Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:30 pm

:popcorn:
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:15 pm

Greetings Caodemarte,
Caodemarte wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:36 pm
Is this the role model for DW?
No. The model here is based on the Terms of Service. You're welcome to read it and learn more about what it is, and why. A relevant extract has already been posted, but here is another which is directly related to the legal angle of your argument...
5. Legal Statement

Dhamma Wheel and related sites of the site owner are owned and operated out of the U.S.A. As such it comes under the guidelines of 47 US Code Section 230(c)(1), including the Communications Decency Act, which provides owners, administrators, moderators, and members immunity from any content in here posted by someone else. Each is responsible for their own posting and the team has no liability even if administrators and/or moderators fail to remove an alleged offending post. Any poster who makes legal threats against anyone on this forum will be grounds for immediate banning.

For more info related to this law see: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Use of this forum is at no membership fee and voluntary
Pretty simple, really... and in line with the principle of "autonomy" which guides our interactions.

If you don't like the Terms of Service, what do you expect of us given that (as per ToS5), "Use of this forum is at no membership fee and voluntary"?

Based on many years experience in forum governance and the lessons that come from that, we have consciously decided to allow for a marketplace of ideas, bounded by a Terms of Service, rather than something bounded by the personal preferences of staff. If you wish to start a forum which bans all views, opinions etc. that do not conform with your political ideology or your private morality, you're welcome to do so.

Lastly, I appreciate the time that moderators spend moderating this forum. I don't expect them to view every off-site Youtube video, news report, rambling monologue, or 300 page study that someone here may link to in support of their argument. If you or other authoritarians here wish to monitor and police each and every link, and clearly and explicitly report back why you think the video is inappropriate with respect to the Terms Of Service (I.e. not merely in violation of your beliefs, feelings, preferences or proclivities) then be my guest.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Upeksha » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm

Well, it's good we've attempted some kind of dialogue around these issues.

I was never asking that everyone adopt or subscribe to my particular view, only that as a community we check in with each other to see if we're meeting some kind of mutually agreed standard for discourse.

And I think it is pretty clear that there is a great division on this question. And that should be cause for further reflection and examination.

It is also very clear that the moderating team are robustly committed to free speech over and above any other moral or dialogical principles. Despite the (consistently voiced) claim, I don't see this view expressed in the TOS at all:

2. Speech

Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended to cause disruption or harm may be removed without notice. This includes, but is not restricted to:

a. Nasty speech
b. Badmouthing Buddhist discussion forums
c. Language or subject matter inappropriate to minors
d. Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions - including psychoanalyzing other members, and predictions or threats of kammic retribution
e. Disruptive meta-discussion (i.e. discussion about discussion, including in-topic complaints about the existence of discussions that don't suit your preferences)
f. Personal attacks, including the vilification of individuals based on any attributes - whether related to their personal attributes (e.g. gender, nationality, sexuality, race, age) or their approach to the Dhamma (e.g. their practices, level of experience, or chosen tradition)


It is of course hard to guess 'intention' but I think there have been a manifold of cases of a, d and f which have been allowed to stand.

I suggest the mods and admin re-write the TOS to reflect their current view and practice: just say "we're committed to free speech in almost all cases" then at least you are being honest and consistent.

As for my own view, I cannot in good conscience remain a member of a forum in which there is so much ill will, intolerance and outright prejudice expressed to non-Buddhist groups or individuals. So I will follow this thread to its natural conclusion and sign off.

It's also worth pointing out that Dharmawheel does not suffer these problems, and no one there thinks that the mods are "thought police" trying to impose some kind of totalitarianism on the members. That is one of the big (I'd have to call it 'paranoid libertarian') fallacies in these discussions - that any kind of discursive guidance is tantamount to becoming the Stasi - so much so that there is far more outrage and defensiveness directed towards those who want more principled moderation, than that directed to those who actually post offensive and harmful content.


