Racism is ok now?

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by s15119, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. s15119 macrumors 68000

    s15119

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #1
    I reported numerous gross racist comments on the 'Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren's Plan..." thread. They were all determined to be ok. Is this a KKK board now? I am deeply disgusted that you allow racist comments against this nations Native Americans. Please reconsider.
     
  2. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #2
    Yup. I also scrolled through that thread, and wow, is it toxic!

    I never realised so many Mac users were bigoted right wing racists…


    Edit:
    No idea why I held Mac users to a higher standard than vanilla Windows users.
     
  3. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #3
    If the mods had seen racist remarks, I feel confident they would have taken action.

    I just got done reading through that thread and I didn't see any actual racist comments. I did see several posts that made Indian references about her.

    Not agreeing with some posts due to the sophomoric nature, should not be used as the reason to call said posts racist, in my opinion.

    Disagreeing with the lack of moderation action happens a lot around here. Given the size of the membership and various backgrounds, it is to be expected. I think it is way over the top, to infer that this forum is KKK based, because you disagree with your reports not being acted upon in a manner you agree with. That kind of ill-founded, acerbic rhetoric is not accurate or productive. In my opinion, you owe the staff an apology. Better yet, consider editing your post to remove the KKK reference / insult towards the staff and by extension, membership.

    Words have meanings for a reason, and it benefits everyone here, when words are used in their proper context.
     
  4. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #4
    Yiiiiikes. I just read through the whole thread and it reminds me why I don't ever go into the PRSI forum. It boggles my mind that there even is one here, but that's for another day.

    For those who don't want to read through the thread, the OP is, I believe, arguing that calling Elizabeth Warren "Pocahontas" is racist.
     
  5. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #5
    Comments like that, which you referenced, lack substance for meaningful retort. However empty some of the posts in that thread are right now, they aren't racist, if using the proper definition of a word means anything.
     
  6. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #6
    More than just a few of those comments are really questionable. lol. I do my best to avoid PRSI. Most all of my favorite posters here on Macrumors avoid it for good reason.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 8, 2019 ---
    Agreed. I'd use the word inappropriate for a good number of them, lol. But racist? I have to side with Mr. BasicGreatGuy here.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 8, 2019 ---
    Hardly think Macrumors PRSI is representative of Mac users... :p
     
  7. AngerDanger macrumors 601

    AngerDanger

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    Dec 9, 2008
    #7
    I was tempted to make it look like the article image was of Warren chopping the App Store in half, but I didn't want to wade into the depths of that comment section. :eek:

    Mind you, simply allowing folks to voice their stupid opinions unmoderated is far cry from being a member of the KKK.
     
  8. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #8
    I always believed that subforum had a little bit relaxed moderation policy compared to the rest of the forum.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    It may appear more relaxed than other parts of forum possibly because the moderators here do not visit the threads in that forum as part of their general, personal, browsing habits. They only venture there when they have to based on user reports. Therefore it may be that moderation is minimal because there are not as many post reports as some might think.

    Just my theory based on my former mod experience.
     
  10. MoreRumors?, Mar 8, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019

    MoreRumors? macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2018
    #10
    I agree with you. I have gone through the thread and have not observed anything said that amounts or equate to a KKK. Ms. Warren lied about her claims to have Native American heritage and results are well-deserved jabs. It has become all to common to take things out of context and claim racism. Are we are all better off not having conversations at all? I remember hearing this phrase growing up, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words could never hurt me".
    --- Post Merged, Mar 8, 2019 ---


    Edit: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...gy-native-american-identification/2799395002/
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    One of the things I have noticed on these fora in recent times is not only the content of debate, or discussion, but the way the debate (any debate or discussion) can be framed, and how rapidly it can become polarised.

    Even this discussion may run the risk of losing itself in a cul de sac:

    To me, there seem to be four separate elements or issues under discussion; one is the nature of the moderation on this thread, the second is the reference to the the KKK (which, in the circumstances, or context, seems somewhat hyperbolic), and the third brings us to are the nasty Pocahontas references, littered throughout the thread, which are ugly, vicious, and yes, do come freighted with overtones of racism.

