Year End Policy Updates and Community Affairs

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,078
Hello all,

As we get ready to close out the year here on ResetEra the staff have been hard at work looking at ways we can improve our methods and our policies. In response to feedback we've received and conversations with the community, we've been examining everything about how we moderate and how we communicate, looking for areas that can be improved. The purpose of this thread is to explain the changes we've made and the changes that we are planning to make as we head into the new year.

While this thread will cover public policy, implementing those policies has also required a lot of work behind the scenes and a lot of adjustments to our internal processes. The curation and moderation on this site is an important part of what sets ResetEra apart from other gaming communities, and this is something that we want to continuously improve on, with help from the community.


Moderation

First things first, we've been carefully reviewing concerns from the LGBTQ+ and various other minority communities. We understand that despite our best intentions there is still more we can and should be doing to protect these communities, and to make the forum a safer and more welcoming place. We do deeply regret and apologise for falling short. From its very first mission statement this site has set out to provide a space where women and minorities can freely discuss their favourite hobbies and issues that matter to them. The feedback that we have received over the past few weeks has formed the basis of the changes we're making now.

Among the most important of those changes is that bans for bigotry will be significantly longer going forward. Users who engage in such behaviour will also be given fewer chances before being permanently banned. We will also be making greater efforts to identify and take harsher action against subtler bad faith behaviour, such as: speaking over marginalised voices, concern trolling in sensitive threads, and dismissive drive-by posting. This is something that we have already started to implement, and will be further enforced and made routine as we close out the year. You can find some examples of such behaviour in our General Guide under the ‘Dismissive and Disruptive Behavior’ section (please understand that these are merely examples, and the list is not meant to be exhaustive). In this regard we ask that the community help us by giving detailed reports and cooperating with staff. If a member has a history of subtly trolling such threads with posts that might otherwise fly under the radar, providing a report that proves such a pattern can help the available staff take appropriate action.

To facilitate this effort, we are also cutting some red tape and giving moderators who have a personal understanding and perspective of the issues at stake more latitude to moderate threads of a sensitive nature. The benefit of this is that problematic posters should be removed more quickly, which will hopefully have a positive effect on the quality of threads. You may wonder how this differs from our previous approach, or what exactly it means. To be clear, we have always placed a strong emphasis on consulting staff members who have a relevant background whenever sensitive issues come up -- this includes misogyny, transphobia, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia etc. Those staff with personal understanding of these issues have always led the moderation of them. However, everything we do is done as a team, particularly when lengthier bans are involved, to minimise mistakes and ensure that the right decisions are made. The downside of this team based approach is that sometimes certain reports can take longer to handle, with the affected threads suffering as a result. With this new approach, in moments when thorough discussion is not possible (for example when fewer staff are online) moderators with relevant background and perspective will have license to remove troublemakers more quickly. The bans will later be reviewed by the Moderator Captains to determine the final length with further feedback and input from relevant staff. This will continue to ensure that no single staff member can go rogue while also allowing for more decisive action when it is called for. Of course, this can only work with a diverse staff, which is something we have always prioritised. We have made recent promotions to further emphasise diversity, and will continue to make it a focus as we consider new candidates.

We also recognise that another area that we can improve upon is our visible presence within such threads. While staff posts have been a tool that we have used since the forum's inception, we aim to make more guideline staff posts in sensitive threads. We will do our best to be as quick and responsive with this as possible. This should have the benefit of both setting the tone and steering discussion. As usual, posts that come after a staff post will be moderated more strictly, but this does not mean that posts that came before the staff post are immune. Similarly, "doubling down" on an infraction has always been an actionable offense that calls for even harsher moderation. This is especially the case for offenses related to bigotry.


Communication

Another recurring concern that has often been raised is the process by which the community gives feedback to staff. Our policy has long been that individual posts should be reported, and larger issues should be directed towards Moderator Captains via PM or the 'Contact Us' form (which can be found at the bottom of the site). While this will still be our general policy, we realise that not every public discussion about feedback needs to be shut down immediately, and we will do our best to engage openly whenever there is an opportunity to clear up misconceptions or address specific and constructive criticism.

This does not mean that members should publicly litigate past infractions, especially in unrelated threads. There is a formal ban appeal process detailed in the General Guide, and we encourage you to utilise it. Every appeal is reviewed by multiple members of staff. We have already further streamlined and improved the process we use to review appeals in recent weeks. We must also advise that if you choose to publicly misrepresent the reason you were banned, we may need to respond with links to the actual post(s) for which you were banned.

