1. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    It is no secret that this section is somewhat divisive among some number of site members at times. Quite why this is I am not always entirely sure (there is enough new content around here every day that I presume you skip thread for devices/games/hacks you don't know about, don't wish to know about or don't care about. Not sure that makes this section any different). "never discuss religion or politics" is sometimes an informal piece of "wisdom" for setting up sites, however it is what it is and we have this section. Discussions in turn seem to then be getting scattered around in private messages, blog posts, profile posts (a horrible way of conducting a conversation I find), so thought might as well make one here wherein it can stay around for all to see.

    There is a line of thought that says doing it in this section might exclude those that already dropped it from https://gbatemp.net/account/new-content but I figure they already made their choice, though one that takes active measures to block something is someone I am also curious to hear from. Might cross post in the site suggestions section.

    Anyway

    Freedom to discuss things, benefits of blocking things, benefits of promoting things, neutrality of the site, promotion of site goals (if any are had, some places actively avoid having any here -- some don't care if companies/entities donate to a cause, others care very much that they donated, others only care if it is for them, others care if they didn't donate to the current cause célèbre), security (think guest posts), pleasantness for members and visitors (which are different as far as the site is concerned, and all may well have very different definitions of what that is), ease of use of the site (Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death and all that, seemingly termed "friction" in web design parlance)... all these and more are considerations when enacting decrees upon what is and is not permissible.

    Feel free to make your suggestions below but some examples of things to follow if you want a jumping off point.

    Waffle section, skip if you want
    Popular (or unpopular as the case may be) examples of things that get called for, or are logical extrapolations of said same are

    Blacklisting certain words
    Blacklisting certain notions, can be entirely (positive and negative, can be just negative, can be just positive too)
    Blacklisting certain viewpoints and world views. This can be anything from political philosophies, to activist movements, to more general philosophies, to blacklisting content from certain individuals and more besides. "If a kid reads it they might look into it and believe it" is a popular phrase in discussing this sort of thing, though the easiest way to ensure a kid does something often is to make it forbidden. Those that lack mental fortitude can indeed find themselves drawn in by various groups (it is how cults work, and note intelligence does not equal mental fortitude). What is the individual once banned from discussion "changed", or simply had a single work that could never trouble anybody? What about the notion that you, or perhaps others, want to know what your "enemy" is doing? Fighting a caricature, a pastiche of disparate but never the less "oppositional" viewpoints.
    Blacklisting whole sites. "alt tech" is a popular one here, especially as those banned from those places inclined to seriously restrict content will tend to be among the earliest to populate them. At the same time many will scoff when a politician goes up on stage and says "we should ban email because someone might use it to send something naughty".
    Replace blacklisting there with downplaying or hiding certain things. Shadow banning is a term you might have heard here and applies somewhat, though it is far from the whole story.
    Blacklisting is in turn, or can easily lead to, forcing someone to say things which is ethically dubious in many cases, or leads to it being done insincerely ("apologise and mean it this time" and all that). If you further believe words are mind control then are you potentially brainwashing someone by doing that?
    Should a philosophy, political or otherwise, be promoted as the default one and anything that deviates needs to justify itself? Of course no politician has ever made a mistake either and gone against interests, or sacrificed the good of many for the good of a few. For instance economics has many schools (Classical, neoclassical, Austrian, Chicago, Keynesian, Marxist to name but a few of the big ones) and while they agree on much they also have some fundamental disagreements. If wanted I can include a few different videos that showcase some of the different mindsets here, indeed from rather different people.
    All those above might have exceptions. Hard to talk about a word, history, current place, if nobody can say the word and it is not being directed at anybody. It is also noted "speaking in code" is often an immediate side effect of such things.
    Jokes, exceptions if the term is considered derisory to a group but members of that group might use it because they are it (prove you are a group member being a rather tricky thing to enact, legally and philosophically in some cases).
    Code words and alternative phrases are one thing, however many such things have a great number of fuzzy edges which may be the subject of intense debate. Classic one "magic test is doable tomorrow that will tell just like we can tell if you have a broken leg. Should deaf parents be allowed to ensure their child is deaf?". Legally and philosophically there are no easy answers there.
    Does blacklisting do any good even if you keep up to the moment on code words? There is a line of thought that says the best disinfectant is sunlight. Code words and alternative words often themselves become mainstream, sometimes even the old "bad" words become free to use again or at least anybody that remembers them.
    "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is a philosophy that many advocate, never the less one can find many examples of people (some claim entire groups, or such huge percentages of them that it might as well be the case) that will be reduced to quivering wrecks with but a few generally innocuous words, or mouth sounds that mean nothing to those speaking other languages. Assuming said word list could be populated then such people might find themselves flocking to the site (or inclined to contribute more than page views), or at least that is the logic. Or is simple the "harm" caused by such things existing enough to blacklist? Alternatively is blocking things likely to see those seeking a good debate take their leave, never join, or take a reduced role? If you are forced to do certain things and unable to have a discussion then why bother being here? Groups are a popular thing here but individuals can also have fairly unique combinations that will do it that one might never know beforehand. Hard to enforce that, and even a list of popular ones is long and restrictive.
    If we are inclined to do groups for some of the above are there any groups inherently subject, debatably subject*, inherently not subject (can't make fun of them Nazis and all that. What about the communists?)?

    *in something of a joke reply in another debate some posited that short people should be a protected class. It is a genetic condition (or maybe a product of childhood neglect, either way not really a choice), studies on it have shown interesting effects https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272775715301448 https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/standing , the ladies tend to note "tall, dark and handsome" (and if order means anything...) or have lines like "I wouldn't feel safe with a shortarse" (we can do a more objective sample of dating preferences as well if you want). How many groups would justify special consideration at some level with "I was born this way", "society does not like us, here are some stats that show that" and "often it gets in the way of interpersonal relationships".

