I just flagged an answer that literally just said pretty much "The reason for X is because Left is rational and right is irrational", using a lot of randomly picked statements (can't even call them facts, because they are just that guy's personal opinions on which of his preferred ideological positions are rational). The answer had 30 upvotes (thanks HNQ!) because it's popular to bash right wing on SE.

(the answer has other numerous flaws but this violation of CoC is the big problem for me).

Is there a reason this answer is allowed to exist, especially as a "This is what this site is about" banner (aka an answer on HNQ question)?

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    Eh, I think this is the same question I was about to ask, although I wasn't sure if it should be flagged or for what since I'm new to politics.SE so I don't know exactly what's acceptable here. – Brett Oct 20 '20 at 12:11
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    @Brett - absolutely should be flagged. That's the only reliable way for moderators to know that something needs attention. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 12:16
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    What's tragicomically hilarious is that it isn't even the worst of such answers on that question. This one has (at this time) twenty upvotes, and it doesn't even pretend to be objective, and my flag on it was disputed. – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 11:48
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    @JaredSmith the NAA (and LQ) flags are community flags that are resolved in the low quality review queue. Your flag was resolved here, not by the mods. In the broader discussion, I think we keep coming back to the fact that we're all using our own subjective judgement. And if you had raised user4012's question about that flag, I think I'd be inclined to give the same answer as I did here (below). – JJJ Mod Oct 21 '20 at 13:19
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    The answer does not contrast "rational" and "irrational." It contrasts "rational" with "emotional." – Azor Ahai -him- Oct 22 '20 at 20:15
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    @AzorAhai--hehim - as a person who considers rationality one of the most important traights, I fail to appreciate a meaningful difference in tone between those two wordings. – user4012 Oct 22 '20 at 21:22
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    @user4012 The answer explains that the people in question are rejecting masks for emotional reasons. Because there is no rational reason for their behavior, emotional explanations are the only one we have. The rationale is clear, it's just rooted in emotional decisions, not science-based ones. It's actually a quite comprehensive explanation about why they might feel that way. – Azor Ahai -him- Oct 22 '20 at 21:28
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    @user4012: Following up on Azor Ahai's point, there is a significant distinction between 'not being rational in a decision' and 'not being rational as a person'. The first is a behavior, the second a character trait. I have no doubt that conservatives (and even nationalists) are capable of being rational and intellectual if they so choose. But their observable actions show they are not currently choosing that. You're the one insulting conservatives by suggesting that irrationality is their character trait; I never said any such thing, and I'm annoyed you suggest it. – Ted Wrigley Oct 22 '20 at 21:43
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    @TedWrigley - protest actions are often irrational in and out of themselves. They are rational in larger context. – user4012 Oct 23 '20 at 2:51
  • Are you familiar with the concept of The Cathedral? – blud Nov 11 '20 at 22:51
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    I guess you've been out of the loop for a while. Alas, Q & As like that are the "new normal" around here. It's what the user base wants it seems. There's basically a pattern here: questions that invite answers that barely clear the bar of opinion are the now norm... See also politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4643/… and politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4542/… – Fizz Nov 17 '20 at 22:35

Because sometimes people aren't rational.

In fact, I'd argue that people are rarely rational, liberals and highly-educated people included. Most of our behavior is driven by factors other than pure, cold rationality – things like religion, tribalism, nationalism, patriotism, and the desire for the respect of our friends and neighbors, to name just a few. If we make some sort of requirement here that we censor any answers that aren't sufficiently politically correct, there would be very few questions about politics that we could answer accurately.

Frankly, I think your response to this is showing your own biases. Is saying that some people hold the teachings of the Bible above those of Science a smear? Is saying that some working-class people are tired of hearing from so-called "experts" and "costal elites" a smear? If so, then the Right is smearing its own supporters just as much as anyone else.

An example: during the 2016 campaign, one of Hilary Clinton's major gaffes came when she was talking about job retraining programs for coal miners:

I’m the only candidate which [sic] has a policy about how about how to bring economic opportunity, using clean, renewable energy as a key, into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business … and we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people

She was criticized, quite rightly, for saying this. But why? If we require that answers assume that all people are fully rational actors, there's no reason for criticism. Coal jobs are disappearing as coal gets more expensive and natural gas gets cheaper and there's nothing anyone can do about it. The rational move for coal miners is to move on to other fields – to "learn to code", as they say. Any answer built on that, though, would be totally wrong and miss a major factor that ultimately contributed to Trump's victory.