We understand that there are a number of marginalised or minority communities that have experienced strain over time. The staff have already met with the TransEra community with positive results, and we plan to reach out to others for direct discussions in the coming new year. Furthermore, our door is open to any communities that want to reach out to us as well. While this is the case for all communities, we would like to emphasise this even more for marginalised and minority groups.

In the past we have not always communicated or dialogued as well as we could and should have. In order to help address this, we are drawing up plans to establish a Community Relations team in the near future. We expect to have a more detailed announcement ready in the new year, but the aim of this group will be to act as a committee of staff who are dedicated to community outreach and identifying concerns from the community as they arise. There are other plans and projects in the works as well. So far, the volunteers for the Community Relations team are Delphine , Sophia , Pirate Bae and Poodlestrike. A complete list will be included when the team is finalised and announced, but we're confident that all of the volunteers so far will do an amazing job.

To close this message out, I'd like to personally take a moment to thank everyone who has taken the time to give us great constructive feedback, as well as everyone, staff and members alike, who dedicate their time to tackling important issues across the forum. This forum would not be the place it is without all of you. Thank you, sincerely. I hope that going forward, we can grow stronger as a community and only improve from here. Together, we can make this community the best it can be. This is something that I and the rest of the team passionately care about. If you have any questions, please let us know.
 

Hinkypunk

Member
Dec 13, 2018
125
The biggest problem with current moderation is the obvious lack of transparency.

Is anonymous moderation going to change?
 

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
2,126
The biggest problem with current moderation is the obvious lack of transparency.

Is anonymous moderation going to change?
This. Plus I think that moderators &/or administrators should be more understanding with what someone is trying to say while collecting their thoughts together before throwing the banhammer. We've seen plenty of posters that have gotten banned or permabanned for less.
 

John Kowalski

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,866
Please consider having a community wide news thread guide to standardize sourcing and quoting!! I'd be willing to work for something like that.
 

Agar25

Member
Apr 12, 2018
6,720
Definitely have vocalized my issues with moderation this year but this is fantastic, well done to all
 

B-Dubs

Oh well, what the hell?
General Manager
Oct 25, 2017
18,186
The biggest problem with current moderation is the obvious lack of transparency.

Is anonymous moderation going to change?
No one moderator is responsible for any ban. Every single ban is a group effort and requires exentisve discussion. I know a lot of people might not believe it, but it's the truth. New mods are often shocked by how much deliberation goes into a single warning, let alone a ban.

Transparency means that you will always see the reason why a user was banned, not which specific member of the team pressed the button.
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,521
United States
The biggest problem with current moderation is the obvious lack of transparency.

Is anonymous moderation going to change?
Warnings have mod names attached to them already and always have. Every warning is attributed to the staff member who gave it.

However, like the forum guide says, individual staff members are not responsible for action taken. This is especially true with bans. Moderation is collaborative. The person who individually issued the ban is not reflective of anything.

It is important to note that we take a team approach to moderation, and no single moderator will ever be solely responsible for a given decision. All moderator actions are automatically logged and visible to the rest of the team; it is therefore impossible for an individual member of staff to go rogue. Every action is discussed as a team and signed off on by multiple staff before it is carried out. The diversity of our team is a strength -- we always seek insight on any given issue from the staff members who know the most about it.
Attributing a ban to any single moderator would not be transparent, it would be misleading. Even with the changes described above, which are situational, everything is reviewed by multiple staff members.
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,521
United States
Thank you to the team to continuing to work towards a safer and more welcoming place online for people with no place else to go. I am one of these people.

We’re all in this together. ✊💙
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
10,472
Sounds good, but I fully expect this to have a chilling effect on discussion. Someone who asks questions in a sincere attempt to inform themselves, and catches a ban for a "subtle pattern" of trolling, is unlikely to speak up again in the future. I just hope all uninformed perspectives aren't defined as actionable insensitivity, because one of the most rewarding things about discussing sensitive topics is the opportunity for its participants to evolve.
 
Oct 26, 2017
9,434
That's one hell of a great community relations team. Good stuff.

