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Edit: subcase where the president has committed genocide asked at: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/361493/if-a-politician-has-committed-genocide-can-i-say-they-look-like-winnie-the-pooh It was deleted by 3 delete votes, and no one answered, so I'm not sure. This was however later basically answered at: Can I use images such as from Tiananmen Square Protests to criticise the Chinese government on my profile page?

Edit 2: I tried to add my point of view at: Does the Be Nice policy require SE users to "be nice" to people who are not SE users (e.g. public figures)? but it was deleted by a moderator without a reason being given so far.

My profile used to contain the message:

I feel (irrationally?) PRESIDENT is arrogant and disgusting as a person.

And mods removed this from my profile after it was reported by someone with rationale:

While I understand your intention was probably to show that you're not in favor/support of PRESIDENT as a president, this reads like a targeted personal attack and can be insulting. Because the profile was reported, we've removed this small bit that goes against our Code of Conduct. You're still welcome to voice your disagreement with PRESIDENT, we'd just ask that you do it without insulting/offensive language targeted at the person, but rather at actions.

I strongly oppose this removal, and I want to hear how the community feels about it.

When you vote for someone, a huge part of that vote is a fundamentally subjective judgement the person's character.

And I find that "disgusting" is a perfectly valid character judgement, and it's not even an uber shocking or offensive one. Do you really think PRESIDENT hasn't heard WAY, WAY worse things and not cared the slightest bit?

We must be able to have extreme liberty in criticizing and praising public figures, otherwise democracy is undermined.

What counts as a public figure or not, is something that can be debated. But the president of a country? If that's not public, no one is.

What if I said that "PRESIDENT is nice"? Would it be removed?

What if I said "I don't like PRESIDENT"? Do you think he would cry?

What if I said "Xi Jinping GREAT as a person" (officially now considered by many countries responsible for a genocide)?

What if I say that Xi Jinping looks like Winnie the Pooh? Or that his head looks like a huge green COVID particle? I have already done that many many times, and it was never removed.

As mentioned in my current profile, I believe that social media censorship is out of control.

Related questions:

Replies to selected comments

The post is a political question that shouldn't be deeply associated with SE Meta.

It concerns a SE moderation decisions, therefore it is on topic in my opinion.

I'd like to ask you, why bring such controversial topics to Stack Exchange? Stackexchange is criticized already on social media, and your opinions should probably be expressed somewhere outside of Stack Exchange.

I believe that freedom of speech if a fundamental human right, and limiting where freedom of speech is expressed is a way to limit freedom of speech.

Also Twitter is banned in China, so it's pointless to post there.

There isn’t free speech on SE.

The community decides.

If you posted a question about "what’s your favorite flavor of sushi" on math stack exchange, it will get closed. Deal with it.

Profiles and meta are completely different from the Q&A part of the website, so the comment is irrelevant.

Go exercise your "fundamental human right" elsewhere. Also, to quote Randall Monroe, "I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express."

The reason for free speech is obviously that if you can't criticize a president freely, your country basically becomes a dictatorship, there can be no meaningful democracy, look e.g. at Russia.

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    Yes, as you demonstrated, you can, though that doesn't mean it won't be removed at some point
    – Kevin B
    Feb 26 at 21:09
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    I’m voting to close this question because This question reargues the points made found using this search and more specifically this answer - we don't have to host or pay directly or indirectly to support your opinion. That's well established policy.
    – Rob
    Mar 5 at 3:27
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  • The post is a political question that shouldn't be deeply associated with SE Meta.
    – Ginger
    May 28 at 19:05
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    I'd like to ask you, why bring such controversial topics to Stack Exchange? Stackexchange is criticized already on social media, and your opinions should probably be expressed somewhere outside of Stack Exchange.
    – 10 Rep
    May 29 at 19:22
  • @ciro, based on your avatar and some Chinese phrase in your name, I initially decided that you are Chinese. Is it intentional? Jun 6 at 3:05
  • @MichaelFreidgeim I'm Brazilian, my wife is Chinese and she does Falun Gong, see also: cirosantilli.com/china-dictatorship/#flg-bias Jun 6 at 6:01
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    @10Rep because I believe that freedom of speech if a fundamental human right, and limiting where freedom of speech is expressed is a way to limit freedom of speech. Jun 6 at 6:02
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    @CiroSantilli新疆棉花TRUMPBANBAD, my comment was that your avatar and username may not send the message that you want to the people who do not understand Chinese and not recognize that it is caricature(too small to see details in a quick glance) Jun 6 at 22:19
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    @CiroSantilli新疆棉花TRUMPBANBAD there isn’t free speech on SE. if you posted a question about “what’s your favorite flavor of sushi” on math stack exchange, it will get closed. Deal with it. Go exercise your “fundamental human right” elsewhere. Also, to quote Randall Monroe, “I can't remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.” Jun 8 at 12:11
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As the person who pushed buttons after discussing this internally with the Community Management team: no, you can't.

I could repeat several points Shog made in this answer, but suffice to say, it covers public figures and this case too.

You're allowed to express disagreement and condemn actions, like the message said, but please don't fall into personal insults. Your profile is still allowed to be political (and most of the things in there are far more political than the specific sentence that was removed) - but that sentence falls outside of the Code of Conduct and was therefore removed after being reported.

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    Might be worth adding the fundamental rationale here, which might generate more sympathy to the rule, and maybe make “criticizing politics is ok but political persons not”: that personal statements exposes SE to litigation in a way that non-personal statements do not. Same as Wikipedia’s BLP policy. In short: SE wants you to express yourself and doesn’t even care much how you do that, but they don’t want it to create external risks for them.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 6 at 16:16
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I'd also say something else.

