Background reading:

Recently I flagged an old answer here on Meta as "rude or abusive", because I sincerely believe that it was. The flag was declined, and I wanted to bring this up because I have had issues with similar content elsewhere on the network before.

I objected to this argument, specifically the italicized portions (all emphasis mine):

I just don't buy into this neutrality argument, which is really to me just a way for [others] to shy away from stating their true opinion about the topic. [Disparaging term] beliefs... whether openly stated or not, or other beliefs based on fear-mongering... shouldn't be used to deny [the author's concern]. [see note] [Personal value] is paramount for me, and will make [its benefactors] want to contribute more. And isn't their contribution what people who oppose this care about? [see note] It is [see note] that "neutrality", which makes the [personal value] political, not [the value in itself]. Political just means not abiding by the [others'] dogma or agenda.... I don't care for it.... And since there is no moral high ground to these anyway, as old or recent history shows, denying their denial is what true neutrality really means to me.

[ Redacted part of an answer from s.H.a.R.p.R.i.F.t ]

Note: in the marked places, I removed arguments that I also found objectionable along the same lines, but which I couldn't properly genericize due to the nature of the argument being presented. Where there are ellipses, I removed text I did not find problematic.

This is a representative sample of a long paragraph, presented as the author's actual argument and not as a quotation.

To be clear, the original did not use an offensive term. I have deliberately genericized the remark here, because it is a core part of my argument that it does not matter what group this is about. The offensive thing here is the accusation, based on nothing evidenced in the post besides a personal intuition, that a political outgroup is collectively being dishonest when they discuss the topic that was under consideration. In this instance I could not simply have edited the offending content, because it was a central representation of the argument being made.

If I happened to identify with that political grouping, I could well have directly been offended with it, and I think with good reason. Aside from that, the comment appeared to be indirectly addressing others in the discussion who might not have identified with that political grouping, but nevertheless would have recognized it was about them. I'm not sure if everyone can recall having such an experience; but being associated with others that you don't identify with, on the basis of someone else's subjective assessment of one thing that you said, is not a fun time.

Notwithstanding my options as a user (editing or suggesting edits, downvoting, deletion votes according to reputation), I sincerely believe that comments like the above should be sanctionable under the Code of Conduct as currently written. This is in some sense a follow-on to my question at Politics Meta.

I was extremely unsatisfied with my experience there. Many of my flags were declined, and my edits were rejected. When I went to Meta to complain about it, I was repeatedly misrepresented as taking personal offense to the content. I was also told that I could not realistically submit an unbiased edit for a post I fundamentally disagree with; but my objection to the content, again, had nothing to do with my personal opinions. For example, one answer included a block quote from work by political activists who were being held up as experts on the current topic, taking up the bulk of an answer that generally agrees with their stance - again genericized:

The answer is easy: The overturns are the result of decades of strategic work by [political outgroup] to achieve exactly that. The court overturned as soon as it had the supermajority to do so without any need to compromise.
Here is an excerpt from... an excerpt of a book by [name], who argued [related court decision] and co-founded [legal advocacy organization], and [name], a lawyer and [cause] activist who has argued [analogous case] before [a high court elsewhere].

Beginning [long ago, exact time irrelevant], with the political power of [politician] and [lobbying group] as a strong and savvy ally, the [term for a movement not preferred by its adherents] launched its strategy. Its high-ranking supporters... confirmed a pipeline of [subjective strong judgment of political leaning] [same term for the movement] judges onto the lower courts nationwide, who were then short-listed for... nomination. One by one, they added [such] judges from this group [to the highest court of the nation]... [there are now enough of them] to overturn [prior judgment holding back that movement]. The appointment of [named judge] positioned them to do so even without demonstrating the respect for precedent and procedural restraint previously needed to bring along [another named judge], who prefers chiseling away at [the decision] rather than an outright reversal.

I want to emphasize that I object to the genericized version exactly as much as the original. The form of this argument is what galls, not who it targets. I don't think I actually submitted an edit for this answer, because fixing the problem that I see would require removing the quote entirely (as it is, after all, a quote).

