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Community Decisions

Free Speech

Posted 1 Month ago by Riven

I'm very curious what a community consensus of this issue would look like. I've been talking to a lot of people off-site about this issue, and it's become very clear that everyone has a different set of standards. I don't know if we can come up with an overall consensus on the first post, but I'd like to try.

I'll weigh in myself below. I might think of additional issues as well.

Content

  • 1. What kind of opinions should be express-able, and which shouldn't? Are any legal opinions acceptable to express, or are there some the site should steer clear of (such as, for example, literal pro-ideological-nazism posts made by literal neo-nazis)?

  • 2. If potentially offensive opinions are allowed, should their number be limited?

    Replies

  • 3. Should we get rid of bad-faith arguments? If so, how do you define that?

  • 4. Is it acceptable for people to insult other users while making arguments?

  • 5. If so, what about insulting some choosable part of their identity -- ie their political orientation or religious beliefs.

  • 6. What about non-choosable parts of their identity like their race or sexual orientation?

  • 7. Are arguments that are entirely insults a part of free speech or a part of disruptive content?

    Forewarning: anything concerning recent events or unrelated site issues will be tagged. Feel free to contact me privately though -- I'm very open to listening to criticism and admitting to my own feelings and faults, and will be from now on.

    Forewarning 2: Constructive answers only. Irony noted.

  • There are 96 Replies


    1. Supporting actually illegal subjects such as literal nazism, death and injury to others, animal and human sacrifice, and fraudulent conduct, etc.
    2. No
    3. No, too subjective
    4. Yea let them tantrum, people will stop taking them seriously
    5. Yea unless it becomes harassment or threatens their personal safety
    6. Yea unless it becomes harassment or threatens their personal safety
    7. Technically both, but refer to #4

    1 Month ago
    ravenspirit
     

    Nazism isnt an illegal subject. This isnt post-nazi Germany. But I do think Nazi views shouldnt be tolerated on this site or the discord. At least not to the degree where literal Nazis are allowed to roam around. I am all for acknowledging just how much damage the Nazi Regime caused, analyzing exactly how they came into power, and ridiculing any one who compares themselves to Holocaust victims. (MAGAS, anti maskers, Tankies, anti vaxxers, flat earthers etc etc)

    I also think admins need to be inclusive and aware of how they interact with members of the community. Both on the site and on the discord. It is 2021, if I wanted to affiliate myself with a web site community/ discord channel whose admin (erected by the site owner himself) tags posts on the basis that they "wanted to get that gay shit out of here" I would stick to facebook neo nazi communities or the /r/conservative discord channel. Homophobia didnt have a place on the original gametalk nor should it have a place here.

    We already had Nazi elements run off members of the LGBTQ community in the past. Homophobia on the admin team or anywhere in the community is going to turn off any worthwhile prospective members.

    1 Month ago
    S.O.H.
     

    I appreciate your intentions here, but I take issue with the idea that we can codify exactly what is allowed and what isn't allowed at all times. If it were that easy we would have done it a decade ago, and we wouldn't be where we are today.

    Much like the Supreme Court's obscenity standard, the answer to most of these questions is "I know it when I see it". If we bother to define exactly where the line is, all we're doing is telling the people acting in bad faith exactly how far they can go, so that's where they'll operate at all times.

    The current Gtx0 ruleset is the result of several overhauls by various community members over the years. It's about as good as it's going to get, and it allows moderators to exercise their judgement on a case-by-case basis. There's no other way to do it. If you could codify exactly what is and isn't allowed, you wouldn't need moderators or admins. A chatbot could handle the site.

    Yes, sometimes moderators will overreach. Sometimes they will not be quick enough to tag something. That's largely ok, provided it doesn't become a pattern of enforcement that allows negative elements to fester.

    The problem is that in a handful of cases, that's historically what has been allowed to happen. Enforcement actions against specific users that repeatedly cause problems have been reduced, or simply undone, on a shockingly regular basis (assuming they happen at all). This undermines not only the authority of staff, but the very idea of equality under the ruleset. It's frankly more than a little disappointing that the aggressive moderation of the last few weeks has largely never been used against troublemakers, but is currently being used against members of the community that are actively hurting.

    All that said, I will attempt to address the specifics of the OP.

    1. What kind of opinions should be express-able, and which shouldn't? Are any legal opinions acceptable to express, or are there some the site should steer clear of (such as, for example, literal pro-ideological-nazism posts made by literal neo-nazis)?


    In theory, just about anything should be grounds for discussion provided it can be done so respectfully AND constructively. Historically, the more nazi-esque posts have effectively acted as bait or "own the libs" fodder. The intention isn't to actually discuss whatever the topic is, it's just a means of thumbing your nose at specific members of the community.

    As for literal nazi-ism, I'm not sure it's possible to have a 'good faith' discussion on the subject. But I do worry what kind of people our community will attract if those kinds of posts are both normalized and frequent.

    2. If potentially offensive opinions are allowed, should their number be limited?


    Again, I think it depends if the intent is to have a good-faith discussion of the topic. Or is it just a re-hash of something we've already done before for the purpose of riling up the detractors? Is it just "lmao 13/50 redux", or is it "So-and-so university released a study today saying [statistics]".

    In general I guess the answer would be no, but I'm operating under the assumption that if the post is just a re-hash of an "offensive opinion" we already discussed, it would be tagged anyway.

    3. Should we get rid of bad-faith arguments? If so, how do you define that?


    Impossible to define as a hard rule, but if a user repeatedly makes the same bad-faith arguments then I fail to see why it wouldn't meet the standard of dysfunctional content and be tagged.

    4. Is it acceptable for people to insult other users while making arguments?


    Discussions here often become heated, and sometimes insults do crop up. I'm guilty of it myself, but I think there's a distinction to be drawn between insults borne out of frustration/argumentation and those simply thrown out without context or purely intended to offend. Again, it's probably impossible to define a hard line here and moderator/community discretion should be the rule.

    5. If so, what about insulting some choosable part of their identity -- ie their political orientation or religious beliefs.


    Those aspects should be open to criticism, analysis, and debate provided it is done in good faith. Might as well delete the politics board if we can't generalize about the left, the right, or any other group. But the distinction should be if the criticism has reasoning behind it, and not just "lol environmentalists are dumb". Broken record, but: Moderator discretion.

    6. What about non-choosable parts of their identity like their race or sexual orientation?


    At face value I can't think of any reason why we should allow this. Moreover, it's already against the rules.

    7. Are arguments that are entirely insults a part of free speech or a part of disruptive content?


    Disruptive content. Aka "material that is posted with clear intent to offend and provoke rather than to discuss in good faith."

    TL;DR: The current ruleset is already more than capable of handling all of this, provided that staff are empowered to act in the site's best interest and that their actions are not arbitrarily undone without a very good reason.

    1 Month ago
    Count Dooku
     

    Ugh I had a big something nearly ready to reply with and I just lost it from pressing the wrong button. I'll just say that I pretty much agree with Dooku for the most part.

    1 Month ago
    Grey Echelon
     

    I mostly echo Dooku, especially in terms of codifying it all. I think it makes more sense to have a basic set of rules and then allowing trusted moderators to judge, with the understanding if they judge in ways the community dislikes, they might be removed. But I'll just throw this out there:

    6. What about non-choosable parts of their identity like their race or sexual orientation?


    It's your site and you're free to allow what you want. I would just say, though, that if you're looking for quality posts and discussions, and a vaguely decent community to emerge from that, you'd probably not want to simply allow users to attack each other for identity things, especially race, gender, or sexual orientation.

    A lot of people, especially people of identities that tend to get the bulk of those types of attacks, have either stopped coming often or stopped altogether, and a big part of that is the hostile environment. And, well, attacking a user directly based on non-chosen identities is innately hostile and doesn't exactly make people want to come back here. Unless they're part of the group doing the attacking.

    I *also* think at some point, it might be good to determine what it is you want this site to be and to do. This is GameTalk, right? We're not even talking about Twitter or Facebook or whatever. There is literally no place on earth you go in which "free speech" means literally anything and everything is allowed or goes. If you're looking for quality discussion and a somewhat enjoyable community to grow, "free speech" should not be the end all, be all of the rules or the forum. If that means literal Nazis can't just chime in with their racist rhetoric, I don't see why that's a problem if the alternative is users with varying and diverse opinions are willing and feel comfortable enough to engage with one another. Is "free speech" worth it if that obsession with it drives the bulk of users away because no one feels good coming here anymore?

    1 Month ago
    Jet Presto
     

    I literally came here to say what Dooku said, especially regarding how much of an irrelevant idea it is to try to exactly codify exactly what should be allowed. I have learned that nothing but actually doing the work to understand and act appropriately in each situation is going to produce the best results. You're not going to fix this situation by making a couple of rules.

    I also agree with Jet and I would also echo the sentiment that you may have some misapprehensions about how to actually foster a greater amount of free speech.

    Because I agree with it so strongly, I will quote Dooku here with no revision or response:

    The current ruleset is already more than capable of handling all of this, provided that staff are empowered to act in the site's best interest and that their actions are not arbitrarily undone without a very good reason.


    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    So, my own answers, before I respond to you guys:

    1. What kind of opinions should be express-able, and which shouldn't? Are any legal opinions acceptable to express, or are there some the site should steer clear of (such as, for example, literal pro-ideological-nazism posts made by literal neo-nazis)?


    I think we could all agree to not allow literal nazism, or any other ideology based around violence. Anything else might be offensive, but offensiveness is ultimately subjective.

    2. If potentially offensive opinions are allowed, should their number be limited?


    I've been trying to enforce this for a while -- basically keep likely-offensive posts isolated so they don't take over the forum. This is again subjective, but it's usually pretty clear what these posts look like.

    3. Should we get rid of bad-faith arguments? If so, how do you define that?


    Personally I don't think so, because the very concept of "bad faith" is too hard to define. A lot of it can also be subjective -- for example I've had constructive arguments with people like #85, but I've also had arguments with people that go nowhere with me but are constructive with other people.

    4. Is it acceptable for people to insult other users while making arguments?


    No, but it happens. I'd rather see the forums here be more enforceably civil, because I tend to argue like that and find those kinds of arguments more interesting. Realistically things here aren't like that, but maybe I should enforce it more if I'm going to be seen as "aggressively moderating" anyway.

    7. Are arguments that are entirely insults a part of free speech or a part of disruptive content?


    Disruptive content. I've been tagging these on sight for a while.

    I guess to sum up, what I personally would like to see more of is civil debate about a wide variety of ideologies. That's me though -- I think having other standards in place is okay if it leads to more discussion in general. I've had a lot of the debates here that I like over the years, so that's good enough for me.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    1 - No Nazis, no promotion of killing people, no glorifying those who kill others

    2 - Must be a proven and justified statement. If I say Republicans don't deserve public office, I need to back that up with a reason, like the fact that they don't have a plan to insure everybody regardless of their ability to pay, and millions of Americans are going bankrupt every year as a result.

    3 - It really depends on what's going on. Sometimes I'll address every single piece of criticism someone has, and people will respond by just bringing up the same criticism again because they reject everything I said and pretend I ignored their specific request. Truth is the problem might be bigger than they think it is, and they reject that. It's frustrating dealing with those people because they literally don't know what they're talking about, and they think stubbornness will help them secure some sort of win on a technicality.

    For this reason and many others, because it's impossible to define a bad faith argument, I don't think there should be rules against it. But when someone's being ignorant, that's not cool.

    4 - Ad hominems are never justified. But justifiable statements are. The argument itself and how you go about proving that is more important. That's why my "insults" are tailored to the specific things I can prove. Most of them tend to be some variation of "you don't understand X because you're not considering Y." Or "X doesn't matter because of Y and Z." Ad hominems, name calling, is never OK. But brutal honesty is fair game.

    5 - Political beliefs are fair game. You are a Nazi? Your opinions are not protected under any law. You are a Republican? Your opinions are not protected under any law. You are a Democrat? Congratulations, your opinions are not protected under any law. Modern parties tend to work like hive minds, and their decisions tend to be made party wide. So if we can't address problems with any political parties, then we can't address anything regarding politics.

    6 - Race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, citizenship status, age. Standard protected characteristics.

    7 - Entirely 100% non-justified insults? That's just awful.

    1 Month ago
    mariomguy
     

    i'm pretty m uch somewhere in the area of Acca and ravenpsirit here.

    1 Month ago
    tnu
     

    I guess as an addendum to my post:

    Acca Larentia's post is the perfect example of the kind of dysfunctional "content" this site doesn't need.
    https://gtx0.com/thread/crazy_feminist_accuses_men_who_were_warning_her_of_harassment
    Ordinarily I would have already tagged it.

    1 Month ago
    Count Dooku
     

    Stay civil or retort with something other than just insults, Acca. Dooku's still on topic.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    Will do, Riven. But I'm tired of this guy censoring me. He's been doing it since 2018.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    I think we could all agree to not allow literal nazism, or any other ideology based around violence.

    So communism and anarchism won't be allowed either, right? Anarchist/antifa burned cities last year and killed dozens of people? Historically, communism has killed hundreds of millions of people. I'm tired of this double standard that benefits the left.

    Eating meat is violent, but nobody will stop supporting that barbarous lifestyle. So banning one political philosophy while letting the rest remain is inconsistent.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    1. Yes. Just because something is defined as "hate speech" doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed to exist.
    2. No.
    3. No. This reasoning has been used as an excuse to silence me and others before. My posts, which may not be popular, have always been sincere. Liberals will just use continue to use this as an excuse to unjustly censor views they don't like.
    4. The left already insult anyone they don't like. What's the point of outlawing insults?
    5. I don't have a problem with it.
    6. no problem with it
    7. I would say it's disruptive if it's nothing but insults, but this hasn't stopped people who insult me from continuing to do it.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    TLDR: Free speech is good to allow within reason

    posts racist/transphobic/homophobic comment or image

    but m-muh free speech


    I agree you're allowed to express yourself and such all you want, but some things do need actioned such as the above examples. I am all for allowing people to post however they may feel about GTX0 without being afraid of censorship and mod actioning. honestly feel like allowing users to post how they feel about this site without being tagged or kicked is fine by me.

