Addressing a certain issue

Hey everyone @Announcements

This has been boiling for a while and after speaking to @CrazyCaliope I think it’s time an issue was addressed.

You may have seen me talk about this here on the anonymous confession thread about how we don’t deal with complaints anonymously, well that post also covers a lot of the issues I’m going to be addressing here.

This is the issue of “hate speech” and “bigotry” on the forums.

If you would please look at our discipline table and also look here for an explanation of the discipline table works. You’ll see that hate speech is something we do punish on here but we do not instantly ban people who use it, we follow the table obviously I think an exception to this would be if the account was clearly a spam account there to promote hateful ideologies, that would probably be deleted as soon as we see it.

The reason we don’t instantly ban those who use hate speech is because while hate speech is an awful thing that none of you should have to see (once hate speech is flagged it’s usually hidden and removed) is because people who aren’t here to change and learn will probably make their way through the table very fast because they’ll repeatedly do it and the people are here to change and learn will do so and then we’ll have one less bigot in the world.

We’re sorry if you’ve seen hate speech and been negatively affected by it before we had the chance to remove it, please be sure to flag it or PM one of the @moderators so they can deal with it.

Now, I fully understand that you don’t want to have to keep dealing with people who have ignorant opinions or giving them a “free pass” but please understand that as well as being a writing forum, this is a debate forum. People have different opinions and some of those opinions can be problematic and go completely against the ShanniiWrites stance but unless those opinions break the rules we can’t punish them. We can only debate or reason with them and if you don’t want to fair enough but please PM a mod so that we know. We could even talk to the user in private in a non-confrontational way, your identity would be kept secret just as your identity is kept secret when you flag things, we could give the user the conversation you are tired of giving to them.

But I’m seeing things being complained about and flagged that while problematic, they don’t break any of our rules. I also see people dogpiling which is against our rules. You can see that on the website and discipline table where it says “no dogpiling”. I’ve seen people demand that we ban people who have an opinion they don’t agree with. That’s just not how things are done here and I believe that’s made clear by our discipline table.

I’m not referring to hate speech I’m referring to ignorant opinions and comments that are bigotted but not rule breaking, the kinds of comments that cause strong debate. The kind of opinion it isn’t hard to argue against because the facts typically work against the bigotry.

People come here all from different places and walks of life, some people learn things which are harmful and they don’t understand the affects those comments have. This isn’t me giving anybody a free pass, when I see an ignorant comment I’ll always respond in a way that presents to them the other side of things and shows them the harm in what they say. Information on the internet is so readily available but unless you choose to look at the other side of things by doing your own research, the algorithms on social media will constantly show you things it knows you’ll agree with. So for the people with those bigoted opinions, they live in an echo chamber where they only see their own side. This is why coming here can show them the other side and help them learn.

Imagine if someone with bigoted opinions told me that they didn’t like the fact people were dogpiling them. Dogpiling is against our rules and I’d have to step in. But imagine if they’d just told me to instantly ban the people who were dogpiling, that’s not how we do things here and you can see that on the table.

I am not defending bigotted opinions they’re always ignorant and remind me that the world still has steps to take before it can be accepting of people who don’t fit into certain boxes. But while those steps are still being taken, conversations about bigoted opinions are still going to happen.

And I get it if you’re tired of having the same conversations and you’re tired of saying the same things. You don’t have to, you can always walk away and let a mod know so that we can help you.

If you need me to clarify any of what I have said then please PM me, if you need to send me examples so I can explain why they are or aren’t against the rules then please do so, my PMs are always open

We are trying to make this a safe space for everyone which is why trigger warnings are given where necessary and hate speech isn’t tolerated.

Just to let you all know hate speech on here is classed as anything that “mocks, ridicules or attacks anyone for something they can’t control”


Oh and I should add that you don’t need to interact with anyone on here as long as you don’t make a thread that says “nobody talk to this user”


I feel like I should clarify this even though nobody asked me to

If you see a bigoted opinion and you and your friends want to rant about it in your PMs that’s completely fine, we don’t police PMs and if you want to respond to the bigotted opinion this is also fine just be sure to not be like:

“Delete this right now”
“I’m going to flag you”
“I’ll tag the mods if you don’t delete this”
“Remove your comment”
“Can the mods just ban this person?”

Because many people saying things like this is dogpiling and instead of telling someone you’re going to flag them, please just flag them instead of threatening it. All users should be aware that if you break rules you could get flagged so if someone says something that breaks the rules you can say:

“I believe your comment is breaking [INSERT RULE] but aside from this I disagree with what you said because [INSERT WHY YOU DISAGREE]” (Obviously you don’t have to say this, it’s just an example)

We aren’t episode and we don’t have a rule against mini-modding, if you know somebody is breaking a rule you can point it out to them, we don’t have anything against giving people pointers in the right direction. But don’t engage in conflict, let a staff member know if things are getting out of hand. Better yet? If you see something you know breaks the rules flag it.

When I say I’m tired of seeing things complained about that don’t break the rules I mean the people who say those dogpiling comments above to opinions that are bigotted but not rule breaking. I’m also tired of seeing people abuse the flagging system.

Or seeing people claim this is a bigotted hateful forum that doesn’t keep it’s users safe. I just personally find that hurtful because I feel like we try our best to keep everyone feeling safe. If you don’t feel safe then you really should speak to a mod. We will deal with it.

We don’t have rules against being trans, we have rules against transphobia
We don’t have rules against disabled people, we have rules against ableism
We don’t have rules against races, we have rules against racism
(I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at)

In general, we try to create an atmosphere here where everyone can feel welcome, whether this is by removing hate speech (please flag it when you see it) or educating people with bigoted opinions. (If you see a user you don’t agree with the opinions of and you don’t want to see those opinions because they cause you distress, you have the ability to mute them, I can show you how to do this if you aren’t sure)

If you were to complain about them in private I’d just have to ask that the PM doesn’t turn into an attack PM on the user and I’d also have to ask that you don’t all PM the user because this can be seen as harrassment. However, we don’t police PMs here so unless something gets flagged or someone sends me/cali a link to the PM then there’s no way we’d even find out. I just have to say those things because bullying/harassment is against the rules which I need to enforce.

Anyway, I’ll be transparent and say that nobody has PMed me to ask me to clarify anything so I’ll assume you all understand but if you don’t and you need to come to me about this so that I can further clarify and expand on any point I made. I’m not great at explaining things right away, I say things that make sense to me but other people can be confused so if anything has confused you or in general you don’t understand what kind of comment doesn’t break the rules then please let me know, we can talk about it in a very relaxed and informative way.