This rhetoric is rather conspiratorial. It supposes coordinated action ("high-ranking supporters", "pipeline", "strategy" that takes decades to unfold; and a sense of purpose behind the judicial nominations which required political support to approve) by political opposition to do something harmful, while disparaging them by using in-group terminology and supposing that they lack "respect for precedent and procedural restraint" (there is no presented evidence of procedural misconduct, and the argument for "lack of precedent" seems like it would apply equally well to overturning any ruling).

Including quotes like this cheapens the discourse, and risks creating the perception (I of course do not mean to assert this intention) of skirting rules by attributing the words to others.

I am appealing here because I sincerely believe that moderation at that site collectively fails to apply the standards laid out in the Abusive behavior policy of the current Code of Conduct. I consider that the previous Code of Conduct would also have ruled against such comments, but I will refer to the current wording to make the argument.

First, the motivation given in the policy:

we do not allow behaviors or content that cause or contribute to an atmosphere that excludes, marginalizes, or dehumanizes individuals or communities on the basis of their actual or perceived ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or held religious beliefs.

I consider that this is clearly not intended to be an exhaustive list of illegitimate bases for such comments. Bigotry is bigotry, regardless of what group is being targeted. If I referred to other users with an insulting epithet (what is called a "slur" when one can actually get people to agree) based on height, hair colour, eye colour or handedness, for example, it would be readily apparent that such a comment should be offensive to people sharing those traits, not simply to the person targeted. It would also be readily apparent that such an insult is predicated on seeing members of that group as inferior.

It is common sense and common knowledge that very many people hold their political beliefs quite strongly. It seems clear that, generally, they are rooted in value propositions that are strongly deontological.

As such, political identification seems to belong in this category. At a stretch, it could even be seen as covered by "religious beliefs".

Next, the concept of "Hostile comments":

malicious, unkind, cruel, or mocking comments that provoke or insult another person

It's self-evident to me that describing someone's group as intrinsically dishonest is unkind. It is the exact opposite of applying the Principle of Charity.

When I tried to explain calmly in the comments why I find things like this objectionable, in one case it ended up with someone straight up telling me that I am not entitled to a "please stop replying to me" request. (That exchange does appear to be gone now.) So there is clear evidence that disparaging political remarks targeted at an outgroup are inflammatory and lead to heated argument.

"Bigotry and discrimination" are described thus:

the... expressed irrational suspicion... and/or intolerance of another person or group of people due to [above bases].

I chose the word "bigotry" above carefully. Supposing that other people have secret motives or reasoning, and that they do not mean what they say outwardly, or that they are trying to hide objectionable thoughts behind a veneer of respectability, is an irrational suspicion rooted in intolerance. The best explanation for the differing political beliefs of others is that they have different value systems and worldviews - and that the things they say make perfect sense and accurately reflect their opinions, within that context.

For me to be able to take a "Code of Conduct" seriously, I have to be able to trust that it is being applied even-handedly and based on broad, fundamental principles that apply to everyone - and not just to signal that certain identity groups inherently require protection or that certain worldviews are sacrosanct and shall not be challenged. If you wouldn't say that, for example, adherents of a particular religion have are subject to objectionable moral commandments for their sacred texts, that are being obscured for PR reasons, then you shouldn't say the equivalent about political platforms. If it's wrong to say that people of a certain ethnicity, or race, or gender (identity), etc. are in control of some domain of power and manipulate it to benefit their peers, then it's also wrong to say about a party you didn't vote for. If someone on Stack Overflow proposed that, say, people who use a certain text editor have their good taste and sensibility warped by it and thus ipso facto write inferior code, I would consider that this, too, should be treated as a Code of Conduct violation.

The only thing that people who disagree with you, taken collectively, should be assumed to have in common is that they disagree with you.