    If it dwells into personal attacks, insults, and whatever toward OTHER MEMBERS is when I feel tagging is fine to do. Besides that, bans be it perma or not should be a last resort.

    1 Month ago
    RikaxNipah
     

    Bans, overall, should not be a last resort. Permaban, yes. But 1, 3, 7 days? Short bans can be used to wake people up and make them realize that being destructive to the community can result in being left alone. I say "can" instead of "will" because it appears that we don't have even the slightest actual consequence for people who are being abusive anymore.

    Any ban is not a first resort either, to be fair. But they are a significant tool for multiple areas of the continuum.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    Pro Nazi posts are not OK. Hate speech is not OK. The government might not throw you in jail, but we don't want it here.

    1 Month ago
    mariomguy
     

    I'm pretty much aligning myself with Cutter, Acca, and ravenspirit on this.

    1 Month ago
    tnu
     

    Personally I don't think so, because the very concept of "bad faith" is too hard to define.


    Does anyone even remember when I posted the Gentleperson's Guide to Forum Spies? Though it was originally written as an expose of COINTELPRO-style glowie shenanigans on the internet, the methods of lowering and disrupting discourse presented there were almost entirely similar to how radicalized ideologues destroy internet forums with hate speech. As far as I can tell, no-one cared about my concern at that point, or even understood why I was posting it. Maybe now, on the other side of four years of the worst political shit I've ever experienced, people will understand better what "bad faith" looks like.
    https://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm
    As I said back then, this is obviously geared towards more serious political action, but the similarities to small-scale hatemongers is staggering. This document has been one of the most eye-opening and helpful resources for understanding the manipulation, transformation and destruction of online communities that I've ever seen, and parts of it directly helped me in the creation of the site rules that people generally liked.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    Personally I don't think so, because the very concept of "bad faith" is too hard to define. A lot of it can also be subjective -- for example I've had constructive arguments with people like #85, but I've also had arguments with people that go nowhere with me but are constructive with other people.


    So, this is actually a bit more telling than I think you maybe realize. First, of *course* you have had "constructive arguments" with 85. You've always skewed more conservative and he treats you differently than he treats at least half the forum. That you can't seem to acknowledge that outside of the handful of more conservative posters, the dude doesn't operate in good faith overall. But also, it reads as "well *I* don't have a problem with this, so it's not really a problem."

    If you can't see the way a poster like that routinely operates in bad faith with at least half the forum, just because you've personally had decent interactions (because he treats you differently, and you're the head honcho of the site), you don't seem to recognize that overall the dude does operate in bad faith.

    1 Month ago
    Jet Presto
     

    At the end of the day I don't think there is any human or body there of even physically capable of determining and applying metrics let alone what does and doesn't fall under these metrics in every or even most cases.

    1 Month ago
    tnu
     

    I DM"d most of this to yall so we can sort it there.

    1 Month ago
    tnu
     

    I'll again reiterate both forewarnings.

    I'm also going to respond to some things in here around 30 minutes to an hour. later tonight or tomorrow first thing tomorrow with my morning coffee

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    I don’t know. And I am unanimous in that.

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio
     

    I promised myself I wasn't gonna get involved in what's been happening, tbh. But I guess a part of me still has feelings about this place, and I'm just drunk enough that my hesitations to speak feel more trivial.

    For a number of years, now, I have not felt good about myself when I visit GTX0. I feel ashamed of the time I've spent here and am aware that I return – again and again – out of nothing more than years of habit, boredom, loneliness, and maybe the slim chance that someone will RP with me (a silly hobby still much better than my most current habits, I'll admit as long as I'm confessing). At my most generous, I'd say I'm here because I care and worry about many of the familiar screen-names that GTX0 hosts, and there's a distressing emptiness when I consider not being able to see them anymore. This is irrational in some ways – a trick of human nature – but I wouldn't have us any other way! Humanity has many fearsome traits, but none so much as its love for community.

    Which is what baffles me about GTX0. How is it that, even tempered by our species' capacity for reason, we continually allow such influences that cause this community harm? How has leadership (myself included to the greatest extent) gone on demonstrating apathy while we hemorrhage community members as the price for "free speech" ideals?

    1. What kind of opinions should be express-able, and which shouldn't? Are any legal opinions acceptable to express, or are there some the site should steer clear of (such as, for example, literal pro-ideological-nazism posts made by literal neo-nazis)?
    Why is this in question? Ban the fucking nazis (and their kinsmen: nationalists, racists, homophobes, transphobes, misogynists, ableists, classists). There is no greater threat to GTX0's precious "free speech" than oppressive, hurtful ideologies perpetuated in the name of the most privileged, powerful societal demographics. I myself have been hurt and/or chosen not to participate in discussions (although you'd all be lucky to have me) because I know there are people welcomed and defended by this site who would disregard me on a fundamental level – not because of the person I am as a community-member or because of the reason of his words, but because of the prejudice that can be leveled against him. There are power dynamics to "free speech" beyond the elementary notion of widespread acceptance of all speech. We need to ask ourselves: Who are we allowing to speak, and at the cost of whose voices?

    2. If potentially offensive opinions are allowed, should their number be limited?
    The ordering of the OP leads me to believe that – by "potentially offensive opinions" – it means posts by nazis (or their kinsmen). These posts should be limited to 0.

    3. Should we get rid of bad-faith arguments? If so, how do you define that?
    This is less of a concern to me than making sure folks feel safe, and it otherwise can be left to relative judgments. Playing Devil's Advocate has its place, and I'd actually argue in favor of it, but only when we are able to trust one another and are assured some level of welfare by our community. "But Ceta," some may protest, "you've been arguing in favor of making the nazis (and their kinsmen) feel unsafe!" Not really – unlike the people targeted in their ideology, they are only unsafe when they threaten their targets, directly or no, in front of me and our fellows. They should feel unsafe in making such threats.

    4. Is it acceptable for people to insult other users while making arguments?
    Sure, whatever. Potential insult against another is again a necessarily relative – and thereby, by OP's assumed metric, a meaningless – measure. These questions are pointing us in the wrong direction, imo. It's more important to ask on what conditions people are being insulted than to what degree.

    5. If so, what about insulting some choosable part of their identity -- ie their political orientation or religious beliefs.
    Yeah, idk, don't personally give a shit. People should be allowed to defend their chosen beliefs against any who feel the need to challenge them, if they feel it's important to do so.

    6. What about non-choosable parts of their identity like their race or sexual orientation?
    See my response to 1.

    7. Are arguments that are entirely insults a part of free speech or a part of disruptive content?
    "Entirely insult" according to whom? See my response to 4.

    I have a few more things I'd like to say.

    Ravenspirit, you said:
    6. Yea unless it becomes harassment or threatens their personal safety.
    My friend, I've known you decades now and sincerely wish you no ill-will, but I respectfully disagree. These two things (insulting others based on what they cannot choose, and threatening their personal safety) happen simultaneously, whether subconsciously or consciously, or on an emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical plane. To assert otherwise acknowledges, to me, an aching lack of empathy. Sorry to single out this reply, but for some reason, have not been able to let it go in my mind.

    And Riven, you and I haven't quarreled personally, and I do not wish to do so. You've been a good friend to me a number of times. In spite of that, you can either:
    1. Retract your apology to #85, OR completely renounce your community authority to some other individual or group, such that this site is no longer under the control of nazi-apologists, and I no longer have to associate with them.
    2. Strip me of my admin/moderator ranking and ban me as a user. I'd have no regrets at this point, and my conscience would be clearer wrt GT than it has been in many, many years.

    Whatever happens, I love this community dearly, and I just want to state that for the record. I wouldn't be the same person I am today without Riven having created this refuge that has allowed me to interact with many of you, so for that I'll always be grateful. I've made friends because of it that mean the world to me, have helped me grow, have given me wisdom and friendship over many years – and I'm always excited when we get to share the same virtual space. But I gotta draw a line eventually. It's been too often that this community has favored ridiculous ideals over the personal safety and welfare of the people who have made this place worth clinging to.

    1 Month ago
    Cetasaurus
     

    The legend of #85 has outgrown the man. Not only is he not here but he has not been here for quite some time. Like so many others, he has moved on. I hope he spends less time on the internet these days, or at least is no longer at those places that so disconnected him from a healthy understanding of the world. He is not the only one that stands to benefit from this, given the numerous ways that radicalism can manifest, but the self described "super fascist" had more to gain than most from rejoining civilization. I hope that he has.

    On the one hand, part of me does not want to keep re-litigating this issue, and I wouldn't dare betray the show of good will from my hosts on other platforms by bringing my wildly unpopular opinions on this matter there, unless I am directly addressed.

    If you want to participate on a politics board with a carefully curated range of perspectives, then you can do just that all over the internet. And what you will find is a moderation team that betray their own assumptions about the world, deliberately or not (but it is usually deliberate, i.e. constructions like "hate speech", the "paradox of tolerance", etc.) and in so doing they shape the community around this unspoken framework. If that's what everyone there wants then that's fine, but that's not what Gametalk ever was and it certainly wasn't what I wanted it to be. Various members of the mod team disagreed with Arch and I from time to time, and most of them were very professional about the way in which they expressed that disagreement. For that they have my gratitude, if it means anything.

    Ceta gave a list of over half a dozen types of people that should not be tolerated on gtx0. Though I accept none of those descriptors for myself, I have had every single one hurled as a slur in my direction at one point or another, and those words were probably earnestly said. And so I have one question: Should I be cast out of the community? I've made a few controversial threads in my time, which at one point provoked someone with enough trust to have access to gtx0 tools to vandalize the banner.



    I still think that this is funny, but while I intended for my thread to be provocative it still inspired more of a reaction than I had ever anticipated, and I was absolutely trying to engage with the community honestly. I may LARP as a conservative columnist, but my intentions really are, and always have been, good.

    In my view, a politics board should tolerate everyone that is honest enough and emotionally stable enough to make at least vaguely constructive contributions. Arch and I were inclined towards perhaps excessive tolerance regarding those that... weren't always quite there on the emotional stability front, but on that point I do not have very many regrets.

    Of course, regarding my rejection of "hate speech" it can be said that I too have unwittingly revealed my own assumptions, and so that may ultimately be impossible to avoid regardless of how tolerant and dispassionate I try to be. With that in mind, I am still inclined to say that the rules do not need to be changed. To echo Count Dooku, you need moderators whose discretion you are prepared to trust in, and then stand by what they do unless they've gone off the rails. At no point has this website ever needed you to reinvent the wheel, and the attempts to do so over the years have not been successful.

    1 Month ago
    Famov
     

    I'll again reiterate the two forewarnings, this time with the addition that I've already reiterated them before if you're wondering why you can't currently see this message. Stay constructive in this forum or don't stay.

    And, IRL willing, I'd like to actually respond to things in this post today.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    In large part, I agree with Ceta. There are some things I disagree with, and I’m not really interested in taking this question-by-question because I don’t have the patience to read and organize my thoughts as such, but here are my first thoughts:

    1) I don’t think actual literal hate speech should be allowed on this platform. Hate speech targets personal characteristics about a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation etc etc etc etc etc - this crosses into flaming and personal attacks and hate speech, so just no. Never allow it. Ever.

    2) Controversial point: I don’t agree with, but I don’t care about, people posting about the “White identity” being under attack. To clarify, if other people want to share news about the “It’s okay to be white” or “Christianity shut down” or “men disallowed from certain groups” and discuss it, I don’t care. But the second this takes up racist undertones, or contains hate speech, nix it. If other people don’t want this to be a part of GT, then tag it. But I think it’s one of those “alternative points of life” things. Still, this is not a battle I’m going to to die for. If we can’t be civil when sharing news on these topics, tag them on the spot. Likewise, if the rest of the community thinks GT isn’t the place for this sort of discussion, tag it. Like I said, I’m not dying for this fight. But I do think it falls under the category of free speech until it becomes overtly racist and blatantly offensive.

    3) Likewise, I don’t think we should be discussing anything in favor of cop-killing or supporting violent calls to action such as non-peaceful riots, protests, anything. As a community, we should be better than condoning this shit, even when we’re angry.

    4) Literal Nazism should be struck off this site, along with anything blatantly offensively racist. Again, hate speech should NOT be allowed. Along with Nazi apologism or anything of that sort.

    5) Personal attacks should be limited to none. None of this so-and-so’s stupid or any other childish non-constructive insults targeted at another’s self-esteem. The fact that I’m even saying this makes me mad.

    6) Please, for the love of God, be consistent. Think of the old days, you let one thing slide, next thing you know, everyone’s being an asshole. Ban, tag, whatever to enforce your rules. Make the line in the sand after this discussion and stick to it. Don’t let someone slide under the radar just because. If mods/admins/Riven are incapable of being unbiased with rules, we need new mods/admins/site lead.

    If you have any questions, DM me to chat. I’m not interested in coming back here to make points again and again.
    And like I said, #2 isn’t really my call and I’m note really going to be a martyr for that crap, so take that one back to the community for their opinions.

    1 Month ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    Ceta gave a list of over half a dozen types of people that should not be tolerated on gtx0. Though I accept none of those descriptors for myself, I have had every single one hurled as a slur in my direction at one point or another, and those words were probably earnestly said. And so I have one question: Should I be cast out of the community?

    Thank you in earnest for this thought, Famov. I'll examine myself. But I really don't think it's all too complicated. These descriptors apply to all of us by matter of degree. We all inherit biases. What I would like to see is a community that aims to prevent these biases from doing harm or gaining traction. The degree to which intervention is necessary depends on the degree to which an offender is perpetrating. I feel like this is pretty basic moderation logic. So, no, I wouldn't cast you out! ❤️

    1 Month ago
    Cetasaurus
     

    i just want to chime in and say that there's a difference between saying something disagreeable and basing your ideology in outright hate -- an argument that someone might not like vs. attacking someone for their identity, using slurs and saying that they should be killed (all of which #85 has done -- i remember him saying that 'fags like me should be thrown into a woodchipper'). i've always been outspoken and entirely committed to removing #85 from the site, but i wouldn't want to kick famov out.

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    "The requests for civility will continue until the forum agrees with me."

