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sennkestra

Moderation / Dealing with Hostility towards other parts of the aromantic community

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Hello - I noticed that my post criticizing another user for being extremely hostile towards specific parts of the aromantic community (especially aromantic spectrum folks) and deliberately trying to erase and exclude their experiences was removed, without any notification or explanation to me, while the original offensive post was allowed to remain intact - now with no warning to future users of why exactly it was so problematic.

 

Also, since I received no alert or explanation for why my post was removed, so I have no way to know what to do to avoid blatant censorship in the future. Would it be possible to get some clarification from the mod(s) or perhaps also some user suggestions around when the mods consider posts appropriate to remove, how they can be transparent around communicate those reasons to users?

 

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that content bashing on aro-spec folks has been allowed to stand while attempts to defend them are being erased. I hope it was an unintentional spur-of-the-moment decision of what to delete or not delete and that the mod(s) will reconsider in light of the current implications, or at least follow up with a little more transparency and exlplanation, but right now it's leaving a bad taste in my mouth about whether this is actually a welcoming community space or not.

 

 

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Yeah, honestly, I'm also uncomfortable with how often people have been allowed to get away with openly talking shit about arospec folks, calling them alloromantic, etc. How can we have a welcoming community when this kind of behavior is allowed? Yes, yes, freedom of speech and all that, but when someone is repeatedly and blatantly trying to erase and degrade specific subsections of our community... Why is that allowed to continue?

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Facts:

  1. @TripleA posted a link to an external Tumblr page with a survey. The tumblr post included text that excluded grey-romantics from taking the survey, which may have been found insulting to some.
  2. There were several lengthy and well-worded responses to the survey here.
  3. There was no mention of this text on Arocalypse itself, until @sennkestra copied and pasted it here.
  4. The post was reported so I locked the thread and removed @sennkestra's reposting of the offensive material.
  5. @sennkestra sent me a message to remove the link to Tumblr, and I did, but didn't respond back directly to his DM.

First of all, I can't moderate content on Tumblr. I have also given @TripleA a chance to edit the Tumblr post and repost the link if it's acceptable here.

 

Whoops, hit "send" before I was done...

 

I'm doing my best to make this an inclusive community, but I'm also not here to shield people from everything you might see on the internet that might offend you. I can either lock any thread where someone presents an opinion you don't like, or you can have a civil discussion with them about why they think the way they do. On the other hand, I will moderate threads that involve ad hominem attacks or threats.

 

Here's an example of a civil discussion:

 

I think there's no such thing as being grey-romantic, you're either aromantic or you've experienced romantic attraction and you're alloromantic

Oh, you want to lump all grey-romantics in with allo-romantics? Well, why is that? What's led you to this opinion?

Well, really I'm just looking for a place where I can speak with people who have never had romantic attraction. I don't identify well with even people who claim to be grey-romantic

Perhaps, you can find that over in this corner of the internet, or start your own forums or Discord server...

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I get that, but it doesn't seem fair to me, especially since @TripleA has proven time and time again that he's unwilling to listen to reason when it comes to the place of arospecs in the aro community. If someone walked in here like "Hey, I think aromantics are just special snowflakes who are actually alloromantic, here's my new No Aros Allowed pride flag, you're all fakers and how dare you speak for me", I'm sure that would not go over well with the moderation, or at least I should hope it wouldn't. So why is this repeated anti-arospec gatekeeping allowed a platform here?

When does "civility" cross the line into hate speech towards other members of our community? I mean, you can say pretty much anything horrible and dress it up in a guise of "civil discussion" if you have enough of a silver tongue. (Which is how a lot of the alt-right recruits, tbh...)

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Trying to reason with somebody who doesn't want to hear your arguments can be frustrating, but also leads to better understanding from all the other people reading the thread. While you may fail to convince the original poster to change their opinion, the hundred of other people who may come and read the thread might learn something new. If the thread gets locked with no discussion, then none of that benefit can take place.