  • 6
    Could you provide a link to the old answer so we can see the context and judge for ourselves.
    – W.O.
    Jul 29, 2023 at 23:22
  • 3
    Can you elaborate more on the context in this case? In case of my Meta post you linked as precedent the comment was offensive against a specific user. I don't think that was the case with the examples you raised on Politics where users tended to criticize ideas or ideologies rather than specific people / other users of the site.
    – JJJ
    Jul 29, 2023 at 23:25
  • 3
    @W.O. My entire point is that I disagree that context is necessary to judge this sort of rhetoric. It is in itself a claim of a form that should not be tolerated, because of its form. Jul 29, 2023 at 23:46
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    I strongly assert that we need to see the context in order to judge if the context is relevant. Maybe it isn't, but to bolster your argument, show us.
    – W.O.
    Jul 29, 2023 at 23:47
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    @JJJ if I assert that people belonging to a group have some negative quality and call them by a slur, that is offensive for the same reason that "you are a [slur]" is. Jul 29, 2023 at 23:48
  • 2
    "I strongly assert that we need to see the context in order to judge if the context is relevant." I don't understand the basis for this belief. Could you give an example of hypothetical context that would make a difference, and explain why you think it would make a difference? (I am consciously being guarded about this because I do not want to be accused later of provoking Meta effect.) Jul 29, 2023 at 23:49
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    They might, for example be quoting someone, but not have made it clear, or even have been referring to themselves obliquely.
    – W.O.
    Jul 29, 2023 at 23:58
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    a possible concern here is that by not providing context, we just have to take your word that the given case isn't being misrepresented. I generally agree, that bigotry is bigotry, but also, there's certainly ways to abuse that idea to keep clearly offensive/abusive content active that otherwise should be deleted.
    – Kevin B
    Jul 30, 2023 at 0:04
  • 2
    Example: Political debate is all about getting the candidates to share their views; that is why moderators tend to use hypotheticals and keeping a straight face even when they get a ridiculous reply // which is really to me just a way for [those moderators] to shy away from stating their true opinion about the topic.// There's an innocent example in a context I just made up. Or at least I would decline a flag on that as I don't see who it would be offending in code of conduct context.
    – JJJ
    Jul 30, 2023 at 0:09
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    I expanded the quotes to make it as clear as possible that I am not misrepresenting anything. But aside from that, I am looking to convince people about the examples as I present them, on the presumption that they are accurate representations, as a principle to apply in similar cases. The interested reader will have noticed a theme of "we should have consistent principles" throughout the post. If I wanted this to be about specific examples, I would have tagged and titled it to match that. Jul 30, 2023 at 0:13
  • 15
    First quoted answer, and second quoted answer. I went to go and read them after reading through this in its entirety. And frankly, I don't understand the problem. I wouldn't consider either, neither with nor without context, to be particularly rude or abusive. That's not to say I think they're good answers, I don't, but R/A? Nah. Jul 30, 2023 at 2:40
  • 2
    @Nickistired I think it's very clear that they're R/A and I gave my reasoning. I don't understand what the opposed reasoning is. I think there's a very clear line between criticism and disparagement, and that it's crucial to avoid offense in the context of political discussions. Do you disagree? I find it very annoying that it seems like I'm consistently disagreed with on this point that I find clear, across many Internet discourse spaces, but nobody ever seems to try to explain why they disagree. It takes me tons of effort to lay out my reasoning, so.... Jul 30, 2023 at 5:07
  • 7
    I also don't think those posts quality for being R/A. Yes, you can say for the first quote that there OP is attacking particular group of people, because of alleged thought crimes, but all in all it is valid opinion one can have and it was not presented in a manner that would justify R/A flag. If we start looking at Meta discussions and politics (I am not following the site, but politics is always controversial topic) in such detail, we will end up finding offense in every second post and I don't think it would end well. Jul 30, 2023 at 8:20
  • 3
    "this sort of rhetoric is inherently rude, by its form, and I have flagged it as such." Telling people "you're rude and I'm calling the cops on you" isn't exactly model behaviour either... If you see something rude, flag it and move on.
    – Cerbrus
    Jul 30, 2023 at 21:50
  • 5
    "if I assert that people belonging to a group have some negative quality and call them by a slur" - what exactly is the "slur" that you are objecting to? I read both the linked answers and didn't notice any slurs in them.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:42

3 Answers 3


I think the discussion boils down to this reply you commented:

"this very discussion demonstrates that a lot of people don't recognize it as rude and that I have to convince them of what is to me self-evident."

