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ATRL Civics 2021 Town Hall: Establishing Rules & Conduct


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8 hours ago, feuxtography said:

Just want to say this forum and specifically the politics pinned thread is very uninviting to anyone that doesn’t despise Joe or current democrats in office. There’s also a cheerleader mod who eggs on the users with more aggressive tones, and I get this is a more mature sub forum so I’m not saying anyone, or mods, should have to worry about having an opinion. 
 

that being said, there’s a topic of “conservative” voices that aren’t even that prevalent compared to the progressives that applaud and ignore any posts about actual dangerous people like MTG and Boabart, Gaetz, trump etc to instead use it as an opportunity to drag Democrats even more.
 

idk what the answer is, but I honestly feel like I’m on a fascist leaning forum sometimes and the most aggressive posts don’t even come from conservatives which I venomously disagree with. 

I get what you're saying and there's truth to it. It's no secret that the majority of active members (and mods) in this subforum are heavily far-left/progressive/socialist. So whenever a member who is perhaps more to the right (but still left wing) or centrist or conservative voices an opinion, they're immediately jumped on, quite aggressively by those members. There's no room to engage or have a thoughtful discussion of ideas, it's just extreme tribalistic reaction. Buzzwords are thrown out, accusations, gaslighting. And this is all sadly okayed by moderation. 

 

It's really no different than a left wing person trying to engage on 4chan or something. It's not a welcoming environmen for anyone who doesn't fall in the exact line.

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17 minutes ago, Gui Blackout said:

 

I get what you're saying and there's truth to it. It's no secret that the majority of active members (and mods) in this subforum are heavily far-left/progressive/socialist. So whenever a member who is perhaps more to the right (but still left wing) or centrist or conservative voices an opinion, they're immediately jumped on, quite aggressively by those members. There's no room to engage or have a thoughtful discussion of ideas, it's just extreme tribalistic reaction. Buzzwords are thrown out, accusations, gaslighting. And this is all sadly okayed by moderation. 

 

It's really no different than a left wing person trying to engage on 4chan or something. It's not a welcoming environmen for anyone who doesn't fall in the exact line.

I’d like to bounce off of this for a second. For myself, I’ve massively reduced my participation in the US Poltiics Thread, especially when it comes to back-and-forths since becoming a mod (or have at least tried to). That being said, the notion of the moderation okaying a certain culture that may be deemed as toxic is not cut and dry. First of all, the Civics section produces a notably small number of reports as is. Second, I think there is a larger question of what type of discussion should be allowed? I personally think that heated debate and discussion surrounding policy should be welcome. Political discusison is inherently not neutral because everyone has their opinions and challenging said opinions is a natural part of these discussions. So, from my perspective, I don’t think it makes sense to issue warnings against leftists, moderates/centrists, or right-wingers for arguing with perspectives with which they disagree. 

 

However, there may be a cleaner distinction between those looking for debate and those that just want to share political news (e.g., new approval polls) without engaging in debates. Is this something that others might find interest in?

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4 hours ago, khalyan said:

Nothing about the political discussions on ATRL are fascist in nature, and I'm unsure why you and @Kassihave both said this recently.

I know the majority of users here identify as leftists/progressives now, even though back in 2016 this was not the case.  It seems like a natural evolution to the left by members (including myself) as they become more knowledgable of the happenings within the current political climate.

 

How do we continue to keep less progressive members involved and included in debate without overwhelming/overpowering them?  What are some opinions on how we can make this happen?

 

3 hours ago, Bloo said:

Regarding the pinned US politics thread, the thread used to be much more pro-Biden around the time of the 2020 election. However, as that election gets further and further in the past, it appears there are fewer more moderate/centrist voices participating in the thread. Naturally, the members that were always critical of Biden and remain active are going to then make the thread seem more naturally anti-Biden than it was previously. I expect that we will see a shift in the opposite directio heading into the 2022 elections where people not currently active begin to get engaged at the height of the midterm elections. That being said, do you have any suggestions for how to make the Civics forum more welcoming to our members as a whole?

 

I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say that the forum has become more fascist-leaning? Can you provide some examples of what you mean exactly? 

To clarify, saying the forum feels like it's fascist leaning isn't specifically about people outright saying so, but more-so how the lines have blurred from a select handful of extreme left users who are the people who aggressively post their hate across the subforum in question. Plenty of things I see are the exact same posts I see from my ultra-conservative relatives on facebook who wanted the insurrection to work.

