Thread-banning in "MGT Must Go" thread

Concerning this post:

Sure, a double transgression of non-English and (sort of) threatening of life.
Regardless, I thought a thread ban for what I thought was over-the-top, hyberbolic vitriol (“destroy!”) was excessive, and should’ve warranted merely a warning instead.

To add some facts, I believe it’s an allusion to this:

Carthago delenda est - Wikipedia

So perhaps it could be characterized as a literary allusion rather than a willful use of a foreign language to communicate? There’s no bright line here, I’m guessing nobody would think Civis Romanus sum needs a translation, but this is more obscure.

But I think the ejection was principally based on it being a call to violence, and as for this -

I think this is a bit thin. It’s not simply a translation of the thread title, it is definitely “must be destroyed” rather than “must go”.

I would not be happy about “[public figure I like] must be destroyed”, and we should be consistent in our standards.

Also, this “Please keep posts in English or provide an accurate translation”. Has that ever been a thing here?

Yes, that’s a long standing rule here. If I knew how to access the rules, I’m sure it’s in there.

The version of the rules I found might be out of date - it’s in Latin.


Yes, it’s a rule, but IMHO it’s a rule that should be understood in reasonable context. As an English-language board, we naturally expect posters to write in English. However, a single throwaway line in another language for the sake of humour shouldn’t be regarded as breaking the rule about posting in English. For example, somewhere in another thread someone responded to one of my comments in a lighthearted way with a well-known French phrase meaning “to each his own”. I responded with an equally well-known French acknowledgment meaning “no problem!”. No one complained, and, somehow, the board survived this technical “transgression” of the rules.

“Call to violence”? :grin: Do you imagine that even now, Johanna is organizing a mob equipped with torches and pitchforks to go after MTG? Or is what we have here just a flaw in Latin translation somewhere along the line?

Regardless of whether @Johanna’s Latin was flawed or whether Google Translate didn’t quite get it right (it’s notorionsly bad at Latin translations), Johanna is a good-faith poster, certainly not a troublemaker in that thread nor (AFAIK) ever in any other. What on earth is the purpose of a thread ban? What likely future transgressions is it preventing?

You have the opposite opinion of me I guess. I think a thread ban is less than a warning.

Absolutely a long standing policy and one I have enforced pretty rigidly.

That makes sense, but the problem is that without speaking the other language, we have no way of knowing it’s a throwaway line for the sake of humor. The post in question is a good example.
On the other hand, despite it being improper, I’m not sure it merited a thread ban. A mod note would have been sufficient unless the poster had a history of misbehaving.

This is absolutely correct, although I’ll concede that modern usage of the phrase as an historical allusion has a pretty similar vibe to the energy in that thread.

But I agree that we should not quibble on calls to violence. Moderator intervention was appropriate. And:

I agree with that. I think thread bans feel more abrupt because it’s a “get the hell out of my house” kind of reaction, but warnings are definitely stronger since they lead directly to suspensions and bannings.

I agree–but I also think a “dial it back” is even less and is called for, if anything is. While it’s a phrase in another language, it’s one of the more famous bits of Latin, along with “alea iacta est” and “de mortuis nil nisi bonum”. Not widely known, but not completely unknown either. In no way does it come across as a threat to me, nor as an attempt to skirt the language rule.

Reversing the thread ban, but reminding Johanna of the “keep it English” rule, would be a good idea, IMO.

The thread ban was not for the Latin. It was for the meaning of the phrase. I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear. Actually I did make it perfectly clear. WTH?

I would not thread ban for using non-English. But the translation is against the rules.

If someone is going to voluntarily use Latin, they surely have a burden to know what it means.

And I’m pretty sure that the forum standard is not the existence of an actual conspiracy. I think talk about causing physical harm has always been a bright line, with or without an implicit “J/K”.

As I said, “in no way does it come across as a threat to me.”

Thanks, folks, but I’d like to drop the subject; it’s slightly embarrassing. I have no quarrel with What_Exit’s call.

True, it has. When it’s explicitly stated as such. But what if it’s inadvertent, due to an error in translation?

To be clear, I acknowledge that two rules were technically broken here, but only according to a strictly rote by-the-book interpretation of those rules, without consideration of the entirely innocent circumstances. I’m not privy to the Official Mod Handbook so I don’t know what latitude @What_Exit may or may not have had, but I’m commenting on the situation from a purely logical and dispassionate perspective.

Again, can anyone tell me what useful thing has been accomplished, and what actual risk is being mitigated, by banning Johanna from that thread? Aren’t thread bans supposed to be about keeping troublesome posters out of threads that they’re constantly disrupting? There was one such poster in the “Russia Invades Ukraine” thread, and it took months to get rid of them. But Johanna is out because of an unintended meaning in a Latin phrase?

Done. I posted my rant before I saw your post. I’m going to let it stand FTR as my view on the matter, but that’s all from me.

Was Cato threatening Carthage? :stuck_out_tongue: