Summary of February 2020 meeting between the Black Community & ResetEra Staff and an update on our Community Relations team

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
As many of you may have seen, we recently had a meeting with black members of the community. During this meeting, the staff had a public discussion where we discussed concerns from the Black Community, and came up with solutions to address these concerns. The entire team would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend this meeting, air their concerns, and helped us come up with solutions to make the forum a more inclusive and welcoming place for you.

We state this in the summary below, but this will not be the last of the meetings and communication we have with the Black Community. We also aim to make sure more members are able to take part in future meetings. We've learned a great deal from the past two meetings that we’ve had with the community, and have also developed new tools to assist us in future community outreach efforts. The meeting was a productive experience over all, and it gave us a lot to discuss and ponder over as a team.

Before we get to the summary of the meeting, we’d like to take a moment to update you on the status of our Community Relations team, as we mentioned that we’d have more to announce on that this year in our Year End Policy Update thread. As stated in that thread, the aim of the Community Relations team will be to act as a committee of staff who are dedicated to community outreach and identifying concerns from the community as they arise. Currently, the Community Relations team is made up of the following staff members:

Pirate Bae
Sophia
Mist
Nepenthe
Delphine
spider
Snormy
Poodlestrike

You may notice that there are a few new names. We feel even more equipped to deal with the concerns of the community now with their help. We have also identified a number of communities that we plan to reach out to in the very near future, and will have more to say on that soon.

Please note: posts that try to hijack this thread with unrelated issues will be met with moderation. This thread is about the concerns of the Black Community.


Meeting Summary

The following summary was posted within the meeting thread, and contains a list of concerns and the ways that staff aim to address them. Members were given the time and opportunity to weigh in on it.

  1. A big and underlying concern that was raised throughout the meeting with the Black Community was how alienating the forum is for people of color. This is due to issues and topics often being examined through the lens of the dominant group first and foremost, even when it concerns minorities. This is not only saddening for us to read, but proof that we have a long way to go both as a moderation team and a community. We will be outlining some ways we hope to tackle this and help improve the culture of the forum below.

  2. In terms of users trying to dismiss issues surrounding racism, and posters trying to rationalize the actions of people who are a party to it, we will be moderating this stuff more severely and broadly, both in the obvious cases and the edge cases. While we already go for the blatant stuff, it’s the more insidious, diet racism that has sometimes gone unactioned or been missed. We’re going to be looking at rectifying that and making sure to better listen to the concerns of those who send us reports and post in threads. Ignorance is not an excuse either. Neither is not reading the OP. There are situations where we haven’t gone nearly as hard as we should have. Going forward, we want to take on the feedback we’ve been given by the Black Community and change this.

  3. There were concerns raised about European posters acting like racism isn’t really a thing in Europe and we’re definitely going to be going a lot harder on that. It has already been a bannable offense, but there are cases where it was better hidden or hidden by rationalization where we haven’t been actioning it in the way we should have been. That is going to change going forward. Users coming into a thread going “This is racist? We do this all the time in Europe, it’s not racist” when it is in fact racist are going to get hit much harder than they have been. The same goes for other forms of dismissive behavior, such as comments that minimize the racism that occurs in Europe. Cultural differences aren’t an excuse for rationalizing, dismissing, or ignoring racism and it will be actioned as such.

  4. Minority members shouldn’t be getting banned for confronting bannable posts on the site itself. Not only that, but we should be getting to these situations and banning those either trolling or engaging in any kind of racism before it escalates to that point. Part of how we’re going to try and fix this is that staff members, and not just minority staff members, are going to try and be a more visible presence in these kinds of threads to hopefully catch and stop anything before it starts. However if we do miss something and end up banning it, people won’t be banned for calling out that post.

  5. For members who try to police black language, we’re going to be more actively actioning that kind of thing. Marginalized members shouldn’t have to feel like they need to talk differently on the site than they do in their real life. Tone policing will also receive greater scrutiny to ensure that no one is trying to silence legitimate frustration. As always, we’ll ask everyone to respect other marginalized groups, but no one should be getting banned just for using inoffensive slang.

  6. Members bringing up an intersectional issue in a thread shouldn’t be getting banned (unless they’re wholesale dismissing other minorities’ concerns) as this is an important part of the discussion. A complaint we’ve received from the Black community is that when an intersectional issue is brought up, their concerns are usually the first to be ignored or dismissed. We’ll be working in these kinds of threads to make sure they stay on the rails, that members are able to have those discussions, and that minorities are not banned for bringing up intersectional concerns.

