Religion & Politics Forum Closed as of 27 March 2019

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I know I'm just one guy but I am an old-timer here and I somehow didn't get banned during the dark days of you-know-what mostly because civil posters here lead the way. I generally browse R&P, occasionally comment and watch some of the regular stuff but I don't think I'll be frequenting this site much if R&P gets shuttered for good. To be honest, there don't seem like a lot of places to see civil discussions about politics on the Internet in this day but this place was one.

Seems really short-sighted but good luck regardless.

Yeah, adding my voice to those saying this is a disappointment. Now, sure, your site, your rules and all, but seems a bad move.

Katherine Kerensky:

Saelune:
You do realize

Don't care. Place was a shithole. Don't care what it means for any unfortunates that honed their ban-dodging craft in there.

By your standards, Off-topic will now be "a shithole". And then when Off-topic is shut down, somewhere else will be "a shithole", and then, and then, and then-- until there is nothing left but "a shithole" by your standards.

Seanchaidh:

By your standards, Off-topic will now be "a shithole". And then when Off-topic is shut down, somewhere else will be "a shithole", and then, and then, and then-- until there is nothing left but "a shithole" by your standards.

Doesn't bother me. I'm more hoping that it means the problem children can't adjust to the stricter rules outside of R&P and start getting smacked into not acting how they were. If they'd behaved more, then maybe they wouldn't have lost their lax-ruled play pen.

Katherine Kerensky:

Doesn't bother me. I'm more hoping that it means the problem children can't adjust to the stricter rules outside of R&P and start getting smacked into not acting how they were. If they'd behaved more, then maybe they wouldn't have lost their lax-ruled play pen.

Oh the irony, complaining about toxic behaviour in R&P whilst in the same breath talking about its users in those terms.

Also, it's not 2014 any more: the vast majority of problem users have long since gone (voluntarily or not), and the section is much more sedate these days.

Katherine Kerensky:

Seanchaidh:

By your standards, Off-topic will now be "a shithole". And then when Off-topic is shut down, somewhere else will be "a shithole", and then, and then, and then-- until there is nothing left but "a shithole" by your standards.

Doesn't bother me.

Illuminating.

Katherine Kerensky:
I'm more hoping that it means the problem children can't adjust to the stricter rules outside of R&P and start getting smacked into not acting how they were. If they'd behaved more, then maybe they wouldn't have lost their lax-ruled play pen.

Interestingly, being condescending wasn't allowed even in that 'lax-ruled play pen'.

Eh, I've been expecting this for a while, not just because of pretty clear hints to that effect by the new management, but also because in the culture-war ridden, post-you-know-what internet world the idea of allowing fairly unrestricted political discussion and gaming discussion in the same place has become a bit archaic.

This is a solid and probably necessary move towards redeeming the site's reputation, and I hope it works because I have a lot of sentimental attachment to this site and I'd like to see it continue and grow.

I'm just not sure I'll be there, personally, and I'd like to be wrong on that, but I just don't feel it at the moment.

While I'm really happy to see stronger provisions against hatespeech and I've generally had good experiences with the new management and moderating team since they took over, I also feel that as a queer person I experience life as quite fundamentally political, because the fact I exist is political. I can't get excited about being a gamer, I can't afford to stake my life on which games I like or don't like, because being a gamer isn't the thing that makes me anxious to walk the streets or which has robbed me of my family. The escapist was always a gaming site first and foremost, and I think if it's going to continue being that it needs to evolve. But I personally don't feel safe in an environment that doesn't embrace politics, or where politics aren't worn on your sleeve or where emotions like rage at how fucked up the world is aren't tolerated.

I'm not saying bye just yet, and I'm going to stick around and see how it turns out, but I feel the loss of something quite special. I understand it, I agree with it, but I don't have to like it.

So this was a bad decision for the reasons outlined by others, but your Forum, your rules I guess. You at least keep it running, unlike the previous owners. What really bothers me is the way it was done. Remove everything completely without warning, while people were still in the middle of discussions. Don't say anything beforehand and make it invisible. Don't explain the reasoning at all, even when pushed on it, just asking us to bear with you. You have some vision apparently, but you aren't telling us what it is.

