What is too politically toxic?

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tepples
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What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:20 am

I have been told by more than one person that a topic in "General Stuff" was politically toxic, that locking the topic was inadequate, and that I ought to delete it and presumably not allow similar topics to be created in the first place. This topic is no longer visible to the public. What other topics do we want to outright ban from NESdev BBS on grounds of being politically toxic?

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dougeff
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by dougeff » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:39 am

2 things I don't want to discuss on nesdev forum

1. US politics
2. non-US politics

Exceptions to those rules...If a politician says/does something that directly affects video games, gamers, homebrewing, or "reverse engineering".

If this was about that discussion on pronouns, I have to admit that I didn't read it, because it didn't interest me.
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tepples
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:47 am

Allowing any and all video-game-related political discussion could devolve into discussion of issues presented in Anita Sarkeesian's 18-episode video series titled Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. In the past, we have allowed a topic about underrepresentation of identifiably female player characters in high-quality NES platformers during research toward the premise of the game City Trouble. But we probably don't want to get too far into the GamerGate scandal that was set off by Ms. Sarkeesian's series, Zoë Quinn's interactive fiction Depression Quest, and articles by Dan Golding and Leigh Alexander about the stereotypical hardcore gamer demographic becoming less important in the market as of the mid-2010s.

Can the list of topics in Sarkeesian's series inform where to draw the line as to what is too toxic for this board? My fear at this point is a discussion about what is toxic itself becoming toxic.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by coto » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:18 am

I think any kind of political talk (same as religious) will lead to derail the purpose of this board.

We are here to talk about research / development / coding stuff / engineering, and even niche things.

I am quite content because people here definitely know their stuff. That alone means a giant step in humankind for me.

If you allow political shit to arrive you will scare away developers. Because being a programmer/developer is already hard
you will face the developer against users caussing massive waste of time, energy and unnecesary headaches.
Generally these should be attended somewhere else, and if not, the user here should earn their worth here and discuss things
knowing there should be respect regardless of their or our views... and not trying to shove their points while at it,
which is usually what happens in any political thread.

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Punch
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Punch » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:25 am

You're always preoccupied with the weirdest things. How about judging stuff in a case-by-case basis?
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:30 am

Punch wrote:You're always preoccupied with the weirdest things. How about judging stuff in a case-by-case basis?
A case-by-case basis can backfire when the judge plays favorites. This not only is unfair for the parties but also reflects poorly on the community. There are documented cases where people have concluded that NESdev as a whole espouses norms that are hurtful to some group of people. I am guilty of accidentally contributing to the poor optics with my past actions and want to find some way to repair both my reputation and the community's.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by nocash » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:18 pm

The post about netiquette and genders wasn't toxic. Harmless or innocent might be a better word for it. Look at it from the bright side: The majority of replies was positive, and it seemed that people were glad about the oppotunity to reassure everyone about their preferred gender identity (at least the males - I guess it may take some time until other genders feel equally comfortable with such public disclosures, even in queer forums like nesdev).

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Memblers
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Memblers » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:43 pm

I think with the pronoun discussion the only aspect of it that worries me, is that I don't want anyone to feel pressured to out themselves as a minority. I wish I could say "it can't happen here", but at some point there's certain to be an extra level of crap that comes along with it.

It is unfortunate that in so many matters, things I consider to be human rights will be regarded by somebody as a political issue, but that's the world we live in. Thankfully, NESdev has been a pretty specific kind of place. Political stuff can be talked about virtually anywhere with anyone.

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pubby
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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by pubby » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:37 pm

If the thread could be posted to reddit's r/politics, r/the_donald, r/shitredditsays, or r/worldpolitics, I don't want to see it here.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Pokun » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:04 am

Someone told me once that if you are on a party or having fun with friends, don't discuss politics or religion.

That said, I don't think there is any way to avoid case-by-case judging. You just have to work hard to try to stay as unbiased as you can, and follow some basic rules. Anything that people have strong opinions for can turn into toxic discussions and should be carefully watched and stopped if drama escalates. Things that people typically have strong opinions for includes political and religious ideologies. As for hurtful norms, they are more easily avoided if you are aware of them.

Like Memblers said there are probably many things that would be considered political that no one would regard as toxic, so just banning anything political just won't work very well. Discussions could very well involve both politics and video games at the same time. Such topics often appears on the forum and people take them in with open arms.

And finally, I'm with Nocash as I don't see that pronoun topic had started to get toxic, although it touched a subject that people may have strong opinions for. Koitsu tends to exaggerate things but that's part of his personality. I generally don't think it's necessary to delete your history by deleting threads left and right unless they really goes out of hand, is just spam or clutters the forums in some other way.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by nocash » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:15 pm

I wouldn't think of politics and religion as taboo themes, many people are probably quite happy to share their opinion and to exchange some questions and maybe even to discuss some arguments - as long as you show some interest and accept each other's opinion, without insisting on who is right or wrong. Really changing someone's mind is probably unlikely to happen anyways, but my hope would be that some small talk could make a small difference, perhaps even calming down someone's extremist views, just by saying something like, Yeah, I have heard about that, too, but I don't see that minority as a problem, and actually they seem to be pretty nice people to me.

For the truly controversial themes, we could discuss if we should allow female devrs (and Punch) to wear head scarves in avatar pictures. If that isn't enough to stir up things then I will make a rom-image with digitized cooking recipes for vegan cheese.
Last edited by nocash on Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by tepples » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:19 pm

If one of you wants to write a vegetarian cookbook, I could use that as a test case for a hypertext book reader app that I'd like to release.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Bregalad » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:20 pm

nocash wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:18 pm
The post about netiquette and genders wasn't toxic.
And finally, I'm with Nocash as I don't see that pronoun topic had started to get toxic
It's not just that the discussion is about politics, but that the thread assumes the political views of others. Tepple's original thread assumed that anyone could free choose pronumns they were refered to freely, and that not using the right pronumns was offensive. This is a very weird view of the world, but the thread assumed that thinking otherwise is unthinkable. That's what is politically toxic.
as long as you show some interest and accept each other's opinion
Yup, but that sounds easier said than done. Many so called "open tolerant" people are extremely intolerant and not open at all to more conservative or traditional views. You could be one of those, or not, and I probably don't want to know as I don't care.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by lidnariq » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:54 pm

Bregalad wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:20 pm
Yup, but that sounds easier said than done. Many so called "open tolerant" people are extremely intolerant and not open at all to more conservative or traditional views.
The Paradox of intolerance is nothing more, and nothing less, than observing that many people misunderstand tolerance to be an abstract objective, but instead it is the terms of a ceasefire.

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Re: What is too politically toxic?

Post by Drag » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:52 pm

"Toxic" refers to the phenomenon where something bothers everyone as a whole, while also being something that's hard to justify removing.

An example of something "politically toxic" would be a controversial subject (US politics or not, it can happen with anything) where discouragement or removal might be called out as censorship, or called out as reinforcement of an ideal regardless of intent. In this case, the subject bothers others, but it's hard to remove it without causing unrest, so either you let it stay and be bothersome (which may also encourage more of the subject matter), or you remove it which may cause unrest from an audience you didn't know you had.

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Politics and religion are just going to be two subjects that are hard to touch, because you don't know what goes on in everyone else's lives, and these are two subjects that have grave consequences for some. Furthermore, these are subjects that are hard to escape from in everyday life, and maybe someone doesn't want to deal with controversial things right after a working day of dealing with them. That's why you hear "don't talk about politics or religion" so often. That itself doesn't automatically make them "toxic", but regardless, you should still consider where and when it's appropriate to bring up something controversial.

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