It's not rational to want to hold on to the dirty, dangerous, and disappearing jobs your family has held for generations, or to resent politicians who are willing to spend millions of dollars to give you and your children new opportunities, just as it's not rational to support higher taxes or defunding the police. But it's not wrong, either; holding "irrational" positions because of your other values is simply human, and we shouldn't denigrate any claims of "irrationality" as a smear.

If there's any value to discussing politics on a site like this, it comes from answers that help provide an understanding of people and groups that are different from your own. Sometimes that isn't fully flattering and you may not like reading them, just as I don't like the many posts here that I think smear liberals and Democrats, but it's impossible to discuss politics in any meaningful way if we ban discussion of the parts of human nature that are not strictly "rational" and "enlightened".

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    I am glad you don't see any difference between "People are not always rational" and "All people on the right are irrational and that explains why" – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 17:45
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    @user4012 Where does it say "All people on the right are irrational"? It attributes these beliefs to a specific movement and says "there are a large number of conservatives in the US" who do this. Nowhere does it say everyone on the right, or even all Republicans – divibisan Oct 20 '20 at 18:26
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    Fine, put a number on what "a large number"? and back it up by polls. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 19:07
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    Second, do you have ANY evidence that everyone refusing to wear mask isn't rational and most importantly "rejects reason and science" as the answer implies as the reason for mask rejection – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:16
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    @user4012 The answer implies no such thing. The question asks "Why are masks a political topic" and the answer describes a the politics behind why it has become politicized. Nowhere does it imply that all conservatives feel this way, or that everyone who doesn't wear a mask does so for this reason. There are certainly edits that can be made to make it more respectful, but it is certainly not an abusive smear. You can definitely disagree with its conclusions, in which case you should write your own answer. – divibisan Oct 20 '20 at 22:48
  • I'm not sure we use the same definition of irrational. – Jontia Oct 21 '20 at 7:43
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    In what way does this answer the question? The problem isn't whether it's accurate, the problem is that it isn't fair. We delete pro-Right stuff all the time. I delete pro-Right stuff all the time. I also vote to delete pro-Left rants, but those seem to linger....I participate here to contribute to the knowledge base about politics, not to boast about how much I hate Republicans. – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 11:50
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    @JaredSmith This answer is aimed more at the general question than this specific answer, but I think it applies just the same. What do you consider "unfair" about it? user4012 raised the issue of this unfairly targeting everyone on the right, a charge I dispute and that Ted has been working, based on suggestions from Machavity and others, to improve. It doesn't portray this nationalist-wing of the party in a positive light, but I don't think that should invalidate an answer. Do you have specific suggestions for how this answer could be made more "fair" without eviscerating it? – divibisan Oct 21 '20 at 15:35
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    @JaredSmith I just read your comments on other questions – is "unfair" here referring to the (in your opinion) imbalanced way that edge cases like this are treated? If so, I'm sorry for misunderstanding your comment. I'm not sure the answer to that problem, since it relies so much on subjectivity. I vote to delete pro-Left rants too – the problem is that I don't think answers like this are rants, even if they may make people uncomfortable. I don't know how we resolve this since the normal democratic process (up/down/close- voting) doesn't seem to be working satisfactorily. – divibisan Oct 21 '20 at 15:50
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    @divibisan my fault in part for not clarifying. I don't think Ted Wrigley's answer is a rant the way I think the one I had the disputed flag on was. I do think Ted Wrigley's answer is biased in a way that is unfair, and would be deleted/altered/downvoted to hell if the equivalent pro-Right answer was posted, which is meta-unfair. – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 15:57

I want to spell out what the core of this dispute is, because I think that will help you guys as you try to establish policy about answers like mine.


There is an essential confusion about what constitutes a 'discussable' group, not just here but generally. There are many groups that we are perfectly comfortable discussing politically: political parties; agencies like police forces or the FBI; organizations like FOX News, MSNBC, etc; nations like Russia, China, etc. For instance, I could make the following kinds of statements without anyone batting an eye:

  • Russia's illegitimate occupation of the Crimea
  • The RNC's rampant pandering to big business
  • The FBI's potentially illicit investigation into the Trump campaign organization
  • The overwhelming preference of black voters for the Democrats

We see these kinds of statements as valid because they refer to a specific observable 'fact' about the group in question, even if they render a value judgement about that fact, but they do not do damage to the intrinsic character or humanity of that group. Sure, there are blacks who vote Republican who might take offense at the broad assertion that blacks prefer Democrats, but the general trend is a matter of simple observation; we cannot exclude discussing the trend on the basis of partisan sentiment.

