To she or not to she December 28, 2016 4:34 PM   Subscribe

Earlier today I posted this thread about transgender discrimination on the blue. Quote from hate group included in extended led to good question re quotes and misgendering.

The reasons I included the quote are because 1) how wrong it was, 2) to bring attention to it, and 3) to note its source. Yet in the thread byanyothername asked that in the future misgendering quotes by bigots be corrected/paraphrased. Discussion began. Eyebrows McGee noted the merit of the point and proposed if further community discussion were to ensue it would best be brought to MeTa.

Further discussion ensued.

In hindsight, I personally feel a better method would have been Etrigran's suggested route. Is the best approach case by case? Or should there be a harder-faster rule?
posted by Mike Mongo to Etiquette/Policy at 4:34 PM (150 comments total)

I'm going to just cross-post what I said on the issue in the other thread:

"On quotes: maybe just not getting or reporting an AFA quote on trans issues would be the way to go, or burying it behind a link if you absolutely have to? I mean, we're not in the habit of asking neo-Nazi organisations what they think of decisions relating to Jewish holidays, or asking for a BNP soundbite on British-Polish issues as a general rule either... "

I understand that you wanted to include the quote and it felt important. I'd totally go with Etrigan's suggestion in that circumstance.
posted by Dysk at 4:38 PM on December 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


I like Etrigan's method- it labels garbage for what it is and keeps it off our pages. I'm also with those who find altered quotes confusing; we are living in very weird times, it's hard enough to separate fact from fiction.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [23 favorites]


I don't think you should change what people say. You would just be making them look better than they would otherwise. Don't include a link at all if you don't want to.
posted by dilaudid at 4:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Just to quickly collect the discussion linked above so people can see the specific example:

Mike Mongo: "When questioned by New York CBS Local, [extremist hate group] American Family Association agrees with the Scout’s decision. “Simply because the girl thinks she’s a boy doesn’t make her a boy,” a spokesman told CBS2. “She’s a girl.”"

byanyothername: "Also, hey, just as a rule of thumb, can we maybe try to avoid misgendering people, even when it's clear that it's a direct quote from bigots?"

Someone objected to non-direct quotes, and my mod comment was: "I think there's a strong case to be made that cleaning up bigots' language for them aids in papering over their bigotry; there's also a strong case to be made that allowing bigots to speak hatefully in public advances their bigoted cause and hurts specific individuals. So I don't think there's a clear, correct decision and I think people can make cases for either side of the issue (and I personally think there's a strong situational element to consider). If you want to have a community discussion about how we ought to handle this sort of quote, which is a real problem, that would be a great discussion for MetaTalk and we'd be happy to facilitate that. But let's not have that policy discussion here in the thread."

Responses:
  • "When the point of the quote is to draw attention to how bigots are misgendering people, I think the answer is No, you can't avoid using the wrong pronouns."
  • "On the other hand, the friendly bracket can certainly drive the madness home: “Simply because the [boy] thinks [he’s] a boy doesn’t make [him] a boy,” a spokesman told CBS2. “[He’s] a girl.”"
  • "Or I might go with: "“Simply because the girl [sic] thinks she’s [sic] a boy doesn’t make her [sic] a boy,” a spokesman told CBS2. “She’s [sic] a girl [sic].”" Drives it home a bit better to readers who aren't as familiar with the issue of misgendering, IMHO, and who might think replacing "she" with "[he]" was replacing a longer phrase or putting in a skipped word, rather than fixing a misgendering." (also me but not-modly)
  • "Or just say "The American Family Association spewed its usual bigotry, here's a link if you want the specifics."?"

    I doubt there will be a hard-and-fast rule, but I think it's an interesting and worthwhile discussion we can have as a community to come to a clearer understanding of better and worse ways to handle these sorts of problematic direct quotes, from considering their necessity to examining ways to mark them as problematic when they are necessary.

  • posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:42 PM on December 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


    It's possibly also worth noting that misgendering is a big fucking deal for trans people, and it's not akin to a heavily objectionable statement about immigration from the BNP, it's equivalent to a statement containing a bunch of slurs from the BNP. Some language isn't cool for Metafilter, even in the context of a quote. I think misgendering like this should go in that category.
    posted by Dysk at 4:43 PM on December 28, 2016 [40 favorites]


    "Some language isn't cool for Metafilter, even in the context of a quote. I think misgendering like this should go in that category."

    Just to be clear, there are no words we automatically delete, especially if part of a quote relevant to the discussion (which the AFA quote probably wasn't), although many people choose to use asterisks or write certain words or usages. Happy to have a community discussion about best practices in terms of misgendering and direct quotes, etc., but we don't have an "auto-delete" list and we won't be creating one.

    We've always relied on context and necessity to guide the decision. If someone's gratuitously throwing around slurs, goodbye. But if we're quoting Iowa Congressman and noted bigot Steve King, and his habitual use of slurs is newsworthy and part of the discussion, those quotes may well stand.

    (It is, however, a big fucking deal and people should consider their words/quotes accordingly.)
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:05 PM on December 28, 2016 [7 favorites]


    I'm also with those who find altered quotes confusing; we are living in very weird times, it's hard enough to separate fact from fiction.

    I second this. The proposed [sic] and [he] I found very confusing to read. Maybe just link?
    posted by corb at 5:08 PM on December 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Just to be clear, there are no words we automatically delete, especially if part of a quote relevant to the discussion (which the AFA quote probably wasn't), although many people choose to use asterisks or write certain words or usages.

    There's room between "not cool for Metafilter" and "auto-delete", though. It feels reasonable to expect that we will not be told to accept misgendering, even if it's not grounds for deleting the quote. And, frankly, I think we were being told to accept misgendering.
    posted by hoyland at 5:10 PM on December 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I dunno, I can think of at least one word that just. doesn't. fly. on MeFi, which I cannot recall ever seeing unbowlderized for years now, except perhaps in MeTa threads discussing said word.

    Yes, I do mean the old Hulture Secretary: Jeremy, uh...
    posted by Dysk at 5:14 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    That wasn't my most coherent comment ever, but I feel like this will play out in exactly the same way things play out whenever someone raises concerns about how trans issues are approached on Metafilter. We're told how "things have gotten better" (admittedly true), how progressive Metafilter is, how thoughtful Mefites are and don't mean any ill towards trans people and on and on. But really? It's all bullshit if no one can raise a concern without knowing in advance that that's the response they'll get.
    posted by hoyland at 5:15 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    "Or I might go with: "“Simply because the girl [sic] thinks she’s [sic] a boy doesn’t make her [sic] a boy,” a spokesman told CBS2. “She’s [sic] a girl [sic].”" Drives it home a bit better to readers who aren't as familiar with the issue of misgendering, IMHO, and who might think replacing "she" with "[he]" was replacing a longer phrase or putting in a skipped word, rather than fixing a misgendering." (also me but not-modly)

    This strikes me as a good balance between keeping context while preserving dignity.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:17 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


    In a similar case I think it would have been adequate to say something like The American Family Association agreed with the Scout’s decision, calling Joe Maldonado a girl. I'm not sure how much that citation added to the post, though; who cares what the AFA has to say.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 5:23 PM on December 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


    I mean, if the quote were truly necessary, the [sic] stuff might be a good way to preserve dignity or something, but why are we quoting a hate group with no connection to the organisation under consideration in the first place? I can dig out some awful fucking quotes on just about any subject with a bit of googling or a quick visit to 4chan, but it'd be no more relevant, and would likely be deleted for being just that - irrelevant aggravation.
    posted by Dysk at 5:26 PM on December 28, 2016 [32 favorites]


    I agree with having a bright-line "no misgendering" policy on Metafilter. We don't let people use other similarly weaponized language here even if it's in the context of quoting someone to point out what a wretched human being they are (cf. the recent Carl Paladino quotes on Michelle Obama, which people explicitly requested not be posted).

    I understand the impulse to use someone's words as a shock to the system, a way to go "It's this bad - look what they actually said!" but at the end of the day I think some things are too charged and hateful to appear on this site, and I support misgendering language as being included in that group of things.
    posted by supercrayon at 5:28 PM on December 28, 2016 [21 favorites]


    (Also, pretty disappointed to see a lot of pretty anodyne comments deleted from the thread on the blue - a quick mod note to say to bring the discussion over here might've been a little less... heavy handed.)
    posted by Dysk at 5:29 PM on December 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Hoyland, I objected in the thread that the point of the quote in question was to point out the groups bigotry, but I have been swayed by the arguments, and my opinion now is that the best course of action would be to paraphrase without reprinting the quote, like Joe in Australia just suggested.

    Also, I take issue with the suggestion (made in the original thread, but now moderated out) that "Everyone knows the AFA are a bunch of bigots" because I for one have no idea who they are, and the fact that these conversations keep happening is very helpful for me to stay in touch on an issue which I personally have very little contact with otherwise.
    posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:31 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I also second the disappointment that comments are disappearing. Moderation should not take the form of things being deleted silently. I know from experience that the mods don't even send notice to the person on what they did wrong and how to improve, and I think that's pretty shitty.
    posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:33 PM on December 28, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I didn't get why the quotes where there to begin with. Why do we care what random hate groups think of certain issues?
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:35 PM on December 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


    I know from experience that the mods don't even send notice to the person on what they did wrong and how to improve, and I think that's pretty shitty.