    There are various "rules of order" for debates. Some have, seemingly jokingly, asked to enact such a setup. Full setups are complicated to run and enforce (recall the "ease of use" part from earlier) but there lessons that can be taken from them.
    It does however potentially lead to good places if everybody arguing has to be some flavour of expert (which are never wrong, to say noting of the difficulty in establishing credentials for a given area), age is a popular gate but hardly that useful (if countries that speak the same language, have the same genetic and actual history until 300 years ago, and enjoy the same standard of living can't agree on what ages people are allowed to see, or indeed should never be allowed to see, what then what hope do we have?), and everybody gets to source everything or break down arguments before going forward then that does often yield something interesting.

    Sourcing everything mentioned above is interesting. What count as valid sources? For instance how many news sites routinely write utterly baseless and completely hit pieces on games? If they can't manage games are they going to do better when it comes to something else? Or if you want another you are probably an expert in something. Go read news articles from general purpose news sites on it (though science and trade journals are hardly free from error either) and tell us that they are essentially correct all the time. Do we allow opinion columns at newspapers? A lot of them are comprised almost entirely of that these days. Does being elevated to the rank of reporter on a news site make you reliable? What if a news site actively avoids reporting on the news event (a lie by omission as it were)? Mass collusion of various forms is fairly well represented in media too. Equally even if most statistics are not made up on the spot (citation needed?) then the ability to use statistics to distort outcomes is a field of maths unto itself and known issues for every field of human endeavour.

    "show both sides" is sometimes uttered as a thing to do, however both implies two sides and even some of our simplest games have three sides, some might even make it to four.

    If you are an expert in debate then that alone might grant you an advantage. If you are an expert in fallacies ( https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ ) and your debate opponent is not, indeed most times you see someone "destroyed" in a debate it is more likely one is skilled in debate and the other not (and debate, or logic and rhetoric as it would likely have been known at that point in time, is a subject seldom taught as much as it once might have been). If you are an expert in debate, fallacies and statistics with no particular commitment to the truth or a desire to further your philosophy (here are my 30 sources, disprove the lot) then you are seriously potent, and while expert in debate arguably includes persuasive psychology (businesses would not pay a celebrity the silly money if they did not see returns on their endorsements) then that could be a further thing. Control your emotions and it gets better still. This whole post probably broke a key one in not being concise, possibly being flowery language at points and maybe by not having much in the way of a core philosophy underpinning it. https://www.openculture.com/2016/05/george-orwells-six-rules-for-writing-clear-and-tight-prose.html

    While some might tell us that free speech is a legal concept it is one that did not magically spring into being with the US' first amendment having never been discussed beforehand. There are also limitations given to it, copyright for example (something that this site walks right up to the line for all the time).

    Waffle section over
    -------------

    Generally I see no terribly easy answers to a lot of that, and that is before we account for fuzzy edges of things (not that groups necessarily have exclusive right of determination, nor indeed are they even necessarily going to be accurate or legally persuasive, but if there is inconsistency among them, much less with the law or a more general philosophy, then what does one do?). Discussion though is a good thing and thus we are here in this thread for one. For at least this setup post I have tried to keep this reasonably neutral, however the mere fact I got to choose the contents (recall the lie by omission part earlier, did I omit anything that might be relevant in this?) and frame examples (did I do a strawman? If not a strawman then something disingenuous, leading language perhaps?) might well count.
    Without going down the everything is a social construct path (am I mocking the notion with that?) then one might note that I did it in the somewhat more modern western tradition as well for I made no effort to say "well of course the prophet Muhammed and Islam is off limits but everything else is up for debate" (did I just mock Islam, did I mock the social construct people, did that last list entry mock them, is this a rhetorical flourish?).
    While this attempted neutrality, with what I think the closest thing to a contentious topic being the deaf example (one we have actually had on the site before), the rest of this, including replies from me, might not be neutral. That is fine, expected even, however something to be aware of if you do find yourself taking offence at things (assuming it is taken, and not given).
    What will come of this I do not know, though I will say if you assume your enemy is a fool or evil then you have probably already lost and even if you disagree vehemently then you will do better against them if you understand their underlying logic and reasoning

    This is also not a battle. You might find someone has more common ground with you than you realise. Do however take to heart the "knowing yourself" part for a weak understanding of your points is seldom a good position to be in.
     
  2. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    So is this just a hypothetical thread or will our comments actually be noted and perhaps put into action?
     
  3. Viri

    Viri GBAtemp Psycho!
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    I take a hands off approach and let people go at it as much as they want. Just don't spam, and I'd be okay.
     
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  4. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    As I said to Vins a few days ago this site really should do annual surveys of the site members. You know asking questions like what the site does right and wrong and what forums should be kept and removed and other similar qurstions. Asking these type of questions in a survey lets people answer without fear of being attacked by other members for their suggestions and so on.

    This thread is a start but I feel you wont really get the honest feedback that is needed to actually improve things around here.

    And as for me you know all my complaints anyway so going over them again seems rather pointless. And I think that's how @Lilith Valentine will feel about this also. We have both been telling you for ages what needs to change so hopefully in the future we will see it happen.
     
    Last edited by AmandaRose, Dec 6, 2020
  5. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    The staff are always watching everything. Whether they agree with your assessments of things is a different matter. The staff are aware of the contentious nature of this section and actually are actively discussing things that might see it be less so.

    Put together a well thought out and well reasoned case (or series of cases if it is fairly different issues that are ill served being bundled) and it could well be adopted, or adopted in a modified form, if the whole risk, reward, underlying principles thing lines up.
    Doesn't necessarily have to be completely iron clad or able to stand up in a court of law (though something done to that standard, or aiming for such a thing, certainly would have an easier time) as outlining an issue can still get people to arrive at a conclusion.
    Assuming it is to be a ban on certain things then as part of that a general "how do I spot it in the first place?" flow chart or checklist, even if it is and is stated to be a first pass/weak but still useful type deal. If somehow you can produce an authority (a task often fraught with difficulty as one necessarily gets to ask "why would we care what they have to say about this?") then by all means.
    Equally while the premise of the thread is basically "for the purposes of this section you are one of those all powerful kings, go" if you did want to do the
    "my fantasy world"
    "would be nice"
    "bare minimum"
    or a construction similar then that is not a method that lacks potency.