 

I was trying to avoid calling out certain users to avoid being berated by them like usual, but if we need a paper trail here:

 

Here is a user sharing screengrabs of comments saying Joe + team should be executed. They were "deceased :ahh:" at the comments. The user in question loves to say "sleepy dementia joe" etc etc around the sub-forum which apparently is funny to the rest of his gang. Again, the type of stuff I would expect to see from my rural family on Facebook.

 

Thread: Conservative Supreme Court restricting abortion rights: - Insert gaggle of users dunking on democrats absolving conservatives in their role in this. Note: I was warned in this thread for calling out this behavior. Of course, no one will be warned for sharing the same rhetoric in every thread they enter. What do I mean by this...?

 

See: Tornado kills 100+ people: Appropriate time for same users to come in and use it as an opportunity to drag liberals instead of the actual destruction and devastation. What exactly does some rando tweet have to do with the topic at hand?

 

We could do this all day - US Passes 800k covid deaths: What could have been a healthy discussion about how the current administration could do better is blasted by one of the "gang" throwing biden drags with same old rhetoric "I dont need a reason to hate dementia-addled joe!" Where is the contribution to discussion here?

 

-----------

 

Again, I understand this is a place for all political views, and I'm definitely not saying there should be any restrictions in higher level discussions like this. (I honestly agree with some of these people, but not the way they behave themselves on this sub.) By saying this subforum doesn't feel inviting to plenty of people who may be interested in joining in on the conversations, I'm just saying there are extremely aggressive users that make it an extremely egg-shell experience here. These are all just obvious examples, but most of these users will all gang up, attack you, make sweeping generalizations about you....just for not saying you hate Joe. I don't even know how @Kassi deals with the 5 essays that will follow everytime they post anything positive about a democrat, maybe they enjoy being berated, I just know I don't.

 

Bloo:

 

Quote

However, there may be a cleaner distinction between those looking for debate and those that just want to share political news (e.g., new approval polls) without engaging in debates. Is this something that others might find interest in?

I do find this interesting. I check this sub every day to keep up with the news, just don't feel like I can or want to post here with the current environment the above users bring it to it. IDK how, but some kind of news feed of what everyone is sharing? I really don't know how that would all work. I would think someone as a user should be able to discuss the current conservative majority in the supreme court restricting abortion rights without 3 pages of the same users saying "democrats are terrible! dementia joe! this is all democrats faults!" but that's not the case right now.

 

Its just sad that I can be active and talk with progressives (which I basically am) on reddit and not have the toxic experience this sub has. That statement in itself shouldn't be true, but it is. I don't gain anything as a user seeing "stuttering ice cream joe" as an argument.

 

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42 minutes ago, feuxtography said:

One of the first posters in here is the other user who finds ATRL now "fascist" mocking non-voters for 2016?

I'm not sure why hating Democrats would be "negatively spreading hate around the forum" but hating non-voters is fine?

 

You also ignored this pretty respectful and cordial reply to you re: the issues you mentioned

 

It's just hard to me to buy into the claim that ATRL has become "fascist-leaning" when I remember a time when it was common place for members who would identify as liberal on here to openly call Ilhan Ohmar a terrorist and jihadist for criticizing Hillary Clinton. I'm not trying to gotcha anybody, because I'm so glad that it's now frowned upon to say such horrific things, but it just feels like we're erasing the reality and truth of where this forum used to be, and I say this as someone who experienced parts of the worst of it.

 

I totally get your concerns about the way reactionary, fascist views can sneak their way in, but my literal memory of factual history just doesn't match up with those claims. If anything, ATRL has thankfully become a more nuanced and progressive over the years.

 

I think it's fine and healthy to admit that you just don't like seeing or agree with criticisms of a political party you're partisan too, but unfortunately part of electoral politics also means dealing with people not partisan to that party or to political parties at all.

 

This was already a discussion the politics thread has long dealt with and the only feasible solution found was that people who want solely updates put users that they find argumentative on ignore. There's no basis to the idea, for example, that following politics for timely news updates is more correct or right to do than following politics due for heated debates over issues/ideology.

 

You keep citing the same two users, so why not just put them on ignore? 

 

Again, your experiences are yours, and I can't speak for them, but I then also can't ignore my experiences of literally seeing people claim that anyone who makes less than $80k a year is a lazy loser, or that people who can't afford healthcare just don't want it enough, or literally see someone praise Biden for blowing up an aid truck in Afghanistan because "that's how you end a war". And even then, despite finding those views abhorrent, I still rather openly discuss them and why they're wrong.