I don't know whether I will stay around, as I mostly posted in R&P and have found myself a bit less interested in gaming than a couple of years back. If not, I'd like to tell the other R&P regulars that, as anonymous as this whole thing is, I liked most of you and learned stuff from you. Props to Evilthecat whose posts I was always most eager to read. Props to Agema, Gethsemani and Renegade7 for generally knowing what they talk about. Props to Silvanus for having two feet on the ground and being straight to the point. Props to CM156 for dealing with us lefties in such good spirit.

Agema:
Oh the irony, complaining about toxic behaviour in R&P whilst in the same breath talking about its users in those terms.

Ill doers are ill deemers.

Pseudonym:
If not, I'd like to tell the other R&P regulars that, as anonymous as this whole thing is, I liked most of you and learned stuff from you. Props to Evilthecat whose posts I was always most eager to read. Props to Agema, Gethsemani and Renegade7 for generally knowing what they talk about. Props to Silvanus for having two feet on the ground and being straight to the point. Props to CM156 for dealing with us lefties in such good spirit.

I need to second this, now I've got the serious bit out of the way.

If I try to list, I'm going to forget to rep so many people, so assume if we talked a lot (or even if we argued a lot) you made the list of people I'll think about some time if I leave, and that's not even touching on all the people who left already.

I think what I owe R&P the most for really is that because we were a small group I got to see the human in people I wouldn't normally stop to think about. So.. thank you all for being my lame-ass internet friends (and enemies, and everything in between). You helped me through tough times, and I learned and grew a lot from all of you.

Pseudonym:
So this was a bad decision for the reasons outlined by others, but your Forum, your rules I guess. You at least keep it running, unlike the previous owners. What really bothers me is the way it was done.

I'd certainly agree there. A stickied post up front in R&P saying "You've got a week left, enjoy it whilst you can. Forums are a WiP see how things end up" would have been nice. It's a little jarring to have the forum abruptly pulled.

* * *

I think politics is an intrinsic part of life. You can't run and you can't hide from it, short of utter, glorious isolation as a hermit. It pervades all social engagement, right through to games (much to the evident displeasure of some gamers). People ARE going to end up discussing it if they're able to discuss anything. I also think, being a democracy and all, it's incredibly important to discuss seriously, otherwise you wake up one day and find your forum healthcare's been taken away.

The only question is how people who run media platforms want to deal with it. It'll be a little sad if the Escapist decides to effectively sort of muzzle it. I'd not call random people I've never met and ultimately don't know from Adam "friends" as such, but they are people I've spent a lot of time conversing with over the years and there's that social glue between us which it would be sad to see go. But the site has to look after itself: growth is appealing to new people, where catering to relatively small cliques of existing users is stagnation.

Im sticking around. I want to see where this goes, and as I said, reddit sucks for arguing politics.

Agema:

I think politics is an intrinsic part of life. You can't run and you can't hide from it, short of utter, glorious isolation as a hermit. It pervades all social engagement, right through to games (much to the evident displeasure of some gamers). People ARE going to end up discussing it if they're able to discuss anything. I also think, being a democracy and all, it's incredibly important to discuss seriously, otherwise you wake up one day and have your forum healthcare taken away.

The only question is how people who run media platforms want to deal with it. It'll be a little sad if the Escapist decides to effectively sort of muzzle it. I'd not call random people I've never met and ultimately don't know from Adam "friends" as such, but they are people I've spent a lot of time conversing with over the years and there's that social glue between us which it would be sad to see go. But the site has to look after itself: growth is appealing to new people, where catering to relatively small cliques of existing users is stagnation.

Agreed. Too many people think avoiding politics is somehow a virtue, it isn't. It is ignorance, and not one to be proud of. It is certainly a privilege to be able to ignore politics.

I also think, especially in the internet age, we need to get rid of this notion that people online are less human than people you meet in person. We may not know eachother's legal names, but everyone behind the screen is a real person, we are all dealing with real people, and this dehumanizing view that online interaction is somehow less than in person ones is not good.