Sounds good, but I fully expect this to have a chilling effect on discussion. Someone who asks questions in a sincere attempt to inform themselves, and catches a ban for a "subtle pattern" of trolling, is unlikely to speak up again in the future. I just hope all uninformed perspectives aren't defined as actionable insensitivity, because one of the most rewarding things about discussing sensitive topics is the opportunity for its participants to evolve.
I've had this same concern, but I think moderation team uses quite a few different pieces to put the puzzle together on bad faith posters: I imagine post history being the most important. If someone is just asking a question, but they've asked the question five thousand times? And/or someone asks a question, then disagrees with perspectives from marginalized groups about marginalized groups? Those should be easy to spot and handle accordingly.
 
Last edited:

OrangeNova

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,847
Canada
Warnings have mod names attached to them already and always have. Every warning is attributed to the staff member who gave it.

However, like the forum guide says, individual staff members are not responsible for action taken. This is especially true with bans. Moderation is collaborative. The person who individually issued the ban is not reflective of anything.



Attributing a ban to any single moderator would not be transparent, it would be misleading. Even with the changes described above, which are situational, everything is reviewed by multiple staff members.
No one moderator is responsible for any ban. Every single ban is a group effort and requires exentisve discussion. I know a lot of people might not believe it, but it's the truth. New mods are often shocked by how much deliberation goes into a single warning, let alone a ban.

Transparency means that you will always see the reason why a user was banned, not which specific member of the team pressed the button.
Would it be possible to put in the Ban who contributed to it, so people understand who banned them instead of "The Collective"
 

Dmax3901

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,552
Sounds good, but I fully expect this to have a chilling effect on discussion. Someone who asks questions in a sincere attempt to inform themselves, and catches a ban for a "subtle pattern" of trolling, is unlikely to speak up again in the future. I just hope all uninformed perspectives aren't defined as actionable insensitivity, because one of the most rewarding things about discussing sensitive topics is the opportunity for its participants to evolve.
They can evolve by listening instead of speaking.
 

HStallion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,498
Every 100 bans should take all those affected and give them a chance to win their way back in with a game of Fortnite

Edit: Seriously though its good to see some change is coming through and that people are listening.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Mist

Mist

Love & Respect
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
3,078
Sounds good, but I fully expect this to have a chilling effect on discussion. Someone who asks questions in a sincere attempt to inform themselves, and catches a ban for a "subtle pattern" of trolling, is unlikely to speak up again in the future. I just hope all uninformed perspectives aren't defined as actionable insensitivity, because one of the most rewarding things about discussing sensitive topics is the opportunity for its participants to evolve.
Simply asking a question will not get you banned, as long as you do so respectfully, and do not speak over people with lived experiences, or divert the thread so that is now about your perspective instead of theirs (whether intentionally or not).

Please understand that constant microaggressions can weigh heavily on already marginalised users, especially when every single thread goes in the exact same direction. It's important to keep this in mind and make it clear that you are asking in good faith and are completely willing to listen and learn.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
9,910
Good to have clarity around these actions and the open commitment. It’s positive to read and I know recent responses to reports have been markedly better than before. Appreciate the time taken to evaluate the issues and discuss the approaches directly with the community. As noted in the post and in discussions from the start, it's important this continues for other minorities on Era.

Sounds good, but I fully expect this to have a chilling effect on discussion. Someone who asks questions in a sincere attempt to inform themselves, and catches a ban for a "subtle pattern" of trolling, is unlikely to speak up again in the future. I just hope all uninformed perspectives aren't defined as actionable insensitivity, because one of the most rewarding things about discussing sensitive topics is the opportunity for its participants to evolve.
There isn't a dearth of people having questions answered in sensitive threads, despite people hanging on this 'concern' of late. The issue that was raised was a lack of moderation in sensitive threads and was subsequently flipped to be 'we can't talk in sensitive threads without being moderated' before any of this was even announced.

People were having their questions answered on LGBTQ+ issues with multiple paragraphs-long responses during the most heated moments of the past few weeks. It's not hard to set yourself apart from bad-faith if you're sincere about learning, most manage it.
 

Rendering...

Member
Oct 30, 2017
10,472
Simply asking a question will not get you banned, as long as you do so respectfully, and do not speak over people with lived experiences, or divert the thread so that is now about your perspective instead of theirs (whether intentionally or not).

Please understand that constant microaggressions can weigh heavily on already marginalised users, especially when every single thread goes in the exact same direction. It's important to keep this in mind and make it clear that you are asking in good faith and are completely willing to listen and learn.
That's fair.
 

Pekola

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,024
( •̀ω•́ ) 🖤
I would like to propose that similar considerations be given to Black/Asian/Latin communities as well.