It takes no amount of courage to mount a soap box, far away from peril.

While I managed to avoid local politics (the prospect of that does frighten me a bit), I recently had the opportunity and privilege of speaking of a matter of relation to this community during a video call.

It scared the **** out of me, and I was nerves the whole day. It was important to me that I get my message right and I hope I did ok. I mean, if I screwed up, it would just make me look bad, and maybe ruin mod-company relations. Nothing too bad.

That was... relatively nothing compared to the risks that many folks face.

There's folks who risked their lives to reveal the truth behind actual genocide, to the point of actually inflitrating a concentration camp

This young lady was shot in the head for campaigning for equal access to educational rights

You uh... are complaining that you aren't allowed to use a privately owned public space as a soapbox. In the most polite terms possible, I would say that your efforts are roughly the equivalent of throwing bananas at a tank. The tank's not going to get hurt.

What concerns me as a user though, is frontloading of profiles with terms explicitly meant to trip off censorbots with the express desire to get parts or all of the network blocked. The desire for collateral damage is unwelcome. Saying the Chinese president looks like Winnie the Pooh, as we both know, is something that's a bit of a dogwhistle for people who don't like him, and has been known to trigger censorship filters. You're hurting regular folks more than the Chinese government. To quote your own website

The campaign has centered around publishing censored keywords on his Stack Overflow username, thus using his considerable Stack Overflow presence to sabotage the website in China. Here is an early web archive.

I guess a good meatspace equivalent would be a privately owned grafitti wall. The owner is fine with people painting on it, but the owner is also within their rights to go "Hey, that's in poor taste and needs to go away".

Real change and revolution needs direction. We don't need people doing the metaphorical equivalent of blocking Clemenceau Avenue to protest American or Chinese aggression. Maybe you want to spend all the energy complaining about us here, somewhere where it might do more good.

Maybe find a free speech-centric social media platform you enjoy and build it up. Support outlets that help get the real story behind genocide out, even if doesn't mean risking your own life in some horrible place.

Basically, if you want real change, your current approach just.... annoys people. It doesn't affect the folks you're mad at at all. Go get out there, and... well change things.

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    Can or cannot is covered at: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/349131/… Efficiency is covered at: cirosantilli.com/china-dictatorship/#effect I do believe it is possible to have huge effects on other countries without going to them. E.g. by blocking key websites of their infrastructure, or by making government pass sanctions. Do you think me infiltrating China and getting arrested would be a lot more efficient? Feb 27 at 9:20
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    I mean, I guess the international incident over a citizen of another country getting arrested by china.... might be... but I'm certainly not going to suggest someone perform an illegal action at personal peril to prove a point. Also the answers there are basically "he shouldn't be doing this" so, maybe they might all have a point?
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Feb 27 at 10:51
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    What's wrong with someone making an insignificant difference if they want to? Must everything we do on Stackoverflow only make a big difference in the world, or it gets banned? I'm fully in support of not censoring people who want to do mediocre insignificant things with their life.
    – yters
    May 3 at 23:36
  • Little things are fine, as long as you accept that they're little things.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    May 4 at 2:43
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    One may argue why the behavior in question must or must not be allowed without qualifying the asker's actions as useless (§8), courage-less (§2), etc. The usefulness of the action is not the point anyway. I don't think the fact that someone has undergone serious danger for a change warrants mocking someone who is complaining "far away from peril". And (last §) his current approach does not really annoy most people insofar as no one is forced to read his profile text. This answer sounds very patronizing; it's sad to see that a moderator wrote it.
    – Quasímodo
    May 8 at 18:30
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Nobody cares

Nobody comes to Stack Exchange (even on Politics) to hear anyone's opinions on the Chinese Government, current or former US presidents, or anything else like that. I'm sure plenty of people care, but not in this context.

For instance, regardless of my or your stance on the Monica issue, I think putting "I support Monica" in your username is cringe. What you've done is worse because it's completely irrelevant to the topic of the sites. And that would be the same whether it were "I hate China" or "I love China". It's obnoxious and uninteresting (in the context of this site). If your user were a question, I'd flag it as rude or abusive and off-topic.

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I understand what you are saying @Ciro. I read this post the same way I read your profile page as it changed over time. The essential issue at hand is freedom of expression -and censorship- in our user profiles, it's a two-fold issue: 1º form, 2º content.

In terms of content, you would agree that offensive imagery is not right (pick something that offends you the most). Folks wouldn't appreciate certain pictures by Gustave Courbert in the user profiles, neither would selected quotes from Truman Capote or Henry Miller be appreciated. (And here we could still says: "it's art.")

In terms of form, I'm lucky enough to live in a democratic country. But if I call the elected president: "an idiot" I'll be arrested and fined. I can criticize him all I want, but I can't insult him.

The "take away": you can't do everything you want. There are rules to the game, and sportsmanship is playing within the rules.

Now, taking it a step further... If you want your user profile to be your personal platform, be it for gains (like "buy me coffee", or to promote your projects) that's fine. It's also fine to make a political statement, but as is usually said: "the ends don't justify the means". Using insult (name calling) as a mean is not allowed for whatever ends. That has been a staple of SE and I agree with it, for the simple reason that civility in our conduct is an essential mean (and curiously can be an end in itself).

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    Your country does not sound very democratic. Fined and jailed for calling the president "an idiot"?
    – yters
    May 3 at 23:38
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    @yters democracy means officials get elected by free popular vote. (Look up the meaning of the word.)
    – bad_coder
    May 3 at 23:51

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