On Forum Rules and Moderation

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Kinjo
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#31 Post by Kinjo » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:43 pm

Hmmm, lots of posts, where do I even start? There's a lot I could say. I'll probably forget to mention some things too, but oh well.

The thing is, some visual novels are distinctly political or religious. That's going to naturally divide some people. I think it would be rude for an atheist to come into a thread for a Christian visual novel and start attacking it just because they don't agree. But at the same time, an atheist could read a Christian visual novel and still end up enjoying it, regardless of political/religious beliefs. Maybe not always, but it's possible.
Sapphi wrote: For example, I'm a Christian, and some of my best friends are atheists. Sometimes they make fun of religion or say things that hurt my feelings. However, at the end of the day, we can accomplish more together than we can alone. As long as I feel like they respect me, as long as they're not being toxic and negative towards me, then there is no reason we should not work together
Glad you brought this up. I used to be Christian but now I'm mostly atheist. I've met some awful people who were Christians, but some of my closest friends are Christians too. Some of my closest friends are also gay or trans. Politics and religion don't define a person's morality. So, while I acknowledge that someone CAN add people to their "do not collaborate with" list, I don't think it's a good idea to have one. Because instead of trying to find a common ground you just drive each other further apart. That's my opinion.
Quelcezot wrote:I stopped replying at this point because I simply don't agree with that. I understand that "crapping" is another spelling of "criticizing". That's fair enough, but since writing is a major part of creating a visual novel, I think creators should be open to discussing the meaning of words. I do not think some words should have a veto over being discussed, especially in a forum dedicated to the creation of visual novels. I do not think that discussing words that represent something sensitive is disrespectful.
I think it was obvious Quelcezot and I had similar positions and I didn't think it was right that I couldn't present a dissenting point of view. In my post before that (which didn't get a reply) I had written up something much longer, and it took me about two hours to cut down into something that I thought would get my questions across without being too offensive, but then I received the response I did and felt like I just wasted my time. It's hard to tell what is acceptable or not, "walking on eggshells" but with a blindfold or something. PyTom didn't shut down the conversation; it was already shut down when my post was made fun of (and I forgot to say this earlier, but thank you for intervening, PyTom).
trooper6 wrote:oh! That person understands trans identities...that is a person I could approach to collaborate in my trans dating sim!
This sentence equates someone who does not understand it as someone who cannot understand it and you'd be taking in a false representation of who they are. There's a lot of advice circulating around saying "be diverse in your games! make diverse characters!" but the moment I ask to try and understand what terms like "non-binary" mean (how can I write something I don't understand? You'd criticize me for bad writing at that point) and I'm shut down, it becomes impossible to fulfill that standard.

For all the talk about people being racist, homophobic, transphobic, or whatever, I actually don't see much of it on this forum. Compared to most places the people here are pretty nice, mature, and intelligent. That's why I'm bothering to participate in the community. The politically-correct blacklist witch-hunts only serve to further divide people. Nobody here really knows me, and I don't really know any of you outside of our small Internet discussions. It's presumptious to think you can judge someone entirely on a few words they posted, and that's actually a problem I have with the wider Internet in general, not just here.

Personally, I love making new friends and learning new things. I'm open to making as many friends as possible. I do not have a blacklist of people -- if someone wants to collaborate on a game with me, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm doing my best to reach out to others and understand them, but I can't do anything if they aren't interested. But it's still worth trying.

Also I think the off-topic anime/games forums should be kept. There's no reason to fix something that's broken and they're not doing any harm.

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#32 Post by trooper6 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:31 pm

Quelcezot wrote: I think it's totally ok to keep a list of people you don't want to work with. I just think it's damaging to make a public announcement about it. Am I on that list now? I'm sure you have disagreements that aren't fatal, but members of the community being aware that you keep an anonymous list of people you will never work with is going to affect how people interact with you.
I brought it up in the context of the conversation about the usefulness of off-topic forums rather than just making a public announcement for the heck of it. That said, I think it is important to be willing to stand by what you do and what you believe and then accept the consequences for your believes and actions. I keep note of those people I would love to work with and those who I wouldn't want to work with. I suspect quite a few people do this, even if they don't admit it. But it doesn't matter what other people do, it matters what I do. And I choose not to voluntarily work with people who I feel are incompatible with me and with whom I don't see myself working together with productively. This stance might mean that some people won't want to work with me because of that and I accept that. It might mean that some people specifically want to work with me because of that I accept that, too. It might mean that some people interact with me differently in positive way or differently in a negative way. All of that is fine with me. I stand by my position and I stand by the consequences of that position. That is what having convictions is about for me.