    If I am around I might well play devil's advocate*, or simply try to break the underlying logic. I expect others will as well, and I expect nothing less (rules that are not scrutinised are so very rarely any good). What is good for goose is also good for gander.
    If you stick around to defend it then so much the better, should I be unable to successfully attack something then I will also make every effort to detail what attacks I thought might be viable and why actually they did not work.
    We already know I like my equivalent scenarios, fuzzy edges (I will skip them for now pending something to apply them to), and from where I sit your pet cause is not short of them (several secondary ones too are somewhat dubious for that matter). Even without that my general preference is towards actually being able to have a discussion without an ill taken comment seeing the ejector seat happen. Such things generally makes for a far better discussion, even if some find themselves unable to take the heat (there is no damage, only those without the mental fortitude, though if they are so numerous and so valuable and the others that would leave if not allowed to express things then there is the pragmatic case for departing from ideals -- I will go to quite some lengths for ideals but economics is a harsher mistress still).

    *I realise some places outlaw that particular approach to things. Did also learn the term sealioning that day too, even if I knew it by another name. Fortunately I don't see a particular case to skip that in this instance.
    I would also like to believe I am intellectually honest in such things (lies and duplicity tend to only work in the short term, if at all, and even if going long term you have to remember it and play to it and this is text on the internet so memory is not an issue for others... really tiring) but play that as you will. Going on a more my personal values and opinions bit and say if you can't convince me of the righteousness of your approach then you have very little chance of convincing someone that is actually opposed to your pet cause, though at the same time my particular underlying principles might well differ to others that hold opposition (whatever they might be, so maybe try to convince them as well).

    As a further prelude. If you are going to make the case to ban negative inferences towards then why not go all the way and ban any discussion.
    No blogs saying yay I was accepted, actually I'm one, I'm stopping, commiserating if rejected by family/friends, no profile posts saying yay it is blah month/day/yay in general (or nay of course), no avatars/signatures/custom whatever with those nice trademarked colours (we will assume it is also intelligent enough to find alternatives, inverts and so forth -- already know the issue with alternative words and code words)... Too much of a risk that some negativity slips through perhaps (such people, as a group, are especially vulnerable to it after all) before being caught by the moderators (there is a lag between posting and reporting/one stumbling by, and if it is the mere sight of such words that sends people catatonic or something then better safe than sorry and all that), or maybe just that it avoids the problem entirely by never ever being visible (many times a rule might be made to avoid the prelude to a situation* even if it is ultimately a bit stifling). Not like it particularly distracts from the business of playing games, hacking games, hacking consoles, playing computer/electrical fixer, doing the whole emulator bit, discussing films/TV and whatever else it is we do around here. Avoids the fuzzy edges quite handily as well (though might well shift the position of edges -- if a film stars perhaps or it is notable plot point in a game). Wouldn't care for it myself as some interesting discussions I might not have had would otherwise not have happened, or happened where I am at if it is all going to happen elsewhere what would then be more suitable sites.

    *so a while back a streaming website said no underboob in a rules change. Some queried that one as an odd change. I on the other hand visited a site of dubious morality and saw a compilation of accidental nudity from said site all in the name of science (seriously; it was anything but titillating despite the prevalence of tits in the clip). Do you want to guess what often preluded the otherwise apparently bothersome nudity? Seems there was a method to the madness.

    If an apparent contradiction in rules exists (whether it does could be a matter for debate, harder one for the opposition to contradiction but not impossible) there is also the option to remove the thing causing the contradiction, and would also in some ways get further back to the ideals.

    Once more I appear to be waffling despite knowing that such things work better, although from where I sit then for worse in the long run (I like long form debate if it was not already apparent), if kept brief and concise. Sign of the times perhaps (not that snippy comments did not fly centuries ago, and "openly questioning our betters" is but a few decades old at this point) so I guess I will tie it off there for now.
     
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  6. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Official Cubi™ Devilishly good looking
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    I am not even going to pretend I have the spoons to read through this thread. But honestly, I feel like the site’s current stance simply isn’t good enough to protect many of the members and the constant debate with little input from the members affected is pretty annoying. Currently, I don’t feel like the much of staff actually cares about lgbt+ members in particular and as a result we’ve seen countless devs avoiding the site because they don’t feel safe on the site. It really should bring into question the environment this site is harboring. I want to be wrong because much of the staff are close friends or at least acquaintances of mine and I respect many of them, but I do feel like there needs to be some more proactive attempts to deal with issues.
    Edit: I have no idea if this is on topic or not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Last edited by Lilith Valentine, Dec 7, 2020
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  7. AmandaRose

    AmandaRose Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan
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    Pretty much my thoughts and I would imagine its the same for the rest of the trans community on the site as well. Sadly we are left to feel like the outsiders on a site that is meant to be a community for everyone but then that's pretty much the same as it is in real life. Things really do need to change here but that can only happen with a willingness from the site staff to actually listen to what we are telling them is wrong with the type of comments and attitudes towards us they have been allowing for so bloody long. But call me a gullible fool if you want but I actually think there for once is a ray of hope that we could see a change for the good happening.
     
    Last edited by AmandaRose, Dec 7, 2020
  8. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps
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    I very much try to limit my exposure to the politics section. I find it to be a lot of arguing over topics I don't care about. I will defend the existence of the section, be it as a quarantine or just because these things are popular, and our site thrives with them.

    But that's not to say that there's not improvement that could be done. Please don't take any of my words as any official statement or representation of the staff's thoughts in general, I just wanted to comment, as a forum user.

    I feel that there's a barrier between trying to defend free speech or people's opinions to the death, and trying to keep repeat offenders in line. Politics is and always will be heated. You also can't play favorites with either side--that's just not fair. It's a fine line balancing act.

