Author Topic: New Rule Against Hate Speech  (Read 67250 times)

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Offline God

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New Rule Against Hate Speech
« on: August 22, 2018, 10:19:04 AM »
Over the past couple of months, we noticed that the level of discourse, especially around the Politics section, has taken a nosedive, while certain unsavory online trends managed to seep into this forum. You noticed it as well.

For us, the moderators, this is the great battle of our times: preserving an atmosphere of open conversation while making sure that said conversation is not centered around demeaning, demonizing or destroying whole segments of the population. Such discussions lead absolutely nowhere and are only good for creating a toxic atmosphere and for chasing away decent, reasonable members of the community, eradicating the diversity of opinions and individuals. we don't want this forum to turn into yet another cesspool, even if it means we have to make our famously lax moderation just a little bit more strict.

Effective immediately, we are amending the Rules: from now on, no hate speech will be tolerated at this forum. If you receive a warning for hate speech, remember, this is a warning, not punishment.  The mod team is simply drawing your attention to a post which crossed the line, and strongly recommending that you modify your behaviour in the future.  (Please see FAQ: You Just Got A Warning - Now What?)  Warnings are not public and will not be made public unless a) you disclose them on the forum or b) you are suspended/banned as a result of accumulating warnings.

Quote
No hate speech of any form is allowed at this forum. This includes posts, images or other media that are racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted, be they overt or dog whistles. Of course, critical discussion of issues concerning race, gender, religion, politics, etc. are very much encouraged. Highly critical statements and jokes about tenets of faith, political stances, expressed views or opinions are also fine, but it is not allowed to incite hatred or fear and promote violence against or mock identifiable groups for who they are or for their supposed shared characteristics.

For example:
- Posts about the scientific consensus on gender identities is OK. Intentionally misgendering someone is not.
- Criticizing Islam is OK. Advocating for the removal of Muslims is not.
- Calling Obama a useless idiot is OK. Calling him a Kenyan monkey is not.
- Criticizing the role of financial institutions is OK. Spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories is not.

We have a pretty good idea of what hate speech is, but we will very much depend on you as well. All reports will be looked into with great care and in an objective manner. However, we don't want to see this rule change being used to settle personal grudges and we definitely won't be amused by attempts at trying to game the system.

We fully anticipate that this rule change will be difficult to enforce, as well as controversial among some users.  Our current plan (subject to revision at our whim) is to leave the existing rule in place for 30 days and revisit it after seeing it in effect for a period of time.  Constructive suggestions/feedback/etc. are welcome in this thread.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2018, 10:25:44 AM »
I would like to see some examples of dogwhistles.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 12:03:51 PM »
I would like to see some examples of dogwhistles.

https://smile.amazon.com/Hamiledyi-Adjustable-Whistle-Training-UltraSonic/dp/B01MTJTXV7/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1534953657&sr=8-8&keywords=dog+whistles

 ;D

(I mostly try to avoid politics these days, but I think the above sounds like a good rule.)
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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 01:19:38 PM »
I'll have to see this in practice, but I generally don't like the hate speech definition here.  It's pretty Potter Stewart isn't it?  I fall more in the Hugo Black end of that particular argument.


Still, I'm all for throwing out people who intentionally misgender, use racist language and hurl misogynistic insults at people.  I just thought that was already covered by the existing rules.
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Offline Nosmas

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 03:50:57 PM »
I would like to see some examples of dogwhistles.

Daniel's joke aside (he actually got me with that) the dog whistle thing is what I'm most curious about as well. Only because I've seen legit issues be labeled as dog whistles. Often they are commonly used as dog whistles but at the same time are accurate or relevant statements. So it comes down to intent. I'm guessing mods make judgement based on a pattern of behavior and don't hand out a warning because someone calls into question numbers used for gender wage gaps or something.

Overall I think this is a good step.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 03:53:46 PM by Nosmas »
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 03:52:09 PM »
Getting both sides to agree on what is relevant and what isn't is going to be entertaining to watch.
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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 04:01:01 PM »
I would like to see some examples of dogwhistles.

Daniel's joke aside (he actually got me with that) the dog whistle thing is what I'm most curious about as well. Only because I've seen legit issues be labeled as dog whistles. Often they are commonly used as dog whistles but at the same time are accurate or relevant statements. So it comes down to intent. I'm guessing mods make judgement based on a pattern of behavior and don't hand out a warning because someone calls into question numbers used for gender wage gaps or something.

Overall I think this is a good step.

I see the inclusion of dog-whistles as an important step, because too often unfaithful actors skirt a fine line to ostensibly stay within the rules, yet very clearly demean or dehumanize entire segments of the population.

While specific warnings are between the mod team and the poster, suspensions and bans are not, and the mod team will be working in in plain sight on enforcing these rules.  I trust all of their judgement in these matters, and, being privy but not a party to the discussions, I know that every single action taken by the team is done with the upmost attempt at fairness and assuming the best in people.

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Offline Nosmas

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 04:15:52 PM »
I would like to see some examples of dogwhistles.

Daniel's joke aside (he actually got me with that) the dog whistle thing is what I'm most curious about as well. Only because I've seen legit issues be labeled as dog whistles. Often they are commonly used as dog whistles but at the same time are accurate or relevant statements. So it comes down to intent. I'm guessing mods make judgement based on a pattern of behavior and don't hand out a warning because someone calls into question numbers used for gender wage gaps or something.

Overall I think this is a good step.

I see the inclusion of dog-whistles as an important step, because too often unfaithful actors skirt a fine line to ostensibly stay within the rules, yet very clearly demean or dehumanize entire segments of the population.