No, you don't need to "convince" people it's rude.

If you find a rude contribution, flag it and move on.
Certainly don't tell people "you're rude and I flagged you". That's just provocative.

If multiple users see it and find it to be rude, then it'll get more flags and get auto-removed.

If not, then a moderator may still agree with you and validate your flag.

And if the moderator disagrees with your flag, then you may need to consider that the thing you thought was rude, might not have been that rude...

"Rudeness" is a slippery slope, and a damn tricky thing to quantify.

Now, if "many of your flags were declined, and your edits were rejected", then you need to consider the fact that you might be in the wrong here.

Not every perception of rudeness is actual rudeness.
Not everything someone finds to be rude, needs to be deleted.

So no, you don't need to "convince" people of your perception.

You can explain it and hope they see your point of view / agree, but they're absolutely free to disagree with your perception.

Now, to actually get some kind of answer going here that covers the issue you're trying to illustrate, let's at least go into the points you make in your self-answer:

However, to my understanding, meta.SE is the right place to make the argument. So that's what I'm trying here. It's very clear to me that I do, in fact, need to convince people that such comments are rude, because:

You state this question is not about that, yet you insist on defending this stance of needing to convince people. Again, you don't need to "convince" people something is rude. Not everything someone finds to be rude is rude.

This is practically cancel culture. You're policing tone and choice of words. That's unacceptable.

  1. People, particularly the people responsible for enforcing rules, evidently don't see them that way.

When multiple people disagree with your perception of rudeness, then you're going to have to learn to deal with that. You can not force your opinion upon others.

  1. To me they clearly are, and I see clear and specific harms resulting from that.
  • I see the quality of discourse lowering.

Buddy, you wrote an ALL-CAPS BOLD ITALIC COMMENT shouting in frustration about "Why it is not understood when you repeatedly lay it [the subject of this question] out explicitly". If the quality of discourse is of your concern, try to listen to feedback and actually act on the feedback, instead of just kicking back at everything.

  • I see a possible cause for the "toxicity" that so many off-site people witness but aren't able to put into words.

Perceived "toxicity" off-site is generally ill-informed users complaining about SE's quality control mechanisms, them calling that "toxic". I have yet to see a single echo-box "SE bad" page on the web that complains about some obscure choice of words being the problem.

  • I see the potential for "founder effects", where the first off-topic political belief presented in a space becomes the only acceptable one - because "civility" entails not arguing, but there was nobody to argue with the first time.

"because "civility" entails not arguing" That's not how SE works, so this whole point is pretty much moot.

  • I see groups feeling unwelcome because of off-handed remarks that show that others think of them as an enemy.

This is basically the same as your "toxicity" point. I'm not convinced your examples are in any way a contributing factor.

  • I see individuals feeling unwelcome because an individual issue they agree with is used to categorize them as belonging to a group they don't identify with and don't like to be thought of as belonging to.

What... You need to provide some examples or numbers to back up this claim. That's a very broad accusation that needs a source.

  1. I fundamentally can't respect rules that I see as being applied unfairly, regardless of who gets the short end of the stick.

That's a you-problem. You are perceiving them to be "applied unfairly". So, that entire rule is just out the door? That's incredibly shortsighted and unconstructive.

Instead, you should post a clear, concise question describing the problem.

Not this rambling wall of text that's clearly problematic to get to the point of.