Edited by Communion
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5 hours ago, khalyan said:

Kassihave both said this recently.

To be clear, I’ve never said or implied this. My only comments re: fascism have been in relation to how the US is increasingly at risk of it if Democrats can’t beat back the tidal wave of negative press (specifically pertaining to an explosive subject like the nation’s border).  
 

Just wanted to correct the record. Carry on.:santa:

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59 minutes ago, Communion said:

One of the first posters in here is the other user who finds ATRL now "fascist" mocking non-voters for 2016?

I'm not sure why hating Democrats would be "negatively spreading hate around the forum" but hating non-voters is fine?

 

I think it's fine and healthy to admit that you just don't like seeing or agree with criticisms of a political party you're partisan too, but unfortunately part of electoral politics also means dealing with people not partisan to that party or to political parties at all.

 

 

I think you're over simplifying my point, as if I don't know a political subforum would have hot headed discussions of politics inside. I gave examples of users entering threads to post biden/liberal/democrat drags without intent of discussion and mostly completely off topic (tornado thread).

 

The abortion thread is included because it circles back to the totality of my post, that this behavior makes it uninviting for most, and is done specifically to drag democrats and to give conservatives a pass. The thread of the conservative majority supreme court restricting abortion rights being a post by post piss-take of biden and democrat drags, again, is the issue here (especially considering specifically, these are all from the same groups of users who do this everywhere they go.)

 

Note, my post you quoted in that thread was warned, however, its okay to randomly post biden memes with no discussion in that specific thread? Where's the logic? Obviously not your fault, but just reiterates my point that you can kii about biden + kamala being executed but calling out behavior is a no-no.

 

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It's just hard to me to buy into the claim that ATRL has become "fascist-leaning" when I remember a time when it was common place for members who would identify as liberal on here to openly call Ilhan Ohmar a terrorist and jihadist for criticizing Hillary Clinton. I'm not trying to gotcha anybody, because I'm so glad that it's now frowned upon to say such horrific things, but it just feels like we're erasing the reality and truth of where this forum used to be, and I say this as someone who experienced parts of the worst of it.

You have brought this up to me a few times and I don't know what to tell you. I really don't know what you're talking about as I never saw anyone calling Ohmar a terrorist and I wouldn't fathom it coming from me.

 

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I totally get your concerns about the way reactionary, fascist views can sneak their way in, but my literal memory of factual history just doesn't match up with those claims. If anything, ATRL has thankfully become a more nuanced and progressive over the years.

Yes, absolutely. Which is why posts like this:

 

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Personally, abortion rights being taken away would make me LESS likely to vote Democrat in the future, not more. And why is that? Well, the right has already been taken away, and honestly isn't going to come back as the country drifts more towards being a right-wing hell hole with two fundamentally right-wing parties, so what would my vote be needed for to protect?

Are concerning. After I pointed out how this statement is privileged, i was piled-on, by you and that user. I'm not whining, I decided to enter the discussion so obviously I should not be surprised at replies, but it took a 2 page discussion for the user i quoted to admit they were trolling and you, now, are saying exactly what I'm bringing up now. Fascist views sneak their way in, and its hard to tell anymore what peoples points are.

 

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This was already a discussion the politics thread has long dealt with and the only feasible solution found was that people who want solely updates put users that they find argumentative on ignore. There's no basis to the idea, for example, that following politics for timely news updates is more correct or right to do than following politics due for heated debates over issues/ideology.

 

You keep citing the same two users, so why not just put them on ignore? 

Yes, I agree, which is why I wasn't advocating for rules. This is a town hall, and I was expressing my opinion, which others agreed with.

 

As for ignoring people, I don't use the feature because it's mostly useless on current ATRL. It was a much stronger feature in the past, but you can still see posts, get notifications, and be bigraded by someone on your ignore list so, why use it?

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24 minutes ago, feuxtography said:

The abortion thread is included because it circles back to the totality of my post, that this behavior is done specifically to drag democrats and to give conservatives a pass. The thread of the conservative majority supreme court restricting abortion rights being a post by post piss-take of biden and democrat drags, again, is the issue here (especially considering specifically, these are all from the same groups of users who do this everywhere they go.)