    Mods are pretty slammed right now and we should be kind to them - they've been moderating politics threads for what probably feels like eternity at this point. They are not an infinite resource and I don't think they have the time or spoons to write an individual note on each individual deleted comment.
    posted by corb at 5:38 PM on December 28, 2016 [22 favorites]


    Two comments (one quite short and one substantive) were deleted, both after I asked the discussion come to MetaTalk and not be in the thread; I also contacted the poster directly to let them know there was a MetaTalk and they could repost here. If the poster would like I'm happy to repost those comments here for them. Deleting follow-up comments in a derail after asking a discussion avoid that particular derail is pretty standard.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [20 favorites]


    but why are we quoting a hate group with no connection to the organisation under consideration in the first place?

    A good question for CBS.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


    That's fair corb, but when I've done moderation before, we've had like, a standard response sheet. All you needed to do was check a box and it would send a form letter to the person.

    As for why the quote was there, I think it's because it was part of the posted material, and it's notable that hate groups (who I'm sure not everyone recognises as such) are getting attention like this.
    posted by I-Write-Essays at 5:42 PM on December 28, 2016


    when I've done moderation before, we've had like, a standard response sheet.

    That invites an argument. There's pros and cons either way, but that's not how MeFi normally does it (EMG actually seems to have made an exception here.)
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:48 PM on December 28, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Moderation should not take the form of things being deleted silently. I know from experience that the mods don't even send notice to the person on what they did wrong and how to improve, and I think that's pretty shitty.

    Which this is not what this MeTa is about, please do not derail.
    posted by soundguy99 at 5:51 PM on December 28, 2016 [27 favorites]


    In this case, it seems like the relevant info—media giving air time to hate group that disrespects child—could be given easily without including the actual quote. It's also not critical to the main story, like Trump's pussy grabbing quote where the quote is the story.
    posted by snofoam at 5:56 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Seeing the amount of people who find the additions of [sic] not very readable (which I had liked), I think this is the best option:

    "Or just say "The American Family Association spewed its usual bigotry, here's a link if you want the specifics."?"

    I did and do wonder why the article was included anyway. Whatever your reasons, it reads the same, to me, as a white trans person, as if one was compelled to include quotes from eugenicists when racial discrimination is talked about. Is it even relevant? Do we need to rehash what bigots and idiots think? Do you think trans issues are so obtuse that the average reader here can't predict what the bigots might say? Even if so, why teach them? And if we are all so far in the dark on trans people that you must teach us what hatred against trans people looks like, why not include a counterpoint to this that teaches why transgender people are exactly who they say they are?
    posted by sevenofspades at 5:58 PM on December 28, 2016 [11 favorites]


    Also, cutesy insertions in the quote seem to me to be obviously not the way to go: the quote is still there and still unnecessary, just with a slightly different form of caveat.
    posted by snofoam at 5:59 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I agree with Etrigan. You can post about garbage, you can talk about garbage, but there's no need to post actual garbage here. And this is in no way meant to be a slur on the OP.
    posted by valkane at 6:08 PM on December 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


    I did and do wonder why the article was included anyway.

    Because a major news organisation made it part of the story. If a poster independently included it, I could see your point. The question is how we deal with it now. IMHO using the [SIC] tags provides clarity and editorial guidance.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:10 PM on December 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


    IMHO using the [SIC] tags provides clarity and editorial guidance.

    But it wasn't a central part of the story. You could just take it out, or write [bullshit hate group said transphobic crap in response.]
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:13 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


    But it wasn't a central part of the story.

    Seems to be what everyone is arguing about, so that's at least up for debate.

    You could just take it out, or write [bullshit hate group said transphobic crap in response.]

    You could bury your head in the sand too.

    I get the objection. If AFA just issued a statement in the woods, I'd be content to leave it be. But CBS means it made a sound. If MeFi starts covering that up it's no longer a resource. That's not what I expect from it.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:22 PM on December 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


    It seems to me that the abundant use of "(sic)" makes some of these things unreadable and belabors the point. If the quotation is germane enough to be included, why not append something like "(misgendering in original)" at the end to reinforce the point? In a case such as this, it strikes me that the original language is illustrative of a certain point of view, albeit one that many of us discountenance, and that correcting the misgendering and/or inserting numerous editorial qualifiers lessens that illustrative impact. Meanwhile, if there is no good reason to illustrate that particular viewpoint, then there may not be any good reason to include the quotation. But contexts may arise in which it makes sense to provide a quote that is misgendered.
    posted by slkinsey at 6:25 PM on December 28, 2016 [7 favorites]



    I'm going to just cross-post what I said on the issue in the other thread:

    "On quotes: maybe just not getting or reporting an AFA quote on trans issues would be the way to go, or burying it behind a link if you absolutely have to? I mean, we're not in the habit of asking neo-Nazi organisations what they think of decisions relating to Jewish holidays, or asking for a BNP soundbite on British-Polish issues as a general rule either... "

    I understand that you wanted to include the quote and it felt important. I'd totally go with Etrigan's suggestion in that circumstance.


    As usual I like Dysk's answer.
    posted by zutalors! at 6:31 PM on December 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Because a major news organisation made it part of the story. If a poster independently included it, I could see your point. The question is how we deal with it now. IMHO using the [SIC] tags provides clarity and editorial guidance.

    I really think the only purpose for including this article would be the one that snofoam mentioned, to note that CBS finds it appropriate to quote hate groups when a member of the group they hate gets discriminated against -- and perhaps make something like that verbiage the text of the link to the article. That is not the context that comes across in the comment on the original MeFi thread.
    posted by sevenofspades at 6:41 PM on December 28, 2016 [6 favorites]


    I feel like now's the time to take a stand against hate groups.
    posted by zutalors! at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


    This rosebush is getting pruned. You got what you wished for.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2016


    The problem with transphobic language is that it doesn't just impact the person being spoken about. It impacts all trans people. So when you include a quote where someone is being misgendered, I am being misgendered as well. (Not mad at the OP, just pointing that out because I think the impact on MeFi members is important to include in this discussion.)

    In this case, CBS is wrong. There is nothing newsworthy about the fact that an unrelated garbage right-wing organization has misgendered a trans kid. Sky blue, water wet, etc. If you have to include it, put it behind a link, and describe what's there, so those of us that find that language personally harmful can avoid it.
    posted by zebra at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2016 [34 favorites]


    If you have to include it, put it behind a link, and describe what's there, so those of us that find that language personally harmful can avoid it.

    Do you want Trump? Because that's how you get Trump.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:08 PM on December 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


    I have literally no idea what MeFites having a good-faith discussion about whether and how to use quotes that include hate speech when discussing articles totally unrelated to Trump has to do with Trump and I think that's not terribly helpful.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:10 PM on December 28, 2016 [45 favorites]


    > Do you want Trump? Because that's how you get Trump.

    Oh please. We didn't get Trump because mefi users and mods generally try to avoid using harmful terms when other ways to describe what's being said elsewhere by other people are available. Come on.
    posted by rtha at 7:11 PM on December 28, 2016 [47 favorites]


    Sorry ChurchHatesTucker, I'll just go on not being afraid of bigots. WTF.
    posted by zutalors! at 7:11 PM on December 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


    I didn't get why the quotes where there to begin with. Why do we care what random hate groups think of certain issues?

    I can answer that question–though I reiterate, in hindsight, I would have done it as Etrigan proposed–and it is because I COULD NOT EVEN UNDERSTAND WHY A HATE GROUP WAS ASKED ABOUT THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    It really made me pissed/sick/pissed that another one of those stupid hate groups with the word "family" in their name even got asked the question. So again, while I am (now) glad I did it awkwardly as it has led to this very conversation which is Very Good so that we/Metafites have this dialog to draw up for later reference, I would absolutely preferred to have said it, "Here is what [hate group] had to say about the situation (though I am absolutely at a loss and sickened and pissed about it as to why they were even thought of much less asked in the first place)."

    The reason I wanted it there is because: As Dysk asks "Why are we quoting hate groups in the first place?" and as ChurchHatesTucker replies, "A good question for CBS." Which is exactly what I wanted to nail. Why, CBS, why?

    Thanks. Sorry. Thanks. And again as always, Mefi family, thanks.
    posted by Mike Mongo at 7:19 PM on December 28, 2016 [26 favorites]


    I have literally no idea what MeFites having a good-faith discussion about whether and how to use quotes that include hate speech when discussing articles totally unrelated to Trump has to do with Trump and I think that's not terribly helpful

    One of the alternatives proposed has literally been "just ignore/suppress it."

    Your call, MetaFilter. Not acceptable to me.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:21 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Thanks Mike Mongo -- and I thought this would be a good MetaTalk precisely because members made their points so clearly and eloquently and I thought it would be helpful for the community to see them laid out. As an ex-journalist my impulse is to over-report and signal in the reporting that the person being interviewed is an absurd jerkface, but when I saw byanyothername's objection and Ertigan's proposed solution I was like, "Oh, huh, excellent point and I will definitely consider that FIRST in the future."

    I honestly didn't think we'd necessarily argue about it, since it was an excellent point, I just thought it would be very helpful to see it spelled out and hash it out a little bit. I expect 90% of mefites reading this either already agree or are like "huh, good point, I hadn't considered that, I will not rage-quote that sort of thing in the future."

    Just as a side note, the AFA quote didn't get flagged; if it had been I probably would have deleted it because I too give zero fucks what the AFA has to say about gender or childrearing or just about anything else because they are basically national-level trolls on these issues. When it did get called out the responses had been interesting and pretty integrated into the thread already, so I thought a metatalk would probably be the better option.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:28 PM on December 28, 2016 [17 favorites]


    I think there are at least two separate topics being discussed here, and it may be helpful to disentangle them a little: should misgendering be treated as hate speech (to which many of us, myself included, strongly feel the answer is YES), and what should Metafilter's policies be about quoting hate speech (which seems to me a more complex and difficult issue). The second seems likely to come up a lot in the era of Trump.
    posted by thetortoise at 7:31 PM on December 28, 2016 [15 favorites]


    The way that thread went actually upset me, and I decided to take a breather from the site for most of the evening; I'm actually still pretty upset, but here are some thoughts. It's beyond frustrating that I felt like I needed to explain again why hate speech is not okay. Links to StormFront are a no-go on the site; that should as a general rule be applicable to any other form of hate speech.