  • 2
    No, you miss the point entirely. The precise reason I am here is in order to convince people that they should see it as rude, by pointing out the harmful effects that such discourse has over the long run. This is not about me being some strange, unique person who finds idiosyncratic things offensive. This is about me holding up a well-known philosophical principle and explaining why I think the current Code of Conduct is being interpreted in a way that I cannot abide. Jul 31, 2023 at 20:56
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    This isn't a slippery slope at all. I described very specific conditions for a particular offensive form, and explained clearly why they cause offense and lower the general level of discourse. Jul 31, 2023 at 20:58
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    "in order to convince people that they should see it as rude" Who are you to decide what is, and isn't rude? No, you weren't very specific. There's a lot of redacted text and rambling going on in your question, it's extremely hard to figure out what exactly the problem is, according to you.
    – Cerbrus
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:13
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    This post is also extremely hypocritical. You're trying to control what people can, and can not say. You're trying to police their tone and their choice of words. You're trying to silence an opinion you consider "harmful". And when you're called out on it you have the guts to claim we're missing the point? No, sir, you need to take a step back and reconsider your bias.
    – Cerbrus
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:18
  • 1
    "You're trying to silence an opinion you consider "harmful"" No, I am doing nothing of the sort. I'm trying to get rid of a conduct which takes the form of a rhetorical style. It is explicitly not about the opinion expressed. That is exactly why "there's a lot of redacted text". There is not "rambling"; there is me explaining that reason that I need to redact the text in order to highlight the rhetorical style. Why is this so difficult to understand? Jul 31, 2023 at 21:41
  • 4
    Why is this so difficult to explain coherently? Just quote the answer, highlight the problematic sentence, and explain why it's problematic! Instead, what we get is a couple of mangled quotes and a rambling wall of text!
    – Cerbrus
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:46
  • 3
    "I'm trying to get rid of a conduct which takes the form of a rhetorical style." And who are you to decide what rhetorical style is acceptable? That is you trying to "police their tone and their choice of words".
    – Cerbrus
    Jul 31, 2023 at 21:47
  • 1
    "Just quote the answer, highlight the problematic sentence, and explain why it's problematic! Instead, what we get is a couple of mangled quotes and a rambling wall of text! " Because the "mangling" is essential to the point I am making - that the parts I am replacing could be replaced with anything that matches and it would be equally offensive. "And who are you to decide what rhetorical style is acceptable?" Could you please not persist in equating "trying to convince people of a point" with "attempting to decide the point for them"? It's demonstrably not the same. Jul 31, 2023 at 22:17

Cerbrus, I agree that I shouldn't leave comments like that, and it looks like that one was removed. I would be deleting it at this point otherwise, and I'll try not to make them in the future. That isn't the right place to make the argument, because it will risk coming across as completely specific to the incident and not highlighting the general principle I'm describing.

However, to my understanding, meta.SE is the right place to make the argument. So that's what I'm trying here. It's very clear to me that I do, in fact, need to convince people that such comments are rude, because:

  1. People, particularly the people responsible for enforcing rules, evidently don't see them that way.

  2. To me they clearly are, and I see clear and specific harms resulting from that.

    • I see the quality of discourse lowering.
    • I see a possible cause for the "toxicity" that so many off-site people witness but aren't able to put into words.
    • I see the potential for "founder effects", where the first off-topic political belief presented in a space becomes the only acceptable one - because "civility" entails not arguing, but there was nobody to argue with the first time.
    • I see groups feeling unwelcome because of off-handed remarks that show that others think of them as an enemy.
    • I see individuals feeling unwelcome because an individual issue they agree with is used to categorize them as belonging to a group they don't identify with and don't like to be thought of as belonging to.
  3. I fundamentally can't respect rules that I see as being applied unfairly, regardless of who gets the short end of the stick.

That said, I'm deeply concerned by how this discussion itself has played out. I'm feeling extreme amounts of emotional stress and I feel the need to try to explain why I'm so dismayed by how the entire discussion has played out so far.

I put huge amounts of effort into trying to explain a position that I know isn't popular (or I wouldn't have run into the difficulties I did). I specifically resisted linking to examples because it is explicitly a part of my point that this is a general form of behaviour and the details of the examples (i.e., the subject people were discussing) is irrelevant to the standard I propose.

I don't want you to know who "others" are, because I think the comment is offensive because of how it presents an argument, not because of whose political ox is gored. In the comment section, someone said the previous meta Q&A was different because the remarks were targeted at a single person, so I brought up the clear example of slurs - to illustrate that remarks that disparage groups are offensive in the same ways as remarks that target individuals on the basis of group identity.