:anjali:

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Caodemarte » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:25 am

Upeksha wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm
...
...As for my own view, I cannot in good conscience remain a member of a forum in which there is so much ill will, intolerance and outright prejudice expressed to non-Buddhist groups or individuals. So I will follow this thread to its natural conclusion and sign off.

:anjali:
I do not believe there are any free speech issues involved here at all. There is no free speech defense for yelling obscenities or racial epithets on the side walk. I joined here under the belief it was a Buddhist forum for the discussion of the Dhamma. The apparent decision to become a conduit for other material with “so much ill will, intolerance and outright prejudice” in order to attract a wider audience (as explained in this thread) is the right of the owner and administrators. It is not one I wish to be associated with or can support. So I will also “follow this thread to its natural conclusion and sign off.”

Metta and :anjali:

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:38 am

Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:25 am


I do not believe there are any free speech issues involved here at all. There is no free speech defense for yelling obscenities or racial epithets on the side walk.
Indeed, there is no such defense, but we might be in danger of setting up a straw man here. What is the equivalent, here on Dhamma Wheel, of yelling obscenities or racial epithets? I haven't seen actual obscenities or racial epithets in posts which are left standing here, so what do people think are the actual posted counterparts of such utterances which clearly need to be removed? I often deal with posts that are reported, but none have ever caused me to think "That's nothing but an obscenity or a racial epithet, or at least it's just as directly harmful".

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by aflatun » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:19 am

Upeksha wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm
...
Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:25 am
...
For my part, I value both of your contributions and am very sorry to see you both go. I hope you'll decide to stick around. :heart:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:46 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:53 pm
is that it is supposed to be 'bringing a dharmic perspective' to politics and current events, but it doesnt seem like the topics intersect with or are shown to intersect with dhamma.
Trolololo lololo lololo, lololololo, as they say.

I am also opted out of the subforum in question.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by DooDoot » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:15 am

Upeksha wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm
f. Personal attacks, including the vilification of individuals based on any attributes - whether related to their personal attributes (e.g. gender, nationality, sexuality, race, age) or their approach to the Dhamma (e.g. their practices, level of experience, or chosen tradition)
These appear to be the relevant rules. To summarize the relevant parts:

1. Not to attack based on "race".

2. Not to attack based on approach to Dhamma (Buddhism).

Now, the impression is this thread was started by Caodemarte because:

1. Caodemarte took issue with critiques of Islam; which is not part of the rules. If Islam, for example, teaches the death penalty or physical punishment for sins, as it does, and a Buddhist wishes to voice disagreement with this, this appears to not be a breach of the DW rules.

2. In wishing to defend Islam from criticism, Caodemarte played the Nazi & Antisemitism card; in what appeared to be an attempt to correlate 'religion' ("Islam') with 'race' ('Jews') and 'racists' ('Nazis'). This attempt to correlate religion with race is false & not related to the DW rules.

3. As for the meaning of the term 'Jewish', most people cannot agree whether the term 'Jewish' means a 'race' or a 'religious ideology'. Therefore, as Buddhists, we generally avoid this type of vagueness.

For example, to be a Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Communist, Capitalist, Nazi, Liberal, Atheist, Colonialist, Imperialist, Isolationist, etc, is not related to race in any way. Therefore, it is not against human rights & TOS to disagree with the aforementioned ideologies. However, if a person disagrees with the religious ideology of Judaism or political ideology of Zionism, they are often labelled a 'racist'. Obviously, something weird is going on here. :roll:
Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:25 am
I joined here under the belief it was a Buddhist forum for the discussion of the Dhamma.
Buddha-Dhamma includes the wish for non-violence. Since Abrahamic religions (Judaism & Islam overtly and Christianity covertly) generally contain provisions for war & violence, it is common for Buddhists to disagree with these religions. Similarly, Buddhists may even disagree with the Tao Te Ching or Hindu Bhagavad Gita, due to instructions about war. Therefore, I think a respectful Buddhist should attempt to accurately represent these religious ideologies.
Last edited by DooDoot on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:22 am

Greetings,

Good observation DooDoot.

