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  1. #41
    If you take a borderline comment that some people see as on one side and the other see on the other side and turn it into some thing as dire as someone else's right to exist, then there is no rational conversation to be had between the two parties. I hardly think that is the case.

    I'm sorry but i can't accept this. Nobody's talking about "the line" being the right to exist or not, ffs.

    That may not be the intention, but in effect it's what it boils down to. It's like gay rights, at some point you think "Hang on, why the fuck do I have to actually argue this? This is my life. If these people have a problem, it's their problem. They have no right to make it mine." That's what I mean when I say it's not an academic concern.

    As far as the PA guy goes, I've since read his apology and details of his donation, and I'm cool with that. I don't mind misunderstandings stemming from ignorance, honestly, and I do appreciate that trans stuff can be quite confusing (you should try living with it). But if someone from a minority group tells you that, actually, the terms of discussion you are using are problematic, you should probably listen to them.

  2. #42
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    You sling the word "rights" around quite a bit.

    None of the recent and best publicized Gay Rights things had anything to do with the right to exist. Now for those people, the rights they are arguing for may be basic human rights (and therefore existential in some sense), but not all "rights" mean that.

    The right to be the person claimed on your significant other's tax return for the benefit of government sponsored tax breaks for spouses. That is not an existential right until you make it about society in general.

    The Russian law prohibiting the distribution of information to minors about same sex relationships. Fundamental human right to speech I guess? No one is saying they can't exist, just that they can't talk to children about their lifestyle.


    Those are quite possibly very wrong (I don't want to argue them either way) and deny equal rights to gays, but they are not existential until you try to push it that far.

    Were women told not to exist until they got the vote because of a denial of legal rights? No. They existed and made huge impacts in the world. You don't only start to exist once you enjoy all the rights of those who have the most rights.


    There is a difference between social prejudice and rights. There is a difference between some rights and other existential rights. When you boil everything down to the extreme, it all becomes meaningless and the discussion stops.

  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I understand where the "borderline" kind of question comes from. What I think it misses is that you have a chance to talk things out here. If someone says "Whoa, dude, that seems kinda out of line. Here's a whole side to this issue you might not be thinking about" and you come back with "I don't get it, but I'm interested" or "I'm sorry if this is offensive, but I'm new to this line of thinking and I'm not entirely on board yet" or whatever ... that's discussion. And if people say "Look, this is uncomfortable and here's why and discuss it elsewhere if you're confused as to why people find this uncomfortable" ... and sometimes you have to bite your tongue and follow along.

    But when you come with preconceived notions about underprivileged groups and refuse to budge, apologize or even reconsider instead getting angry and spewing out your exclusive ideology about other people's feelings, thoughts and identities as fact ... people will call you on it and unless your response is to recant, apologize, and start listening to other people's experiences, I don't care if it's just a misunderstanding. It's a misunderstanding you can sort out after you've been removed from the thread for a little bit so people in the thread can have space for discussion that isn't a re-hashing of sociology 101 every 6 pages.

    I have a lot of patience for that kind of thing, and there should be spaces on an inclusive forum where that kind of thing can happen. That exchange of problematic ideas and education and so forth. But I come from a position of privilege. I don't have to deal with stigma day in and day out. I don't have to hear these comments all the time. So I have that patience ... but a lot of people who don't have that patience have earned the right to say "take this nonsense out of my face, I don't want to deal with these posts."

    Incidentally this is why I'm not a fan of giving people free reign to rain verbal abuse on posters who toe the line or cross it. Because everyone's line is a little different and it depends on their experience. When you say "Fuck you you piece of shit for saying that" you don't let people back down you just raise their hackles. You make even people who are on your side with respect to the original comment uncomfortable. You make this a place where people feel like you (people wielding the verbal abuse hammers) are the local mob and that disagreeing with you isn't permitted. That feeling doesn't just stick around bigotry and minority issues. That feeling generalizes.

    And beyond that, ultimately we want people coming back to the forum having learned something. We don't want to just kick them out so they crawl off elsewhere. We don't want to put the burden of educating every ignorant or confused or uninitiated person on our underprivileged forumites ... but we ideally we don't want to become a little isolated box either. Not if we want to make a difference.
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  4. #44
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    An interesting point.

