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How does this message board deal with racism?

racism June 2014 Board Blowup The Argument

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#21 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:32 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:30 PM, said:

View PostNonny, on 11 June 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

Fair enough.  I wonder how women named Fanny deal with the recent pejoration of their name, and how it came to be.

Are you aware that 'fanny' means different things in the UK and US? (one being ass, the other being vagina) If not, then it's a good illustration of the point.

I was aware of that, but I suspect there are many who are not.

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Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 11 June 2014 - 03:33 PM.

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#22 Anakam

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:38 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

If I was in a thread about UK politicians or their actions with lots of UK or EEA posters in it I would try not to use a term that is harmless in the US but considered offensive or bizarre in the UK.  If I did I would apologize.

I think OT is often dominated by US issues and US politicians.  The phrase in question was posted by an American in a thread about something an American politician (or group of politicians had done) with IIRC the majority of the posters in the thread were also American.  I am sorry I couldn't dig up a better link to explain some of the word's background in the US.  I think it is reasonable for Americans to be aware of racist terms in their own country, despite our disinclination as a country to move on from our provincialism, as you call it.

ETA to add that I'm using 'American' in the usual colloquial context rather than the literal geographic context!

Edited by Anakam, 12 June 2014 - 11:29 AM.


#23 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 02:59 PM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 02:52 PM, said:

Well thanks Gode but that doesn't make the racist comment any less racist or offensive.   What "defacto assumption" are you talking about?  US Americans would know.   I'm afraid I just don't get your issue.

Let me try again

Quote

To say that I am stunned by recent events where a poster called our (US) African American President "the boy" and another poster pointed out that that term is clearly, blatantly a racist term and was then sanctioned for pointing that out, would be an understatement.

You are using US attitudes to decide that something is 'clearly, blatantly' something. It's provincialism at its worst and I reject the notion that a generic term such as 'boy' is 'clearly and blatantly' anything. It's only so to you because you are familiar with the term.

Or to put it less politely, don't assume everyone has your own background, upbringing and cultural norms when deciding what they should or should not be aware of.

I'm sure there's British and Dutch racist slang that I could use that would sail completely over the heads of yourself and any other Americans here because it's simply not the terms you're used to. That doesn't make it any less racist if I was to do so, but at the same time It would be unreasonable for me to expect that someone raised in a different culture would understand that.

So before you jump on your high horse demanding answers to what is 'clearly and blantantly' something, please make sure it is in fact 'clear and blatant' to everyone involved.

My high horse!?  I could agree with you about my use of terms and the greater world at large but we have been having a discussion for days about the word boy and how it was used, by an American and how many of us (mostly American) were offended.  In the US the use of the word boy to refer to an African American male is considered pretty clearly to be racist in America.  If I'm reading about something and don't know what it is, I Google it, whether it's an American thing or a wider world thing.

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#24 Tricia

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:


What LoTS said is generally considered racist in the U.S.. LoTS may not have been aware of it. At which point, he could have said, "Oh, I didn't know. Sorry. Thanks. I won't say it again."

Quote

Again, if I accidentally, ignorantly, use a term that offends someone, I apo«logize and resolve not to do it again--unless I really do want to offend them. I don't go into a howl about how I have been unjustly accused or how the offended party shouldn't be offended because I didn't intend to offend them. My intent makes little difference. The offense was made, accidental though it might have been.

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

This bears repeating.

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#25 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:44 PM

View PostAnakam, on 11 June 2014 - 03:38 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

If I was in a thread about UK politicians or their actions with lots of UK or EEA posters in it I would try not to use a term that is harmless in the US but considered offensive or bizarre in the UK.  If I did I would apologize.

I think OT is often dominated by US issues and US politicians.  The phrase in question was posted by an American in a thread about something an American politician (or group of politicians had done) with IIRC the majority of the posters in the thread were also American.  I am sorry I couldn't dig up a better link to explain some of the word's background in the US.  I think it is reasonable for Americans to be aware of racist terms in their own country, despite our disinclination as a country to move on from our provincialism, as you call it.

Thank you, for many things over the last couple of days but this!

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#26 Godeskian

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 03:47 PM

View PostAnakam, on 11 June 2014 - 03:38 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

If I was in a thread about UK politicians or their actions with lots of UK or EEA posters in it I would try not to use a term that is harmless in the US but considered offensive or bizarre in the UK.  If I did I would apologize.

