- Jul 20, 2015
I don't actually disagree with you, but I would like to point out that dealing with the "questionable" comments almost always falls on the group people are being rude to. Other people usually don't care enough. This leads to a situation where people have to spend a significant amount of effort just trying to keep up with assholes so the community is somewhere they can be comfortably. Often you have to engage with these sorts of comments on a level that makes it very difficult to deal with - often bad behavior cannot be called out for what it is because the rules of moderation, so we have to deal with it by engaging with people we really would rather not. And often these counter comments are far more heavily moderated than the original comments, again because of the rules in place.Gorrath said:Well, this question of how to moderate specific kinds of speech is interesting. I would say I fall on the side of those who don't want heavy-handed moderation. I would agree that allowing "questionable" pronouncements to be thrown out into the wild and subsequently ripped apart by passionate debate is better than trying to censor anything anyone might find offensive.
This gives us a decision: Engage with assholes, let the community go to shit, or just leave. Many have just chosen to leave rather than deal with it.
For example, recently someone voiced the opinion on these forums that trans people are so clearly nuts and unstable that we shouldn't be trusted with a pair of scissors. To be clear, I am referring to a specific comment where they actually mention scissors, not general comments about mental illness or whatever. That sort of shit should not be acceptable. How do we deal with that? Under the current rules the only thing we can really do is attempt to engage with the person on an intellectual level. But there isn't anything to engage their, it is blatant transphobia. That sort of opinion shouldn't get dignified by being engaged, it should be dismissed. But we can't just point that out, there is a good chance that will result in getting a warning. Hell, I would not be surprised if bringing it up now as an example gets me a warning.
In the end the comment went unchallenged by the community and was not moderated.
People can get away with ridiculous shit so long as they are careful in the exact way they word their post so it cannot be challenged without risking moderation or being forced into a bad faith discussion with a bigot. There is no discussion value in a comment like that but we are unable to express disapproval in any other way because of how the forums are setup. We can't downvote. Reporting doesn't help either because often times these people are not technically breaking any rule. So it gets by or someone who is sick of blatant bigotry loses their cool for a minute and calls it out for what it is and risks getting slapped with a warning or ban.
I think this is why, as Lil devils x has noted, the Escapist forums are known for being more hostile than other places. Not only is bigotry often tolerated because there is no other recourse, but because of this bigotry can be much more difficult to deal with because being unable to express disapproval makes dealing with bigotry much more frustrating.
TLR: The current setup puts a lot of burden on people who just want a place to hang out and gives a distinct advantage to jerks over the people trying to correct them. There is no low effort way to express disapproval of blatant bigotry so often blatant bigotry is tolerated.