  7. For members that target others using things like the report system, we’re going to more closely monitor reports against minority members, and bunk reports in general, and action those who are using them to target other users. We have a number of tools that we can use to establish a pattern. This is something we’ve done in the past when it was clear, but it’s obvious that we aren’t looking out for this enough and that some of these users are sticking around far too long and doing too much damage to the community. We would also like to let members know that if they feel they may have been unfairly targeted through reports, they can reach out to staff and we can evaluate the report system as well as their infraction history. The same goes for infractions related to the previous points above.

  8. Something we’re going to be doing going forward is making sure that users know we’re following sensitive and contentious thread. Not only will we try to participate in it actively, but we’ll have a message that every poster will see right above their reply box telling them that this is a thread about a sensitive issue and that they need to be careful about how they go about posting in it. Members are also encouraged to request that staff add this message to sensitive threads. You can do this by reporting the OP.

  9. In terms of the Black Culture Thread and privacy / harassment concerns, we offered a couple of solutions during the meeting / discussion. The two solutions were to either hide it from guests / unregistered users, or to make the thread invite only or password protected. The latter would offer the most privacy, but users overwhelmingly expressed interest in the former solution, as gaining new members and more activity was a high priority. There was also a lot of interest in moving the Black Culture Thread to the main Etcetera forum for this reason. As such, we will be granting this request, and also making the thread invisible to guests. This option is open to other sensitive / cultural community threads.

    Another concern we received was that the cultural hangout threads need much more visibility than they currently have, so a suggestion that was put forth was to have a separate pinned thread for these hangout threads specifically. After more deliberation, we feel the best solution would be to revamp the Community OT list entirely and give the cultural hangout threads more visibility within this thread. You should hopefully see the results of this in the next week or so. We’re also looking into ways we can improve our Community Spotlights feature to help give community threads more visibility.

  10. However, we feel it’s important to make it clear that any precautions we take will not be airtight. This is, at the end of the day, a public discussion forum. Even the most extreme measures we could possibly take won’t stop bad faith actors from accessing the site. That said, we are, and have always been, willing to offer new accounts to those who might need them due to concerns for their privacy. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. If you find yourself in trouble, we will do everything in our power to help you, as well as giving you any help and advice you need to settle into a new account. All you need to do is reach out to an administrator, it’s what we are here for.

    On this note, we also strongly advise members to be careful about sharing personal information on the forum. We will be updating our general guide with similar advice to all users.

  11. More generally, we will be updating the General Guide to include any changes to policy, as well as expand on our existing rules to make them clearer.

  12. For members that take part in harassment, we will permanently ban them, as long as the accuracy of the evidence, and the member's involvement, are verified beyond any reasonable doubt. A member taking part in harassment campaigns, be they on or off-site, is completely unacceptable and we will take strong action against anyone doing so.

  13. Another thing that was raised as a concern was minority staff getting more support, both internally, and externally, as they face much more scrutiny and pressure for a number of reasons. We just want to say, we hear you loud and clear, and have had a big internal discussion about what more we can do to both protect and support our team. The well-being of the team is naturally something that has always been, and will always be, important to us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t evaluate the systems we have in place and figure out how we can do better. There’s not much that we can say on this publicly, but we just want to say that we hear you.

  14. And as far as the reverse racism goes, users trying to divert attention away from or minimize bigotry with deflections or complaints about reverse racism will be banned. Users who insist that marginalized people must educate bigots will also be banned. People shouldn’t be wagging their fingers at minorities who don’t want to engage in that kind of thing. Pushing back against the hate on a daily basis is incredibly exhausting and draining. Minorities shouldn’t be expected to convert every bigot on Earth on top of all of that. It’s just minimizing the daily struggle and, to put it very mildly, is not acceptable. If people want to do that, that’s their choice, but they shouldn’t try to shame anyone else into doing it. Especially when that person is a part of a marginalized group that is constantly facing hate from the people they’re expected to convert. We will be on the lookout for such behavior.

  15. We are always looking to recruit more moderators. In the case of your community, coming into this meeting, we had our eyes on a number of posters. We’ve since been able to add a few more names to that list. We’ve been looking for new minority moderators to join the team, but we will ramp up those efforts so that we can better address your concerns, as well as the concerns of other marginalized and minority groups. We will also be looking to cover time zones where we’re currently short staffed. We hope that this will all help us to handle threads more effectively and quickly, and help the Black Community feel more comfortable on the forum.