But because I used the word "slur" to make this point, someone else then got confused about how the original comments don't contain slurs. If they contained slurs we would not be having this discussion; if moderators were ignoring slurs I wouldn't be wasting time on meta.SE trying to convince people that slurs are rude. It comes across to me that certain words and concepts - like the word "slur" - have some kind of magic to them, that seize the reader's attention in a way that prevents me from communicating the point. It's really frustrating.

These are are all object-level issues, but I was trying to propose a meta-level principle. Worse than that, my clear and repeatedly explained intent to have a discussion about a meta-level principle was resisted in all ways at every turn. I was asked to give links, then it was supposed that I could be taking things out of context. Then when I gave enough context to make it clear what arguments of the form I had in mind look like, it was enough for people to go out of their way to look them up and consider the exact wording. That's exactly what I wanted not to happen, because my argument is precisely that it does not matter* which group was being disparaged, who was described collectively as hiding true beliefs, what actions were presented as something like conspiracy, etc.

And then on top of all of that, the first answer I got addressed a comment I made, and went into my personal mindset, rather than attempting to critique or even verify the principle I propose.

I'm hurt by this, and it makes me wonder if I should have just made up examples out of whole cloth to illustrate the principle. But in that world, I imagine people telling me that it's too abstract to get a proper sense of, or that I'm imagining irrelevant hypotheticals and that I need to show that certain forms of comment do get made in order to highlight a problem.

What I'm trying to advocate here is the idea that the rules should apply equally to everyone. It's uniquely frustrating because I've tried to make the same point about analogous rules all over the place for years and years. And everywhere I go, people sound as if they consider equal treatment a virtue, but then somehow disagree with everything else. When I propose that a manner of expression, or a rhetorical pattern is offensive1 because of the content, regardless of who is targeted, people come across as though they want to see who is targeted. Or at least, they don't seem to understand my reluctance to give information that would show who is targeted, even though that naturally follows from the position I espouse.

When I see this reaction, and it echoes frustrations (of course I don't expect others to know about this before I tell them; but right now I am trying to explain my emotional mindset) of previous discussions, it makes me start to feel like most people out there in the world don't believe that rules should apply equally to everyone. That they like to describe equality as a virtue, but either haven't considered the implications or have some internal concept of "equality" that I could never treat as sensible or fair, or in the worst case are saying it because it's fashionable to say and not because they agree with it internally as a fundamental moral principle.

And I hate getting that impression, not least because internally I start accusing myself of doing the same thing I'm arguing against, targeted at the group "people who aren't me".

And the more I try to explain it, the more it goes around in circles. I get told I'm a hypocrite for trying to silence an opinion, but I don't want to silence an opinion; I want people not to express their criticisms of other groups in a particular fashion. I want people to uphold the Principle of Charity (which is why I linked it right off the top), or at least not actively oppose that by accusing others of dishonesty.

1 I have seen people take the position that nothing is inherently offensive, people just are offended by things. While I'm broadly sympathetic to that view, enforcing any kind of Code of Conduct entails defining certain behaviours as "offensive", because otherwise they can't be acted on in anything like a consistent manner.

