Beware of those that limit free speech for civility – letter

To the new administrator,
I would be very careful about creating rules to limit free speech in the name of civility. Frankly your opening post already scares me and makes me think you could have latent autocratic tendencies.

Let me tell you a story about the last fetish forum I was a member of. It was an old site that had a focus on themes such as homosexuality. The trouble started when it promoted a sensitive European to an administrator position, and the first danger sign was when he wrote two pages of forum rules. Mind you he had no need to do this because the board had no problems with trolls.

He admitted to having autism, and it became obvious he was serious when he punished/warned/censored anyone who was sarcastic, because he literally couldn’t tell when people were serious or not. English wasn’t his first language, and he took any metaphors, biting remarks, irony, humor, or jabs as inappropriate insults. He then cited the rules he’d written as justification for bans, even though the forum had tolerated free speech for five years before that.

The new administrator saw disagreement as unhealthy, and tried to moderate everything, (he justified everything with the word “civility.”) He was used to living in a very sheltered, politically correct world.

After moderating he would share HRM videos promoting tolerance no matter what the cost. He perceived heated arguments as bullies attacking victims, and thought he needed to step in to save certain people. Unsurprisingly, he killed a lot of interesting discussions. He would delete threads that went off topic, or move posts to unpopular sections of the board without warning. It became difficult to enjoy the community because no one could have natural discussions. Eventually I got tired of the heavy moderation and I left the site along with a few others.

Contrast that with a certain board which doesn’t ban anyone for anything other than spam. You’d expect it to be a shitposting wasteland but instead it works very well on it’s own without oversight. People quickly learn to ignore the troll posters, and discussions can go in depth because there’s no fear of censorship. We even debated how society should deal with pedophilia heatedly for a week, arguing with angry normalfags across hundreds of posts without a single ban.

Oh boy, you’re already behaving like the hot-pocket moderator on a certain other forum who loved to move posts around like he was God. Terrible decision. I can’t believe I correctly called your personality without reading more than one of your posts. You’re actually a mirror clone of that draconian mod, and I know without a doubt where this will go even if no one else has seen what I have. It will not be a place where I can be comfortable having debates.

For the record, what you’re doing will negatively affect the culture of your community. You clearly don’t understand that any moderation, no matter how benign in intent creates a chilling effect that grows, with each and every edit, over time. Prioritizing feelings over free speech neuters diversity, it kills bondmaking. And trying to protect other people from being hurt by whatever your hot buttons are, will be seen as injustice and meddling by everyone else.

I’m also disappointed with the character of the members for expressing a preference for political correctness. I understand many of you guys have a legit persecution complex due to your fetish, but it’s not healthy to beg for a policeman to come nanny your speech in your haven. You’re inviting abuse on yourselves.

Sure, you may be sheltered from dissent for a short while, but it will cause tensions to brew, and mod egos to build, until it’s too late to prevent devastating blowouts. You’re not going to become good friends if you can’t argue like brothers and forget about it next week. Your thought police is the opposite of the laid back atmosphere I seek in a forum for discussing fetishes. You’ve called for a very cold and sterile forum, because you’re terrified of facing a little contrarian disrespect.

I know from experience how this forum will end up and it’s not pretty. It will be a conservative culture, masquerading as a tolerant liberal one. So I’ve decided I won’t become an active poster on this forum.


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