And I think that speaks well of you. All I'm asking for is that people try to remember that we do not all share the same experiences. Assumptions about what 'everyone' knows are a pet peeve of mine.

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#27 Nonny

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:09 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:30 PM, said:

View PostNonny, on 11 June 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

Fair enough.  I wonder how women named Fanny deal with the recent pejoration of their name, and how it came to be.

Are you aware that 'fanny' means different things in the UK and US? (one being ass, the other being vagina) If not, then it's a good illustration of the point.

Yes, and that's why I considered it a good contrast for 'dick' in this discussion.  Plenty of women named Frances were called Fanny in spite of the 'ass' connotation, but how is the nickname holding up now that it's been ramped up to 'vagina'?
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#28 Spectacles

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:33 PM

Quote

EChatty: That is why I put in my original post in this thread to take such things to the moderators, as that is their job to moderate. If you see something that looks ______ism to you, report it and the moderator will take care of it as soon as they get the message.

Sorry. No. I won't do that.

I'm almost 60 years old.

I really don't want to post in a community where I have to ask moderators to exercise judgment for me.

If that's the deal--for real--then I really need staff to tell me. If it is, I don't belong here. No one over 21 does.
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#29 Spectacles

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:35 PM

P.S. I am not saying that in anger. I really need to know. If staff wants that kind of authority, if you guys see the handful of regular posters here--as being in need of that much supervision, then I need to wish y'all well and depart because I won't agree to anything that demeaning.
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#30 Lover of Purple

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 07:51 PM

This is 100% correct.

And Specs, it isn't demeaning unless you want to see these things escalate until I ban someone. It is intended to keep such things (and such remarks can escalate very quickly a you know.) from exploding as we know it can.


LoP

#31 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:15 PM

View PostLover of Purple, on 11 June 2014 - 07:51 PM, said:

This is 100% correct.

And Specs, it isn't demeaning unless you want to see these things escalate until I ban someone. It is intended to keep such things (and such remarks can escalate very quickly a you know.) from exploding as we know it can.


LoP

I'm sorry but what is 100% correct?

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#32 Spectacles

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:16 PM

Seriously?

This is a new rule. Even in the OLD guidelines, pointing out that something someone said was racism or homophobia or sexism was NEVER grounds for moderator action.

The staff does not trust the membership. That's been made amply clear in staff comments over the past few days. Just look at Cait's, EChatty's and Mikoto's remarks in the other thread.

Staff has created a ridiculous situation--all because LoTS challenged Mikoto's authori-tay in PMs. He settled down on the thread, contrary to what Cait and Mikoto said. This is all about a power struggle that occurred on PM.

To "win" the power struggle, Mikoto and Rhea booted LoTS from the thread--a FULL WEEK after his offending remark about EI becoming a nest of terrorist supporters.

LoTS set up his predictable howl about being persecuted as "the last blah blah conservative" and how Nonny called him a racist. But she did not. She said his remark was an example of racism. It was. It may have been unintentional, but there is not a doubt whatsoever that referring to a black man as "boy" is typically racism.

But to shut LoTS up and prove their "fairness," Mikoto and Rhea thread-booted Nonny for calling LoTS a racist. She did not. She said that referring to a black man as "boy" is racist. It is.

All of this silliness, which is totally the result of staff actions by people who apparently want to re-assert staff authority, has been unnecessary. But to defend it, now you want a board where if a member sees a racist, sexist, homophobic remark. they must not say out loud on the board "that is racist, sexist, homophobic."

This is because you and EChatty and Cait and Mikoto think we're all a bunch of children in need of your supervision--that we cannot handle discussions on our own--AS WE DID AND HAVE DONE.

This is wrong.

It's been fun, but I really don't want to post in a community where the staff obviously think so little of the regular posters--who are about the same number and age as the staff--and who are not intellectual or moral inferiors in need of strict staff supervision.

Y'all take care. I wish you well. But this is not the place for me.

Please delete my account.
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#33 Anakam

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:44 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 03:44 PM, said:

View PostAnakam, on 11 June 2014 - 03:38 PM, said:

View PostGodeskian, on 11 June 2014 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostSpectacles, on 11 June 2014 - 02:57 PM, said:

Whether I stepped on someone's toe accidentally or deliberately, their toe still hurts. Civility requires me to acknowledge that offense, explain I didn't intend to give it, and STILL apologize for offending.