As well as an improvement in the overall way discussions of Palestine and China are handled.

Thirdly, I’d like to see some more nuance when it comes to subjects that require intersectionality, as I’m sure we’ll have a lot of butting heads, even as minorities.

Lastly, I would generally like a LOT more transparency. In regards to how this manifests, it’d be too long to and would take up most of my post. But there’s lots of work that can be done.

I genuinely have very low standards for anything changing, and this is because I’ve been talking about about a lot of these issues for the past two years. At first you’re sort of expectant and want to cooperate, but after all that time (and certain questionable incidents), you just either leave or accept that things are gonna stay the same. It took far too much blowback for the team to take a step back and reevaluate.

I appreciate some individual moderators, who during the turmoil, decided to be open and understanding. And a lot of them whom I’ve interacted with have been responsive and involved in the past, but I want to see the change.
 

Fanto

Is this tag ok?
Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,700
That all sounds great to me as far as moderation goes. Also looking forward to seeing what the community relations team will be doing moving forward to communicate more often as I feel like it's important for the staff and members to have a healthy relationship.
 
Sep 14, 2018
845
At least something is being done, I contacted an admin a few months ago with concerns about the forum and was completely ignored, I guess you have to stumble that many times for so long before you can't ignore it anymore. In the other words, that Contact Us thing might as well read "vent about something, no one is listening anyway".
 

Sophia

Phantasmal, like bubbles.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
1,975
I would like to propose that similar considerations be given to Black/Asian/Latin communities as well.

As well as an improvement in the overall way discussions of Palestine and China are handled.

Thirdly, I’d like to see some more nuance when it comes to subjects that require intersectionality, as I’m sure we’ll have a lot of butting heads, even as minorities.

Lastly, I would generally like a LOT more transparency. In regards to how this manifests, it’d be too long to and would take up most of my post. But there’s lots of work that can be done.

I genuinely have very low standards for anything changing, and this is because I’ve been talking about about a lot of these issues for the past two years. At first you’re sort of expectant and want to cooperate, but after all that time (and certain questionable incidents), you just either leave or accept that things are gonna stay the same. It took far too much blowback for the team to take a step back and reevaluate.

I appreciate some individual moderators, who during the turmoil, decided to be open and understanding. And a lot of them whom I’ve interacted with have been responsive and involved in the past, but I want to see the change.
We went into this a bit in the OP, but we're already planning action to reach out to these communities and others going forward. This is something that the Community Relations team will be able to help with, as staff members who are a part of those communities can reach out and we can formulate where to go from there.

In regards to the intersectionality comment, the moderation team already consists of a diverse group of people, but this is an area where the more perspectives we can get, the more ground we can cover. So we are looking to flesh out our perspective even more. Many of our staff are also part of various marginalized and minority groups. If there's a discussion that requires more than one point of view, we seek out perspective from all relevant staff.

As for transparency, one such example was noted in the opening post, in that we'd like to make sure our presence is more visible in threads going forward. We're looking into other ways of boosting transparency as well, such as increasing the frequency in which people who report see resolution notices and making a more active approach to guidelines.
 

ClearMetal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,148
Netherlands
While this will still be our general policy, we realise that not every public discussion about feedback needs to be shut down immediately, and we will do our best to engage openly whenever there is an opportunity to clear up misconceptions or address specific and constructive criticism.
A good step, but hopefully just the first one on the road to a central feedback thread. I cannot overstate this: there should be a place where site matters can be discussed openly and freely. This does not even have to include ban appeals, which I understand is something you wish to avoid, especially when it concerns bigots. But thread locks, staff posts that miss their target, general site feedback... Reach out to the community, give them a place to talk about these things with the mod team. I can't help but feel the community and the staff distrust each other in equal measure and I hope we can change that.
 

Decepticonprime

Alt Account
Banned
Oct 23, 2019
157
It all sounds good but I still believe that there should be more checks and balances in place, as well as a clear way to contact someone about a ban to have it reviewed.
 

Delphine

Honk honk!
Moderator
Mar 30, 2018
2,440
France
It all sounds good but I still believe that there should be more checks and balances in place, as well as a clear way to contact someone about a ban to have it reviewed.