And it is not just about the fact I don't want to work with people who don't respect who I am, or whose words demean me or others.
I also don't want to work with people whose game design philosophy or aesthetic preferences are incompatible with mine.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a harem romance game set in a Japanese high school with a bunch of -dere types and a passive emo protagonist. That is cool, but that is just not compatible with the kind of work I want to do. So if I know that if your thing...we shouldn't for a collaboration together--because I'm going to be miserable doing a project I don't enjoy. You should work with someone who feels passionately about that genre...just as I should work with someone who feel passionately about what I'm trying to do.
I am interested in exploring interactivity in different ways...exploring consequences in different ways...I'm interested in thinking about the relationship between the player and the game. Doing things that poke at the player a bit rather than things that give them escape or wish fulfillment. That is what I'm interested in. It probably wouldn't be all that productive to form a long term collaboration with a person who never wants to do any of those things. That is just knowing what you can give and what you want. I don't think that is damaging or sinister. I think it is really important to know yourself and what you want in your relationships....also what you don't want and what you will compromise on and what you won't...and what you are neutral on--and being willing to own that and articulate it, results in better relationships and more productivity.
Kinjo wrote:
trooper6 wrote:oh! That person understands trans identities...that is a person I could approach to collaborate in my trans dating sim!
This sentence equates someone who does not understand it as someone who cannot understand it and you'd be taking in a false representation of who they are. There's a lot of advice circulating around saying "be diverse in your games! make diverse characters!" but the moment I ask to try and understand what terms like "non-binary" mean (how can I write something I don't understand? You'd criticize me for bad writing at that point) and I'm shut down, it becomes impossible to fulfill that standard.
No, this sentence does not equate someone who does not understand with someone who cannot understand. It is simply a statement that the person in question does not currently understand. And if I want to make my project, I don't always want to spend a bunch of time educating somebody. Sometimes I want to work with someone who already gets that trans people are not deceivers or just buying into social stereotypes. Sometimes I don't want to educate, I just want to create. And if someone says the want to understand, I see how they act in the thread where there ask to understand. And if their behavior is defensive and hostile...and I'm not getting through to them? Then I'm not going to be a collaborator with them. And if their posts get really hurtful and they are not listening...I'm going to stop replaying to their posts. My life is too short. Someone else may have a better shot of getting through to them.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#33 Post by Enigma » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:01 am

To tell.l. the truth, the blacklist thing kinda makes me uncomfortable. First thing i wondered was if I was on anyone's list, then i began to think about what would happen if i was. Sometimes it feels like theres an ingroup and an outgroup on LSF and the idea of blacklistimg people, perhaps irrationally, makes me feel like maybe thats more true than id like to admit, and even more troubling i wonder if im on the outside (then again i dont poat much so i wouldnt be surprised. At the very least it makes me more uncomfortable to interact with the community on the forum for clear of saying something dumb and getting shut out.

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#34 Post by trooper6 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:22 am

I don't think there is an in-group and out-group on LSF--if there is an ingroup I certainly don't know about it...which means I'm not in it. And on LSF, as in real life, some people will want to work with you some won't. The actual Blacklist was organized by the powerful elite of Hollywood in the 1950s to make sure certain people never worked in the town again. There is no blacklist here. There is no cabal of LSF elite deciding who will and who will not get to collaborate with anyone. There are no secret meeting. Or if there are, I have never heard about them, and I get along just fine.

I, personally, may choose to not work with someone who insulted my mother (for example), but why should I have to? And also, it is no big loss if I personally don't want to work with someone. I'm one person and I'm no one special. I'm not the King of LSF, I hold no power and no influence. There are currently 24,517 users registered here, 10,308 of which have posted. That is a lot of people. If one person doesn't want to collaborate with you it isn't a big deal. There will be others who do. One person not wanting to work with a person does not mean you will be shut out of all 10k+ people here.

All sorts of people have all sorts of criteria for what they want to do. There are people who won't work on hentai things. There are people who won't work on furry things. There are people who won't work on things that are kinetic...or not kinetic. Or whatever. Everybody has preferences and no one will be universally loved (or hated) by the entire universe.

Just do your thing. Know yourself. Know what you bring to the table. Know what you want to do and how you want to interact with people. Then find people compatible with you. Or do your own thing and commission people to do the things you can't do yourself.

Long term partnership is very different that short term commissioning. Best friend is different than work for hire. There are so many different ways to be here. Just do your thing. There is no popular crowd that I can see. This isn't high school.
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*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#35 Post by truefaiterman » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:03 am

This thread has grown quite a bit, wow (knowing that this one comes from the NB topic, I'm not sure if I'm partially guilty of this discussion, lol).

About all of that "blacklisting people", I think the main issue was simply the fact that Trooper6 mentioned openly (it's not the first time he does it, if I remember correctly). But... is it something THAT bad?

I mean, the fact that someone keeps an actual list of people to work with or without does seem like going a little too far, but I'd say that everyone has opinions by themselves, and that includes an opinion about other people. I've seen a lot of interesting people here, people whose posts made me think "wow, I really want to learn from this person", but I've also met some people that just... oh well, there was this time I literally thought "Wait WHAT? WHAT AN AS***LE!" and that opinion hasn't changed a bit. I you don't consider a person to be a good influence, or you just know you won't get along in a work enviroment (and even a personal one, you can be a good professional, but you're not a robot, if you have a good relationship with your partners the work will feel better, and it WILL be better).

So, the only thing I'd say about the idea of controlling who to work with and who to don't, is to ask people to think well about what they see, and don't overjudge (yeah, my quote earlier is not the best example... but hey, time gave me the reason, and there ARE people who I didn't like at the beginning, and then things changed when I got to know more about them. And this applies in all the Internet). If you don't go to extremes (and I'm talking about everyone), you can think whatever way you like in this regard.

