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MR and anti-gay speech

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by leekohler, Nov 29, 2012.

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  1. leekohler, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012

    macrumors G5

    leekohler

    #1
    [MOD NOTE: Extracted from PRSI thread.]

    Enough of this crap already. I'm damn sick of it. And I'm more sick of this site tolerating talk against us.

    At some point, MR needs to stop tolerating anti-gay speech. There are kids who see this site.

    Kids need to know that we are fighting for them. They also need to know that this site will not tolerate anti-gay speech.
     
  2. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #2
    This is just my take, but is nothing we haven't said before.

    We take all reports of rules violations seriously. If we miss a few, it's most likely because we either didn't see it (wasn't reported) or didn't see it as a rules violation.

    If you see something specific we didn't act on, PLEASE use the Contact Us link to bring it up with the admins we'll discuss it and if fault is found we will either modify the way we apply the rules or change the rules themselves to make their application clearer.

    The relevant rules to the issue you raise are mostly in the Rules for Appropriate Debate.

    1. Name-calling. Name-calling falls into the category of insults and will be treated as such according to the forum rules, your own opinion about another member notwithstanding. You can't call a bigot a bigot, a troll a troll, or a fanboy a fanboy, any more than you can call an idiot an idiot. You can disagree with the content of another member's statement or give your evidence or opinion to dispute their claims, but you may not make a negative personal characterization about that member.
    2. Insults. Slurs and insults against groups of people based on negative-stereotyping and obvious generalizations fall into the category of trolling and will be treated as such.
    3. Taunting. Mocking or taunting another forum member is not acceptable. Posts that ridicule another member or obviously exaggerate or misstate their views may be removed.

    As with all forms of insults and trolling, these kinds of posts may sometimes be interpreted differently by different people. What one person sees as an clear insult or slur may not be quite as evident to the individual staff members looking at the post or report, so we need constant guidance and input from the community.

    B
     
  3. Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    #3
    I have been thinking about what you have written and broadly speaking, I agree with you. From what I can see (and it is subtle), PRSI debates/discussions on broadly political matters can be robust, but generally, a disagreement on politics boils down to a disagreement on respective political perspectives. You might disagree with someone (robustly), you might (privately) consider them a misinformed idiot for holding such views, but, broadly speaking, the debates on politics remain within the sphere of political and economic arguments and vocabularies.

    Anti-gay (and anti-woman) speech here, (and elsewhere), tends to be something else again. This is because I strongly suspect that the motivations of those who are anti-gay (and often anti-woman - I was shocked by the extraordinarily vicious content of some posts in a thread started by iBlue earlier this year when she asked - reasonably enough - why conservatives - or those who label themselves as such - felt, or feel - so threatened by women?) are buttressed & fuelled & reinforced by citing what they see as divinely scripted sources in support of their opinions.

    Quoting scripture, or some religion, in support of prejudice (which, in turn, can be, and often was, reinforced by laws), does not justify that prejudice in any way. However, it does seem to serve to make those who claim to think this way very certain of the rightness of their views, and very arrogant in the articulation of their views. Above all, it means that they often think they have the right to enforce their world-view on unwilling and disbelieving (and non-believing) others because it is (in their mind) divinely sanctioned.

    Oppression, and prejudice are no less offensive for being inspired by what is cited as an interpretation of religious texts.

    However, I must say that like this forum a lot, and have gained an awful lot from it. Most of the time, even when a few posts of mine were censored, it was done even-handedly, and usually because the wrong thing was said in the wrong place. I have no quarrel with that, and welcome the fact that moderation is, in general, moderate and balanced and sane.

    Nevertheless, I will say that it is my personal perception - (not experience, but perception) - that those who claim religion as a justification for expressing appalling prejudices (anti-gay, anti-woman) are sometimes given what seems to me excessive leeway on fora such as this.

    Simply because a prejudice is inspired by what is thought to be an interpretation of religious texts or beliefs does not in any way justify that prejudice. Nor, for that matter, should good faith be ascribed to those who hold such views simply because they say a god said they should hold them. Likewise, I'd argue that the benign tolerance traditionally accorded those who claim religious belief as their justification for holding such views, is, maybe, a little too generous.