    1 Month ago
    Ursa Aeris
     

    "The requests for civility will continue until the forum agrees with me."


    No one in this thread agrees with me. Some people agree with me about certain things but not others. Additionally, the purpose of these threads isn't to get the community to agree with me, but to get the community to reach a consensus.

    You're free to also contribute constructively to this thread.

    Also I'm finally responding to some things in here. It may take a while -- it's as long as my age.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    This post may be long, or it may gloss over a lot of points. Or may be split into multiple posts. Or most likely all three.

    @S.O.H.

    At least not to the degree where literal Nazis are allowed to roam around. I am all for acknowledging just how much damage the Nazi Regime caused, analyzing exactly how they came into power, and ridiculing any one who compares themselves to Holocaust victims.


    Yeah I think that's a reasonable standpoint.

    It is 2021, if I wanted to affiliate myself with a web site community/ discord channel whose admin (erected by the site owner himself) tags posts on the basis that they "wanted to get that gay shit out of here" I would stick to facebook neo nazi communities or the /r/conservative discord channel. Homophobia didnt have a place on the original gametalk nor should it have a place here.


    The discord admin isn't remotely homophobic. He is a bit of an ass though. Not everyone agrees about which words are allowed and which aren't.

    We already had Nazi elements run off members of the LGBTQ community in the past.


    I'd like to see examples of that or ideally hear it from them. I don't buy the idea that one user can run off another, especially since the old site had a block feature, but am willing to hear where they're coming from on that.

    Count Dooku

    the answer to most of these questions is "I know it when I see it".


    Right, but it's still important to define what exactly we're trying to allow or disallow. It's been eye-opening so far to see that most users aren't concerned with civility being a priority -- like I know it hasn't enforced at all, but I assumed that had to do with my own lax administrator-ship rather than most people not thinking it's a big deal.

    I definitely want to get these arguments and ideas out into the open, where we can actually unpack them and figure out where our community agrees and what we agree on.

    The problem is that in a handful of cases, that's historically what has been allowed to happen.... It's frankly more than a little disappointing that the aggressive moderation of the last few weeks has largely never been used against troublemakers


    Very fair. There does definitely seem to be a consensus here about me overturning decisions or troublemakers being allowed to roam free being a major problem with the site. I agree with this, and want to take steps to prevent that from happening in the future.

    Historically, the more nazi-esque posts have effectively acted as bait or "own the libs" fodder. The intention isn't to actually discuss whatever the topic is, it's just a means of thumbing your nose at specific members of the community.


    Why then do those threads get as many constructive replies as they do?

    But I do worry what kind of people our community will attract if those kinds of posts are both normalized and frequent.


    Historically this hasn't happened. I think this is due to people arguing against extreme viewpoints -- extremists tend to get attracted to places where they can form an echo chamber instead.

    Again, I think it depends if the intent is to have a good-faith discussion of the topic. Or is it just a re-hash of something we've already done before for the purpose of riling up the detractors? Is it just "lmao 13/50 redux", or is it "So-and-so university released a study today saying [statistics]".


    If this is your definition of "good faith", I can point to a bunch of examples of non-#85 posts that do exactly what you're describing. But still generate constructive activity (as #85 or Acca Larentia posts tend to do).

    but I think there's a distinction to be drawn between insults borne out of frustration/argumentation and those simply thrown out without context or purely intended to offend.


    Yeah I've seen this argument made elsewhere, and it's a good one. In that conversation the difference was between "butthurt" and "harassment".

    At face value I can't think of any reason why we should allow this.


    If I swing the other way on #4, I'd agree with this.

    Jet Presto

    I think it makes more sense to have a basic set of rules and then allowing trusted moderators to judge, with the understanding if they judge in ways the community dislikes, they might be removed.


    This doesn't work when staff members don't agree and are both invested in a particular community. Nor does it work when the community is split right down the middle about a specific user or site purpose. Those are, historically, the points at which I get involved and also the point at which whichever way I decide has fallout.

    For issues like these, it makes way more sense for both parties (or sides) to try to understand each other better. That way the actual root disagreements can be resolved. Like sure, we're not all ever going to agree with each other, but there are healthy communities with differences of opinion and unhealthy communities where people leave if a resolution doesn't go their way. As mentioned, I'm willing to accept my part in this.

    And, well, attacking a user directly based on non-chosen identities is innately hostile and doesn't exactly make people want to come back here. Unless they're part of the group doing the attacking.


    Isn't that true for choosable identities as well, such as political affiliation or belief?

    I *also* think at some point, it might be good to determine what it is you want this site to be and to do.


    I did:
    https://gtx0.com/principles
    There is literally no place on earth you go in which "free speech" means literally anything and everything is allowed or goes.


    Luna.org was like that. It was so bad at the time that a bunch of 09-11-2001 forum regs found the secret 09-11-2001 forum that was still on gametalk and started posting there instead.

    Continued....

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    "wanted to get that gay shit out of here"


    The discord admin isn't remotely homophobic.


    this isn't what "not remotely homophobic" looks like

    I'd like to see examples of that or ideally hear it from them.


    that's up to them if they even want to get involved, but i can confirm what SOH is saying

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    I'd like to see examples of that or ideally hear it from them. I don't buy the idea that one user can run off another, especially since the old site had a block feature, but am willing to hear where they're coming from on that.


    Ghowilo was literally driven off the site by 85. And if I recall correctly you told him tough shit when he reached out to you about it.

    @Riven

    This your boy?



    I can post the full chat too if you want. Didnt wanna show the mug shot pictures of the people who use personal images as an avatar.

    1 Month ago
    S.O.H.
     

    I can point to a bunch of examples of non-#85 posts that do exactly what you're describing. But still generate constructive activity (as #85 or Acca Larentia posts tend to do).


    Far more often than not when this happens, this happens despite those users, not because of those users. And if it happens, it's often the constructive users working a li'l harder to turn crap into something worthwhile.

    Isn't that true for choosable identities as well, such as political affiliation or belief?


    I mean, yeah, I don't think we should be cool with people deliberately attacking people for anything like that, but it should stand to reason that there is an innate difference between being attacked because you identify as a Democrat/Republican versus you are a gay man or something.

    1 Month ago
    Jet Presto
     

    @Mariomguy

    2 - Must be a proven and justified statement. If I say Republicans don't deserve public office, I need to back that up with a reason, like the fact that they don't have a plan to insure everybody regardless of their ability to pay, and millions of Americans are going bankrupt every year as a result.


    That's actually a good way of doing it. Make sure posts are always constructive, and allow them in whatever number people want to post them in.

    4 - Ad hominems are never justified. But justifiable statements are.


    Ad hominems, name calling, is never OK. But brutal honesty is fair game.


    This is generally where I stand as well.

    @Acca Larentia

    So communism and anarchism won't be allowed either, right? Anarchist/antifa burned cities last year and killed dozens of people? Historically, communism has killed hundreds of millions of people.


    Anarchism/Communism aren't based around violence like neo-nazism is. I would however stick ideas like "slaughter the bourgeoisie" or "murder cops" under the same "violent ideology" banner.

    My posts, which may not be popular, have always been sincere.


    Yeah, that's the impression I get with both you and #85. Mostly because again I've had constructive arguments with both of you, and I almost always argue from the opposite side.

    Liberals will just use continue to use this as an excuse to unjustly censor views they don't like.


    Do you think you've been censored here in the past, directly or indirectly?

    @RikaxNipah

    I am all for allowing people to post however they may feel about GTX0 without being afraid of censorship and mod actioning. honestly feel like allowing users to post how they feel about this site without being tagged or kicked is fine by me.


    I used to lean this way, but given how bad those posts have gotten over the years (which I'll take some of the blame for), I'd rather issues be resolved either by public community consensus or vented privately.

    These kinds of posts, crises in general, and when that aspect of the site show up elsewhere have contributed to making GTX0's atmosphere as unwelcoming as it is -- at least according to multiple members that rarely post anymore (and also me I guess). I'll again take some of the responsibility for this.

    Any issues that the community has with the site should be settled here by the community, and any issues people have with me personally should be given to me privately in whatever tone they want to give it in. Open offer to anyone, by the way -- I'm ready to actually read and respond to those kinds of messages if you want to reach out first. If not, I'm probably going to try to contact you myself at some point.

    @CZM

    Bans, overall, should not be a last resort. Permaban, yes. But 1, 3, 7 days? Short bans can be used to wake people up and make them realize that being destructive to the community can result in being left alone.


    That's fair. My issue is more with communities that like to month-ban or permaban at the slightest incidence, use the three-strikes rule on minor infractions, or other nonsense. I like your middle ground bettween the two extremes though.

    As far as I can tell, no-one cared about my concern at that point, or even understood why I was posting it.


    I'll read it, or at least add it to the list of "things I'm definitely going to read or watch sometime soon". Also if this is the one that mentions "forum slides" I've already read it.

    @Jet Presto

    First, of *course* you have had "constructive arguments" with 85. You've always skewed more conservative and he treats you differently than he treats at least half the forum.


    Both my political beliefs and actual history with his posts would disagree with you there. Like Acca Larentia, I tend to not agree with #85 on anything, and frame my replies as such. The difference though is that I'll give his arguments the time of day and not just dismiss them out of hand like the people that seem to think he is bad-faith.

    If you can't see the way a poster like that routinely operates in bad faith with at least half the forum, just because you've personally had decent interactions (because he treats you differently, and you're the head honcho of the site), you don't seem to recognize that overall the dude does operate in bad faith.


    Okay, yeah, that's very fair. I might need to look at his posts more and think about this.

    Continued...

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    @Cetasaurus

    How is it that, even tempered by our species' capacity for reason, we continually allow such influences that cause this community harm?


    I'd chalk this one up to "limited perspectives" ad "miscommunication", but I think the real answer is that we're all individuals and just aren't ever fully in someone else's world.

    How has leadership (myself included to the greatest extent) gone on demonstrating apathy while we hemorrhage community members as the price for "free speech" ideals?


    We've hemorrhaged community members for a lot of reasons, but I doubt the partial application of free speech is one of them. The site has never had actual free speech -- from day 1 there have been community standards, moderation, consequences for troublemaking (I guess that one has been lacking for a while).

    Why is this in question?


    Because I asked it. Not everyone here feels as you do.

    There is no greater threat to GTX0's precious "free speech" than oppressive, hurtful ideologies perpetuated in the name of the most privileged, powerful societal demographics.


    That's not remotely how "free speech" works. I mean if you want to make a point that misogynists/ableists/classists make the atmosphere worse for constructive discussion, that's fair, but then it's important to define what you actually mean by those terms -- in this very thread down the page there are claims about homophobia for someone who's not remotely homophobic. I myself have been accused of being a white supremacist, a transphobe, a nazi-apologist (by you), and other ridiculous concepts that have no basis in reality.

    Or, alternately, those words can mean whatever their user wants them to mean, in which case we shouldn't ban people who fit that label.

    I myself have been hurt and/or chosen not to participate in discussions (although you'd all be lucky to have me) because I know there are people welcomed and defended by this site who would disregard me on a fundamental level – not because of the person I am as a community-member or because of the reason of his words, but because of the prejudice that can be leveled against him


    Have you asked them if they disregard you at a fundamental level? Or have they made it clear that they don't like people like you directly (rather than being guilty by association)? Anything else, like assuming someone is racist because they're conservative, isn't right.

    If either of the the first two are true, however, then you have options like ignoring them, blocking them (whenever I re-implement that), or if they go into your threads and harass you on the basis of something fundamental to you, report them for Rule #2a (which I also need to re-implement, dammit).

    We need to ask ourselves: Who are we allowing to speak, and at the cost of whose voices?


    Anyone who's interested in labeling the certain usage of words as indicative of some negative label (like "homophobia") should also ask themselves this question.

    This is less of a concern to me than making sure folks feel safe


    This is a crucial point in your post that I think informs the whole thing. What's your meaning of "feeling safe" and why do you feel less safe here than elsewhere?

    they are only unsafe when they threaten their targets, directly or no, in front of me and our fellows. They should feel unsafe in making such threats.


    What is your definition of "threats" here? Like sure I can go to dictionary.com and look up the word, but given the point above about safety I want to know how deep this concept goes. For example, if someone calls you a slur, is that a threat? What if someone says that people like you are bad?

    To assert otherwise acknowledges, to me, an aching lack of empathy.


    To assume that ravenspirit lacks empathy indicates there's some fundamental miscommunication here. If she says the same thing about you I'd give her a similar response -- I've known you both a long time and you're both way up there in terms of empathy.

    Whatever happens, I love this community dearly


    I've made friends because of it that mean the world to me, have helped me grow, have given me wisdom and friendship over many years


    I do too. And agreed.

    Continued...

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    here are claims about homophobia for someone who's not remotely homophobic.


    you keep saying this, but i don't think you understand. it's inherently homophobic to use 'gay' as an insult/to describe things you don't like as 'gay.' i don't know him -- maybe he's not homophobic on the level of someone like #85, who uses slurs and would like gay people to be thrown into woodchippers. but you can't seriously describe him as 'not remotely homophobic' if he's saying shit like that. it honestly seems like you view these terms as binaries? like "homophobic" vs. "not homophobic," rather than varying levels ranging from "unintentionally shitty" to "hitler."

    What's your meaning of "feeling safe" and why do you feel less safe here than elsewhere?


    look dude, when someone bases their entire ideology around murdering you and everyone like you just for the way you're born, you're certainly going to feel unsafe or at the very least unwelcome around them, especially when they're given free rein to spout their hatred.

    if you don't understand that, i don't know what to tell you, man. at the very least, do you understand why people wouldn't want to visit a website with people who want them dead? especially a website that's, ostensibly, for talking about video games.

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    @Famov:

    I still think that this is funny, but while I intended for my thread to be provocative it still inspired more of a reaction than I had ever anticipated, and I was absolutely trying to engage with the community honestly.


    I've had this happen several times to me as well, as have other users I've talked to which have no power/authority whatsoever.

    Arch and I were inclined towards perhaps excessive tolerance regarding those that... weren't always quite there on the emotional stability front, but on that point I do not have very many regrets.