    I tried to word my initial request for not misgendering folks as a general courtesy in a pretty casual and not-emotionally-charged way. I'm not a huge fan of callouts or fighty back-and-forths; everybody makes mistakes, and an offensive faux pas is not the end of the world. I can understand how someone might think that something is worth seeing, but when it comes to hate groups and open bigotry, affected minority groups typically already know what's up and have to deal with this stuff off-site on a regular basis. There are better ways of discussing and pointing to hate groups than quoting them directly, something that's often done to lend them legitimacy in a falsely balanced "Both Sides" narrative. If a slur-filled hate quote feels absolutely necessary, there are a lot of us who would appreciate a head's up warning on it; I've spent part of my night in a quiet PTSD mini-meltdown, because the direction the sub-topic on quoting hate groups took hit a little too close to home re: violent and traumatizing experiences with actual bigots. The kinds of rules lawyer protestations to not using slurs or quoting bigots are the kinds of arguments typically made by bigots.

    I don't think anyone generally wants to be on Team Bigot, so let's just try to be considerate about this kind of stuff. We come from different backgrounds, we're going to bump into each other's rough edges sometimes; it goes better when we're able to accept that our knee-jerk impressions aren't always accurate and that our experiences aren't always applicable to others'.
    posted by byanyothername at 7:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [35 favorites]


    Also, I'll add super quick: I find it upsetting that so much of the discussion is, "How do we frame bigotry and hate to be palatable for the site?" instead of "Why are we considering posting this at all?"
    posted by byanyothername at 7:48 PM on December 28, 2016 [25 favorites]


    Links to StormFront are a no-go on the site;

    Sure, although I could see exceptions made going forward, given recent events.

    that should as a general rule be applicable to any other form of hate speech.

    This is the crux of the argument. Do you not report hate speech because it's hate speech?
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:52 PM on December 28, 2016


    This is the crux of the argument

    No, it isn't. You can report hate speech without specifically using language that is intended to harm people.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 PM on December 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


    One of the alternatives proposed has literally been "just ignore/suppress it."

    *eyeroll* Yah, in the context of MetaFilter, which is not exactly the whole of the web, or mainstream media, and is full of people smart enough to know Hate Groups Gonna Hate without needing it to be spelled out and maybe sunlight is a good disinfectant but there is such a thing as "leading by example" and maybe it wouldn't suck for us to just generally set an example by NOT misgendering people even if we're quoting hate groups - or just avoid the damn quotes in the first place - and if you feel a strong need to shine a light on hateful people you can go wild on your own Facebook page or get your own blog or something.

    Making our own tiny corner of the web a better place does not empower the hateful.
    posted by soundguy99 at 7:54 PM on December 28, 2016 [12 favorites]


    One of the alternatives proposed has literally been "just ignore/suppress it."

    The argument is that the AFA hate speech wasn't relevant to the story in this case. It was tacked on to the article for no real purpose, as noted by Mike Mongo.

    This seems like the problem that did (in some part) lead to Trump: giving both sides equal weight and air time even if one side is clearly wrong. It's lending legitimacy where none is deserved.
    posted by ghost phoneme at 7:57 PM on December 28, 2016 [9 favorites]


    Put me down as another vote for "direct quoting hate groups is something that should be done sparingly, if at all." There's a really fine line to walk between criticism and spreading the message, especially if you are not a member of the targeted group -- it's too easy to turn up the heat without shedding additional light.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 7:59 PM on December 28, 2016 [24 favorites]


    Making our own tiny corner of the web a better place does not empower the hateful.

    It really does.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:23 PM on December 28, 2016


    This is the crux of the argument. Do you not report hate speech because it's hate speech?

    In this particular case, the citation was to CBS, which weirdly sought comment from the AFA and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark (which basically said "Not our business, go away"). I don't know why they chose to do seek those comments, but random groups' takes on an event are not news per se.
    posted by Joe in Australia at 8:39 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    > It really does.

    Bullshit. Just recently, a friend on facebook (an African American woman) talked about an experience she recently had where someone called her the n-word. She used "N-word" in her post, like I did here. I guess she made the world a worse place, yeah?

    I don't want this shit normalized. I don't want people thinking it's normal or that's just how it is, like the goddamn grocer's apostrophe. I want abundant examples of people making it very clear that it is not acceptable to use terms like that.

    If you are under the impression that trans people here on mefi need exposure to anti-trans language and attitudes, please let me disabuse you of that notion. Ditto for people of color and racism, women and sexism, queers and homophobia, etc.

    So who's your intended audience, ChurchHatesTucker? The ignorant of metafilter? Those who Really Don't Get How Bad Shit Can Be Out There? Can you not imagine a way to educate and illuminate without using abusive hate speech? Do you think that when we discuss racism, we have to use racist language to illustrate Just How Bad Shit Can Be, or we are somehow...what, making things worse?

    We do not need to replicate the absurd horror of assholes in order to discuss assholes, or to talk about why their shit stinks. There may be occasions when direct quotes are needed, but you cannot believe that it is all or nothing - can you? If nothing else, metafilter is not a news organization, and is under no obligation whatsoever to report hot takes on any damn thing, from kittens to [horrible shithead said shitty thing, film at 11]. It is not a slippery slope to fascism to decline to do so.
    posted by rtha at 8:51 PM on December 28, 2016 [69 favorites]



    Making our own tiny corner of the web a better place does not empower the hateful.

    It really does.



    Should we also post Stormfront links for fear that otherwise bigots will vote for supremacists out of spite?

    If only we could be made to understand that increases in bigotry are our fault for speaking against it.
    posted by zutalors! at 8:51 PM on December 28, 2016 [15 favorites]


    The reason I wanted it there is because: As Dysk asks "Why are we quoting hate groups in the first place?" and as ChurchHatesTucker replies, "A good question for CBS." Which is exactly what I wanted to nail. Why, CBS, why?

    It seems like the right way to frame this would be something like, "CBS chooses to quote transphobic hate speech in its coverage of the issue," with a link but not a quotation, so that people who want to read the primary source can do so, so that people who want to avoid reading hate speech can do so, and so that you're calling out the media response as transphobic, rather than just re-posting the hate.

    I also think it's important to remember that rage-quoting hate speech still ends up exposing people, including and especially the targets of the hate speech, to hate speech.
    posted by lazuli at 8:54 PM on December 28, 2016 [21 favorites]


    what should Metafilter's policies be about quoting hate speech (which seems to me a more complex and difficult issue). The second seems likely to come up a lot in the era of Trump.

    Yeah, I think this. For example, I viscerally wince at Trump's "Grab them" quote, but it's newsworthy because the people in charge of our country are now saying this crap. It's pretty easy to sort out "random fucker says random fuckery", which is the singular instance, that's how mods have been doing it forever, and as per Eyebrows how it would have been done, but how will we need to deal going forward with shitty stuff that's newsworthy? I think talking this stuff out now is maybe useful on how to handle that stuff moving forward.
    posted by corb at 9:24 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    If 2016 has taught us anything, it's that the possibilities are endless when it comes to increased fuckery of something that's already downright fucked. This makes me think that any effort we devote now to coming up with bright-line rules or even loose guidelines as to how we'll approach future fuckery on the part of Trump or assorted Trumpists aren't going to be very productive. If we could predict what the next Access Hollywood Tape-level event in Trumpdom will be, I think we'd have a nice income stream from Democratic strategists.

    Let's just take this stuff on a case-by-case basis, using our own judgement and the community norms that have evolved over time, and post MeTas like this one to hash out any edge cases.
    posted by tonycpsu at 9:53 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I also think it's important to remember that rage-quoting hate speech still ends up exposing people, including and especially the targets of the hate speech, to hate speech.

    Totally. With this in mind keeping the outright hate behind a link seems fully reasonable to me.

    I also think the argument that this would somehow be making MeFi into some kind of disconnected bubble is kind of hilarious, because just speaking personally as a queermo I am extremely aware of what the AFA or FOTF or any other group on this list from the SPLC has said and is probably going to say about gender/sexual minorities (spoiler alert: probably something super shitty!). If cis straight people feel like they have to dive into that particular sewer in order to plumb the exact shittiness of these organizations in all gory detail, then by all means have at it, but I don't need to be reminded it exists, because bigots have been quoting that shit at me (and using it to try to justify policy, in some cases) for my entire existence as a sexual being.
    posted by en forme de poire at 11:04 PM on December 28, 2016 [18 favorites]


    It seems like the right way to frame this would be something like, "CBS chooses to quote transphobic hate speech in its coverage of the issue," with a link but not a quotation, so that people who want to read the primary source can do so, so that people who want to avoid reading hate speech can do so, and so that you're calling out the media response as transphobic, rather than just re-posting the hate.

    Personally, I think it'd be better to say "well CBS and their reporting on this is a garbage fire!" and find a different source. It's not like CBS have a monopoly on news, and I'm not sure why their reporting being terrible and offensive as fuck means we should drive more traffic to them as a result. Like, CBS included this offensive shit, so fuck CBS as well as AFA. We don't regularly use Fox as a source for general news reporting or go looking for what most offensive nugget they've put up in order to quote that, either.
    posted by Dysk at 12:39 AM on December 29, 2016 [19 favorites]


    Also personally, I don't give two shits what's "acceptable" to a bunch of cis people in terms of "suppressing reporting" of hate speech.

