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I've recently been browsing three sites on this network dedicated to major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And I found it jarring to see answers like the below, some of which are highly upvoted:

I believe that, on certain sites, it is important to allow discussion of potentially offensive/alienating content related to religious stances or old literature, but not to state the content as fact, endorse it, or go off on personal rants. E.G:

Bad:

"It's just logic that homosexuality is immoral. Homosexuals should try conversion therapy"

Ok:

"Saint So-and-So considered homosexuality "immoral"[1] and recommended conversion therapy[2]"

Ideal:

"Saint So-and-So considered homosexuality "immoral"[1] and recommended conversion therapy[2] which was common at the time, but modern medical institutions widely consider conversion therapy practices ineffective and potentially harmful[3][4]"

I believe these answers violate the code of conduct. I tried to resolve this through the individual sites by suggesting edits that removed this content from the answers, but didn't get too far so I'm bringing up here to discuss the topic and hopefully prod some change into action on enforcement policy.

Addendum: what I've done since starting this discussion

Following the initial response here, I have contacted SE, flagged the content (once I got enough reputation), discussed it in chats, suggested deletion of the content, and made this meta post. I'm now aware that using the edit-suggest feature to suggest post deletion is not how the site intends it to be used (I could have instead gained enough reputation on those subsites to vote-delete), but I'd prefer the discussion stayed on topic rather than just on my actions/missteps.

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    Did you try contacting SE using the link at the bottom, with the option "I want to report a Code of Conduct violation"? Apr 29, 2021 at 0:14
  • @Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Thanks, was not aware of that link - have done so now.
    – Dryt
    Apr 29, 2021 at 0:40
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    The post that was deleted was removed by a moderator - in response to a flag cast by someone who saw this post, it seems. I've added the status-review tag to this so that we can look into it - it does seem like there are some cases here where we can investigate. The mods on these sites tend to be thoughtful about these issues but we'll look into the specific concerns here. Please do feel like you can flag posts that are problematic and explain the situation.
    – Catija
    Apr 29, 2021 at 1:52
  • 8
    I know a lot of those posts are picked up by the anti-[spam|abuse] filters of Charcoal. They're harder to check for validity because of the context the site provides and I'm quite curious whether there's an official stance on them. How far is too far?
    – Mast
    Apr 29, 2021 at 9:18
  • 9
    For anybody interested, a fairly closely related previous post is Cultural relativism and the "Offensive" flag. Apr 29, 2021 at 18:08
  • 3
    I only just realized that your title was misleadingly ambiguous and I may have been answering the wrong question entirely: By "Reporting" did you mean "Reporting violations to the moderators" or "Reporting problematic events as part of an answer"? In other words, are you asking about how to bring CoC violations to the notice of the authorities, or are you attempting to discuss solutions to the inherent problem of offensive acts needing to be discussed without broaching on the CoC?
    – goldPseudo
    May 2, 2021 at 9:28
  • 1
    Considering earlier versions said "Reporting on" as opposed to just "reporting", I assumed OP meant the second. Feels like Tinkeringbell accidentally extended that misunderstanding explicitly with the edit - OP should consider editing the title to clarify though
    – Zoe
    May 2, 2021 at 18:17
  • 3
    @goldPseudo Zoe is correct, I intended the latter. I've made the title hopefully less ambiguous. It felt to me like it was pedantic/deflecting to focus on my misuse of edit-suggest, but possibly my wording gave the impression that that was what the post was meant to be about.
    – Dryt
    May 2, 2021 at 23:50
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    @Catija You removed status-review, so is this status-approved or status-declined now? May 3, 2021 at 23:01
  • 8
    @EkadhSingh there's an answer below from Cesar. We don't generally mark discussions complete. The status-review tag is intended to bring things to our attention but in some cases, an answer is all that is necessary. To call this "complete" isn't really appropriate.
    – Catija
    May 3, 2021 at 23:17
  • 3
    @EkadhSingh to add on Cat's awesome reply, the status-review is used internally in Stack Exchange, they track questions with that tag, no matter if they are bugs, feature requests, or anything else. It's kind of their "TO DO" list. So once done, the review is done, and only if it's a bug or feature request a completed/declined tag is due. May 4, 2021 at 16:34
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    @CesarM I think we’re getting closer on a title, but the original question was not limited to religion sites. It also mentioned that literature and history discussions may need to have discussions that involve anti-LGBTQ views. I think adding the focus on religion sites is unfairly singling those sites out. Alabama just got around to removing anti-gay language from their sex ed materials. Questions about that would not end up on religion sites, but still could involve some repugnant historical views.
    – ColleenV
    May 4, 2021 at 18:47
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    @ColleenV I'm not married to the title, I think it can definitely still be improved upon - I did have a conversation with Shog in which he highlighted some things that I think are valuable and true: the more specific this question is, the more valuable it is as a case-study and framework. It seems to be the OP was mainly (if not exclusively) focused on religion sites, and so I put that in the title because that's what the question and answers are discussing. But if the OP or other users have a way to make that better that doesn't super generalize it and makes it lose value, I'm ok with that.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    May 4, 2021 at 20:05
  • And there's more, including posts claiming that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong, posts saying women can't refuse sex without a "legitimate" reason, and posts claiming that raping sex slaves is permissible. Comments are worse, with some blaming rape vicitms, saying they should "know better". With the whole push for inclusiveness that SE has been promoting, I'm amazed that this stuff is up. Apr 9, 2022 at 22:05