Agreed. It comes down to 'don't be a dick' to me. I'm just trying to point out that not everyone identifies that point in the same place, and one should be weary of assuming everyone shares your particular viewpoint, or idiosyncratic notions of where that line is.

If I was in a thread about UK politicians or their actions with lots of UK or EEA posters in it I would try not to use a term that is harmless in the US but considered offensive or bizarre in the UK.  If I did I would apologize.

I think OT is often dominated by US issues and US politicians.  The phrase in question was posted by an American in a thread about something an American politician (or group of politicians had done) with IIRC the majority of the posters in the thread were also American.  I am sorry I couldn't dig up a better link to explain some of the word's background in the US.  I think it is reasonable for Americans to be aware of racist terms in their own country, despite our disinclination as a country to move on from our provincialism, as you call it.

Thank you, for many things over the last couple of days but this!

:blush:  Thank you!
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#34 Omega

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:47 PM

View PostBalderdash, on 11 June 2014 - 08:15 PM, said:

View PostLover of Purple, on 11 June 2014 - 07:51 PM, said:

This is 100% correct.

And Specs, it isn't demeaning unless you want to see these things escalate until I ban someone. It is intended to keep such things (and such remarks can escalate very quickly a you know.) from exploding as we know it can.


LoP

I'm sorry but what is 100% correct?

I have to agree, LoP, your statement is entirely unclear. Are you saying that observing that a racist statement is racist is grounds for thread booting, and will be in the future? If so, then I have to ask, why? To what benefit? Keep in mind that these discussions are public. If someone makes a racist statement, and the rest of us let it go by without comment, that's a strong public implication that we do not object to the statement. That's really not a position I'm willing to occupy, rule or no. I'll take a thread boot first.

So taking a step back, policy won't matter. If a statement is racist, it will be called racist, by me or by someone else. If that results in thread boots, then there's going to be a lot of thread boots to no benefit. (Well, "a lot" insofar as anyone makes racist statements on a regular basis. Which they don't. Obviously we're all arguing about principle, even if that principle doesn't apply more than once a decade.) Unless someone on staff cares to articulate such a benefit, which despite repeated requests and plenty of time, has yet to occur.

We were all having a fine time with minimal moderation until this pair of boots occurred. (Except the staff, I'm sure, who rarely have as good a time as the general membership.) You've stated that the boots were not mistakes, even though they've clearly caused notable harm. For something that causes harm to not be a mistake, some greater good must be achieved. What was the greater good? If the staff can't identify it, I ask that you all take a step back and reconsider whether this was really the precedent you intend to set, or if you're collectively arguing this position now without reexamining it for errors.

Edited by Omega, 11 June 2014 - 08:51 PM.


#35 yadda yadda

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:30 PM

Spec's assessment is what is 100% correct. The action taken and justifications given for punishing a poster for observing and then calling out racism as racism is both logically and morally bereft. If the staff here is neither capable of utilizing nor recognizing basic precepts of critical thinking or common sense judgement and is too prideful to admit error then posting here would be to unsettling an experience. Too much like walking on eggshells littered upon a floor undermined by termites eating away at its foundations of rationality.

              Too often in life do we compromise principle and allow ourselves to fall under the sway of the irrationality and misguidance of the powers that be, just for illusory comforts and pleasures such as posting opinion and socializing in a community such as this one. I will not compromise myself in the face of this principle. It's been a fun couple of months here. I've enjoyed the privilege of exchanging ideas. But in the face of this blatant absurdity and logical poverty of leadership I shall no longer be posting here.

yadda

#36 Omega

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:34 PM

^In case anyone's interested in specific examples of damage caused by these decisions. I mean, really, what worse could happen compared two members seriously threatening to leave? Is there any goal worth that?

Edited by Omega, 11 June 2014 - 09:35 PM.


#37 Lover of Purple

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 09:58 PM

Sorry, I had quoted EChatty but my laptop's keyboard and touchpad give me fits. It takes a looooong time to get each post typed and it seems I lost the quote. Here it is...I hope.


Quote

Don't make racist comments at all. If you see that someone else has made racist comments then please report the comments to the forum moderator(s), along with your reasons as to why you think the comment(s) are racist. Then let them handle it and don't get yourself into hot water with public accusations.   

Is that too much to ask?

#38 Balderdash

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:10 PM

View PostLover of Purple, on 11 June 2014 - 09:58 PM, said:

Sorry, I had quoted EChatty but my laptop's keyboard and touchpad give me fits. It takes a looooong time to get each post typed and it seems I lost the quote. Here it is...I hope.