About the idea of "keeping blacklists"... oh well...
Enigma wrote:To tell.l. the truth, the blacklist thing kinda makes me uncomfortable. First thing i wondered was if I was on anyone's list, then i began to think about what would happen if i was. Sometimes it feels like theres an ingroup and an outgroup on LSF and the idea of blacklistimg people, perhaps irrationally, makes me feel like maybe thats more true than id like to admit, and even more troubling i wonder if im on the outside (then again i dont poat much so i wouldnt be surprised. At the very least it makes me more uncomfortable to interact with the community on the forum for clear of saying something dumb and getting shut out.
I don't know if it's that way in LSF (I don't think so. In the "worst case scenario", the one where there IS an ingroup, and it's actually active... it's just not viable. There is a HUGE amount of different people coming here, and staying for years, or for minutes. It should be just absurdly tiring and pointless trying to control that, specially since we're not companies, we are mostly indie creators collaborating with each other, and no ingroup can control a new guy who happens to come here and work with some people).

Why do I think this way? Pretty easy: I don't know if it's this way, and if it's in such an extreme way, but I work as a voice actor in Spain, and HOLY F**K this industry. The dubbing world in thi country is pretty much the biggest definition of "ingroup" I've seen in my whole life. Damn, I literally have more chances of working as an illustrator for Corean card games than working as a voice actor in my own country. Here 90% of your work depends on who is your friend, and it's VERY widely known about the existence of actual Blacklists that are insanely tight (there are close to 2500 people trying to work as voice actors, and there's only like... 40? That have a steady job without being enslaved by unfair contracts). It's an industry full of crap (and I've consdering quitting for quite some time, the only thing that really makes me stay is my passion for voice acting).

So.. I'm getting out of track, I'll put it simply: It's not viable to have ingroups in a place like this because you can't control this forum. The "blacklisting" here will likely be just people looking at other people's opinions, and not feeling good about them. And that's plain and simple having your own way of thinking.

... Also, if there was some of that "mafia-style" underworld here... COME AT ME BRO!

Don't think too hard about it, and just be yourself. Even if your opinion is disliked, you will eventually find people who share your points of view.

Now that I've said all of this, I'll go a little more on-topic (because we're derailing the thread... again xD).

An off-topic section is something I've always considered a good thing (I've been on forums since 2004 or so, and I've adminitrated some) because it helps bringing the community some random entertainment, and allows people to speak their minds about trivial stuff that doesn't usually hurt anyone.

BUT, this is not only a community, this is an indie development "meeting point". Most of the talk here is more professional-oriented. So... it doesn't need a new off-topic forum that much. It DOES have the Anime and Manga section, which is harmless and allow for some "relax" in the community (I myself take a look there from time to time, just for the heck of it, it's fine).

There's also something I've seen here, which has been a very good surprise to me: people is actually pretty open about their opinions, and also the way the express themselves. So I'm kinda starting to know about posters here just by the way the explain their reasoning in more professional-oriented threads (for example, in some Asset Creation: Writing posts I see how people perceive their opinion about different topics like representation, politics, the way to express love, or how do they analyse something. And that IS some good food for thought).

So... I dunno, I think the current way the forum is working looks fine, and as far as I've seen the closed threads have a good reasoning behind their closure. They're also treated in a case-by-case basis, which I consider the best way you can moderate something (and that's a HARD job in a big forum. Kudos for the staff here).
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#36 Post by Donmai » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:23 am

Lesleigh63 wrote:I don't have an issue with the current level of forum rules and moderation.
Same here. But then I came to this site mainly to learn about Ren'Py and how to use it. I believe I'm not the most common kind of forum user here: I'm not an otaku (yes, my forum name is an irony), I'm an older person (58, but not exactly a "mature" person :) ), I'm not a "bijuaru noveru" fan and I'm not a gamer, I'm a story teller (and oh my God, I like to read and to create kinetic novels and I use 3D models to illustrate my stories :shock: ). And, not being a native English speaker (as many people here), I usually stay away from the off topic discussions because I simply can't understand about two thirds of what's being discussed there :lol: .
If you click on my profile, you'll see where I spent most of my time.
Finally, I have to say that someone who spend most of his/her time on the "technical" part of the forum can also develop a strong sense of "community", and make friends.

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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#37 Post by noeinan » Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:54 am

Given that the topic which spurred this debate was about non-binary trans people (of which I am one), this apparently went poorly after several people criticized "they/them/their" pronouns (which I use) and then a ton of people latched on to trooper6 saying "I don't want to work with people who are racist/sexist/transphobic" and said that was akin to a "witch hunt"...

Like, damn. Seriously. If I, as a trans person, don't want to write stories with someone who thinks and says terrible things about me because I am trans, why does that hurt you? Why is that even a bad thing, at all? Why is me wanting to protect myself in any way harmful to you? Why do I have an obligation to you to hurt myself? I don't even have words. I don't have the spoons for that conversation, so I'm going to leave it at that.