    I get that we haven’t been good enough, there’s been a few threads lately where I feel it more acutely than I used to. It’s part of why I wanted to talk to everyone and why we’re looking to bring on new staff to help us. We haven’t been doing good enough and want to do better.

  16. There was some concern about dogwhistles being missed by the team, as these can be difficult to spot for people who don’t have lived experiences on these issues. While we will be trying our utmost to find more moderators to flesh out our perspective, we also encourage minority members to give detailed reports whenever they feel it’s a subtle or nuanced issue that needs more context when they can. This is one way that members can help the team. Staff will of course always do their best to read up on issues related to any threads they’re moderating, but extra context is always helpful. We will also try our best to give updates on reports to reporters when we resolve them.

  17. We see this meeting with the Black Community as the beginning of a healthier and more constructive relationship between staff and the Black Community. This is not the end, and the door for communication will not be closed after this. We want to continue to listen to you and hear your concerns. This will not be the last meeting we have, but also, we want to hear your feedback on a more frequent basis. We expect that you’ll keep us accountable and let us know if we’re falling short. We’re here to serve the community, and the Black Community is an important and integral part of it. We can’t make this community perfect, but we want to get as close as we possibly can, with your help. If nothing else, we want to show you we care. We don’t want what we’ve discussed here to just turn into empty words, either. But rather, for there to be actions to back them up.
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
4,987
Something we’re going to be doing going forward is making sure that users know we’re following sensitive and contentious thread. Not only will we try to participate in it actively, but we’ll have a message that every poster will see right above their reply box telling them that this is a thread about a sensitive issue and that they need to be careful about how they go about posting in it. Members are also encouraged to request that staff add this message to sensitive threads. You can do this by reporting the OP.
It is possible to get an option to enable this in a thread before it is made? Depending on if it's a sensitive topic or not?

In terms of the Black Culture Thread and privacy / harassment concerns, we offered a couple of solutions during the meeting / discussion. The two solutions were to either hide it from guests / unregistered users, or to make the thread invite only or password protected. The latter would offer the most privacy, but users overwhelmingly expressed interest in the former solution, as gaining new members and more activity was a high priority. There was also a lot of interest in moving the Black Culture Thread to the main Etcetera forum for this reason. As such, we will be granting this request, and also making the thread invisible to guests. This option is open to other sensitive / cultural community threads.
I'm happy that we could get this feature added to the forums. I feel like it'll be extremely useful down the line. And thankful that it didn't fall under being password protected.
We are always looking to recruit more moderators. In the case of your community, coming into this meeting, we had our eyes on a number of posters. We’ve since been able to add a few more names to that list. We’ve been looking for new minority moderators to join the team, but we will ramp up those efforts so that we can better address your concerns, as well as the concerns of other marginalized and minority groups. We will also be looking to cover time zones where we’re currently short staffed. We hope that this will all help us to handle threads more effectively and quickly, and help the Black Community feel more comfortable on the forum.

I get that we haven’t been good enough, there’s been a few threads lately where I feel it more acutely than I used to. It’s part of why I wanted to talk to everyone and why we’re looking to bring on new staff to help us. We haven’t been doing good enough and want to do better.
Is there anyway to show myself as available for certain timezones or anything like that? Or is it mainly you looking around for people and not us volunteering?
 

DigitalOp

Member
Nov 16, 2017
7,824
I'm gonna jump in here real quick and say thank you to the ERA staff for taking the time to listen and present changes to the site.

Really appreciate making the effort to make this site more appealing to others. It doesn't go unnoticed!
 
OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
It is possible to get an option to enable this in a thread before it is made? Depending on if it's a sensitive topic or not?
Thank you for the feedback. ^^ I'll try to address your questions.

Staff will able to if they're making them. It's basically a moderation tool, and meant for staff posts and reminders, so staff will need to enable it. But we're more than happy to do this for threads that warrant it, especially if users bring them to our attention (since we're not always aware of every single thread that's posted).