 

Note, my post you quoted in that thread was warned, however, its okay to randomly post biden memes with no discussion in that specific thread? Where's the logic? Obviously not your fault, but just reiterates my point that you can kii about biden + kamala being executed but calling out behavior is a no-no.

But that's not how that works. You view criticism of Democrats as giving Republicans a pass because you accept those as completely imaginary confines of how one can or gets to engage in politics, which is another conflict often experienced in this forum.

 

You're also now possibly conflating two issues. You want people who bash Democrats in threads where (you believe?) Republicans are solely at fault to be warned for "off topic" posts, but is the warning you received for being off topic or abrasive? I imagine the usage of the word "psycho" or something similar may have caught a mod's eye if reported for being insensitive.

 

24 minutes ago, feuxtography said:

You have brought this up to me a few times and I don't know what to tell you. I really don't know what you're talking about as I never saw anyone calling Ohmar a terrorist and I wouldn't fathom it coming from me.

I'm not asking for you to do anything. You mentioned that your frustration on criticisms of Dems comes from not believing Democrats and Republicans are alike on any issues, and I was showing you an example of where both Dems/Reps and liberals/conservatives find themselves on the same side from things I've experienced and seen.

 

I don't prioritize Reps or Dems on concerns of Islamophobia because I've seen Dems objectively act as harmfully to Muslims as Republicans. Maybe the users who you view as a "gang" of Dem-hates just have different priorities?

 

I get there's a knee-jerk reaction to want to silence these comparisons, but that seems counterproductive on a platform where such discussions are quite literally meant to be had. You talk about aggression, but just by simply pointing out that many voters won't view Biden as significantly better than Trump (and how this is a problem that Dems need to work to fix), a centrist user cursed me out and personally attacked me for "bashing and hating Democrats" despite simply reconciling with the reality of where Dems' popularity stands.

 

24 minutes ago, feuxtography said:

Yes, absolutely. Which is why posts like this:

 

Are concerning. After I pointed out how this statement is privileged, i was piled-on, by you and that user. I'm not whining, I decided to enter the discussion so obviously I should not be surprised at replies, but it took a 2 page discussion for the user i quoted to admit they were trolling and you, now, are saying exactly what I'm bringing up now. Fascist views sneak their way in, and its hard to tell anymore what peoples points are

You weren't piled on. You made a claim that the user was advocating he'd vote for Republicans by saying he'd not vote for Democrats. *I* pointed out this oversight to you that you were misreading his post. He even then went out to state that your claim he was advocating for Republicans was wrong. Again, you cannot force people to subject themselves to the limitations of American electoralism, which seems to be where a central form of conflict is happening here.

 

You felt people were being abrasive by replying to your claims with the fact that non-voters are typically not privileged, but yet you felt it wasn't abrasive, for example, to scold that user and tell him that he was privileged. I just don't see the consistency. Why was it "piling on" to respond that your claim was factually incorrect, but not piling on to call a user privileged w/o prompt?

 

24 minutes ago, feuxtography said:

As for ignoring people, I don't use the feature because it's mostly useless on current ATRL. It was a much stronger feature in the past, but you can still see posts, get notifications, and be bigraded by someone on your ignore list so, why use it?

You have to open up the full settings screen to see which aspects you'd like to be ignored:

mouUvhI.png

 

Again, your opinions and experiences are rightfully your own, but I don't think there's a reasonable way to implement the concern that specific members do not view criticisms of Democrats consequentially as empowering Republicans because I don't know if there's any strong way to support that claim of an argument. :michael:

 

 Not voting for Dems, for instance, does not a fascist make. 

Edited by Communion
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@feuxtographycan you link directly to the post that says Biden should be executed?  Because the mods see all hidden posts, it makes our page count different from other users, so the link you posted doesn't show what you're talking about.

 

--

 

I think some of the frustration on both sides is the misunderstanding of Democrat criticism.  Leftists criticize Democrats not out of support for Republicans, but out of disdain for the major party that should be the closest to their own beliefs.  Liberals/moderates see criticism of Democrats as support for Republicans, since currently in the US there are only two major parties capable of winning major elections.

 

For example, this was just one of the recent posts in the thread asking if Joe Biden is going to be a one term president,

 

No. He will barely win re-election. So many ugly republicans and trump supporters on this forum

 

But the issue is, on the page this is posted was both myself and @madonnassaying that neither of us are planning on voting for Joe at the moment.  But I both of us are obviously are not Trump supporters either, so why would this member claim that we are?  And it's likely because of the misunderstanding I laid out above.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Communion said:

But that's not how that works. You view criticism of Democrats as giving Republicans a pass because you accept those as completely imaginary confines of how one can or gets to engage in politics, which is another conflict often experienced in this forum.