As for starting an off-topic forum, I don't really think we need one. The two threads for sharing good and bad parts of our lives, I think, work well. For me, I would not have started threads about many of the things I've posted there, either because I would feel it was inconsequential, or because I didn't want the specific attention (just needed to vent). Having the threads offers an amount of anonymity, or at least the feeling of such, because even if your username is attached your comment is just one in a sea of other comments. And while I have always appreciated when people have reached out to me via pm after seeing a post, I'm thankful for that sea of other comments because sometimes it's much more awkward to respond to people responding to some of the worst things in your life (especially when they don't know you), so just posting and getting it out is nice.

I guess maybe what I mean is that just having those two threads gives the option of personal connection (such as folks reaching out through pm) without the *obligation* of personal connection, and that lack of obligation or expectation is one I find very liberating.

Regarding the Japan/anime/etc. section, I agree it is technically off topic, but that it's kind of a heritage thread and don't have strong feelings towards removing it.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#38 Post by Mad Harlequin » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:43 pm

daikiraikimi wrote:Given that the topic which spurred this debate was about non-binary trans people (of which I am one), this apparently went poorly after several people criticized "they/them/their" pronouns (which I use) and then a ton of people latched on to trooper6 saying "I don't want to work with people who are racist/sexist/transphobic" and said that was akin to a "witch hunt"...

Like, damn. Seriously. If I, as a trans person, don't want to write stories with someone who thinks and says terrible things about me because I am trans, why does that hurt you? Why is that even a bad thing, at all? Why is me wanting to protect myself in any way harmful to you? Why do I have an obligation to you to hurt myself? I don't even have words. I don't have the spoons for that conversation, so I'm going to leave it at that.
I wasn't going to post here again since I felt I had nothing more to say that could be potentially useful, but your post has compelled me to add something else.

This kind of thing is what tells me that we should consider allowing ourselves the space to talk about topics beyond visual novels. Sometimes I think they only get attention when they become, or are likely to become, contentious debates, and then people (i.e., most posters here, in my view) who are perfectly capable of making reasonable arguments are later ignored---or worse---because they lost control of their tempers in one situation and said or did things they didn't really mean in response to others who did the same, or otherwise chose their words poorly. It's easy to mock others when this happens, or to call them self-righteous or wrongheaded or whatever, but I think we all have moments when we're blinded by our feelings.

And then, when tempers boil over, we don't allow ourselves much room to relax and be silly beyond the IRC chat. But the chat isn't consistently active; a "Community Lounge" section might be.

If we had the freedom to ask each other questions, or just to talk as a group about something beyond VNs, I think we'd come to blows less often.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#39 Post by MaiMai » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:53 pm

I've been on this forum since 2009 and have seen some fairly cringe worthy blow ups due to people holding strong political views and derailing from those views in the context of VNs VERY quickly. The fact that rules were changed to make a forum that is veered towards productivity and technical knowledge is, to me, valuable and I think successful in that regard and it's not like thoughtful and deep discussion can't take place here. I got way more involved with the community as a VN consumer and as an artist since I'm always eager to share and receive technical art knowledge. LSF just isn't my haunt for anything other than what I just mentioned since I think there are better platforms to accommodate political and personal discussion.

So basically, what I'm saying is that things are fine for right now and as for the anime/games forum, I probably wouldn't notice if it was taken down.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#40 Post by Sapphi » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:26 pm

trooper6, let me just say that I was discussing this thread with a friend last night, and he asked if you were really arguing that we should keep off-topic threads around for your personal convenience, which, I had to be reminded, you were not:
trooper6 wrote:I'm actually okay with this forum not really allowing people to discuss anything but VNs.
So we're basically in agreement there, and I feel a little silly. I apologize for whatever part I've played in obscuring the real point of the discussion. :)
trooper6 wrote: I regularly do education and outreach on topics of race, gender, and sexuality and often with people who are hostile. I sit politely and generously while people say demeaning and dehumanizing things to me with a smile on my face full of patience and understanding. But after I've been told how people think x,y, and z hateful things about me...but it isn't personal, blah, blah, for a couple of hours on end, or I've dealt with daily, regular micro (and sometimes macro) aggressions in the name of trying to make the world a better place? I don't also need to spend my private time with people who disrespect me and harm me. I don't think avoiding being abused in my personal time when I'm trying to recover from abuse from my educational outreach is unfortunate in terms of long-term effects. Just the opposite in fact. If I didn't have time away from abusive people, I would not have the emotional energy to be able to continue outreach and education. I might fall to into depression and internalize those harmful things they've said. I might be crushed by the weight of their abuse. And that is not a positive long term outcome...because if I'm crushed I can't to any positive work...and also I'm crushed.
I respect your efforts, but I think you got the wrong idea of what I meant. I'm not asking you to be abused. The part of your ethical system that I referred to as having unfortunate consequences was the specific part that I quoted. I will quote it again for ease of reading.
However, it is also part of my ethics not to sit by when people are toxic and hateful towards others who are not me. So while I am not, for example, Muslim, if a person is Islamophobic, I'm not going to enter into a relationship with them. That is my choice. I don't think it is unhealthy to refuse to support hate.
As I stressed to another forum member via PMs: nobody should feel obligated to work with someone who disrespects them.

