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Poll

Should political discussions be banned on these forums?

Yes
- 19 (42.2%)
No
- 20 (44.4%)
No opinion
- 6 (13.3%)

Total Members Voted: 44


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Author Topic: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?  (Read 8910 times)

Fluffy (l2032)

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Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« on: June 26, 2017, 04:46:46 AM »

Please keep any discussion civil and to the point.

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Fluffy (l2032)

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2017, 04:50:25 AM »

For reference;

Would this infringe on free speech rights?
https://www.quora.com/Is-moderation-in-forums-violating-Americans-right-to-free-speech

Answer; no.

Do other forums do this?
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4045-USHJ-3810
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/2228414323
Answer; both Steam and WoW, probably the two single largest gaming communities, already do so. I haven't looked at others.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 04:55:42 AM by Fluffy (l2032) »
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b0rsuk

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2017, 01:51:33 PM »

The reason political and religious topics are often forbidden (even if by house rules) is you can talk about without having to prove anything. A strong opinion is enough and you can start shouting.
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Kegereneku

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2017, 06:33:39 PM »

Careful there,
Discussion (of any sort) aren't the problem. Beside it would be hard, if not impossible to ban a specific range without encroaching upon good topic.
Propaganda, disinformation and smear campaign are what have been a problem recently.

Yes these are difficult to distinguish, but not impossible. This is up to Moderators to set up rules, check what get reported to them, forgive the accident, warn the ignorance, but ban the deliberate infraction.

Sure, some people look just insignifiant harmless enough you want to overlook their accidents. But when they start feigning ignorance and clearly intended it. It's no different from keeping a drunk from driving again after he caused an accident.

In short I don't think we should ban any topic (unless it doesn't fit here and there's nowhere to move it), just ban certain ways of bringing a topic.
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Fluffy (l2032)

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2017, 07:10:57 PM »

"Propaganda, disinformation and smear campaign are what have been a problem recently."
If we could all agree what is propaganda and disinformation, we wouldn't need to have this discussion. Given that the subject of politics more often than not leads to a discussion with neither end nor merit, it's much simpler for everyone involved to just blanket ban political discussions. There are many forums on the internet devoted to these discussions, and gaming forums aren't (or at least shouldn't be) one of them.
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milon

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 02:05:41 PM »

I'm probably in a minority with my opinion, but I believe that political discussions (and religious and other hotly debated topics) should NOT be banned.  (Note: This is all personal opinion. I'm not speaking for Ludeon or Tynan or anyone else.)

If we ban political discussions, then it's because we think it's doesn't need to be discussed (or at least, not here).  If we think we don't need to talk about it here, it's because we think it's unimportant.  If we think it's unimportant, it's because it has no impact on us personally.  And if it has no impact on us personally, it's because we're both privileged and disconnected from the non-privileged.  And I think that's unacceptable for any community of people.

Think about the world we live in, and the problems we face.  Then consider how that would change if we all lived as if we really are connected with one another.  And then ask yourself which world you would rather live in.  I think it's an easy question to answer, even though it demands a lot of hard work up front.  Work that I don't think we should ban.

MisterVertigo

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2017, 03:12:32 PM »

I believe that your chances of recruiting that 99% difficulty tribal raider to your colony is a piece of cake compared to discussing politics/religion/etc with anonymous people on the internet. If they are passionate enough about it to engage in a conversation, I can almost guarantee that there is NOTHING anyone can say to change their mind or sway their opinion. Heck, I've seen real life friendships and families divided because of political or religious differences. People on a random internet message board? No chance.

I agree with Milon that it's important to discuss these things, but anonymously on the internet is not the place.

Just my two cents.
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DariusWolfe

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2017, 03:21:22 PM »

I think you're making a couple mistakes in your logic, Milon;

Specifically, the idea that banning political discussion here somehow means that it won't go on elsewhere. It also seems that you're working with the assumption that NOT banning it here somehow leads to connection between the privileged and the non-privileged.

The fact is, this is a forum for a particular game. Discussions should all relate to the game in some fashion; There are other, better communities and venues for discussing things that are not Rimworld. Having the Off-Topic forum and allowing political discussions there does not mean that people who wish to remain disconnected will be somehow connected to politics; All it really does is give a venue of people whose primary (only?) connection is a fandom for Rimworld to talk about stuff that isn't Rimworld or in any way related to Rimworld. Those who come here for Rimworld don't have to, and often won't, ever read or post in those threads. However, those threads can, and demonstrably do, interfere with how people communicate elsewhere in the forum.