  • 1
    I feel as if perhaps I should delete this question - the current phrasing was apparently a complete failure and I don't want its baggage - and start over with something based on the top section, without giving examples at all. Jul 31, 2023 at 22:27
  • One issue with the way of framing the question you're adopting is that the concrete examples you picked (the ones you don't want us to discuss) are fairly different from each other, and abstracting them from their context obscures that. With the the first one, I can kind of see how the rhetoric gets dangerously close to a personal attack in the context of the Q&A it belongs to; with the second one, though, that's not at all the case.
    – duplode
    Jul 31, 2023 at 22:43
  • 1
    @duplode but the point is exactly that I don't think those differences matter, and that I don't think "approaching a personal attack" has anything to do with why I object in the first case. (How many times do I have to say these things?) Jul 31, 2023 at 22:58
  • Out of curiosity, if the (first) post had contained references to some kind of standardised surveys confirming that those who'd remained neutral had in fact been concealing their real views, would you have found that acceptable? The most jarring thing about it to me is that it seems like an opinion, mind-reading speculation rather than fact, but then I'm mostly science oriented.
    – W.O.
    Jul 31, 2023 at 23:33
  • 1
    @W.O. Yes, I think that would be fine (and more generally I think you're properly understanding me), as long as it weren't clearly-in-context an attempt to bash people with "scientific" evidence. It's hard to imagine a serious survey where people are asked if they conceal their views. However, it's easy to imagine a survey that shows a group's consensus view is X, which differs from the Y that appears to be their popular image in media. But findings like that should be careful not to misrepresent what has actually been found, and not cast aspersions. Jul 31, 2023 at 23:42
  • I'm on-board with that, yep - consensus. :)
    – W.O.
    Aug 1, 2023 at 0:26

I didn't read your whole post, but the bottom line is don't expect to be treated fairly. I tried for years to appeal to reason, good nature, and the desire for a peaceable community to get fair treatment, and all that happened was that I was ignored, provoked, or punished for trying to tell the truth. Maybe there were times I went a little further than I should have, but that only ever happened after I was unreasonably patient with someone who was completely and totally misrepresenting everything I said and stood for and who was using emotional manipulation to either make themselves feel good or try to make me feel bad for disagreeing. And if you think it's just I'm not a great person, fine, it wasn't just me. You only need look at how poorly a well respected person like Monica was treated and the fact the company not only doubled down on her mistreatment, but ousted everyone who found it objectionable within a few months. That wrong was never righted, only made exponentially worse, and nothing has been done to even reduce social activism within the staff or among moderators.

The CoC is not designed to provide a fair, objective standard that applies to everyone equally. It's designed to give staff and moderators a justification for discriminating against non-collectvist ideologies and beliefs. It's there to advance the idea that non-white races, non-heterosexuals, and whatever other group of the day comes up is oppressed and must be given extra advantages to make up for it. That's all "welcoming" ever meant; it's just a dog whistle for implementing an ideological purge by making unreasonable demands of a person's language. It was designed to turn this suite of sites into a channel for social activism, rather than a place for people with a common interest to gather and spread knowledge and learn from each other.

All that said, you probably didn't respond perfectly, but it doesn't matter. You wouldn't have gotten a better outcome if you had.

  • "I didn't read your whole post" Makes it seem like you took this question primarily as an opportunity to express your distaste for the code of conduct, again. Besides, isn't this answer an accusation of dishonesty / hiding true beliefs on the basis of political accommodation, which this question proposes that it should be flagged and handled as abusive?
    – E_net4
    Oct 15, 2023 at 11:57
  • @E_net4 I have no inherent distaste for the Code of Conduct. If it was really about being nice to people, there would be no problem. I have an inherent objection to its consistent "enforcement" only in one sociopolitical direction and for the intentional misrepresentation of a person's actions and words in order to justify punishing people for attempting to explain their understanding of and to discuss the intricacies of issues in appropriate contexts. The CoC and associated content are a dog whistle because they say one thing but are actually implemented as another.
    – jpmc26
    Oct 19, 2023 at 0:46
  • @E_net4 I've never tried to hide what I believe. I've outright stated it on multiple occasions. Heck, I've been told that it was surprising how open about them I was in this environment. The problem here is that there is no fair treatment according to what the CoC actually says. It's enforced entirely on the basis of trying to promote certain values, even if that means outright lying about the content being moderated. I was literally told I was insisting everyone has to follow my beliefs ... (cont.)
    – jpmc26
    Oct 19, 2023 at 1:03
  • ... when I explicitly said the opposite in a plea for the company to stop ignoring the beliefs of people who disagreed with them and to try to find a more evenhanded policy that respected everyone around the time of the Monica incident. That's the kind of gaslighting moderation has engaged in here.
    – jpmc26
    Oct 19, 2023 at 1:03

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