Statements that are problematic — the ones that ought to fall under CoC — are the ones that assign broad, prejudicial attributes to a group, without distinctions. You all know generally what I mean, and I won't provide examples

What's happened in this case, though, is that the 'group' being addressed is ambiguous by design. I aim to critique a nationalist movement which currently has a hegemonic dominance within the GOP and conservative media: a nationalist movement which is defined by certain easily observed public actions. But this nationalist movement does not identify itself as a 'nationalist movement within US conservatism'. It identifies itself as the conservative movement, and actively attacks non-nationalist conservatives as RINOs.

This creates a specific problem of ambiguity. When I talk about this nationalist movement — a movement defined by specific public behaviors, actions, and attitudes (and thus a perfectly valid focus for political discussion) — I am accused of saying insulting things about conservatives (a group that must be handled more respectfully). It's a simple, common bait-and-switch tactic. I say, for instance:

Conservative leaders and media reject scientific reasoning, as evidenced by innumerable cases of them publicly doing exactly that.

And then someone like 'User4021' (who seems to have renamed himself 'DVK‐on‐Ahch‐To') will inevitable come along and say:

So you're saying that conservatives are stupid and unreasoning?

That latter statement uses the term 'conservative' to point to an entirely different group of people than I originally pointed to, and changes the nature of my statement from a point about 'behavior' to a slur about 'character' (i.e., a conceptual leap from 'they reject reasoned analysis' to 'they are incapable of reasoned analysis'). But that is an esoteric distinction that generally falls on deaf ears. I don't know if the people who do this don't see the distinction or don't want to see the distinction, but the distinction is important.

Imagine an exchange were person A says "You dance really badly" and person B retorts "You're just saying that because of my race." We can't judge whether A is invoking race unless A is explicit about it, and that we can deal with as needed. But regardless, we can see how B dances, and if B dances badly, the comment pertains. We can see what nationalists do in the US; that is not in question because they are quite open about their public actions, and it calls for explanation. So when someone asserts that the effort to describe and explain that overt behavior is rooted in some kind of anti-conservative prejudice, well... to my mind that is a mere tactic designed to silence discussion of problematic behavior.

For the record, if I were confronted with left-wing nationalists (of which there are several varieties) I'd say pretty much the same things, and receive almost exactly the same responses in return. Nationalism is nationalism; it's a definable entity with specific characteristics. Sometimes the best one can manage in terms of neutrality is to be willing to annoy people on both sides of the fence.