    There is a certain irony to constantly seeing thread locking as the solution to this type of thing on a website when what PA are being accused of really is not reigning in their community and scolding them at a live PAX interview.

    It is like we are in a weird shouting match between developers and journalists all accussing each other of not being responsible for the attitudes of gamers on their sites or games.

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Those are quite possibly very wrong (I don't want to argue them either way) and deny equal rights to gays, but they are not existential until you try to push it that far.

    Were women told not to exist until they got the vote because of a denial of legal rights? No. They existed and made huge impacts in the world. You don't only start to exist once you enjoy all the rights of those who have the most rights.


    There is a difference between social prejudice and rights. There is a difference between some rights and other existential rights. When you boil everything down to the extreme, it all becomes meaningless and the discussion stops.
    Your last sentence sounds fine, the context doesn't. I don't think calling the right to talk to kids about your sexuality a matter of existence is as extreme as you do. You can make a big fuss about the word "exist" but that's rather miserly of you. Think about that for a second. You don't want to argue it either way? Imagine for a moment not being able to tell anyone under the age of 18 that you're into people of the same sex. That's ... that's nuts. That's social erasure. That's saying you aren't enough of a person to tell children you exist unless you erase your gay-ness around them. You might hurt them, you see. Your sexuality could cause adverse things to happen to children just by you communicating it. For someone who's at the business end of that kind of law? That can feel pretty damn existential.

    You say it's not existential until it becomes about society in general. Well ... sure. Fine. Whatever. But when is something like how all people within a society are allowed to file their legal paperwork not a matter of society in general? Since when is saying "Any two people can file their taxes together and get tax benefits as a result, but only if they've got different sexual organs" not a social issue? These matters are fundamentally social. Whatever side you come down on, you can't dodge that.

    It's fine to say not all rights are equally serious. But you're not exactly making a good case as to why we as a forum should be especially sympathetic to that in matters of discrimination against underprivileged identities. You're not selling the concept to me.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 20-09-2013 at 04:01 AM.
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  6. #46
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    It isn't that something like filing taxes isn't a social issue, it is... the point is that until you take it beyond that limited legal reality into this filing status being a social rejection of you that is tantamount to a denial of your existence that the claim even makes sense.

    It isn't that society is telling you that you can't exist through that law, it is telling you that it is not going to subsidize your relationships. It is prefering other relationships in how it hands out money. That isn't NECESSARILY existential. I could be if it really does signify society not wanting a class of people to exist at all, but usually society is will to allow them to exist but with a lower status.

    There are few if any societies where children are treated as equals. They are denied rights all over the place depending on arbitrary determinations based on minor calendar differences (17 versus 18 year olds in the U.S.).

    It is not fair and it is not just, but it is not necessarily a denial of existence when put in terms of rights.

  7. #47
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    An interesting point.

    There is a certain irony to constantly seeing thread locking as the solution to this type of thing on a website when what PA are being accused of really is not reigning in their community and scolding them at a live PAX interview.

    It is like we are in a weird shouting match between developers and journalists all accussing each other of not being responsible for the attitudes of gamers on their sites or games.
    You reminded me of something. With respect to the applause about the Dickwolves merchandise (just because it was mentioned elsewhere in the thread) they posted something really good about that:

    So let me start by saying I like the Dickwolves strip. I think it’s a strong comic and I still think the joke is funny. Would we make that strip today? Knowing what we know now and seeing how it hurt people, no. We wouldn’t. But at the time, it seemed pretty benign. With that said I absolutely regret everything we did after that comic. I regret the follow up strip, I regret making the merchandise, I regret pulling the merchandise and I regret being such an asshole on twitter to people who were upset. I don’t think any of those things were good ideas. If we had just stopped with the strip and moved on, the Dickwolf never would have become what it is today. Which is a joke at the expense of rape victims or a symbol of the dismissal of people who have suffered a sexual assault. the comic itself obviously points out the absurd morality of the average MMO where you are actually forced to help some people and ignore others in the same situation. Oddly enough, the first comic by itself is exactly the opposite of what this whole thing has turned into.