Quote

Don't make racist comments at all. If you see that someone else has made racist comments then please report the comments to the forum moderator(s), along with your reasons as to why you think the comment(s) are racist. Then let them handle it and don't get yourself into hot water with public accusations.   

Is that too much to ask?

Booting Nonny from the thread was wrong, she did nothing wrong and as Omega points out not saying something is also wrong.  You guys made a mistake and should be willing to admit it.  Do not ask me or anyone else to stand by when we see something morally wrong, that is too much to ask.

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#39 Lover of Purple

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:24 PM

I understand. And I hope the members can understand that I will NOT tolerate racism and would permaban a racist. So, I see the charge of racism very serious and I would like the staff to check into it before someone is called (or accused) of racism. I know it seems petty, but I have seen such accusations turn into a major battle and more than the racist gets hit. All I ask is to take it to a staff (heck, if it is racism bring it to an Admin or myself. I repeat myself..I will NOT tolerate racism.

LoP

#40 Mark

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 10:35 PM

Mark: If this last incident is any indication of what the future norm will be when problems arise for moderators (and there will be many, many more)...then I think THIS isn't going to work as it stands...

LoP:

Quote

I am making changes in ExIsle that I feel will improve your (and my) enjoyment. ExIsle is a place I felt a closeness too, until our GLs became to big and they became targets of trolls and "internet lawyers" . Lately I started to feel like ExIsle was slipping away and I felt I had few choices. One was to shut it down. One was to find a new owner and the third was to make changes that put the Board Owner (me) back in control. I have done that.

First, the old GLs are gone. The warning system is gone and in their place I am putting the following rules into place (but remember, staff's requests are a warning that you are violating the rules and must stop):

ExIsle Rules:
Have fun, but remember this is my board, and I retain the right to expel anyone I see as a detriment to the members or my enjoyment of this board. That said, I know there will be times we don't see eye to eye, and we will disagree, sometimes vehemently. There is no reason we can’t disagree in discussions, but disagreement cannot become personal.

Keep swearing to a minimum and mask it as much as possible. We know which words must be masked so I expect them to be.

No attacks on race, creed, sex, sexual preferences, disability or nationality. Disagree, argue, discuss “loudly” but do not get personal.

Staff are members first and are allowed to post the same as any member. Their job is to help ensure you enjoy your visit and do not ruin others' visit.

Staff requests that are board related are to be followed, they represent my board when they are doing their duty. Staff are deemed to be posting as a general member at all times except when they inform you they are being a mod/admin. This will help eliminate confusion as staff should not have to be staff all of the time.

Problems with a moderator must be taken to an admin. Admins will ensure I am involved if needed. Issues with admins are to brought to me. Understand, I will not tolerate attacking or harassing staff (even by PM)….they have a right to enjoy ExIsle as much as anyone. Expect me to support my staff unless their action AS STAFF violates the rules. I will be brought into any PM where a staff member is being harassed.

Watchdogs are in place to ensure discussions in the staff lounge do not get personal and they are elected by the members.

Do not violate any of ExIsle's terms of use.

The warning system is replaced with:

Heed the staff and if you get to a point where you are too disruptive, LoP will show you the door.

LoP


Mark: As it stands, we don't even have a Terms of Service link (I've searched for one...even on the board creator's homepage) so there is no reference for current members to go by.
Also, how can STAFF violate rules when they have no real rules...except for Terms of Service rules? Staff used to have their rules spelled-out for them, and members knew just what to expect from them, and when to expect it.

LoP's statement, "Heed the staff and if you get to a point where you are too disruptive, LoP will show you the door" doesn't work either. What is "too disruptive"? Is it saying something racist (like LotS did), or is it like Nonny, who pointed out LotS' statement was racists?

We have to have a small set of well-written sentences (no more than about ten sentences) listed for all to see. Ten membership sentences for their rules, and ten staff sentences listed as their rules. Then, we'll all have a point of reference as to where we stand before we become "too disruptive", and LoP shows us the door.

Moderating has to be done in a timely fashion, and moderators must have a set of rules used to govern how and when they should moderate. If they don't, we'll see a continuous rise in how long it takes moderators to act, and then possible bad interpretations of rules. That will lead to innappropriate moderating actions being taken, and more members complaining and enjoying EI less.

Edited by Mark, 11 June 2014 - 10:36 PM.

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