However, it is one thing to say, "I will not work with a person who disrespects me" and another thing to say "I will not work with a person who disrespects anyone."

The reason I make the distinction is this:

I highly doubt that any of us here are saints. I do not for one minute believe that anyone here is so holy, so righteously enlightened, that they do not have a single prejudice lurking somewhere in their mind. We all inherit stupid views and prejudices, and no matter how we strive to overcome them, it is difficult. We can become really tolerant of sexualities but choke on religious differences. Or the other way around. The point is that not a single one of us has it all figured out. That's why we need each other. We need each other for support and perspective. There is so much we can teach each other, and we really, really need to recognize that.

You want to refuse to support hate. But how can you fight hate by shunning a hateful person? You cannot fight negativity with negativity. What that person needs is perspective, knowledge, enlightenment. I will argue that you are not making the world a better place by denying them that. The bare minimum of what you are doing, with all due respect, is helping yourself sleep at night.

If you consider yourself a good person, then that means there is something valuable in you. You have a light in you, some form of higher knowledge. If you refuse to associate with the people who you perceive to be dark, or stupid, or uninformed, or ignorant, you are taking away a good influence from them. Consequentially, you've left them in darkness. You might have rubbed off on that person, little by little, as you worked together and shared the small victories that come from a creative partnership. You might have caused them to question some of their deep-seated assumptions about the world and the people in it. But instead you left them to be somebody else's problem.

So who is the bad person going to find to work with them? More than likely, if this thread has been any indication, it will not be someone who can teach them anything. It will be someone who reinforces their prejudice. They will have even more of an excuse to be a shitty person, and they will have learned exactly nothing. Meanwhile, they will continue to victimize people with the very hate that you say you don't want to support.

Again, it is ultimately up to you how you live your life. You can filter potential partners out and be as discriminating as you like.

All I ask is that you do not frame it as some kind of noble moral action, "refusing to support hate", because I simply do not think it is that admirable, given the above.

...

Well, I've basically already said my piece, but some final thoughts:

If we look at what we have in common, I think we will begin to see that the majority of people here have good intentions. I think we will be able to trust each other more as a result of seeing that we all just want to make things and have fun. I think we will be able to see the good in someone even if we find that our politics do not match up. I think it will also become much easier to tell who is being genuinely hateful, because they will be that much more disruptive and obvious.

If we focus on how we are different, we will find a million ways to feel nervous and suspicious of each other. We will be hyper-defensive and quick to react to perceived slights. We will be that much more aware of others' politics and to what degree they support or oppose our view. And it will be that much more difficult to decipher who is toxic to the community or not, because the reality is, the whole community will be poisoned by the focus on differences.

For this reason, although it was created in innocence, I don't think the "Non-Binary?" thread was a particularly helpful one. I think that for the same reason that "Catholic?" or "Straight?" or "Muslim?" or "Furry?" would not be particularly helpful. It only forces people to look at each other's differences. It shouldn't matter what your gender or sexuality or skin color or religion or subculture is, while you are here. If you want to enjoy camaraderie with others over those (very important) aspects of your identity, there are forums and communities better served for that. This should be the place where you come to enjoy camaraderie over visual novels.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#41 Post by trooper6 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:35 am

I will address my opposition to thinking hatred is acceptable as long is it ins't direct towards you specifically in a PM as it is off topic.
But I'll address the part of your post that is on topic.
Sapphi wrote: For this reason, although it was created in innocence, I don't think the "Non-Binary?" thread was a particularly helpful one. I think that for the same reason that "Catholic?" or "Straight?" or "Muslim?" or "Furry?" would not be particularly helpful. It only forces people to look at each other's differences. It shouldn't matter what your gender or sexuality or skin color or religion or subculture is, while you are here. If you want to enjoy camaraderie with others over those (very important) aspects of your identity, there are forums and communities better served for that. This should be the place where you come to enjoy camaraderie over visual novels.
The problem with this is that it comes really close to the "color blind" fallacy. Saying "it doesn't matter what your skin color is so let's not talk about it" isn't useful when people are still being discriminated agains based on their skin color--or when there are certain skin colors that are rarely, if ever, represented.

But more relevant to this space, visual novels are made by people who have genders, sexualities, colors, regions, etc and so they can never not be implicated in issues of gender, sexuality, skin color, religion, etc. I have regularly seen people on these boards say, "I'll work on yuri, but no yaoi because I don't agree with it." I've regularly seen people express negative views towards male homosexuality...in the context of visual novels they wouldn't read or what they wouldn't work on. Visual novels are populated with people who have races and genders and sexualities and religions (or lack thereof) and subcultures (or dominant culures). We are woking on novels that are part of a process of representation (or misrepresentation). We are making visual novels about people. That means identity is always going to be there. We may both like visual novels, but I can't have camaraderie with you over visual novels that are homophobic, for example. And there are clearly people who can't have camaraderie with me over visual novels that include gay men in them. And this place is not just a place to "share camaraderie" with people over visual novels...it is also a place to find other people to make visual novels with...and some people want to make visual novels about things that deal with identity...and so they may want to exclude working with people who are hostile to that identity.

