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"Just because you're quoting someone it doesn't make it less offensive"

(28 Posts)
fidgettt Wed 06-Dec-17 19:23:15

Yes, I think it does make it less offensive actually!

Do we really need to have threads deleted (I'm speaking in general rather than about a specific thread) because they make people aware that some individuals are horrible racists / sexists / homophobes? Surely we are all adult enough not to need to be shielded from the knowledge that this sort of thing exists!? The BBC are happy to allow us to watch programs discussing these issues, ditto newspapers, other media. See use of a certain 6 letter word in "12 Years A Slave". So why does MN censor so heavily?

Its TOTALLY different from actually saying those things yourself. Obviously hate speech shouldn't be allowed on MN!! I'm quite happy for gratuitous quoting that is a bit hmm to also be deleted.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Wed 06-Dec-17 19:26:09

That was a troll thread as well though.

fidgettt Wed 06-Dec-17 19:34:04

That specific thread brought the issue to mind but I'm talking about the rule in general not that thread.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 15:39:52

Why should "hate speech" be banned?
Surely the best way to convincingly counter dissenting opinions is through rational discussion and by proving them wrong!
We're all adults here, why should anybody's views be sensored? Are we all to sensitive to be reminded not everyone agrees with us?

If views you dislike are never voiced, how can you refute them and question their merits?
IMO just because someone can be called homophobic/racist/sexist, they're not automatically wrong or incorrect.
Rather than assigning a perjoritive label, why not actually prove their argument wrong on it's merits, not on whether it's a (subjectively) "offensive" argument.

If it's a stupid argument, discourse and discussion will only prove that.
Silencing people only tends to make them be able to correctly claim they're being oppressed.

Everyone has a right to freedom of speech and debate. It's very Orwellian to believe someone else should dictate what is and isn't okay to say.

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 15:42:15

What I find funny is when people quote something from an OP & then moan that it is offensive/upsetting. Why is it okay for someone to quote an OP & say it is out of order, but it isn't okay for an OP to quote something & say it is out of order? Lots of double standards!!

sonjadog Thu 07-Dec-17 15:47:04

I didn´t see the thread in question, but I agree with your sentiment. I think we (as in society at large) are going down a very troubling route if our answer to opinions we find offensive is to delete and ban them. That doesn't stop those opinions existing, it merely sends them to other places where they can meet likeminded. If anything, it encourages them to grow in strength. If we really want to change society for the better, we need to meet them head on and try to challenge them.

ChelleDawg2020 Thu 07-Dec-17 15:49:42

I agree with tendergreenbean, the best way to solve these issues is to talk about them.

We should be confident enough in our views that "hate speech" is wrong and be able to reason with people as to why we are correct. By doing this we have the chance to bring someone round to our point of view.

By banning discussions all we do is send the person with extreme views to go and find like-minded people to talk with. Some people might think this is good, but it isn't. They will reinforce their views and become more certain of them.

It isn't that hard to dismiss racist, sexist or homophobic views with reasoned argument. If you cannot produce a reasoned argument to prove the bigot wrong, then you should have a think as to why you disagree with them - perhaps you are not so different...

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 15:52:03

What's this thread I've missed?
I'm struggling to think of any opinion that shouldn't see the light of day.

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 15:56:21

Tenderbean i'm assuming its the one where somebody took photos whilst on a hospital ward & put them on FB - apparently photos included ill children & one with Down's Syndrome described not so nicely

thecatfromjapan Thu 07-Dec-17 16:04:21

MN used to be self-moderated.

What happened was that posters ended up suffering from what I call "arsehole fatigue". That is, some complete wanker/troll/GF would come on and post really hateful, offensive crap and it would be left to MNers to argue with them/point out the error of their ways.

It was exhausting and in no way commensurate.

The GF/Troll had their lolz but the posters left to point out that posting hateful comments about race/disability/etc was unreasonable were often left quite upset about the experience (I suspect that's part of the LOLZ for the GF).

There is also the argument that you change the nature of public space (be that an internet forum of the set of protocols determining which kinds of speech are and are not tolerable within a given polis at a given time) if you manage to just generate a vast quantity of quite hateful speech in a public communicative arena.

There is also the argument that an inclusive open space cannot be filled with hate speech against certain groups because - rather than the non-patrolled public space being neutral through a non-governing of speech in that public space - it actually acts to keep people out of the public space. Who would feel welcome in a public forum that routinely permits anti-semitic speech? Who would be given the message that the forum is for anti-semites primarily?

In the old, self-modded days, MN was something of a target for those who got their jollies by posting anti-SEND speech. It did not make for a pleasant experience for the people actually arguing against.