    Scratch that - I don't even give one shit.
    posted by Dysk at 12:40 AM on December 29, 2016 [32 favorites]


    Thanks for bringing this up OP, I appreciate the post, and thank you for asking this question in an open way. I appreciate your intention wasn't too offend, and good on you for apologising.

    Count me on the "don't quote unless absolutely unavoidable" group - and for me this means not quoting when it's a group that predictably uses hate speech, including the AFA, Brietbart, etc etc etc. It's not necessary and more than one of our trans members have generously shared their perspectives and asked that we don't quote it. The OP wasn't about mainstream media normalising hate-speech, it was about fucked up Boy Scouts; so for me the former, however distasteful, is not critical.

    I'm always going to take the concrete, expressed concerns of our members (especially when they are members of the relevant persecuted group/s) over more generalised ideas about what's best of society, 'metafilter', activism, journalism etc. That is a no brainer for me, and indisputably better for the site, it's members and our community than beanplating the issue like people in the room aren't hurt or affected by this hate every day of their lives.
    posted by smoke at 1:21 AM on December 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


    Agreed. No need for that sort of thing here. It's hurtful and doesn't provide any measurable benefit--the cost/benefit isn't even worth considering, in fact.

    Misgendering is unequivocally over the line.
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:47 AM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


    If the quote is necessary the [sic] thing seems the best and clear if awkward way of including it. Silently fixing the language in the quote is both ethically problematic and makes the person quoted look less bigoted than they are. Bracketing the correction is confusing IMO.
    posted by Mitheral at 2:36 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Just wanted to weigh in here since I was the first to question byanyothername's request. First, thank you everyone for the discussion here, it has been (as always) incredibly enlightening.

    Second, byanyothername, I truly apologize if my question was viewed as antagonistic - it was not intended in that spirit but could definitely have been worded better. I'm not sure why the idea of "let's just not share quotes where people are misgendered, unless they truly add substance to the conversation" didn't follow logically for me from your very reasonable request. Instead my mind went to rewriting direct quotes, which, as someone with some journalism background struck me as a no-no. So, again, my apologies for contributing to (or aiding in causing) the derailment.

    Lastly, thank you, MeFi, for being MeFi. 💙 I like to think that I am a relatively "aware" person when it comes to these sorts of topics ... MeFi regularly shows me that I have plenty of learning to do, and I truly appreciate that.
    posted by jferg at 5:06 AM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


    From a purely technical standpoint, does the method Etrigan proposes pass on any SEO juice from the problematic source? I think that would be unfortunate if some of Metafilter's 'VALID CREDIBLE AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY' score propagated backwards via some ranking mechanism somewhere.

    The specific case I am imagining is:

    CA. 2018 'A Magic Truthfinding/Credibilty Thingy has been implemented [God Forbid] by some forwards looking government somewhere [God Forbid]'

    ('Hateful Bigotry' --> Metafilter --> Magic Truthfulness Scoring --> 'Hateful Bigotry' truth score increases)
    posted by mrdaneri at 5:16 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Making our own tiny corner of the web a better place does not empower the hateful.
    It really does.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:23 PM on December 28 [+] [!]


    Oh, bullshit. Trust me, I fucking know what the AFA, WBC, etc, think of me and all the other non-cis folk. We all know. I don't need to be reminded. I'm not "covering it up", I'm not "supressing" anything, and I'm certainly not asking for trump. It's absolutely appalling that you're telling trans folk that they're aiding in their own oppression by asking Metafilter to think about what we report and how we report it.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 6:07 AM on December 29, 2016 [29 favorites]


    It's not about AFA per se. It's about CBS et al. Unfortunately, the normalization of hate speech is likely to be a recurring topic in coming years. Are we just not going to talk about it?
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:25 AM on December 29, 2016


    Ok, but again, you can report on hate speech, and even provide links to it when appropriate, without repeating it here. It's not like the only choices are to ignore it or to quote it.
    posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:34 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    So, rather than just quote them, we'll send them traffic?
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:46 AM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Unfortunately, the normalization of hate speech is likely to be a recurring topic in coming years. Are we just not going to talk about it?

    If you want to talk about the normalization of hate speech, great! Put together an FPP and let's have the discussion. That would make a great FPP, I think ... the hows and whys and whos etc.

    But that's not what you're asking for (or planning to do), is it? You've said that, every time some mainstream news org decides to quote some bigots, we need to put that bigotry on full display here on Metafilter or else we're engaging in censorship and causing Trump. We don't need to re-litigate the normalization of hate speech on every topic where some awful org says something shitty. We'd never talk about anything else.

    You've made your point / ground your axe. Please stop.
    posted by zebra at 6:50 AM on December 29, 2016 [27 favorites]


    So, rather than just quote them, we'll send them traffic?

    Nobody was going to the AFA site.
    posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:51 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Not to dump too heavily on Mike Mongo, but part of the problem is the mixed framing of the FPP. His initial post was about the Boy Scouts doing something unpleasant, which would have been enough (although it could have stood to be fleshed out a bit more, possibly with some links to articles establishing some of the history of the Boy Scouts in relation to gender issues). However, it was followed by a comment by Mike Mongo "fleshing out" the FPP with reference to the AFA's opinion on the decision. Now, he's said that he did it to ask why CBS was quoting a hate group on the issue, but that was not what the original post was about. So, rather than discuss the Boy Scouts' decision, the thread revolved around the AFA and its opinions, which set up a lot of turbulence. Essentially, Mike Mongo derailed his own post.

    Now, if the point was to discuss CBS's choice of sources, maybe the focus should have been on that, looking for multiple examples of major US news sources going to hate groups for reactions to bigotry. That would have been a different post, but it would have lead (probably) to a more coherent discussion, because the FPP would have been asking one question.

    So, in this case, the choice was to spotlight the Boy Scouts and trans people or spotlight the news media and their sources. The turbulent framing put our trans members in the hot seat (again) without really allowing room to talk about the impact of the BS's decision and the implications for other efforts to force trans people into untenable positions by denying them existence.

    So I think it would be worth all of us considering more carefully when doing FPPs about discrimination (which I can only assume we are going to get plenty of practice on in the next few years), what specific issues the post sis presenting, especially if you aren't part of the targeted group. What seems like an interesting political issue (or even a matter of burning anger) to an ally may be another rock thrown at one of our members, and that's no way to proceed.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM on December 29, 2016 [23 favorites]


    I'm only on my first cup of coffee so right now all I'm gonna do is co-sign everything Dysk said. hoyland and FirstMateKate are solid too, and any other trans folx I missed.

    (For those who don't know, I'm a trans guy.)

    btw your title for this meta is abominable. It's not a joke.
    posted by AFABulous at 7:24 AM on December 29, 2016 [39 favorites]


    I also think it's important to remember that rage-quoting hate speech still ends up exposing people, including and especially the targets of the hate speech, to hate speech.

    This is a really useful point. I often think about it on MeFi w/r/t sexual violence. Some people like to talk about rape in the abstract and talk about terrible things that have happened to people, mostly but not always women, as a way of expressing anger at how bad rape is. Which is a thing that feels normal to them, often, but to people who have been the victim of sexual violence, it's a lot less abstract and just feels like it makes the site more rape-y. Similar thing with misgendering. Talking about it abstractly can FEEL abstract for some people. However for people who are constantly at risk of violence or who have been subject to violence that hinges on misgendering and people's ignorant beliefs about trans people and trans social issues generally, it's not at all abstract, it's part of the transphobic world they have to manage daily.

    I made this point in a different thread (nb: link to long political thread) when someone was using an example of violence against a person of color, and how you would react as a bystander. Realizing that not everyone sees themselves as a bystander in that hypothetical scenario is good to remember.
    posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:33 AM on December 29, 2016 [38 favorites]


    Nobody was going to the AFA site.

    I was referring to CBS.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:38 AM on December 29, 2016


    In terms of quoting offensive stuff: in addition to all the other problems others have pointed out, it means that the conversation doesn't get any further than "these people are terrible with terrible values and it's very upsetting".

    I think one thing we all appreciate about metafilter is that much of the time we do get more than just "this is awful stuff done by awful people". Framing a post as "here is substantive content; usual haters have hated but we're not going to link" pushes us to discuss the substantive content.

    I also think that it's important for progressives, leftists, people-of-good-will etc to push our conversations past "I recognize evil". Sometimes I look at a comment that I've left and think "gee, my ideas are not very sophisticated, they have not progressed much after I became able to identify [THING] as wrong". We need to have complex understandings of issues, not just skills in identifying what is wrong.

    I think that it's probably also less exhausting to have conversations that go "here is a way to complexify that basically fine but oversimplified thing you wrote" rather than "here is an explanation of why this thing is utterly terrible and must not happen".
    posted by Frowner at 7:44 AM on December 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


    Yeah, I came here straight from the MeFi thread, and didn't see the title to this. It's not cute. Especially since you chose to title on the side of misgendering.

    I don't think you fully grasp what misgendering is, or in what capacity occurs out in the real world. Misgendering can be confirmation that someone flat-out does not believe in trans identities. Sometimes people misgender you because you haven't had (or don't want) surgery, so they're defining you by your genitals. It happens when trans folk don't pass, so you're saying they're not man enough or woman enough.. From family, it can be them refusing to accept that individual's autonomy; treating a trans person as a possession in relation to themselves, instead of a person with their own life. (A parent who thinks holding own to the concept of "their daughter" is more important than a trans man's right to be a free individual). Frequently it is a direct, intentional slur thrown at a trans person because you hate them and want to harm them.

    Misgendering isn't just a typo, a preference, the oxford comma of gender. It's literal hate speech that causes real harm. In almost all cases of attempted and completed suicide by young trans people, misgendering is cited as a source for mental turmoil.