Is there anyway to show myself as available for certain timezones or anything like that? Or is it mainly you looking around for people and not us volunteering?
Generally, yeah, we scout volunteers rather than taking applications, so to speak. This is because there's a lot of different things we look at beyond availability, including whether members can offer perspectives we're lacking, any past infractions or posting style etc. But if any users are interested in helping out, they can always reach out via the 'contact us' form and we promise to give it serious consideration. We've thankfully been able to bring on a few new mods recently, and are expecting a few more soon too.
 

balgajo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
934
I liked the initiative but at the same time it seems that moderation will be much harder.

Have you people thought about a feature that, when toggled by the user, hides topics tagged as sensitive by mods? Seems like a good solution to protect people from themselves and decrease the load from mods. Of course it depends on how much people uses it.
 

Faustek

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,718
Thanks for making this effort. I do hope it works out well for all of us and again, thanks.

Harder? Or more apt? I prefer to see it as it’s getting closer to what it should be.
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
4,987
Thank you for the feedback. ^^ I'll try to address your questions.

Staff will able to if they're making them. It's basically a moderation tool, and meant for staff posts and reminders, so staff will need to enable it. But we're more than happy to do this for threads that warrant it, especially if users bring them to our attention (since we're not always aware of every single thread that's posted).



Generally, yeah, we scout volunteers rather than taking applications, so to speak. This is because there's a lot of different things we look at beyond availability, including whether members can offer perspectives we're lacking, any past infractions or posting style etc. But if any users are interested in helping out, they can always reach out via the 'contact us' form and we promise to give it serious consideration. We've thankfully been able to bring on a few new mods recently, and are expecting a few more soon too.
Yeah I'd imagine it would get abuse possibly if anyone could do it, but then I also thought there could be a sensitive topic queue so posted would have to be held to be approved or not and if it wasn't approved the post would just go through without the flag on it. Tho I'd imagine that would pile on more work for people and not really help things if they could be bottlenecked into a queue.

I sorta figured at this point that the applications were more scouted out then sent in when i had shown my interest a couple months back when this topic had originally come up. Thankful that you were able to recruit more peeps to moderate.
 
Jun 23, 2019
2,634
Sounds awesome. One of the biggest things that made coming into certain topics on Etcetera was the idea that minorities need to basically “get over it” and stop letting people offend them. Glad to see that kind of behavior is being curtailed.
 

Riskbreaker

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,375
Respect to the people who had the patience to work on changes to this board.

It was getting hard to post here. Especially in some threads.
 

vestan

Member
Dec 28, 2017
14,010
Something we’re going to be doing going forward is making sure that users know we’re following sensitive and contentious thread. Not only will we try to participate in it actively, but we’ll have a message that every poster will see right above their reply box telling them that this is a thread about a sensitive issue and that they need to be careful about how they go about posting in it. Members are also encouraged to request that staff add this message to sensitive threads. You can do this by reporting the OP.
I really like this a lot
 

FaceHugger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,906
U, S, and A
Glad you guys got heard. Looking forward to an asian summit if that ever happens. I remember reading the most racist post on Era I ever saw when a guy did a "flied lice", "rike rike" type asian speak parody and was only banned for like 3 days. Hopefully that type of thing goes away in the future.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,240
Houston
Still think that if this happened a year ago or more Shy wouldn't have posted like he did because he/and the rest of us saw so much shit being getting away with and some just go more aggressive with their posting while others just disappeared or straight left the forum
 

dragonbane

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,947
Germany
Sounds awesome all around!

Have you people thought about a feature that, when toggled by the user, hides topics tagged as sensitive by mods? Seems like a good solution to protect people from themselves and decrease the load from mods. Of course it depends on how much people uses it.
I would actually like this if it's easily toggleable. There are just some days you just shouldn't read sensitive threads because it can really get you down if the day already sucked
 

Resilient

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,376
Point 4 is possibly one of the best steps the moderating team has taken since inception of the site. It’s a big reason why I gave up posting here tbh and I’m not a person of colour. I hope to see it upheld.
 
OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
Harder? Or more apt? I prefer to see it as it’s getting closer to what it should be.
Completely agreed. ☝

Glad you guys got heard. Looking forward to an asian summit if that ever happens. I remember reading the most racist post on Era I ever saw when a guy did a "flied lice", "rike rike" type asian speak parody and was only banned for like 3 days. Hopefully that type of thing goes away in the future.
I'm really sorry to hear about that, and will pass your feedback on to the team. I can confirm that Asian Era is one of the communities that we plan to reach out to next. I sincerely hope that we can make the forum a much more welcoming place for you all as well.

Sounds awesome all around!