I think there's also a gender element to this: 'arguing against' on a site such as MN, is women's work, and so the labour - emotional - is invisible. And it's women who tend to the caring for children with SEND, so there is something incredibly anti-woman about it. Thinking that is a 'nothing' cost versus the 'right' to some (fairly unanalysed) notion of 'free speech' renders women's work invisible.

So MNHQ started mod-ing the site.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 16:06:22

That sounds horrible.
Is it illegal to take photo's in a hospital? I'm not sure, but if so re-posting pictures taken illegally in the first place, letting more people see them, seems very unfair towards the victim. Even if the poster was just criticising the photo taker for doing so, they need to recognise the irony in making those pictures available to more people.
Right to express an (in my view, abhorrent) opinion and right to privacy seem to be in conflict here.

Regarding reposting the insulting text though - fair enough IMO. Not nice or pleasant, but offers a chance to question the views and hopefully ignite some introspection.

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 16:15:25

Yeah several nurses advised that the ward was contacted asap (the info was available from the photos). I think the uproar on that one came because the OP directly quoted the hideous woman in her disgusting description of the child with DS...a lot of people were appalled that OP had quoted...but then several other posters directly quoted the OP in order to say it was disgusting 🤔

That thread wasn't really a hate speech post - OP literally quoted what some brainless twunt had posted & wanted to know if she should/could report it.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 16:15:44

Surely it is a choice to respond to those opinions or not though.
If it's too emotionally draining to question them, simply ignoring them and letting the post slide to the virtually unseen older pages seems the best way to deal with it.
If they keep bumping their post, people can just see them making themselves look stupid.
My DD has cerebral palsy, and I'm aware people will say things about those with her condition that I dislike.
I believe their opinions to be bollocks, and have equipped my daughter to deal with the - sadly - unkind world. It's not fair, but neither is life, unfortunately. I'm now blessed with a child who is more hardy, self-assured and able to face a sometimes horrible world head on than most others I've met. She is well equipped for the adult world and I could not be more proud and pleased than when she confidently counters any idiots that speak up.

As the saying goes "I disagree with your opinion, but I'll fight to the death for your right to express it".

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:07:20

Absolutely it's a choice. But what I didn't get was the outrage directed at the OP - who was infuriated by the whole thing - and not directed at the idiot who was quoted

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 17:16:56

Going by your summary, me neither.

The OP was not wrong for quoting, but in my (not infallible) opinion wrong for re-sharing the photo's without blurring the faces of those involved at the very, very least.
Although it doesn't seem that this is what people took offence too, oddly.

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:18:12

She didn't share the photos Tender just described what they were of

fidgettt Thu 07-Dec-17 17:29:53


tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 17:33:45

And everyone's agreeing with you @fidgettt SO WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING!!
This post was discussed due to its apparently relevancy, my first post replied in general terms.

Add something further to the thread and I'll respond!

@mustbemad, in that case I can't see a problem at all - nowt so queer as folk.

fidgettt Thu 07-Dec-17 17:35:19

Chelle & Thecat

I’m actually OK with the idea that hate speech should be censored a bit, partly because those who say it and those most likely to act on it are the people least likely to listen to reason or logic.

What I really started the thread about was the idea that we are not permitted to say on MN something along the lines of “when I was in the supermarket today a young man called me a %!&/?” Or the scenario where one poster called another a @!>& and another poster also gets deleted for saying “PP you shouldn’t call her a ?£%!”

thecatfromjapan Thu 07-Dec-17 17:41:52

fidgett That sounds pretty specific. I didn't see the thread in question. Other posters have suggested that wasn't the reason MNHQ deleted, though. (Am I right in thinking this? A couple of posters up-thread suggested it to be the case.)

I think the thread's strayed into other territory.

Sounds as though it wasn't a very pleasant read, though.

fidgettt Thu 07-Dec-17 17:43:53

Xpost Tender

I was stating it again because everyone was continuing to discuss that thread.

Besides, disagreeing would not be a reason to shout, not RTFT is a reason to shout 😜

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:45:24

That post was just a specific example i knew of. And as Tender said, it was a bit bloody stupid!

BertrandRussell Thu 07-Dec-17 17:47:37

I don't see an issue with actually using the offensive words as reported speech or exemplars. But I have got into trouble on here before for using them. Won't stop me, though!

mustbemad17 Thu 07-Dec-17 17:49:21

Bertrand snap 😂😂

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 19:15:21

I can't see any examples of anyone having not RTFT. It was spoken about broadly, then more specifically when you went AFK.

Seeing as we're all in agreement that quoting "offensive material" is reasonable and should be allowed - cab we discuss where the line should be drawn?

I say allow any and all speech, you say some should be censored.
Can I ask what you believe should be censored, and why?

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