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miettaisace

Word blocking/ policing

word blocking   

35 members have voted

  1. 1. should we ban some words?

    • Yes
      18
    • No
      17
  2. 2. should be able to say words that are banned if we add "TRIGGER WARNING" above the post?

    • Yes
      20
    • No
      15
  3. 3. should people on AVEN chill out a bit more?

    • Yes
      24
    • No
      11


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Sally

No one is "crying".  What people seem to be wondering is why you persist in this useless complaining about one word.  As you've probably said (you've said so much, I can't remember), it's "just a word".  Thus, you can use that word in Australia or on other sites that don't ban it, and not on AVEN.  Is that so onerous?  If so, again, you have an option.  

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a minor triad

I get what @miettaisace and @Una Salus Victus are saying, though. If AVEN is truly presenting itself as an international community, then it has to ban all slurs from all cultures or not ban words at all.

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praetorius
10 hours ago, a minor triad said:

I get what @miettaisace and @Una Salus Victus are saying, though. If AVEN is truly presenting itself as an international community, then it has to ban all slurs from all cultures or not ban words at all.

I think it's a false dichotomy to claim either none or all as the only non-hypocritical choices.

 

I'd view the ban list as a useful tool for improving the tone of the forum by decreasing chances for (accidental) offense; which can be beneficial even if "decrease" doesn't mean "stop entirely." From this utilitarian standpoint, the slurs most helpful to have on their are the ones most likely to be used and seen by an offended party --- thus, tending towards representing the most common American cultural backgrounds.

 

All slurs are still banned in the sense of being used as intentional slurs against other posters or broad groups of people. We don't need to figure out all the words that might be used and might cause offense to tiny slivers of the population but never come up in actual conversations in practice. If anyone does see words being used that cause them to be uncomfortable since they are nasty slurs from their own cultural background, they should bring this to the attention of the forum, so the rest of us can become more sensitive about using them in international company. It only becomes unfair towards non-American Avenites when uncomfortably offensive slurs are being thrown about, and nothing is done in response to well-intended complaints. Please point out if there are slurs in use (from your background) that the rest of us appear blind to!

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Sally

^^^  :cake::cake::cake:

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a minor triad
22 hours ago, praetorius said:

I think it's a false dichotomy to claim either none or all as the only non-hypocritical choices.

 

I'd view the ban list as a useful tool for improving the tone of the forum by decreasing chances for (accidental) offense; which can be beneficial even if "decrease" doesn't mean "stop entirely." From this utilitarian standpoint, the slurs most helpful to have on their are the ones most likely to be used and seen by an offended party --- thus, tending towards representing the most common American cultural backgrounds.

 

All slurs are still banned in the sense of being used as intentional slurs against other posters or broad groups of people. We don't need to figure out all the words that might be used and might cause offense to tiny slivers of the population but never come up in actual conversations in practice. If anyone does see words being used that cause them to be uncomfortable since they are nasty slurs from their own cultural background, they should bring this to the attention of the forum, so the rest of us can become more sensitive about using them in international company. It only becomes unfair towards non-American Avenites when uncomfortably offensive slurs are being thrown about, and nothing is done in response to well-intended complaints. Please point out if there are slurs in use (from your background) that the rest of us appear blind to!

I disagree. However, I was running on the assumption that there was literally a list of banned words that couldn't be used at all, rather than a list of words that are strongly suggested to not use. My point wasn't that these are the only two options, only that it is unfair that the list only contains words that are considered slurs in America/Canada/UK. I get that it would be tedious to create an exhaustive list, however, if we already have a rule that says we can't personally insult other members/use bigoted language, and the list is only a suggestion, then what is the point of having the list at all? It can be used as a guide, certainly, but then it should definitely contain more words with culturally-ambiguous meanings.

 

Truthfully, I don't care about this issue that much. But I ended up taking a look at the list, and I was surprised at how short it is. To me, the point of the (list) post seemed to be don't use derogatory language/insult members. I think it is a very tricky issue, because like that post said, different words hold different meanings in different places, which is why I think the don't insult people clause is a good enough preventative measure.

