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.
- Are political avatars and profiles OK? says political profiles are OK, no point in discussing the general case here again. This question is about this specific case of criticizing political figures
- pro-censorship (of God!) has more upvotes: Is it acceptable to insult god in a user profile?
- Does the Be Nice policy require SE users to "be nice" to people who are not SE users (e.g. public figures)? is a good reference too. I feel it should not be a duplicate as that asks about the current site policy, not if we agree with the site policy specifically as I'd like to discuss here
- Offensive profiles - where to draw the line? could also be considered a superset, but once again I believe it should not be a duplicate because this is about a very specific subcase that is not clear to me there
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.