Agema:
I'd not call random people I've never met and ultimately don't know from Adam "friends" as such, but they are people I've spent a lot of time conversing with over the years and there's that social glue between us which it would be sad to see go.

I liked to think blablahb was my eternal rival, but you need to rewind the clock to like 2012 to bring those times back.

Seanchaidh:

Interestingly, being condescending wasn't allowed even in that 'lax-ruled play pen'.

Frankly, I don't know what was even allowed in that play pen near the end. In the last week of its existence, you actually had open shit flinging between people and the rules might as well have not existed. For a short time, I was wondering if it was 'selective' moderation, but then I looked back at a few threads and realized, no, moderation just wasn't happening at all at the very end. I don't know if that was because the place was getting the axe or what, but it looked like an actual shitshow and I was surprised it was allowed.

TL;DR, RIP off-topic, I don't look forward to hitting Ctrl F and seeing 'Trump' get 50+ hits. I have no idea why you guys did this, and I'm questioning what V2 is going to look like at this point, considering the trends becoming apparent.

"Future plans", eh?

I love that phrase. It's a phrase that takes on entirely different meanings depending on how it is uttered. Spoken in the bright light of day, at a press conference in front of a building site, "Future plans" means development, growth, prosperity and well being. Spoken from behind tented fingers, in an old mansion, while lightning flashes through a full height window, "Future plans" pretty much means we're gonna be building another Death Star.

:)

That having been said I only occasionally ventured into R&P, and generally only when a thread started in Off Topic and got moved there while I was in the middle of being sanctimonious.

Seeing the sadness from people losing their sub-forum fills me with warmth. Guess I started to enjoy the taste of salt more.

Seanchaidh:

Interestingly, being condescending wasn't allowed even in that 'lax-ruled play pen'.

Such a shame.

Agema:

Oh the irony, complaining about toxic behaviour in R&P whilst in the same breath talking about its users in those terms.

Also, it's not 2014 any more: the vast majority of problem users have long since gone (voluntarily or not), and the section is much more sedate these days.

Sorry you lost your fun zone. Sad face. Know you enjoyed the place. Know people didn't enjoy having you in there, which was a pain. I think R&P saw more reports than any other sub-forum while I had to do that dirty job.

Katherine Kerensky:

Sorry you lost your fun zone. Sad face. Know you enjoyed the place. Know people didn't enjoy having you in there, which was a pain. I think R&P saw more reports than any other sub-forum while I had to do that dirty job.

'Had to' is a strong word(s), I thought this was a volunteer gig? (Why would you do that?!)

Pseudonym:
Props to CM156 for dealing with us lefties in such good spirit

I'd like to thank you for that and also thank all the people on R&P for being such fun people to discuss topics with, even though we almost never saw eye-to-eye on fundamental questions of politics. It's been real.

Baffle2:

Katherine Kerensky:

Sorry you lost your fun zone. Sad face. Know you enjoyed the place. Know people didn't enjoy having you in there, which was a pain. I think R&P saw more reports than any other sub-forum while I had to do that dirty job.

'Had to' is a strong word(s), I thought this was a volunteer gig? (Why would you do that?!)

True, it is a volunteer thing, but it was part and parcel with the rest of the forum moderation, which wasn't so bad helping to keep the rest of the site clean. If you want the cliche, I was young and foolish. Wanted to help out. Sure, I still like to help now, but considering I specified that I wouldn't have to deal with the trash getting reported in R&P last time I was asked to moderate... yeah, no love lost between me and that now dead sub-forum.

I'm not sure how many times people from outside R&P will have to tell R&P people that their area was toxic before they'll believe it.

crimson5pheonix:
I'm not sure how many times people from outside R&P will have to tell R&P people that their area was toxic before they'll believe it.

To be fair, as a doctor, I often find that when I tell people their area is toxic their first response is denial.

Katherine Kerensky:
Sorry you lost your fun zone. Sad face. Know you enjoyed the place. Know people didn't enjoy having you in there, which was a pain. I think R&P saw more reports than any other sub-forum while I had to do that dirty job.

