« first day (3356 days earlier)      last day (786 days later) » 

user206222
10:00 AM
This is more... Control the Conversation, as a tactic.
 
So when they encounter a harmful sentiment with lots of support they don't feel they have the mandate to decide against it, but only the opportunity as member of their community to partake in the debate
 
user206222
Not to say a major number of SE users are alt-right, but certainly an analogous rhetorical tactic is in use.
 
user206222
@Magisch Yes, this is definitely a huge problem. Kind of comes back to the above -- once a statement gets support, now you have a capital-D Debate, and it's your Job as a Moderator to ensure that Debate is fully heard out, and fully resolved.
 
I mean, the company's series of blunders has created such a strong sentiment against them that anything arguing against them gets some support-by default
or at least less scrutinized by those supporting.
 
@PM2Ring More often "I am too close to this, and I need a calm, more neutral person looking at this"
 
10:02 AM
I saw some mighty appalling things posted yesterday that got net upvotes. I do not think that would have been the case to this extent if their sentiment wasn't so deep into the toilet
 
user206222
I'm... not so sure about that. I think the vote counts on those posts are closer to truly reflecting people's opinions than you'd think.
 
user206222
The key mechanism by which anger at SE acts is to change people from not voting to voting. I'm not convinced it, on the whole, changes the way they would vote.
 
that would be pretty saddening
 
user206222
Well... public life while queer, enjoy your stay.
 
Mmhmm
 
user206222
10:04 AM
It's easier to believe people don't sincerely hold those values, it feels better for sure. I get that, and I wish I could. But that's... not usually the case, and warrants a lot of scrutiny.
 
@Magisch I think most people don't dare voice out what they feel
but votes are anonymous
 
If you ever wanted a glimpse back in time to past social movements, here's one
 
user206222
In general, when people say something (or communicate it by voting), you've kinda... gotta take them at face value. They are telling you how they feel about queer people. They're not being dishonest, otherwise cutting cleanly between "SE is bad" and "pronouns are bad" would be commonplace.
 
@JourneymanGeek Good point. I don't like conflict, so I tend to put myself into the position of being the more neutral person who comes in & calms things down.
 
Its like an even lower key version of folks who live in comments.
 
10:05 AM
a lot of that went fully beyond pronouns into some really retrograde crap
 
@PM2Ring actually - that's kinda a key constructive disagreement we have ;p
 
@Aza I think you're largely (and sadly) correct. I do think however that it's "easier" to vote against something that upsets you, than to vote in favour of something you feel is a great move or a no-brainer anyway.
 
if I open the 10k tools and pick any 10 posts in the recently deleted list most of that is not limited to the debate at hand in its trashiness
 
I'm wondering how much of this is cultural though.
 
user206222
@Bart Yeah, but that's always been true. I think we're accustomed to compensating for that bias, when we see Meta vote counts.
 
10:06 AM
Meta is so fickle
 
things feel, calmer today
 
@JourneymanGeek Much of it. Go to some random town in the USA and you'll find tons of this.
 
@Magisch this... is not new
 
Well ... there you go ... you jinxed it @djsmiley2k ...
 
@DavidA oh more a view towards conflict, problem solving and such
 
10:07 AM
lol maaaaaaaybe
uhoh smallest has grabbed stool and taken it to the kitchen
 
(I mean, I do have a different cultural background than a significant number of people here)
 
user206222
@djsmiley2k It's early o'clock. It's nicer at night, where I live, and then it slowly rises into an absolute hellscape once it turns to day.
 
awaiting bang sound...
 
user206222
I have a post at +16 and I (facetiously) expect it to be -30 by the end of the day.
 
@Aza I'm accustomed to compensating for culture when viewing meta vote counts
 
10:08 AM
I guess the big question, and I have no answers, is 'what next'
 
You can make an argument that 80% of meta regulars support in a way where it'll get downvote bombed
the culture of meta is very particular and tone heavy
 
Someone directly asked an "attack helicopter" question. I think people are asking bad-faith questions because they think that perceived bad-faith activity on the part of the staff opens that door.
 