    Anti-woman, anti-gay attitudes give rise to allowing permission to express such views. History should teach us that rights which were won after extraordinary battles may not always rest on secure foundations. A world where respect is denied is a world where rights can be withdrawn. And to justify the expression of such attitudes simply because it is thought (or argued) that they are divinely sanctioned - and thus deserving of lesser intellectual interrogation or scrutiny than the mere opinions expressed by mere mortals - does not mean they should be treated more gently.

    I come from a country where blasphemy is illegal and where organised religion, until far too recently, held far too much power in certain spheres of life, and is still shown far too much deference and respect. Seriously, I don't think a world view derived from religion should be accorded a deference and courtesy they often fail to extend to those who differ from them.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    #4
    People have their different opinions and banning an opinion can't really be ethical
     
  5. macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    #5
    I frequent the PRSI as much as anyone and really haven't come to the same mindset as what is stated in the OP. If anything, this is one of the more open sites out there in terms of support from what I can tell.

    If posts are against the rules, report them. However, having an opinion that may be different than yours in terms of social issues is perfectly ok in a PRSI forum. That is the intended nature of having a forum to talk about issues such as this.

    Meanwhile, how about we tone down the use of language/profanity and general tone. As you said, kids do read this forum.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    skottichan

    #6
    It's gotten pretty anti-woman here too. Even to the point where I encountered the "If you dress like a slut, you deserve to be raped". I had to walk away from the thread, and I even left the site for a bit.

    What's annoying, is it's the same people who do this. I get it, tech is male dominated, and pretty misogynistic, but it just gets tiring having to hear the same thing when the debates turn to womens' and gay rights.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    Caliber26

    #7
    I am a gay man and I'm actually disgusted by how sensitive the gay community, and its supporters, have become in recent years. Please, just pull the stick out your *** already and stop whining.

    Seriously, though, it gets old. This era we're living in no longer allows for freedom of speech from "the other side". God forbid someone openly states they are a Christian and it is their personal belief that marriage is exclusively for one man and one woman. That person is instantly vilified and classified as a hateful, intolerant, evil bigot. Enough already!!! Not everything is an attack on us. The gay community is well known for its constant outcry for acceptance but how ironic that most gays have ZERO acceptance and tolerance for what others think and believe in if it doesn't support their personal agenda.

    Yes, I know there are some real homophobes out there whose intentions are to be mean, cruel, and disrespectful. But you know what, they've been around since the beginning of time and will always be there. Getting your jockstrap in a wad isn't going to change them or their mentality and, if anything, it's going to feed their sickness by giving them the reaction they were hoping for. Personally, I just ignore it. Any anti-gay comments that I think are meant in the form a real attack on me can only be as important as I allow them to be. But if someone (or a group of people) stands behind their beliefs and convictions, they certainly have the right do so. It's a free country and they should not be silenced just because we don't personally agree with what they have to say.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    bizzle

    #8
    WOW! Someone who finally gets it.

    No one has to be tolerant of other peoples beliefs, but everyone needs to be tolerant that people have other beliefs.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    #9
    Chances of being the victim of a hate crime in the US skyrocket for gays, and with even a liberal estimate of the size of the US gay population, outpace other minorities by a significant margin [source: FBI, Southern Poverty Law Centre]. How many hate crimes are committed by the intolerant homosexuals and their personal agendas?
     
  10. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #10
    MOD NOTE:

    Please note which forum we are in. This is not PRSI, on purpose, if it doesn't have to do with how MR should identify and deal with such posts please don't discuss it here. Start another thread in PRSI.

    B
     
  11. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    #11
    Lee do you have specific examples of anti-gay speech that goes beyond the voicing of an opinion that you may disagree with?

    I agree with Caliber26's post that being tolerant means accepting dissenting opinions even if you don't agree with them.

    Just because a member may believe a marriage should be between a man and woman doesn't mean he's bigoted or pushing an anti-gay agenda, but rather he's voicing his opinion. The same can be said with a member creating a thread about why laws should not exclude gay marriage both are acceptable provided it does not contain negative-stereotyping and obvious generalizations
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    SlasherDuff

    #12
    This has to be one of the best posts i have seen here in a long tine. :cool:
     
  13. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #13
    Lee, please note that if you've already reported them you can also use the Contact Us link to request the admins provide a detailed review our actions.