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    I think the perceived problem is how you start off discussing the nationalistic movement, but then transition it to conservatives as a whole without much of a caveat and then continue to interchange them after that point. – JonTheMon Oct 20 '20 at 20:22
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    @JonTheMon That may be a valid critique; I'm re-reading the answer to see if I can make things clearer. But as I said, I'm hampered by the fact that nationalist groups leverage ambiguity to protect themselves from public scrutiny. I'm having a hard time seeing how to tighten it up without making it sound really clunky. I mean, I could stop using indirect pronouns like 'they' entirely, to keep things perfectly clear, but then it would start sound like it was written by an ESL ninth-grader. – Ted Wrigley Oct 20 '20 at 21:07
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    As I have stated in chat, let's start with the fact that you're abusing the term "nationalists" to (while claiming it is a technical term defined by Orwell) mean the exact opposite of what Orwell meant by it, as evidenced by quote in chat. And continue the fact that you have nowhere clearly defined who these nebulous so-called "nationalists" are, all the while strongly implying (intended or not, doesn't matter) that anyone supporting Trump or who holds ANY of the numerously listed right-wingish-views are. Basically, you seem to be using that the way Hillary used "deplorables", in a loose sense – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:03
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    Also, you state they hold "hegemonic" position while failing to present any evidence whatsoever of that (which would require you to pin down exactly which group of people you mean, in the first place, of course). – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:04
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    Lastly and most importantly, you present opposition to masks and the usual trope of "global warming" as an exuse to imply opposition to reason and science in general, in whatever group you are either aiming to vaguely imply, OR that your answer actually happens to point to (which regardless of your intent most right wing people). Without any evidence othet than a couple of cherry picked topics constituting 0.0001% of life and 0.001% of science; and a couple of cherry picked individuals spoudting garbage who are not representative of views of almost anyone. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:06
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    Honestly, if you fix that last problem, I would just leave it as a not great answer that arises my ire and downvote on general quality principle but no specific policy objections. But that last one is what caused me to raise a flag. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:07
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    By comparison, let's say I post an answer saying "there's this shadowy cabal of post-modernist nationalists rejecting logic and thinking who holds hegemonic position in left/Democratic party. Their rejection of all reasoning and science is the reason they hold "insert position they hold" (let's say GMOs, or FPS games, or whatever). Oh and as evidence, they are upset that socialist countries all disappeared too fast. Let's guess how far and fast that will get downvoted and how fast it will be deleted by mods. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:21
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    @user4012: Just to your last point: you can do a google search for just about any day of any week of the last six months (and maybe once a week over the last four years), and find an example of someone prominent associated with the President, the GOP, the conservative media, or the 'at large' conservative pundits defying reason and logic in the service of politics. Sometimes its explicitly anti-science or anti-intellectual; sometimes it's just weird and senseless misinformation; sometimes it's little more than insulting the intelligence of professionals, but it's there, in the public record. – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 0:11
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    @user4012If I try the same thing with the other side of the fence, I'll find a handful of examples, mostly from fringe politicians or off-beat personalities. There's no real comparison to be made here, and saying 'both sides do it' as though that were meaningfully (instead of technically) true is awfully disingenuous. – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 0:15
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    @user4012: If in fact there were a huge number of prominent Democrats making odd, vapid, and senseless statements as though they were factual truth, that would be a significant problem, and I'd want to know about it (and want to do something to change it), and I would certainly up-vote you for writing an answer that pointed it out in a factual and clear manner. But it simply isn't the case, so posting that at this time would get you downvoted purely for posting unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 0:18
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    Not to mention that the idea of a 'post-modern nationalist' is a bit bizarre; I'm not sure what that would mean, and I'm very familiar with modern critical theory. – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 0:19
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    I disagree with your answer not because I thought it was wrong but because I thought it was biased in a way that painted an inaccurate partisan picture. We had a little back and forth in the comments on why, so it goes. The meta problem here is that there is an unfairness in how such content is policed: if this were a similarly lopsided summary with a pro-Right slant it would have been edited or deleted. I'm not sure how much responsibility you or this particular answer of yours bears, but you are IMHO taking advantage of the double standard and thus drawing some heat, perhaps undeservedly? – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 13:09
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    @JaredSmith: But the reason such a post would be obliterated is that it doesn't conform to facts. Some people on left are Marxist or antifa, yes, but their attitudes and actions are not reflected, endorsed, encouraged, or sponsored by the Democratic leadership, left-leaning pundits, left-of-center news media, or prominent progressive activists. They are clearly a fringe with minimal political influence, and asserting that they somehow 'control' the Dems is (at best) conspiracy theory and (at worst)machiavellian lunacy. – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 15:49
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    I think (and now we're really off-topic) that you lack insight into the experiences of those on the Right. And I'm cribbing here: I live in a red state and most of my friends/family/coworkers are Republicans but I am decidedly not. But most people I know on the Right don't approve of current national figures. Do you really think e.g. Evangelical Christians approve of a guy who brags about "grabbing women by the *****"? But in the same way you would never vote for a Mitt Romney no matter how centrist he was.... – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 16:06
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    @JaredSmith: First point: an end of Sept Pew poll showed that white Christian Evangelicals lean Trump over Biden 78% to 17%. Those are not the stats of a 'disapproving' group. Second point: I vote for the best candidate, regardless of party. I like Romney, and I would have voted for him over an incompetent Democratic choice. But Democrats have been fielding unusually good candidates over the last few decades – Ted Wrigley Oct 21 '20 at 16:14

It's not a CoC violation. It's not smart by any stretch, but a CoC violation would have been a direct attack. Something along the lines of

All [members of this political party] should die in a dumpster fire

What Ted posted was more of a diatribe. It's not untrue, but he's juxtaposing his cariacatures of the Right so he has a straw-man to knock down in his point in the next paragraph.