 

So, there's a fine line between censoring everything that might trigger or upset anyone, and being too lax and allowing this space to become unsafe or repulsive.

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This stuff is basically indistinguishable from what the same tired old anti-gray arguments in the ace community have looked like, and I want to thank @sennkestra and @Jot-Aro Kujo for refusing to stand for it.

 

@Blue Phoenix Ace, since you are taking the position that TripleA's anti-gray posting is not against the rules here, I'd like to request that either you reconsider that position or you see to it that those rules are updated and clarified, because currently my interpretation of the rules is not compatible with your decision here. 

 

In the Arocalypse Terms of Service, you wrote:

  • "b. Personal insults: Personally insulting other users in any way is unacceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, using a person's race, sex, gender identity or expression, creed, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation as a way to insult any member."
  • "f. Judgements of other users: Making judgments about other users, especially about the validity of their sexual or romantic orientation, is strongly discouraged. We are here to figure ourselves out, not to put each other in boxes."

It seems like leaving "romantic orientation" out of the Personal Insults rule is an oversight, but in any case--

 

Based on a first viewing of these rules, I had the impression that anti-gray posting -- such as treating greyromanticism as not a part of the aro spectrum, telling some aros that they're not really aro, and fretting over the inclusion of greyros in the aro flag -- would not be allowed here. As it stands, I still think it makes sense to read the rules that way, since anti-grayro posting is a form of making judgements about the validity of someone's romantic orientation.

 

What you're saying here is that this impression of the rules is incorrect, and that actually, some amount of making negative judgements about greyromanticism is allowed.

 

In that case, please update and clarify the rules.

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Regarding "personal insults", these would need to be something like "you're dumb" or "you're ugly". This is the petty kind of crap you see on the school playground. I don't think that's what we are getting here.

 

"Judgements of other users", again feels like it would need to single a person out. There's a difference between these two statements:

  • I think grey-romantic people don't exist, they are just alloromantic
  • You are not grey-romantic, you're feelings are invalid, you're alloromantic

I agree that it is a subtle difference, but an important one. One is a statement attacking you personally, while another is stating an opinion. While that opinion is very unpopular around here, it's not a bigoted one like "all kids with blue eyes are dumb". It's also an opinion that is open for a reasonable debate, which can help people when they need to argue it elsewhere. For example, have you ever read a thread on AVEN where someone might claim that asexuality is fake. You learn something from the ensuing debate, and then you have some new knowledge with which to base your conversations with people in real life. I certainly have.

 

If you'd like me to add a clause to the terms of service flagging "all posts or external links that attempt to claim that any particular label is not real" as a warning, then I can do so. I have to make it vague to cover every possible label anyone has ever imagined.

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29 minutes ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

There's a difference between these two statements:

  • I think grey-romantic people don't exist, they are just alloromantic
  • You are not grey-romantic, you're feelings are invalid, you're alloromantic

 

So, just to get this straight--

 

Hypothetically, if a specific, individual, not-aromantic-but-not-alloromantic person threw themselves before TripleA and said "Does what you're saying generally apply to me personally?" or "What do you think of my romantic orientation?" and if he answered that by saying what we can pretty well figure he'd say,

 

then

 

you would say there's been a violation of the rules?

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Also, I do have a question- How many mods are there? Is it just you?

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36 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

So, just to get this straight--

 

Hypothetically, if a specific, individual, not-aromantic-but-not-alloromantic person threw themselves before TripleA and said "Does what you're saying generally apply to me personally?" or "What do you think of my romantic orientation?" and if he answered that by saying what we can pretty well figure he'd say,

 

then

 

you would say there's been a violation of the rules?

 

If that individual did so in an open forum, then I'd ponder why they'd do such a thing. If the purpose is to have an open debate about the validity of grey-romanticism, then I don't see a problem with it. If it's just there to bait someone into violating rules, then that's where things get dicey. Do you blame the one who threw the gasoline on the house, or the one who lit it with the match?