Thank for your feedback, it is much appreciated. On the topic of ban appeal, we already do those via the Contact Us form available at the bottom of each page of this forum. It already has been used countless of times by users in that effect, and a number of bans have ended up being overturned as a result when it appeared that they weren't warranted. If you prefer, you can also directly PM the Mod Captains on the forum.
Here's a link to the staff roster, which we keep up to date: https://www.resetera.com/threads/active-staff-roster.7164/

It's important to note that we sometimes receive a large number of emails, so while we can't guarantee a response to every email, every single one is fairly reviewed by several members of the team.
 

Matthew77

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,628
Massachusetts
It’s a step, now to see it in action. This has given me faith again in leadership but I am not just forgiving and forgetting I want to see it applied, and for all of our diverse community.

I often struggle with what I think the primary image of Resetera should be and the more I think of the community’s (even with the issues), who mods are, migration from GAF era, community leaders, etc. all mixed into a blender and I keep coming back to we are the place for those no one else wants, have prejudiced people against us who want to be bigoted towards us when we just want to talk about our hobby. It’s strength is the diversity, and I get to communicate with all kinds from all walks in a community that while it has its deep flaws is still a better ideal of how we should treat others. So seeing these rules implemented and for all minority, disenfranchised, trampled on community’s. I believe staff has the best interests in mind so I expect some improvement and am at least willing to give benefit of the doubt because I want this place to be the best it can be, stupid slogan aside.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,521
This. Plus I think that moderators &/or administrators should be more understanding with what someone is trying to say while collecting their thoughts together before throwing the banhammer. We've seen plenty of posters that have gotten banned or permabanned for less.
Please make any effort at all to read and think about the OP, and what was happening before now, to see why what you’re asking for is grossly out of touch.

A good step, but hopefully just the first one on the road to a central feedback thread. I cannot overstate this: there should be a place where site matters can be discussed openly and freely. This does not even have to include ban appeals, which I understand is something you wish to avoid, especially when it concerns bigots. But thread locks, staff posts that miss their target, general site feedback... Reach out to the community, give them a place to talk about these things with the mod team. I can't help but feel the community and the staff distrust each other in equal measure and I hope we can change that.
This would also help some threads from being derailed, imo. I can think of a couple recent threads where the entire discussion became about criticizing a staff post, and while criticizing the staff post was actually merited it would have been more structured/productive in a separate thread.
 

Hobbes

Incident Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
4,739
United States
Will Era ever impose a feature that hides threads from lurker view that are sensitive topics, like trans focused threads?

Would it ever be possible to identify someone who screenshots posts and submits them to hate sites?
 

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
2,126
Please make any effort at all to read and think about the OP, and what was happening before now, to see why what you’re asking for is grossly out of touch.
Don't get me wrong, I like the changes that they're doing, as shit like bigotry is terrible.

It's just that I feel whenever someone says the wrong stuff by accident when they're trying to clarify something, etc., they wind up getting banned for it, while other people who have said shit worse gets a slap on the wrist. That's what also needs to be worked on.
 
Last edited:

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
Great, the one thing this forum needed was more authoritarianism and more ban-happy mods. This is coming from an LGBTQ+ individual, btw. You can create an inclusive environment without stifling any kind of diversity of opinion, civil debate or open-minded out-of-the-box thinking. At this point, I already view this website more as a news site than a proper discussion forum because of how it's being moderated.

That being said, if you're actually serious about unpacking the ban hammer at every instance of sexist and homophobic speech, I expect to see a ban every time someone says "Fuck [company XYZ]". I can't stand that expression. (I wouldn't actually ban people for using it if it were up to me but if that's your methodology of choice, I'd like to see it applied fairly and across the board.)
 

fireflame

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,032
Will Era ever impose a feature that hides threads from lurker view that are sensitive topics, like trans focused threads?

Would it ever be possible to identify someone who screenshots posts and submits them to hate sites?
I have the feeling hiding threads would be a victory for those sites, giving the impression they have power on people they dislike and force them to hide. Yes those websites exist and I am surprised by the amount of hate they display, even by Internet standards. Given the words, they use I am surprised they haven't been sued more. I know American laws allow a lot of thigs because of the holy freedom speech, but still surprised there haven't been more lawsuits.
I don't think it would be possible to identify people's screenshotting posts without resorting to intrusive methods.

The only solution that could be considered might be threads reserved to people belonging to subgroups I guess, some forums let you post in a section only if you request joining a specific group.(that limits spam but also other problems). However it might restrict the scope of conversations.
 