    There are people who were offended by or hurt by the joke in the strip and rather than just let it go we decided to make a second strip. That was a mistake and I apologize to this day for that strip. It was a knee jerk reaction and rather than the precision strike back at our detractors that we intended, it was a massive AOE that hurt a lot of innocent people. We should have just stopped right then but we kept going and made the merchandise. Had we left it alone, the ongoing tension about the whole thing might have subsided but Robert made the call to pull the shirts. In hindsight all this did was open the wound back up and bring on a whole new wave of debate. Any action we took at the time just dug us deeper regardless of what it was. What we needed to do was stop. just stop. I apologized for it at the time and I will still apologize for it. Everything we did after that initial comic strip was a mistake and I regret all of it.


    If you saw the panel you know that someone in the audience shouted out and asked us to bring the merchandise back. Both Robert and I immediately said no way.
    Make what you will of it. I don't follow PA, I just found that link somewhere in these forums when the PAX Q/A session thing came up and you reminded me of it. But I thought it was a good, healthy response to an issue that caused a lot of upset. Sorry for the somewhat OT thing--I can get rid of this post or at least the quote if it bugs people.
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  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misnomer View Post
    It isn't that something like filing taxes isn't a social issue, it is... the point is that until you take it beyond that limited legal reality into this filing status being a social rejection of you that is tantamount to a denial of your existence that the claim even makes sense.

    It isn't that society is telling you that you can't exist through that law, it is telling you that it is not going to subsidize your relationships. It is prefering other relationships in how it hands out money. That isn't NECESSARILY existential. I could be if it really does signify society not wanting a class of people to exist at all, but usually society is will to allow them to exist but with a lower status.

    There are few if any societies where children are treated as equals. They are denied rights all over the place depending on arbitrary determinations based on minor calendar differences (17 versus 18 year olds in the U.S.).

    It is not fair and it is not just, but it is not necessarily a denial of existence when put in terms of rights.
    That's sort of smoke and mirror's though. Identity is a personal and social construct, your existence is yours. You own that. Saying "making this about existence is kinda over-the-top" is missing the point. When laws tell you that someone that they're allowed to take part and live but they have to sit down, shut up, and keep their hands to themselves ... why would you bother quibbling over how whether the word "existential" is taking too much of a liberty with the reality of the legal situation?

    We can argue about the philosophical angle of existence until we're blue in the face. But it's not the word "existence" that takes this discussion over the top. It's the social context that makes it extreme. At the end of the day, I don't have to worry about whether or not I can marry who I want and whether or not my life partner and I get hospital visitations and tax benefits and custody rights. I don't think I get to decide whether the word "existential" is appropriate.

    Also I understand minors vs. majors and how common and arbitrary and necessary the distinction is in various cases. Saying minors don't have a right to hear about an entire sexuality, that adults are not allowed to give them information about their relationship is pretty darn extreme. That's not just a restriction of minors--it's not like saying you can't give or sell a minor a cigarette. It's saying you can't unduly prejudice minors to think crazy things like having two moms is even remotely as OK as having one. That creates an atmosphere of fear. Dread. Erasure. It makes people, adults and minors alike, feel like they have to hide less anyone accuse them of propaganda.

    “Just walking down the street with my partner is becoming more and more unpleasant,” [Olga] Kochetkova, 41, said.

    [...]

    For Kristina Kochetkova, the St. Petersburg teenager, the issue isn’t how or whether the measure is applied but the power of its mere existence. “People nowadays feel much more comfortable making homophobic remarks,” she said. “The law has untied their hands.”
    We're getting REALLY off-topic here, but look ... that's an extreme issue. Saying that using words like "existence" is too polarizing and makes the matter too "extreme" for discussion? That's baffling to me. This is extreme territory. Tax filing, less so ... but ... really? This is part of the problem. There are any number of reasons to discuss that law, and you're pulling it in to combat the use of the phrase "right to exist" in the context of gender discrimination?
    Last edited by gwathdring; 20-09-2013 at 04:44 AM.
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  9. #49
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    Because existence is a big thing. When you use the death penalty on someone, you deny their right to exist. When you imprison someone for life, you deny them the right to exist in society. When you release a drug offender but require them to check into a local police station every week, you deny them some right to movement.

    All those people did something wrong and are actively denied rights. (keep your hands to yourself is actually someting we use to deny rights. Assault someone and you may find your right to movement restricted by some time in jail).

