A recent post has indicated that the use of "Z" imagery related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine falls under the "intimidation and harassment" policy and is banned on the network, most specifically on profile pages and profile images.
My question is, should this policy be extended to the use of imagery supporting any invasion?
For example, would adding imagery to my profile praising the British naval seige of Baltimore, Maryland in 1814 count as "intimidation and harassment" of Americans? Similarly, would adding "Las Malvinas son argentinas" to my profile be considered intimidation or just an expression of a legitimate political viewpoint? Would sharing this image on my profile be considered intimidation of Anglo-Saxons, or is 1066 too remote in history to be considered relevant to today? If a future invasion happens somewhere else in the world (e.g. Zimbabwe invades Mozambique), what criteria should I use to determine whether I can make statements praising the aggressor without falling afoul of the Code of Conduct?
If some invasions are ok to praise and others are not, what criteria should be used to distinguish the cases?
- Praising an invasion is intimidation only during the period of active hostilities. Once the guns have gone silent and the affected area reaches a "new normal", imagery in support of the (now historical) invasion becomes acceptable and no different from adding ordinary political material to one's profile page.
- Praising an invasion is intimidation if and only if the invasion is associated with significant human rights abuses (e.g. massacre of children). If the invader makes a substantial effort to obey the laws of war (e.g. only targeting enemy soldiers, not torturing POW's, etc.), then praising them is ok.
- Praising an invasion is intimidation if and only if community consensus deems it so. If the community has rallied behind an invading party or at least decided not to condemn it, then imagery in support of the invasion is not a violation. This would require, at a minimum, separate discussion threads for each invasion. For example, "As of January 4, 2025, Florin has invaded Guilder. Does the community support banning the Grand Army Flag of Florin and/or some or all of the division symbols of Florin Special Forces in profiles? Please discuss."
- Whether praising an invasion constitutes intimidation depends on whether the invaded population has requested that such materials be banned. For example, if the consensus among Americans is that they do not support censorship of pro-British War of 1812 propaganda, then posting such materials on Stack Exchange profiles does not constitute intimidation and harassment under the Code of Conduct.
- The policy should cover only "recent" invasions, or invasions for which there are still living victims. Invasions that are today known only through history books or archaeological digs (not testimonies of living survivors) are fair game. This would permit the praise of Age of Sail conquests, medieval campaigns, and city-state warfare of classical antiquity, even when it is clear that the poster's favorite side was the aggressor. This would also mean that while posting materials in favor of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 is currently banned, it will most likely cease to contravene the rule as the last living witnesses die in the coming decades and the invasion becomes a purely "historical" one with no living survivors.
If it's not clear, I don't personally consider the Bayeux Tapestry image to be a hate symbol in 2022. My purpose is to get discussion going and demonstrate that "pro-invasion" can mean almost anything.