@Aza eh, I doubt.
Most of the anger seems... at employees :/
 
user206222
@DavidA I think it's 'cause they see other people toeing the line and are also just... toeing the line. I've been tracking several users as they test exactly where the line is on "your comment gets deleted."
 
user206222
Like, I'm not speculating, I've been watching specific people do this.
 
10:10 AM
@Aza .... which kinda is fun when I doubt anyone can keep track of the comments
so... the combine harvester of comment removal makes more sense than pruning
I would not be surprised if the flag numbers hit the hundreds
 
I would not blame staff one bit for restricting comment and answer rates on meta for a couple weeks
it's impossible to keep up with
 
@Magisch that would go badly too
 
it would wouldnt it
its a hobbsons choice
whatever you do you'll get crap for it
 
that'd be another knee jerk reaction to the first.... however many there's been
 
user206222
Hooo boy the fire's already starting, today. [quickly closes all meta tabs]
 
10:11 AM
This whole episode has been featured several times on Hacker News (which is how I initially noticed it), and their user base is fairly biased in favor of "the little guy".
 
user206222
Really, the next steps are to pull the reins tighter on moderation. I'm like, dead-ass convinced there's no other viable next step.
 
@Aza me too
they can't leave MSE to be an open sewer
thats a shockingly bad look and just gets the protests to self-reinforce
 
user206222
Lay the starting rules, give people a day or two to realize what's happening, then tighten the vice on moderation. Then after that... you can have a pleasant conversation about how to retool guidelines to be a little more fitting, adaptable, and useful.
 
hmmm, i want to ask a question, out of genuine curoisity.
 
As for votes, don't forget that many of the current MSE visitors (like me) don't have enough rep to downvote, so that distorts the vote counts.
 
10:13 AM
@Aza I don't think that anyone really has the.. uhm
ability to pull that off right now
 
I think a large part of the current problem is that they're not going the whole way one way or another
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek We'll have to see. ;)
 
Prior to all this blowing up, was there known issues with people not following other peoples chosen pronouns?
 
@Aza and there will be lots of babies out with the bathwater
@djsmiley2k 4 mods? ;p
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek We do our best.
 
10:14 AM
@djsmiley2k yes
 
@PM2Ring All the massively-downvoted posts were downvoted by people with MSE rep (presumably not new people).
 
We kinda... all failed there.
 
user206222
@djsmiley2k Quick heads up-- not 'chosen pronouns,' just pronouns. And... yeah, absolutely, everywhere, all the time.
 
i guess to me, part of the 'problem' is, I never saw it.
 
10:14 AM
and that's kind of something i feel is a problem too
I mean, I've talked to all you guys about it
 
And it's hard to believe and understand the CoC, if you're not even aware that was a thing that was happening.
 
One thing that meta is is incredibly conservative of the status quo
so if you can make your argument sound like its not upsetting that, it'll be much better recieved
 
@djsmiley2k some aspects of the COC are.... messy
 
oh yah.. and there's at least one user who I know personally, who made their preference clear long ago, and we adapted.
 
There's a reason why I actually went "this this and this are important to people and we watch out for each other"
 
10:15 AM
@Magisch Well most of us are here to answer/ask questions, not create social progress.
 
user206222
@Magisch There's no real way to do that, I think, when a lot of people have kinda just... felt they can get away with this crap. Now you're telling them they can't, and that's a status quo change.
 
over follow the COC or else
 
don't know if that'll work right now, true
but in general
 
user206222
In general, sure.
 
user206222
(As long as you don't have to compromise your values to placate people. But that's pretty rare.)
 
10:16 AM
@DavidA but creating a more equitable environment does improve the asking and answering of questions
SO has a notorious problem with being hard to get into participating in
it's well worth looking at that. It's another side of the same coin
 
@Magisch That issue is best served by doing a proper root cause analysis of a sample of failed customer interactions and clustering them.
 