 

I don't know if your last statement is addressed to me, but I don't have to be from a different cultural background to disagree with the banned words list. 

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FaerieFate
2 hours ago, a minor triad said:

I disagree. However, I was running on the assumption that there was literally a list of banned words that couldn't be used at all, rather than a list of words that are strongly suggested to not use. My point wasn't that these are the only two options, only that it is unfair that the list only contains words that are considered slurs in America/Canada/UK. I get that it would be tedious to create an exhaustive list, however, if we already have a rule that says we can't personally insult other members/use bigoted language, and the list is only a suggestion, then what is the point of having the list at all? It can be used as a guide, certainly, but then it should definitely contain more words with culturally-ambiguous meanings.

 

Truthfully, I don't care about this issue that much. But I ended up taking a look at the list, and I was surprised at how short it is. To me, the point of the (list) post seemed to be don't use derogatory language/insult members. I think it is a very tricky issue, because like that post said, different words hold different meanings in different places, which is why I think the don't insult people clause is a good enough preventative measure.

 

I don't know if your last statement is addressed to me, but I don't have to be from a different cultural background to disagree with the banned words list. 

IT's my impression that the list is more of a, "You may not say this word to insult someone, but if you say it someone will be insulted." Which I totally understand. In the UK, they say the three letter f word to mean a cigarette. But in America the LGBT community would be offended if they heard that word. So it's more of a, "These words will insult certain groups, so let's not say them."

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a minor triad
3 hours ago, FaerieFate said:

IT's my impression that the list is more of a, "You may not say this word to insult someone, but if you say it someone will be insulted." Which I totally understand. In the UK, they say the three letter f word to mean a cigarette. But in America the LGBT community would be offended if they heard that word. So it's more of a, "These words will insult certain groups, so let's not say them."

I agree with this. When I wrote my first statement, I was under the impression that the list was totally different from what is actually is.

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Una Salus Victus

At the end of the day, this comes down to a cultural clash. For example, here in Australia, I could call someone a "mad cunt." This is not only a compliment, but rather a high form of flattery, and a high sense of approval. Here on aven, I'd get slapped with a warning for bigotry, for a compliment, regardless of how long I've been here.

Even though the admods at the time might not think that saying "cunt" is a slur necessarily, they have to reinforce the rules that it is. The fact that one can get an instant warning for a compliment/term of endearment because another culture says so can seem like a bit of a slap in the face to say the least.

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Planet Ace
2 hours ago, Una Salus Victus said:

The fact that one can get an instant warning for a compliment/term of endearment because another culture says so can seem like a bit of a slap in the face to say the least.

I get that, I really do. I've been there. I'm not sure there is an exact equivalent to "mad c***" here, but the closest one we have is probably "you glorious b******." Now, if you just said "you b******," that would still be highly insulting, but the modifier "glorious" is what makes it a compliment, full of admiration. I called a friend that once IRL, but it backfired horribly. He was deeply offended. I tried to explain to him that I didn't mean it to offend him, that it was a compliment, but it didn't matter. The damage was done. I had hurt him, so all I could do was apologize, be sure to avoid using that term around him in the future, and move on. 

 

So I understand the reflexive response of wanting to explain to the person you've just inadvertently insulted in great detail all the reasons they have no reason to feel insulted, but that reflex isn't really the right response to the situation. It won't deescalate things. The right response to finding out that you just insulted someone you admire greatly in the worst, most offensive way possible, when you intended to give them high praise, is to be horrified at what you've just done. And apologize. And make an effort to be more considerate of their feeling going forward. Going on a weeks-long campaign trying to convince them to let you use that term as often as you like around them anyway, even though they find it repugnant, is not appropriate. It's also extremely unproductive, but that's beside the point. 

 

It's OK to slip up one time when one didn't know, everyone makes mistakes. But one shouldn't keep on doing the thing on purpose afterwards. At a certain point, that's just being unkind. You feel like you've been slapped in the face? Well, that's exactly how we feel whenever someone calls us a c***. And then tells us we should feel flattered by it. 