    To be fair, me and masse were too. You and arch are part of a long line of tolerant special-topics mods, with the additional inclusion of feign, who I saw in the People tab yesterday.

    but on that point I do not have very many regrets.


    I regret siding against you (I guess partially since you've stayed a mod) on at least two occasions where there were site issues. I think we fundamentally agree on most things, which is why your section here isn't longer despite the length of your post. I just need to have the courage to actually express it.

    To echo Count Dooku, you need moderators whose discretion you are prepared to trust in, and then stand by what they do unless they've gone off the rails. At no point has this website ever needed you to reinvent the wheel, and the attempts to do so over the years have not been successful.


    Mostly agreed, though I do think the gradual process of turning community-affecting decisions over to the community has been beneficial. First it was me, then a consensus of admins, then all staff, now it's the site as a whole.

    @Weird Occurance

    this crosses into flaming and personal attacks and hate speech, so just no. Never allow it. Ever.


    I tend to side with the "no flaming"/"no childish insults" way of doing things as well.

    3) Likewise, I don’t think we should be discussing anything in favor of cop-killing or supporting violent calls to action such as non-peaceful riots, protests, anything.


    Yeah, that would go under the "no inherently violent ideologies" thing. Agreed.

    Along with Nazi apologism or anything of that sort.


    How would you define that?

    Don’t let someone slide under the radar just because. If mods/admins/Riven are incapable of being unbiased with rules, we need new mods/admins/site lead.


    Fair.

    @poptart:

    i remember him saying that 'fags like me should be thrown into a woodchipper').


    You've mentioned that several times, so I tracked it down to this PM exchange:



    If we enforced rules on PMs, you both should've been banned. (For different reasons).

    I'm done with this thread for now -- I'll maybe check in later tonight but I'm going to try to do something that doesn't involve giant walls of text, since I've been making those all day. I'll probably get to some of the replies tomorrow though since I'm more caught up now.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    The difference though is that I'll give his arguments the time of day and not just dismiss them out of hand like the people that seem to think he is bad-faith.


    I'd like to point out: I spent literally years doing *exactly* that, too: engaging with him in good faith, seeking clarity around his positions and trying to "debate" him in earnest. Literally years. And every once in a while, the conversation would debatably become "constructive," but only after the post became about him and his views. My experience here only became somewhat tolerable once you finally did institute the block feature (which I should note, didn't always work for me and I'm pretty sure I asked you about one user in particular who my blocking didn't seem to impact, and I don't think I ever got an answer about that. If you ever did respond to it, it wasn't in a timely fashion that would have caused me to see it, but that's now at least two or three years past at this point, so whatever.)

    (EDIT: Which, to be clear, I understand everyone is super busy and you've got a lot going on. I wasn't saying that to imply you're awful or whatever. I'm just pointing out that I never got an answer on that question which I asked in the mod forum I believe like 3 years ago, so I dunno if you ever even saw it or what.)

    But again, I'm literally sitting here telling you what my experience has been with him over the years, and noting that he has always treated you differently, and your response has just been, "Well this wasn't a problem for me, so it wasn't really a problem." Or that somehow the problem lies with *me.* Again, of *course* it wasn't going to be as big a problem with you. He very clearly treated you differently than like, half the forum. And then you just assume that I have only just dismissed him and so was somehow deserving of that treatment? It's sorta buck wild to me, man.

    1 Month ago
    Jet Presto
     

    Quick aside:

    But again, I'm literally sitting here telling you what my experience has been with him over the years, and noting that he has always treated you differently, and your response has just been, "Well this wasn't a problem for me, so it wasn't really a problem."


    Yeah I need to review things more I guess. I ran into some strong examples of "bad faith to other users" while trying to make some point or another. I do think other users' normal hostility and ignoring towards him has played a role in that however.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    If we enforced rules on PMs, you both should've been banned.


    yes, so do that!!

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    RE: yet another recycled post:

    At the end of the day all that matters is what you decide you want to to see on this site. No matter what you decide someone will be upset.


    I'm not deciding anything. This is a community discussions thread:
    https://gtx0.com/community
    I'm posting a lot because I can, not because my opinion is weighted higher.

    So I won't sit here and argue over nazi's and whatever the hell else.


    Then you do not belong in this thread. I'm sorry for tempbanning you over what amounts to a continued misunderstanding, if that's what was actually happening here.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    Can't help but remain concerned about proposed standards falling to concept creep and the Tocqueville effect. It seems all to easy to lump more and more things in to the broad and ever expanding categories. Hell even shit people arguing for these categorical exceptions have a history of pulling themselves.

    1 Month ago
    tnu
     

    Ok I regret some of the things I said in my initial post on this thread. I was re-reading it sober like, "lol why the fuck did I say that." The crux of it definitely stands and I'm not walking back the main takeaways. But
    To assume that ravenspirit lacks empathy indicates there's some fundamental miscommunication here.

    I'm sorry, ravenspirit. I didn't truly mean to say you lack empathy, just that I wasn't seeing it applied in your statement. I'm sure you're an empathetic person. Sorry about speaking harshly.

    Also – I'm not gonna spend time hashing out finer points/definitions on this, but:

  • It's pretty uncool to insult users personally in the course of an argument. Moderators should be doing their best to keep discussions respectful and disagreements from turning into assaults.

  • I don't think people should be attacked for their chosen beliefs unless they choose to put those aspects of themselves up for debate.

    ----------

    Riven, I'll try and reply to you after work, unless something comes up. :)

  • 1 Month ago
    Cetasaurus
     

    Because I asked it.

    lol, I'll write out the answer to my rhetorical question if it truly didn’t hit. It’s pretty unbelievable to me that we can’t just agree that as a community we do not wish to give platform to ideologies of such hatred. I find it weird that you, Riven, don’t look at that type of content and cringe to have your site – your own creation – in any way associated with it.

    I should say, #85 isn’t very real to me. I never knew him and, as far as I can tell, he’s gone for good. The apology you gave him is never gonna be read. Yet I called for you to revoke it, because #85 means that this site doesn’t need to argue about these matters in purely the abstract. This site, and your administration, has a concrete history of harboring a nazi – in spite of outrage from many members of its userbase, and in spite of how the poison of that conflict tore through us. The fact that we are still talking about #85 when he himself is all but irrelevant means the whole absurd ordeal inflicted an enduring mark on us. It’s just been festering there. We learned nothing – we’ve been incapable of learning a single goddamn thing. Even today, this site and your administration, as evidenced by your apology, is standing in that same old pus and rot. I’m sick of that smell, so I’m getting out one way or another.

    So: why, still, is the issue in question? Because we’re fucking stupid.

    ----------

    Have you asked them if they disregard you at a fundamental level?

    I sincerely don’t understand why this would be your response to me. Do you just not believe in prejudice?

    Anything else, like assuming someone is racist because they're conservative, isn't right.

    Agreed? I don’t know why you’d belabor this point to me when I haven’t done such a thing.

    If either of the the first two are true, however, then you have options like ignoring them, blocking them (whenever I re-implement that), or if they go into your threads and harass you on the basis of something fundamental to you, report them for Rule #2a (which I also need to re-implement, dammit).

    I did ignore them. Wow, the feeling of weariness that came over me when I first read this... Have you ever seen me raise a fuss? I bring my voice to the table when we are discussing issues of site policy, as I have every right to do as one of your oldest staff members, but have stayed completely out of drama with this site's users. Have I not?

    Again, I sincerely don’t get how you’ve missed by point by so much or, if you understood me, why this would be your chosen response.

    People are able to take damage from having to see discourse about these issues even if they do not participate with the antagonizers directly. I was once a dumbass teenager watching, even when I tried to ignore (could you have looked away?), debates unfold here about whether or not transgenderism is a sickness – seeing people rage back and forth, feeling the stab in my chest as the conflict spawned further vitriol, and deciding that I was an aberration, could only hope not to be seen as one, and should bury my shame to the point of denial. I could explain the exact moment in greater detail, but even this is not my point. As I told you in our private conversation, I have no delusions about the internet – or the world. I know that people who hate me exist and that they’d love to thrash me into conformity or suicide. I bear no grudge against GTX0 for being one of many places where I’ve been able to witness that. I know that I’ll have to run into them again online or IRL.

    The thing I really can’t abide is being part of an administration and – now, after everything – a tight-knit community that willingly hosts this type of content. One that has decided again and again, for years, that giving these hateful voices their "right" to speech is more valuable to us than creating an environment where that shit and its mouthpieces are shamed into silence or exiled.

    When I do run into people who might want to murder me, I’m going to have a community of friends and allies beside me. Not whatever this is.

    I am for sure done with it. If this is the community that we are, Riven, then take option two, or wait until I do it myself. And I’ll say goodbye with genuine regret – more for the community than for myself – that I stayed so long in a place where I didn’t belong. That wasn’t fair to either of us.

    ----------

    I find this whole thread, though perhaps pure in its intention, fundamentally flawed for one more entirely different reason. It’s correct to seek impartiality, consistency, and objectivity in site rules and moderation. But we can try again and again to codify and parse out what human behavior we’ll accept and what we won’t, and we’ll still never come close to a perfected site policy. There is nothing about the infinite nature of human interactions that will allow that. There is not a pure, immutable way to define what counts as "insult." Words don’t sound the same from every mouth, fall the same on every ear, or echo the same in every context.

    We can debate forever what kind of content we’ll allow. We’ve been at it awhile now anyway. Let’s re-write the rules some more. Let’s re-open this headless debate every time there’s conflict.

    Or let’s face up to the fact that our current rules are likely just as fine and comprehensive as any of the significantly more functional e-communities out there, and that we’ve been too committed to these abstract values to take any practical steps toward making our shared space a healthier one.

    1 Month ago
    Cetasaurus
     

    I undersign everything that Ceta just said, with no interpretation or editorializing necessary.

    Ceta is doing so much heavy lifting for the parts of the community who, like me, have become so discouraged by the situation that we cannot muster ourselves. Here, as in every other part of this site, he is putting forward far more effort than we deserve.

    Riven, how you choose to respond to Ceta will be a particularly telling aspect of if I choose to humor you further on this subject.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    As someone who at least in one point in time was apparently very important to trying to do everything I can even at my own expense to get rid of people like #85 and users who seem to do nothing but want to raise trouble on the site, someone who played at least a seemingly important role in what became some of the new rules (but not all) designed for exactly this, or at least try to have something crucial done to where their variety of posts are no longer welcome, I sympathize with Ceta on this. But honestly, to be really honest, it seemed like after a while some people who claimed to care a lot simply stopped caring, then despite that they should have been effective the methods didn't always work, there'd always be arguments about what exactly qualifies as discriminating content or low quality content or whatever the fuck. I made a stink about this, to a point where I'd get banned just to ensure some fucking action against someone like #85 and suddenly, I'd be turned against by some people who previously seemed to want #85 gone.

    But it's too little too late, and the issues currently faced don't have much to do with #85 and probably nothing can fix them. I've tried to have hope for this community to some extent, but the more I think about it from any angle the less I have. Think whatever but despite my blunders, rash actions, methods and behavior where those were actually my bad, I have tried to do what's best for this community and site many times and when I think about everything in totality I just see a fuckload of shit. I don't have the energy or will for it much anymore with everything.

    I don't know what I'm going to do with the chaotic state of my mind lately, If I'm going to bail more than bail or stick around or take a break but I know I keep growing extremely tired of everything and it's wearing on me. It's not this for what it's worth it's a culmination. But otherwise, Riven you seem to have a choice that you keep running from right now for whatever your current set mentality is. Either you're gonna allow people like them or potentially drive off more than one user entirely. No matter what you choose or what you choose "via the community", it's all kind of fucked. I'm not sure exactly what you're waiting for but that's probably what this will come down to. More than free speech, that's what this seems to come down to now.

    1 Month ago
    Grey Echelon
     

    Long Replies part 2: electric boogaloo.

    @S.O.H.

    Ghowilo was literally driven off the site by 85. And if I recall correctly you told him tough shit when he reached out to you about it.


    Yeah, I didn't handle that situation right. The more I research #85 to prove a point, the less I want to make it.

    This your boy?


    Calling something "gay" doesn't make you homophobic -- I have an IRL friend who uses that and is himself literally gay. Cutter also pointed out that he has gay friends and his wife is bisexual, so him being homophobic isn't supported by any actual evidence.

    Glad we could clear up some misinformation.

    @Jet Presto:

    Far more often than not when this happens, this happens despite those users, not because of those users. And if it happens, it's often the constructive users working a li'l harder to turn crap into something worthwhile.


    Yeah, that's fair. That seems to be true for all of the recent #85 posts I've looked at.

    but it should stand to reason that there is an innate difference between being attacked because you identify as a Democrat/Republican versus you are a gay man or something.


    I mean it's uncivil and potentially personally insulting either way. One of my issues with "protected characteristics of people" is that they aren't universal -- people get offended by different things and also don't necessarily take offense to certain words. There are also a lot of offense categories that aren't covered by the protected set, such as finances.

    Overall I think we've got to decide whether we want to promote a civil atmosphere or not. Making rules on how people can offend each other just leads to more conflict as you have to be both thick-skinned and sensitive simultaneously.

    @poptart:

    it's inherently homophobic to use 'gay' as an insult/to describe things you don't like as 'gay.


    See, this is one of those things I fundamentally don't get -- how is it inherently homophobic (or *-phobic/*-ist) to use a word that's entered pop culture meaning something else? Is it inherently misogynist to use the word "bitch" to refer to someone you don't like?

    I'll get to the rest of this later, I'm going to take a break from GT for a little while

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    Calling something "gay" doesn't make you homophobic -- I have an IRL friend who uses that and is himself literally gay. Cutter also pointed out that he has gay friends and his wife is bisexual, so him being homophobic isn't supported by any actual evidence.


    Regardless of if putting a tag that you know as a categorization of historically oppressed and marginalized people on subjects that you deem to be negative, deleterious or otherwise worthless is actually discriminatory behavior (which it is), nothing about the association with or even being part of one of these groups means that you are unable to be prejudiced or bigoted towards that group.

    It's like saying that my black friend using the n-word isn't racist, despite the fact that he has deep-seated self-destructive issues and very specifically feels this with regard to his race.