 

You're also now possibly conflating two issues. You want people who bash Democrats in threads where (you believe?) Republicans are solely at fault to be warned for "off topic" posts, but is the warning you received for being off topic or abrasive? I imagine the usage of the word "psycho" or something similar may have caught a mod's eye if reported for being insensitive.

If I'm being warned for flamebait for saying psycho, it just strengthens my point that the posts in that thread like -

 

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For that matter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg's rotting corpse is also just as blame-worthy. Maybe she should have, you know... retired instead of being selfish?

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Select candidates that aren't pieces of ****, next time. :heart2:

are encouraged. How is me using the word Psycho worse than mocking people with dementia for a cheap joe drag either? How about a speech impediment?

 

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You weren't piled on. You made a claim that the user was advocating he'd vote for Republicans by saying he'd not vote for Democrats. *I* pointed out this oversight to you that you were misreading his post. He even then went out to state that your claim he was advocating for Republicans was wrong. Again, you cannot force people to subject themselves to the limitations of American electoralism, which seems to be where a central form of conflict is happening here.

 

You felt people were being abrasive by replying to your claims with the fact that non-voters are typically not privileged, but yet you felt it wasn't abrasive, for example, to scold that user and tell him that he was privileged. I just don't see the consistency. Why was it "piling on" to respond that your claim was factually incorrect, but not piling on to call a user privileged w/o prompt?

Sorry, let me clarify, as I tried to make a distinction from what I was saying. I do not mean pile-on like I shouldn't expect replies or discussions....obviously. I meant pile-on that its the same 3 mix and matched users who you will find all latching on to someones post at once, every time. I am not the only one who feels this way.

 

 

Anyways, thanks for the ignore list tips. I didn't realize there were more options to it.

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2 hours ago, khalyan said:

@feuxtographycan you link directly to the post that says Biden should be executed?  Because the mods see all hidden posts, it makes our page count different from other users, so the link you posted doesn't show what you're talking about.

 

--

 

I think some of the frustration on both sides is the misunderstanding of Democrat criticism.  Leftists criticize Democrats not out of support for Republicans, but out of disdain for the major party that should be the closest to their own beliefs.  Liberals/moderates see criticism of Democrats as support for Republicans, since currently in the US there are only two major parties capable of winning major elections.

 

For example, this was just one of the recent posts in the thread asking if Joe Biden is going to be a one term president,

 

 

 

 

But the issue is, on the page this is posted was both myself and @madonnassaying that neither of us are planning on voting for Joe at the moment.  But I both of us are obviously are not Trump supporters either, so why would this member claim that we are?  And it's likely because of the misunderstanding I laid out above.

 

 

This one.

 

After I called this user out, they claimed they meant "shook." Obviously backtracking and not what their original intent was, and in bad faith for someone who shares "joe biden dementia" memes at every opportunity. They were trying to co-sign a dangerous sentiment without having to outright post it.

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5 hours ago, feuxtography said:


I don't even know how @Kassi deals with the 5 essays that will follow everytime they post anything positive about a democrat, maybe they enjoy being berated, I just know I don't.

Honestly, the same way one might deal with anti-vaxxers after posting pro-vaccine facts. By sharing the truth and then going about my merry way. Leaving anyone who disagrees with the truth to contort the facts to fit their narrative: for example, like that Biden didn’t end the war in Afghanistan on account of the fighting lasting up until the moment all troops were withdrawn (i.e. when the war ended).


In these circumstances, you can try to fight the uphill battle of asserting reality to someone you’re unlikely to convince. Or, just let the facts sit so that anyone reading can take the two points of view, pull up google or Wikipedia, and assess the facts for themselves à la: 

 

FDxrEGaWQBUVi-v?format=jpg&name=900x900


That’s just one hypothetical example, but you get the idea.
 

For this reason, I think the banner in the politics thread has definitely had a tangible positive impact in that regard —

Quote

 So, please, be respectful and remember that you do not always need to respond to everyone. 

— reminding us that we are not responsible for others’ ignorance and can simply post the truth and move on.
 

Actually, props to the mod who came up with the idea. :clap3:Might not be bad to hang that banner as a general guideline for the Civics sub forum as a whole. I would like to put that in as a formal suggestion cause sometimes we all need reminders. 