6 Answers 6

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+50

This is an important conversation, and we’re likely to see these issues pop up again, so we thought an official answer here would help and decided to share our thoughts.

First, the standards the OP posted (the “bad, ok, and ideal section”) are pretty much in line with our policy. Discuss these things in a scholarly way, quoting views and citing sources, but avoid your opinions on the matter. This policy may evolve over time, but right now, it’s current guidance.

The content pointed out here is largely old (and in some cases already dealt with by the site mods after this was posted). We will work with the site moderators of the individual sites on the remainder of the content to clean it up and bring it to current standards as some of it does fall outside of what we’d expect and/or be okay with regarding the CoC. We would also like, and will provide suggestions to mods - on their own sites and with the support of their communities - to identify more content that infringes on the CoC.

It’s also worth noting that, while this is largely historical content, some things we simply won’t allow: for instance, posting in favor of techniques that are scientifically discredited and harmful (i.e. so-called conversion therapy), as it is fundamentally dangerous to those subjected to it.

And lastly, we wanted to reiterate what moderators already said: that this type of content can be reported through flagging or using the contact us link. We review reports submitted there and discuss them with site mods as needed. If you have the domain knowledge to make or suggest edits and adjust things in a way that’s not destructive and solves the issue, you can go that route too.

Thanks for bringing the discussion to our attention and to the mods who already started cleaning this up.