    It's like saying that I've never done anything against my self-interest in even the abstract, let alone been directly self-destructive (which is untrue in the most catastrophic sense), and that it was never unfair to myself when I repeated slurs that had been used against me and people like me for years, no matter how much bile rose in me along with those words. It's not as if literally last night I had a conversation with my best friend about how it would be better for us to stop using literal hate speech just because we're frustrated.

    It's as if I have finally started to believe that I'm worth thinking of myself as a human being instead of a fucking faggot.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    Calling something "gay" doesn't make you homophobic -- I have an IRL friend who uses that and is himself literally gay. Cutter also pointed out that he has gay friends and his wife is bisexual, so him being homophobic isn't supported by any actual evidence.

    None of those things make it okay. If I were gay and found it offensive or homophobic would you gas light me and tell me im wrong?

    I know the answer to this. (It is yes, seeing as you are twisting other peoples experiences in your replies.) The point is an admin for a community discord shouldnt be going around posting shit like that.

    The post in question was a "how to apologize" twitter image that I @ you to. Some people see men apologizing or even talking about their feelings as a form of weakness/ emasculating. Historically these topics have been considered taboo topics for men to talk about (until recently) and those who did talk about them were either considered gay or told to quit with the "gay talk." (as if being gay is a bad thing/ negative)

    Cutters comment came off extremely negative and in the same vain as the homophobic comments people use to men who shared their feelings.

    Whats next? If I had posted rap/ anything else and Cutter had tagged it and replied "get that n***a shit out of here" would you double down and say its not racist? And that cutter isnt a racist because he has black friends?

    1 Month ago
    S.O.H.
     

    See, this is one of those things I fundamentally don't get -- how is it inherently homophobic (or *-phobic/*-ist) to use a word that's entered pop culture meaning something else?


    CZM explained this very well, but i do want to respond to this:

    Is it inherently misogynist to use the word "bitch" to refer to someone you don't like?


    yes. absolutely. i'm not trying to say that i'm perfect and blameless here -- this is a word that i use sometimes (and need to stop using).

    (furthermore, if i knew that my DMs were going to go public where someone else could read that & be hurt by it, i wouldn't have used that word. why are you able to read peoples' DMs? i don't personally mind & i was definitely baiting him into a reaction [wasn't expecting that one], but on principle i think that's kinda weird? there should be some expectation of privacy in a DM)

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    Why do I feel like there are two issues at play here?

    1) What constitutes as "Free Speech"?
    2) What should be allowed on GTX0?

    We all agree free speech (by definition) is anything that doesn't:
    1) Promote violence
    2) Incite a riot

    But Riven, you've been DM'ing me to say we should just promote civility on GTX0 - which I fully agree with.
    This would mean disallowing people saying "faggot", "bitch" or any other words that have come up in these discussions. (Honestly, what constructiveness comes from using these slurs? So some people may think of them as "friendly banter", but do they have their place on a website that, as someone aptly pointed out, was a game discussion site at its core? And a place for people of all ages, at that?) Do you really think you're going to expand this community if we're all talking like idiots from /b/?

    And cuss-words aside, I think the politics forum should be open to multiple ideology and points of view from ACAB to "it's ok to be white", but any personal attacks and non-constructive behavior should be removed. This includes slurs/cusses, personal attacks/rudeness of any kind. Anyone else remember old GT where if it wasn't on-topic, the content would be removed? Same thing. The SLIGHTLY harder topic is where that line is drawn.
    Personally, imo, closeted personal attacks, like: "Gay rights should be revoked because gays aren't people" - should be against the rules.
    But things like "The new bathroom bill is under discussion. what do you think?" should be allowed until it takes up the same trashy tone.

    AND HONESTLY, mods/admins should be approachable for people who do get hurt / offended by discussions of this nature. They should be trustworthy and reliable and people should feel *comfortable* reaching out to a mod/admin to say "this post really hurt me", at which correct action and evaluation should be taken.

    Like Ceta said:
    But we can try again and again to codify and parse out what human behavior we’ll accept and what we won’t, and we’ll still never come close to a perfected site policy. There is nothing about the infinite nature of human interactions that will allow that. There is not a pure, immutable way to define what counts as "insult." Words don’t sound the same from every mouth, fall the same on every ear, or echo the same in every context.


    We can debate forever what kind of content we’ll allow. We’ve been at it awhile now anyway. Let’s re-write the rules some more. Let’s re-open this headless debate every time there’s conflict.


    And I agree. There should be basic rules. And then case-by-case evaluation. And if a mod gets trigger-happy and removes something that should not have been removed, they should apologize.
    Likewise, if something stands too long (like Post Wall Olga's recent mysogynistic bullshit), a mod should remove it and comment to affected parties if necessary.

    We can't have finite rules that cover every complex behavior.
    But we can enforce basic civility and hear people out when they're hurt by another user's content. GT is supposed to be a community. Not a shit-slinging competition. And mods should be comfortable drawing a line/interpreting rules (that's kind of your job description, and why not every average user is a mod). And mods should be comfortable admitting when they've made a mistake and should be comfortable with people reaching out to cite issues.

    If we really want this to be a productive discussion, we should stop bringing up old issues like #85 (who's gone)
    And case-by-case issues that happened in the past (the topf issue)

    And just say going forward, GTX0 should be a friendly place where people can feel comfortable asserting CONSTRUCTIVE ideas of all kinds and discussions that don't rely on insults, hurtful words, and violence.

    If that's too hard for us, we have larger issues at play.

    1 Month ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    --TO CLARIFY MY ORIGINAL POST AND POINT--

    I'm a proponent for discussing ANY topic, as long as it's done in a constructive/civil manner. I would not want to restrict topics, just the way in which we handle ourselves in these discussions.

    Meaning, I don't like the idea of cussing people out, flaming, and non-civil discussions.

    This is a community. We should act like one and discuss things like one.

    If someone is sensitive about someone's post, they can bring the issue to a mod.
    At which the mod can tell them "This is a civil discussion and is within the site rules" or the mod can remove/tag any slander or inflammatory meanness.

    1 Month ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    I'll once again note that things that go way off topic here will get tagged, and repeat offenders will get tempbans. Former pointless mods not excepted.

    Elite and SOH, you both have specific questions about the process here so I'll answer those when I go to my computer, but your posts won't stay up here.

    I'll also note that everyone's posts still exist -- if you need to retrieve something constructive from them, let me know.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    For the record, denida, I'll freely admit that I impersonated you when I was a young teenager. I will however point out that you, Denida, former mod superstar of GT (mad respect, seriously) ban-evaded, to get around a tempban which was based on something I've stated repeatedly in this thread and in the OP. Stay constructive in this thread (and all community discussion threads really), or face repercussions. Evade bans at your own peril.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    They're demanding that you remove any content they disapprove of, even if it doesn't break rules.
    My thread that caused an uproar violated no rules (unless these SJW snowflakes enacted new rules) but it got silenced just cause these left-wingers are in a frenzy to silence anyone whose views don't jibe with theirs.

    They're trying to turn your site into a left-wing dictatorship by not allowing anyone with different views, much like the USSR put political opponents into gulags for not going along with the murderous plans the Communists had, but as you can see, they're not happy, even with the concessions you've made. But they're also revealing how cowardly they are. They've proven they're afraid to debate anyone who don't agree with their "ideals" and them being allowed to speak intimidates them.

    No matter how wrong, offensive, violent or amoral you think someone is, policing there words isn't the way to go. It creates an Orwellian echo chamber where one set of ideas or opinions is considered "right" by everyone. Morality is a social construct and therefore a highly subjective thing. If you believe someone is incorrect, stand your ground and attack them with words instead of crying "plz remove dem from the forum" like a baby. Are these people so sensitive that seeing some words on a screen will cause them to spontaneously combust?
    Echo chambers are boring. We learn much more by investigating both sides of an issue.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    I'm a proponent for discussing ANY topic, as long as it's done in a constructive/civil manner. I would not want to restrict topics, just the way in which we handle ourselves in these discussions.

    You say this, but then you played a role in getting my thread removed caused you felt it was "mysogynistic" [sic]. I discussed my points in a civil manner, whereas the people who disagreed made personal attacks, weak arguments, and their points were as devoid of logic as they were filled with hatred for my viewpoint. It was the liberals who were "cussing out" and "flaming" me, but of course you only took exception to me, whereas the left got the pass to do whatever they like.
    If Riven accedes to your outrageous demands, it'll be like unleashing a Hydra, because as soon as he gives in, you'll never be satisfied, more complaints will arise, and you and the left-winged people will continue to demand more censorship. And you people will do whatever it takes to implement your agenda of intolerance, including cussing out and flaming others for the thought crime of not being a drone, thinking for themselves, and having their own views.

    There aren't even any threads containing any hate speech on this that are current, yet all of you are still angry about threads that contained so-called hate speech, even though they've been deleted for a long time. People may say things you don't like, but that doesn't mean they should be censored or silenced. Freedom of speech covers all forms of speech; speech you like, and speech you don't like. "Hate speech" is a tool used to silence people.

    These forums exists to discuss ideas, not to protect your bruised egos from hearing viewpoints that you don't like.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    If Xhin accedes to your outrageous demands, it'll be like unleashing a Hydra, because as soon as he gives in, you'll never be satisfied, more complaints will arise, and you and the left-winged people will continue to demand more censorship.


    Imagine not being able to post your one news story per week with quite as much hate speech as you usually do. The horror.

    I commend you for your latest thread, however. Unless you edit or post in it after my comment, you presented the tragic story without trying to use it as justification for how much you hate women. A welcome change. If you keep it up, I welcome you to post more news.

    left-wing dictatorship


    I don't know where you get either of those words from with regard to me or my opinions.

    Echo chambers are boring. We learn much more by investigating both sides of an issue.


    I've never seen you post in such a manner as to be mistaken for someone honestly interested in investigating any side of an issue, so I'm not sure why this is relevant to you, even if it is true.

    (For the record, I disagree with how you're phrasing this; we learn much more by investigating - that's it. Framing it as if someone needs to indulge your (frankly embarrassing) biases that often preclude the honest investigation of multiple viewpoints is openly manipulative or otherwise simply ignorant.

    Are these people so sensitive that seeing some words on a screen will cause them to spontaneously combust?


    Imagine having ideas so fragile that you must scrape the bottom of the barrel for every drop of venom available in order to deliver the mainly mundane and absurd things that some people has done as if it is conclusive proof that women are subhuman. If not only the facts but even the interpretation that you present cannot convey your conclusions without being fueled by open prejudice, you are the one that is victim to frailty.

    If you believe someone is incorrect, stand your ground and attack them with words


    You say this as if the things that you generally say deserve recognition, as if they are sophisticated positions that require sophisticated answers to resolve. As it is, I can address the content that you usually post with a sentence or two, because what you post is hateful shit that requires no real consideration to effectively dismiss.

    But, of course, you invite debate as warmly as possible, because you would rather get away with saying what you do by any means necessary rather than be exposed and flushed like a community-destroying parasite. You would rather legitimize your hatred by having others engage with it comprehensively rather than dismissing you the way that they should.

    Freedom of speech covers all forms of speech; speech you like, and speech you don't like.


    GT has never had freedom of speech, as far as I am aware.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    Yeah, I know GTX0 is starved, but we don't need troll content.


    Hate speech is, in fact, one of the reasons that we are losing content.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    You say this as if the things that you generally say deserve recognition, as if they are sophisticated positions that require sophisticated answers to resolve. As it is, I can address the content that you usually post with a sentence or two, because what you post is hateful shit that requires no real consideration to effectively dismiss.

    I'm saying that anything I, or anyone else who's been unfairly targeted by a hateful mob, eager to transform this site (which has a long history of free speech) into a safespace for snowflakes are allowed to say what we want and that this mob is disgracing this site with their ridiculous demands.
    I don't care about recognition on this forum, but what I care about is discrimination, unwarranted witch hunts, the hypocrisy, the false pretense of civility the crowd claims to wants when they become quite uncivil if they don't get their way, and lack of self-reflection, mods who's avarice makes them silence threads they don't like while hardly ever making their own and pointing out how deplorable your behavior is. This crowd clearly doesn't have any introspection.

    Even if you don't like the content, it doesn't somehow make me an idiot, and my posts have more substance than the lynch mobs who only post personal attacks and can't argue without invoking logical fallacies, strawman attacks, false equivalencies, etc. (Somehow, it should occur to you to think think posts whining and viciously attacking people would be more off-putting and community-destroying than what I posted, or any controversial threads by any other posters here that were driven off by the mob.)

    Just the fact that you continue to say I'm using hate speech demonstrates this - nothing in my thread about an innocent man falsely accused of rape being exonerated is hateful, but since you're the type of self-hating man that uses the term "toxic masculinity" it's not so shocking to see you crying about that thread, labelling it misogynistic. The moderator of that forum, who by no means is sympathetic to my views, hasn't deleted the threads, so that should indicate that it isn't "mysogynistic."

    But, of course, you invite debate as warmly as possible, because you would rather get away with saying what you do by any means necessary rather than be exposed and flushed like a community-destroying parasite. You would rather legitimize your hatred by having others engage with it comprehensively rather than dismissing you the way that they should.

    I use this site occasionally, not that often. There's a disclaimer in the main forum I post in, my threads generate conversations, whether you like it or not, so this claim about me somehow being a "community-destroying parasite" is a stretch and low, even for you.

    I don't care about getting away with anything so much as I can't stand the double standards. Just like antifa attack women and old people on the streets and go unpunished, I see the left getting away with much worse on here, and your unwillingness to call them out proves that you're not concerned about what's destroying this community so much as you are with tarnishing me with left-wing buzzwords to get rid of someone you don't like. Mariomguy is blatantly wishing for death on Republicans in world forum, but your silence about that shows your own double standards. I've never wished death on anyone, but anytime I talk about feminism (talk about real parasites, the feminists are them) you cry so loud to try to silence.

    GT has never had freedom of speech, as far as I am aware.