 

So, let's change the example a little bit. User XXX creates a thread titled "Coyote is not Quoi-romantic" and personally attacks you. XXX picks apart your posts and says you're alloromantic. That's clearly a warning. That wouldn't a thread where open discussion is encouraged, because they are singling you out.

 

On the other hand, user XXX might create a thread "Grey-romanticism isn't real", present five or six premises on why they believe such a thing and go into a respectful debate about such points with other members. These kinds of threads should, at the end of the day, give people more logical reasons for the beliefs, which seems to be a good thing.

 

12 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Also, I do have a question- How many mods are there? Is it just you?

 

There's two other mods, but they haven't been around in a while. Considering I get about one report a month, and half of those are just spammers that are simple bans, it hasn't been important. I'll call an election for new mods though, since it would be nice to have more again.

I'm curious, can folks post in this thread? I swear the sub-forum was locked or hidden to everyone while it laid dormant.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

Do you blame the one who threw the gasoline on the house, or the one who lit it with the match?

 

The one who lit it with the match.

 

What about you? You're the staff member here. If I use myself as the sacrificial goat and to go and play out the scenario I raised -- throwing gasoline, as you put it -- then should I expect you to tell me that whatever happens next doesn't count because we had this conversation first?

 

I'd like to discuss the policies you're setting here, but first I need to understand exactly what they are and how the rulings work.

 

19 minutes ago, Blue Phoenix Ace said:

I'm curious, can folks post in this thread?

 

On my end, the link preview displays as "Sorry, we can't show this content because you do not have permission to see it."

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36 minutes ago, Coyote said:

 

The one who lit it with the match.

 

What about you? You're the staff member here. If I use myself as the sacrificial goat and to go and play out the scenario I raised -- throwing gasoline, as you put it -- then should I expect you to tell me that whatever happens next doesn't count because we had this conversation first?

 

I'd like to discuss the policies you're setting here, but first I need to understand exactly what they are and how the rulings work.

 

 

If you go to a public space and ask someone for their opinion, and they give it to you, then what harm has been done? If the asker is that sensitive, then they shouldn't be asking folks who they think will give them a callous answer. If the response is insulting in ways that don't relate to the question or discussion, such as "you're dumb", then that's a warning per usual. So, yes, if you throw gasoline and end up getting burned, it's partially on you at that point.

 

37 minutes ago, Coyote said:

On my end, the link preview displays as "Sorry, we can't show this content because you do not have permission to see it."

 

OK, I figured it out, but it's not intuitive...

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1 hour ago, Coyote said:

 

So, just to get this straight--

 

Hypothetically, if a specific, individual, not-aromantic-but-not-alloromantic person threw themselves before TripleA and said "Does what you're saying generally apply to me personally?" or "What do you think of my romantic orientation?" and if he answered that by saying what we can pretty well figure he'd say,

 

then

 

you would say there's been a violation of the rules?

What does "X doesn't exist" even mean if X is class?

  1. Witches don't exist
  2. Numbers don't exist
  3. Vegetables don't exist

Something different each time.

 

If it's like 1. then I agree that "Gray-romantics don't exist!" implies "You are not gray-romantic!". But if it's like 2 or 3, then no.

 

PS: in the aro-community the label "gray-romantic" is widely accepted and it would be a very unpopular opinion to challenge it. But aren't there labels that would strike us as "strange"? Do we have to accept all labels without criticism? Or is it at least okay

  • if we suspect satire (this suspicion can be wrong! So is it the lesser evil to be a "victim" of satire?)
  • if the definition of the label contradicts mainstream aro ideas?

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OK, I added section 2m to the ToS to take a clear stance on this type of offense. I will not retroactively assign warnings for past posts that broke this rule, but future instances will be warned. I've also hidden the original post, and am going to lock this thread down. If you have more questions, feel free to PM me. Also, be sure to visit the moderator elections subforum.

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