    There's a room for improvement, for certain, and the handling of such subjects obviously doesn't get ignored. The staff is just people, and people make mistakes, people learn from them, and people are always growing. It's not as easy as waving a magic wand and fixing everything overnight. The staff is also a group, with different people and different mindsets, viewpoints, thoughts, and stances.

    That being said, when it comes to the community, that should always be the biggest focus; what the site lives or dies on. Priority #1. And if there's something that's unsettling the community at large, well, then it needs to be addressed.
     
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  9. elk1007

    elk1007 GBAtemp Regular
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    There would be 4 hard rules:

    -No shit posting (all posts must have a point and a valid argument)
    -No attitude (post your argument without appeals to emotion)
    -No wrong questions (divisive posts are encouraged; bigotry will be argued against rationally)
    -No ad hominem/character attacks (we discuss events and ideas; not someones perceived character)
     
  10. Mr. Elementle

    Mr. Elementle GBAtemp Regular
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    Remove it, there are hundred's of sites dedicated to talking politics, and tons of general discussion forums that have politics sections. I don't see why specialized websites always feel the need to have unrelated sections, it's weird when forums for niche interests feel the need to have this general "Politics" section, I understand having a "General discussion" board and maybe the art board when people are showing off custom consoles, or music remixes (since that's at least gaming adjacent), but the forum is for discussing games, hacking, and gaming news, if the politics is related to gaming it should go in a main thread, if a political issue comes up in general then they can talk about it in the thread it came up in, if you can't pm it and need a whole new board for it, it probably would be better off talking about it on a website Dedicated to talking about it, instead of in a weird side alley of mostly unrelated forum.
     
  11. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Anonymous surveys is a useful tool in some cases, however if you can't argue for or outline reasons for such things I am not sure what merit they have in this instance.

    Still we will skip my questions about free speech, sunlight disinfecting things, about whether speech is harmful, whether certain groups are more prone to negative outcomes from it as well as whether that matters, might even skip the equivalent scenarios (I was serious about the short person thing in the opening post and from a logical standpoint they have a case) and assume it is to get smacked down as hard as ROM links. I will pose a few scenarios (the ever fun fuzzy edges).
    The basic assumption here being the magic wand is waved and the rule is enacted, I am a moderator on the reports panel or wandering through a thread and see something like the following.

    You say I know your position so at the risk of putting words in your mouth

    Your primary pet peeve seems to be transphobia and what you apparently deem an almost endless torrent of it you find on the site. I will leave my questions about the prevalence for another time as well.

    For those unfamiliar trans in this case = to do with transexuals, transgender and maybe transvestites (though that may or may not apply for this).
    This is to say individuals that would claim their internal mind says that they are the opposite to whatever genitals they were born with, give or take transvestites which is more seen as just using the clothes of. They may or may not dress using common clothes of the day of the opposite gender (in much of the western world this might mean a male to female dresses in high heels, skirts, blouses, uses a bra, wears makeup and so forth. High heels, dresses and skirts not being unknown on men in older times, indeed maybe even being the height of fashion, but debate for another thread). Some scenarios will be covered later.
    Phobia. Standard suffix for intense dislike or hatred of as opposed the other popular use of "fear of" (as in arachnophobia being fear of spiders). Other ones include homophobia (intense dislike/hatred of gay people), biphobia (intense dislike/hatred of bisexual people, not necessarily the same as homophobia). For some they aspire to have them join concepts like racism (intense fear or hatred of different skin colours/races*), sexism (intense dislike of a given human sex, split between misandry which men and misogyny which applies to men) and various other terms. This is usually done on the basis that such things are an innate trait that does not matter and the person has no choice over. Some aspire to add further categorisations to such lists, and there may be laws too. This can include religion (arguably a choice), age, military service status (a choice), marital status (a choice), being fat (mostly a choice barring a handful of rare medical conditions). This is rapidly getting off topic, though some will combine the goal of ending many such traits into one goal and in doing so create sometimes dubbed intersectionalism. There are also many extra and varied definitions involving terms like "dominant power" or prejudice+power=?ism, no power then no ism but you can still be prejudiced, quite what power is quantified as is left undefined. This would however have to be settled for this discussion. I will assume not though for now and go with classical definitions that most laws, ethics boards and whatever else will use.

    *the idea of races itself being a contentious term for some but that is getting further off topic.

    A statement or action said to be the result of having transphobia is said to be transphobic.

    Common terminology when dealing with trans? issues and a general overview of things (if you are not going to understand a notion then hard to debate things within it). Here I will generally opt for the medical/scientific world view rather than some of the sociological but will never the less attempt to note the latter where relevant. Note that some of these statements are considered contentious by some in and of themselves, and ridiculous nonsense in other cases. I may or may not note notable opposition.
    MTF = Male to Female
    FTM = Female to Male
    Passing = a term for when the combination of luck, hormones, surgery, dress, makeup and the like means that an individual may blend in with the crowd without anybody knowing their birth sex. Commonly seen as a very hard for MTF, especially post puberty, but considerably easier for FTM (FTM also producing some very interesting "living as a man" discussions as depending upon ages involved they might have done both, though that is a different discussion)
    Dysphoria. The term given to the mental dissonance caused in this case by "being in the wrong body".
    Hormones. A whole series of chemicals produced by many living creatures to achieve different results. Humans are a sexually dimorphic species, that is to say the different sexes have different physical traits. If you take considerable amounts of the hormone of the opposite sex (in humans testosterone is the male one, oestrogen/estrogen the female one) then you will manifest some amount of traits of them, and suppress traits associated with the sex you might have been born with. Generally speaking they have to be taken on an ongoing basis and while not a prerequisite to being trans? in all cases it is almost endemic. Some changes may be permanent (males growing breast tissue being a common one) while others might wear off.
    Said traits manifest during puberty and it is the subject of much present legal, medical and ethical debate (serious ongoing court cases in the UK and US on the matter, different rulings obtained as well) as to whether stopping puberty from occurring, both to achieve a better "passing" rate and possibly stop what might be otherwise unpleasant effects (if you are "in the wrong body" then seeing said body manifest traits indicating that to a greater and greater degree is presumably quite unpleasant).
    Debates over what causes trans people vary. At present nobody has found a "trans gene" but that is not to say there are none, or it is not a combination. Some have pondered whether trauma is a thing (for instance if a significant fraction of the trans population experienced some amount of trauma above and beyond what the baseline population experienced then it stands to be queried). Some have pondered whether it is socially contagious (the idea being people, often children, could well do it to fit in, especially if they meet what might be a genuine trans individual). Some take exception to attempting to determine root causes, or opt for the simpler "a person is what they say they are" (this typically coming from the sociological approach).
    There are also a great many conditions where the more simplistic chromosomes (XX = female, XY = male) model is inaccurate. Generally this is considered a very very small fraction of the total counts but never the less is a concept that gets bundled in here. Though a particularly notable condition is called androgen insensitivity syndrome, here individuals for various reasons (often cancer treatment or physical trauma) see their hormones not be produced and thus be supplemented. Puberty blockers mentioned above effectively induce this condition. The effects of untreated AIS are equally severe.