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FaerieFate

Okay, to those that still don't understand. Let's take the three letter f word for homosexuals.

 

In England, they usually use that word to mean cigarette. I've watched a few English TV shows that had smokers, and the word was used quite a lot. So lets say a Smoker from England joined the site not knowing that the word could hurt someone. They say the word. Okay, now let's envision another member that has been deeply hurt by the word. Perhaps they were called that while being beaten up, or perhaps they were bullied with the word to the point of depression or worse. They'll get triggered by the word, and previous memories of the word being used to hurt them will come flooding back. They'll inform admods, and expect some action to be taken. However, the member from England will expect no action to be taken because he just meant cigarette, and how was he supposed to know it'd offend someone? Now admods are in a tight spot between that member did nothing wrong and protecting the triggered member.

 

Unfortunately no one can control what words are triggering. No one can control how someone will react to the word. To you, it makes no sense, you weren't intending to hurt anyone. To them, they've went through a lot of abuse of some sort at the hand of that word, and although they're managing fine now hearing the word again could cause all of the emotions to come back. This is why a majority of the words on that list are words that are used to attack specific groups of people. The f word attacks the LGBT. The n word attacks blacks. the r word attacks those with mental disabilities. Granted, this is all American slang, but an overwhelming majority of the users on AVEN are American. Even for those not American, there's not an overwhelming majority from any other country like there is for America. So, when supplying a list of words that will come across as attacking these groups of people, American slang is the most likely to offend because a majority of members are American.

 

Granted, let's pretend the word "swag" was offensive in Italy. An Italian comes on AVEN, sees the word, and is offended because it means something derogatory against a group in Italy. I won't get a warning for using the word once because I don't know better. But if an Italian comes on and sees me use the word, they can say, "Hey, don't use that word. It's super offensive to this group in my country, and very hurtful to me." Well, if I used it again knowing full well it'll hurt that person, then admods have a right to react in the same way as they'd react to a member using any other word on the list after that instance because I knew better.

 

And I know someone said, "Why not try to include all of the words from all of the countries?" Well, there's simply no way to make an exhaustive list when you simply don't know. Since a majority of members are from English Speaking countries, there's no way to know if a word is offensive in France unless a French person comes on and says so. I mean, you may not even know what words to supply unless you see it. For instance, I never knew that the word "cunt" was used so casually in Australia until and Australian AVEN member pointed it out to so. Therefore, the only way to create an exhaustive list is through someone saying, "Hey, in my country this word is really offensive, please don't say it."

 

And I know some people say, "Well the word is a complement where I come from, so you should feel complemented when I use it." It's like in the story @Planet Ace used above me. Good intentions don't matter when these words are used to seriously harm people. I don't have much experience with the word "cunt", so hearing someone say it doesn't effect me. However, a lot of women in America have been attacked in some form with the word. Be it verbally, sexually, or physically. And you just can't shrug off someone's experiences just because your intentions are good.

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TheAngel(of)Peace
9 hours ago, Una Salus Victus said:

At the end of the day, this comes down to a cultural clash. For example, here in Australia, I could call someone a "mad cunt." This is not only a compliment, but rather a high form of flattery, and a high sense of approval. Here on aven, I'd get slapped with a warning for bigotry, for a compliment, regardless of how long I've been here.

Even though the admods at the time might not think that saying "cunt" is a slur necessarily, they have to reinforce the rules that it is. The fact that one can get an instant warning for a compliment/term of endearment because another culture says so can seem like a bit of a slap in the face to say the least.

You wouldn't get an instant warning for saying that. You would get nudged first as a reminder, then if it continued, you might get warned.

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Janus DarkFox

I don't see much of a point in banning words, any word can be an insult in the context of intent.  The opposite is true that such any word can be used in any intellectual discussion.  I feel as though insults are already covered in the rules, a rule separate banning certain words don't seem to be adding anything more.  Directed insults to specific members, people, groups, sexuality, religion and so on, already covered.

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