    To build on what Jessamyn said, this is not an abstract concept. We have a relatively large population of trans folk here on metafilter. And, hopefully, those numbers will grow. So when you say "To she or not to she" you're saying "to respect or not to respect"? "To harm or not to harm?", and it's a question directly applying to users of this site.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 7:55 AM on December 29, 2016 [56 favorites]


    It seems like the right way to frame this would be something like, "CBS chooses to quote transphobic hate speech in its coverage of the issue," with a link but not a quotation, so that people who want to read the primary source can do so, so that people who want to avoid reading hate speech can do so, and so that you're calling out the media response as transphobic, rather than just re-posting the hate.

    For what it's worth, this is more or less the approach I would follow, in some instances perhaps there could be a descriptive general paraphrase signalling how they covered an issue or some nod to what the take was without needing to express or repeat the offensive statements directly, but I am pretty strongly against altering direct quotes in any way. There are times that the media bleeps out offensive terms and it acts as a cover for them and the person being quoted. Any quote should be as close to what the person actually said as possible, otherwise it can lead to misrepresentation and potentially false information if the "correction" wasn't the only way to interpret the statement.

    Again though, there is usually no need to repeat hateful statements on the site, linking via encapsulation so people know what to expect should be fine and a better method for this site overall.
    posted by gusottertrout at 8:05 AM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Fucking hell, CHT, is it really that hard to listen to the many trans members here?
    posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on December 29, 2016 [22 favorites]


    I'll just echo again that "Is this necessary?" should be a medium to high bar to jump here. 9 times out of 10, mainstream news sources' handling of trans issues is pretty offensive and bad; it isn't a case of normalizing hate speech so much as normalized hate speech. It was already the normal default, and to the extent that reporting has gotten better, it's been thanks to intentional efforts to leave that normal default behind.

    In cases where there is value to directly quoting something hateful, content warnings and burying the quote just a bit are probably ideal. I can get how people might be looking at this through an editorial/journalistic lens and trying to figure out how to massage hate speech into something okay to put on full blast, but it's probably a better idea to just not put hate speech on full blast. Offer headphones for idiosyncratic listening in discussions when it's appropriate to discuss. When discussing hate speech, I think there can be value in addressing epithets and slurs head-on, as there is a tendency for unaffected people to misunderstand that certain words are "bad" without understanding why (and that leads to a pushback impulse where other people feel they have a god-given right to use any word they like, even if it's super racist/homophobic/misogynist/bigoted).

    But just stapling hate speech onto things isn't really allowing a discussion of hate speech; it's repeating it, and exposing people who might be affected by it to it without warning.
    posted by byanyothername at 8:21 AM on December 29, 2016 [29 favorites]


    I'm a big fan of, in the argot of this thread, The Etrigan Method. The feeling I've come to after a lot of years of doing this is that the obligation is on the poster/commenter to be thoughtful about whether it's necessary/worthwhile to inject something hateful or ugly into a thread by quotation, and to err on the side of not if there's any doubt.

    Look long and hard at that "this quote is awful" specimen you're considering adding to a thread and figure out what, exactly, the value of adding it is and whether that value actually rises to the point of being worth causing some collateral damage. Think in terms of, "this is going to hurt people", and proceed from there.

    Sometimes something vile may be of such vital importance that it's worth cautious quotation. The world is weird and shit happens. But that is a rarity, and it still has a cost even if you think it's justified.

    And a big part of this is, if you're not the one for whom the cost exists, if you're not in the group most directly and viscerally affected by (re-re-re-)exposure to hateful speech, you're probably not gonna get the math right. You don't feel that impact in your gut, and so your gut is almost certainly not something you can trust on this. Err on the side of caution. Err hard. Avoid doing unnecessary harm.

    Linking to and disclaiming gross stuff as a way to include it with some distance in a conversation is a reasonable way to compromise on this stuff, again when actually necessary. But a quote doesn't need to be seared into random MeFites' and lurkers' and readers' retinas just because That's How Bad It Is, and I think that kind of thing done without due caution makes this place worse far more often than it makes it better.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 8:23 AM on December 29, 2016 [28 favorites]


    Also, AFABulous is completely correct about this MeTa's title. It makes me rethink assuming that Mike Mongo was clueless rather than malicious.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 8:30 AM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


    I agree, GenjiandProust, which is why I took the time to explain to him, and the other disntanced-from-the-situation others, what misgendering means and how it applies.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 8:43 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I wouldn't assume maliciousness based on the title - its a gimmicky title, and that was the word being corrected-or-not. However, whenever people make gimmicky titles it always loses a lot, and for MeTas we really need to be thinking thoughtfully from the get go. Maybe we should just try to steer clear of gimmicky titles on fraught or likely to be fraught MeTas - even when they're not problematic they don't actually add anything, there isn't a reward for the risk.
    posted by corb at 8:47 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    It shows a pretty dismissive attitude towards misgendering, which is what derailed the thread that led to this MeTa in the first place.

    I agree that, in general, jokey approaches to fraught subjects is almost always a bad idea.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 9:01 AM on December 29, 2016 [9 favorites]


    I wouldn't assume maliciousness based on the title - its a gimmicky title

    That's carelessly hurtful at best. Don't go for the gimmick, don't go for the joke, this isn't a fucking laughing matter.
    posted by Dysk at 9:04 AM on December 29, 2016 [26 favorites]


    And again, CBS were awful in their reporting here - so? This isn't new, this isn't some novel Trumpism, it's fucking standard practice for news ours, as byanyothername points out. Instead of highlighting that, find a good news source, and highlight their coverage. Don't give the bigots oxygen.

    Also, all the this is how you get Trump bullshit: the world is bigger than the USA. Yous all ended up with a terrible president and that sucks, but it doesn't make it okay to make everything shit everywhere just because your country shit the bed. Some of the rest of us are lying in clean linen, don't start rolling the shit around on us.
    posted by Dysk at 9:08 AM on December 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


    Put another way.- if you think CBS printing someone else's hate speech is terrible, why respond to that by doing exactly the same thing here yourself?
    posted by Dysk at 9:10 AM on December 29, 2016 [15 favorites]


    Not to dump too heavily on Mike Mongo, but part of the problem is the mixed framing of the FPP.

    I would agree with that, and my suggestion above about framing the quotation as "CBS chooses to quote transphobic hate speech in its coverage of the issue" absolutely left out the important thing that others have pointed out, which is that a poster should ask themselves whether that aspect of the issue at hand is particularly necessary for the framing of the post or just a way to signal "I'm a good progressive ally who notices transphobia/racism/sexism/ableism/etc!"
    posted by lazuli at 9:22 AM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


    Personally, I think it'd be better to say "well CBS and their reporting on this is a garbage fire!" and find a different source. It's not like CBS have a monopoly on news, and I'm not sure why their reporting being terrible and offensive as fuck means we should drive more traffic to them as a result.

    So I haven't gone looking for links on this specific fpp, just to preface, but... when I make FPPs, I often do wind up picking articles whose reporting isn't as good at contextualizing as I would like, because I often choose topics that aren't being particularly well-reported or aren't necessarily particularly visible in Internet links. For me, who has been listening here, it's therefore helpful to also be thinking about how to handle imperfect articles when making an FPP about a subject that could use a discussion. (As with Frowner, my philosophy for FPPs is nearly always either "hey, look at this awesome cool thing" or "let's have a conversation about this that can think about the complexity of the topic", and I'm with Frowner on believing that quoting hate speech isn't particularly helpful for that second aim.) I firmly believe that the framing of the FPP is far more important than the content in a particular link for setting off those meaningful conversations.

    But basically... sometimes when you're reporting to Metafilter about a story, there is no non-problematic link. So I think it is valuable to have the discussion here about how to appropriately handle problematic links that contain some dubious shit, so that a) no one gets unexpectedly blindsided by triggery reminders of hatred directed at them, b) we can approach the topics we're framing without priming anyone to come in upset and lashing out, and c) we frame the topic in such a way as to encourage a deeper and more complicated discussion. (And if there's not really more to the story than "someone did a hateful thing," me, I wonder if I need to bring it to the table. Sometimes I go out and look for more context that might encourage a conversation building off the thing. Sometimes I add a question to the topic that I hope to kick off discussion about whatever it was that interested me about the topic, or I quote a particularly good part of the article that holds a question within it.

    I'm conflicted about this one, because I'm sitting here thinking about this particular news story and thinking... "Well, yeah, the BSA hates queer people and especially hates trans people. What the hell else is new?" There's more to being a good ally than just noticing that bigotry exists and drawing attention to it; for most of the marginalized groups here, that bigotry is often old news, and drawing more attention to it is mostly just depressing--oh, yay, another reminder that folks hate you, thanks bro that's an awesome beginning to a Wednesday morning! And god knows that in that case, if the best-case scenario for a discussion is privileged folk talking about the thing and maybe arguing about how terrible it is, I wouldn't want to follow that conversation myself.

    So for me, if I am going to make an FPP about bigotry, especially bigotry towards a marginalized group I'm not part of, I try to include something for discussion that goes beyond that specific incident of bigotry. Say, I might include a link to a discussion of how you can support victims of the specific incident or other kinds of similar bigotry; or I might decide that instead I want to have a discussion about how we can collectively be better allies instead, and frame the links I do choose around that. I might be inspired by a well publicized bigoted incident to instead spotlight something designed to build more empathy and context for the group targeted; so in this context, it wouldn't be particularly unusual for me to then go "well, okay, what can I find out about how young trans kids are treated, and where's the best stuff to use to build a discussion about that?"