Reason (in the form of science, academic insight, rational discourse, or even mere common sense) is more or less unilaterally rejected, because (from the perspective of this movement) 'reason' has led to the murder of babies (abortion), the denigration of the Church (evolution and cosmology), the destruction of jobs (shifts to green technology, automation, and globalization that heavily impact blue-collar workers), a perpetual state of guilt (slavery and Jim Crow, the decimation of Native Americans, and other mistreatments), and the dominance of race, gender, and identity over traditional values (e.g., civil rights, feminism, and LGBTQ issues like gay marriage).

In other words, The Right is filled with ignorant folks who reject science, hate gays and revile Progressivism, and therefore won't wear masks. I was offended, but I'm not someone who wears my politics on my sleeve either (this isn't a site for people who do), and as a mod elsewhere I'd decline a mod flag asking for deletion of the answer. And Ted actually makes a decent point later, which is more or less the heart of the matter

The point is that there are a large number of conservatives in the US who are utterly fed up with others trying to reallocate the values of the nation, and they have turned to simple disruptive nonsense to make their displeasure heard.

I'd like to see the cariacatures removed, but I'm not in the mood for an edit or comment war either, so I did the SE thing and downvoted.

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    Actually, my mod flag was hoping for a mod to intelligently edit out the offensive content, not to delete an answer wholesale. Heck, i was going to upvote the answer after my own edit to distill it to actual non-slander. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:15

Not rude or abusive per the CoC

I just flagged an answer that literally just said pretty much "The reason for X is because Left is rational and right is irrational", using a lot of randomly picked statements (can't even call them facts, because they are just that guy's personal opinions on which of his preferred ideological positions are rational). The answer had 30 upvotes (thanks HNQ!) because it's popular to bash right wing on SE.

(the answer has other numerous flaws but this violation of CoC is the big problem for me).

As Machavity answered, and from what I've determined after talking about it with other mods, it doesn't rise to the level of 'rude or abusive' as you argue it does. For that reason, I will not delete it as rude or abusive.

Is there a reason this answer is allowed to exist, especially as a "This is what this site is about" banner (aka an answer on HNQ question)?

Yea, that's a different question. By flagging, you have put that question to the mods. I think it's probably better to have a discussion about that in the broader community.

You could say there a number of issues with the answer:

  • It makes strong claims that aren't backed up by references. For example, that science and academic insight are rejected by a nationalist movement in the US.

  • It upsets one group (of users).

Now, these two aren't necessarily things we (want) to forbid.


We have talked about references before. Back in 2012 and more recently in 2018, we concluded that references can be great additions, but they're not mandatory.

I think your post here is the start to a bigger discussion. In some cases, particularly when claims are more partisan, we may want to be a bit more strict about requiring sources. But in the end, that's something for the community to decide, and not for me as a mod to tell users after they've answered.

Upsetting users

While I don't think we should try to upset users, it may happen sometimes. For example, when we read something we don't agree with, something that's critical of our own beliefs, etc. In those cases, we don't necessarily want to remove the post, because it may have value.

As it currently stands, the main policy for dealing with posts upsetting users is the network-wide code of conduct.

Again, we may want to discuss the issue in more general terms. Maybe the community wants a site-specific policy for this, but that's something we will have to discuss as a community. It's not something for me to make up and enforce on the spot after someone has already written an answer.

Caught in the middle as a mod

As I've hinted at above, I, but I think this applies to my fellow mods as well, are caught in the middle of this dispute. We cannot point to some meta post to say which parts should be changed specifically. We cannot say that the post should be removed outright for some reason either.

I see that you've tried to edit the post yourself while the flag was still open and while this meta post is still being used to achieve some consensus. On the one hand, that might feel right, but on the other hand I hope you see that it can lead to an edit war. We don't want that.

So I'll propose here what I proposed to the other moderators:

we should have a more codified consensus helping (us mods) to pinpoint why we take some action and what can be done to improve a post (in case of removal) to make it fit the rules.

Without that, we as mods end up making judgement calls left right and center, and that doesn't benefit the community. We might be seen to act on double standard, and we will eventually let some users down.

A more codified consensus will not only help us know what moderator action we should take, it also helps users know how their post is going to be treated.