    Other people have less rights without doing anything wrong:

    In the U.S. -
    19 year olds have no right to possess alcohol
    17 year olds have no right to vote or gamble.
    Blind people have no right to drive. (if fact no one has a right to drive until you pass a test, even then your physical capabilities can exclude you from that privilege).
    Mentally handicapped people lose so many rights it is hard to list.
    Able bodied 62 year olds have no right to their social security benefits.


    Every one of those groups of people is recognized by society. Maybe they aren't treated as well as they should be and that is open to debate, but every denial of rights does not equal the death penalty or a life sentence. It is the deprivation of a right and it takes a tenuous connection of that right to existence itself to make it about society rejecting the person as a whole.
    Last edited by Misnomer; 20-09-2013 at 04:47 AM.

  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, this is getting absurd. This is a broad, unfocused, reductionist philosophical argument being used in a context where it doesn't belong. I like philosophy and I like breaking things down like this--I was trying to have my cake and eat it by telling you this is not the right thread for this discussion while also engaging with the discussion. This is not the tread for it and we should stop whether or not you agree with my stance.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 20-09-2013 at 04:59 AM.
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  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Christ guys, we know how the last... what, three threads ended up, and we're still going to take this line?

    Give up. Leave it up to Jim.
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  12. #52
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I understand where the "borderline" kind of question comes from. What I think it misses is that you have a chance to talk things out here. If someone says "Whoa, dude, that seems kinda out of line. Here's a whole side to this issue you might not be thinking about" and you come back with "I don't get it, but I'm interested" or "I'm sorry if this is offensive, but I'm new to this line of thinking and I'm not entirely on board yet" or whatever ... that's discussion. And if people say "Look, this is uncomfortable and here's why and discuss it elsewhere if you're confused as to why people find this uncomfortable" ... and sometimes you have to bite your tongue and follow along.
    I'd like to react to your point about "borderline" statements and the option to talk it out on the forums. First of all though I'd like to state that as a long time reader of RPS and the forums, I am quite shocked by the amount of hostility these subjects bring with them. It seems the usual excellence of RPS's community is only applicable when non-controversial subjects are discussed. I'm not pointing fingers here or taking sides, it's just something that stands out to me ("can't we all get along", etc. etc.). While I support the call for stronger moderation, preferably by temporary bans, my suggestion would be that mods do not only react to "bigots", but also to strong hostility. Their place, their rules, after all, and the rules require excellence.

    Regarding the "borderline" posts, my two cents. If the call for stronger moderation is heeded, which it very well might be, the moderators must walk a thin line between handing out bans and allowing discussions to take place. If bans are handed out to soon, the option to "talk things out" like gwathdring suggested becomes illusory. If bans are handed out too late, I suspect certain posters will already be up in arms, demanding copious use of the banhammer. If there's something we've learned from the series of threads that have been made, it's that certain statements are not offensive at all to some posters, while others will feel offended (this is all further complicated by the fact that English is not everyone's native language, which sometimes makes it difficult to express one's opinion fully). Of course there are plenty of cases that are evidently way across the line, but I understand where the question regarding the borderline is coming from. I do not wish to suggest that I have a ready made solution, but in my opinion it would be wise if the moderators and/or mr. Rossignol thought about this specific question beforehand. Me personally, I'd prefer gwathdrings solution where users are given the opportunity to respond to "questionable borderline" posts before bans are handed out.
    Last edited by L_No; 20-09-2013 at 08:52 AM.

  13. #53
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    thanks for pointing out some info on forum mechanics. now lets start threads for the actual topics being discussed here. so far, only nalano and a few others where really on topic, so keep it just that, on topic.
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  14. #54
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    On-topic:

    Ban the bigots is a childist proposition because who is bigot depend on everyone opinion.

    The people attacking Penny Arcade to advance a political agenda and not for what these people do are bigots, If you ask me. Anyone using a conflict to "make a example" is acting in a very unjust and evil way. Trying to make 2 persons pay for the perceibed crimes of humanity is unjust, evil.

    One faction feel himself righteous right, and label the other faction bigots, but his beavior is horrifying, terryfing, evil and unjust.

    I am now scared of this forum now. I am scared to get the reply "if you are not a bigot, you have nothing to fear". I am losing my hope in the part of humanity represented by this forum.

