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A certain user – a student of mathematics – has a repeated history of posting offensive racist content. Furthermore, based on various posts on meta, it seems that this user doesn't seem to understand that this is a problem.

A quick grab of recent(-ish) activities:

  • Dec 16 – repeated harassing of users with anti-Semitic slurs.
  • Jan 26 – clearly anti-Semitic profile image; drama on meta because muh free peach.
  • Aug 7 – rant about NYT anti-white journalist (anti-white is common neo-Nazi/white supremacist dog whistle).
  • Aug 13 – Rant about how much Whites are being oppressed.
  • Aug 24 – racist drivel; links to American Renaissance, a well known white supremacist publication. Once again useless drama on meta.
  • Sep 1 – refers to the Holocaust as an "alleged historical event".

That's just what I could find at a moment's notice. I am sure that more examples – both recent and not so recent – can be easily found in the user's deleted answers and comments (which I don't have easy access to).

It is abundantly clear that every single piece of content from this user will need to be carefully scrutinized by the community, and either scrubbed of neo-Nazi/white supremacist drivel, or simply be deleted outright.

This begs the question, just exactly how much racist content does a user have to post to get banned for extended periods of time? I am all for second, third, and even fourth chances, but this user had them all. Do we really want a community where we need to carefully scrutinize some users for neo-Nazi / anti-Semitic / white supremacist (or whatever euphemism you want to call it) content?

This is not the kind of community I want to be part of. I am all for allowing radical views, but this is a Q&A site where subjectivity is limited, not a platform for debate. If we can't draw a line at repeated outright unrepentant racism, then I don't know where we can.


Note that this is not the only user with such problems, but is probably the worst of the bunch (from what I have observed at any rate).

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    I have to admit, I'm astounded at the number of chances certain people are being given here, when it's clear they have no respect for the site or its policies. – F1Krazy Aug 30 '18 at 5:42
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    Archived the side-discussions about Sarah Jeong, voting fraud and spelling. Please stay on topic, everyone. This discussion could do without the distractions. If you wish to continue any of the aforementioned discussions, do it in chat. – yannis Sep 1 '18 at 11:02
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    It'd be helpful if the moderators could list what suspensions, if any, the user has received. – Andrew Grimm Sep 2 '18 at 4:28
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    @AndrewGrimm We are absolutely not going to do that. A suspension is a private matter, strictly between the user and the site's moderators. – yannis Sep 2 '18 at 11:48
  • There are basically two questions here: "Was this particular user treated according to the guidelines?" and "Are the guidelines strict enough?". Maybe the question should be split to better separate the two things and get more meaningful answers. – Trilarion Sep 10 '18 at 15:26
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There is a process. Quoting Jeff Atwood on a related Meta question:

The general process:

stage 1
email warning and moderator message about specifics of unacceptable behavior1

stage 2
1-7 days suspension2

stage 3
30 days suspension

stage 4
120+ days suspension or account now eligible for deletion2

You advance from stage to stage by continuing to engage in the unacceptable behaviors that were identified in stage 1. Only one user has gotten to stage 4 so far.

1 assuming we have an email, which we might not; email is not required to use our sites
2 depending on severity and type of unacceptable behavior

Reasons for suspending users may be found in this Meta question.

Regarding what the community can do to minimise the disruption caused by the behaviour mentioned in your question, we turn to a comment by Jeff Atwood on that second question:

the more user flags someone generates on a site, the more likely they are to be suspended. After multiple cycles of warnings and suspensions, the timed suspension goes up exponentially, as previously documented here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/23661/… also note that all the really bad stuff gets removed from the system, because it's toxic. So you won't "see" all the badness that the moderators do. We clean that stuff up

Regarding flagging, please consider the new Code of Conduct which allows you to flag many things, including bigotry, name-calling, personal attacks subtle put-downs or otherwise unfriendly language.

In addition to that, you can also contact Stack Exchange directly via this form. You could use the I want to report a Code of Conduct violation option in case you feel not enough is being done here. Note that calling out specific users on Meta is normally discouraged.