    The fourth, of course, will lead to inevitable discussion of the First Amendment, and the inevitable recognition arising from that, that what is considered acceptable to utter in public differs profoundly on both sides of The Pond.

    However, it is perfectly possible to hold deeply unpleasant - in fact, quite repellant - views on race without declaring allegiance to the KKK.

    What bothers me more, though, is that a surprising number of those who post on PRSI seem to think that casual racist (or sexist) or any insult replaces informed political debate, - or any political debate - and seem to use that forum to throw shapes, and lazy and offensive shots at someone they dislike merely because they can, and have a public platform to do so.
     
  12. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

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    #12
    Admin note:

    Racism is not okay, and is not allowed. We've seen through the years that users have wildly different opinions about the definition of racism. Sometimes users have misunderstood, and sometimes it turns out that we have misunderstood. In those cases, we discuss and adjust or reverse the moderation.

    We're discussing this issue now. Please be patient, it's not always easy to complete a discussion on a weekend, but we're working on it.
     
  13. Doctor Q, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019

    Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #13
    From the administrators:

    We appreciate hearing from users, even if it's to complain about forum rules and how we enforce them.

    We've reviewed public statements and articles about the negative remarks directed at Elizabeth Warren based on her claim of Native American heritage. Some argue that it's clearly racist, some argue that it isn't, and some find it worrisome for its undertones but not outright racist. We've also tried to gauge opinions among forums users by surveying comments we've heard and post reports we've received, and comparing these statistics against similar cases. Finally, we had a discussion among administrators and moderators about just where to draw the line.

    A few points are clear. Hate speech and insults toward forum members are still prohibited, while negative personal comments directed at public figures is still allowed in most cases. So insulting Senator Warren doesn't break forum rules, while insulting Native Americans as a group would break the rules. The question becomes whether insulting Senator Warren because of her heritage issue also constitutes an insult to Native Americans, and therefore breaks the forum rules. We decided not to treat it as such. We know that not everyone will agree with this conclusion.

    The result of our research and discussions was a healthy disagreement among our volunteers, which is rather unusual for us. In such cases, our policy is to err on the side of leniency, rather than enact restrictions that we don't all support.

    Bottom line: Referring to Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas" is not itself prohibited, but users who make such posts must stay within other rules that prohibit insults to other forum members, trolling, and negative-stereotyping against groups of people. Comments that insult Native Americans, rather than just a senator, will continue to be prohibited. We've provided our moderators with some examples where "Pocahontas" references would be considered acceptable or not acceptable.

    As it happens, we were already discussing possible changes to the rules to add more explicit prohibitions regarding racism and discrimination, and discussions like this one give us useful input.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    A few issues I have with the decision that I want to make. The context of the word Pocahontas used again Sen Warren is racist. It was used by the president in a derogatory way and continues to be used as such. Plenty of words on their own are not racist, but when put into context where the meaning is used to incite others it becomes a racist term. Now I won't say what those words are as that would be against the forums rules. To claim that Calling Sen Warren Pocahontas when the term only became an issue after the president used it at his rallies during the campaign as a direct insult makes all other uses by default racist.

    The members that are using the term know good and well what the original intent was and continue to do it. Why are other racist terms flagged but this isn't.
     
  15. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

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    Sep 23, 2014
    #15
    I think the Mods do a pretty good job when it comes to this stuff. Especially considering people are volunteering their time to respond to reports from members, we should cut them a little slack when it comes to controversial things like this.

    What is considered racist is subjective. The Mods just have to use their best judgement when determining how to handle complaints. For most actions/inactions taken by the mods, there will always be people unhappy with the decision.

    This is probably the better way to go.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Well said.

    Excellent and well argued post.

    And agreed.

    While I like and respect the fact that the mods took the time and thought (and effort) to discuss this particular issue (and the wider issue of racism in general - and indeed, sexism, where it intersects with racism, as it clearly does in this particular case), I agree with @MacNut on this.

    To my mind, the issue isn't simply a matter of whether calling Senator Warren "Pocahontas", is racist, - perhaps, subjectively, it may be argued that it is not.