@Magisch right, having a more friendly and accepting environment helps all of us
 
there are a lot of people
good people, who are excellent on the technical side of things
 
@Magisch I felt very VERY accepted by the python chat yesterday.
 
who have no interest in understanding a year of precedent and arcane rules to join a place that is still pretty behind on equity
 
user206222
10:18 AM
Another video worth watching is Mainstreaming. Again, not saying people on SE are alt-right, but a lot of the same rhetorical tactics are commonly in use.
 
if more of those people join, they bring their expertise
 
@DavidA Indeed. The MSE regulars are a small fraction of the total SE community, and not a representative sample. But there are large numbers of people from other sites currently upvoting answers on MSE. I bet there are plenty of members outside MSE who don't even know that all this stuff is happening.
 
Oh they can easily find out because it's a featured meta post.
Featured on Meta
An apology to our community, and next steps
 
@PM2Ring however i imagine that the active meta users, are likely some of the most active non-meta users.
 
@PM2Ring yup
 
user206222
10:19 AM
To be clear, even then most users won't care. The purpose of an FAQ is not to flow out general information to a public audience, contrary to what it might look like.
 
I can't really imagine many people being very active on the 'standard' sites, and not having knowledge of meta nd the stuff going on.
 
A lot of folks end up suffering through me having to explain things.
 
user206222
The purpose of an FAQ is to educate power-users, people who have the agency to determine and manufacture culture, about what the site's expectations are. Culture flows out from them into their communities.
 
"Why can't I use they for everyone?"
 
In my analysis there's a lot of potential that SO has not unlocked that they can unlock by catching up the social dynamic side of things (which does exist whether they want to or not) to current standard
 
10:20 AM
@Aza and... they are confused :/
least in the 2-3 small communities I directly work with
 
And digging in and saying "people should just accept what this is and fit in" is not really doing that
in fact, once you take that position your community stops growing or even replenishing
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek A lot of people are deliberately sowing confusion, to be fair. The process I predict -- SE slowly tightening a vice on moderation -- enables them to clear things up and correct that confusion.
 
:7965830
 
user206222
That can really only happen once the wastes are cleaner, though.
 
I made a comment in physics chat 48 hours ago about the current drama, and one of the regulars (admittedly a school kid) had no idea what I was talking about. I linked him to the MSE question about change of CC & Monica's dismissal. He replied 30 seconds later, "Nah, that's too political for me", and changed rhe subject.
 
10:21 AM
Grr stupid mobile keyboard
 
@Aza well or folks actually want that, right now :/
then turn that to more drama.
 
@Aza yeah. There's a lot of "but I don't understand therefore the rules are invalid, take them back" even where it's all straightforward.
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek I mean, at some point SE's just gotta say, "this is the way it is, now. don't like it? I'm sorry to see you go."
 
But this whole drama is one click away on every SE page. And perhaps rightly so.
 
@Aza oh they already did.
 
user206222
10:22 AM
We're not at that point, but it's In The Future, I'm sure.
 
There's also a lot of "but these rules allow this extremely specific and unlikely hypothetical bad scenario. Take them back!"
 
Well in a fashion
And honestly, that annoyed me a lot :/
 
@Aza they tried that once...and here we are. Not very good at assessing threats
 
@Aza Yeah, that's where rules head.
 
user206222
@doppelgreener Yeah, this is super super true. That's... not fueled by good faith, though, in my experience. Like, people asking you to retract a rule because it's confusing? Normally, the response is "please clarify."
 
10:23 AM
erf. I totally can't talk about the specific example
 
@doppelgreener it's the "sex with ducks" approach to arguing about these things ... youtube.com/watch?v=EXPcBI4CJc8
 
@Aza If I can cherry pick parts that need better phrasing or clarity I can do that
I can help explain specific issues to people if I get it
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek They're... telegraphing, I think. As far as I can tell they're not actually suspending people yet, barring the absolute worst of the worst. But they're making an intent clear.
 