You may want to not talk about identity, but identity threads are not necessarily off-topic for a community that makes visual novels. A thread discussing representing lesbians in a visual novel in a way that isn't fetishizing is way more on topic than a thread on what the last move you saw was.

ETA: I also want to point out that the Non-Binary thread was a thread about Visual Novels. It was about having non-binary protagonists in visual novels.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#42 Post by noeinan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:42 am

Sapphi wrote: However, it is one thing to say, "I will not work with a person who disrespects me" and another thing to say "I will not work with a person who disrespects anyone."
Not everyone has an "I only look out for myself" attitude. Everyone draws the line in a different place, and that's okay. But no, it is not automatically flawed to not want to form a relationship with someone who is bigoted against a marginalized group you're not a part of. It might be easier for someone to ignore those views if they don't know anyone who is a part of the group they are shitting on, but I guarantee that if you have close friends and family, who they are treating like shit because of their religion/sexuality/gender... For some people, that's even harder to put up with than someone insulting them directly.
Sapphi wrote: What that person needs is perspective, knowledge, enlightenment. I will argue that you are not making the world a better place by denying them that. The bare minimum of what you are doing, with all due respect, is helping yourself sleep at night.
Sapphi wrote: But instead you left them to be somebody else's problem.

So who is the bad person going to find to work with them? More than likely, if this thread has been any indication, it will not be someone who can teach them anything. It will be someone who reinforces their prejudice. They will have even more of an excuse to be a shitty person, and they will have learned exactly nothing. Meanwhile, they will continue to victimize people with the very hate that you say you don't want to support.
These two quotes are basically saying this:
Trooper6, you owe bigoted people education, and the time and energy that it takes to provide that to a person. You owe this to a complete stranger on the internet, who has shown themselves to be lacking in compassion. You are personally responsible for not stopping your life to force them to change. They are not responsible for their own actions, and the consequences, *you*, trooper6, are responsible for their bigotry.

Even if they don't want this education, it is your responsibility to enforce education upon them for the "greater good" because making relationships with bigoted strangers on the internet is obviously more important than any other way that you fight bigotry in your life. It is more effective, and a better use of your time, and if you don't do this you should be ashamed.

In addition, you are telling trooper6 that you do not think that actions taken in the interest of self care ("so you can sleep better at night") are worthwhile.

The truth is, any person who is an activist and who has dedicated time and energy to making a better world knows that creating boundaries are extremely important. And that different approaches to activism are important. Some people will fight hatred by befriending strangers on the internet, and putting up their bigotry for years in the hopes that they will slowly change. This method is their preferred method, their skills are dedicated to this area, and this is a fulfilling way of fighting hatred for them. There's nothing wrong with that.

But it's not the only way to improve things, and no one person should be required to do every single type of activism available under the sun. People choose their methods based on their ability/skills as well as what is reasonable and sustainable for them.

Choosing not to associate with people whose first impression is to write bigoted hate speech on the internet is one way that activists can make a difference. Yes, making an investment in people with bigoted views is important if their views, and thus the views of the people they teach, are to change-- however, generally speaking, it is encouraged to spend this effort on the bigoted people close to your life. Your parents, siblings, close family and friends. They are more likely to listen to you than a stranger on the internet, and because of your already nuanced relationship you are less likely to open yourself up to harassment and other harm.

Choosing not to associate with *strangers on the internet*, or choosing not to *create new relationships* with people who have shown themselves to be bigoted, is not exclusively a bad thing. Especially if you are an active educator, someone with a reputation, who you do and do not associate with is very important. I, for example, moderate several trans and queer related groups on Facebook. I had to learn the hard way that if I friended people willy-nilly, other trans people from my group would assume that they were safe people-- because of their association with me. And then they would open themselves up to harassment from these people. To me, ensuring the safety of my community means moderating my associations.

That is one method of activism that works for me. Other methods don't work-- I can't go to rallies because I am unable to walk. If someone were to tell me that, by not going to rallies, all of my other efforts towards activism were nullified, that person would be wrong. You cannot force only one way of doing things upon people because people's needs, abilities, personalities, preferences, and more vary widely. That is why we need many different ways of doing things, there are many different ways of making a difference in the world. It is wrong to persecute trooper6 for doing right by their own code, and pursuing activism in a way differently than you would.
Sapphi wrote: If we focus on how we are different, we will find a million ways to feel nervous and suspicious of each other.
As long as we still think that we have to be the same in order to accept one another, we will always have socially enforced hatred. I am trans, I am disabled, I am asexual. These things make me different from most other people. That is not negative. These qualities are a part of who I am, and have formed positive things about my identity, my community.