    However, it has become so, once President Trump used that noun to describe her, and by so doing, this has altered the context, and invested that term with the freighted weight of racist insult. Context is everything in such a discussion.

    As @MacNut has pointed out, those that use this term now, are doing so in this context, and knowingly continue to do so, and are thereby reinforcing the racism implicit (and explicit) in the original insult.

    But, context is everything. And here, the context is not simply the clearly expressed racism of President Trump (and the fact that this seems to give those who echo his words permission to express themselves thus), but the wider context of the history of the United States and the issue of racism.

    Just as the political and cultural fault line of the UK is social class, and the most loaded and hurtful and offensive insults in that society are based on - or derived from - social class, in the United States, the political and cultural fault line - for historical and other reasons - is race.

    Insults that derive their offensive power from race carry an especially pernicious power to wound and offend in the United States, precisely because of the fraught (and, at times controversial) history of race relations in the US.

    Might I respectfully ask the mods to reflect on this matter further, or, a little more.
     
  17. OriginalAppleGuy macrumors 6502a

    OriginalAppleGuy

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    #17
    For the record, I agree with the mods on this one. MacNut and Scepticalscribe, I disagree with and believe their thoughts are politically based.
     
  18. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #18
    With all due respect, when President Trump called Sen Warren Pocahontas, was he doing it out or respect or to insult her.
     
  19. niploteksi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    #19
    I agree with this. Pochahontas is a misogynistic and derogatory term used by Warrens's political opposition to belittle her and shift focus to her attempt at using a minority status to get a head of honest people.

    Objectively it's misogynistic and racist, but not subjectively. I believe the term is both used and opposed because it's used in a political context and in a political way. To take away tools of political discussion is a slippery slope that one should be careful of stepping onto. If it was used to describe a forum member or a non-political figure it would be an entirely different thing. Then it would be a misogynist and racist insult, in a political context it's not.

    It seems clear that the moderator team has properly considered the political context as you (and I) note.
     
  20. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #20
    Not all of the mods agreed.

     
  21. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #21
    President Trump has made a name for himself by going out of his way to upset other people and do what some people consider offensive. Others consider it free speech. There is definitely a fine line there. PRSI has been a hot topic, especially in the last few years.

    Going out of your way to upset others, however, is the definition of trolling. I try to avoid this as much as possible, in life, and on Macrumors.

    The particular thread mentioned in this "Racism is ok now?" thread quickly crossed the line, for even me, and I tend to err on the side of freedom of speech. I don't get people that like to upset others. It is clear to me that a lot of frequent PRSI'ers love to disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. Same for offending...

    If you're looking for user feedback? I think the mods did the right thing. Freedom of speech.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    Do feel free to disagree with myself and @MacNut, on this issue, but please do not attempt to infer a reason or attribute a motivation for writing the post I wrote earlier in this thread.
     
  23. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #23
    This probably explains why I have no interest in political discussions the vast majority of the time. Calling the ability to denigrate and insult someone a "tool of political discussion" is ridiculous; it isn't a tool I'd ever want to use.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #24
    Well said.

    And I think that the question - as posed - is clearly rhetorical.

    As @tobefirst points out, an insult does not - or ought not - really constitute "a tool of political discussion".

    For one thing, insult is not debate or discussion, still less when it adds to relations already smarting from the experience of centuries of discrimination and oppression, whether reinforced in law, politics, the economy or culture.

    However, apart from the intellectual lack in substituting insult for debate (and doing so to reinforce and recall older oppressive and profoundly unequal race relations), allowing this not only normalises offensive speech (and writing ) "as tools of political debate" but also normalises racist expressions when used in this context.

    Again, I would ask the mods to reconsider this decision.

    Agreed and well said.
     
  25. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #25
    Color me a pessimist but I don't think most people are capable of disagreeing civil like (without personal insults) especially in a political setting. That's just from my life perspective and from observing PRSI. What do you think? If they are, I haven't met many of them. :p

    I too stay out of PRSI (or try to) for this reason.
     

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