    I did a quick review of your recent reports. Not all of which can be interpreted as "anti-gay" posts. Limiting to those reports that were reported as homophobic, in most cases action was taken, in those few cases where action was not taken several mods discussed it before coming to the conclusion to do nothing.

    Again, if you want a detailed accounting, just ask for one!

    B
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

    #14
    I slightly edited your post to illustrate a point.

    Everyone reading, take a moment to fill in the blank, in your head. Some examples include homosexuals, Christians, liberals, conservatives, moderators, Americans, Europeans, and the list goes on and on.

    Now, without my trying to skew the results in any particular direction, can anybody think of a case where you found a post about any one of those groups of people (or any other) that DOES contain a "negative stereotype," or an "obvious generalization?"

    I submit to the readers of this thread that such posts absolutely are tolerated, and allowed to remain on the board. I don't think those posts necessarily need to be deleted, but in my opinion saying that such posts are not tolerated is an insult to our intelligence.
     
  15. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #15
    The forum rules have already been quoted in this thread.

    The reality is that we simply cannot read every post on MR. We know and fully admit that there will be posts that break the rules that survive unmoderated. That's just the nature of the beast.

    However when we see something ourselves or get a report on it we will act on it even if you don't always see the results of that action publicly.

    It's a big leap from that to say that the fact that such posts can be found indicates that we actively tolerate such posts.

    Help us out, please continue to point us to anything you think is against the rules and/or tell us how and why the rules need to change.

    B
     
  16. macrumors 603

    Tomorrow

    #16
    You may have missed my point - I don't think simply making a general statement necessarily is, or should be, against the rules.

    I didn't have to look far for a couple of examples.

    Here's a user who's certain that, because I'm a Christian but not a Catholic, I'm set to bomb an abortion clinic (or, ostensibly, that I would be in favor of such an act):

    Here's another one - this person thinks I simply can't help but force-feed everyone I work with my political views, because hey, Republicans don't know any better:

    Surely these qualify as generalizations, but do they break the rules? I'm not sure they do - and I don't think they should necessarily be deleted. What I DO think is that it's a mistake to come into this thread and say posts like these aren't tolerated, because clearly they are.
     
  17. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #17
    The only people saying that certain posts are/are not (or should/should not be) "tolerated" in this thread are you and Lee.

    All I and my cohorts have to go on are the forum rules, and what is or is not explicitly allowed or not allowed by them.

    Neither of the posts you linked were previously reported, I know that for a fact as I just reported them myself. So neither of them have been through the process we employ so I can't tell you how we might have acted upon them if we had been aware of them.

    From a first glance, neither of them appear to be overt/bold violations of the main rules. Neither is specifically directed at a particular user so they require a bit more reading of the context and possibly getting other points of view from other staff members.

    Please do not make these posts out to be directed specifically at you as you have implied in your post. You do not appear to have been active in either thread, so they were not posted in response to anything you said or directly/indirectly aimed at you.

    B
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    #18
    Just because a member may believe women should not have the vote does not mean he's sexist or pushing an anti-woman agenda, but rather he's voicing his opinion.


    Just because a member may believe black men should be allowed to marry white women does not mean he's bigoted or pushing an segregationist agenda, but rather he's voicing his opinion.

    Yes, maflynn, THAT's EXACTLY how absurd your statement is. And exactly how offensive it is.

    Defend it as freedom of speech, if you must. But no, it's NOT JUST VOICING AN OPINION.

    Hope your children never discover years from now that you ever said that.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Caliber26

    #19
    Um, NO. You're trying to put a clever twist on it, but the fact remains that not all those people who voice their opinions on the gay marriage issue are doing it because they are hateful bigots, as is the case when it comes to discriminating against women or blacks. A lot of those people are Christians/Muslims/etc whose faith has taught them that gay marriage is considered to be in defiance of God. And, yes, I do understand that there are those who speak against gay marriage solely because they are homophobic and it has nothing to do with religion but we can't be narrow-minded and put them all together in one category.