Yeah well, sorry you found the job so frustrating. Sad face. I too once volunteer-modded a R&P forum (elsewhere on the internet, long ago when I was young and foolish), and I know from my own experience it can be busy and and is always thankless. On the other hand, that's kind of why I think you just get on with it or quit, because there's no real cost to quitting. If it's making you bitter, definitely quit.

Katherine Kerensky:

Sorry you lost your fun zone. Sad face. Know you enjoyed the place. Know people didn't enjoy having you in there, which was a pain. I think R&P saw more reports than any other sub-forum while I had to do that dirty job.

You disliked the poor behaviour and ban-dodging in R&P (which certainly was pretty bad at times), but have no issue with passive-aggression and personal insults like the above?

Am I missing something? Seems an arbitrary line to draw.

Agema:

Yeah well, sorry you found the job so frustrating. Sad face. I too once volunteer-modded a R&P forum (elsewhere on the internet, long ago when I was young and foolish), and I know from my own experience it can be busy and and is always thankless. On the other hand, that's kind of why I think you just get on with it or quit, because there's no real cost to quitting. If it's making you bitter, definitely quit.

Oh, no, by and large, it was quite enjoyable. People would message for help, help would be given, etc. R&P was just the one shithole part that most things have, but hey, I didn't have to deal with it, otherwise I'd have handed out a bunch of bans for all the shittiness I kept seeing in the report queues. Way too much skirting of rule-breaking in there, or people sweet-talking and whining to get punishments revoked for the liking of... well, anyone except the people who were doing that. At least it's gone now.

Silvanus:

You disliked the poor behaviour and ban-dodging in R&P (which certainly was pretty bad at times), but have no issue with passive-aggression and personal insults like the above?

Am I missing something? Seems an arbitrary line to draw.

Didn't say a personal insult there. Was a fact that people spam report a lot in R&P. Was a pretty trashy place. Probably getting a few reports on myself from my posts in this thread, except it's likely more funny for the mods watching this time.
Plus, I'm having fun pointing it out that R&P is finally dead.

Silvanus:

You disliked the poor behaviour and ban-dodging in R&P (which certainly was pretty bad at times), but have no issue with passive-aggression and personal insults like the above?

And surely that was about 90% of the bad behaviour in R&P?

Katherine Kerensky:
Didn't say a personal insult there.

It's probably more the passive aggressive baiting of other users, which is still prohibited by the CoC.

Agema:

It's probably more the passive aggressive baiting of other users, which is still prohibited by the CoC.

No more than the usual, if not less, than was often posted in R&P.
Just saiyan.

crimson5pheonix:
I'm not sure how many times people from outside R&P will have to tell R&P people that their area was toxic before they'll believe it.

I don't think people here are denying that R&P was a toxic place, the point is that having R&P be a separate subforum contained all its shittiness, which is now spilling out into Off-topic.

Kyle Gaddo:
Again, I understand your concerns. This is genuinely where we are all hoping that you are all proponents of self-moderation as we believe you are. Evaluation of yourselves, your thoughts, your actions, is going to be critical at this point in time. Genuinely ask yourself "Is this needed here? Is my voice specifically needed here?" whenever you're posting about sensitive topics. I am hoping your consciences guide you, because it makes it easier on us all.

I'm going to do my best here to reign myself in, but please understand I'm not coming from a place of malice.

This sounds like the stereotypical PR bunk when a company does a goof, makes their users/customers upset/angry, and has to come out with something to say instead of radio silence - which, I might add, the latter is largely what we've gotten so far as to what developments are being made towards Escapist2.0. Your statement boils down to "Ask yourself do you really 'need' to?" in that gaslight-y way someone uses to make someone second-guess or doubt themselves to get the person to stop doing the thing you don't want them to do.

Look, if you'd simply come out and said "R&P topics will no longer be allowed on The Escapist" you'd have been better off than shuttering the sub-forum. These topics are going to be discussed, if not here, then somewhere else. Yes, you'd still upset people, but you upset more people by pushing R&P discussion into another sub-forum than if you'd just banned R&P discussion altogether.

