Following this banned content and this discussion: provide that “fascism-communism equivalence” and “horse-shoe theory” serve only to legitimize fascists, would you (@all) find clearer adding to the policy that this kind of content is not welcome on this instance?

A sibling request here.

@abbenm
79M

I am not a mod or anything, but speaking for myself I would love that.

I think it’s helpful to land on a short, pithy way of identifying that kind of behavior and just straight up saying it’s not allowed. And I think “no horse-she theory” covers it pretty well. Then we can avoid stupid bad faith debates that they want to drag everyone into.

@nope
59M

I think there are three different discussions in this thread that are mixed:

  1. Was the ban justified?

I guess whoever read his/her posts in the whole thread, agrees that this is a clear “yes”.

  1. Shall we add something to the policy that clarifies more precisely what is allowed and what isn’t?

I guess that there is a danger of making the CoC too long in the long run such that nobody will read it anymore, but I personally don’t have any strong opinion on that.

  1. Should the horse-shoe theory be banned on this instance?

I think that this should be answered with a “no” and I’ll elaborate why I think so. While the horse-shoe theory is often used by anti-leftists whose only aim is to de-legitimize the left, I believe that it is also often used by people who simply heard this theory and never particularly reflected about it. While there were without any doubt cruel actions done in the name of communism/anarchism, some people simply disregard that this cruelty is at the heart of the far right while it might just occur in some left “scenarios” (completely disregarding the cruelty of the “center” that we for example currently see in the mediterranean). If you are not “well educated” (whatever that should mean in this context) about political theories, you might make this mistake and hopefully you change your mind when someone calls you out on this mistake. If people, after having been called out on it, still continue to raise the horse-shoe theory, then this anyway falls under trolling in my opinion and there is enough reason left to ban them. So I don’t see why banning people just because of naming the horse-shore theory is necessary in the first place. In short, I believe that facists will anyway show their face in another way than just using the horse-shoe theory (like saying that the nazis were leftist, because they were “socialist”), thus people should be called out on it but not banned.

@diorama
creator
39M

To clarify: there is no mixing, the topic is the third point.
If one has a selective political illiteracy - mainly their responsibility tbh - and reads no horse-shoe theory in the CoC, they may start questioning why the theory is so stigmatized and it is grouped with “antifa=fa” equivalence (hot topic in the US) or “nazis=commies” (hot topic in the EU).
I give some suggestion here about the propagandistic purpose of the theory, and how nazis/alt-right/bigot scum uses it as a crowbar in online communities. I’d wish Lemmy flagship instance will not attract this kind of people to reap the confused (=lazy, to me) ones.

@nope
49M

Thanks for clarifying. I wanted to make sure that we are actually focusing on the same question here.

I very much disagree with the view that this is a selective political illiteracy and I also don’t think it’s constructive to blame people for not knowing something, even less calling them lazy. The question is, how do people react after being confronted with a clear refutation of their view.

In my experience the horse-shoe theory is mostly brought up by center-right and not far right people. Especially, people who bring up this theory (again, in my experience) often consider themselves to be against facism. I believe that banning these people will have the opposite effect of what you want to have.

My experience regarding this topic is almost exclusively non-internet related; so, that might be the point why we disagree, as we draw our experience from different places where a different group of people raise this theory.

@diorama
creator
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Anyone has own on-line and off-line experiences. Analogies btw. on-line and off-line are hard to draw too.

Selective political illiteracy is an observation, not a slur. Yes, I agree with you about avoiding the use since it is counter-productive.
Yet, writing comes with responsibility. I do not blame people being ignorant, I blame people when they expose the community to harmful content and community hijacking. When ones insist and they are in good faith, I am quite confident that laziness is the main reason.

If we add “no horse-shoe theory” on the CoC does not mean instant ban, as it holds for other contents.

@nope
5
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9M

I agree with everything except that “laziness is the main reason”. There’s just a lot of things to learn and do in life and it’s difficult to prioritize.

Anyway, I’m glad that we constructively made our points clear. :)

@diorama
creator
09M

After insisting on the same concept? What could be instead? Fear of contradiction? I disagree. :)

@fruechtchen
5
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9M

i would rather like to discuss these things. i know many people who just don’t understand the difference. especially older, conservative people will not understand this. My parents for instance.

To bann this content doesn’t solve that. The solution against the horse-shoe theory is to discuss it. At least with people who want to discuss it.

If you bann these people, it will make this belief much more stronger.