@Bart could you elaborate? I'm in the gym and can't follow YouTube videos just now, and wowsers I want to understand that phrase
 
user206222
No one's gonna be shocked, I think, is the point.
 
10:24 AM
@Aza or wanting people to quit
 
Bad delivery taints a good message.
 
uhm what?
@DavidA I agree
 
@doppelgreener On the issue of gay marriage a politician in the US argued that it was a slippery slope towards ... well ... you get the sentence now. The video is a humoristic song about that.
 
the delivery, of this whole thing, has been terrible
 
@Bart ahh.... right
Yeah there are some bad slippery slope arguments being made
 
10:26 AM
If everyone were told to get on board with climate change, and use less electrons; or support HK freedom; etc.etc. it'd hit a lot of people's spam thresholds pretty quick.
 
user206222
Mmm. People are focusing on the delivery, again. Y'all know there's a deeper issue. Delivery helps, but people are upset about using pronouns first and foremost. This context is just drawing eyes back to the issue.
 
@Paul yet, this is an issue now.
so we deal with it
 
@Aza well there's two issues. I have no use with pronouns at all.
my issue and rebellion against it was the terrible delivery, in a long line of badly delivered things.
 
@Aza no doubt
 
10:27 AM
but this is a circular convo that'll just keep on rolling.
 
user206222
@djsmiley2k Then, I'd set aside the other issues, for now. I think those are ones we can come back to, but if there's something going wrong in the cultural values that the site generates, well...
 
user206222
That has to come first. That always has to come first.
 
I imagine the largest issue for most people who have a genuine issue wth the pronouns thing is 'why?'.
But I think there's a lot of "wtf?!" panic too mixed in, and.... well Q&A is a terrible way to deal with that.
 
user206222
@djsmiley2k It runs a lot deeper than that. 'Why?' is usually because 'I don't think you're conveying information about yourself to me honestly.'
 
@Aza uhm. No, Many people literally don't know
 
user206222
10:29 AM
I linked this video earlier, and I think it's useful again: Transphobia: An Analysis
 
When I ask why, it's because it's never ever mattered to me.
On the internet, people are just names, and little pictures
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek, @djsmiley2k: Yes, there is an educational period where people go, "oh, trans people, all right then." Once that's up (and it is definitely up by now, at least for the vast majority of participants)...
 
then again this thinking may not be 'normal' and i might be an outlier, I don't know.
 
@Aza bunch of people don't understand. No ill will.
 
@Aza eh
I have actual friends who are trans
there's a certain degree of...
uhm
personal attachment?
If I'm accepting - I'd say my personal circumstances are certainly something that has coloured it
 
10:31 AM
1 message moved to Trashcan
 
There's a lot of people who aren't even accepting it when we've told them directly we've experienced issues ourselves about it. That part is definitely more than just having a "why?" and goes into "I don't believe something you're telling me" territory.
 
I was recently on a camping trip with some friends. (I'm 35, got kids), one of the other parents there is trying to deal with their child identifying as something else than they've been brought up as (I'm being deliberately vague here). It's.. difficult for them, this is some whole new world
 
My guess is this whole thing is even an issue because it's someone's poorly-executed project that was done with insufficient community input.
 
@doppelgreener but there's a lot of people and there's other lot of people
 
@DavidA it took at least 6 to 8 weeks
 
user206222
10:33 AM
@doppelgreener This is what I'm referring to. A lot of people are actively destroying people's ability to learn, and taking every measure possible to cast doubt.
 
Expecting to overnight go from very simple binary assignments, to numerous different options is.... strange to someone who's never experienced it
@doppelgreener I believe you, but until this happened, I had no idea it was happening
 
user206222
I'm gonna... re-quote something I quoted above, because it's relevant again:
 
For many people I do believe there's a genuine "why?" out of never having seen or heard about it being a problem. For those people I can only hope in formation about why disseminates through the community because it's not like trans members can respond to it every time.
 
