A World Divided
reply to post by steveknows
What comprises "nation-bashing" is a very nebulous concept. For people who consider themselves patriotic, almost any criticism of their country will
offend them, and quite often compel them to rude rebuttal.
The line between criticizing governments (which is an ATS staple) and their respective nations and peoples can also be very blurry. Many members are
very careful to make the distinction, and go to great pains to point out that their criticism is directed at a given government, rather than the
people under its dominion. When they do that, they are doing so both for courtesy and clarity, and should be commended for that.
The terms & conditions
prohibit, among quite a few other things, behavior in an
"abusive, libelous, defamatory, hateful, intolerant, bigoted and/or racist manner". That's a rather broad list, and what qualifies is an opinion
that's different for virtually every ATSer, including moderators.
Typically, when we see comments that constitute trolling
ad hominem attacks
, we'll take action on that basis. Broad insults of the
membership also merit action. Racism, bigotry or other hateful comments are likewise unwelcome. But there can still be a lot of gray area there, and
we know it.
Our rule of thumb for taking action is if there's doubt, the benefit of that doubt goes to the members. That means when we're not sure, we'll step
back and leave things up to the membership to work out.
When confronted with problems, the owners have entrusted the staff with using our best discretion to resolve them. The outcomes rarely please
everyone, and we're sensitive to that, but inaction when action is clearly needed would only let everyone down and hurt our community.
I know many members resent what may seem like arbitrary decisions on our part concerning what belongs on ATS and what does not. There are so many
factors and nuances which go into such judgments that we really cannot guarantee perfect, textbook uniformity in our decisions.
Rather, we do our best, do make mistakes, invite members to let us know
they see them or disagree with us on anything, and hope our fellow members will do their best as well.
It isn't perfect, but so far, it's been good enough.