2

If someone says (in other words) that "a lot of people think of your type as scum" would it constitute Unacceptable Behavior (subtle put down) as per help center page "code of conduct" ?

This answer here has made me feel uncomfortable (because of the "scum" word).
Here it is in its context:

"Because "the people" is not an entity with a single unified opinion. Some people (and there are enough of them to form a significant voting bloc, and a part of any jury) tend to see the segment of the population that most often experiences the result of police misconduct as, to put it bluntly, scum who are just getting what they deserve.

This is really what the "Black Lives Matter" movement is all about. Though IMHO they're wrong about it being primarily racial: a poor young white man is likely to experience much the same sort of abuse from cops."

In an exchange of comments (deleted by now) I asked to please refrain from reposting hate speech. They said it wasn't hate speech and they don't need to be politically correct. Also they hoped no one would accept my suggestion for political correctness 😕
I flagged the answer but the flag was denied.
Am I over reacting? Did I take the attitude of his/her answer the wrong way?

-5

In my reading, the language was a bit too strong to be civil. Although I don't think there was anything explicitly improper about it, the language had some unfortunate implications.

I proposed an edit to the answer to tone down the language, while trying to keep the spirit of the answer in place. The community (and the original poster) can decide whether I was successful or not.

That the poster feels like they don't need to be "politically correct" is itself a red-flag. StackExchange questions and answered are expected not to be themselves political (we write about politics, we don't write politically). This context, in my mind, helps affirm that intervening in the answer is the correct decision.

The post could be significantly improved by being backed-up. If someone can back-up the core argument of the answer with an authoritative reference, then the source may make it clear whether this language was important or justified. Until then, it's a matter of community judgment.

2

It's a sort-of passive-aggressive subtle putdown, that may or may-not be intentional (although if the comments are as you say, I would lean towards intentional).

The way to handle repeating something offensive like that would be to clearly state it's not a view you wish to support. That way there's no ambiguity in the intent, and unless you actually wanted to cause offense there's really no reason not to.

We seem to be seeing a lot of this lately (this is hardly the worst case), probably because moderators seem to be letting it slide so far. Hopefully they will review the updated SE policy and act accordingly.

  • I didn't realize the subtle hint at first. It took a while to sink in, so after I read the answer I voted it up. I would like to at least take it back now. Is that possible? Have any idea how? I tried and it says I can't unless the contents of the answer change – Alex Doe Dec 7 '18 at 2:16
-1

This answer here has made me feel uncomfortable (because of the "scum" word).

The answer is not offensive, and I'm glad it was not censored.


You find it offensive, but I do not. So how do we resolve this?

Suppose we have this rule:

If anyone finds it offensive, it will be deleted.

What do we do when somebody says that he/she finds "BLM" offensive? Remove the "offensive" word "BLM" as well?

Either we would end without words to describe any situation, or we get a discussion about every word in the dictionary whether it is offensive or not - which usually depends on the context anyway.

If the majority finds it offensive, it will be deleted.

This might evolve into the minority being censored.

If everyone finds it offensive, it will be deleted.

But the author clearly didn't find it offensive, so not everyone, so it is not deleted.


In practice, the solution usually is a compromise between the last two. Exactly where the line is drawn, depends on the country and culture.

But wherever the line is drawn, some countries and cultures will find that the norm here differs from their personal norm.

So in the end, accept that other people have different opinions. One shouldn't offend people on purpose, but neither should one complain about everything that doesn't match one's personal norm.

-2

First of all, here is the whole paragraph in context:

Because "the people" is not an entity with a single unified opinion. Some people (and there are enough of them to form a significant voting bloc, and a part of any jury) tend to see the segment of the population that most often experiences the result of police misconduct as, to put it bluntly, scum who are just getting what they deserve.

This is really what the "Black Lives Matter" movement is all about. Though IMHO they're wrong about it being primarily racial: a poor young white man is likely to experience much the same sort of abuse from cops.

I thought a long time about whether to censor this answer or not.

In the end I decided against it. If we want to fight discrimination in our society, we need to acknowledge that the problem exists and in what dimension. That means it needs to be legitimate to quote hate speech with the purpose of documenting it, as long as the author distances themselves from that hate speech. Pretending that hate speech does not exist does not help any victims of hate speech.

Now does the author make clear that they do not believe that the minority they talk about are "scum who are just getting what they deserve" but are attributing it to an unspecified segment they call "some people"? It is not 100% clear. I would prefer if the author would distance themselves more obviously. But in the end I believe it to be more likely that the author tried to make a point against discrimination than for it.

I know that the final arbiter of what's offensive to a demographic and what isn't should be people of that demographic. But unfortunately when you flag something, the admin panel does not show us your ethnicity next to the flag. So when you flag something as offensive, then there are three possibilities:

  • You actually belong to the demographic, so you are more qualified than us to judge if it is offensive or not.
  • You are not of the demographic, but believe that it might be offensive to people who are. In that case your judgment is as good as ours.
  • You don't actually care about hate speech, but you have a grudge on the author and look for some dirt on them to get them suspended (yes, that's something we have to deal with quite often). In that case we should not allow you to weaponize the mod team in your petty rivalry.

But we moderators can not know that. Even if you claim that you are in the demographic, we do not know if we should believe that. Internet trolls often slip into whatever role best fits their particular talking point. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

So, in dubio pro reo.

  • 2
    "I know that the final arbiter of what's offensive to a demographic and what isn't should be people of that demographic.": As a tendency or general rule of thumb I'd agree. But phrased this universally and absolutely it also just invites abuse of that rule. I don't have to go to Alaska to know that it's cold. Offense is a two way process and since it's even opinion based, 3rd parties may chime in as well. –– In fact, the above does not answer the question. I genuinely do not know what constitutes a "subtle put-down", I still do not know after reading this answer. – LangLangC Dec 8 '18 at 14:39
  • 1
    Unless the title for the Q gets edited, this gets a little closer to defining it? Although it still feels a bit like esoteric insider language. Seeing how that same Q is voted on on that meta it seems quite the unease to ask about it anywhere. – LangLangC Dec 8 '18 at 18:24
  • I've never had any interaction with this user. Does this not rule out the "grudge" scenario? – Alex Doe Dec 9 '18 at 7:11
  • 3
    "that the final arbiter of what's offensive to a demographic and what isn't should be people of that demographic" - may I quote that when my offensive and rude flags are declined? – user4012 Dec 11 '18 at 13:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .