and I oppose gay marriage."

Yes, special people certainly abound. That really doesn't take much away from the fact that generalizations do generally apply. I'm trying to use more qualifiers though, such as some, many, most, a lot, a few, and the like. But if I forget, those qualifiers should generally be understood. If someone doesn't say all or every, it most likely means they don't mean all or every. Getting caught up in semantics can get tedious after a while.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I see Pete has returned.
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