    When a trans? person gains various labels varies with country and also varies "within the community" (some will say you just have to think it is the case for you, others will say you have to actually live it aka there is a "performative" element to it). Some will have to undergo counselling and various amounts of psychological testing, spend a year or more living as the opposite sex, more psychological testing, possibly have hormones be mandated, the nature of surgery (and asking what surgery one might have had is considered rather taboo by many) varies but could be necessary for some and finally be presented with a medical certificate. At that point it might still be tricky to get governments to issue certificates/forms of ID matching things but usually not.
    Others can gain it by turning up at the place that does identity papers (passport office, whatever sorts driving cards) and asking, maybe paying the relevant printing fees like you would for a simple renewal, change of address, change of name following a marriage/divorce...
    There is contention as to which approach detailed above is the correct one (some viewing the merely rock up and ask approach as the way to go, others seeing that as open to abuse and misuse), or if some middle ground is here.

    Trans? vs mental illness. A whole rabbit hole unto itself.
    In more recent years then updates to various psychological practice texts does appear to have made the simple notion of your head not reckoning the body matches as not being a mental illness. This is not uncontentious in the medical community (the updates to the big two manuals have some considerable debate over many things) but not out of line with other mental problems and delineation points. Dysphoria however can be an aspect of a mental condition and may be treated accordingly.

    While much of this is science talk or legal talk then sociology may also have ideas about what counts as what.

    Questions then. I have a great many but will go with just a few more pertinent to set the scene as I waffled above.

    We will assume "trans? are utterly disgusting and should die" is beyond reproach.

    There are some more subtle ones I got by PM
    "Saying God doesn't make mistakes or using religion against trans? is also transphobic"
    If the big book of my religion says it is (straight up, no messing around with thousands of years old translations of languages that have been evolving that whole time) then how do we resolve that? Are we not denying someone their religion?

    Sports question
    Human sports are generally split by sex. This is as males, especially some examples that end up competing in sports, have considerably more height, muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, possibly reaction time, aggression, and any number of other traits that benefit physical activities.
    This is demonstrable as well in terms of world records obtained, level of play commonly seen, that far lower ranked male teams often utterly trounce female teams when pitted against, in terms of injuries taken (the birth canal in females changes the nature of hips and thus leg injuries are far more prevalent in female athletes), time to recover from injury and on and on and on.
    Anyway the main question then becomes should MTF athletes be allowed to compete with females. There are many concerns raised here and counter arguments.
    Safety. In combat sports, or in real life, a male punch delivered to a female is often quite a dangerous thing. We have examples of things like skull fracture (quite rare otherwise) from such bouts.
    Fairness. Generally and for those ranked say 10 that no longer make the team (and a rank 10 at 17 might be a rank 2 or 3 at 19-24 as development happens).
    Even if oestrogen serves to reduce muscle mass, bone density and the like there is often still an advantage.
    Some sports also regulate hormone levels (that is to say MTF competing must have been under this testosterone level for so long).
    There are plenty of examples of sports counting people out of competition for having conditions. Might this be another such example?
    Equally there is plenty of evidence that most top athletes are genetic freaks in one way or another. Or more accurately the average say early 20 something can't start training tomorrow and end up a star athlete, same for average kid.
    The sociological position in some cases also is "trans women are women, no ifs, no ands, no buts" (and said position might also be posed in answer to many other things in this discussion).
    To that end not an easy discussion with many points of view.

    So then is a statement of "MTF should not be allowed to compete in female sports" an acceptable thing to read on the forums? If not then delete, warning, ban?

    Terms of choice.
    It is widely held that those that are black can freely use the term "nigger"/"nigga" (often considered one of the more offensive terms there is) and there are any number of widely regarded comics, musical artists and actors using the term freely by dint of being black themselves, often in works regarded by millions as the pinnacle of an art style. At the same time netflix notably had one of its higher ups chastised for using the term, in a meeting about what offensive terms might be. Here for this discussion I will opt to use terms rather than euphemisms but this may be subject to debate.
    Gays have made similar claims to the word faggot. Some have also claimed the term homosexual is offensive.
    Those of Pakistani origin have made similar claim to the word Paki.
    Nobody quite knows what goes with the term Jap (short for Japanese) these days but may be offensive. Oriental when applied to a person (and not an object or food) is considered offensive in some parts of the US but not in the UK (unknown for other English speaking countries) and no equivalence for any other ethnic group that I am aware of (European cars, European people, American food, American people...) which is potentially a different one but hey.
    Some in the trans? community have claimed the term "tra nn y" sans spaces as similarly potent in offensiveness. This is the subject of some debate (to say nothing of having multiple unrelated meanings) but we can assume it is for today. Do those members in, maybe quoting ones in, quoting a work (I did hear it in a work) or otherwise quoting, possibly even quoting from a historical work before it obtained an offensive categorisation, get a pass? Do we ask if someone is to determine this or take their word? Taking someone's word in text form is obviously a dubious practice as far as veracity goes.