Disclaimer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,449
Great, the one thing this forum needed was more authoritarianism and more ban-happy mods. This is coming from an LGBTQ+ individual, btw. You can create an inclusive environment without stifling any kind of diversity of opinion, civil debate or open-minded out-of-the-box thinking. At this point, I already view this website more as a news site than a proper discussion forum because of how it's being moderated.

That being said, if you're actually serious about unpacking the ban hammer at every instance of sexist and homophobic speech, I expect to see a ban every time someone says "Fuck [company XYZ]". I can't stand that expression. (I wouldn't actually ban people for using it if it were up to me but if that's your methodology of choice, I'd like to see it applied fairly and across the board.)
...What? You couldn't be more transparent. No one's talking about moderating... *checks notes*... "open-minded out-of-the-box thinking." They're talking about moderating the opposite of that — bigotry, whether emphatic or thinly-veiled — because Era has lost many, many members of marginalized communities due to lax moderation against people who antagonize them.

Imagined hypotheticals where civil discussion isn't allowed to take place are just that: imagined. If anyone wants to "just ask questions" about sensitive topics, they should be able to adopt an appropriate tone, in an appropriate thread, and thereby distinguish themselves from bad faith actors.
 

Apollo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,241
This is coming from an LGBTQ+ individual, btw.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be wrong lmao. The trans community nearly had a mass exodus off of this site due to the persistently disgusting state of affairs we had to put up with. Bigotry isn’t something that should be tolerated, ever, end of story. These moderation changes are precisely what this forum needs, and have me feeling hopeful about future discussions for the first time in a long time.
 

Hobbes

Incident Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
4,739
United States
I have the feeling hiding threads would be a victory for those sites, giving the impression they have power on people they dislike and force them to hide. Yes those websites exist and I am surprised by the amount of hate they display, even by Internet standards. Given the words, they use I am surprised they haven't been sued more. I know American laws allow a lot of thigs because of the holy freedom speech, but still surprised there haven't been more lawsuits.
Hiding threads being a victory for them in what way? If they can't view the threads while lurking, they can't harass / doxx people off site. If you want to call that a victory for them, I guess go ahead, victory for every single poster who wants a space where they aren't potentially threatened for sharing their opinions as well. This is why so many Era sub communities exist in verified Discords.
 

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,614
...What? You couldn't be more transparent. No one's talking about moderating... *checks notes*... "open-minded out-of-the-box thinking." They're talking about moderating the opposite of that — bigotry, whether emphatic or thinly-veiled — because Era has lost many, many members of marginalized communities due to lax moderation against people who antagonize them.

Imagined hypotheticals where civil discussion isn't allowed to take place are just that: imagined. If anyone wants to "just ask questions" about sensitive topics, they should be able to adopt an appropriate tone and thereby distinguish themselves from bad faith actors.
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might abritrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP. (EDIT: And there are also often cases where people are banned for merely being ignorant when it would've probably been much more valuable to engage in dialogue with them and tell them why you think they're wrong instead of banning them outright. If they were just shitposting in bad faith, that obviously isn't going to help but I don't believe that's always the case.)
This doesn’t mean you can’t be wrong lmao. The trans community nearly had a mass exodus off of this site due to the persistently disgusting state of affairs we had to put up with. Bigotry isn’t something that should be tolerated, ever, end of story. These moderation changes are precisely what this forum needs, and have me feeling hopeful about future discussions for the first time in a long time.
No, of course it doesn't. I just didn't want someone assuming I didn't know what being part of a minority was like. And yeah, fighting actual bigotry is a noble cause. I'm just wary of what's laid out in the OP due to what I've explained above.
 
Last edited:

SpaceCrystal

Member
Apr 1, 2019
2,126
I've seen countless examples of people on here being banned for supposed bigotry (hell, I've been banned) or supposed inappropriate opinions when the language used was perfectly civil and the content of the message wasn't hateful. When it comes to sensitive topics, if your opinion doesn't fall within an arbitrary distance of what is deemed an acceptable opinion by moderation (and I suspect this will vary from mod to mod), get ready for a ban. It's gotten to the point where I just try to steer clear of threads involving certain subjects because I cannot foresee whether any of my opinions might arbitrarily be considered "offensive" by a moderator merely because said moderator could not be bothered to take off their blinkers for a moment. And because bigotry seems to be such an all-encompassing term on here and mods are already quite trigger-happy when it comes to sensitive subjects, you'll excuse me for not giving them the benefit of the doubt when reading about the plans laid out in the OP.
That's what I'm talking about, right there.