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There seems to be a disturbing trend on the site.

Whenever anything - no matter how factually accurate - is stated that is right-leaning, a bunch of people come in, flag as offensive, and certain moderators jump in to censor such content even if the content is 100% accurate.

Whenever left wing offensive content is offensive (and often, blatantly misleading at best) is flagged, the flags are declined as "no evidence" despite the evidence being presented in the flag).

Why exactly is this happening and is there any particular reason for people who aren't left leaning to not assume that there's absolutely no reason to bother considering this site as a place with content neutral moderation?

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    You're going to have to provide some actual evidence of this occurring if you want to be taken seriously. e.g. "right-wing content" that was unduly removed/moderated, and "left-wing content" that you feel should be removed/moderator, but isn't actually. – user11249 Feb 5 '18 at 15:29
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    @Carpetsmoker - normally I'd agree with you, but the moderators can see my flags, and the question was more for moderators than regular users. – user4012 Feb 5 '18 at 15:31
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    @user4012 are you okay with me publicly mentioning specific flags that you've made and have been declined? – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 5 '18 at 15:48
  • @SamIam - yes. I didn't know if it's OK to do that so refrained from pasting that myself, but am OK if you add them. – user4012 Feb 5 '18 at 15:53
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    Related: "Do we really want to tolerate personal attacks and antisemitism here?" (where moderators got accused of being too lax with a right-extremist) – Philipp Feb 5 '18 at 15:54
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    Well, you're making a public accusation in a public forum. Doing that without any evidence what-so-ever still seems pretty bad form to me. – user11249 Feb 5 '18 at 16:04
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    What is it this is hoping to achieve? Are you advocating using some particular metric of offense to keep things consistent? – user9389 Feb 5 '18 at 21:21
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    From a 50k rep user I would expect (a considerable amount of) statistics to backup any claims. Even a few flags have (statistically speaking) almost no value towards a general statement which way ever they were resolved. The question is more of a "why were my flags declined" type. – Trilarion Feb 6 '18 at 9:33
  • @Philipp I think the issue is a bit different because it included repeated personal harassment, which seems different from "offensive content" and should be a crystal clear case either way. Something similar might be Are antisemitic conspiracy theories against policy?, although like I said in this comment, there is no general rule for "offensive" content (there is one against bigotry though). – tim Feb 7 '18 at 15:07
  • @MartinTournoij - sure. politics.stackexchange.com/a/38280/115. – user4012 Feb 1 at 1:29
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You might be referring to the 4 flags you made a few hours ago. Of those flags, two were declined and two were accepted.

  1. A complaint about Ronald Reagan being referred to as "dumb". The flag was accepted and the answer was edited.
  2. A complaint about an answer to the question "What is Antifa" where your complaint was that "the poster insultingly implies that anyone antifa groups oppose is fascist or nazi". I read the answer and didn't find any such implications. It explained the political positions of the Antifa but didn't say anything about people opposing Antifa. So I declined the flag.
  3. A complaint about an answer to the question "Why would somebody want to shut down a speaking event? [closed]" where your complaint was "The question was about people like Ben Shapiro, yet this user keeps posting inferences that they are all alt right and nazis.". This answer was a tough one. I could have decided one way or the other. But in the end I decided to decline the flag.
  4. A complaint about the phrasing "Ukrainian Nazis" in an answer to the question "Why did Russia start its aggression against Ukraine after the Ukrainian unrest from 2013-2014?". I accepted the flag and edited the phrasing to read just "Ukraine". I also removed the phrase "This is a symbiosis of parasites".

Half of your flags were accepted, so the statement

Whenever left wing offensive content is offensive (and often, blatantly misleading at best) is flagged, the flags are declined as "no evidence" despite the evidence being presented in the flag).

is already factually wrong.

But let's address the implied question here: Are the mods more strict regarding right-extremism than regarding left-extremism? This is hard to evaluate objectively based on numbers. Flags don't get counted by political ideology. We also can't tell if flags from one ideology get accepted more because the mods are biased or because people of that ideology simply are more obnoxious.

But keep in mind that you do not see the full picture here. You only see it when mods intervene about your posts and process your flags. You do not get any notification when people flag your posts and the mods decide to decline those flags. You also do not see all the content which gets removed or edited by mods. Yes, you got enough reputation to see deleted answers, but the system makes it difficult for you to see deleted questions. And you can not see deleted comments at all.