@PorkrollPosadist
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There is room for plenty of healthy discussion without entertaining arguments as idiotic as “the Nazis were actually leftists.” The user deserved the ban. Perhaps you can reform some people who’s brains are this poisoned, but there is a balancing act between dignifying these beliefs with a response and fostering a community where no one feels threatened or excluded. It boils down to the paradox of tolerance, and it raises the question of what the objective of this community is. Personally, I’d rather have marginalized folks feel welcome than relitigate the merits of fascism.

@fruechtchen
4
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Personally, I’d rather have marginalized folks feel welcome than relitigate the merits of fascism.

i completely agree with you, marginalized folks are always way more important. But i know 2 concrete people who i have discussed left radical activism vs fascism. Sure, i have done that in private, but it was successful (i think). they feel now less threatened by the left.

The core is that these people see violence from both sides. The left burns down cars and throw rocks, the right burn down houses and kill people. They see that the left anarchism movement for instance doesn’t kill people, but they don’t understand that it is because of morality. They see the anarchists may soon start to kill people.

@diorama
creator
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It is a matter to decide whether we can afford to welcome in the public discourse the ideas that these literally-two people, bearing in mind that we expose the community to nazi scum and in the end marginalize the already-marginalized folks. I think those literally-two people have all the tools to educate themselves on the subject in a safe environment for their growth, whereas the existence of marginalized folks is already at stake.
I see no harm asking people do their homework if they can afford to do their homework. If they don’t, it is at best intellectual laziness and it is safe to avoid spending time in explaining why their idea is stigmatized.

Slighty related: free sexism consulting, a concept that can be generalized.

Slighty related: free sexism consulting, a concept that can be generalized.

That is quite interesting, thanks.

so to highlight two points:

  • i’m against nazis
  • i want to empower marginalized people and not marginalize them even further.

So i think you, @diorama@lemmy.ml, misunderstood what people i spoke here.

In germany for instance, there are few politicians who actually understand the difference between antifa violence/looting/riots and nazi violence. Even from parties from social democrats, “DIE LINKE” and the greens. I’m talking about those politicians who don’t use right-wing language. So i’m not talking about people like boris palmer from the greens, i’m talking about the actual leftists. People like boris palmer are those who i’d like to ban. Because i think its unlikely that they will want to learn stuff.

So i think the group of people i’m talking about are neither right wing, nor is their language/actions oppressive. So of course i’m not sure if marginalized people feel great about these people. But i’m sure that the people i mean here don’t threaten the existence of marginalized people.

So yes, they have the resources available to combat their belief of the horse-shoe theory. But they won’t try to understand it, because they don’t know they are wrong. And when you tell them they are wrong, they think its unlikely that they are wrong because in their experience it sounds right.

In germany, there is a book that covers this topic. If you refer to that, some people may read it, sure. But i guess many people won’t have time for that (because they do already read books, have work-stuff to do or something else). So one of the few ways to combat the horse-shoe theory in these cases is to explain it to them. If you ban these people, they are convinced they were banned by extremists.

@diorama
creator
29M

The highlights were clear to me, very sorry if my wordings may have suggested the opposite. :(((
The rest is cool, Germany included. ;)

@nope
2
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9M

Thank you. This very nicely summarizes the concerns that also I have with a strictly-no-horseshoe-theory policy.

And of course, banning fascists is fine for me (have done so in the past). However there are also some conservative people who i estimate as very far away from fascism, who don’t understand anything else than the horse-shoe.

I don’t want to make the horse-shoe theory in their mind stronger, i want to fight it.

@diorama
creator
19M

See below and redirect them to materials they can affordably study.

@diorama
creator
49M

Thanks for the feedback. I do not agree and I try to argue.

First of all, bigotry is a no-go for this instance. Secondly, horse-shoe theory is propaganda.

secondly: propaganda

I know this story since it was told by relatives of mine too and I suspect it goes far beyond anybody’s relatives. Horse-shoe theory is blatant anti-progressivist propaganda made up by conservatives and double-edging libs:

  • to discredit progressive transformative stances - both reformist and revolutionary - via association fallacy, and - maybe worse? -
  • to make conservatives’ alliance with nazis (more) acceptable in the public discourse.

So, in the time one distinguishes oneself from sorta historical scoundrel, the nazis-conservatives alliance spills over, conservatives promote their anti-social agenda, and nazis do the dirty work. In this way, each others present their reciprocal support less demeaning.
Why the association fallacy does not backfire against conservatives may be suggested in this video (the specific case can be generalized).