    "Womxn" (you may also see Latinx for a similar concept to avoid troubles with Latina and Latino as Spanish will note this). Some attempted to coin this term to be inclusive to MTF people/trans women. If we take the rallying cry of many that "trans women are women" as correct (and is unlikely many pushing the concept of womxn would disagree) then is it not exclusionary or othering on its very face?
    So do we ban it, encourage it, enforce it, ignore it, ridicule it?

    Some claim that only trans ? actors should play trans characters in film,TV shows and such.
    Would opposing this (I mean actors are generally noted as playing a role after all, I don't think the actors in Lord of the Rings are really elves, dwarfs, long living humans and all master warriors, still manage to lose myself in it). If it is somehow unacceptable would a FTM playing MTF be acceptable?


    Sleeping with.
    Should you be unwilling to sleep with a trans person then some consider that bigoted behaviour. Among various sects of feminism it is actually quite a contentious issue. If you want to read more then while those that practice it consider it a demonym (that is to say a derogatory word) then the term TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) would be a starting point.

    Would then a statement of "I don't sleep with trans people" be acceptable? Is it any different to I don't sleep with [hair colour], [height range], [weight/BMI range], [skin colour] (it is generally held one can pick at this, else all those dating websites for [racial demographic] have a serious problem, never mind the even more fun getting married/having kids bit)? Which is to say personal choice to do something which is generally viewed as kind of important when doing the whole sexual intercourse bit.

    Speaking of TERFs
    "woman = adult human female"
    That was the entirety of an advert (and tshirt) made by a group of what might be dubbed TERFs.
    This apparently upset some in the trans community, so much so the advert got taken down despite being just that.
    Do we ignore this, note the distaste, delete, warn, ban... for such a statement? Does it have to be in conjunction with?

    Bisexuality. I did hear that bisexuality was transphobic on this site. Though more generally some do make a distinction between pansexual (all genders) and bisexual (don't mind if male or female) when it comes to sleeping with people. Some arguing that bisexuality excluded trans folk (not generally historically noted as being that, not contemporarily in most cases I have ever seen).

    Now I have mostly avoided multiple genders but it is a source of contention within the wider trans community (and world at large). Some claim their gender (or gender expression) is basically infinitely variable (mathematically or linguistically that means it loses almost all descriptive power). The sociological set may well agree with that (possibly under the idea that you describe what people say there is as language is the thing). Some quite prominent members of the trans community (or at least the video making set) have been chastised for not recognising the infinite genders thing.

    Pronouns. English as a general concept has gendered pronouns. He, She, Him, Her... some in the trans (or just "ally") community will state the ones they prefer to be used. Some opt for neutral, some opt for things like "xir".
    Do we mandate them? Do we mandate a subset ("you will address MTF as her/herself or be banned, xir is bloody ridiculous though so ignore that").
    Is "hey guys" as an introduction a problem for this (or maybe just a problem for gendered use of words)? Even if everybody addressed is MTF?
    While I said I would avoid free speech questions this does however bring up the idea of mandating speech (we love the dear leader, the leader is good, the party is wonderful, the gods of my parents are false gods...).
    "I will do it to be polite" is a tacit admission that they don't agree, and in many ways from a scientific perspective it is not unfounded (and if nothing else if there is more to do beyond just whatever trickles down from general approaches to medicine then yeah). Do we punish that?

    Hormones for the troubled.
    I once saw a discussion on this very site wherein people were instructing a younger member on where to obtain hormones when it became apparent that their parents would not allow such things.
    Given the radical nature of the taking hormones, the presumed lack of informed consent, the presumed lack of an initial assessment, the lack of any patient history, the presumed lack of monitoring, in this case the source being unreliable (online pharmacies of dubious merit and all)... that would be an egregious breach of medical ethics to say the very least.
    Whatever the debatable nature of harms of words then this almost unquestionable banhammer time from where I sit (repeat that for "I think I have ADD" and someone sends a pharmacy that accepts cash on delivery/bitcoin and no questions asked), even if I could stand to hear how someone suffering might be assisted by it and it was ultimately well meaning. If any medic did such a thing (without consultation, history, expertise...) then their abilities to practice medicine would be in serious jeopardy.

    New wonder drug is made that cures dysphoria with no, minimal, comparable or otherwise acceptable side effects (if your baseline is untreated dysphoria or life outcomes for trans? people that is some latitude). Some claim this can never happen. I claim that nobody has yet made such a thing. The effects of psychedelics are mind blowing, pun intended, and getting better all the time as are all medicines. Also here is a nice brick of heroin. Shoot it up at this dose when you feel like you are getting low. You will not care one jot about dysphoria when under such a regime. Obviously the impact on your life is unbearable in this case but it never the less is a "cure".
    Now a common term heard in these sorts of discussions are phrases like "erasing" or "not acknowledging" my existence and things to that effect. I would say most such talk is hyperbole and bluster. This however would be something that in many ways erases the existence of this class of people, or at least a good chunk of them.
    There are analogous issues in other areas. Deaf people and cochlear implants for one, some ponder its nature for disabilities in general, scans in the womb for autism were looking to be a possibility. All questions to ask.
    Anyway question then would be
    "it would be good if there was such a drug"
    Is this a bad thing?
    Do we/can we host a discussion on whether it should be the suggested course of action? What about mandated? There are cases wherein someone suffering a breakdown can be force medicated and it is generally accepted by the medical community. We have hosted plenty of others on vaccines, drugs, euthanasia, abortion, raising kids in religion, circumcision (female and male) and plenty of other things if it is somehow deemed outside the scope.
    What about "I don't believe we should fund transitions from insurance (be it general insurance, state provided or something in between)"? Similar questions do exist for things like abortion, euthanasia, many aspects of elective procedures and a whole load of things besides, including limitations (getting a set of glasses on insurance might well only get you a basic set with basic abilities, fancy stuff costing extra). Could we stand to have a discussion on that? Risks and medical ethics is covered a bit elsewhere but very much a fun one in all this.