    Find something beyond "this depressing thing happened" to talk about. Think about why you are sharing a shitty thing that happened. To draw attention to it? Okay, you've got my attention--what do you want to accomplish with that attention? Do you want to do something about that specific incident? Then add a bit of context about how to do something about it--how you can effect change within the BSA, for example, or trans-friendly scouting groups and what they've found that works* that folks could join, or groups that are trying to bring joy to this poor damn kid. Do you want to build awareness about discrimination against trans kids? Then maybe add a bit of context about the more subtle ways that stuff like this sometimes manifests, like high school bathroom/dress code rules, or about the ways that camps and activities for children can work to become gender inclusive, so that we can have a chat about that. Do you want to just say "wow this fucking sucks?" Well, I mean, you can, but it's hard to have a conversation that starts and ends there. Build in a direction that you'd like the conversation to go.

    Googling is your friend. Learning is your friend. I often learn a lot when I'm making a more complicated FPP because I want to talk about something. And having that tiny bit extra context is often something that makes or breaks the thread that comes out of it.

    *here, I would say not the Girl Scouts; pick an org that is friendly to trans men please, because they actually aren't in the Girl Scouts' purview
    posted by sciatrix at 9:54 AM on December 29, 2016 [19 favorites]


    I didn't get why the quotes where there to begin with. Why do we care what random hate groups think of certain issues?

    This. Would you post a quote that used a racial slur 4-5 times? I hope not. But at the same time it would be weird-er (to me) to post that quote with the slurs corrected to "black gentlemen" and "kindly rabbi".

    I think both options are a bad fit. Leave the hate speech quotes in the damn article. Let people who want to click on that read it.
    posted by French Fry at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


    Here are some good news sources on trans topics that you can explore so you're not dependent on mass media: You're welcome. Buy me a beer sometime.
    posted by AFABulous at 10:18 AM on December 29, 2016 [41 favorites]


    You should also be following ACLU lawyer and trans man Chase Strangio.
    posted by AFABulous at 10:22 AM on December 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


    But basically... sometimes when you're reporting to Metafilter about a story, there is no non-problematic link

    That's a lovely hypothetical you've got there. In the case under discussion though, there's shit tons of coverage, as a cursory tap of "Joe Maldonado BSA" into Google will tell you, and it's not all as shitty as CBS is about it.
    posted by Dysk at 10:25 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I will also add r/transgender as another source of articles relevant to, about, and usually curated by trans people.
    posted by sevenofspades at 10:36 AM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    That's fair enough, Dysk. That... would be why I explicitly said that I hadn't gone searching on this specific topic and was speaking in generalities.
    posted by sciatrix at 10:47 AM on December 29, 2016


    Forgot Human Rights Campaign's trans section. They've been reaaaallll sketchy on trans issues in the past (focusing on marriage at our expense, for example) but they're coming around.
    posted by AFABulous at 10:49 AM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Just dropping in to say again to our trans* Mefites: thank you for helping some of the more clueless / out-of-touch among us (i.e., me) understand these issues better. I got that the language was problematic but wouldn't have thought of it as 'hate speech' until the discussion here. I'll keep this in mind and try to be more thoughtful and aware in the future.

    The two highlights of 2016 Metafilter for me have been the election threads helping to keep me sane and the contributions of our GLBT* folk that broaden my perspective and help me to be a better ally.
    posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 11:00 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    I'm not convinced that the hypothetical you're positing ever really does exist, sciatrix, certainly not with anything as clear cut as the out-and-out hate speech and group on display here, and pretending that it does isn't helpful.
    posted by Dysk at 11:11 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    thank you for helping some of the more clueless / out-of-touch among us (i.e., me) understand these issues better.

    Well, in that spirit, there doesn't need to be an asterisk after trans. If you're including some other group, spell that out. Otherwise it comes off as [binary trans people like Laverne Cox and others you're familiar with] + [those other trans people]. There are different types of trans people, to be sure, but there's no "umbrella." You're either trans or cis, and shunting "non-standard" trans people, e.g. genderqueer or agender folks, off to the asterisk is erasure.

    That said, some trans people do use the asterisk and there's likely to be disagreement in this very thread.
    posted by AFABulous at 11:57 AM on December 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


    Well, some people identify as transgender or transsexual specifically, so it's a way to include people with those identities as well, though it has largely fallen out of favour with the prevalence of 'trans' as both a complete identity and broad inclusive term.
    posted by Dysk at 12:00 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Yeah, I'm certainly not going to assume anyone who uses it is some sort of bigot, it just reads as outdated to me.
    posted by AFABulous at 12:02 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    ...Okay, then let me talk some more specifics, then; I get that I was pretty vague. I don't have an example of framing the out and out hate speech we're talking to lead to a good narrative, because I come down on the side of "oh, come the fuck on" about bringing that here. I acknowledge that wasn't super clear, mostly because I was thinking out loud a bit in my previous comment and chewing over what the purpose of bringing that kind of outraging "Look at this bigoted thing!" incident to the front page really is, and under what circumstances I would ever choose to do it. So in my thinking out loud, I was certainly focusing on less clear-cut examples than the one we're talking about here.

    (Let me be explicit: I don't think we should quote misgendering language or hate speech here. I don't see a value to that shit at all. Links to articles that contain dubious language, stuff that rubs me the wrong way, and articles that are just goddamn clueless about respectful framing and discussion is more the line of thing I'm thinking about.)

    I have done several FPPs on fraught shit where I could see the hurt feelings cascading down the pipeline if I wasn't very careful with framing and absolutely could not find anything better in terms of links. For example, this piece on bearded drag queens was something I was very excited about, in part because I'd recently seen Grace Towers perform at a local benefit concert and was overwhelmed with delight about the way she'd used beards to play with gender presentation in her performance. So I set out to make an fpp about the topic, because I was super excited and into it and I wanted to share my dorky glee in watching someone make a full beard so incredibly femme and how she'd accomplished that.

    When I went looking for links to collect on the subject, unfortunately, I couldn't actually find all that much that went beyond photosets to spark that conversation. I framed it around easily the most accessible femme bearded public figure/celebrity I could think of, which was Conchita Wurst, and then what I had was a mess of a few decent but thin pieces (the piece on Grace Towers, which was easily the best I could find, interviews with a few other queens who incorporate beards in their performances, and then some odd history links that didn't really seem to fit too well.) Not one of those pieces could have stood on its own as an introduction to the topic I wanted to talk about, is what I mean by being thin and not-good--on their own, I don't think any of them could have generated a conversation. Besides, drag in general is a topic I am very careful about, in part because Mefi has had some fights about it here before, and I wanted to forestall people who had no idea about the way that relationships between communities of trans women and communities of drag queens get really fraught from blundering into the discussion and hitting a lot of folks in very sore spots.

    So I wound up spending a lot of time carefully selecting links and crafting an introduction to the concept that attempted to hedge around a lot of the more clueless reactions people might have: assuming that drag, a form of performance art, easily approximates the experiences of trans people trying to go about their lives; contextualizing the idea of bearded drag in terms of historical uses of that gendered performance to accomplish political points; and then from there talking about the stuff I was really interested in, which was the viewpoints of the queens in question about the motivations for playing with this particular thing in the course of their performance art.

    In that case, things are less "I disagree with this because it is blatantly a Terrible Thing" and more "this is a sore, tender spot with high likelihood to set someone off, but I think it's worth talking about--so in what contexts is this okay to bring to the front post? How do we respectfully talk about this stuff without upsetting or triggering other MeFites?" Some of the particular links I shared contain queens discussing things in a way I side-eyed or found interesting if irritating; others were more solid, but not one of them was solid enough to stand on its own, and I felt like each was necessary to add perspective to the framing.

    Or there's this piece I did here on Georgia Tann, who was in addition to being a fucking horrible person was also a queer woman who spent most of her life effectively married to another woman. This one was another FPP triggered by me running into an interested story and wanting to share, but it's one that touches on several triggery issues: how we talk about historical queer personages who never used the specific terms we might talk about today; adoption and the ethics thereof; the story of a woman who fucking stole babies and sold them on to anyone who had the money to buy them, often with nasty consequences for those kids.

    Again, it's a story that is worth talking about, but it's one with a lot of potential to hit someone in a sore spot: queer folk either going "don't erase us from history" or "holy shit, if you're gonna talk about historical lesbians could you maybe pick one less evil given how little representation we see?" and then on the other hand, the entire mess of structural harms perpetuated on birth mothers as a consequence of the painful emotional desire that many adoptive parents have for children, plus the feelings that the adoptive kids have.

    And I couldn't find jack to report on it, because the last major effort to talk about it in news media was in 1990. The best pieces on it I could find as an introduction to this lady were a) an incredibly dry recounting of sketched-out happenings, b) one fairly solid narrative hosted by, of all the damned things, the Daily Mail, where I would ordinarily prefer to avoid, but which wound up being the only piece to explore the effect of Tann's actions and policies on modern adoption practices, c) a decent but also slightly sketchy piece from a local news source dated 1990, and d) another shortish but incomplete contemporary 1993 article. I wound up having to leave out a lot of really interesting aspects of Tann's history, life, and motivations because I just couldn't find anywhere on the Internet that would talk about them in an accessible way. (For example, I think I left the fact that she was very openly and obviously queer out of the FPP in part because the only articles I could find that mentioned it were, um, horrifying.)

    So that's the kind of thing I was chewing on and thinking about, because I often think that it's easier to talk about edge cases as a way of letting people know others do and how to draw that mental line for themselves. I've talked before about the framing for articles that contain some imperfect stuff--like the weird little "After all, calling vaginas gross is pretty rich coming from people who have anal sex." line which was... again, side-eye for me, and which in the original framing of the FPP for the same link set up a response that appeared to be really upsetting for queer men to encounter.