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    "Lastly" should have been "Firstly", the rest should be "well, since it's here, this time, we'll answer."
    – Chindraba
    May 3, 2021 at 16:58
  • 2
    Next time it's a nuke target. imho.
    – Chindraba
    May 3, 2021 at 16:58
  • 1
    Still think, now that the issue has been seen, addressed by the sites, and handled by the CM's, that this is still a violation of the CoC and deserves it's own recommended treatment.
    – Chindraba
    May 3, 2021 at 18:02
  • 3
    @user400654 As a dupe target, this question probably would confuse people. It's a weird mix up of 'what do I do when I can't flag', 'here's a list of stuff I want to see handled' and from the comments 'how should people behave when talking about potentially offensive things'. Honestly, there must be better dupe targets out there for each XD
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    May 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • 1
    CoC violations should be closed, rather than "duped" to anything.
    – Chindraba
    May 3, 2021 at 18:09
  • 9
    Note: Chindraba's comments, and potentially others that will be posted later:tm:, are going to rely on the assumption that the question in on its own is a code of conduct violation for labeling types of content. To save some headache (and potentially more future drama, which I'm getting a distinct feeling is brewing), it might be a good idea to respond to this as well, Cesar.
    – Zoe
    May 3, 2021 at 18:15
  • 17
    The question itself is not a CoC violation. Especially not after Tinkering's edits (which were pretty on point). It's definitely okay to discuss on MSE what is and what is not a CoC violation on our network, but we should do so neutrally - which the edit accomplishes.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    May 3, 2021 at 20:49
  • 3
    Actually as far as dupe targets go - a more general question/answer set might be a good idea as a community FAQ, covering the 'right' way to handle it. May 4, 2021 at 6:05
  • 10
    This question itself is still taking quotes out of context, @CesarM. It's taken a screenshot form a Christianity answer, omitting the "As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it," line in the answer, above the screenshotted paragraph. Based on that, it's calling that answer transphobic, an accusation which is a CoC violation. I've tried to explain this to the OP in the comments, but he wasn't exactly open to an external view...
    – Cerbrus
    May 4, 2021 at 7:16
  • 8
    The "ideal" option in the question is promoting off-topic asides. If a question is, for example, asking about historic views on conversion therapy, are you really saying that SE staff want all answers to add a disclaimer giving the views of modern secular psychology? May 4, 2021 at 7:29
  • 4
    @curiousdannii on the specific example that is given, it doesn't seem so off-topic and I think it would be fine. But the OK is also OK - you don't have to provide them. If it feels natural and on-topic (and I think in the example given it does), you can and that is helpful because conversion therapy is really harmful to individuals forced to undergo it. If it feels like an uninvited addendum, you don't have to do it. As usual, exercise judgement on what is more appropriate individually.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    May 4, 2021 at 14:39
  • 3
    Saying something is transphobic, while it's just stating fact, is a CoC violation. I have a pending edit that completely removes the need for that list of witchhunty-ness... It's a little drastic, but I think it'll improve the actual question that's asked here...
    – Cerbrus
    May 4, 2021 at 14:53
  • 9
    @Cerbrus that's why we removed transphobic. I don't agree the edit makes the question better - but will leave it up to the community. I think this edit borders on destructive (which is what the OP did). I believe if the OP came out with the current as is now, the answers and comments would have some of "but where is the a problem", "where have you seen this" questions. Without a list of examples it makes it much harder to understand what the problem is. Hunting for problematic questions is okay, hunting for witches (problematic people) is not. I don't think this had turned into a witch-hunt.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    May 4, 2021 at 15:01
  • 2
    I admit that "Witchhunt" may be the wrong word, but the OP did admit to have been actively searching for content like this. One of those comments still exists. I think that's an endless fight, and frankly a waste of time... When you remove the most egregious content, you'll still have a list of "most egregious content"... You'll always find trouble if you go looking for it.
    – Cerbrus
    May 4, 2021 at 15:05
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    @CesarM "that's why we removed transphobic." - Wait, so seriously think that "Generally anti-transition" is actually any better than "General transphobia"???, at least Cerbrus' edit was made in an attempt to make the question general and not targeted at any posts in particular (sure it maybe could've been better by quoting specific issues rather than removing the links in their entirety), but at least it did something useful. May 4, 2021 at 15:26
31

You "didn't get too far" because you were attempting to completely delete problematic posts by using suggested edits: In other words, you were using exactly the wrong tool for the job. Regular users have a number of useful tools for handling problematic posts, but it is important that the correct one be used for the correct purpose:

  • Edit: Great for removing problematic parts from a post, or for modifying a problematic post so that it is no longer problematic, but you are still expected to respect the author's original intent of the post itself.
  • Vote to Delete: A downvoted answer can be deleted by the community if enough users vote to delete it. You obviously haven't earned this privilege on the sites in question, and I presume you are not interested in involving yourself therein to gain enough reputation, so that's out of the question.
  • Flag for Moderator Attention: This notifies the site moderators about potential problems so they can investigate and, at their own discretion, take immediate action on the problematic post themselves. If you lack the reputation to flag the problematic post, you can always flag one of your own with an explanation and a link to the actual issue.
  • Post on Site-specific Meta: This lets you discuss potentially problematic issues with the community at large, as well as propose potential solutions.
  • Contact Community Team: If you lack the reputation to perform any of the above actions, then immediate concerns can be brought directly to the community team's attention by using the "Contact" link at the bottom of the page.

If a post needs immediate action that you lack the privileges to handle yourself, it is essential that it be brought to moderator attention, ideally by flagging and/or bringing it up on the site meta where users who do have the appropriate privileges can act. The more details you can provide, the better. Otherwise, problems are just going to go unnoticed.

As a moderator of Islam.SE, I'll note that absolutely none of the problematic posts you attempted to take action on were flagged for moderator attention: As such, the site moderators were not informed of any potential problems and didn't get involved until significantly later. Suggested edits aren't something we normally deal with, and the only reason I investigated any of the posts was because a moderator from another site noticed the same behaviour on their site and informed me as a courtesy.

That's also the only reason I'm noticing your question here, since you also made no attempt to discuss the issue on our per-site meta so the community could have the opportunity to recognize and deal with the issue themselves.

