I want to tell y'all something I love about #fosstodon.
We're small (<1000 weekly users), but we have a *huge* team of moderators: https://hub.fosstodon.org/about/the-team There are six of us—more than the team a mastodon.social!
That means that we pretty much always have *somebody* around to moderate.
It also means that no one person speaks for the whole instance. We have a whole team devoted to enforcing our CoC. We might not always agree, but we're all working to make #fosstodon welcoming for everyone
I also disagree. @kev has been a massive help to the community; kicking him out just because of one toot wouldn't be fair.
Opinions aren't immutable, and he should be given a fair chance to try to understand why his actions have caused harm. I don't even expect him to apologise – forced apologies are meaningless –, though he might decide to anyway if and when he sees why it's important to "pander to people's feelings".
I wrote up a three-part toot trying to explain why "what words people use" is significant when there's a lot more of one type of person than another in a group. https://fosstodon.org/@wizzwizz4/102390172058110275
Because nobody else seemed to be bothering to point out why this was important, and instead was making it a Holy Moral Issue.
Some would consider pulling the toot to be an attempt at censoring those arguing against it. Conventions and culture vary; the safest option is to keep it up until lots and lots of people are calling for it to be taken down.
If this toot was taken in isolation, it'd suggest that he was unfit for his job. However, his other actions suggest that he's quite a good fit for his role. He doesn't fit the archetype of unironic "snowflake" sayers.
Others would take deleting it the wrong way—as trying to cover up past mistakes. Regarding deleting or not deleting, I don't think there's a way to "win" here. This mistake will follow him around for a while.
And again – "get" him to apologise? Yeah, I understand not trusting him until he apologises, but making him apologise is mere virtue signalling.
The reason I'm willing to give him "benefit of the doubt" is that this is not representative of past acts.
That'd clearly be an idle threat. And if it wasn't? Where would that leave us then?
People's actions are constrained by the situations they find themselves in. I don't see why we're going into such detail bashing a human for being imperfect, when we haven't seen whether he's willing to change.
Though, you're right – people's convictions are subject to social pressure. And lots of people have provided it, from all opinions he Should™ have.
In such a situation, I think he'll defer to the opinions of his fellow moderators – those he knows well – and ignore the rest of us throwing opinion after opinion at him. So calling to chuck him out is incredibly premature, and calling for such a threat is entirely unnecessary.
That's not his pinned toot; merely his most recent. (Unless I'm looking at a different one to you.)
The reason I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt is… Look. Kev messed up. Once. That doesn't make him a Bad Person™. He hasn't proven himself unfit to moderate the community; merely less fit. He'd still do a better job than most, and I think he cares about the community here enough to try to change.
The thing is, he wasn't "admitting to be that dismissive of minorities". You're assuming that he knows the effect his behaviour has on other people, and let me tell you that that is NOT obvious to somebody who's never experienced systematic abuse in that way.
I'm not famed to be good at explaining things, and yet I was one of the only people in that thread who tried. How do you expect him to get better, if nobody's willing to tell him why it's wrong?
HPMOR, chapter 87.
> "If you believe that," she said with her voice unsteady, "if you can believe that, then you're evil."
> Harry's voice was rising. "Do you think […] if you'd been transported back to fifteenth-century London as a baby, you'd realize all on your own that burning cats was wrong […]?
https://www.xkcd.com/1053/ – "Ten Thousand"
You don't learn things in a vacuum.
And note that @kev hasn't said anything since; of course he hasn't shown contrition.
I don't think he's ever seriously encountered people with such experiences before, in a situation that'd cause them to bring it up. Which is unsurprising, because those people are, by analogy to the Anthropic Principle, minorities in the groups that @kev participates in. It's not surprising he hasn't encountered this before, nor seen the effects of his words.
He has now.
Noted. (And no, it's not the foundation of my philosophy; that'd be silly.)
> if your reaction to people saying "using this word hurts me" is "you're weak" and "why should I have to accommodate you", it isn't about learning, it's about basic human decency.
But do people say "using this word hurts me"? I've never seen anybody stating it that plainly. "Stop using hurtful language" I have seen, but you see how different people can take that differently?
No. No, no no, no, no. No. Abuse is something people do.
I'm saying that it's easy for people to react in the same way that everybody around them is reacting, if nothing is directly invoking their empathy. If they don't see a sad person, or have somebody tell them they're upset.
Communication over text is hard. A moderator needs to be able to understand how text relates to what's actually going on, but nobody starts off knowing all that.
Moderators need to learn things. They need to be receptive to learning things. If, next month, and the month after, @kev's still saying these things, then you can think about kicking him out. But if you kick out everyone who isn't perfect at their jobs, you'll end up keeping somebody even worse simply because there's nobody left to replace them with.
Judge him by his actions, not his ambiguous words. (Everybody started arguing about whether what Kev was saying was right, but nobody stopped to clarify what the comment meant… but I digress.) His actions show that he's not uncompassionate in general.
I think he was referring to the sorts of people who'll complain about "nigga" being used in rap songs. I've asked for clarification, and if it proves my rose-tinted view wrong… well, I'll reconsider.
@hypolite That's especially funny considering how many times HPMoR's author has written about _not_ doing that. https://www.lesswrong.com/s/M3TJ2fTCzoQq66NBJ/p/yEjaj7PWacno5EvWa is one of the more recent ones.
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