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FYI - Forum rules on Harassment

Liz CadmanLiz Cadman Posts: 402Administrator
As a reminder to all, from the Forum Guidelines:

Please be kind and respectful to others.

Insults or belittling comments are not permitted under any circumstances. We respect everyone’s right to free speech but will not tolerate harassment.

We've recently reached out to several forum members who have not followed this policy with feedback and a warning. Moving forward, we'll be taking a firmer stance on this, and anyone who violates these rules may be permanently removed from the forum.

If you see any language on the forum that you believe violates these rules, please message me or @chris with the details. Thank you!


  • Liz CadmanLiz Cadman Posts: 402Administrator
    @Jewlz can you message me with the specifics of the user who used a racial slur?

    We'll follow up on the other part soon.
  • Liz CadmanLiz Cadman Posts: 402Administrator
    Sara said:

    @liz, I think you will find a lot of the tongue and cheek things being said are in response to a lack of moderation around these issues. People are trying to use humor to diffuse what is an uncomfortable situation, and an inability to conceive how certain members have not been warned or banned for their behavior. Thank you for looking into it.

    Understood. Thank you for the insight.
  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    edited February 9
    @sara There have been many posts in the forum that do not qualify as kind or respectful. While I understand that some people feel posts like are merely tongue and cheek and can diffuse tension, they only do so for some, and can actually increase tension or pain for other users or lurkers.

    @Jewlz While I did not see your unedited version of ""it's hard to argue with this nonsense," I would not have found it kind and respectful if I had. There were many hominem/poisoning the well posts in that thread, not just yours, which tried to attack my education, intellect, morals, empathy, education, qualifications, character, the experiences of my family, or just dismiss my points entirely. While I would agree that for consistency far more posts would have needed to be deleted or edited, I think Chris's explanation of her perspective in the Swapper Swindling thread was very reasonable:

    "Ultimately, I really felt strongly that although the person everyone was debating was somewhat attacked a few times, she seemed to be taking it in stride and not offended so I chose not to edit very much that arguably could have been edited as well. If what was written seemed to be causing harm to the recipient, I probably would have been more heavy-handed in making any changes. However, when I read that word in the context it definitely felt like it was attacking everything she said and holistically dismissing it/her as "nonsense", which felt like an attack to me. "

    @Liz I did read some posts in a discussion where a user was being accused of racism, since the same user was being attacked in another thread and people said I should go read what she had said rather than stick up for her. It looked like everything she was saying was automatically taken in the wrong way, whether she purposefully intended it wrongly or whether it was a cultural slip due to her being a senior citizen [e.g. using terms that can be offensive to some groups but may not carry the offensive connotations in other groups.]

    People would have been right to ask her to clarify or edit, or flag for editing, but a lot of the responses were piling on personal attacks and that was spilling over into other threads. One user PM'd me that she was a suspected con artist. Regardless of whether she was or wasn't or had vile intentions or not, what was showing up to everyone else was people going after her with pitchforks and treating her differently than other users were treated for similar things. It did seem like there was underlying frustration (worry she was taking advantage of people) that was manifesting in forum ugliness. So while I am fully supportive of efforts to address the underlying problems (faster resolution with suspected shoplifters or people abusing the site, some way to put people on a forum or swap probation while something is investigated, etc.) I don't think either loosening the guidelines on being kind and respectful, or being more heavy-handed with moderation, would be the best way to fix those problems.

    Post edited by Jenai on
  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    @Tanya3 My point is that when an issue with a user in one thread spills into another, that is uncomfortable for bystanders. I don't want to see someone be ganged up on, and I don't want filled in on the gossip either. It would be better to report/ignore/flag when there is an issue rather than escalate it by personal attacks in return.

    @Jennifer3141 Objecting to racism is great! That can be done without unrelated personal attacks (e.g. calling a user greedy or a con) spilling out into the rest of the forum or gossip spreading via PM.
  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    @nelliebelle1197 There is a large difference between finding a viewpoint offensive and deliberately offending a person. Many hot-topic political divides are rooted in deeply held ethics regarding life, liberty, safety, freedom, etc. to the point where someone's opposing views can seem offensive. It would be impossible to purge all thought that anyone found offensive from society, as even the thought that should be done would be deeply offensive to some. Personal attacks, however, are a pretty straightforward case of offense. They do not seek to advance a viewpoint, but directly seek to humiliate, attack, or dismiss a person.

  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    @nelliebelle1197 There were a few people in that thread who did disagreeing on principle without resorting to personal attack. @apobec or @finlidan, for example. However, to characterize the number of personal attacks in that thread as mere 'heated disagreement' is a mischaracterization of the thread. As @Jewlz describes as well, there were many posts that were more directly personal attacks than hers.

  • nelliebelle1197nelliebelle1197 Posts: 3,063Member
    @lynndeanne Thank you, especially for the first paragraph. That is exactly right.
  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    @lynndeanne I don't recall if you participated in the political thread, but it is still up if you wish to go read it. I did not insult anyone. If I did, I would be highly interested in knowing what post so I could apologize and edit it to remove any ad-hominems.

    More to the point, all threads should still fall in the 'be kind and respectful' guidelines. None, not even political ones, should feel like 'blood sports' to anyone participating or watching. If there needs to be a further guideline like 'please no political posts' I wouldn't be against that, as MySubscriptionAddiction isn't really a forum set up for them and there are countless internet sites, like Kialo or StackExchange or Quora, that are.
  • lynndeannelynndeanne Posts: 921Member

    That said: if that debate happened on a forum moderated 24/7, I would have expected a moderator to call some fouls and warn those participating to play nice. I haven't reread the thread, but as I recall it some flags could have been thrown on both sides.
  • JenaiJenai Posts: 278Member
    edited February 9
    @lynndeanne not to repeat points from a closed thread exhaustively, but I did not use personal experience as 'proof of my expertise outweighing anyone else's.' I used examples to show that I wasn't speaking from a place of never experiencing low income or food insecurity. (A strawman, by the way, is mischaracterizing someone else's argument to make it say something else so you can argue against that instead of what they really said. It's different from misuse of anecdotes, which are fine by themselves but can easily become logical fallacies through overgeneralization or misapplication.)

    And if you mean I gave as good as I got in the sense that I did keep responding and am well-equipped to stand up for myself, I guess that is a compliment? I would disagree, however, that that would make personal attacks from anyone acceptable. It's kind of like saying it's acceptable for someone to punch a linebacker because he's still playing the game and can physically take it.
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