The complete lack of communication on, well... anything is honestly what upsets me more than anything else. Radio silence is largely what we're used to, given past management, but continuation of a bad status quo is definitely not encouraging in the slightest, especially considering how long it's been since the change.

I think the blame for the toxicity in R&P is blatantly misdirected. The R&P forum itself isn't toxic, it is just where 'toxic discussion' happens. But also the discussion isn't inherently toxic, the problem is that toxic political views are given too much weight. But it is also a mistake to think the solution is to suppress all political discussion, cause that just causes the problems to bubble up.

The problem is thinking White Supremacy deserves a political platform. The problem is thinking racism and sexism deserve a political platform. The problem is thinking bigotry is perfectly acceptable in our governments, regardless of country. When all people arguing politics are doing so from a position of fairness and genuine desire to have the best most fair system of government, then yeah, political discussions wont be toxic, but this is a problem that has existed as long as humanity has.

Putting your fingers in your ears and going 'I cant hear you' wont fix the problem, and doesn't make you better than it.

Okay, I happen to be fluent in several dialects of corporate weaselese, let's see about translating some of these replies from the new owners.

We realize that this may surprise many of you, considering it's one of the most active sections of the V1 forums, but its conclusion aligns with our collective vision for the future of Escapist Magazine Volume Two.

Our vision is of sanitized nu-web design with no room for actual thought.

We're not quite ready to reveal all of our future plans just yet, but know that we are hard at work on all of V2's features, forums included. We have a lot of valuable feedback from the survey we conducted several weeks back and are looking to implement many of the suggestions we received alongside our own.

We have no idea what we're doing, but we're going to keep doing it anyways, regardless of the functional community it's slowly disassembling.

Again, I understand your concerns.

"Willy hears ya. Willy don't care."

This is genuinely where we are all hoping that you are all proponents of self-moderation as we believe you are. Evaluation of yourselves, your thoughts, your actions, is going to be critical at this point in time. Genuinely ask yourself "Is this needed here?

"Oi mate, you got a license for that opinion?"

Thank you for your patience, your understanding, and your dedication as part of Escapist Magazine's incredible community. We very much look forward to growing alongside you and being better together.

"Fuck you and the horse you rode in on."

Anyone who thinks that R&P was a toxic hellscape obviously never visited GID.

...Which brings up an interesting comparison. GID was closed, and 'that topic' (which GID was created for) was banned.
However this time, R&P is closed, but the R&P topics are still allowed ...because reasons?

This would make sense if the goal here was to consolidate and streamline the forum (since with a dwindling userbase, having lots of dead subforums isn't a good look), but that doesn't seem to be what's happening here. And R&P certainly wasn't dead.

Katherine Kerensky:
No more than the usual, if not less, than was often posted in R&P.
Just saiyan.

Sure. But if you think it's fair game for you, then it was fair game for everyone else too, so it's hardly a good reason to call the forum toxic.

But R&P is likely to get heated, because a lot of these things tend to matter to people more than the merits of Star Wars or GTA: they are often matters literally about life and death, or fundamental civil rights.

Katherine Kerensky:

Didn't say a personal insult there.

Yes, you did: you used your past knowledge of reporting to allege general dislike of someone. Quite aside from the lack of professional discretion-- I'm relieved you're not still doing the job-- there's no reason to do so except an effort to make someone feel shitty.

Plus, I'm having fun pointing it out that R&P is finally dead.

The thread pointed it out. It's literally titled that. Nobody here is unaware, Dougal.

tippy2k2:

This feels like a completely half-assed attempt to please everyone but will please no one.

Personally, I'd much rather have Politics & Religion just banned from the board. This is a gaming site; you want to talk about Trump, plenty of sites that offer that kind of thing. BUT if you're going to insist on letting it be here, having it just go into Off-Topic instead of it's own spot seems like the worst solution you could have. Off Topic people are going to be irked that a bunch of R&P topics are in there (and I can't see R&P anymore to know for sure but I feel like it is probably a 5:1 thread creation if I had to guess which is going to drown out OT real quick). Adding a "Politics" tag to the thread names isn't going to do anything to help OT topics not get drowned out...