Further, discussion of politics on the internet, especially with strangers, is... just a risky idea in general. Text is an isolating medium, so it's easier to forget the person; To dismiss their basic humanity, their lived experiences, and to relegate them to a 2-dimensional caricature. We do this instinctively, even if we mean better. Case in point, your recent lauding of Fluffy's post on the immigration thread as being level-headed, when that thread made a truly stupid exaggeration about American ideas about free-speech (Love you Fluffy, but saying that eventually shooting people will be considered protected free speech was a really stupid thing to say).

Politics is super important to people. In my experience this is true even, possibly especially, with people who claim to hate politics and political discussions. This means that it's going to tend to raise hackles and incite emotional responses; Emotions aren't bad in and of themselves, but they often lead to people saying things they don't mean, or having trouble saying things the way that they mean. Given the difficulties already inherent in the medium, this is just another layer of miscommunication.

Given all of that, it's just wasted bandwidth, here.

Caveat: Political discussions that actually bear on Rimworld, I think are still appropriate topics here. The discussions that stemmed from the article about how Rimworld handles sexuality and gender, for example, were appropriate topics, and were definitely political. (Note: I don't think they were good topics, at all; Lots of ugliness and over-the-border statements in the aftermath.) But they were appropriate for this forum, because they dealt with the game we're all here to talk about.
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mumblemumble

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2017, 05:18:58 PM »

First off for my answer : absolutely not. Banning free speech of ANY sort is what leads to larger amounts of speech being banned, and this is the BEST way to force an agenda : you cannot fight back against totalitarianism if you cannot FIRST call a spade a spade

There's a lot of talk about disinformation and smearing campaigns, and while this is an issue, I think this should take a methodical approach for addressing, taking each individual claim and seeing if there is any merit behind it, any truth, if its ad homin, fallacy, or if there is any logic behind it : and this cannot be merely accused, this must be explained carefully WHY it is invalid, as baseless accusations are just as bad, if not worse than the disinformation itself. Likewise, the accused should have an opportunity to defend allegations.

Another thing I would have to say is with the global climate, there is a WAR on freedom of speech : you see it in Europe, in Canada, in universities : where if you state opinions which are skeptical of certain "protected groups" you are metaphorically lynched : fired, arrested, assaulted, banned from the college you payed for ect : its an effort to silence any and all criticism. This is what fascist, totalitarian governments did in the past : if you criticized the head honcho, you got your head cut off, got drawn and quarted, or some other vile act. Except rather than 1 person, its trying to push an agenda.

Another thing to keep in mind is frankly, I think it SHOULD be allowed here BECAUSE this is not expressly a political site : politics and other subjects often have the approach of "do not bring it up anywhere ever", except they are brought up, just in private, and often breeding more extreme views, since it being in public would otherwise moderate certain views.

Beyond that we must ask "what is political?"

Well, its anything involved with public policy : and this is the scary thing.

If we ban discussion of "politics" you effectively ban anyone from discussing any opinion that a moderator determines as "political".

What if genocide ended up occurring? Is that political? its a banned topic

What about if war is erupting and a user is on the brink of having their family killed? Is this a political topic? Banned too.

What if theres a significant problem facing a community? is that political?

At very least if we are going to do that, we should make a DAMN CLEAR definition of what is political, and DOES NOT have bias on the left or right : except I feel this would be impossible without people seeing how ridiculous it is. Because LGBT rights, Islamophobia discussion, and other elements can ALSO be determined as "political" if they are ever involved in politics : does this mean we will ALSO ban these?

But thats my main problem : IF you ban political discussion, have a VERY clear definition which applies EQUALLY to all people : meaning if one were to be banned for bringing up immigration which endangers others, one could also not bring up LGBT rights, Islamophobia, and other issues, because those are ALSO politically involved terms.

See the problem with this? its up to the moderators discretion if they indeed CALL something banned or not, and any mod can ban any person if they see fit, because anything could be described as "political" and one could simply throw that title on something they personally disagree with to remove it.

Not saying that WILL happen with the mods here, but its a very real possibility, and we should have accountability and fairness, and I honestly DO worry about a severe left wing bias on this forum being made worse IF this happens. I've already seen cases in discussions where I may post cited examples of things which are "politically incorrect" and others will result to straight ad homin, and I will get more scrutiny from users and mods alike : which is a bit concerning.

This is only made worse when you consider the logistics behind things : I'm American personally, and the supreme court determined hate speech is still FREE SPEECH, meaning no words, talk, ect, can be banned at all.

However, I'm also aware Tynan is based in Canada as far as I'm aware, and several moderators are from Europe : which provides a very distinct conflict

I come from a country where freedom of speech is still upheld, and other countries are having freedom of speech is compromised in favor of protection of certain groups: Thus I see it one way, and others see it another.