@djsmiley2k That's down to people's attitude to the unknown; most people will want to squash out anything unknown to them
 
user206222
> Since the position of the transphobe is that trans people don't really exist, as trans people, and the position of trans people is obviously that they do exist, immediately we can see that no compromise is possible. Things either exist or they don't: there's no middle ground.
 
user206222
10:34 AM
> So in any debate on this issue it's gonna be winner takes all. The trans person then is in the impossible situation of having to prove their own existence to someone whose every response is gonna be, "How do you know? How do you know? How do you know?"
 
@S├ębastienRenauld indeed, so it needs to be introduced gently, with care
 
user206222
If it's something you're encountering for the first time, I really do understand. It takes some learning.
 
Even a transphobe can be expected to treat people like people.
 
user206222
But if your first response is "how do you know?" and it just keeps going down that route... there's not much trans people can do to help.
 
However, deeper down there's the fact that, and the end of the day, why does it matter what somebody identifies as to you? Just let them, just like you let them hold their own beliefs on other topics; as long as nobody tries to push down on others because of a different belief system, we can all easily get along
 
10:35 AM
@DavidA depends on your definition of transphobe
 
user206222
@DavidA Oooooh. You have not seen a lot of recent transphobia.
 
Of course everyone can be expected to be decent :P
Just don't hold your breath
 
@Aza and after a while that turns to "Yanno - this is who he/she is. Its not my place to decide"
 
@AndrasDeak "Be Nice" covers that
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek ...or it doesn't. It doesn't have to turn into that, and it often doesn't.
 
10:36 AM
But that "switch" took a while for me
I had a few awkward things going on, sure
but it was a process and I probably had to grow a lot as a person, and had some... slightly different experiences
 
@JourneymanGeek thank you for doing that growing :)
 
user206222
@JourneymanGeek :)
 
@doppelgreener Wasn't easy though ;p
and I've probably mentally messed up quite a lot
 
@Aza I usually turtles all the way down the "How do you know?" when transphobes come up, BTW
 
(Lets, see, best friend in JC, one ex and one other online friend at least)
 
10:39 AM
After all, how do you know anything
That has never stopped us from taking things at face value in numerous fields of knowledge
Why should gender be the same as long as it doesn't lead into somebody shoving a belief down somebody else's throat
 
For the people following the Abrahamic faiths, all humans are held to be made in the image of God. A lot of their followers forget that, though.
 
user206222
@DavidA Eh, that just leads people to say we're deceived, mentally ill, lying, etc.
 
user206222
[shrug]
 
@DavidA George Orwell comes to mind regarding that particular problem in human history
 
user206222
Longer quote, but definitely worthwhile:
 
user206222
10:42 AM
> [Beyond] just garden variety bigotry, one theoretical explanation [for transphobia] might be that once we realise trans people exist, and therefore must be legally acknowledged to exist, we can start having more interesting conversations like, "What can we do about the fact that a lot of trans people don't have access to the healthcare they need?"
 
user206222
> "What can we do about the fact that a lot of trans people are disproportionately more likely to be refused jobs?" Once we acknowledge that people exist then we can have a conversation about material access to their human rights. But, as long as the debate don't stop and the metaphysical scepticism is maintained, all those questions get delayed; we never get to them.
 
user206222
> As long as the music keeps playing no-one gets to sit down, and transphobes at least get the peace of mind of not having to sit next to somebody they don't like.
 
For what it's worth, the word transphobe to me seems to have some hugely negative conotations, and yet it seems to be being used for anyone who doesn't understand...
 
@djsmiley2k Certainly! But that doesn't make them a representative sample of all users, or even of all power users. They are a self-selected group who feel passionate about issues beyond the topic matter of the main site(s) they post to. That applies to MSE regulars, as well as to the regulars on the per site metas. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's just something we need to bear in mind while reading & responding on meta sites.
 