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9 hours ago, Gui Blackout said:

I respectfully disagree, because the discussion shifts from ideas and policies to something personal. And the instances where this occurs are not as innocent and respectful as you're describing. Not to mention, members keeping tabs on other members' post history or past takes is, quite frankly, creepy and stalkerish. It should not be encouraged.

It doesn’t take much to remember that you literally compared black women to apes. That’s not “keeping tabs on your post history,” that’s the logical outcome of saying anything as outlandishly racist and evil.

 

And I’m only bringing this up because I know that it specifically is what you want to have banned.

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On 12/17/2021 at 3:41 PM, khalyan said:

Some things that should be eventually addressed,

 

- do conservative voices have a place on our forum?

- does bringing up a member’s post history qualify as a warnable offense when it comes to political talk?

- how harsh should the criticism against public figures be allowed to get?

- how does COVID views at this point factor into getting warned?

 

- do conservative voices have a place on our forum?

 

Yes. To pretend there are not conservative users and attempt to turn this site an echo chamber is unreasonably authoritarian and childish. Those among a particular political faction are free to make a thread exclusive to that faction with moderator approval, however. With that said, if a given conservative user wants to bring explicitly racist elements to the table, they should be subjected to the ZTP like everyone else obv. 

 

- does bringing up a member’s post history qualify as a warnable offense when it comes to political talk?

 

No. We are all responsible for our post history as individuals and are free to defend our current stances if felt the need. 

 

- how harsh should the criticism against public figures be allowed to get?

 

As long as one is not making direct or indirect threats to a particular pubic official's life, I don't see the problem. (ZTP still applies, of course) I should be allowed to call ALL presidents war criminals because that's what they are. 

 

- how does COVID views at this point factor into getting warned?

 

If this forum had a ramped issue with anti-vaxxers and other types of COVID conspiracists then some action would need to be taken. For now, though, the general forum consensus seems to be one that is reasonable and I trust us to be able to deal with these topics maturely. 

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- do conservative voices have a place on our forum?

Yes. What's the point of having a Civics section on a forum otherwise?

It would just be an echo chamber of agreement, with little value, exchange or chance to explain differing views.  

 

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- does bringing up a member’s post history qualify as a warnable offense when it comes to political talk?

I don't see why it would? The member posted publicly. They also have the opportunity to express if / why / how their views have changed or acknowledge a contradiction in rhetoric. 

 

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- how harsh should the criticism against public figures be allowed to get?

These are people who've elected to become public figures, responsible for society altering decisions. They're not making art. They're setting policies that shape lives. 

Any and all forms of criticism should apply. I think this section generally does a decent job at providing supporting evidence or reasoning for criticism or character assessments. 

 

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- how does COVID views at this point factor into getting warned?

Mischaracterising someone as "anti-vax", just for being pro-choice should be warned.

Any particularly unpopular claims should be accepted, if credible studies or references are linked. Tweets should be banned as a "source". 

 

Discussion over opposing views should also not devolve into personal attacks, but rather, stick to the substance of the topic. e.g. Don't dismiss someone as a "communist" or make definitive claims like "you're a fascist". 

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21 hours ago, Communion said:

I remember experiencing things like talking about traumatic childhood experiences wrt growing up poor or talking about family members dying due to issues policy could have solved and being trolled with Paris Hilton memes about not being poor. :priceless:

Right. And I remember users also calling me a worthless loser simply for not being pro-Biden and daring to say anything critical of Obama. I can think of only one time that a user was banned for saying that to me, and it took me complaining about it in HQ and Juanny responding to me for anything to be done about it. :katie:

 

At the very least, the ability to know that a blatant personal attack against another member was warned should suffice to let people know that actions are being taken, even when bans aren’t happen. And also, when you report a post for a clear-cut ZTP violation for blatant racism against Chinese people, and that user is still posting similar things afterward, you can only assume that either nothing happened or the infraction was so minuscule that it wouldn’t have made a difference in their behavior. I know it’s being worked on, but it’ll be nice if and when it’s actually implemented.