My sentiments exactly. Especially since the new owners of the forum clearly stated it wanted to leave politics at the door early on, why suddenly stop here? I don't get it. But I'm certainly not happy to see politics discussion in the other 2 forums I frequent. Sure I can just not click them, but I actively try to ignore the crap that came from R&P cause I don't wanna hear "Trump did X horrible thing today!" or "Tyrannical dickhead from *insert location* did this, DISCUSS" (as an example), I just want to avoid it when I can. It's why I don't subscribe to political discussions anywhere else online. But now the ability to avoid it got taken away if I decide to poke around. And without notice, too.

Pseudonym:

What really bothers me is the way it was done. Remove everything completely without warning, while people were still in the middle of discussions. Don't say anything beforehand and make it invisible. Don't explain the reasoning at all, even when pushed on it, just asking us to bear with you. You have some vision apparently, but you aren't telling us what it is.

Dr. Thrax:

The complete lack of communication on, well... anything is honestly what upsets me more than anything else. Radio silence is largely what we're used to, given past management, but continuation of a bad status quo is definitely not encouraging in the slightest, especially considering how long it's been since the change.

Of all the ways to do this... The folk in charge before the new ones liked to do this a lot, be it the owners before they abandoned us, or the mods or whoever made choices when our fate was up in the air. And suddenly we get no notice on this rather BIG choice, again, because you guys have a "vision." It's great you have one, but we sure as shit would like to know what your vision might look like so we can actively try and be part of it too. Cause at this point, I just feel like a spectator. A spectator to your "vision" we don't get to see or understand, and we're supposed to believe that the "vision" is in our best interests and to sit and watch things happen around us without a word...

Kyle Gaddo:

Again, I understand your concerns. This is genuinely where we are all hoping that you are all proponents of self-moderation as we believe you are. Evaluation of yourselves, your thoughts, your actions, is going to be critical at this point in time. Genuinely ask yourself "Is this needed here? Is my voice specifically needed here?" whenever you're posting about sensitive topics. I am hoping your consciences guide you, because it makes it easier on us all.

Dr. Thrax:

Your statement boils down to "Ask yourself do you really 'need' to?" in that gaslight-y way someone uses to make someone second-guess or doubt themselves to get the person to stop doing the thing you don't want them to do.

... Yeah, I don't like how this came out either.

Honestly, none of this is making me very excited for V2. Especially if we're just going to be treated exactly like nothing changed between ownership. Call me an ungrateful twat if you guys want, but I'm not exactly feeling confident and loved right now

Katherine Kerensky:

Agema:

It's probably more the passive aggressive baiting of other users, which is still prohibited by the CoC.

No more than the usual, if not less, than was often posted in R&P.
Just saying.

I'll just fix that for you. You aren't Abridged!Vegeta and as such have no claim to that play on words.

Agema:

Sure. But if you think it's fair game for you, then it was fair game for everyone else too, so it's hardly a good reason to call the forum toxic.

Just trying to make you feel all at home and welcome in the non-R&P parts of the forum. Can't have the R&P crowd feeling homesick.

Silvanus:

Yes, you did: you used your past knowledge of reporting to allege general dislike of someone. Quite aside from the lack of professional discretion-- I'm relieved you're not still doing the job-- there's no reason to do so except an effort to make someone feel shitty.

The thread pointed it out. It's literally titled that. Nobody here is unaware, Dougal.

No, I didn't, but thanks for trying to force intentions into my message of fact.
Enjoying calling people names? I'd say that's more like insulting than anything I posted.

Gordon_4:

Katherine Kerensky:

Agema:

It's probably more the passive aggressive baiting of other users, which is still prohibited by the CoC.

No more than the usual, if not less, than was often posted in R&P.
Just saying.

I?ll just fix that for you. You aren?t Abridged!Vegeta and as such have no claim to that play on words.

But I wanna ._.

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