    Er. Context, I can ramble about it like a goddamn champion.
    posted by sciatrix at 12:08 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


    I mean, that's a lovely delve into a complex topic, but it seems tangential to what's actually under discussion, and like it's ripe for the issue you're talking about being conflated with the one the thread is about, when you present it in this thread. That is what I mean when I say it's not helpful. It doesn't help create a clear and useful conversation when we're taking about two different things.
    posted by Dysk at 12:15 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Fair enough!
    posted by sciatrix at 12:17 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    [points re asterisk usage noted, thank you again AFABulous and Dysk]
    posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:31 PM on December 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


    Nthing that the title of this Meta is fucked up and gross, wtf dude?
    posted by supercrayon at 1:24 PM on December 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


    content warnings and burying the quote just a bit are probably ideal.

    Yeah, echoing byanyothername above, aren't these kind of situations pretty much what "trigger/content warning"s are for? If a piece important to the FPP contains misgendering or other hate speech, you can Etrigan-phrase it in the link description and add a trigger warning, and on the rare "Grab 'em by the WTF" occasion where having the actual quote in the post is (arguably) crucial, you can always make sure it's past the fold, in the "more inside", and add a content warning before the "more inside." In either case, people who might be vulnerable can decide whether they're in the right headspace to deal with the shit before it hits them in the face.
    posted by soundguy99 at 5:02 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I'm afraid I'm going to have to take the heat for this thread's title, too. As corb put it it was gimmicky, and cleverness was uncalled for in light of the the topic.

    Mistakes, I make them. Given the opportunity, I always do better next time.
    posted by Mike Mongo at 6:02 PM on December 29, 2016 [21 favorites]


    Leave the hate speech quotes in the damn article. Let people who want to click on that read it.

    Again, I would rather quote them than drive traffic to them. And "them" in this case means CBS.

    How did I become the bad guy?
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:27 PM on December 29, 2016


    How did I become the bad guy?

    By advocating attacking members of this site.

    You could at least have the courage to do it yourself instead of insisting that others do it on your behalf.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:35 PM on December 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


    Couldn't you just use archive.is or something similar to avoid driving traffic there?
    posted by en forme de poire at 6:37 PM on December 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


    Throwing a little incidental traffic in a link in a comment ranks lower on my Shits Given scale by a couple notches than avoiding needlessly parroting vile text, basically. If we want to have a discussion that is only specifically and narrowly about the ethics of linking, that'd be a reasonable thing to fixate and expound on; in this context it feels hella tone deaf and like maybe worth one incidental mention before dropping it rather than something to repeatedly come back around to.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 6:40 PM on December 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


    Fair enough. I thought feeding into their business models was of more concern.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 PM on December 29, 2016


    By advocating attacking members of this site.

    Citation needed.

    Couldn't you just use archive.is or something similar to avoid driving traffic there?

    There is a site that does a better (for infrequently accessed sites) job there, but I'm blanking on the name.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:52 PM on December 29, 2016


    > Again, I would rather quote them than drive traffic to them. And "them" in this case means CBS.

    How did I become the bad guy?


    Because trans mefites who are right here in the room are asking can we please not with the quoting all the time. You are not The Bad Guy but you could really do a much better job of listening.
    posted by rtha at 6:57 PM on December 29, 2016 [26 favorites]


    Alright. We'll drive traffic to the bad guys. Dunno why I was confused about this.
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:19 PM on December 29, 2016


    That's an enormously bad-faith reading of a nuanced discussion your fellow mefites are having. You can disagree with the community's conclusions, but I'm sure you can do it without being a jerk.
    posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:21 PM on December 29, 2016 [36 favorites]


    We'll drive traffic to the bad guys.

    You're being super weird about this.
    posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:24 PM on December 29, 2016 [35 favorites]


    Last post here, I promise. Or just say "The American Family Association spewed its usual bigotry, here's a link if you want the specifics."?

    I didn't (and wouldn't) come up with that. But it's the darling of this thread and it just strikes me as a weird solution. "Here's click bait they didn't even have to pay for."
    posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:30 PM on December 29, 2016


    "Here's click bait they didn't even have to pay for."

    That's like saying "Want a screaming baby to keep screaming for hours? Try this one weird trick!" is clickbait.
    posted by 23skidoo at 7:33 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    > Alright. We'll drive traffic to the bad guys. Dunno why I was confused about this.

    So that's a no on the listening, I guess.

    There is a layered and nuanced and quite generous and patient conversation happening in this thread, and you insist on acting like it's not happening at all. That is enormously frustrating.
    posted by rtha at 8:25 PM on December 29, 2016 [28 favorites]


    The world is imperfect, all choices are imperfect. Given that reality, choosing to prioritize not directly hurting vulnerable people in the conversation with you rather than standing on principle against faceless corporations is a valid ethical choice.
    posted by lazuli at 8:56 PM on December 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


    An easy solution to not drive traffic to sites you don't want to is not to link them /or/ quote them, since if you quote but don't link, people are going to have to google to check your source anyway. No one is going to force you to post links from sites you hate. This is kind of bizarre.
    posted by corb at 11:12 PM on December 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


    I'm sure you can do it without being a jerk.

    Your optimism is admirable.
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:58 PM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


    I didn't (and wouldn't) come up with that. But it's the darling of this thread and it just strikes me as a weird solution. "Here's click bait they didn't even have to pay for."

    Um, no it's not the darling if the thread. You can see a lot of trans mefites here saying something that amounts to "if CBS are so shitty, why quote or link them or anything?" Like for real, you became the bad guy my insisting that CBS and AFA are relevant here and need to be involved at all. The Etrigan method is for when you need to link something awful. This was not that case. In this case, you fuck the AFA off, you fuck CBS off, and you find a news source that isn't a transphobic tire fire. Don't drive traffic to either, don't give eyeballs to the bullshit of either. They're just. not. relevant. and pretending like we have to make sure to roll the worst that humanity has to offer into a thread on this topic is fucking shitty.
    posted by Dysk at 1:07 AM on December 30, 2016 [22 favorites]


    Thanks, Mike Mongo, for taking the time to listen and understand where we are coming from. I didn't at all mean it as an attack when I explained why the title was a problem. I honestly believed you just didn't know. Thanks for listening.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 5:48 AM on December 30, 2016 [13 favorites]


    You can see a lot of trans mefites here saying something that amounts to "if CBS are so shitty, why quote or link them or anything?"

    To me - as a cis het person engaging with this topic - this feels like the most important thing to pay attention to here. Members of a vulnerable targeted population have explained their position. It's the job of the rest of us to listen to that and let them steer, rather than speculate from the outside. We have less at stake. We have less experience. We just don't live it, and our opinions need to be weighted accordingly.

    That's how these situations always need to work: misogyny? Listen to women. Transphobia? Listen to transpeople. Racism? Listen to PoC.

    The alternative is wrong, it causes harm, and we can do better.
    posted by mordax at 10:00 AM on December 30, 2016 [27 favorites]


    I didn't get why the quotes where there to begin with. Why do we care what random hate groups think of certain issues?

    winner, winner, chicken dinner!

    Posting stuff that needlessly antagonizes any minority/oppressed group for the sake of "look at this shitty thing on the internet" should be grounds enough for deletion.
    posted by Annika Cicada at 11:09 AM on December 30, 2016 [19 favorites]


    I'm so exhausted by trans stuff on mefi now.
    posted by odinsdream at 12:30 PM on December 30, 2016 [10 favorites]


    Hugs.
    posted by Annika Cicada at 12:47 PM on December 30, 2016 [7 favorites]


    I'm so exhausted by trans stuff on mefi now. everywhere

    FTFMyself
    posted by AFABulous at 3:13 PM on December 30, 2016 [9 favorites]


    You and me both.
    posted by zebra at 7:34 PM on December 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


    If it's not okay to write it in a comment, it shouldn't be okay to link to it in an FPP. (The OP posting the CBS link as the first comment definitely counts as part of the FPP.) If you feel the need to caveat your link with "extremist hate group", maybe just don't link it at all.
    posted by anifinder at 7:57 AM on December 31, 2016 [2 favorites]


    If it's not okay to write it in a comment, it shouldn't be okay to link to it in an FPP. (The OP posting the CBS link as the first comment definitely counts as part of the FPP.) If you feel the need to caveat your link with "extremist hate group", maybe just don't link it at all.

    I don't think that's necessarily true or a an entirely useful rule to follow. If the hate speech is just that of a random citizen or a link to a site for a hate group, there's certainly no benefit in posting or linking to it, but in the case of something like the CBS link or any link to speech from someone who has a position of power or access to it or should know better or is from a group not defined categorically as a hate group, gaining awareness of those positions can provide useful information should people want to act to protest or penalize the speaker or group through choosing not to use their services anymore or to send a complaint or any number of other responses. It can be important to know who disagrees or is ignorant in order to maintain vigilance or seek change.

    It's a case by case thing that would need to be weighed against showing hate speech, and in many cases not linking might be preferable, but I don't think that need be a uniform expectation for posts.
    posted by gusottertrout at 12:05 PM on December 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


    Well I think it has a lot to do with how people use information as part of expressing themselves. In college-level research we are taught that it's not enough to just cite or quote or refer to something; you also have to warrant that performativity by explaining, spelling out, why that you excerpted is salient to the ideas you're trying to convey. And doing that means for example doing a reading of the passage or analyzing it or whatnot, and explaining the connection to your thesis. I.e. one doesn't just give the evidence; there's the critical job of interpreting it for an audience.