Things will only get better when we accept that we have differences, and embrace them instead of pretending we can only empathize with people who we are convinced are "just like us."
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#43 Post by PyTom » Tue Jun 23, 2015 1:38 am

trooper6 wrote:The problem with this is that it comes really close to the "color blind" fallacy. Saying "it doesn't matter what your skin color is so let's not talk about it" isn't useful when people are still being discriminated agains based on their skin color--or when there are certain skin colors that are rarely, if ever, represented.
What worries me about this is that it seems like you're trying to say that as long as there is discrimination anywhere, talking about identity always on-topic - but that means one can never have a space that has a topic that doesn't include identity. That would be unfortunate if communicating on matters other than identity is a part of how people of different identities learn how to respect each other.
You may want to not talk about identity, but identity threads are not necessarily off-topic for a community that makes visual novels. A thread discussing representing lesbians in a visual novel in a way that isn't fetishizing is way more on topic than a thread on what the last move you saw was.
The thing is, that thread is on-topic because it's about visual novels. A thread about representing lesbians in movies would be off-topic - since it's not about visual novels. That's why I didn't lock the Non-Binary thread, just tried to redirect it to the original topic of how to represent Non-Binary characters in visual novels.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#44 Post by Sapphi » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:41 am

trooper6 wrote: The problem with this is that it comes really close to the "color blind" fallacy. Saying "it doesn't matter what your skin color is so let's not talk about it" isn't useful when people are still being discriminated agains based on their skin color--or when there are certain skin colors that are rarely, if ever, represented.
Well, I think it does matter, I just don't think it's necessarily relevant. But you are making good points here:
But more relevant to this space, visual novels are made by people who have genders, sexualities, colors, regions, etc and so they can never not be implicated in issues of gender, sexuality, skin color, religion, etc. I have regularly seen people on these boards say, "I'll work on yuri, but no yaoi because I don't agree with it." I've regularly seen people express negative views towards male homosexuality...in the context of visual novels they wouldn't read or what they wouldn't work on. Visual novels are populated with people who have races and genders and sexualities and religions (or lack thereof) and subcultures (or dominant culures). We are woking on novels that are part of a process of representation (or misrepresentation). We are making visual novels about people. That means identity is always going to be there. We may both like visual novels, but I can't have camaraderie with you over visual novels that are homophobic, for example. And there are clearly people who can't have camaraderie with me over visual novels that include gay men in them. And this place is not just a place to "share camaraderie" with people over visual novels...it is also a place to find other people to make visual novels with...and some people want to make visual novels about things that deal with identity...and so they may want to exclude working with people who are hostile to that identity.
I will think about this.
ETA: I also want to point out that the Non-Binary thread was a thread about Visual Novels. It was about having non-binary protagonists in visual novels.
You're right... I see that now.
daikiraikimi wrote: These two quotes are basically saying this:
Trooper6, you owe bigoted people education, and the time and energy that it takes to provide that to a person. You owe this to a complete stranger on the internet, who has shown themselves to be lacking in compassion. You are personally responsible for not stopping your life to force them to change. They are not responsible for their own actions, and the consequences, *you*, trooper6, are responsible for their bigotry.

Even if they don't want this education, it is your responsibility to enforce education upon them for the "greater good" because making relationships with bigoted strangers on the internet is obviously more important than any other way that you fight bigotry in your life. It is more effective, and a better use of your time, and if you don't do this you should be ashamed.

In addition, you are telling trooper6 that you do not think that actions taken in the interest of self care ("so you can sleep better at night") are worthwhile.
Well, yes. I think not just trooper6, but everyone on the planet earth, owes it to each other and ourselves to try to fight bad mindsets whenever we have the emotional strength to do so. I don't think that is unreasonable. We're all living on the same planet, so we all reap the benefits of educating one another and spending time and energy on one another. I do not think it is out of line to point that out. It is a reality. And, I don't believe I ever stated that the bad guys were not personally responsible for bad actions. I was speaking consequentially.

Personally: The kid who shoots up his school is responsible for his wicked actions.
Consequentially: His parents could have made him less likely to go off the deep end by parenting choices that they made.

Perhaps unbelievably, I hold both of those things to be true. Just because I talk about the chain of events to good people does not mean that I am excusing bad people from personal responsibility.

And, I thought it would be obvious by now that I do think actions taken in one's self-interest are worthwhile, because I have said since the beginning that nobody should be expected to subject themselves to abuse. Obviously I want people to be able to sleep well at night, lol. What I was trying to get at was that it does not strike me as something to be particularly proud of. Trooper6 and I are presently engaged in a PM discussion, and they have indicated they do not find my position is something to be particularly proud of either, so there's that.

Regardless, if anyone feels uncomfortable with the fact that I've stated we ~owe~ goodness to each other, please just remember that is my opinion, and I'm not the sort of person to skulk around and try to enforce that. I am simply trying to live up to that belief as best I can, and I've offered it here because I thought it would be something good to consider as we try to work together as a community.
making relationships with bigoted strangers on the internet is obviously more important than any other way that you fight bigotry in your life. It is more effective, and a better use of your time, and if you don't do this you should be ashamed.