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    "Flag for Moderator Attention" "If a post needs immediate action that you lack the privileges to handle yourself, it is essential that you flag it for moderator attention" "As a moderator of Islam.SE, I'll note that absolutely none of the problematic posts you attempted to take action on were flagged for moderator attention" The site does not give me the ability to do that until I have sufficient reputation, which I did not have - nor enough to participate in the site's chats.
    – Dryt
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:10
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    A suggest seemed the next best alternative. To my understanding it should bring the posts in question to the attention of multiple reviewers from the community who are capable of taking further action.
    – Dryt
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:11
  • 3
    @Laurel Many of the posts I investigated were problematic and have been dealt with.
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:24
  • 3
    @Dryt You currently have enough reputation on Islam.SE to flag the posts yourself. I recommend you do so so they can be individually handled and responded to appropriately.
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:34
  • 1
    @goldPseudo Done so now that I have enough Islam.SE reputation.
    – Dryt
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:37
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    @goldPseudo I might add that the exact same thing was discussed with the author in chat by a CM before this answer. Apr 29, 2021 at 22:56
  • 3
    @dryt "A suggest seemed the next best alternative" I would just like to point out that if you make too many suggested edits that end up rejected, you risk triggering an automatic system ban on making any more suggested edits.
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 29, 2021 at 23:24
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    @Dryt Not having permission to do some of those things is a bit of a hint that you don't have enough experience yet with the site to use those tools. They don't really take much involvement to get to, either. A better response than "find a workaround" is to understand why the tools are limited and work towards unlocking them. Apr 30, 2021 at 0:00
  • 8
    @Dryt short of contacting the community team directly, bringing it up on the network meta as you did was probably the only option. most community curation is intentionally restricted to users who have invested at least a bare minimum of effort into the actual community, for good reason.
    – goldPseudo
    Apr 30, 2021 at 0:06
  • 5
    @BryanKrause "find a workaround" is not quoted from anything I've said. Absence of a report button made it look like suggest (which allows sending a message to reviewers) look like the best tool for the job. But I fundamentally disagree that I should have to participate in those sites (or more in others) before "unlocking" the basic ability to report blatantly bigoted content - this isn't something that should be gamified.
    – Dryt
    Apr 30, 2021 at 0:07
  • 1
    @Dryt The association bonus you get for participating on any other SE site is sufficient for flagging and participating on site metas. It's not really about gamification in terms of seeking rep but rather in having the bare minimum of past participation across the network. Apr 30, 2021 at 0:21
  • 4
    As I commented on the question, there is an explicit option in the contact form that allows for reporting Code of Conduct violations. Apr 30, 2021 at 7:26
  • 2
    Might I add that if flagging were available to users with 1 reputation, we'd open ourselves up to allowing bots to go around destroying everything by throwing red flags at posts and deleting them - there's already a ton of spam that needs to get deleted network-wide every day due to spam posters creating an account just to post spam, and allowing those accounts to raise flags would cause far too many problems. May 1, 2021 at 9:35
  • 3
    Flags need people to understand the network for effective use. And some flags instantly result in deletion. I've had folks decide they wanted any sort of profanity 'gone' and searched and blindly flagged anything that looked like mild profanity, which massively increased mod workload, which might have resulted in us missing something that needed more than a casual look now. May 1, 2021 at 12:18
  • 1
    @goldPseudo It might be a good idea to include in your answer that the Code of Conduct itself explicitly mentions two options for reporting violations: Flagging and using Contact Us. The other ones you mention are also good ways to get attention, but these two are actively recommended by the Code of Conduct itself, which lends a bit more weight to them as options to consider, in my opinion.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    May 2, 2021 at 9:59
13

Here's how I'd approach this issue as a moderator of Christianity.SE. The other religious sites may not keep to exactly the same principles, but they're probably very similar.

A neutral, academic, impersonal tone

Our site aims for a neutral, academic tone. We don't entertain personal opinions, instead we want to describe and analyse the teachings and practices of Christianity, even when those are unpleasant (and wrong according to most modern Christians.) We don't censor topics, nor do we try to hide the abhorrent things that some Christians have said in the past. But we also keep an impersonal tone. Just as we don't provide pastoral advice to community members, we also don't allow judgements of them. Answers shouldn't be speaking directly to question askers, but should instead describe how a denomination speaks to an issue, whether or not the question asker is personally affected or not.

Expect to be challenged, not necessarily validated

Christianity is an offensive religion. The foundation of the Gospel is seen as extremely offensive by a lot of people: you are evil, you are God's enemy, and you have no power to change this. Of course this abstract message doesn't have the sting of being told that living out your specific identity is wrong.