I would actually like this if it's easily toggleable. There are just some days you just shouldn't read sensitive threads because it can really get you down if the day already sucked
Thank you for the feedback. I'm not sure if such a feature is feasible, but I'll inquire with the tech team after discussing with the rest of the moderation team.
 

Vanillalite

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,056
Whole site should go hidden from non registered users IMO. Just have a sign up login page visible to the public at large.
 

Mass_Pincup

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,366
There were concerns raised about European posters acting like racism isn’t really a thing in Europe and we’re definitely going to be going a lot harder on that. It has already been a bannable offense, but there are cases where it was better hidden or hidden by rationalization where we haven’t been actioning it in the way we should have been. That is going to change going forward. Users coming into a thread going “This is racist? We do this all the time in Europe, it’s not racist” when it is in fact racist are going to get hit much harder than they have been. The same goes for other forms of dismissive behavior, such as comments that minimize the racism that occurs in Europe. Cultural differences aren’t an excuse for rationalizing, dismissing, or ignoring racism and it will be actioned as such.
This is extremely important. I also feel like the use of Europe as a monolith is also a way to shield the poster from any criticism because then you can't really say that what they're saying is wrong because the brush was too wide. Feels like an attempt to way to completely handwave the issue at hand and furthermore silence European minorities.

When discussing sensitive topics about minority and race, we should at the very least talk on a country basis in order to create a frame of reference for the argument. Because let's be honest, the situation in France or the UK can't be comparable to Bulgaria or Romania for a host of reasons.
 
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Chrome Hyena

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,317
I was weary about coming back here. Took a few days to consider it and read this thread. These will be good changes for the folk who decide to continue posting here.
 

collige

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,314
I have no real complaints with any of the positive changes being made, but I can't say I'm too satisfied with how these discussions played out. Obviously, the health of longstanding OTs is important to the site as a whole, but as a member of several minority groups who doesn't really hang out in Hangouts, the way this discussion played out kind of made me feel like the "Black Community" being referenced in this OP is really just the BCT. I'm aware that I could've PMed and asked to be included, but my complaint is more centered around the messaging of the entire conversation. These moderation changes affect gaming side as well and I'm sure there's plenty of primarily gaming-side black posters who could've contributed as well. This kind of segues into my next question:

For virtually all of these changes, how does the moderation team know which member is a minority or not if they're not a regular poster in their respective Hangouts?
For members who try to police black language, we’re going to be more actively actioning that kind of thing. Marginalized members shouldn’t have to feel like they need to talk differently on the site than they do in their real life. Tone policing will also receive greater scrutiny to ensure that no one is trying to silence legitimate frustration. As always, we’ll ask everyone to respect other marginalized groups, but no one should be getting banned just for using inoffensive slang.
Specifically, does the bolded mean that black members are allowed to say "nigga" in normal slang sense? If so, how does this get verified?

One final nitpick:
A big and underlying concern that was raised throughout the meeting with the Black Community was how alienating the forum is for people of color.
I'm sure this has been pointed out, but PoC and black people are not interchangeable terms. If other communities haven't been talked to yet (which post #19 implies), then this line kind of implies that feedback from black posters spoke for other minorites. Again, just a linguistic nitpick.


The point is who cares about SEO? This isn’t some news site trying to get traffic.
The people who have to pay server costs for this site do.
 
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Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,746
UK
For virtually all of these changes, how does the moderation team know which member is a minority or not if they're not a regular poster in their respective Hangouts?
Good point, as it is, requires mods to be very familiar with the user's posts if they don't post in their respective hangouts to verify. But then don't know if having race or ethnicity on profiles like gender is, is a good or bad thing.
 

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
2,012
I wasn't part of this discussion but I did take the time to read the OP here. I realize some finer points may need to be worked out but this is an encouraging thread to read since I (like everyone else) want this to be a healthy place for discussion.

Thanks to all that contributed.
 

Dali

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,420
It is nice to see the "I'm not American so I'm a buffoon that doesn't understand/see the racism in it" crowd are going to actually be called out for their bs.
 
Jun 10, 2018
2,262
It is nice to see the "I'm not American so I'm a buffoon that doesn't understand/see the racism in it" crowd are going to actually be called out for their bs.
That line of argumentation never made sense to me to begin with considering manifest destiny (the direct precursor to white supremacist rhetoric) was birthed in Euro territories.
 
