Who is this intended for?
‘Tis the season for clarifications on rule enforcement policies and somewhat controversial topics at the Help chat! The purpose of this post is to provide all staff members with the knowledge necessary for properly enforcing our rules, specifically relating to topics that have recently been referred to as controversial. The indented audience is moderators, but anyone is free to read.
There have been some issues recently with enforcing the rule that relates to inappropriate posts. Using the term gay, for example, is unacceptable under certain circumstances. Some moderators have described this term or topic as controversial and have given kicks or bans for any use of the term. This is not exactly fair. The term gay has generally become a term used to describe someone’s sexuality. At Help, the inappropriate use of the term gay will be defined as using it as a derogatory adjective. This general clarification will apply to all terms used as derogatory adjectives.
A derogatory adjective, in this case, is an adjective that is technically not inappropriate but is used inappropriately. What is controversial about this specific topic? Well, in popular culture, the term gay has become a word to describe things that are unfair or stupid, to put it generally. It is not always used in a homophobic sense. Sometimes people use the term without the intent of being offensive. An argument now is that, due to its use in this way, it should be allowed and not seen as derogatory or inappropriate. For the Help chat, however, we will define it as not appropriate. In order to maintain professionalism at Help and to be fair and considerate of all its users, using the term gay as a derogatory adjective will not be allowed.
To make things simple, I have constructed a list of example sentences that will show you ways in which using the term is acceptable or not acceptable.
- “Anderson Cooper is gay.”
- “Bill said he is gay.”
- “Those two people are gay.”
- “That shirt is so gay.”
- “I hate doing this homework. It’s pretty gay.”
- “That’s a gay song.”
There also needs to be some clarification on what does and doesn’t count as racism. According to the Oxford dictionary, racism is defined as follows: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”
If a user is saying that a certain race is superior or that another race is inferior, it is racism. Discriminating against another user based on their race is not acceptable. Using derogatory terms to describe someone or someone’s race is unacceptable. Using terms, pictures, or any other content typically associated with racism is unacceptable. Using terms, pictures, or any other content typically associated with a racist cause is unacceptable. Posting or referring to content that implies racism is unacceptable. Note that if someone enters the chat who appears to be genuinely requesting help but also has an inappropriate name, picture, or other content, they should be warned and then banned if he or she does not change the content.
Using the name “The Black Man,” for example, is fine. This name does not imply that any specific race is superior. Saying, “I hate black people,” however, is not acceptable. It demonstrates inappropriate language use (typically intended to offend someone or a group of people).
If you have questions or concerns about the topics listed here you can contact a fellow moderator, owner, or seek information elsewhere online.