    Joe Rogan podcast, various incidents but the main one subject to much scrutiny was Abigail Shrier who wrote the book "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters." https://open.spotify.com/episode/4SIh4Pt39AtGQYzMJMNkv1 being the episode in question. In it it detailed the research performed on a considerable number of female to male prospects, successfully transitioned, detransitioned (which, while apparently rare never the less happens and is large enough in number that other treatments with similar failure rates* have been removed from circulation for being unsafe, is not an easy or terribly successful procedure -- permanent changes happen as a result of transition after all) and families of all of said same. As best as I can tell performed honestly and the results compiled accordingly. I have not done an analysis of it myself though.
    Some however considered it utterly horrid, though seldom attacked the underlying science.
    From where I sit that was then proper research conducted and results being shared. Would the would be moderator want to remove it?
    If Joe Rogan now tainted (or perhaps otherwise tainted) and now we can't link to any works from him, even one wherein he talks to a musician about their new album and nothing even vaguely contentious comes up. An odd question perhaps but Spotify quite notably had a staff revolt of sorts when he joined the service, with them citing that episode among others as to reasons why.
    By similar token it was noted Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychiatrist and lecturer, was having a new book published. He is not uncontentious in the trans community, indeed having rose to prominence initially off the back of opposition to mandated use of pronouns for trans folk. Anyway some members of the publisher apparently raised a massive stink with their bosses over the publication of such a book (the previous having been a massive bestseller, none of it really dealing with any trans related issues and by no indication was/is this one to either). Do we ban discussion of him (I mean if employees attempt to censure their employers for "giving a platform" and that was a righteous act then are we really to argue or do just that?

    *and that is those that medically detransitioned. If we are to consider the percentage of those that engage with the services in the first place to those that reach some meaningful milestone in transitioning (completing is a tricky distinction in quite a few cases, even if it is unarguably there) then the ratio may be far higher which speaks to risk assessments in any number of treatments.


    So then. Not an easy thing even we forgo free speech arguments (which I am not inclined to or considering a settled issue). All those are examples I have seen on this site, ripped from recent headlines or have been widely circulated enough that it reached me (though I am at least somewhat plugged into the culture wars aspect of videos if nothing else, mainly as I watch everything). Even taking a hardline (which is a dubious position from where I sit) approach on all those does not leave you without contradictions or potential reproach from those interested in logic, those also in the community (if we are assuming such people are to be the arbiters of such things -- generally we allow anybody to do their own research to come up with their own ideas and present a case).

    Answers to one or more questions if we can. If I have made an egregious error, omission or oversight in the opening description then please do say. There are many more questions (do we do the prison question?)

    Personally I find this trans bit rather trite as an issue. Would much rather discuss what we might do about the anti vaccination bit (or not do), the religion question, "toxic philosophies" (would I be allowed to ponder men's rights activists, MGTOW, WGTOW, incels, science of racial differences, and indeed I might question whether some of those are even toxic at all), some might claim various political philosophies are beyond the pale (and if we ban national socialism do we also ban socialism, which is presumably not what a lot of Americans are inclined to tell me it is). However it was asked for so here we have it as I understand it and questions I might have if playing moderator.
     
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  12. elk1007

    elk1007 GBAtemp Regular
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    I forgot the 5th rule: No walls of text. Be concise. Length is not an argument.
     
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  13. FAST6191

    OP FAST6191 Techromancer
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    There are some things to reply to but it is 4am so I will have to leave it with just the last one for now.

    Don't know if that works, even if I am not me. Sometimes length is necessary to explore a topic. I do agree forums are occasionally as ill suited to long form text as the 30 second video and 120 characters is to any kind of useful discussion but I can try to make do.
    Concise prose is something I value (there is a reason I linked https://www.openculture.com/2016/05/george-orwells-six-rules-for-writing-clear-and-tight-prose.html in the starting post, and https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/why-i-write/ is good stuff whatever you may think of the man that wrote it), even if my writing itself does not always live up to the ideal.

    Of that quoted post there then 1300 odd words of the 4400 or so was a setup of the topic at hand for those unfamiliar with it (and it is not something I would expect people to necessarily be familiar with, not to mention it highlights a few issues in and of itself), maybe 300 more for the ending and starting bit. The rest is some of the questions I would need answered to start to enact such a rule as the simplistic response of "just ban it"* some might imagine there to be does not stand up too well in the rather more messy and complicated nature of the world (particularly amusing for a group that might be inclined to tell others that the world is more messy and confusing than the simplistic binary model they use). Maybe it could have been trimmed further or lacked context and explanation for a few things but I doubt it would have got it down too far, and for me would have suffered for it. I could have lost some example questions as well I guess but I am not sure anything there is particularly a duplicate of any other.

    *maybe we could with the "I can't explain what it is but I will know it when I see it" approach. Though that leaves nobody with a clear idea what goes, be it those with a vested interest in the outcome, those posting and not knowing and those having to enforce rules.

    Or if you prefer I will happily state it is never my intention to baffle people with fancy words and phrasing. I understand it happens from time to time, especially if English is not something you toy with just for fun, but still never my intention. Any length is usually a function of me explaining a position/concept and then trying to provide enough examples to drive whatever point home I wanted to make beyond any reasonable doubt, to head off certain avenues of attack at the pass, or look a things from multiple angles. This possibly while being distracted a few times as things are rarely so simple and without interesting asides that might spawn further discussions, and if nothing else the only reason I am here is for interesting discussions (another reason I value the ability to potentially discuss anything and not close down avenues of discussion, especially not for the sake some hypothetical person that may not even exist's feelings).
     