While specific warnings are between the mod team and the poster, suspensions and bans are not, and the mod team will be working in in plain sight on enforcing these rules.  I trust all of their judgement in these matters, and, being privy but not a party to the discussions, I know that every single action taken by the team is done with the upmost attempt at fairness and assuming the best in people.

Well, except Harry.

While I think the mods are going to have a reasonable way of implementing this I'd still like to see what would be considered good examples. I know I've seen what I consider some ridiculous accusations of dog whistling (not all on this forum) so I know some people are really loose with the term.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 04:37:32 PM »
With respect to all of our mods and forum members Im very leery of this new rule.

 All too often I see this as being a way to punish those that have a different opinion or political stance. I have seen too many people over the years imply that anyone who is not a liberal must be racist.

 Lately I see too many claims of "Nazi" when people with strong conservative views state their opinions. Doing so in my opinion should also be considered "hate speech".  saying "I think your views are racist" should be enough.  Claiming they are fascists from 1942 who would like to commit genocide does not quite fit the bill. So called "Neo-Nazis would probably be happy to tell you they are one so unless they have admitted to this I see no reason to call them one of the most hated groups in all history. Now if anyone comes in here and says something like "all insert any race must be eliminated" sure, call them a nazi with hate speech and kick them out.

I know for a fact that a few individuals in this forum have changed their views to a much more liberal stance than the conservative one they started out with. If they had stated their views at the beginning and were then accused of hate speech they never would have been given a chance to learn new views. Not to mention the many lurkers that I see all the time in general when a political topic spills over into that forum. Im sure you have Libertarians and Conservatives who consider themselves skeptics that do not generally pay attention to the political threads because of their differences.

Don't get me wrong,  I loath actual hate speech but I truly have not seen much of it here with the exception of the recent Nazi claims. Its also possible those people actually are what they are being called and have made statements I have not seen that call for genocide, death or blatant racism. If so, just get rid of them. The previous policy covers this nicely.
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Online Sawyer

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2018, 11:16:19 AM »
Captain Video, if you do a thorough post history on at least one of the people here regularly referred to as a Nazi, you'll find  the characterization is not as unfair as you might think.   I still refrain from using it, but it's not merely a case of trying to force out diverse viewpoints.

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2018, 12:15:11 PM »
I admit that I am also 100% not in favour of using the term "Nazi" to refer to other users.  In my view, it's both purely pejorative and is, in fact, a form of poisoning the well.  It also runs up against the informal rule of addressing the content rather than the poster.  That being said, we have had almost this exact debate re: the term "racist" when a certain person was dominating the Politics subforum, and no consensus was ever reached.  We have no intention of going to a list of banned words, but I think it's a discussion worth having (again).
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Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2018, 12:53:53 PM »
I agree that I don't think we have any Nazis. We have several users who are totally-not-Nazis, but who have also advocated for ethnic cleansing, pushed Nazi-originated dogwhistling, and repeated Nazi propaganda verbatim. I would like to reiterate that these users are totally-not-Nazis, and I think people should respect that and not call totally-not-Nazis Nazis. We should even go out of our way to make it clear that those people are totally-not-Nazis if we need to engage or correct a bit of propaganda.
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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2018, 01:08:10 PM »
The point here is that the term Nazi is a specific, hurtful label.  Not really any different from calling someone a commie.  If they don't outright identify as a Nazi, you calling it does meet this "definition" of hate speech.  If a transgender man wishes you to use the they/them pronouns and you refuse, it's hate speech.  If a right-winger wants you to quit calling him/her a Nazi...


I mean you can argue til the cows come home that "advocating for locking up illegal aliens is just what the Nazi's want" and it doesn't change a thing.  You are still calling them by a label that they don't accept/want.



This is the reason I don't really like hate speech regulations.  If you want to ban racial slurs, at least that has a solid definition.  But you can't limit speech based on prevailing opinion without devolving to an echo chamber.



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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2018, 03:39:27 PM »
The point here is that the term Nazi is a specific, hurtful label.  Not really any different from calling someone a commie.  If they don't outright identify as a Nazi, you calling it does meet this "definition" of hate speech.  If a transgender man wishes you to use the they/them pronouns and you refuse, it's hate speech.  If a right-winger wants you to quit calling him/her a Nazi...
As a mostly-communist, I disagree with your characterization of the effect of calling someone a commie. It's not an insult, it's a compliment.

A nazi would say the same about being called the very word he identifies himself by. There are plenty of actual, proud nazis in the world. They walk around with actual nazi flags, symbols and iconography, which they sometimes obsfucate with coded language. If they feign offense at being called a nazi, it's only to cover their ass in mixed company.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: New Rule Against Hate Speech
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2018, 04:49:32 PM »
The point here is that the term Nazi is a specific, hurtful label.  Not really any different from calling someone a commie.  If they don't outright identify as a Nazi, you calling it does meet this "definition" of hate speech.  If a transgender man wishes you to use the they/them pronouns and you refuse, it's hate speech.  If a right-winger wants you to quit calling him/her a Nazi...
As a mostly-communist, I disagree with your characterization of the effect of calling someone a commie. It's not an insult, it's a compliment.

A nazi would say the same about being called the very word he identifies himself by. There are plenty of actual, proud nazis in the world. They walk around with actual nazi flags, symbols and iconography, which they sometimes obsfucate with coded language. If they feign offense at being called a nazi, it's only to cover their ass in mixed company.

I was a communist until I decided that communism is an unachievable utopia. I still believe that communism would be the best possible system, if it could be achieved. But I fear that socialism (ownership of the means of production by the workers) is the closest a human society could hope to get to that utopia.

I agree that it is not appropriate to apply labels where they do not properly fit, or to apply labels of extremism merely because we feel the person is "as bad as X." I do think it's acceptable to express the opinion that Policy X tends toward Nazism. And I gather the new policy would still allow that.
Daniel
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