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Kaelan

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
1,043
Maryland
I was a bit concerned in how I couldn’t even post in the thread where concerns were being raised. I’m a PoC and did not have the ability to post. In the future if it’s going to be based on invites, make it more known. I was a bit hurt that I did not even have a voice in that thread
 

someday

Member
Oct 25, 2017
791
Thanks mods.
I was a bit concerned in how I couldn’t even post in the thread where concerns were being raised. I’m a PoC and did not have the ability to post. In the future if it’s going to be based on invites, make it more known. I was a bit hurt that I did not even have a voice in that thread
I didn't either at first but I PM'd a couple of mods and was added really quickly. I don't think they have a database of us or anything and I hadn't posted in the bcc thread.
 
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eljam

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6
Lurker here (in general and the BCC thread) and wanted to say thanks to the mods for the effort and reaching out to community. Also, thanks those active participants who weren't afraid to speak up.
 

Snormy

The Meanest
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
2,810
Morizora's Forest
For virtually all of these changes, how does the moderation team know which member is a minority or not if they're not a regular poster in their respective Hangouts?
Beyond the moderation tools we already have in place to assist us in identifying members, we will be trying to be more familiar with our communities in general. We primarily use a member's post history however another useful aspect is when other members notify staff through reports or the contact form.
Specifically, does the bolded mean that black members are allowed to say "nigga" in normal slang sense?
If we have any reason to believe the member is black, they won't be banned for it.
I'm sure this has been pointed out, but PoC and black people are not interchangeable terms. If other communities haven't been talked to yet (which post #19 implies), then this line kind of implies that feedback from black posters spoke for other minorites. Again, just a linguistic nitpick.
This is something we are acutely aware of as well. Certainly one group does not speak for all of the others and we will be reaching out to more of our communities going forward. Different minorities will have different issues and feelings from Era but we also do not want to take on more than we can handle at any one time. There may be some intersections of issues that might be addressed and improved across the board (such as increase in ban length or swifter escalation towards permanent bans) but none of that diminishes the need to reach out to the other communities when we are able.

If anyone feels like there are issues missed or concerns still to address our doors are open. While the meeting is over we are still listening.
 
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OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
I was a bit concerned in how I couldn’t even post in the thread where concerns were being raised. I’m a PoC and did not have the ability to post. In the future if it’s going to be based on invites, make it more known. I was a bit hurt that I did not even have a voice in that thread
Yeah, we got this feedback at the end of the last meeting, and I apologise for that. As someday said, we got many PMs and messages requesting access during the meeting, and granted them all. But this wasn't clear enough, and that was a mistake on our part. We've been brainstorming since then and have thought of ways to improve on this in the future, and make sure as many people get the chance to have their voices heard. Both of the meetings we've had thus far have been a learning experience for us.
 

MagicDoogies

Member
Oct 31, 2017
984
I apologize for double posting but it's been on my mind a lot.

This is probably hard to moderate and I don't know if it's a valid thing to bring up, but one of the things that really grates on my nerves but I don't see listed on here is when there is a (often political) thread often talk about different ethnic demographics as if they were win chips or weaponry amongst each other.

The most recent example of this was inside the Democratic Primary OT when Joe Biden won a lot of the black votes.

Here is a small list of the things I read:

- Assuming that 'all the twitter users' calling for the black demographic to vote for Bernie Sanders were white. (Many of those aforementioned users I saw were very much black/PoC)

- Treating the 'Black Vote' as a hivemind and not an equally diverse group of people that have different voting habits based on age, financial stability, and experiences. In the case of that particular thread and additional polls Bernie IS extremely popular with YOUNG black voters.

- One black poster who countered the notion that 'black people don't like/vote for Bernie' was disrespectfully chided as simply being an 'outlier' because the polls said otherwise.

- I get the impression that we are simply used as a 'My opinion is right' weapon in a three way fight between Moderates, Liberals, and the rare Conservative. It's dehumanizing and makes me feel like my opinion isn't worth listening to or heavily considering if it goes against the popular narrative or prevents one group from getting an online 'win'.


I don't know how valid this is. On the one hand it could all be in my head. On the other hand there is a certain fatigue when political topics start to center around demographics that aren't white, cis, and/or queer that makes me instantly want to eject from the thread and never look back and I got that a lot in the last few days of that Dem Primary thread right after Super Tuesday.
 