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  14. elk1007
    This message by elk1007 has been removed from public view by DinohScene, Dec 7, 2020, Reason: Not EoF.
    Dec 7, 2020
  15. shamzie

    shamzie Conform comrades
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    If anything changes I'll probably just leave the section. This only ever goes ONE WAY. It's ALWAYS those on the left trying to censor and silence others they disagree with. He who cries loudest wins it seems. Just because certain members of this community make themselves out to be victims and look for ways to victimise themselves doesn't mean they are, and their right not to be offended doesn't trump my right to say what i like, as long as I'm not breaking any rules, which I haven't done, I'm guessing this post isn't hypothetical and the incessant whinging of a certain member in here has prompted this thread. I expect the culling to commence.

    It's always fascinating to me how the minority who screams the loudest tends to get their way. We all know any change will only lean one way, It will lead to people like me and people who have similar views to me and airing those views being banned and or silenced just because some people don't have the mental capacity to handle someone else who disagrees with them.

    I've seen plenty of posts in here I disagree with, I don't think I've ever reported one though. How hard is it to ignore someone you disagree with and go about your day. Too hard apparently, thou shall conform!

    It's like not being liberal is becoming illegal. Lets just be real, any changes will be to police speech. You'll be trying to compel me to use speech that basically Amanda doesn't feel offended by, that won't be happening, you won't compel me to speak a certain or different way just because a small minority lacks the mental well-being and capacity too accept the fact that they don't control the universe and there's things and people out there who may disagree with them. GET OVER IT.

    Anyway that's all I have to say with my initial thoughts, because we all know it'll only go one way. It only ever goes one way. I guess I should've DM mods too and gone around the official channels like other people have because clearly it's worked.

    1. You serious?? shitposting can have a valid point. Who's to say whats a shitpost? Is your post a shitpost, it comes across as one too me, who gets to say, shall we have a vote, everybody who leans left gets 2 votes and everyone else gets 1. That seems fair.

    2. Attitude can convey alot, why can't i post with an attitude? Why you trying to restrict my post process.

    3. No wrong questions? Who's to say what's right or wrong, no wrongthink people!

    4. Sometimes somebody's character deserves to be attacked so basically fuck that.
     
    Last edited by shamzie, Dec 7, 2020
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  16. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Well, I'm just a simple basket weaver from the great state of Atlantis, but I reckon I got a few suggestions for rules which might help:

    1. No memes. All images should be informational, or relevant to the content being posted.
    2. No shitposting or trolling. Pretty self-explanatory, left to the mods to decide exactly what constitutes a violation.
    3. Whenever possible, discussions and debates should remain centered around platforms, policies, and news articles, rather than individuals.

    Now, given how much the nature of political discussion and politics in general has changed over the last decade, I recognize that number 3 would probably be the most difficult rule to enforce, but I also think it has the potential to be the most beneficial for this section. Politicians, journalists, etc are of course public figures and therefore fair game for ridicule or praise, but if the objective is improving the quality of discussion and avoiding mud-slinging, this is the best solution I can come up with off the top of my head.

    Not to call out anyone in particular, but I remember a time when people would only discuss politics if they were both informed on the issues, and able to keep a level head. Now every vegetable who has rotted their brain on 24/7 reality TV thinks they can cure AIDS and bring peace to the Middle East, and they're very vocal about it.
     
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  17. VinsCool

    VinsCool Persona Secretiva Felineus
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    From my own observation, it's impossible to make everyone happy.

    Based on how things are currently handled, you have one side saying there are not strict enough actions being done, and on the other, there are people crying we are biased on the left and censoring everyone, which contradicts the first point directly.

    So it's quite a catch 22 here.

    Unfortunately this is just how the real world is, except the real world is a lot worse than an internet forum.
     
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  18. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps
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    "ur mum dum" "orang man bad lololoololol" "get rekt liberal memeface memeface memeface" are pretty easily identifiable as crap posts. I'd assume that's obvious. It's why the EOF exists, for joke posts or memes.

    I don't see how attacking people for being inquisitive is anything bad. You said that who decides if something is a crap post or not, don't restrict your posting process, then you go and say who's to determine what's right or wrong. Unless something breaks the rules, like "does anyone agree we should kill all trump supporters?" or "all gays r bad, rite?" I see no reason why questions shouldn't be allowed full stop.

     
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  19. shamzie

    shamzie Conform comrades
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    Is there a reason you left out the word 'sometimes' when quoting me? It's almost as if context matters. Yes, It's the EOF, so why is there a need to bring in or enact rule changes.

    I didn't attack them for asking questions, I asked questions of my own. Don't you see all the question marks? You seem pretty okay with attacking me for asking questions though.

    Cool ending, now go quote it to the people saying I'd send children out with knives. I won't hold my breathe. We know this only goes one way.
     
  20. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps
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    Literally where am I even attacking you lol. Way to find a way to get offended. Ok.

    I never said you were attacking any post, I just was responding to your thoughts on the guy above you. What's wrong with asking questions? You seemed to want to debate that point. Guess not. In general, people like to attack others for merely asking a question. That shouldn't be the case.

    Cool diversion I guess? Children with knives, okay. Puppies with AK47s? What kinda game are we playing? You got all ruffly over discussion in an instant. But yeah, given how you instantly thought I cared enough to attack you when I wanted to see your take, then yeah, it only ever goes one way I guess lol
     
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  21. shamzie

    shamzie Conform comrades
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    If you weren't attacking me why are we even talking about the guys questions. Actually, they weren't even questions. They were statements. He said what should happen, I merely played the other side of those statements. Devils advocate. I weren't the one advocating "no wrong questions" so not sure why were even having this conversation.

    You seem to be struggling so allow me to clear it up for you.

    You could easily see my take by reading my post history and the post's I've replied too, that would mean sending "da rulez" to someone you agree with though. You quoted the rules to me, implying I was breaking them, I suggested you also quote them too the others who were breaking them, unless you condone personal attacks on my character suggesting I'm cool with children carrying knives, maybe It's just aimed at me though. Cool puppy metaphor.

    Also the Irony of you saying I found a way to get offended when this whole thread was created because someone got offended is not lost on me. Quite hilarious to be honest. :D
     
    Last edited by shamzie, Dec 8, 2020
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