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Please consider forbidding off-topic politically focused threads on General Discussion.


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I want to open this topic off with the following statement. If you are just going to read the title, please at least just read my opening statement:

I am not calling for a ban of all political discussions. I actually like that we can create such topics, but unfortunately, such topics have gotten worse and worse over the time, and it is just leading to fighting and division in the community. I really do not like the fact that I even am writing this as a suggestion, it goes against my very strict view of anti-censorship, but I feel that the longer this goes on, the further divided the community will become. Maybe at a later date this could be lifted, but right now stuff is just too heated.

As for the full potato:

As much as I like freedom of expression LL has fostered over the many years, when it comes to political discussions, especially with how stuff is right now, people simply can't refrain from attacking each other.

All the political discussions I have seen in General Discussions has ended up being a majority of the following:

  • Attacking other residents.
  • Name calling.
  • Insults.
  • Attempts to derail.
  • Calls for locking the thread.

I do want to make it clear, this is not a call to ban all political content. If the topic is relevant, then it would be allowed, as long as it isn't a topic designed to create further division and harm the community.

Examples of "good case" political threads:

  • Discussion about some legislation that will impact virtual worlds.
  • Lifestyles and Relationships, as well as Making friends: Looking for someone who has specific views or beliefs.
  • Role-play: A topic is in regards to stuff such as WWII role-play.
  • Favourite Destinations: A location which happens to be political.
  • Events and Activities: Discussion about a upcoming in-world virtual rally/movement.

A lot of people come to SL to get away from the divisiveness of the current world, and I hate that I even have to suggest banning off topic political threads. It goes directly against my views of "censorship is bad" and it pains me to even write this, but every time these threads are made, they turn toxic really really fast.

Perhaps if this rule is enacted, it can be lifted in the future, but I don't think people can restrain and behave themselves right now.

As a long time resident of Second Life, I really do not want to see it fall to division. I've seen enough communities get divided, I don't want to see one that I really love fall to the same fate.

Edited by Chaser Zaks
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  • Chaser Zaks changed the title to Please consider forbidding off-topic politically focused threads on General Discussion.

we seen the same mechanism in the long heated thread about some other american subject a while ago. As long the thread is dominated by the ones as current it's good. to stay.
Step away from it, and put the irritating posters on ignore, they'll be back at any other chance .

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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30 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

What I want in general is a "mute this thread" button since no matter how much I try to ignore a thread, it and its content keeps showing up in the Unread Content page.

same with ignored users .. not only their names stay in unread content, their posts keep visisble too ( in the eaning seeing the post but greyed out )

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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8 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

i would vote for NO other subjects than SL related

That would kill off the fun threads, like the cats one, what are you listening to now, and other random threads that are harmless but have nothing to do with SL.. 

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11 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

That would kill off the fun threads, like the cats one, what are you listening to now, and other random threads that are harmless but have nothing to do with SL.. 

exactly my point  :)

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Honestly, I'd be personally fine with the requirement that all discussions on these forums be restricted to SL related only.

At some point, something's going to have to be done, regardless. People are getting very unfriendly out there.

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Your suggestion might have just come to pass.  Looks like a few threads literally disappeared within minutes.

 

Just a trial test of functionality

Edited by LittleMe Jewell
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4 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

That would kill off the fun threads, like the cats one, what are you listening to now, and other random threads that are harmless but have nothing to do with SL.. 

Not my cats thread!  okay only if it violates something like a rule or some such,  I do not mind if it goes.  I know I can go drive people on reddit nuts with cats.

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On 1/18/2021 at 7:43 AM, Alwin Alcott said:

i would vote for NO other subjects than SL related

I disagree, but I do think that all non-SL-related threads need to be in a separate sub-forum. All the political threads, funny animal threads, what-are-you-listening-to , covid threads and peeve threads and all the others, just stick them into a separate sub-forum all on its own so they aren't cluttering General any more.

That way, the people who want them can still participate, and the ones who don't can ignore them.