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19 minutes ago, ClashAndBurn said:

Right. And I remember users also calling me a worthless loser simply for not being pro-Biden and daring to say anything critical of Obama. I can think of only one time that a user was banned for saying that to me, and it took me complaining about it in HQ and Juanny responding to me for anything to be done about it. :katie:

 

At the very least, the ability to know that a blatant personal attack against another member was warned should suffice to let people know that actions are being taken, even when bans aren’t happen. And also, when you report a post for a clear-cut ZTP violation for blatant racism against Chinese people, and that user is still posting similar things afterward, you can only assume that either nothing happened or the infraction was so minuscule that it wouldn’t have made a difference in their behavior. I know it’s being worked on, but it’ll be nice if and when it’s actually implemented.

Like you said, we're working on showings posts that were reported and/or warned in the new theme, we just have issues with the current forum code that is making this hard to implement.  If I am thinking about who you are thinking about, that user was given a ZTP in the past for that rhetoric.  It does take us some time to issue out warnings that could be debatable, they sit in our report queue while the mods discuss back and forth about what should be done.  I just cleared about 6 reports that have been sitting in our queue for a week because the mods couldn't decide which direction to take on all of them, so it is possible you saw that user posting directly after you reported them for a few days before anything was done about it.

 

I also said earlier in this town hall that is seems that the more political/leftist side of the forum is misunderstood by the more casual/moderate side whenever there is criticism about Democrats here.  And I think @Bloo's suggestion to have a casual political thread where members can post news, polls, and casual conversation about issues without fear of being thrown into a spirited debate could help alleviate this issue - the problem is we don't know fully how to set this up successfully.

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4 minutes ago, khalyan said:

Like you said, we're working on showings posts that were reported and/or warned in the new theme, we just have issues with the current forum code that is making this hard to implement.  If I am thinking about who you are thinking about, that user was given a ZTP in the past for that rhetoric.  It does take us some time to issue out warnings that could be debatable, they sit in our report queue while the mods discuss back and forth about what should be done.  I just cleared about 6 reports that have been sitting in our queue for a week because the mods couldn't decide which direction to take on all of them, so it is possible you saw that user posting directly after you reported them for a few days before anything was done about it.

 

I also said earlier in this town hall that is seems that the more political/leftist side of the forum is misunderstood by the more casual/moderate side whenever there is criticism about Democrats here.  And I think @Bloo's suggestion to have a casual political thread where members can post news, polls, and casual conversation about issues without fear of being thrown into a spirited debate could help alleviate this issue - the problem is we don't know fully how to set this up successfully.

Yeah, I know. We’re not privy to the discussions and the way the forum is set up makes it impossible to know, so one can only assume one way or another.

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10 hours ago, Buddy said:

- do conservative voices have a place on our forum?

 

Yes. To pretend there are not conservative users and attempt to turn this site an echo chamber is unreasonably authoritarian and childish. Those among a particular political faction are free to make a thread exclusive to that faction with moderator approval, however. With that said, if a given conservative user wants to bring explicitly racist elements to the table, they should be subjected to the ZTP like everyone else obv. 

 

- does bringing up a member’s post history qualify as a warnable offense when it comes to political talk?

 

No. We are all responsible for our post history as individuals and are free to defend our current stances if felt the need. 

 

- how harsh should the criticism against public figures be allowed to get?

 

As long as one is not making direct or indirect threats to a particular pubic official's life, I don't see the problem. (ZTP still applies, of course) I should be allowed to call ALL presidents war criminals because that's what they are. 

 

- how does COVID views at this point factor into getting warned?

 

If this forum had a ramped issue with anti-vaxxers and other types of COVID conspiracists then some action would need to be taken. For now, though, the general forum consensus seems to be one that is reasonable and I trust us to be able to deal with these topics maturely. 

 

5 hours ago, FOCK said:

Yes. What's the point of having a Civics section on a forum otherwise?

It would just be an echo chamber of agreement, with little value, exchange or chance to explain differing views.  

 

I don't see why it would? The member posted publicly. They also have the opportunity to express if / why / how their views have changed or acknowledge a contradiction in rhetoric. 

 

These are people who've elected to become public figures, responsible for society altering decisions. They're not making art. They're setting policies that shape lives. 

Any and all forms of criticism should apply. I think this section generally does a decent job at providing supporting evidence or reasoning for criticism or character assessments. 

 

Mischaracterising someone as "anti-vax", just for being pro-choice should be warned.

Any particularly unpopular claims should be accepted, if credible studies or references are linked. Tweets should be banned as a "source". 

 

Discussion over opposing views should also not devolve into personal attacks, but rather, stick to the substance of the topic. e.g. Don't dismiss someone as a "communist" or make definitive claims like "you're a fascist". 