@Aza that's come out a lot :/
@PM2Ring Heh I've heard that argument somewhere else
 
10:45 AM
@PM2Ring nod. I just worry that as soon as the 'they're only a small part of the users' argument is used, you forget that they may also be the most active part.
 
user206222
@DavidA Yes, this is transphobia, oh my god.
 
@DavidA tada
 
user206222
That is like, the very epitome of what it means to be harboring transphobic views.
 
The good news is that doesn't make you inherently an awful person, since everyone harbours prejudices, but it gives you a choice to begin working on them once you notice them, and that choice is important. Whether we choose to keep our prejudices or choose to act to change and remove them is the thing that reflects on a person.
 
I'd like to mention that most trans people have had to deal with their own internalised transphobia that was caused by being raised in a society that's largely transphobic. Some trans people don't manage to achieve that, which leads to a tragic result.
 
10:49 AM
@PM2Ring Yes, we're raised into a community that has taught us to doubt and dislike ourselves for what we are, and that does a number on us. And then probably a lot of people in our lives reject us or commit violence toward us. There's a reason trans people have such an astronomical suicide rate.
 
People tend to fear and push back against the unfamiliar to maintain their comfort levels.
Often subconsciously.
 
user206222
Aaaall right, this is heading clean into "transphobia is just human nature" territory.
 
user206222
I'm not going to have a debate about whether hostility to queer people is just human nature. You'll have to go elsewhere, for that.
 
The key word is "unfamiliar". As something becomes more familiar, that pushback stops.
 
Yeah it is very much not human nature. That kind of argument has been used in the context of racism and homophobia and sexism too, and look where it stands for those in the test of history.
 
10:53 AM
@Aza I'm definitely not trying to do that. Just pointing out 1. that it's very pervasive, & 2. that trans people know very well what transphobic lines of thought & emotions are like.
 
and there'll always be somme who pushback, no matter what, and those are whom you should/can(?) refer to as phobic..
 
user206222
Aaanyway, as we were. I think there's, a pretty broad misconception about what "bigotry" is and how it manifests in people.
 
user206222
Bigotry is not a binary thing, it's not a toggle you either Are or Are Not.
 
so, what makes me feel very unsafe about this (re)definition of "transphobia" , is that it makes knowledge of trans issues compulsory in the "if you're not with us, you're against us" kind of way, which is, generally (and here specifically), a step people use to radicalize in hopes of the majority to fall with their lines
5
 
Not understanding (in general) dosen't mean not accepting and trying to understand (in specific)
2
 
10:55 AM
yes!
 
user206222
And if you (generic) think you're free of bigotry as a human, categorically, well... I have some news. Being frank about it, open and honest about the fact that it is within you, is a key step in being able to fight it.
 
@Aza does that not mean exactly that it's human nature? Which is not to say it should be accepted
 
(I better go back up & read all the posts I missed)
 
user206222
@AndrasDeak No it does not, and I categorically refuse to argue about whether transphobia is human nature.
 
I won't go 'I don't believe in jazz music'
 
10:57 AM
That's a preference, and you're allowed to have those. It would make you ill-suited for a jazz critic job, though.
 
@Aza I'm talking about intolerance as a whole, and we probably don't disagree too much, but I understand
 
@djsmiley2k I love jazz music (but not all jazz). But we can still be friends. :D
 
@djsmiley2k Please don't take these things wildly out of context. We're not talking about musical genres.
 
@DavidA ok - and if someone told me 'This is funky jazz, and that is classic jazz' and I go 'Oh, I didn't know there was a difference, ok, TIL!.' is that me suddenly not being phobic anymore?
@doppelgreener my point is, I think the term phobic, will cause issues...
just something to concider.
 
I hope my flags here help owners finding the limits of the block to be removed.
 
10:59 AM
@djsmiley2k The way that is phrased at least expresses a desire to learn.
 

« first day (3356 days earlier)      last day (786 days later) »