    I hope this post is not used to attack me by mob rules.
    Last edited by Tei; 20-09-2013 at 09:57 AM.

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    Tei clearly isn't an english first language speaker. Since he apparently has no idea what horrifying, terrifying, and evil mean. Unjust at least makes sense in this context although he is directing it at the wrong side.

    Not being allowed to make fun of people off the gender binary is not in any way terrifying or evil. Not being able to make rape jokes is not unjust and horrifying.

    I am not claiming Tei is a bigot, at least not based on his posts in this thread but, he is a ridiculous fear monger.

    "Omg I am so scared that I can't be mean to minorities, this forum scares me." Lol.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Back on topic. Going back to the call to original call to arms regarding a desire to ban anyone who is seemingly 'a bigot', I guess my immediate question is 'whose a bigot?'

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigot?s=t

    a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.
    Because as far as definitions go it's pretty loose really. Sure you can point the finger at 'white power Mike' and go 'there's a bigot', but that's kind of a no-brainer really.

    Plain truth of the matter in the real world intolerance is set out by legal definition and assessed on a case by case basis accordingly, not by a personal one. On these forums it's set out by Jim's rules, and Jim's assessment of what's been said. If you feel that a post is objectionable, insulting or unexcellent then there's the report post button down in the bottom left corner (that little black triangle with the ! in it). The whole point of having the report post button is for you as the reader to raise a concern if you feel there is one. It's not Jim's job to thoroughly read every single post like some omnipotent and omnipresent overseer, whilst you take a backseat and be indignant. The guy has a business to run and the forum exists solely because he thinks it's important for the site to have one. It is for you as a member of this community to assist in policing it. Personally I report any and every post I feel is objectionable on some level and breaches the site rules. I leave it to Jim to decide whether it is or isn't a breach of his rules.

    Feel someones acting out? Saying objectionable things? Defaming you? Report the post. It's real simple.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 20-09-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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  17. #57
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    * deleted *
    Last edited by Tei; 20-09-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Heres what I think, feel free to bash me. Any forum is just a playground of the one who pays for the hosting and his friends/supporters. A public place for people to talk while not offending the owner who gets ad revenues and providing cheap confirmation bias. His money his rules. It's not some kind of free tribune for promoting greater good, even when the owner wants it. On mp.net I was banned for "not supporting GWOT" and later for "talking negatively of IDF"( at least I wasn't branded antisemite, thank you mods), I don't blame them. There is so much disagreement one can handle, then infractions and bans fly. But bans solve nothing but cleansing the place of the individual you don't like. You talk to guy he doesn't care. You ban him he doesn't care. You badmouth him he doesn't care. It's you who lose the time and nerves. But no one else cares. Even Anita Sarkeesan probably doesn't care because obviously no one is going to find her irl and do anything to her( or if someone does, he is a sick individual belonging in jail/mental ward anyway). War against bigotry or "people who are wrong on the internets" is pointless on the internets. Shouting at bigots doesn't work because there is no real consequence to internet flamewars. And only vocal bigots are shouted on. "Moderate" bigots are undetectable. Actually, I'm sure YOU, who is reading this is a moderate bigot and should be banned preemptively. Asshole.


    /Just venting my frustration.
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  19. #59
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    No, no really.

    People develop a afection for his internet personna, and the places that visit daily. Probably your typical forum poster talk more with other forum posters than his family, his mother. These people have a lot to lose.

    I have seen people cry IRL because a internet channel got take-over by a script kiddie. If you think people don't invest in this thing, the internet, you are wrong.
    Last edited by Tei; 20-09-2013 at 01:03 PM. Reason: * remove mask* I am George Bush!

  20. #60
    Feel someones acting out? Saying objectionable things? Defaming you? Report the post. It's real simple.

    I did this once - felt very very uneasy about it, because it felt like 'telling tales' - and received no response. My report said that I honestly wasn't sure if the post(s) in question were beyond the pale and I was happy for RPS to decide, so I would have liked a reply, but I guess mods have a lot to do. But yeah, I pretty much agree with this.

    Misnomer - just to acknowledge a couple of fair points you made re the difference between fighting for equality and existence. I don't want to derail the thread again so I'll leave it there, but thanks for the dialogue.

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