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    I am aware of the process; and while this user has been banned for at least a week before, it seems to me that they should be well in to "stage 4" or above. This is basically my question: why isn't this user at that stage yet? – user11249 Aug 30 '18 at 13:24
  • @MartinTournoij I don't know the full extent of the user's posts (obviously most of the offending stuff is not visible to me). I guess (but I'm not sure) moderators are reluctant to provide details about individual users here. I think your best action is to use the contact form at the bottom of my answer (including your concern and a link to this meta post) so you're sure someone at SE will look into it and they have a way to contact you personally (rather than posting for everyone to see). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Aug 30 '18 at 13:27
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    It's not just about this individual user though; I can name one or two other users with similar patterns. I think a wider discussion about "how racist is too racist?" is useful. Normally I don't like to single out a particular user, but in this case I think it is helpful to make the discussion more concrete and less abstract/hypothetical, and have little grievances in exposing the long racist history of a user. – user11249 Aug 30 '18 at 14:17
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    @MartinTournoij I think that discussion already took place (mostly on SE.Meta). Specifically, from the CoC: "No bigotry. We don’t tolerate any language likely to offend or alienate people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion — and those are just a few examples. When in doubt, just don’t." So seeing we already have that: what do you think we will gain from having the discussion again here? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Aug 30 '18 at 14:31
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    @JJJ The question is how that policy applies to politics.SE. On SO, it's easy. Racist garbage is off-topic, deleted, and the user banned. But here, the question is how far users can take their answers. The user in question (as well as a couple of other ones) are clearly testing out how far they can go. It started with personal harassment and antisemitic attacks (obviously ban-worthy, probably permanently, but that opportunity was missed). – tim Aug 30 '18 at 15:11
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    It is now at a level where white supremacist resources are supplied as valid sources, posts contain rants about white genocide or disproportionately criminal and "vicious" "blacks", antisemitic and racist profiles, etc. Is that in violation of policy? I think so. Is it ban-worthy? Probably. Is the user banned? No. Is the content removed? Partly. – tim Aug 30 '18 at 15:12
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    Getting some baseline here on how fascist content needs to be to result in a ban would be helpful information. But you are right, we went through this discussion here already (multiple times). I feel like things have gotten a bit better (at least regarding the removal of fascist content). That's also why I only flagged the last post by the user, but didn't use the contact form; going around the mods when things are slowly improving here on its own didn't seem right; pointing out the option in your answer is still helpful though. – tim Aug 30 '18 at 15:12
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    @tim the situation also applies to other soft SE sites like History and the different religions. Since SE doesn't allow use of the swastika, even if not intended to convey nazi sympathism, I think it's fair to say that promoting fascist content is also unwanted (e.g. promoting them as valid sources). At some point the discussion is finished and it's time to act on the outcome of the discussion (flag and remove offending posts, let moderators follow the suspension process). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Aug 30 '18 at 15:22
  • Some comments archived. – yannis Sep 6 '18 at 18:01
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This account is temporarily suspended. The suspension period ends on Nov 30 at 10:54.

Sounds like phase 3+.

  • That's about 60 days. Sounds like Stage 3.5. Maybe three and a third. – zibadawa timmy Sep 3 '18 at 2:20
  • @zibadawatimmy: that's what I meant by 3+. – Fizz Sep 3 '18 at 2:21
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This is a horrible idea. Particularly for a politics "Q&A" site.

It is appropriate to begin this answer by quoting Noam Chomsky

Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.

Banning users for posting their political perspective does not delete the political perspective.

Users should set aside their emotional response to questions and answers. Else it is not possible to ever get to the root interests of the individual who posts content that you might not agree with, like or makes you emotional.

Taken to the extreme, all quotes of the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, would be banned from being posted at Politics SE, given the pattern of white supremacist content published by the President of the United States demonstrated by content at the accepted answer to this question What national interest does the U.S. have in “the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations”?, in pertinent part

It depends who you ask. CNN commented on the White angle:

Some people who might share his concern are US voters who still think Trump was unfairly criticized for his openness to white supremacists marching on Charlottesville, or his closure of US borders to refugees from mostly non-white countries he's referred to as shitholes? Don't misunderstand; this tweet does not seem like an intentional plea for votes. But it is certainly another glaring example of Trump being very literally and specifically concerned about white people. And those concerns are an important part of his political power. [...]

We've seen the President show understanding for white supremacist marchers. We've seen him call Mexicans rapists. We've seen him pine for more immigrants from mostly-white European countries, like Norway. We've seen him refer to mostly Latino gang members as "animals." We've seen him show surprise that a Latino ICE agent could speak English. We've seen him say a Latino judge would obviously be biased against him. We've seen him show a propensity to say African-American athletes and lawmakers aren't smart. We've seen him say black athletes kneeling during the National Anthem should be kicked out of the country. This week we've seen him politicize the murder of an Iowa college student, allegedly by an man who officials say came to the US illegally. His concern for white farmers in South Africa is yet another example of Trump's version of identity politics.