A site like Christianity.SE cannot be run under strictly secular principles. One central claim of Christianity is that humans were made by a God who makes demands on their lives, who expects them to live under his (good) rule, and that therefore the natural human inclination of autonomy is sinful. No matter who you are, even "good" Christians, if you come to Christianity.SE you should expect your life to be challenged, to feel uncomfortable, to have light shone on the parts of your life you hide from yourself, to be forced to confront truths about yourself you have been hiding from. This is what we believe happens when you read the scriptures, and even though it's uncomfortable, it's part of the benefits that I am looking for in our site. I wrote this before on our site Meta:

Many Christians would say that one of the central messages of Christianity is that there are aspects of all of our identities that are corrupt and harmful, and that the solution is to give up both our family and community given identities as well as our self-identities, and instead find the new identities given to us by Jesus. I know that this could sound very confronting or even offensive to anyone who is queer and/or who has had to stand against the identities that others have tried to force onto them. I believe that it is healthy for all of us, queer or not, to be able to own our identities and to feel free to express ourselves in ways that are consistent with our identities. But I also believe that the hope of the Gospel gives us freedom: from the tyrannies of identities forced onto us, from the anxieties of self-determination, and from the guilt and shame of not living up to our identities (where external or internal).

I believe that people who visit our site need to be prepared to have their identities challenged. It's part of the "contract" of our site - participation may have eternal consequences. It's therefore only appropriate that this be voluntary, and so now I'm thinking of the Hot Network Questions list. Questions on these controversial and potentially offensive topics shouldn't be in the HNQ list. Now that mods can remove questions from the HNQ list I've been trying to be pretty responsive and to remove the questions that could be potentially triggering to users of other sites, to people who aren't deliberately going to a site where they know their identities will be challenged. If you ever see a question in the HNQ list that you think shouldn't be there, please feel free to write a flag asking for it to be removed.

(This expectation of having your beliefs challenged isn't exclusive to the religious sites. Consider a site like Parenting and its questions on corporal punishment. Both proponents and opponents of smacking should be prepared to read challenging arguments from the other side, even if one side does predominate. If all you want is simple validation and affirmation, then you should seek it somewhere other than these sites.)

We don't relish in hate

Offensive things can be said out of a genuine sense of care for others, or out of hate. This doesn't change that both can still be very hurtful and cause harm. Christians have incited hatred through racism, sexism, transphobia, and more in the past. While we can't censor that fact, and we need to be able to discuss the disgusting parts of Church History, we also don't need to promote it. While we usually love quotes of original sources, when someone was inciting hate we would want a tactful summary instead of a quote. And depending on what was said, we'll also want to avoid some quotes of well-meaning but dreadfully spoken things. Links can be given to the original texts if someone really wants to read them.

Cleaning up our site's dregs

We've already taken care of most of the hateful things written on our site, but there will be some old posts that were missed. If you see something, consider which of the moderation options goldPseudo described would be most appropriate, and if you're able to, implement it. If you're not able to, or if you're unsuccessful, please start a discussion on the site-specific Meta, one discussion for each problematic post. Then the whole community can evaluate the post and decide which option would be best. But you also need to be prepared for the possibility that you won't get an outcome you like. (For example, we'll never censor the text of the Bible.) I really do hope that this won't be true for many people, but it may be the case that the teachings of Christians are just too offensive for some people's full participation on the site.

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    "when someone was inciting hate we would want a tactful summary instead of a quote." Why? What's wrong in showing the actual quote, and then explaining why it's so horrible? To bring Godwin's law into this, what's wrong with "Hitler said: <foo>", and here's why he was a horrible dictator"? I don't think it's wise to sugarcoat history, as that's what you're basically suggesting...
    – Cerbrus
    May 4, 2021 at 7:23
  • 3
    @Cerbrus Heh, I wrote that as I was trying to find a good balance between not whitewashing the offenses, and those who want it all removed. Depends on how direct the question was and how incidental the quote is. May 4, 2021 at 7:27
  • Case-by-case basis, makes sense, yea. I think I'd generally lean to the side of show them why it was bad.
    – Cerbrus
    May 4, 2021 at 7:29
  • 2
    "I believe that people who visit our site need to be prepared to have their identities challenged." Visitors must be prepared to have their identities challenged by the scripture/quotes only, not by other participants. Just because the bible declares certain things as sin does not justify some participants challenging the identities of other participants.
    – tkruse
    May 7, 2021 at 15:55
5

Bit of a frame challenge - while I'm not active on many of these religious sites, for things to change there needs to be engagement in these sites.