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    What I object to is very specifically to the line of reasoning of "people object to the masks because of general dislike of reason and science". That is not just "upsetting". That is slanderous. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:12
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    Of course, it seems exactly what was predicted would happen. CoC is used subjectively when one group of users is offended by anything up to banning and suspending users, and ignored when another group of users is offended to the point of refusing reasonable edits. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:14
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    Here's proof for you: The last comment on that answer out and out says (while agreing with the answer): "anti-intellectual response from the Right". THAT is what the answer TL;DRs to most people reading it. – user4012 Oct 20 '20 at 22:43
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    I don't care that the standards are what they are, or the merits of this specific case, my issue is that this case highlights that the standards are applied in what I perceive as a discriminatory manner: edge cases with a Right-leaning slant are edited/deleted and edge cases with a pro-Left slant get a "our hands are tied here" non-response. And this is (again, in my perception) statistical, not deterministic. I don't think that there's any cabal of high-rep users/mods who go around deliberately promoting a double standard (and I get the bind you're in being caught in the middle).... – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 12:46
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    ...it just feels like when you (for some definition of "you" that includes more than just JJJ) have to make a judgement call, and you frequently do, that judgement call is over time lopsided in favor of the Left. Maybe it's because the site as a whole leans left due to the demographics. Maybe it's because individual people making that call lean left. Whatever. Doesn't matter. And I'm not even a Republican! If I, a person who is just trying to uphold honor in dueling, perceive the state of affairs as biased how much worse is it for people that are actually Right-wingers? – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 12:46
  • @JaredSmith I get what you're saying, but to solve that, I think we need a community-wide discussion on how to deal with such edge cases in a more concrete way. It's difficult to draft such rules, but I think they can make things fairer on answerers (you know what guidelines your post will be measured against) and for mods (it's clearer where the line is so there are more cases where we can make a confident decision). Even with those rules, there will be judgement calls, but hopefully they'll be a smaller number of exceptions. – JJJ Mod Oct 21 '20 at 12:55
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    @JJJ I get that, and agree for what it's worth, but since that conversation isn't happening right now what steps are we taking towards having it (besides this conversation we're having right now)? What do you and the other mods and the high rep users going to do about it in the mean time? – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 13:02
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    @JJJ fair enough, I just worry that it isn't going to go anywhere, and business as usual will continue. This creates a feedback loop that I will dub the "Fox News Effect": a slight pro Left bias will trigger a conservative exodus. Emboldened by the lack of pushback the worst elements of the Left will start to increasingly dominate the conversation here and it will degenerate until it reaches Twitter-levels. The conservatives who leave first will be the worst and they will go to an alternative platform making it even more Rightist and it will worsen. Then there won't be a conversation at all. – Jared Smith Oct 21 '20 at 13:17
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    @JaredSmith yea, I think the answer to that will depend on what your expectations are. This platform can work well to learn about politics, including some level of partisan perspectives. This platform cannot solve broader societal problems. At most, it can be a tool to get some understanding of the different perspectives on some issues, but that's about it. An exodus as you describe is a real possibility, and as you argue that will hurt this platform. I think some more guidelines could help prevent that, but you shouldn't overestimate my / the mods' influence in this either. – JJJ Mod Oct 21 '20 at 13:25
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    Errr... but "science and academic insight are rejected by a nationalist movement in the US"! That's one of their most striking and appalling traits because it is not even partisan, it's simply irrational (or otherwise, if it's a rational lie serving their interest, blatantly cynical) and wrong. Their head figure, Donald Trump is famous for it. As an example pertaining to the topic at hand take his "try bleach and light" and his refusal to unprotected himself and staff with, yes, masks. – Peter - Reinstate Monica Oct 28 '20 at 15:15
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    Then I'd also tend to say that every (not only U.S.) nationalism is eo ipso irrational! A truly rational person would not -- except to promote their own interests in a Machiavellian fashion -- favor one group over another because there simply is no rational foundation for it. Recognizing the essential equality of humans (as opposed to swearing allegiance to one particular group) is sometimes hard. It can also be hard (I say that as a German) to keep up the ever-present antidote to nationalism: The dark spots (or vast dark landscapes, if you want) of your particular group's past. – Peter - Reinstate Monica Oct 28 '20 at 15:23
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    Sorry but in my experience, the mods aren't going to do anything unless and until (1) something major blows up unfavorably; or (2) SE forces them to act - and SE clearly would be super happy if entire network was a cesspool of Twitter like extreme progressives patting each other on the back over how virtous they all are; or (3) there's a critically large group of right wing users balancing left wing flags with equal amount of right wing flags. – user4012 Oct 29 '20 at 16:19
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    Until then, offensif shit like this will stay and be reinforced and defended, while my answer that dared to say something as controvercial as "most US professors are left wing and a large amount of millenials like socialism (citation to the poll included)" gets deleted because it butthurt some liberal who doesn't like truth to be stated when backed up by facts. – user4012 Oct 29 '20 at 16:19
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    @user4012 well, I agree with your broader point that the site should be fair to different sides of an issue. As I said, I'm happy to have a discussion on how we can make it fairer, but I also think the steps that you proposed (here) are too drastic. Maybe a discussion in chat would be helpful to discuss this a bit less formally? – JJJ Mod Oct 29 '20 at 16:26
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    @user4012 well your approach seems to be to control the audience. My approach would be to revisit the rulebook. Surely we can find a set of reasonable rules that when applied consistently can help make posts less partisan. Other sites have some of those rules as well (Skeptics, IPS), but surprisingly politics leaves most of it up to moderators' judgement. To judge fairly, I think it's best to have rules that makes it clear where the line is. Right now, the line is with the CoC, but many other sites have opted for stricter guidelines aimed at the needs for their site. – JJJ Mod Oct 30 '20 at 2:08