    For example, my parents are very Christian folks and they wholeheartedly believe that my sexual preference is sinful in nature but they couldn't possibly love me any more than they do. They're very embracing of my boyfriend and fully accept our relationship. We spend holidays, birthdays, and all other special occasions together like any other "normal" family does and my boyfriend and I never feel like we are hated by anyone in my family, nor do we feel that we are thought of as bad people. My boyfriend and I are also really good friends with a straight, married couple who are also Christians and openly admit that they believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. They are the nicest, most sweetest people and we hang out with them all the time. They show me that they care for me and accept me regardless of what I choose to do with my life and I couldn't ask for better friends. They, like my parents, have their beliefs and opinions on the subject of gay marriage and I totally respect that the same way they respect what I do with my personal life. I would be pissed off as hell if anyone ever dared to describe my parents or my friends as hateful, bigoted, discriminative, or anything along those lines.

    It's ridiculous and irresponsible to try to put everyone under the same umbrella and assume everyone acts out of hatred or intolerance. And it's wrong for anyone to try to make them feel like they are bad people for stating what they believe in as Christians. We all have the freedom to choose our religions and none of us should be scared into suppressing what we believe in.
     
  20. Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    #20
    First off: This is the kind of discussion we need more of on MR. IMO this is the kind of feedback that leans toward being concrete enough that it can actually help us in how we interpret and enforce the rules. And ANY discussion of how to read the line between opinions and unacceptable speech is important.

    It's been said already, but there's a clear difference between a member stating that s/he doesn't believe homosexuals should have the right marry, and a member stating that homosexuals are all monsters and should be shot. The first is an opinion, whether or not we like or agree with it; the second can best be defined as trolling at the least, or hate speech.

    Lee, your statement shows that you're fed up, but without examples I can't respond in anything more than generalities.


    That's what can be difficult to deal with in a discussion - the fact that people who genuinely believe that their religious beliefs are a justification for their world-view, and that that world-view should apply to others, are allowed to state their opinions. As long as the discussion stays within the limits outline by our Rules for Appropriate Debate, it's fine that they state those opinions. It's up to those of us who don't feel that religious doctrine should be used as an excuse, to debate the issue.

    Again, tolerance can be difficult in practice.

    So you're saying that those whose world-views are rooted in their faiths should not be allowed to say so on this forum?

    I agree.

    This is how I feel about it. And I've bolded the last two lines because I agree completely that that's an area where things could be better.

    THIS sums it up nicely. I would add that as long as they express those beliefs within the rules we've set up for civil debate, they must be allowed to be expressed. If we disallow a certain type of belief, we sacrifice the possibility to debate the issue.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    #21
    People need to remember that whatever they are saying, that name they are responding to, there is a real person behind that anonymous name.

    What you are saying to them, would you want someone to talk to you like that in real life? If not - then don't say it on an internet forum either.

    What you might consider harmless trolling or even opinion might be quite offensive to others. That doesn't mean we can't have an opinion, it just means we need to be respectful and dignified about it.

    That's about all I can think of to say on the matter.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    #22
    I'm glad this whole thread was brought up. I didn't realize that the above quote, particularly the explanation part, was a rule. I see this All.The.Time. in the PRSI forum that I assumed it was perfectly acceptable. Here's one example:

    Surely that's a negative stereotype and obvious generalization, right? And it falls into the categories of trolling and insults? That would make it fall under "Instantly bannable offense," right?

    I'm aware that user history is taken into account with regards to banning or suspensions, but I'm concerned more about the seriousness here. With how often it occurs in the PSRI forum, like I said, it seemed like it was acceptable. Should I be reporting posts like these from now on? And should I expect to see at least some of the people who make these posts suspended or banned?
     
  23. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #23
    Please do! As we have said before time and again, we don't and can't read every post in the forums. If you, or anyone else, doesn't report it we may not know about it and can't discuss it or act on it.

    Any lack of visible action should not be taken as approval of a given post.

    As has been mentioned in this thread and others, if you don't see overt action on a post you have reported you can ask for a review and explanation using the "Contact Us" link.

    The more reports (data) we get, the better we can define certain behaviors and modify the rules to make for a better experience for both users and mods.

    B
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    #24
    So you would agree that the post I quoted above was breaking the rules as they are listed on the site?
     
  25. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    #25
    The specific post you raised was moderated. The details of that moderation, which rules were broken and what punishment was delivered are between the poster and the staff.

    Please do report any similar posts and they will be treated in the same way. Some will be visibly moderated, others will not. If you see no visible action please ask why (using Contact Us) and the admins will gladly explain it.

    B
     
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