You have voted to close this user's questions on several occasions, including:

which, this user could conclude, is a trait of a white supremacist who simply is incapable of understanding political perspectives that are either not their own, or not based on a white supremacist premise. The fact that the present question attempts to recruit users into a cabal which hunts down and bans users does not alter the fact that the OP of this question could also be a promoter of racist activities.

At least the user mentioned at the OP is direct about their political stance, as opposed to wearing a sheet, and not disclosing their political views, as is one of the characteristics of the "invisible empire".

The historical record proves that United States was formed as a white supremacist nation-state. Is the next step to ban all mentions of documents produced by the United States, including all statements made by its officials?

One option for users who cannot help but become agitated or emotional when viewing what they perceive as "racist" content is to move on to another question or answer, instead of staring at the content that you do not like or gets you emotional.

Native Americans, Africans, Chinese and other populations have to deal with white-centric propaganda in the U.S. every day. It is not possible to simply press "delete" and voila, all of that content vanishes.

There is a contentious historical topic which perhaps cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of either side of the question, that is, were the Ancient Egyptians "black" or "white". To address that issue, one has to perform study across centuries of material. If the researcher gets emotional as to content that they encounter, it could easily become too much to bear psychologically.

If an individual is truly concerned with "racism", the most effective action that one can take is to not self-identify with any fictitious "race". That includes in private activity and when the Government asks what "race" you self-identify with on the Census form. For example, Theodore Allen, author of The Invention of the White Race, stated

If I must to be categorized demographically, I am a European American, more particularly an anglo-american. But I am NOT white. I resigned from the white race some log time ago.

Starting a crusade to ban users and delete content is not the answer to being agitated or emotional about content. Neither side will ever get to the source of the others' grievances after the blustering.

Do not have to agree with the user mentioned at the OP to still defend their right to their own political perspective, and to vehemently contest the notion that deleting political content on a site purported to be about politics is in any way anything other than an emotional response - not a political analysis of the material.

Also, it is important to disambiguate "promote" from a user simply posting their own political perspective.

Do not mistake disagreement for argument. No one is obliged to accept another persons' political argument. Nor should an individual be disillusioned about the veracity of their political argument being sufficient to convince another individual to "cross the isle" to their view. If it was possible to convince other people of ones' political views simply based on facts, all users who read the question Is "race" a political construct? would have to conclude that "race" is a political construct created relatively recently, by white supremacists, for white supremacists; and that whenever an individual self-identifies with any "race" they support the global government of white supremacy. Though it is not that simple. People have been indoctrinated to believe in both "race" and "religion".

Therefor, the solution is an individual choice. To reduce the impact of "racism", the individual must address their own self-identification in every human activity.

No actual problem statement is presented at the question.

Banning users from posting content is not a solution to a question that presents no clear problem statement other than OP does not like the content posted by other users, therefore those users who post content that they do not like should be banned.

Take the time to get to the root cause of their grievances. They could simply be insecure personally, have issues with their class, or have been educated by the United States school systems. For example, many have heard of the story of George Washington not "telling a lie" relevant to a "cherry tree"; where that "cherry tree" actually represents the flag of Morocco, the first nation to recognize the fledgling United States.

To confront "racism" one has to confront "racists" and institutional racism which is practiced by Stack Exchange itself - not attempt to "wish them to the cornfield".

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    Harassment and usage of racial slurs is not a "political perspective", or "just an opinion". – user11249 Aug 31 '18 at 16:18
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    @MartinTournoij There is no "harassment" whatsoever going on at Politics SE. The very notion of "race" itself is a white supremacist political construct, including the terms "white", "black", etc. Unless you are proposing banning users who use those terms you are simply expressing your personal emotional response to questions and answer which you do not like. What is the actual problem statement at your question? What are you trying to solve? – guest271314 Aug 31 '18 at 16:22
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    Side discussions about the nature and definition of race, free speech, whether or not it's possible to suffer on the Internet, etc, archived. If you wish to continue any of these discussions, please do it in chat, not here. – yannis Sep 1 '18 at 13:28

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