    I used this site for over a decade. I was here when Daniel created his site and when Xhin had Xabylon and from the early days of GTX0. Both Daniel's version and Mike's original GT had free speech, as did GTX0 - it wasn't until a few years ago when an infestation of SJWs arrived that Xhin started restricting free speech and activity began to decline.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    GT has never had freedom of speech, as far as I am aware.


    acca should know this better than anyone -- when he was trolling as a tankie, he earned the honor of being the only person to ever get a ban from the world forum

    none of the "free hate speech" advocates came to his defense then, either, because apparently something is only offensive when it's offensive to conservative sensibilities

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    acca should know this better than anyone -- when he was trolling as a tankie, he earned the honor of being the only person to ever get a ban from the world forum

    What about GC/MS?

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    i don't remember that

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    I can't even acknowledge any of your claims or even the leaps of reasoning between them as being even potentially well-founded until you demonstrate them, so I'm going to dismiss most of what you say and focus on what you're now personally saying about me.

    Just the fact that you continue to say I'm using hate speech demonstrates this - nothing in my thread about an innocent man falsely accused of rape being exonerated is hateful, but since you're the type of self-hating man that uses the term "toxic masculinity" it's not so shocking to see you crying about that thread, labelling it misogynistic.


    The idea that this is what determines that I'm a self-hating man is hilarious, first of all, but doubly so once you consider any part of the more personal convictions that I have about masculinity that you are, fortunately, not privy to. In short, the idea that I describe the hate narrative against women as such means that I hate myself is not in evidence in any aspect whatsoever. In fact, if there were any lowest-common-denominator feminists left on this site, you would find me arguing with them regularly.

    But there are none. The closest that we have are a couple of posters like Jet Presto, who is mainly very even-keeled on gender issues, even if I sometimes disagree with him.

    There's a disclaimer in the main forum I post in, my threads generate conversations, whether you like it or not, so this claim about me somehow being a "community-destroying parasite" is a stretch and low, even for you.


    Forgive me. I have to lower myself that much to address your comments evenly.

    I see the left getting away with much worse on here, and your unwillingness to call them out proves that you're not concerned about what's destroying this community so much as you are with tarnishing me with left-wing buzzwords to get rid of someone you don't like. Mariomguy is blatantly wishing for death on Republicans in world forum, but your silence about that shows your own double standards.


    The fact that I haven't yet gotten around to addressing the latest improprieties of mariomguy, who has been the target of my most vicious responses for years at this point says nothing about what actually is or isn't hate speech, nor does it provide the best model of what I actually approve or disprove. Also, I don't have to address anyone else to have valid criticisms of one person. I'm not on the staff and my particular lack of a response doesn't indicate any form of approval, especially since I haven't posted in that thread recently enough to comment or refuse to comment on mariomguy's words. Your attempt to artificially bloat the responsibility of someone criticizing you, to say that they are dishonest if they attempt to do so without also commenting on every other thing that might be improper, is laughably childlike at best.

    Also, he didn't wish death on Republicans, he said that they deserve worse than cancer. Not the biggest distinction, but let's not make claims that are inaccurate for no reason.

    (Don't be surprised if Riven moves most/all of this to Recycling where it belongs.)

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    none of the "free hate speech" advocates came to his defense then

    Tbf, I did as a "free speech warrior", which I believe does include "hate speech". I don't think ANY arguments or opinions should be automatically banned no matter how hateful or offensive they are to anyone. This is why I believe someone like Asha should be allowed to post despite having racist opinions, or someone like Famov should be allowed to post despite having (what I consider to be) classist opinions. I mean, I am sure many conservatives would consider my own opinions to be hateful, communistic and therefore inherently violent or inflammatory in some way. That is why I believe no one should be banned purely for an opinion.

    However, when said "opinions" lead one to become disruptive to the community or to flame/harass other users, it is a problem separate from the issue of free speech. And frankly, #85 has been doing that forever, and while the rest of us had to walk on eggshells in an effort to "keep it civil", he could basically do whatever he wanted, including harassment of other users. Seems like he got to operate under much freer speech rules than many others. Whether that is because his bullshit was sort of "grandfathered" into the community over time, or because the site admin has extra sympathy toward Nazi-esque bigotry, is open to interpretation I suppose.

    1 Month ago
    pacman
     

    @SOH: I reviewed your reply and moved it back. Sorry about that. I'll be responding to it in the next couple of hours.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    I (Riven) cleaned up this thread a bit. Posts that fulfill #7 above won't be tolerated in this thread. No further action will be taken since they were still sort of on topic. Anyone legitimately non-constructive should know by now exactly what will happen if they continue posting.

    Acca's side note here (and mariomguy/CZM's rebuttals to it) is topical.

    Since there was some confusion among the people whose posts I tagged this morning, I want to stress what the purpose of this forum is:

  • The threads in this forum are meant to gather some kind of community consensus on a topic. Whatever decision a consensus of the community stands by I will respect, regardless of my own personal leanings. The only exception to this is if a decision violates site principles -- fortunately in this particular case whichever way the community decides won't be affected by that.

  • While I may post a lot in these threads, my opinion isn't weighted higher than anyone else's. I post a lot because I can, not because you have to appeal to me -- what you really have to do is get the rest of the community to agree to something (or at least most of it -- my definition of "consensus" is loose but I know it when I see it).

  • I took out the "I decide randomly if there's no consensus" thing. I doubt we'll reach a consensus on the free speech topic, since the last time it came up the site split right down the middle. Worth trying though -- maybe something good will come out of it.

    You can read more about both of these here:
    https://gtx0.com/communityhttps://gtx0.com/principles
    I'm using this account to point this out so it stands out better. I (Riven) am going to do another lengthy reply session, which may take a while.

  • 1 Month ago
    Decision
     

    Long replies part 2: electric boogaloo: part 2: electric boogaloo

    @poptart:

    if you don't understand that, i don't know what to tell you, man. at the very least, do you understand why people wouldn't want to visit a website with people who want them dead? especially a website that's, ostensibly, for talking about video games.


    Yeah I get that. I guess I'll take the #85 thing off my list of arguments, since every time I look up his posts to prove some point I get reminded just how bad those threads really were. I do still regret banning him based on the community targeting him though -- should've banned him instead for being repeatedly disruptive and should've also done it a lot sooner. Also should've tagged/banned you more often back then too. Hindsight's a bitch.

    @Jet Presto:

    (which I should note, didn't always work for me and I'm pretty sure I asked you about one user in particular who my blocking didn't seem to impact, and I don't think I ever got an answer about that. If you ever did respond to it, it wasn't in a timely fashion that would have caused me to see it,


    I'll try and find it -- do you remember what it was titled?

    @tnu:

    Can't help but remain concerned about proposed standards falling to concept creep and the Tocqueville effect.


    Right, well, that's why I tend to side on the basis of universal standards -- either we're civil or we're "wild west", or something clearly defined in between. Either we're free speech or we have community standards, or something (clearly defined) in between.

    While moderator judgment is still important, I've expressed that having clear content rules is important, so mods can conflict on how to implement them, not on what they are. Failing to have them leads to a situation where mods run into fundamental conflicts, and users with mods. This happened a couple years ago, and so one of the reasons I'm dragging this topic back out is so that we can actually get to the root of it and find something to agree on.

    As for why we have this issue, I think Denida touched on it a bit (though he wasn't nice about it at all) -- on Mike's GT the special topics forums were always run a bit different than the other forums, and the tightening of the site's community/forums over the years has led to those two frameworks clashing.

    @Cetasaurus:

    The crux of it definitely stands and I'm not walking back the main takeaways.


    Apology to #85 rescinded for the reasons expressed to poptart above. And also because my original side is basically unprovable -- the more I look at his posting history the more obvious it is. If he wants to come back we need to have a good long talk about how he responds to other users.

    It's pretty uncool to insult users personally in the course of an argument. Moderators should be doing their best to keep discussions respectful and disagreements from turning into assaults.


    I don't think people should be attacked for their chosen beliefs unless they choose to put those aspects of themselves up for debate.


    That's basically my standpoint here. Hoping we can reach a consensus on that at least.

    It’s pretty unbelievable to me that we can’t just agree that as a community we do not wish to give platform to ideologies of such hatred. I find it weird that you, Riven, don’t look at that type of content and cringe to have your site – your own creation – in any way associated with it.


    That's the cost of free speech, unfortunately. I don't like it but I tolerate it because doing anything else eventually turns the site into an echo chamber, and there are enough of those on the internet already.

    "Hateful ideologies" are subjective, in the end. Especially in a year like 2020 or 2021 when it's ever more clear that all political aisles are so polarized they consider each other to be hateful racist nazis. I think we could all agree to ban actual nazis, but what about white nationalists? What about QAnon people? What about the alt-right? What about conservative thought in general? These aren't all the same thing.

    This site, and your administration, has a concrete history of harboring a nazi – in spite of outrage from many members of its userbase, and in spite of how the poison of that conflict tore through us.


    IIRC, the issues stemmed more from his interaction with other people on the site, not his views. There were people with more-right views than him (like Asha) that no one had an issue with because she was actually somewhat constructive and didn't enter threads to drop one-liners.

    Even today, this site and your administration, as evidenced by your apology, is standing in that same old pus and rot.


    That would make sense, except I tagged the regrets thread a week ago.

    WARNING: My next few replies might make you upset. Not my intent. Please look down to the green text below for more. These ideas still need to be expressed though:

    debates unfold here about whether or not transgenderism is a sickness – seeing people rage back and forth, feeling the stab in my chest as the conflict spawned further vitriol, and deciding that I was an aberration


    Yeah but those are just other people's viewpoints, probably based on the fact that they haven't interacted with any actual transgender people. You don't become an aberration just because some people think you are, and if their words cut that deep you should express this to them directly so they can be like "oh shit I had no idea". Or alternately they attack you and if we're trying to maintain a civil atmosphere you could then ban them.

    The thing I really can’t abide is being part of an administration and – now, after everything – a tight-knit community that willingly hosts this type of content.


    I agree with you. Let's please get over the protected characteristics thing and just focus on making this a place with a good atmosphere in general. That doesn't solve the free speech issue I guess but it does at least keep them from hurting you directly if you post and tell them just how wrong they are.

    Also, I realize your post has a lot of emotion in it and there's a lot of personal hurt embedded in it too. I do feel bad about allowing that kind of environment for this long -- I didn't really understand what that was like until it happened to me too. I'm sorry if I've come off as confrontational here, this is just how I respond to long posts. I'm also sorry if any of this looks manipulative -- as I pointed out as the Decision account I'm not here to force people into my views, I'm just expressing myself as best as I can. I can come off kind of domineering sometimes.

    I find this whole thread, though perhaps pure in its intention, fundamentally flawed for one more entirely different reason. It’s correct to seek impartiality, consistency, and objectivity in site rules and moderation. But we can try again and again to codify and parse out what human behavior we’ll accept and what we won’t, and we’ll still never come close to a perfected site policy.


    What I want to see here is a consensus on what fundamental direction the site's content is. The issue isn't with the rules but with the foundation of what we're actually doing here, and the lack of this has led to years of moderator/user conflicts because everyone has their own separate vision of what GT should be (content-wise). I want to put an end to this, get us all on the same page, and then from there the rules or moderator discretion are just an extension of that.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    @tnu: I fail to see how the problem of the Tocqueville effect would be solved by appealing to pure ideology such as maximized free speech, or, if it were solved, that there would not be exactly the same effect or something similar in the feeding of the appetite for further expansion of free speech into direct incitement of violence and such, such as there has been on less-moderated sites like 4chan.

    I would be tempted to argue that purity spiraling is just as much a final failure of unchecked/insolvent "freedom of speech" as it is for unchecked/insolvent regulation of speech. On the whole, I'd argue that appeal to abstract values, especially those that I must consider secondary to human wellbeing, is more prone to purity spiraling than appeal to pragmatic measure.

    I'd also argue, as a libertarian, that any misuse of authority, which includes the obtainment of authoritative power from the people and then failing to act in their better interest, such as to restrict the spread of hate or incitement, should be grounds for investigation, censure and reconsideration.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    Apology to #85 rescinded


    Thank you.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    @Grey Echelon:

    someone who played at least a seemingly important role in what became some of the new rules (but not all) designed for exactly this


    Yeah, the community-run system was heavily inspired by the petition system.

    but I know I keep growing extremely tired of everything and it's wearing on me.


    You and me both. I think a lot of the community is feeling this to some degree.

    Riven you seem to have a choice that you keep running from right now for whatever your current set mentality is.


    As I've explained multiple times, This thread is my choice. I want to deal with our fundamental issues in the open, and I want us all to weigh in on them so we don't just sit on our different sides and let them ferment. And I'll do whatever it takes (including banning denida) to make sure that we're able to do that.

    @CZM:

    Regardless of if putting a tag that you know as a categorization of historically oppressed and marginalized people on subjects that you deem to be negative, deleterious or otherwise worthless is actually discriminatory behavior (which it is)


    Most people just say things without second-guessing their every move. That way lies madness. In this particular case, the use of the word in that way is so widespread that people don't really give it much thought -- it's like the words "moron" or "idiot" which originally referred to very specific mental disabilities.

    Now I could definitely understand how someone could have a personal realization about that word or other words and their derogatory framework -- the issue is you can't expect other people to have that same realization, and just telling them that they're homophobic does nothing towards that goal either.

    nothing about the association with or even being part of one of these groups means that you are unable to be prejudiced or bigoted towards that group.


    Right, and nothing about the use of certain words indicates that you are prejudiced or bigoted towards that group. Similarly, you can never use slurs and still be prejudiced. If you can't prove prejudice either way the point is moot.

    It's as if I have finally started to believe that I'm worth thinking of myself as a human being instead of a fucking faggot.


    I get that certain words offend you. I really do. The way that they're used creating some kind of negative image in your mind of yourself and any tendencies you have that way.

    It's not as if literally last night I had a conversation with my best friend about how it would be better for us to stop using literal hate speech just because we're frustrated.


    What hate speech did you and your friends use? (Genuinely curious, not a loaded question or anything).

    @S.O.H.

    If I were gay and found it offensive or homophobic would you gas light me and tell me im wrong?


    I'm not in a position to tell you whether something offends you or not. Offensiveness is subjective. Personal insults are way more obvious to everyone involved.