.
As third, alt-right & friends currently use horse-shoe theory as crowbar in online communities. It is hard to distinguish the crowbar discussions from discussions in good faith but the false negative cases (one is understood as non-fascist being fascist) is more dangerous than false positive ones (one is understood as fascist being non-fascist). All in all, an account is an account is an account so banning it when one can make a new one (even w/o an e-mail) is not a loss for the community.

Last, if a long-running account which is undoubtedly in good faith asks for clarification, there should be a way to handle it. A master post, a FAQ, even the Code of Conduct itself can give some insight why the theory is out of discussion here. In this way, when one looks for explanation, also they can realize why that kind of content is not welcome here, mainly because the concept is used to deliver harmful contents and politics.

@lightstream
2
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9M

Is it necessarily propaganda? Genuine question. I have not heard of the horseshoe theory by name before - full disclosure: I have no formal education in politics, have never read any significant political work, however I do like to discuss political ideas. I remember years ago discussing this same idea at school with friends, where we said that it seemed to be like a ring rather than a straight line, and if you go far enough in one direction, you end up in the same place as if you went far enough in the opposite direction.

Obviously we were young and naive, but there was no propaganda here, no bad faith. Rather it was merely an observation we had made independently based on the shallow treatment of the subject we had received through school.

Having just read about the horseshoe theory on rational wiki, I can see how it has been abused by right-of-centre people to dismiss left wing ideas. However that doesn’t mean that everyone who sees some kind of equivalence between extreme right and extreme left is doing so in order to push that particular agenda.

At least not consciously, surely?

@diorama
creator
29M

(I lost my long post so I try to be concise :)

I skip the part about how horseshoe theory is used with circularity.

I just briefly add that the “circularity” of the theory is used both by centrists to eventually dismiss any difference btw. nazism and communism/anarchism/etc., and by red-brown/nazbols/querfront/third-position personalities to poison the weel

)

Thanks for the feedback! Intention has never been in question because - luckily, and hopefully - is inscrutable. Hence, actions and responsibility count.
The topic is community policies and the question is: how to prevent a safe/r community environment to be disrupted, and how the policies can help this goal.
Actors can sinergically engineer this environment with harsh and tendentious communication. The ones who benefit environments with harsh and tendentious communication are the fittest, who are likely to be the privileged people plenty of time, attention, patience, awareness, studies, gab, … resources in general. The society many lives mirrors these conditions, hence one might expect with significant confidence the same ((hegemonic?)[https://lemmy.ml/post/35363/comment/8102]) dynamics of marginalization overflows the community if no one sets the margins.

If I’m understanding you right, then I think it might be better for this case to have a less specific rule. So the rule might say, “propaganda - viz the deliberate misrepresentation of facts or theories to promote your political beliefs - is not allowed here and will result in your account being banned. An example of such would be pushing the horseshoe theory to undermine socialist or communist discussion”

Additionally the policy should involve a series of warnings in all but really egregious cases.

I do understand the problem caused by these bad actors, but one of their aims is to aggravate division and prevent free and constructive discussion and I think we should take care to ensure they do not succeed in that.

@diorama
creator
29M

I put an upvote but I do not agree.

  • I do not agree to defining that way propaganda. My comments are propaganda, even if I put my best efforts and good faith on one hand to disclose my point of view, and on the other hand to avoid misrepresentation. (which is ultimately impossible due to biases, yet there are different “quality” of misrepresentations)
  • Adding “deliberate” is sloppy: it is either very hard to address in a presumption-of-innocence model, or very easy to address in a presumption-of-guilt model. That means to increase the discretion (and the power) of moderation without a community counterweight.
  • To me, preventing the attempts to undermine socialist discussions is not a goal the community shall embrace. There are other Lemmy instances, for example this one, where one can fulfill that kind of expectation.

I do not get the last paragraph since we are discussing exactly about that. Is that a rethorical repeating or am I missing something? The question is whether/how policies can help to reach that goal.

About degrees of warning: they are already in the CoC.

@gtk
4
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keeping this here because someone said i shouldn’t have deleted it, frankly i deleted it because i don’t really wanna argue about this, i only talk about politics in a community i’ve been in for upwards of 2 years, and even there i don’t enjoy discussing it. I don’t even know why i made this comment in the first place. And I understand this platform has a lot of leftists (probably a vast majority) and they wouldn’t like nazis or whatever here. So… Please ignore what I said. Pre-deletion message is below this.