You've failed utterly to even attempt to provide any sort of evidence that the aforementioned answer, in its original form, violates the Code of Conduct in any way.

What it seems to me, rather, is that you object to the content of said answer, and are effectively attempting to have that content censored by using the CoC as a hammer to do so. Ironically, this is the exact type of behaviour that this answer, and others that you appear to find objectional, describe.

Instead of attempting to shut down content that uses broad generalisations, you'd be better served considering how these generalisations came to be, and why they are mostly accurate and useful.

Ultimately, this question says a lot more about your political beliefs - and insecurity around them - than it does about the "bad" answer.

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    "Blah blah blah, the Right sucks and you're just mad cuz you're wrong." Other people (JJJ, Machavity) have already explained over a week ago (and done a better job at that) why the answer in question doesn't violate the CoC. This is just unnecessary dogpiling and if anything lends credence to the objection that the Right is treated unfairly on politics.SE. Can we at least pretend that we're not? Pretty please? – Jared Smith Oct 29 '20 at 13:02
  • @JaredSmith If someone is going to make an allegation of CoC violation - which is a rather serious matter - against another member, they'd better be ready to precisely point out which areas of the CoC have been violated. That seems like it would be quite easy to do; if the accuser isn't willing to do so, it seems reasonable to assume that they aren't actually able to because they don't actually have a valid instance of supposed violation. That then leads one to consider what the actual motivation for claiming CoC violation is, and to this answer. – Ian Kemp Oct 29 '20 at 13:19
  • @JaredSmith Much like this question's accusation of CoC violation, I have yet to see concrete evidence provided that substantiates your objection. As such, Hitchens's razor applies. – Ian Kemp Oct 29 '20 at 13:32
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    You are absolutely correct that alleging a CoC violation is serious, and that this isn't, and that such can be called out. But quit trying to rules-lawyer your words and think for two seconds about how it is going to be perceived from the other side. An exercise in cognitive empathy if you will. Is a person reconsidering their life choices reading what you wrote more likely to a) think wow, I guess I was wrong or b) well guess I'm not on that guy's side. You didn't write that to persuade anyone. You wrote it to score applause from people who already agree with you. – Jared Smith Oct 29 '20 at 13:58
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    @JaredSmith We need a standard or guideline that requires partisan statements to be as generous as possible to their opponents. It's extremely easy, and not very informative to strawman your opposition as we have seen. It's much more informative, and thus better for a Q&A site like SE, to require answers not based heavily on data to avoid this. Scott Alexander, of Slate Star Codex fame, calls this steelmanning. – Ryan_L Nov 3 '20 at 0:42
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    @Ryan_L as completely awesome as that would be, I doubt we could get that approved as a rule. I think the problem (at least the one being discussed here in this meta thread) is that people either don't realize (or choose to strategically ignore) that partisanship or even assholery under a veneer of well-spokenness or academic-sounding jargon is still just that. Glad you mentioned SSC, I was thinking of the applause lights post on LW when I wrote that comment above. – Jared Smith Nov 3 '20 at 12:52

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