I can even understand that people from these countries might have discomfort : after all, what I can say FREELY, without risk of prison or jail, would get tynan or milon perhaps thrown in jail : this is true (depending where they are of course) and I can see why this might make a bit of discomfort, hearing someone say what you would be jailed for, but then you must ask what your course of action would be.

Would you :

A : Allow freedom of speech to spread, potentially even allowing it back into your countries which have revoked it

or

B : Use your platform to further destroy freedom of speech for others because it does not fit with you not being able to do the same

I DO feel sympathy over the frustrations of people in such countries, but remember : your frustration would be better placed on your government than myself. Remember, your right to speak as you wish is being outlawed, I'm merely speaking my mind : which is more immoral?

@darius wolfe : if your argument is bandwidth, why not remove old pictures, old posts, and remove the drunkard thread / the post to 9000 before tynan posts threads? Seriously that seems like more of an excuse than anything else.

I admit i must of missed the comment about free speech = murder, but thats obviously silly : words don't kill, idiots, the emotionally fragile, and the primitive do.

Rather than ask why we should KEEP political discussions, ask yourself why you want to GET RID of political discussions?

My guess is because this offends some people : Which is fine, people have a right to be offended, but the offense does NOT give the right to silence someone else.

But if you have any other answers, let me know.

@mistervertigo : you bring up an interesting concept with anonymity, except this is actually very reliant to points I stated above : if people cannot voice opinions in public for fear or murder, arrests, stalking, assaults, ect, why bar them from a place where they CAN do it anonymously? You might even tell people to post on places like stormfront or whatever, but would you REALLY rather push people you disagree with to the fringe where they are made more extreme, rather than allow discourse and keep them more moderate?

As a final statement, I think we ALL need to keep in mind a few things

1 : we are NOT all from the same places, backgrounds, beliefs, religious background (if any) creed, world views, or culture, and just because someone is somemthing which is JUST outside our "norm" does not mean we should refuse to accept them because of it. This goes both ways : if you wish to criticize, please do, but the argument should consist of more than simply "you aren't the same as us, therefore get out", there MUST be some solid reasoning behind it. If you don't understand something, or something makes no sense to you, ASK. If you are asked such things, ANSWER. If you cannot answer, consider that you might possibly be incorrect, or must find answers. This applies to EVERYONE, be them LGBT, muslim, european, christian, conservative, liberal, chemical interest, teetotaler, ect. NOBODY should have an excuse not to do this, and if you don't you shouldn't be involved in the discussion.

2 : ludeon IS an international community : and international relations are inherently a little messy of course. This is the nature of having multiple cultures, peoples, religions, ways of life bumping into each other : there will be disagreements, there will be conflicts. But this does not mean we should bar conversations about differences. Instead we should hold every person accountable for how THEY act, and THEY respond. If someone is spewing slurs or adhomin, sure, punish them,  but if someone reacts nastily to comments they don't like, they should ALSO be punished.

The rules on ludeon are to be respectful of others, but respect does not mean you cannot criticize someone. Disagreements are a good thing, a chance to sharpen others or yourself : what we need to look out for is NOT controversial topics, but people who do not properly engage in polite discussion, and resort to personal attacks or try and stifle discussions.

....I also want to point out nobody cared about this AT ALL when they were mad about trump being elected, and this is only being pushed because there's a discussion on European immigration that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. and if this is enforced as a rule, I would hope there would be EQUAL punishment for right AND left leaning political comments. Theres a LOT of hostility against right leaning comments, and I fear this topic is only a symptom of it.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 06:16:39 PM by mumblemumble »
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Fluffy (l2032)

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 09:10:49 PM »

Quote
Love you Fluffy, but saying that eventually shooting people will be considered protected free speech was a really stupid thing to say
I was mostly in jest, but frankly, I find the US supreme court rulings that corporations are people, that the spending of money is an application of free speech, and that therefore corporations can make unlimited donations to politicians and parties without any oversight to be almost as ridiculous.

Anyhow, that was not the point of this thread, and I otherwise completely agree with Darius and Vertigo.

I've only skimmed over humble's comments (I've spent my energy in the other thread), but I would like to make clear that what I'm proposing is indeed a blanket ban on political discussion on any end of the spectrum.
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mumblemumble

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 10:25:04 PM »

You might say that fluffy, but honestly I care not what you say, I care about what rule is put in place

If it was indeed a blanket statement, would you then not agree your statement about corporations being people would ALSO be a political statement that should be banned? What about calling it ridiculous?

These are both political statements too, and would fall under your ban you are proposing. Yet you aren't even leading by example.
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Why to people worry about following their heart? Its lodged in your chest, you won't accidentally leave it behind.