One finds religious sites have several issues. One is the source material(s) are from a very different era, and often bits of it might be obsolete (I once got asked my opinion on a bit of Hindu scripture and my mom went "uh... who follows that these days?" when I asked her about it. Folks sometimes also cherry pick for certain viewpoints.

The other is that religious questions are often about interpretation of deeply technical/specialist texts often written in older or less common languages, that often have been translated, interpreted or folks write explanations of them, and these often have the biases of the writer.

The third is religious texts often broadly reflect the views of either the time they were written, or the time they were read, and some of these views may be alien to modern day folks or folks of a different persuasion.

But I fundamentally disagree that I should have to participate in those sites (or more in others) before "unlocking" the basic ability to report blatantly bigoted content - this isn't something that should be gamified.

Participation in these sites isn't about gamification - but rather spending the time to get the context and culture of the site, and working out the best ways to deal with the problem

To borrow from GoldPseudo's post

You "didn't get too far" because you were attempting to completely delete problematic posts by using suggested edits

That wasn't the right solution, and we might have done better to educate new users on that. I do believe the COC page would cover the contacting the community team option, which may have been a more graceful way to do this.

Engagement and getting to know the community means the ability to use site meta, and work with the community to better figure out ways to deal with posts that may not reflect contemporary community standards here.

You don't need a lot of reputation to do it - I have a grand total of 2 reputation earned on Hinduism. Where the opportunity arose (or where I was requested to help), I picked up on situations where I could help on their meta - including a question on problematic beliefs of the past. I do have a working/casual knowledge of the religion and one of its cultures in question which helps.

That's to say, as much as poking in and trying to find problems, if one cares about the content in a community, one needs to be part of building a better community. Bring these up on their meta. Try to find acceptable solutions when there aren't at the moment for scholarly discussion of difficult topics. Flag for mod attention if necessary (cause mods are not omnipresent) especially if it doesn't meet network standards.

These work better if you're working with the community in the long run.

0
-1

I'll open my answer with a bit of clarification:

  • I'm not a member of any of the listed sites
  • I'm not a mod on any site in the network
  • I'm not a really high-rep user on any site (one site over 5 K)
  • I'm not a CM or other employee, and cannot speak for, or to, corporate policy
  • I'm not a practitioner, or believer, of any of the religions represented in the question

The question itself, as posed, seems to be an attack on something. Either the sites, the moderators of the sites, the religions represented by the sites, of some other target which I cannot deduce. As I understand the Network's CoC, an attack on someone is a violation, even if it's claiming a violation of the CoC. CoC violations are to be addressed with flags and the "Contact" form, not with open accusations.

The "question" within the question seems a bit vague. Well, actually I don't see a "question" to actually answer. Rather I see accusations spanning multiple sites, users and issues. I also see linked images which are cuts from screen shots, and linking content from multiple posts to appear as a single source. The images seem to be an attempt to de-context content and repurpose it for a targeted objective.

The linked content has, and will remain, unread by me for the most part. I read one from top to bottom and scanned a second in search of the "quote" from your image. This seems sufficient to demonstrate to me that the objective is not change, per se. Rather, an attack of some sort as already explained.

The solution, if you are actively seeking some kind of resolution, is to address each site individually, and therein address each post, or if it is found to be a string of post by a single author, each author, on a single basis. Secondly, if the content is offensive to you, the flagging system should be used. Publicly naming someone a bigot is no less a violation of the CoC than naming them transphobic, or any other term. If a pattern of acceptance of offensive behavior on a single site is a problem you wish to address, then that site's meta is the place to do so, not here.

It would do me no harm to see your issues addressed. It also would do me no harm to see them addressed as "not an issue." From the one I did read, I think the post was a valid answer to the question, with proper source citations and references. On a religious site what is considered offensive should be taken from the point of view of the site and its users, not from the point of view of an outsider (which includes me, incidentally.)

Context is important when dealing with "offensive" behavior, and your images have completely removed any context. My personal view is that this post should be removed, and I will be flagging is as a CoC violation after this is posted. I don't need the rep points for the answer (they don't hurt either), and even if it's deleted, you'll still be able to view it, and my answer.