  • #4 was politically neutral (from left/right view) - I was just countering typical pro-russian propaganda accusations that Ukrainian nationalism is all about "Nazis" (wholly unrelated to internal politics in the West). So it's not really relevant to this discussion other than by timing. – user4012 Feb 5 '18 at 15:50
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    #2: the answer explicitly states "in their resistance to fascism". As they resist people who are not fascists (as the flag showed via example), the implication in the asnwer is anyone "antifa" opposes is one. My point is nobody saw fit to edit this insulting implication out, despite there being a pattern of this – user4012 Feb 5 '18 at 15:55
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    I'm not sure that replacing "dumb" with "lacked the necessary education" is an improvement. It still says he was dumb. It just uses more and longer words to say it. Not to mention that trees do cause pollution and Poland was not part of the USSR (although it was part of the Warsaw Pact). – Brythan Feb 5 '18 at 22:01
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    @Brythan The question is specifically about when those types of accusations started to be leveled at conservative politicians, so it seems relevant to discuss what liberal-leaning Americans were saying at the time. Whether those accusations were accurate either then or now doesn't matter. The 1980 election is before my time, so I'm not sure whether people actually were saying those things about Regan or not (which is the fact that does matter). – Jeff Lambert Feb 6 '18 at 17:41
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    @JeffLambert The claim here is that the problem was addressed. My point is that it wasn't. The offensive content remains, with a different wording. Now, maybe that's appropriate (although I'd point out that the text indicates that the author thinks those statements are false, not that anyone else did). But if so, that same standard should apply when liberals flag conservative posts, content that is integral to the post should only be edited to replace the intemperate language with something blander. P.S. Reagan had two As in his name. – Brythan Feb 6 '18 at 17:58
  • Beyond that, such accusations weren't first leveled at Reagan. As I noted in my answer, they date back to Goldwater and McCarthy. Goldwater ran in 1964, well before 1980. Reagan wasn't even governor yet. McCarthy was in the 1950s. – Brythan Feb 6 '18 at 18:05
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    @Brythan AFAIK we don't have a "don't talk negatively about historical figures" rule. We have a "don't be rude" rule (which probably covers the wording 'Reagan is dumb'), we have a "don't be abusive" rule (which probably covers 'user X is uneducated'), and we have a "no bigotry" rule (which covers 'Jews/Women/Black people are uneducated'). If you disagree with the groups the "be nice" policy covers under the "no bigotry" clause and want to include conservatives as a group (or remove the clause all together), that should happen at the general meta (politics.SE can't just ignore network rules). – tim Feb 6 '18 at 18:33
  • @Brythan I think I see where you're going then, and I can agree with that. The general case is hard to define, and mods should probably get some leeway to consider the overall tone than just specific points of contention when deciding whether it is better to edit content in place vs wholesale removal, probably with a bias that "more content is better," less they fall afoul of being labelled politically biased. And my apologies to Reagan, I will try to do better. – Jeff Lambert Feb 6 '18 at 18:34
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    I really don't see how "lacking the necessary education" to do something makes them "dumb". Most people lack the necessary education to practice medicine, but we don't call everyone who didn't go to medical school dumb. I'd say everyone on earth lacks the necessary education to do one thing or another. – Alexander O'Mara Feb 6 '18 at 19:49
  • @tim - there was a long "featured" post from Shog on main meta very explicitly stating that "be nice" rule applies to politicians, not just to site participants. – user4012 Feb 7 '18 at 17:15
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    @user4012 Care to provide a link? My guess is that it was about the "don't be rude" part of the policy, and that it doesn't apply to any negative opinion or criticism of public figures. – tim Feb 7 '18 at 17:25
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    @Brythan The answer states that "the left's primary fears on Reagan was that he was dumb" while explaining that "the left didn't like Reagan at all". I don't know if this statement is true or not (as I was born during the 80s on the other side of the planet), but I do know that – even if worded rather awkwardly – it is not the same as saying "Reagan was dumb". One attempts to explain the views of a group ("the left"), the other merely insults. I think it will be very hard to describe any group's concerns about a person or group if we don't allow statements like this. – user11249 Feb 7 '18 at 18:57
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    @user4012 Yes, I agree. That's why the answer was edited (that holds even if the answer didn't actually say that; see comment above mine). But the argument here is that the replacement is in violation of the policy as well. I disagree with that (see my comment above for my reasoning); I don't see how your comment is relevant to my comment in this case. – tim Feb 7 '18 at 19:20
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    @tim - "not educated enough" is a standard dog whistle meant to imply the same thing. Education is used as a proxy to imply intelligence. – user4012 Feb 7 '18 at 21:40
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    @user4012 Yes, it means something similar (no, it's not a dog whistle). I think we all agree about this. It would really help your point here if you would be more specific (not just in the comments, but also in your question). Which exact part of the policy do you think is violated by the current phrasing? And what exactly is your point and your goal here? Do you want to ban all content that is critical of any historical person or implies something negative about a political movement? Do you want the no bigotry part of the policy to not apply at politics.SE? – tim Feb 7 '18 at 22:34
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For now, I'll focus on your most recent declined flag:

You flagged this answer. I was not the mod that handled that flag, but if I were, I would also have declined it.

Yet another identical offensive post. The question was about people like Ben Shapiro (e.g. washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/13/…) yet this user keeps posting inferences that they are all "alt right" and "nazis".

