Since when do deliberate insults merit just a note?

Here, @Isamu calls me a racist

Here, @What_Exit lets them off with a note because they were “joking”

Firstly - that was rhetoric, not humour. It was not a joke. The way they subsequently flounced out of there shows they were perfectly serious in their sarcasm.

Secondly - even if they were joking, since when has that been an adequate defence against calling someone racist in GD?

How many ATMB threads have we had about calling people racists in GD (or rather, not being allowed to). Who knew all along all I had to do was add a “tee hee!” and I’d have been able to call all the scientific racists what they were outside the Pit.

This is a ridiculous ruling, it should be a warning.

The comment in question was obviously intended as a parody to show that some accusations of racism can be unwarranted. As a rhetorical approach, it was facile and annoying, and detracted from the debate, and he was rightly told to knock it off. But there’s no insult there. He’s not really calling you a racist.

It’s heavy sarcasm, designed to express contempt for one side of an argument. Perhaps calling it a “joke” does not precisely convey that, but still he’s obviously not really calling you a racist.

If you wanted to nitpick the Mod Note, perhaps it could have read something like:

“Do not even pretend to insult others with sarcastic rhetoric outside of the Pit”

But I thought the moderation was quite correct.

There very much is insult there, because I take offence at “racist” being allowed for cheap rhetorical tricks when it can’t be used in seriousness.

Doesn’t matter. It’s a personal insult, and one we’ve been told never to use on other posters in GD. If it’s allowed in this kind of case, then all that goes out the window.

The SDMB has never had a rule requiring automatic warnings for anything construed as an insult.

But that is not what happened here. It was clearly NOT allowed. A moderator took action.

And the mod shared this view.

It does matter. You cannot seriously claim that he was expressing a belief that you are a racist.

It wasn’t allowed. He was told to stop.

And have I said anything that indicates that I think it does?

I’m very aware the mod took action. I’m saying the mod’s action wasn’t strict enough.

I’m seriously claiming he called me one.

…with a tap on the wrist. No permanent record. To someone who’d already flounced. Yeah, that’s not really a sanction.

I could get behind that. I think the poster in question was completely out of order in that thread, and could equally have been moderated under the “don’t be a jerk” rule. But I don’t think you made that case well by suggesting this should be because we should take his sarcastic rhetoric literally.

I think if someone wants to use sarcastic rhetoric, they should take their licks. It’s all very well to use sarcasm ( Lords know, I never do), but it’s more than just sarcasm, it’s personalized sarcasm. Directed at a strong anti-racist. And not the only personal insult they flung in that thread, I might add. And all clearly done in anger, which is the damning part.

He did, but if it’s any consolation you’re the last person I’d believe that about.

You’re equivocating here. He obviously did use a superficial form of words that called you one.

If you claim that you think he was seriously expressing a belief that you are a racist, I don’t believe you.

Thanks. But see above for why that makes it more insulting.

No, I’m not.

No. That’s completely irrelevant. I take just being called that as an insult. Whether he did it as a serious accusation or as a rhetorical ploy, it’s still insulting. And I don’t think he was serious, I thought I made that quite clear in my OP.

As I said, I can completely get behind a warning on this basis.

But I think the reason for warnings should be clear and consistent. We cannot set a precedent that people might be warned on any kind of general principle that we must take into account the import of their sarcastic rhetoric if it were taken literally.

That’s not the principle I want upheld. The principle I want upheld is that you can’t call other posters racists in GD. End-of.

IANAM of course. But, considering the matter at hand, I could absolutely have seen a middle ground here. Perhaps something along the line of calling out the insulter with something along the lines of @What_Exit said

[ I am modifying WE’s quote here ]

Modnote: do not even jokingly insult others posters outside of the pit. Please retract the statement in-thread and we’ll consider this a guidance, not a warning. Otherwise, we will have to consider it an actual insult which will result in a warning.

[ Repeat, this is a hypothetical modification of a Moderator’s comment, not his actual words ]

I think this would have been a better option, but would also have been more work for the mods to follow up on. And it would have required @lsamu to own the insult as an incredibly poor-taste joke or admit to being a jerk - both of which are good options for the general health of the board IMHO.

He called me a sexist, too. Which was also meant as a rhetorical device. And yes, it was pretty freaking annoying. I was glad it was moderated.

I don’t think he made the point he thought he was making, fwiw.

I have no strong opinion as to whether it ought to have been a warning. Speaking for a moment as a journeymod, rather than as an aggreived poster, that’s the sort of line I might ask more experienced mods for guidance on.

It was NOT a joke. He was attempting to demonstrate the risk of malicious accusations.

You’d pre-emptively addressed the point, which made it all the more annoying of a thing to do.

That principle has been upheld - he was moderated for his post.

I don’t think we’re in any disagreement on our view of the poster in that thread. It’s more a question of the need for complete transparency in moderation about exactly what the rules are and what rules are being violated.

I recall a situation where @asahi was warned for using racist terminology/stereotypes in a parody of some Southern politician. The mod came into a very long thread and didn’t realize it was parody. There was a long ATMB thread, the mod eventually realized their mistake, but a couple of other posters were still stubbornly insisting it wasn’t necessarily parody despite that fact that it very obviously was, or that it didn’t matter that it was parody.

I just think we need to be clear here that your argument here is that this rhetorical use of sarcasm rose to the level of being so inflammatory that it was inherently insulting. I don’t think your thread title conveyed that well - but I agree with you now we have clarified it, and so did the mod - the only dispute here is whether that poster’s behavior merited a warning rather than a note.

But we do not want any more general principle that we need to shy away from sarcastic rhetoric and parody for fear that we might be moderated on the literal meaning of our words.