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Its bad because reasons, and if you don't know the reasons, you are horrible. You cannot ask what the reasons are or else you doubt it. But the reasons are irrefutable. Logic.

DariusWolfe

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 10:26:02 PM »

I am generally in agreement with your proposal to ban political discussion; My only caveat is as noted: Where the discussion of politics is actually related to Rimworld.

Also, I agree that speech is speech (and writing, and recordings, films, TV, movies, etc); Spending money may be a statement, but it is not itself speech, and shouldn't be protected in the same fashion; Nor do I think corporations should enjoy the same freedoms as actual citizens, given that the whole point of a corporation is to limit legal liability to persons. A corporation should enjoy some freedoms of speech, but not the same as actual citizens.

I also learned a while ago that there are people I try to limit discourse with, on any topic.

Edit: Hell, to be honest I'd go even further and propose the removal of the Off-Topic forum entirely, though I doubt that'd get any traction.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:32:05 PM by DariusWolfe »
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mumblemumble

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2017, 01:07:26 AM »

See, my problem with that is then it even gets into a MORE slippery slope, but with mass crevices of sharp rock along it as well : Then one could argue if any talk it relevant to rimworld, in a rimworld topic, about rimworld.

This is already an EPIDEMIC on ludeon, I've seen dozens on threads get chopped up, seperated, and moved around by mods because the intricate nature of rimworld inherinetly means a LOT of off topic discussion. if I had a dollar for every time a thread got spliced up, I could easily pay my phone bill with it.

SO WHAT THEN!?

What if theres a topic about say, a new faction feature, and discussion is simply removed entirely because its discussing finer details of things? Posts simply thrown away into the void because not only are they off topic to the topic at hand (but still relivant to the discussion, which is a big problem) but are political, so they are simply deleted?

Do we really want a iron fisted policy that limits our freedom? What if you guys want to bitterly complain if trump gets a second term?

I really think you guys aren't thinking this through at all, and are either only pushing this because of the immigration topic (because this is exactly why this thread was made) or because its just an apathetic look from people not weighing all the factors involved.

I should really make a list of all threads which would be removed under this rule, because it is absolutely ridiculous this proposal.

Beyond that, I struggle to take serious someone who makes an (I assume) awful joke like saying a father should give cookies to terrorist who blew up his daughter.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 01:17:59 AM by mumblemumble »
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Why to people worry about following their heart? Its lodged in your chest, you won't accidentally leave it behind.

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Its bad because reasons, and if you don't know the reasons, you are horrible. You cannot ask what the reasons are or else you doubt it. But the reasons are irrefutable. Logic.

b0rsuk

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2017, 04:18:46 AM »

You know, I'm annoyed by the prevalence of topic-based (PHP) message boards on the internet. They are harmful to free thinking and intelligent discussion. It's natural for discussion to flow and jump from one topic to another. Imposing artificial bans on what is said where really bothers me (except notoriously incendiary topics like religion and politics).

I much prefer old-school forums based on newsgroups, usenet, and Disqus (but I hate the fact the last one is centrally controlled, slow, and very heavy on user tracking)
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mellowautomata

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Re: Should political discussions be banned on these forums?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2017, 04:20:47 AM »

I am generally in agreement with your proposal to ban political discussion; My only caveat is as noted: Where the discussion of politics is actually related to Rimworld.

Also, I agree that speech is speech (and writing, and recordings, films, TV, movies, etc); Spending money may be a statement, but it is not itself speech, and shouldn't be protected in the same fashion; Nor do I think corporations should enjoy the same freedoms as actual citizens, given that the whole point of a corporation is to limit legal liability to persons. A corporation should enjoy some freedoms of speech, but not the same as actual citizens.

I also learned a while ago that there are people I try to limit discourse with, on any topic.

Edit: Hell, to be honest I'd go even further and propose the removal of the Off-Topic forum entirely, though I doubt that'd get any traction.

I'm pretty sure honestly that the moderators are capable more than enough to discern between legit, game-related talk and between posts that have clear intent for becoming political. Also, I support this proposal 100%, although I fear it would probably mean ridiculously much more work for the moderators.

I'm going to put it out here as well that one option is to do just have "political" subsection in offtopic which would be locked away completely from people who have not reached past a certain amount of activity in forums (measured by amount of posts). Biggest issue with that, that I can foresee, is that it might encourage even more political talk which means even more content that likely requires absurd amount of moderation.

But if only options is to not have political discussions vs. status quo, I'm completely for non-political discussions only. And this is coming from a person who engages in them often (mostly because I read some woo which I must correct) and enjoys them. There's better places for political discussions IMO and, keeping this as friendly as possible to what seems like constantly growing audience, will probably mean that this issue has to be dealt in one way or another.
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