Edited by Lewis Luminos
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9 minutes ago, Lewis Luminos said:

I disagree, but I do think that all non-SL-related threads need to be in a separate sub-forum. All the political threads, funny animal threads, what-are-you-listening-to , covid threads and peeve threads and all the others, just stick them into a separate sub-forum all on its own so they aren't cluttering General any more.

That way, the people who want them can still participate, and the ones who don't can ignore them.

I agree.  The light-hearted animal threads are a nice break although it does seem they have locked a couple.  😢

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I disagree with a rule like this.

None of us live in bubbles isolated from the body politic. It is a part of who each of us. How the outside world affects attitudes in world and also what we can afford to contribute in world. Politics is a fundamental of any social existence. Everything is inter-related. 

You can put a rule in like this, but there will still be avenues into the same discussions because of the inter-relatedness. I don't see it as enforceable.

I also don't agree that the political threads generate tension any more than other types of threads. There have been some spectacular dramas over the years about who stole who's boyfriend, mesh body maker's ripping people off, banlines & orbs,  who is using turbosquid for mesh uploads, how to deal with griefers, how to interpret rules etc etc  the list goes on.

I am not saying the forum doesn't need moderation, far from it and I know how difficult it can be to balance. And I would not want General discussions to become a political forum. But we sadly lost an entertaining and interesting thread yesterday that a lot of people had put time and effort in to. There are ways to manage forums like locking threads when things have become divisive that can be used to control things, without the need for additional rules and limitations on expression.

Attempts to compartmentalise politics as something separate and to be avoided, are one of the causes of the problems today across Western democracies.

General Discussions explicitly is for topics that aren't necessarily Second life related. Lets not create rules for the sake of them that are unenforceable, and that exclude those that enjoy them and find them informative.

Edited by Aethelwine
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[edit]
I appreciate our ability to change. At some point, I have realized that my own self-knowledge, attitude, and perspective on life will have a bigger potential positive impact on my destiny, happiness, and my ability to make the world a better place for myself and others than any political activism or government rope- or lever-pulling ever could expect.  

Edited by Chroma Starlight
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LL discourages political posts simply because things do tend to get more heated much more quickly.  Despite all of the drama within threads on other topics, politics will almost always go down the toilet much faster and much harsher  And those threads pretty much always require much more moderation work.

Here is a post from Kristen from a couple of years ago about political posts:

 

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6 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

LL discourages political posts simply because things do tend to get more heated much more quickly.  Despite all of the drama within threads on other topics, politics will almost always go down the toilet much faster and much harsher  And those threads pretty much always require much more moderation work.

Here is a post from Kristen from a couple of years ago about political posts:

 

And my point is that Kristen Linden's advice is sufficient. No need for additional rules.

Perhaps my edit as you were posting made my point clearer. There are other places for in depth political discussions, but that where they naturally occur here. That should be fine too, without people feeling impelled or empowered to spoil them with off topic posting.

Edited by Aethelwine
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36 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

LL discourages political posts simply because things do tend to get more heated much more quickly.  Despite all of the drama within threads on other topics, politics will almost always go down the toilet much faster and much harsher  And those threads pretty much always require much more moderation work.

Here is a post from Kristen from a couple of years ago about political posts:

 

In that post she also mentioned General being more loosy goosy which makes it even more odd that the unicorn and dog threads were locked so quickly.  Granted, we do have more than a few of those type threads going but at least no one was arguing.  Then usually fizzle out on their own and end up on page 2.

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5 minutes ago, RowanMinx said:

In that post she also mentioned General being more loosy goosy which makes it even more odd that the unicorn and dog threads were locked so quickly.  Granted, we do have more than a few of those type threads going but at least no one was arguing.  Then usually fizzle out on their own and end up on page 2.

My "guess" is that those threads were considered frivolous simply because of when they popped up.  They have locked silly threads before that gave the impression they were created just for the purpose of creating a thread, not really for any other reason.

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