    So in this case if a piece of text is so hateful, triggering, and raises questions about whether you bringing it in reflects on your ignorance [for example dogwhistling passages are easy to slip through, because obviously] or privilege of the subject matter (i.e. if you yourself are not trans, then are you sure you want to be the one quoting this to draw attention to its wrongness, or to critique an organization, without the participation of trans people in doing so)—then that's one way that this can be problematic. And so it's cognitively hard to navigate your own strong/turbulent feelings about a piece of news while trying to be considerate of others in a shared space of discourse, that's entirely understandable too and no one is going to be perfect at that kind of social labor.

    So in sum I don't think there are any fixed strategies or rules, and further that the concern about "links" is only facet of what's going on. And what helps is having this discussion and raising awareness generally.
    posted by polymodus at 2:20 PM on December 31, 2016 [4 favorites]


    (i.e. if you yourself are not trans, then are you sure you want to be the one quoting this to draw attention to its wrongness, or to critique an organization, without the participation of trans people in doing so)

    There's a whole related issue about what does it mean for a cis person to a make a "look this good|bad thing happened to a trans person" FPP. We've moved past the trans posts being uniformly "look this bad thing happened", but those good/bad thing posts often feels like we're being used as props by cis people to show how progressive they are. It's not being a good ally.

    Please, please, please don't make this comment into a referendum on this FPP. It's the tendency of such posts to dominate trans-related FPPs on Metafilter that's the issue, not a single post.
    posted by hoyland at 11:36 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


    Theoretically the solution would be for trans people to make more posts about trans issues, but some people are reluctant to do so because of how poorly they often go. It's a very vulnerable feeling.
    posted by AFABulous at 12:08 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


    I don't really agree with the "trans people need to make more posts" argument because it feels like a cop out where the trans people have to do all the work and Metafilter at large is let off the hook from thinking about how it approaches trans issues and treats its trans members. Yes, it's the fastest way to improve the quality of trans-related posts, but it makes me feel similarly used. I have never made a trans-related FPP in part because I have little expectation that it'd go well and now, while I have a more hope it wouldn't be the shitshow it'd have been a few years ago, I increasingly feel like my role as a trans person on Metafilter is to be a performing monkey who makes cis people feel better about themselves. Obviously, not everyone feels that way and those who have the capacity and willingness to make FPPs are chipping away at the problem in a way I'm perhaps no longer willing/able to do. But I'd love to see cis people attempting "deeper" FPPs about trans issues and not just performative newsfilter. And "deeper" doesn't even mean multiple links, just something like "here's something that isn't related to something circulating as clickbait/outrage on Facebook". For the record, I do have the capacity to talk to someone individually who wants to bounce their post off someone.
    posted by hoyland at 1:45 PM on January 1 [6 favorites]


    "Links to StormFront are a no-go on the site; that should as a general rule be applicable to any other form of hate speech."

    As a historical note, the original reason (IIRC) that Stormfront links were banned — and for a while, I think that even mentioning them by name was banned — was because they got linked once and responded by brigading MeFi. It was too much for Matt to handle, so references to Stormfront were verboten.

    I'm against pre-emptive bans of almost anything, but I'm also against repeating the framing of bigots, so I'd probably omit the quote or paraphrase it as something like, "The AFA continued their policy of misgendering, which many consider hate speech, in response to the CBS reporter's question."

    ("The Etrigan Method" makes me think of Jason Blood ;) )

    Finally, while I haven't dug in yet, one of the more effective ways to get the reporter to reevaluate their policy of asking hate groups to hate is to simply point out to them that the "both sides" framing promotes hate speech, especially through Twitter, where most journalists are responsive to informal interaction. They probably haven't thought about their use of AFA as sources, except to the point that they're reliably inflammatory, and that's the way the reporter/editor bias will lean in getting sources if they don't know better.
    posted by klangklangston at 4:55 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


    Huh, I don't remember that Stormfront brigading thing. What I do remember is Charles over at LGF being pretty attentive about his referrer traffic and, however indirectly, starting shit when folks on MeFi would link his stuff in a critical context. That definitely led to a "fuck it, just don't ever link that guy" practice for a number of years. Is that what you were thinking of, or was there a separate thing?

    Stormfront we just don't link to because literally fuck Stormfront, don't link to that shit. Which I've presented previously in more complicated and philosophical terms of there being the narrow possibility that there would in some specific exceptional circumstance be a justifiable reason to link, but, I dunno, maybe 2016 did it to me or maybe I'm just getting older but nope. Just don't link to that shit, because fuck 'em is why.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 PM on January 2 [12 favorites]


    "The AFA continued their policy of misgendering, which many consider hate speech, in response to the CBS reporter's question."

    We definitely make Metafilter a better place by waffling about whether misgendering is permissible. That's the sort of sentence you expect from NPR.
    posted by hoyland at 3:17 AM on January 3 [8 favorites]


    "Because fuck 'em is why" is absolutely my motto for 2017.
    posted by zebra at 3:05 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


    "We definitely make Metafilter a better place by waffling about whether misgendering is permissible. That's the sort of sentence you expect from NPR."

    That's not actually the sentence that you would expect from NPR; NPR wouldn't implicitly describe misgendering as hate speech. It's also not waffling about whether it's permissible, but it doesn't conflate "impermissible" with "hate speech," which you're doing. The "many consider hate speech" is both factually accurate, and a norm-setting statement that implies that the AFA is a minority position and that a majority would read misgendering as hate speech.

    "Huh, I don't remember that Stormfront brigading thing. What I do remember is Charles over at LGF being pretty attentive about his referrer traffic and, however indirectly, starting shit when folks on MeFi would link his stuff in a critical context. That definitely led to a "fuck it, just don't ever link that guy" practice for a number of years. Is that what you were thinking of, or was there a separate thing?"

    Yeah, I think I was. As a quick Oral History of No Stormfront Links on MeFi, because I was curious:

    Matt says not to use Stormfront to Santorum people in 2006.
    In 2008, Cortex says he'd object to just linking to LGF or Stormfront.
    Cortex gives a Stormfront link a no-follow as an exception to an implied "No Stormfront" rule in 2009.
    A few months later, Jess is the first to mention a blanket ban of links to Stormfront.
    In 2010, Jess makes the first bright-line mod statement.
    A little later, she says it's explicitly to avoid giving them traffic at all.
    In 2012, Jess fleshes that out a bit and mentions an executive decision.
    All the other references until 2015 are along that line, when someone says that they thought the Stormfront ban came from legal threats; Cortex replies there might have been some pre-2007 stuff, but he didn't know about it.
    posted by klangklangston at 5:06 PM on January 3


    That's not actually the sentence that you would expect from NPR; NPR wouldn't implicitly describe misgendering as hate speech. It's also not waffling about whether it's permissible, but it doesn't conflate "impermissible" with "hate speech," which you're doing. The "many consider hate speech" is both factually accurate, and a norm-setting statement that implies that the AFA is a minority position and that a majority would read misgendering as hate speech.

    This is exactly the sort of thing I was referring to in like the tenth comment in this thread, where we get told time and again that our complaints are unreasonable. I mean, you've not hit the bingo of telling us how Metafilter is so much better than the rest of the internet and society, but other than that...

    Your proposed wording leaves open the possibility that reasonable people may find misgendering acceptable and further implies that the AFA has a place in this discussion. You're not jumping from the AFA quote to a discussion about how media coverage of trans issues normalizes transphobia, which is pretty much the only place I can think it belongs. No, you're doing the exact same normalizing. And now you're doing the thing where someone says something tone deaf and then digs in and explains how the absolutely literal reading of their statement is accurate, as if absolutely literal readings are ever what is conveyed. They're not. Context exists.
    posted by hoyland at 4:21 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


    "This is exactly the sort of thing I was referring to in like the tenth comment in this thread, where we get told time and again that our complaints are unreasonable. I mean, you've not hit the bingo of telling us how Metafilter is so much better than the rest of the internet and society, but other than that..."

    I didn't say your complaint was unreasonable, I said that you were wrong. That's different, but your position is that no one can disagree with you without being unreasonable, so you're interpreting someone disagreeing with you as telling you that you're being unreasonable.

    "Your proposed wording leaves open the possibility that reasonable people may find misgendering acceptable and further implies that the AFA has a place in this discussion. You're not jumping from the AFA quote to a discussion about how media coverage of trans issues normalizes transphobia, which is pretty much the only place I can think it belongs. No, you're doing the exact same normalizing. And now you're doing the thing where someone says something tone deaf and then digs in and explains how the absolutely literal reading of their statement is accurate, as if absolutely literal readings are ever what is conveyed. They're not. Context exists."

    Well, no, it doesn't "leave open the possibility that reasonable people may find misgendering acceptable." What it says is that many consider misgendering as hatespeech. And it actually implies the exact opposite — that it's unacceptable and many people consider it hatespeech when done in the manner of the AFA. While you may think that the only place where discussing the AFA would apply was the media normalizing transphobia, it is reasonable to disagree with that — even though literally the clause prior to my paraphrase was saying that I'd probably omit it.

    I'm not doing the same normalizing, and if you're unable to see that, you may not be the best person to argue about context.
    posted by klangklangston at 9:53 PM on January 4


    "Many consider this [x]" is pretty classic weasel-wording, to be fair.
    posted by Dysk at 4:45 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


    The phrasing "Many consider X," at best sounds neutral to my ear. If anything it reads more like there's room for disagreement regarding X, rather than your intended implication that X is the norm.

    We live in a world where CBS included a quote from the AFA in an article that really has nothing to do with them. In that context, a shitty world that normalizes transphobia, I think it's important to be explicit when pushing back. Just state "Misgendering is hate speech." That way there's no confusion.
    posted by ghost phoneme at 6:37 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


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