    Some people see men apologizing or even talking about their feelings as a form of weakness/ emasculating. Historically these topics have been considered taboo topics for men to talk about (until recently) and those who did talk about them were either considered gay or told to quit with the "gay talk." (as if being gay is a bad thing/ negative)


    I don't really care what anyone thinks about my own personal masculinity. I'm willing to apologize and express my own emotions where appropriate, and have been doing a lot of exactly that to a lot of different people over the last month. If you have specific issues you want to express (in any tone you want to express them in), you should contact me on discord and I'll extend some of that to you too.

    @poptart:

    yes. absolutely. i'm not trying to say that i'm perfect and blameless here -- this is a word that i use sometimes (and need to stop using).


    I wasn't planning on faulting you for your own imperfections:



    (furthermore, if i knew that my DMs were going to go public where someone else could read that & be hurt by it, i wouldn't have used that word. why are you able to read peoples' DMs? i don't personally mind & i was definitely baiting him into a reaction [wasn't expecting that one], but on principle i think that's kinda weird? there should be some expectation of privacy in a DM)


    I looked it up to get context, which I made public since you've already made #85's PM public several times. Beyond that, principle 3e still stands.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    Yeah I get that. I guess I'll take the #85 thing off my list of arguments, since every time I look up his posts to prove some point I get reminded just how bad those threads really were. I do still regret banning him based on the community targeting him though -- should've banned him instead for being repeatedly disruptive and should've also done it a lot sooner. Also should've tagged/banned you more often back then too.


    thank you. and agreed re: banning me.

    I looked it up to get context, which I made public since you've already made #85's PM public several times. Beyond that, principle 3e still stands.


    yeah, that's fair. i wasn't mad about it or anything and would have shared the context myself if asked (and should have beforehand). just saying it may be a flaw in the site itself if an admin can look up DMs.

    I wasn't planning on faulting you for your own imperfections:


    i mean, yeah, i saw that? i'm not sure what you want me to do with this information. call her out? i'm not going to. this is an entirely different argument, whether or not it's misogynist for a woman to use the word "bitch" or for any group to use a slur that generally refers to them. i'm not sure either way, and it's not my place to say. i just know that i shouldn't be insulting people with it.

    1 Month ago
    poptart!
     

    @Weird Occurance:

    This would mean disallowing people saying "faggot", "bitch" or any other words that have come up in these discussions.


    Yep, if used as insults. It wouldn't keep you from putting the words in quotes like that, or talking about the technical aspects of dog breeding.

    This includes slurs/cusses


    I'm okay with swearing in general -- it wasn't allowed on Mike's GT but it has been here since 2009 and it's going to fucking stay.

    Personally, imo, closeted personal attacks, like: "Gay rights should be revoked because gays aren't people" - should be against the rules.


    Wouldn't ACAB fit into that? That's basically saying that all cops are bastards, which is very similar.

    AND HONESTLY, mods/admins should be approachable for people who do get hurt / offended by discussions of this nature. They should be trustworthy and reliable and people should feel *comfortable* reaching out to a mod/admin to say "this post really hurt me", at which correct action and evaluation should be taken.


    I disagree -- if you're offended by something it's up to you to tell them why it offended you, and then they can either shrug it off or realize they're an asshole. However if they use that as an excuse to attack you, then the mods can step in. Additionally, if you get offended and attack them, then the mods would step in on you.

    Impartiality is very important, because offensiveness is subjective, whereas personal attacks, insults and harassment are very obvious to everyone.

    If someone offended someone in the context of attacking them, yeah absolutely ban that fucker. If they said something that was just taken the wrong way, then it's up to that user to deal with it if they choose to -- with full knowledge that there will be consequences for anyone who attacks them for what they have to say. The offended user also has to find a way of saying it that doesn't attack the other user.

    I guess whether something is an attack or not is still up to moderator discretion, but at least this time the moderator discretion would be used on a very specific issue rather than just "follow your own personal vision of GT's content policies".

    And if a mod gets trigger-happy and removes something that should not have been removed, they should apologize.


    Yep, I did that in this very thread with SOH's reply.

    And just say going forward, GTX0 should be a friendly place where people can feel comfortable asserting CONSTRUCTIVE ideas of all kinds and discussions that don't rely on insults, hurtful words, and violence.


    No arguments there.

    @mariomguy:

    Missed your post. It's been recycled too for being way off topic. No further action will be taken. If you want anything from it for other discussions, let me know.

    @Acca Larentia:

    They're demanding that you remove any content they disapprove of, even if it doesn't break rules.


    I mostly agree with weird occurrence here -- see my personal response to the thread's questions 30+ replies above. Promoting an impartial civil atmosphere (with plenty of topical free speech) is my goal here. The rules and their moderation should be an extension of that (or whatever consensus we reach here) rather than trying to base decisions on the rules themselves. We've been doing that for the past twelve years, and it's led to a lot of conflict.

    My thread that caused an uproar violated no rules


    It wouldn't violate my personal policies either.

    They're trying to turn your site into a left-wing dictatorship


    But they're also revealing how cowardly they are.


    However, THOSE would, since those are insults to other users.

    If you want to be paranoid about other people's intentions when they happen to lean left, you should meet the Riven of a month ago. Trust me when I say that that perspective is inherently destructive and it takes a heck of a lot of work to fix the things you do with it.

    No matter how wrong, offensive, violent or amoral you think someone is, policing there words isn't the way to go. It creates an Orwellian echo chamber where one set of ideas or opinions is considered "right" by everyone.


    Well yeah, which is why I don't support that. What I do support is promoting an atmosphere where people can discuss their various issues with each other's ideologies without calling each other "cowards" or "babies".

    You could have this very discussion with people on the left about their tendency to form echo chambers, and they could explain what they're actually trying to achieve, and both parties could walk away and be like "huh, I didn't think about it like that" because no one ever used the words "cuck", "rightoid", called the other side a clown, or did any of the other divisive stuff that makes users get offended and the threads derailed.

    but then you played a role in getting my thread removed caused you felt it was "mysogynistic"


    Which thread? None of your threads are tagged right now.

    I discussed my points in a civil manner, whereas the people who disagreed made personal attacks, weak arguments, and their points were as devoid of logic as they were filled with hatred for my viewpoint. It was the liberals who were "cussing out" and "flaming" me


    Right, so, in a civil atmosphere they could still make weak arguments or be "devoid of logic" but they couldn't personally attack you, cuss you out or flame you. At least not without repercussions.

    If Riven accedes to your outrageous demands


    I'm not acceding to anything -- the goal of this thread is to come to a consensus (which we might be getting closer to), and then I'll respect whatever it is. Additionally, weird occurrence almost entirely agrees with me at this point -- you should try to get past your own personal biases and paranoia (believe me, I know the struggle there) so you can see that.

    because as soon as he gives in, you'll never be satisfied, more complaints will arise, and you and the left-winged people will continue to demand more censorship.


    The only person who's been doing censorship lately is me.

    These forums exists to discuss ideas, not to protect your bruised egos from hearing viewpoints that you don't like.


    Agreed. So long as the conversations are civil (from both sides) and we're not discussing ideologies that are intrinsically violent, then anything should go.

    @CZM:

    GT has never had freedom of speech, as far as I am aware.


    Nope. The only thing that I've ever been on that had actual free speech was luna.org, and that place made 4chan look civil. Literally had no moderators, just a spam filter iirc.

    This place has tagged stuff and banned people since the beginning.

    @Acca Larentia again:

    or anyone else who's been unfairly targeted by a hateful mob


    unwarranted witch hunts


    the hypocrisy


    I've been there a few times. I have more empathy for your position than you'd think. I also know that the root issue is miscommunication, and the symptoms are hate and personal attacks. If you sit there and look past that, and then express what's going through your own head without attacking them, you can actually sometimes find the actual root issue and fix it. Then as you build more of a relationship with that person you realize that their attacks are just them temporarily lashing out or whatever.

    I'm not saying you have to become friends with every person on the site, I'm just saying it's good to know what's actually going on so you don't start thinking everyone who doesn't like you is in a conspiracy together or has been compromised into joining one.

    but since you're the type of self-hating man that uses the term "toxic masculinity" it's not so shocking to see you crying about that thread


    Everything about the way you've written this is vitriolic. Like sure, he called you a community parasite, but there's no reason to make the conflict worse. It's good to take a step back, realize that if you actually were a community parasite you would've been banned sometime in the last week, and then maybe try to unpack why he said that or tell him the very specific reason you think he's acting like an asshole to you. This is not all on you, but you can still do something about it to stop it here and now.

    And yeah it's fucking hard to do that. And exhausting. I know this all first hand.

    so much as you are with tarnishing me with left-wing buzzwords to get rid of someone you don't like.


    It's CZM dude. Take a step back and remember that he's probably further right than both of us combined. Don't let your paranoia rule you, seriously, don't let your paranoia rule you.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    I'm going to finish these posts dammit. And then let this thread breathe for a week or something so the "consensus" isn't just people not wanting to pick apart a small novel.

    @poptart:

    none of the "free hate speech" advocates came to his defense then, either, because apparently something is only offensive when it's offensive to conservative sensibilities


    A lot of people did. A lot of comparisons were drawn to #85 at the time as well.

    @pacman:

    However, when said "opinions" lead one to become disruptive to the community or to flame/harass other users, it is a problem separate from the issue of free speech.


    Wouldn't the flaming/harassment be the actual issue here?

    And yes, I'm well aware that #85 did a lot of that himself -- an unfortunate side effect of digging up his old posts.

    And frankly, #85 has been doing that forever, and while the rest of us had to walk on eggshells in an effort to "keep it civil", he could basically do whatever he wanted, including harassment of other users.


    Yeah I'm sorry about that. Not trying to justify it, but my thinking at the time was that people were coming into his threads to start shit, so they were at fault. However he also posted in other people's threads and his uninspired and unarguable one-liners were very definitely disruptive. I think I may have also been manipulated a bit since he'd tolerate my arguments and moderator messages a bit more. It's very easy to see all that when you actually look directly at the database, which I've done like four times now.

    CONCLUSION

    Okay, I'm going to let this thread breathe a while. I'll maybe respond to little things, but I'm not going to make another giant wall of text -- at this point I think everything I'll want to express on this topic is in one of the existing reply posts.

    Again, I'll emphasize that my opinion isn't weighted any higher than anyone else's. Feel free to continue to bring points up and continue this discussion -- ignore my posts if you want to. I ask that you at least keep it constructive to the topic here.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    I do have to temper this post with a big ol' disclaimer: I don't speak with authority for the gay community, I can only describe what I see and experience. In fact, there are some things (only tangentially related to this subject) that I'm going to consult with other members of this community about because I don't know everything.

    In this particular case, the use of the word in that way is so widespread that people don't really give it much thought -- it's like the words "moron" or "idiot" which originally referred to very specific mental disabilities.


    Yes, it's apparent that not much thought is given by many people.

    Meaning of a word is determined by usage. Many people use the term "gay" in the negative connotation, but the use of the term to signify homosexuality (typically male homosexuality) is ubiquitous. There are people that use them in both contexts, but the more prevalent one is absolutely the one signifying homosexuality - and that one is becoming more and more standardized by the day. That usage appears in state documents, news reports, media reviews, media itself. It is absolutely not beyond reason for people to realize that this is how most, if not all, of the relevant people are comfortable with signifying the subject. To use that as a term to describe things that are objectively deleterious is discriminatory - not just when it is done as an explicit choice, but also when it is done out of unspoken acceptance and reinforcement of the fact that other people have used this term in such a fashion.

    This is like describing bougie/conspicuous consumer shit as "white", which I also don't support.

    (As a weird and not entirely relevant sidebar, I DO support the use of some controversial terms (still in their appropriate contexts) between friends who share the relevant experiences as a way of demonstrating familiarity or attempting to disarm the term among their group. If one of my family refers to us as rednecks or squareheads, I embrace that.)

    the issue is you can't expect other people to have that same realization


    I can't expect people to realize that using a term for a category of human behavior to mean something negative is to create a negative connotation for that behavior? You could argue that the comparison is non-substantial, i.e. that the two contexts are entirely perpendicular and are therefore essentially separate words, but that doesn't fucking work when we have the ubiquitous non-derogatory usage - it makes the derogatory usage of it conspicuous, especially considering how politicized it has become. It is a statement.

    Please, friends, correct me if I am speaking out of turn.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    "Hateful ideologies" are subjective, in the end.


    The only thing that I have been able to find that makes hate ideology subjective is the amount of obfuscation that the perpetrators of it employ.

    Especially in a year like 2020 or 2021 when it's ever more clear that all political aisles are so polarized they consider each other to be hateful racist nazis.


    Nothing about people actively trying to devalue the terms used to identify them actually makes the falsifiable circumstances that those terms would theoretically reference subjective.

    I've seen this work being done first-hand on 4chan and 8chan. Despite their pretensions of being simple stoic traditionalists that reject intellectualism, the handlers of radicalized rhetoric in these places have an understanding, either innate or educated, about how to manipulate appearances and projections and trends exactly like the Jewish boogey-man that they set up to target their hate at.

    The fact is that hateful ideologies being present on both sides means that there are hateful ideologies on both sides, not that it is subjective, as if hate is supposed to belong to one quadrant, as if the opposite is supposed to prescriptively be the "good guys".

    I think we could all agree to ban actual nazis, but what about white nationalists? What about QAnon people? What about the alt-right? What about conservative thought in general? These aren't all the same thing.


    You're right, especially because many people who are nominally proponents of one or more potentially hateful ideologies are victims of disinformation and manipulation themselves. Honest people can still hear lies. What is the telling part is other things like how they interact with reality after that, how they treat others, how readily they accept actual evidence or how rigorously they examine their own.

    Hateful ideologies are not subjective. They have just been made as deceptive, disarming and misdirecting as possible by their perpetrators. It's just as true for one person's personal favorite excuse to dehumanize others as it is for the next.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    MOD EDIT: I split mariomguy's longer post off since it was generating off-topic discussion. Here's the part that's actually relevant to this thread:

    I think we could all agree to ban actual nazis, but what about white nationalists? What about QAnon people? What about the alt-right? What about conservative thought in general? These aren't all the same thing.


