Quote from FlossedBeaver »I'd really like to get your thoughts and impressions on this post:
Quote from H3RAC71TU5 »
... but a lot of the threads you mention being locked got started because people on the political right posted off topic and heinous comments. We've been directed by the mods to just ignore these posts and not talk about politics at all, then in different instances been told it's okay so long as it stays respectful, which is of course impossible if one side's view is inherently disrespectful. If the policy is to ignore these types of posts, then in practice the effect is that people make these remarks, they're eventually deleted or snipped, and the other side's point of view is not expressed. In other words, the policy is actually not neutral and unbiased; right-wing narratives will continue to be expressed and the counter points will not. Locking threads does not actually solve the problem so it continually recurs, leading to an overall forum community annoyed with political posts. But there's another reason why this is the approach used. Right-wing players are a sizeable audience on this site. Locking threads does not threaten their continued ad-viewership, but keeping threads open might.
Thanks for your question! First off, I would like to apologize for the delay in responding to you. I have been out of town, so my personal thread here has been unmonitored during my absence.
Political threads continue to be a difficult topic to approach, and even trickier to handle properly. Ideally, we wish to distance ourselves from politics as much as possible - as this is not a political site, and not intended for political debate. It is of course difficult because nothing is ever so easily divided, especially as several recent decisions by Wizards have reached into political spheres. We of course wish to allow discussion of Wizards' decisions and their impact. This makes monitoring that line of where discussion is Magic appropriate to be a difficult case, and needing evaluation on a shifting basis as new topics and decisions are introduced. We hope to maintain the standard to discussion that remains Magic related and oriented however, and not open the site to political rallies.
The American political spectrum today is very divisive, and the post quoted does make the valid point that not all stances are inherently respectful or equal. This is one of many reasons we wish to not engage or encourage these discussions on this site. This is a family friendly site, and disrespectful and dismissive views can not, and should not be tolerated here. As such, those posts need to be deleted in order to maintain a family appropriate content.
This however also touches on one of the difficulties of moderation - visible moderation leaves a record and example of content that gets infracted - but leaves also unacceptable content on the site where minors or other vulnerable demographics can see the content. Deleting or otherwise removing the content allows the discussion to continue without the objectionable deviations, however there is then no visible action shown and people may assume no moderation is taking place. Removing content can also give the impression of implicit censorship, or silencing of a specific viewpoint. This is especially difficult in a political sphere, where as the user stated, not all sides are inherently equal or respectful. It is always a struggle as to how to best handle each and any given situation. Building and fostering a community is always a difficult task, for all those involved. From the moderators who volunteer time and have to take action, but also to the very members of the community who shape the community and discussion in the messages they choose to post and spread, as well as reporting what they feel objectionable and detrimental to the community.
As far as the view that the site is leaning in one direction or another - there have always been allegations of various viewpoints that the site leans in a direction opposite of where the user feels they personally stand. This is often the case when trying to hold a centrist or non-partisan position. We have been accused of being anywhere and everywhere on the political spectrum, from allegations of far-right, to allegations for far-left extreme liberalism. The hope is that the balance of these allegations shows that we do hold that central line. Historically speaking, I believe that the majority of the staff has tended to lean slightly to fairly liberal, all things considered, however the staff has had representation from the full spectrum of political beliefs. We have never had any sort of "official" survey on the matter, however our off topic chats, as well as various discussions on how to handle certain tickets (especially political) has shown that we are a fairly diverse group in terms of beliefs.
I hope this answers your questions as to our general views, and why we take the stances we do on political discussions.