It was not my intention to imply any of that, especially not the part about being ashamed. In my original message to them, I merely wrote that I thought his view had unfortunate consequences in parentheses. They responded to that, and also seemed to not understand what I had meant, so I clarified my view for them. I dislike preaching to people, and I would have liked to put that in a PM, but I thought it could help clarify my own position if I wrote it in public here.
You cannot force only one way of doing things upon people because people's needs, abilities, personalities, preferences, and more vary widely. That is why we need many different ways of doing things, there are many different ways of making a difference in the world. It is wrong to persecute trooper6 for doing right by their own code, and pursuing activism in a way differently than you would.
That is fair. I did already let them know that at the end of the day I have to accept their choices and I do respect the efforts they make in their daily life. I find it unfortunate that you perceive me as persecuting them. They disagree with me and I disagree with them, but I haven't put them on a blacklist, and I'm not encouraging anyone else to do so, either. If the consensus is that I should not have publicly written what I did to them in the course of this discussion because it put them on the spot and made them uncomfortable, then I will think more carefully about what I write to others in public from now on. However, I perceived that they were asking for more information about my view, so I gave it to them. That's hardly persecution.
Sapphi wrote: If we focus on how we are different, we will find a million ways to feel nervous and suspicious of each other.
As long as we still think that we have to be the same in order to accept one another, we will always have socially enforced hatred. I am trans, I am disabled, I am asexual. These things make me different from most other people. That is not negative. These qualities are a part of who I am, and have formed positive things about my identity, my community.

Things will only get better when we accept that we have differences, and embrace them instead of pretending we can only empathize with people who we are convinced are "just like us."
That is an interesting counterpoint and I will think about it.
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Re: On Forum Rules and Moderation

#45 Post by noeinan » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:55 am

Sapphi wrote: Well, yes. I think not just trooper6, but everyone on the planet earth, owes it to each other and ourselves to try to fight bad mindsets whenever we have the emotional strength to do so. I don't think that is unreasonable.


I agree with this, personally-- and so that each person can fight in the best way that they can, that's the reason it's so important that each person must be encouraged to play to their strengths, to fight in the way that works best for their own self care while doing the most good. (For example, choosing to educate in the scenarios where you feel you can do the most good with less cost to yourself, as opposed to wasting energy educating someone who you have little investment in, who has no interest in learning, etc. etc.)
Sapphi wrote: Personally: The kid who shoots up his school is responsible for his wicked actions.
Consequentially: His parents could have made him less likely to go off the deep end by parenting choices that they made.

Perhaps unbelievably, I hold both of those things to be true. Just because I talk about the chain of events to good people does not mean that I am excusing bad people from personal responsibility.


A agree with this as well; however, there is a big difference between the relationship between a parent and child versus a relationship between strangers on the internet. It is pretty unreasonable to hold someone accountable for not doing enough, in your opinion, for a stranger on the internet (in this case, only a hypothetical person in the first place). Especially when said person has already explained that they agree in doing good, in investing in the public good, and they do not pursue this one method of activism because it is not suitable to them, not effective for them, and/or harms them.

It's good that you don't mean to excuse bad people from their actions, but it comes off that way when you never once mention their actions are bad, and then write several posts addressing one member specifically about why *they personally* are responsible. But they are no more responsible for a stranger than you, or I, or Py'Tom. (Well, I guess he's a moderator, so there's a bit more responsibility there.)
Sapphi wrote: Regardless, if anyone feels uncomfortable with the fact that I've stated we ~owe~ goodness to each other...
I see a differentiation here. As stated above, I also agree that we have an obligation to do good for the world. And that folks should be kind to one another, discuss in a respectful manner, not just start posting nasty things. However, there is a difference between doing good on a base level, (such as following forum rules, not name-calling, etc.) versus being obligated to go out and make personal connections, engage in long projects, etc. with someone who is nasty.

So, asking that someone be generally civil, or that people work towards public good in the way that works for them, nothing wrong with that. However, telling them they have to do it in one very specific way (strangers on the internet, in ones free time, forming relationships, etc.) is limiting and detrimental.
Sapphi wrote: It was not my intention to imply any of that, especially not the part about being ashamed. In my original message to them, I merely wrote that I thought his view had unfortunate consequences in parentheses. They responded to that, and also seemed to not understand what I had meant, so I clarified my view for them. I dislike preaching to people, and I would have liked to put that in a PM, but I thought it could help clarify my own position if I wrote it in public here.
Thank you for the clarification. Generally speaking, if someone points out a personal boundary, and states the things they are doing for the public good, and then another person says "the fact that you're not doing that *this way* means you are failing your community, and your obligation to do good" it comes off as pretty shame-y. (And since trooper6 was never arguing against being good to people, and listed of many ways they do work for the public good, the only sticking point *was* not doing the one thing.)
Sapphi wrote: That is fair. I did already let them know that at the end of the day I have to accept their choices and I do respect the efforts they make in their daily life. I find it unfortunate that you perceive me as persecuting them. They disagree with me and I disagree with them, but I haven't put them on a blacklist, and I'm not encouraging anyone else to do so, either.
It's not *only* you, but honestly speaking it's pretty messed up when someone states a very simple preference-- not to work with people who dehumanize them and others-- and then a horde of people post after saying how them not wanting to work with bigots makes them uncomfortable, how it is blacklisting (but no one is being excluded from the site), or a "witch hunt", and how using your resources differently is a denial of public good.

Overall, it was an extremely hostile response to a very simple, straightforward, and completely understandable statement.
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