    White nationalism is NOT OK. There shouldn't be any question to this from anyone. This is absolutely NOT what Gametalk is all about, and I'm embarrassed to be related to you people.

    Further more, it's been pretty well established alt-right groups do believe violence can be used to enforce their political beliefs on others. We should not be appeasing people who stormed the Capitol, and you can't make us, Riven.

    1 Month ago
    mariomguy
     

    We should not be appeasing people who stormed the Capitol, and you can't make us, Riven.


    I'm pretty sure this is why EVERYONE here is in favor of condemning ALL violence.
    Discussion topics can be broad and varied in perspective, but we should never ever ever ever support violent actions on GT. The riots included, among other violent acts in recent and distant history.

    1 Month ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    Wouldn't the flaming/harassment be the actual issue here?

    Yes. I think we are in agreement about that. I don't believe someone should be banned solely on the basis of holding a horrific opinion. But in the case of #85, it went beyond merely holding those opinions and he actively used his beliefs to troll, harass and flame. Inaction on that is what really made me part with your admin decisions. One instance in particular that comes to mind is when he reposted a certain user's picture and used it to harass him with homophobic slurs. That should have been a no-brainer permaban imo.

    As for the free speech issue in the abstract, I have to respectfully disagree with the (apparent) majority here about hateful opinions being the sole basis for a ban. I just think it is a dangerous slippery slope to go down, as one might consider my own opinions somehow hateful or condoning violence. I mean, a conservative might view ACAB as a hateful ideology or revolutionary communism as a violent one, yet I would hope a hypothetical conservative moderator would not ban someone merely for holding those views, and I sort of expect the same on all sides, provided no one is actually being violent or flaming/harassing. Not only that, but I also see value in learning/knowing how to debunk Nazi talking points such as 13/50 and "race and IQ" nonsense and exposing how weak, unscientific and ridiculous they really are. That, to me, is far more satisfying than simply giving them the banhammer.

    But also, as members of the community, the majority here who probably disagree with that take should have their opinions on the matter heard and be given heavy consideration (maybe put it up to a vote) as to where we should draw the line.

    Oh and one last thing, while I don't think hateful opinions should be banned, I also don't think 85's Nazi threads should have been allowed to monopolize the front page of World as they sometimes did often dissuading potential new users. Didn't there used to be some sort of thread limit?

    1 Month ago
    pacman
     

    Hateful ideologies are not subjective.

    I vaguely laid out why I sorta disagree with this (everyone has a different definition of what is "hateful", usually depending on their own worldview). Am curious as to your further thoughts on this.

    Also, might it be appropriate to split the thread in two -one for discussing the future rules of the site and another for the broader philosophical debate on free speech/hate speech?

    1 Month ago
    pacman
     

    It's not helpful, it's just hate. It's just stupid. It might be common with idiots, and idiots are common with people, but pointless hate speech does not belong anywhere.

    1 Month ago
    mariomguy
     

    It's not helpful, it's just hate. It's just stupid. It might be common with idiots, and idiots are common with people, but pointless hate speech does not belong anywhere.

    I mean, I think virtually all right wing/conservative thought is hateful and prejudiced in some way. If it were me, I would literally have to ban all conservatives to hold true to that. Which is why I believe in free speech instead.

    1 Month ago
    pacman
     

    Didn't GC literally ask for a ban?

    1 Month ago
    pacman
     

    It's CZM dude. Take a step back and remember that he's probably further right than both of us combined. Don't let your paranoia rule you, seriously, don't let your paranoia rule you.

    He used to extol Jack Donovan whose views on women make mine look like an adorable kitty to his ferocious lion, but he's clearly aligning himself with the left now.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    Everything about the way you've written this is vitriolic. Like sure, he called you a community parasite, but there's no reason to make the conflict worse. It's good to take a step back, realize that if you actually were a community parasite you would've been banned sometime in the last week, and then maybe try to unpack why he said that or tell him the very specific reason you think he's acting like an asshole to you. This is not all on you, but you can still do something about it to stop it here and now.

    It's slanderous what he's been saying about me - for example, not once have I ever said women were subhuman, nor did I even approach implying anything of the sort. What I have said (and I have backed this up with scientific evidence) is that women are unable to love the men they're romantically involved with, that they're driven by hypergamous nature that makes them disloyal, and that it's too dangerous for men to date them, and I've talked at length about my own experiences and have highlighted stories showing women ruining men's lives with their lies (IE, Clarence Moses-El) Somehow, in Null's warped mind, he equates that with hate, but if I tell someone to watch out for a venomous snake, am I hating or just warning?

    It's easy to slander me, call my ideas nothing but hate speech, and say I'm a parasite destroying GTX0 when so many threads have been censored by Count Dooku, even though many threads of mine that had scientific reports to back them up and didn't contain any hate. They can delete the evidence, but that doesn't mean my threads/ideas were vacuous or constituted hate speech, no matter how many times null wants to say they were. Clearly, he thinks if he repeats a lie long enough and loudly, that it'll become true.

    Furthermore, my thread about exes getting old was tagged, despite no hate speech in that. What they're doing is akin to placing a "don't walk in the grass sign" in the park after people were already walking in it, not knowing it was against the rules and then punishing them for "breaking the rules" so they'll continue to demand more concessions from you till they establish their own SJW utopia where you get punished if you don't fully agree with the agenda of Clown World.

    Normally I wouldn't care that he's throwing tantrums and whining about my threads, but when the bullying, coercion, and threats start working with you caving in, that's when it becomes problematic.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    He used to extol Jack Donovan whose views on women make mine look like an adorable kitty to his ferocious lion, but he's clearly aligning himself with the left now.


    I don't recall ever praising Jack Donovan as if he were a role model. IIRC, I would have said something along the line that some of the suggestions that he has regarding motivation, pragmatism and attitude can be useful, but that he also has some very weird views about some things. I might have actually mentioned that his views on women are fucked. Don't know, not going to bother to dig it up. Either way, I haven't even thought about Jack Donovan for years, let alone agreed with any of his viewpoints.

    Aligning myself with the left? You are starting to legitimately embarrass yourself.

    Riven:

    Like sure, he called you a community parasite, but there's no reason to make the conflict worse.


    I said something being done about him as if he were like a parasite; I didn't just call him a parasite. An incredibly small distinction, were it not for the fact that I had originally directly said that he was that and worse, but then edited that back as far as I felt I could justify to myself.

    1 Month ago
    CZM
     

    @riven do you honestly think Acca/tre contributes anything meaningful to the site? His backwards ass posts are so off putting any one lurking is just going to turn away.


    Any who don’t bother following up with me on the cutter thing I don’t care any more. I’m outtie.

    1 Month ago
    S.O.H.
     

    But in the case of #85, it went beyond merely holding those opinions and he actively used his beliefs to troll, harass and flame.


    Yeah, agreed. And understandable on the admin decisions thing.

    Not only that, but I also see value in learning/knowing how to debunk Nazi talking points such as 13/50 and "race and IQ" nonsense and exposing how weak, unscientific and ridiculous they really are. That, to me, is far more satisfying than simply giving them the banhammer.


    Yeah, agreed to that. Provided those users aren't also invading other people's posts to disrupt them or attack the OP.

    I also don't think 85's Nazi threads should have been allowed to monopolize the front page of World as they sometimes did often dissuading potential new users. Didn't there used to be some sort of thread limit?


    That's question #2 in the OP basically. I tend to side that way.

    But also, as members of the community, the majority here who probably disagree with that take should have their opinions on the matter heard and be given heavy consideration (maybe put it up to a vote) as to where we should draw the line.


    What really needs to happen is that a couple threads need to split off from this one -- this one is too long, covers too many issues, and seems insistent on bringing in world forum content. I'm going to try to review things from the Decision standpoint and see what our next steps are.

    Also, might it be appropriate to split the thread in two -one for discussing the future rules of the site and another for the broader philosophical debate on free speech/hate speech?


    Yeah I could do that too, why not.

    Any who don’t bother following up with me on the cutter thing I don’t care any more.


    I think we just have to agree to disagree on that one. Additionally, consensus seems to be split right down the middle again.

    I'm going to tally some things here and decide our next steps.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    There appears to be a consensus to this question:

    4. Is it acceptable for people to insult other users while making arguments?


    The consensus is no, we should promote an environment of civility. 6-7 votes in favor of civility, 3 opposed, some other miscellaneous types of votes that don't impact either number (mainly the 4 votes for it being context-specific, which would apply regardless of what the actual rule is).

    Promoting an environment of civility effectively makes questions 5,6, and 7 moot since they're covered under it.

    This decision is now official, and documents and moderator expectations will be altered to reflect that.

    Question 1 (which types of opinions are allowed) and its limits are a separate issue -- I will tally it but my gut instinct is that it's split. It might make sense to create a second thread to hash out specifics and see if we can arrive on some kind of consensus there as well.

    1 Month ago
    Decision
     

    There's essentially a consensus in favor of free speech with minor restrictions(10-6), however there are a couple of mitigating circumstances that wouldn't make that consensus fair:

  • Several people were disruptive rather than expressing their opinions -- I'm reasonably sure they align with the minority here.

  • This thread is quite long, has covered a lot of different issues, and all parties are exhausted.

  • Multiple people shifted their views after certain posts (Cetasaurus's comes to mind). Over time, more may do the same.

    What I'd like to do, therefore, is get a fresh start on the free speech issue -- the next thread will cover some of the specifics individually and to prevent exhaustion, I'll carry over final opinions from this thread into the tallies there, so people only need to post if I'm wrong or they're changing their opinion.

    I'll be leaving this thread open for now for additional issues (if any). Have removed it from the header, however.

  • 1 Month ago
    Decision
     

    The consensus is no

    Can't wait for someone to come into an Acca thread and say something that can be loosely perceived as an insult and they potentially get punished while Acca doesn't potentially. Something to keep in mind.

    1 Month ago
    Grey Echelon
     

    And frankly, #85 has been doing that forever, and while the rest of us had to walk on eggshells in an effort to "keep it civil", he could basically do whatever he wanted, including harassment of other users. Seems like he got to operate under much freer speech rules than many others. Whether that is because his bullshit was sort of "grandfathered" into the community over time, or because the site admin has extra sympathy toward Nazi-esque bigotry, is open to interpretation I suppose

    I do think you are exaggerating #85's harassment of users, ignoring the roles other users played in the mud slinging with him, and leaving out some crucial details about what was going on. as an ex-leftist, I never felt threatened or like "walking on eggshells" around #85. I returned to this site in 2016, and one thing I noticed in the site's newly added 'newest posts' feature is that it was clogged with childish insults, blatant flaming, threats, and shitty one-liners that derailed threads, but it wasn't just 85 doing it - there were three others who partook in and caused these firestorms: SOH, Growlithe, and poptart.

    I don't think #85's motives in insulting and quarreling with the users here stemmed from political differences, but rather the enmity they had was rooted in the way they treated him. For example, I was a communist, and not once did I and 85 ever get into any of these pissing contests, but I also engaged him in good-faith, whereas those others were on a mission to drive him out by any means necessary, so they trolled and trolled, then when he argued back, they played the victim.

    A typical day on this forum back then would be 85 posting a thread, and any of those 3 users would flame him or 85 would post in another thread and those others would troll, leading to the thread descending into low-quality posts, endless bickering, and calls to banish 85. I don't think you really partook in that, but certainly it can't be said that the "rest of [you]" walked on eggshells here considering how unrestrained the personal attacks lobbed at him were. In the end, he was the only one of those 4 who got banned, despite only contributing to maybe 1/4 of the problem, whereas the other 3 never got banned, even though their parts in the puerile spectacle didn't go unnoticed by other members. This site has a high threshold for low-quality posts, and nobody has benefitted from that more than the left, which is why they've gotten more "free speech" to blatantly post about murder fantasies; if a guy like #85 did that, you would all be calling for his permanent ban. Furthermore, he hasn't been doing it in like a year since his presence on this forum has been non-existence all year, and he sparsely posted last year, but there are members here who have been attacking me with vitriol, that's been happening since 2018 and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

    Even that pm shows the pattern: poptart started it by taunting #85.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    I basically agree with Acca Larentia here -- #85 was definitely toxic, but some people in his threads were also toxic. Hopefully the "civil atmosphere at all costs" ruling will keep both kinds of toxicity in check.

    1 Month ago
    Riven
     

    A glance at this site 5 years ago would show you that it wasn't #85 who was responsible for most of the squabbles. First of all, he rarely ventured out of the world forum. But without his presence, the shouting matches continued and they weren't caused by differences of political views, just by the overall atmosphere that had been cultivated by certain users.

    These unruly users weren't a monolith that got along with each other, and they constantly got into conflicts, but unlike with 85, these ones happened in the other forums, namely the video game and entertainment forums. The acrimony, the hostility, and the venomous attacks permeated the whole site due to them and in forums that you would expect to have a calm vibe. It was commonplace to see an SOH vs Ghowilo fight derail a thread, often triggered by the pettiest things. When it wasn't SOH vs Ghowilo, it would be Poptart vs Ghowilo. Poptart vs Red Leaf. SOH vs Poptart, SOH vs Red Leaf. These fights filled the newest replies page from top to bottom, often littering the second page, seeing as they weren't circumscribed behind a warning disclaimer. (I'm not saying Red Leaf was one of the posters who purposely derailed threads, just that he was a target of the truculent users just as 85 was).

    There were countless fights like these taking place all the time, and the invective soon became the prevailing form of discourse on the site with the fights going on unabated all day.

    Now these same members who polluted the forum with their provocative posts are calling for the removal of people who don't share their political views as if this forum was wholesome before the arrival of their political opponents. As if the ship hadn't already hit the iceberg prior to any MGTOW posts that had ever graced the world forum. As if they weren't trying to absolve themselves of blame for their role in degrading the forum by scapegoating someone else. This pitiful attempt to project their own wrongdoings onto another party demonstrates their lack of integrity and unwillingness to make an honest assessment of what they did to the site. They're reaffirming their intolerance by denigrating people who disagree with their programmed political opinions.

    1 Month ago
    Acca Larentia
     

    This thread is locked