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    "The question itself, as posed, seems to be an attack on something. Either the sites, the moderators of the sites, the religions represented by the sites, of some other target which I cannot deduce. " I'd challenge anyone who thinks I'm attacking the religions themselves to try to deduce which of the three religions in question is my own. My "attack" is on the bigotry - I also searched non-religious subsites (e.g: english.stackexchange.com for topics on pronouns)
    – Dryt
    May 1, 2021 at 12:09
  • 3
    "The "question" within the question seems a bit vague. Well, actually I don't see a "question" to actually answer." Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this is fine for meta sites. It's bringing attention to a topic, rather than asking a specific question
    – Dryt
    May 1, 2021 at 12:11
  • 2
    "I also see linked images which are cuts from screen shots, and linking content from multiple posts to appear as a single source." Could you explain what you mean by this? I believe the only screenshot using multiple posts is the "General transphobia" one, and I've clearly separated the two quotes.
    – Dryt
    May 1, 2021 at 12:13
  • 3
    "I read one from top to bottom and scanned a second in search of the "quote" from your image" Note that some of the content has now been deleted (which is progress). Use wayback machine, or stackexchange's built-in answer history. I have not fabricated any of the quotes, if that is your accusation.
    – Dryt
    May 1, 2021 at 12:16
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    "Publicly naming someone a bigot is no less a violation of the CoC than naming them transphobic, or any other term." Initially I had all names hidden, but people wanted the answer links (which have no option to make them anonymous, as far as I'm aware). ----------------------------- "If a pattern of acceptance of offensive behavior on a single site is a problem you wish to address, then that site's meta is the place to do so, not here." It's across multiple sites (and I didn't initially have permission to use the per-site metas), so I think here is appropriate.
    – Dryt
    May 1, 2021 at 12:19
  • Chindraba: I've opted to keep the links, but have the post talk about 'code of conduct violations' instead of bigotry. This to me seems like a better middle way between having only screenshots or applying terms to posts that can feel personal (which is, indeed, a CoC violation). So you may want to revise this answer a little.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    May 2, 2021 at 8:33
  • 2
    @Dryt See above, I also want you to know "here" isn't the most appropriate place for this post, it should've been flags, per-site meta posts or a use of the 'Contact Us' form (reporting Code of Conduct violations is a standard option there). I'm leaving the post because a Community Manager added a status-review to it, and as such I suspect they're working on an official response... but if it were up to me, the post would be closed as 'not seeking input or discussion from the community', with a comment redirecting you to the appropriate venue (Contact Us form), because it lacks a question.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    May 2, 2021 at 8:38
  • 1
    @Tinkeringbell I applaud the effort. 1) The edit, however, goes to far. There are not many sites where they have a "discussion of Code of Conduct violations" as the new edit suggest. 2) Inflammatory language still remains in the texts associated with several of the links. Rather than revise the answer, I'll just wait for corp. to take action, presumably removing the entire page.
    – Chindraba
    May 2, 2021 at 8:48
  • @Chindraba I understand, I just wanted to let you know I edited it because edits to a question don't notify answerers (unless they're following the post), so you could choose to do so as well if you wanted.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    May 2, 2021 at 9:55
  • 1
    @Tinkeringbell The edit to the post is fine by me (or the idea of it at least, wording is a bit weird in places). ------------------ Regarding "I also want you to know "here" isn't the most appropriate place for this post, it should've been flags, per-site meta posts or a use of the 'Contact Us' form (reporting Code of Conduct violations is a standard option there)", note that I have also used flags and the contact us form, and discussed in chats plus suggested deletions (incorrectly). Will consider making posts in the community metas in future though, depending on response
    – Dryt
    May 2, 2021 at 23:27
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    This answer reads very rude and sarcastic, such as the last paragraph. I recommend removing the offending parts. May 3, 2021 at 21:45
  • 1
    @Nai54: Agreed. For me, it was the scare quotes around "offensive" that did it. If you're going to claim that something is inoffensive, then say so explicitly. Don't try to hide it behind a thin veneer of sarcasm.
    – Kevin
    May 5, 2021 at 18:23
  • 2
    @Kevin I find everything, including the current post inoffensive. I recognize that others do find some things offensive and others take the same thing to be inoffensive. Taking offense to something is an emotional response. I do not know a single user, network-wide, on a personal basis, let alone well enough to be offended by their words to someone else. My personal view of the "offensive" nature of a post is not in question. The interpretation of the CoC is the rule to follow. If scare quotes offend you, please take the liberty of reading the post without them.
    – Chindraba
    May 5, 2021 at 18:32
  • 3
    So you basically don't care about the bigotry... because emotions will vary and "interpretations of the CoC" are different for everybody? Unbelievable. May 5, 2021 at 18:37
  • 1
    @Nai54 Humm. Guess my English skills are lacking. My personal view ... is not in question was meant to be interpreted as what I think does not matter. ...the CoC is the rule to follow was intended to mean that the CoC is a rule all must follow, personal opinions of myself or others notwithstanding. I do not see any phrase in my prior comment suggesting I don't care about bigotry, only that I am not offended by any of the mentioned posts, or even the current one.
    – Chindraba
    May 5, 2021 at 18:57
-2
+100