 

Thank y'all for your opinions.

 

1.  Glad you both see the value in having conservative voices (as long as they are not racist/xenophobic/homophobic/etc) in political discussions.  Sometimes, it feels like there is no point with how left the forum as a whole is, so hearing the majority of members see value in keeping some of these voices around is reassuring to me.

 

2. I am also glad you both agree that a members post history can be used in a debate about other issues if a member feels necessary.  In the past, some members have felt uncomfortable about this but the mod team has all felt it was fair game if it was posted on the forum.  And if a member has evolved past that previous stance, all that is needed when brought up is something that says how/why they've evolved to not see that view anymore and it will likely go away (speaking from personal experience here).

 

3. I think everyone is on the same page about this

 

4. @FOCK you make a good point about users who are more pro-choice being labeled as anti-vax.  I think as long as there is scientific evidence to back up a claim (on either side) then nobody should be labeled anti-vax for being cautious or pro-choice when it comes to vaccines.  However, I do know of one user specifically who likes to push Twitter conspiracies as reasons to be trepidatious about the vaccine, and those posts will continue to get warned.  We've had COVID around long enough that we can have substantial scientific discussion on the matter without the need for either side to push unsubstantial claims.   

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I think that this discussion could be opened up to a political dimension beyond just the United States. I know that this an English-language forum with a high number of Americans present (myself included), but we cannot forget that the internet is an international landscape. The very definitions of what it means to be a liberal/progressive as opposed to a conservation (or the continually silenced centrist) can and often do differ from those generally understood in the US. The spectrums are rather broad.

 

Side note, I love that we are having more of these pro-active conversations. :clap3: I think that the number one thing that should be understood about the Civics forum and any politically charged discussion on ATRL is that if it cannot remain civil, i.e., if points cannot be made with respect and a base level of understanding, things will go off the rails rather quickly. When discussing politics, we cannot act like we're talking about Demi Lovato's yogurt shop battles.

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I mean, the simplest way (imo?) would be to have a "US politics - Discussion" thread and then a "US politics - updates" thread, separately.  We run the risk of one of them being completely dead, but hey, it's worth a shot. 

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11 minutes ago, madonnas said:

I mean, the simplest way (imo?) would be to have a "US politics - Discussion" thread and then a "US politics - updates" thread, separately.  We run the risk of one of them being completely dead, but hey, it's worth a shot. 

We can maybe pilot that starting next year once we have some time to think about the finer details of what the OP should look like and what not. I think there will be a natural trade-off with one thread being more active than the other. But I think if some members don't like the combative, debate-intensive nature of the Politics thread as is, then this might be the only way to satiate both groups.

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And of course, ATRL moderates/centrists should feel free to create their own hub thread if they want to just like there is one for leftists/socdems/demsocs.

 

:michael:  

 

I don't know if anybody would bite though.

 

4 minutes ago, Bloo said:

We can maybe pilot that starting next year once we have some time to think about the finer details of what the OP should look like and what not. I think there will be a natural trade-off with one thread being more active than the other. But I think if some members don't like the combative, debate-intensive nature of the Politics thread as is, then this might be the only way to satiate both groups.

Yeah as of now I don't think its something we need to do ASAP, but it could help when the midterms start heating up.  Anybody care to chime in on the idea? 

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I think mods should be a bit softer with bans on this section because of the cultural shocks that are bound to happen. Rules should still be enforced ofc but people should be given a chance to elaborate on the problematic idea before getting suspended :sistrens:

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To recap, so far the major themes of the discussions have converged more or less to the following points of possible changes:

  • Establishing a casual Political Updates thread not meant to support/allow intense debates/back-and-forths. The purpose of this thread is for members of the forum who want to see the latest and maybe have light questions and answers but without any intense and confrontational exchanges. These types of exchanges can instead be deferred to the already-established US Politics thread.
  • Moving away from making the Civics section less US-centric and encouraging international engagement in political discussion.
  • Conservative voices/members are welcome (and even establish their own "base" thread for intra-ideological discussions) — but are still subject to the ZTP and other forum rules.
  • Harshly criticizing politicians is fair game.

Are there any other key points that should be more strongly highlighted as the rules are crafted going into next year? Further discussion would be appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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It would be dumb to put a warning on bringing up someone's post history. Mentioning what someone said in the past can be useful when someone is being fake and goes against what he stated in the past, in which case it's good to call them out so they can't mislead people.

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