Yeah, like is said on https://minds.com:

You can only change someone’s mind if you provide them with a platform to speak it.

That is, banning people who disagree with you is worthless and will not change their minds, and like you said, will probably make their negative belief stronger.


I heard about that site from Daryl Davis, I think on his episode of The Joe Rogan Experience (I don’t usually watch him, I’ve seen like 2 vids from him, daryl davis and edward snowden)

If you don’t know who that is, he’s the black musician who converted 200+ KKK members (some indirectly, some as a direct result of him talking to them over a long period of time)

@ksynwa
6
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Daryl Davis

I have a feeling the viability of someone being able to do this on a consistent basis is way overblown. One issue is that if it was viable, a movement like this would have gained serious momentum. I don’t like using this argument because it discredits pioneers of new movements, but it is worth mentioning because Nazism, neo-Nazism, the KKK, etc. are not new problems. They have existed for centuries and attempts to tolerate them, coddle them, and change their minds has done nothing but allowed them to fester.

In fact, the rhetoric of Daryl Davis is nothing new. It is a pattern that has that bared its face again and again with the liberal whitewashing and fetishisation of non-violence with MLK, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc. We are asked to use the power of friendship and love while fascists arm themselves and at no point have any intention of having a discussion in good faith.

When someone has an upside down understanding of history where they say that Communist and Fascists are the same, it is better not to engage them. Let them spew their shit elsewhere.

edit: you shouldn’t have deleted your post. i think it was a good point but i just wanted to present my thoughts on it.

@gtk
3
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Okay, I just undeleted it.

I thought this platform allowed you to view deleted comments though.

I usually don’t get involved in politics outside of a select discord server where I’ve known the community for around 2 years. So when I saw a reply I just deleted the comment because I didn’t really want to argue.

And that edit explains why I got multiple emails about this, I assumed they were replies to your reply though.

I thought this platform allowed you to view deleted comments though.

I believe this is only if the moderators remove your comment. If you delete your own comments/posts/account, they do not appear in the mod log.

@gtk
29M

Hmm okay. I guess since there’s an undelete button I assumed that meant that it was still accessible. But I guess that’s probably not the best idea in case they shared personal info they don’t want out there.

@oio
49M

That is a faulty premise to begin with. Social media platforms are not a Daryl Davis situation. The scope is not about changing the minds of the few facist users this way. You certainly will not accomplish this by carving out a wide berth for them to operate. In giving them unfettered theater to normalize their propaganda they will radicalize far more than you can change the minds of a few Klan members. It’s a net negative. That’s probably one of their most effective MO. It’s the really the essence of what we’ve been observing on the web.

There’s no need to dance around these silly charades because it’s just another pry bar.

If someone wants to take it upon themselves to personally chat with a neo-Nazi and be a Daryl Davis then that’s their prerogative. If you snoop their private communications and banish them off the internet entirely then maybe we start to have an equivalence to what you propose.

@gtk
3
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9M

Yeah, the key to what daryl did was probably that it was in person and he has a lot of patience, and it was done over a long period of time.

Anyway, please ignore what I said earlier, I don’t really like discussing politics and I don’t really know why I made that comment in the first place. I deleted it for that reason but undeleted it after u/ksynwa told me i shouldn’t have deleted it. I should have added something to the original comment when I did that.

@yogthos
39M

:clapping hands:

@diorama
creator
39M

I draw a concrete example: the concept of free speech has been stretched by online trolls and scoundrels to hegemonize online communities and to justify any of their behaviours. At some point, online communities understood free speech is a tool to destroy them from inside, therefore put its advocacy out of terms. Does it make them againt free speech? No.

I deem we should do the same move for horse-shoe theory.
Time, attention, and patience are limited resources and shall be allocated according to community goals (being the code of conduct a manifestation of these goals).
In the end, my arguments are by scarsity and by expectation.

@blaha
29M

Was the warning mentioned in the code of conduct issued?

@diorama
creator
19M

I can’t find it. Please help me to highlight the sentence.

@nope
49M

“Moderators will first respond to such remarks with a warning, at the same time the offending content will likely be removed whenever possible.”

But I don’t see the point of a warning in the case where a person posts such a large amount of “bannable content”.

@diorama
creator
09M

OT @all: the name for lazy is laziness, not lazyness as I wrote. :(
I edited the relevant comments.

@thegergo02
2
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deleted by creator

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