Don't fight fire with fire - instead, fireproof

I agree with you, that sort of offensive bigotry should and hopefully never will be tolerated.

And look, this conversation is extremely controversial and divided. It is a touchy topic that hits too close to home for many.

How do we do this in a way that works for everyone?

Well, for starters, don't:

  • suggest edits that delete huge parts (a word or phrase is generally okay, but anything that clearly conflicts with the author's intent is not) of material out (this is vandalism, even with good intentions, and is overall a bad idea);
  • leave a comment asking for it to be removed (easy way to put yourself in a heated debate that will quickly escalate);
  • bring it up in chat (easy ways to put yourself in a heated debate that will quickly escalate);
  • and similar...

Here's what you can do:

  • custom flag on the offending post or flag one of your own and link to the offending post with context;
  • contact the Community Team through the "Contact" link at the bottom of every page.

And while these actions are helpful, to completely solve this issue:

There should be official Stack Exchange policy on this

There needs to be clear policy added to the Moderator Agreement for dealing with bigotry, on all sites - but especially religious sites and similar.

Every moderator should be fully prepared for bigotry and how to combat it.

This isn't an issue that can be solved by flagging when found and then leaving moderators to deal, there should be explicit policy that explains everything that a moderator or regular user would need to know.

For example, if you live in an apartment building high risk to fire, you fireproof it. You talk to the firefighters and make sure they have appropriate supplies, methods, and tools. There should be a clear way to escape the building and there should be clear policy on what should be done in case of fire.

You don't just leave it be, not communicate or give tools to the firefighters and cross your fingers that the building doesn't light.

Compare the situation to my metaphor, you need to communicate with moderators, give them appropriate tools, show the regular users how to avoid escalation and how to react, and prepare for the worst.

For example, there is a difference between referencing bigotry said in history and saying it yourself. The difference is a fine line, and the moderators need to know when it's been crossed.

What shouldn't be done:

We can't dismiss these examples as "random occurrences".

Anyone should be able to view our content, regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, etc... This was a fundamental part of Stack Exchange's goal.

And I understand that people's identities are supposed to be challenged on the religious sites. But the examples shown are not meant "to challenge identities". They are simply to get a point across. A bigoted, homophobic point. A cold harsh reminder of humanity. There's a fine line and they leaped over it.

We can't do nothing. We can't discriminate. We can't tell people to leave if they are offended. We can't. That is wrong. If nothing is done, things will become hateful - that is the whole world, not just Stack Exchange.

So, you need to step up. We need to step up.

We need to put out the fire.

5
  • 5
    I don't think anyone has recommended that people who are offended should just leave. Everyone agrees possible CoC violations should be flagged. However, adults can choose what sort of content they engage with. I find depictions of cruelty deeply disturbing, and think watching them as entertainment is bad for us individually and as a society. I am not interested in having an academic discussion about torture in films. I don't have to shut down otherwise civil discussion or leave the site entirely. I can choose to ignore someone being wrong on the Internet.
    – ColleenV
    May 3, 2021 at 20:40
  • @ColleenV Yes, but if no one cared about someone being wrong on the internet, then nothing would be correct. And I didn't say that anyone said that people who are offended should just leave. May 3, 2021 at 20:47
  • "We can't tell people to leave if they are offended." -- we don't do that. The CoC is very clear that everyone should flag any content they find offensive. And if no-one cared about someone being wrong on the Internet, it would be a much quieter place. Statistically, there would still be people on the Internet who were "right", they just wouldn't be trying to teach pigs to sing.
    – ColleenV
    May 3, 2021 at 20:57
  • @ColleenV I know that we don't do that, I'm saying that we should ensure that we will never do that. May 3, 2021 at 20:59
  • @ColleenV And to your second point, I disagree, but we can save that discussion for another time ;) May 3, 2021 at 20:59

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