The answer called out "people like Richard Spencer", who was in the news for being banned for speaking around the time the answer was written. In fact, it's much closer in time to when the question and answer was written than the story you linked to.

The answer specifically said "While the speakers may or may not be violent themselves, Nazis and other far-right speakers attract similarly minded people who will be a threat." Richard Spencer, while not self-identifying as a Nazi, is infamous for organizing the "Unite the Right" rally, which did attract self-identified Nazis, and violent people.

Furthermore, Even if the charges against Richard Spencer and others are unfounded, that is not as important as whether or not the answer accurately explains the reason why someone would want to shut down a speaking event. The question was about the reason people try to shut down these events. The ideal answer is one that exemplifies those reasons, even if the reasons themselves are flawed.

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    @user4012 Id did say "recent months", but Richard Spencer's story would have been the most recent in mind at the time, and therefore is the most likely prototype scenario for the question. The proximity in time also suggests that the Richard Spencer story was what triggered the OP's curiosity. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 5 '18 at 18:42
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    @user4012 have another look at my comment. The recent incident was used as the prototype incident, and it was an appropriate prototype because it was the most likely incident to have triggered OP's curiosity. I.E. "The straw that broke the camel's back" – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 5 '18 at 20:11
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    @user4012 It's difficult to talk about all the incidents at once, so people usually talk about prototype incidents, and for cases like these, the prototype picked is very often the most recent one in the news. This should be common sense to someone who frequents politics-based websites. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 5 '18 at 20:13
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    Your answer on that question could also be seen as significantly misrepresenting what people actually believe @user4012 by suggesting that all of "the left" is behind this wave of deplatforming, and that anyone who is "progressive" must be automatically anti-free speech. By your own reasoning, it is therefore just as "insulting" as Tim's answer. And this is hardly the first time I've seen content like this from you. You seem to go out of your way to complain about "liberals" and "the left", even when this doesn't really have any relation to the question. Practice what you preach. – user11249 Feb 5 '18 at 20:59
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    I'm fine with your answer as it is @user4012 , even though it is IMHO pretty wrong in explaining people's actual viewpoints and contains far too much advocacy (which is why I DV-ed it). My point is more that you need to have some leeway for different viewpoints, as well as for slightly suboptimal phrasings, and not try to find insult behind everything. e.g. your "progressives" is probably best understood as "progressives that conduct these actions", rather than "every single last progressive". – user11249 Feb 6 '18 at 20:59
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    This is also not good evidence for your left-wing cabal theory, by the way. None of the answers on that question are very good IMHO, but yours currently sits at the top with +12/-9, whereas Tim's has +8/-7 (I can't know if anyone flagged your answer, but mods certainly didn't act on them). – user11249 Feb 6 '18 at 20:59
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    "vandalizing edits"? LULZ. "far left wing posters" relative to you, that's pretty much everyone on this site. – Alexander O'Mara Feb 6 '18 at 23:23
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    As for the "vandalizing edits", are you really talking about this? Seriously? How in the world can you think this is appropriate for a site like this?! This is exactly the sort of off-topic snark that I mentioned a few comments ago... Apparently you are allowed to insert partisan snark in answers, but the slightest hint of any partisanship (without snark!) you don't like in any other person's answer deserves a "rude and offensive" flag? And they talk about "liberal snowflakes", sjeez 🙄 – user11249 Feb 7 '18 at 0:10
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    And in addition to that, it has no bearing what-so-ever on the asked question, and is clearly a dig at the gay community in the US. It is a highly irrelevant and incendiary off-topic comment at best. Frankly if I didn't know any better I'd say you're just trolling here. – user11249 Feb 7 '18 at 13:54
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    @user4012 Are we talking about the link to a random image on pinterest? That's the "LGBT blog" you quoted "word for word"? – yannis Feb 7 '18 at 14:31
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    ... Still off-topic noise @user4012... This site is not your soap box or weblog or Facebook or Reddit or any of these things. You know this perfectly well. – user11249 Feb 7 '18 at 15:22
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    @user4012 As I've said before, Richard Spencer being barred from speaking at places was in the news at the time, and it was an active, and well-known controversy. You didn't have to be looking to cherry pick in order to think of the "Richard Spencer" news when you thought of people getting banned from colleges. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 19:27
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    @user4012 on the other hand, "ameriKKKa sux" leftists, on the other hand, were never as prominent in the news with relation to russia's gay policy as Richard Spencer was with relation to being barred from speaking. As it, It's cherry-picked snark. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 19:32
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    @user4012 meanwhile, when a user calls Ronald Reagan "dumb" The mods do handle that. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 19:36
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    @user4012 Looking closer at the Reagan question reminded me of one of the other primary points I was making, which is when a question is asking what is the liberal point of view, Answers from the liberal point of view, might actually better than answers that aren't. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 7 '18 at 22:08

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