Too often such morally-loaded accusations are used for tactical advantage in discussions, for the purpose of trying to shut down, dismiss, or stifle opposing viewpoints. Frankly, I find the practice of levelling false (or at least "spurious") morally-loaded accusations against others, for the personal benefit of the accuser, to be a repugnant practice. From a governance perspective, we are mindful not to reward such disingenuous and self-serving behaviours.

Instead, ideas will stand and fall on their own merits, and it will be for the individual to decide which idea (whether Dhammic or secular) is the best in their eyes.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Mr Man » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:04 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:02 pm
So posting anti-semitic, racist, misogynistic etc. content is not against the ToS then Sam?
It depends on how one construes anti-semitic, racist and misogynistic content. The fact that these can be construed differently by different individuals is a good reason for looking carefully at the ToS rather than one's own labels when deciding what to post.
Hi Sam

Your answer, in my opinion, does not really address what is a fairly straightforward question.

The terms of service do not say anything about posting race hate videos, as far as I can see.

Is posting race hate videos ok (within the terms of service) Sam?
Last edited by Mr Man on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:10 am

Greetings,
Mr Man wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:04 am
race hate
Please define exactly what you mean by this.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Mr Man » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:28 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:10 am
Greetings,
Mr Man wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:04 am
race hate
Please define exactly what you mean by this.

Metta,
Paul. :)
wriggle wriggle wriggle

Does Sam not understand the meaning?

This is from the Collins' Dictionary

"the hate of or bias against people of other races"

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... /race-hate.

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:43 am

binocular wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:34 pm
Is it even possible that an online Buddhist forum be guided by Dhammic principles?
I think it not only possible but also unavoidable to the degree that the admins and the moderators are Dhammic and not beyond.

All Arahant administration would be best, followed by Anagamis, Sakidagamis, Sotapannas and so on.

If one goes for most Dhammic format one should pick the admins and mods by their knowledge and practice, looking for the most qualified for the job.

How this could be done in practice i don't know, i think that since there is an element of uncertainty in regards to assesment of other people's development one can only try to pick the most qualified and hope to end up somewhere close.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by binocular » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:47 am

DNS wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:19 pm
binocular wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:34 pm
Is it even possible that an online Buddhist forum be guided by Dhammic principles?
Good question, because the problem is as has been stated numerous times: whose interpretation of Dhammic principles? As staff we could easily implement our own version, but it may not be correct.
Indeed. It's strange to have a Buddhist forum that quite distinctly doesn't operate by Dhammic principles.
So the best course has been to allow as much free speech as possible. Many of you do not see it but we do in fact remove many inappropriate posts all the time. Since they are invisible to regular members, it gives the appearance that we aren't doing anything, when in fact there are removals all the time. If we remove too many, we are called authoritarian and power-hungry; if we remove too few we are called too libertarian . . .

As any organization gets large, this saying from Lincoln rings more true:

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
It's not about free speech, or removing "inappropriate" posts.

It's that on a Buddhist forum, moderators have power, they in effect adjudicate in matters of the Dhamma, but explicitly deny to have any Dhammic authority.
You don't see a problem with that?


It's because this is a Buddhist forum that an action by a moderator becomes an action in the name of the Dhamma.

If this would be any old secular, worldly forum, there would be no problem with the whole "we respect your autonomy" and "everyone is responsible for themselves" outlook. But once a forum's intention becomes religiously specific (or otherwise professionally specified, such as, say, a forum about motor vehicle engineering), the vague secular outlook is in conflict with the forum's intention. When a forum's intention is professionally specific, then those in positions of power need to be experts in the field.

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Re: Free speech, mere offense, direct harm & antisemitism

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:51 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:47 am
It's that on a Buddhist forum, moderators have power, they in effect adjudicate in matters of the Dhamma, but explicitly deny to have any Dhammic authority.
I haven't seen mods attempting to adjudicate on matters of Dhamma, and that isn't their role. It's about moderating behaviour rather than content.

The standards of behaviour expected might reflect Dhamma principles of course, eg Right Speech.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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