Dec 6, 2019
1,049
I got in a tift with an old friend about the subject of "the black vote." I maintain that factions are a recent development; no, we are not a monolith, but statistically, we vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

Perhaps young black voters have recently become more demonstrative about not being lumped in with the old guard. But that's just for the primaries, where it seems safe to be more expressive.

Until we see black voters splinter when it comes to the general election, it's still the black vote.
 

Nepenthe

When the music hits, you feel no pain.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
7,267
I apologize for double posting but it's been on my mind a lot.

This is probably hard to moderate and I don't know if it's a valid thing to bring up, but one of the things that really grates on my nerves but I don't see listed on here is when there is a (often political) thread often talk about different ethnic demographics as if they were win chips or weaponry amongst each other.

The most recent example of this was inside the Democratic Primary OT when Joe Biden won a lot of the black votes.

Here is a small list of the things I read:

- Assuming that 'all the twitter users' calling for the black demographic to vote for Bernie Sanders were white. (Many of those aforementioned users I saw were very much black/PoC)

- Treating the 'Black Vote' as a hivemind and not an equally diverse group of people that have different voting habits based on age, financial stability, and experiences. In the case of that particular thread and additional polls Bernie IS extremely popular with YOUNG black voters.

- One black poster who countered the notion that 'black people don't like/vote for Bernie' was disrespectfully chided as simply being an 'outlier' because the polls said otherwise.

- I get the impression that we are simply used as a 'My opinion is right' weapon in a three way fight between Moderates, Liberals, and the rare Conservative. It's dehumanizing and makes me feel like my opinion isn't worth listening to or heavily considering if it goes against the popular narrative or prevents one group from getting an online 'win'.


I don't know how valid this is. On the one hand it could all be in my head. On the other hand there is a certain fatigue when political topics start to center around demographics that aren't white, cis, and/or queer that makes me instantly want to eject from the thread and never look back and I got that a lot in the last few days of that Dem Primary thread right after Super Tuesday.
We've been aware of racial bias and animosity towards black voters on a political front for awhile now, both as a result of reports from you guys and active participation of a few black staffers in those threads. In general we were all disappointed how certain threads in the past went in regards to accounting for the voices and concerns of black posters in these subjects, so we're increasing our vigilance there, especially in regards to "low-information voter" dog whistles and posts suggesting that black people owe it to the Democratic party to vote for whomever non-black voters prefer.
 

Cien

Member
Oct 25, 2017
683
While i appreciate the efforts, we still have fools doing the "reverse racism nonsense" freely.

It is a hard ass job you guys are doing, but i wonder if all the efforts will actually be enough.
 

Zelas

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,691
Will support be focused on just those who post in the OT or will this cover all black posters? I’d definitely like to see progress on points 1 and 6 especially in political threads.
 

Snormy

The Meanest
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
2,810
Morizora's Forest
While i appreciate the efforts, we still have fools doing the "reverse racism nonsense" freely.

It is a hard ass job you guys are doing, but i wonder if all the efforts will actually be enough.
Thanks for the feedback. It is indeed a pretty hard job and maybe it isn't always enough but we're still trying and am willing to make changes to see more improvement as necessary! If you don't mind reporting or pming me the details I can take a peek when I get a moment or pass it to other staff.
The more we find them, moderate them the easier this gets for all of us and I'm hoping Era will see and learn from it. Hopefully we will stop seeing things like this sooner rather than later.

Will support be focused on just those who post in the OT or will this cover all black posters? I’d definitely like to see progress on points 1 and 6 especially in political threads.
This is being site wide 👍
 

DarthSpider

The Fallen
Nov 15, 2017
819
For virtually all of these changes, how does the moderation team know which member is a minority or not if they're not a regular poster in their respective Hangouts?
I’m a minority, and I copped a one month ban for dismissing minority issues recently. Not saying I didn’t deserve it, but would I have been granted any leniency if the mods knew I was a minority? Does that allow me more say? Seems a bit gray but understandably difficult to mod every time.
 
OP
OP

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
I’m a minority, and I copped a one month ban for dismissing minority issues recently. Not saying I didn’t deserve it, but would I have been granted any leniency if the mods knew I was a minority? Does that allow me more say? Seems a bit gray but understandably difficult to mod every time.
While there are some contexts where being a specific minority may factor in, in terms of simply being dismissive towards minorities, that wouldn't be the case. For example, me being black doesn't give me the right to be flippant or insensitive towards the very valid concerns and fears of other black people.