Why did Qin Shi Huangdi get a warning for suggesting Rubio is gay?

In the post explaining Qin Shi Huangdi’s suspension, it notes that one of his warnings was for suggesting that Marco Rubio is a closeted gay man.

Just curious what rule that violates. Thanks!

Sometimes, it’s not so much what you do as how you do it.

I could be wrong, but the warning seemed more for not following moderator instructions. Like he kept coyly insinuating that Rubio was gay, yet when asked for cites, there’d be radio silence. He was then told to put up or shut up and he did neither.

The process went like this:

  1. I warned Stringbean for referring to Rubio as ‘Mr Homo’. In the same thread Qin referred to him as gay. When asked to provide some back up he - as faithfool put it - maintained radio silence.

  2. In his most recent warning, Qin got dinged for failure to follow in developing a habit of putting Rubio’s name in pink. As obnoxious a piece of sexual orientation baiting as I’ve seen recently.

So the warning wasn’t so much for calling Rubio gay as - agreed - how he did it.

A discussion of Rubio’s sexuality could indeed be had. But baiting it and refusing to provide any backup? That’s close to trolling, frankly, and shouldn’t be done.

Thanks for the explanation, Jonathan Chance.

In my observation, posters are not ordinarily warned for insinuating things about politicians that they fail to back up. So it seems like you’re treating this particular insinuation differently. Indeed, you seem to acknowledge that you’re treating it differently when you say it is “[a]s obnoxious a piece of sexual orientation baiting as I’ve seen recently.”

It isn’t clear to me why you would want to treat this differently, from, say, unsubstantiated suggestion that Hillary is a closet Socialist. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Is the idea that it is somehow insulting or hate speech to suggest Rubio is a closeted gay man, in a way that other insinuations about politicians’ hidden character is not?

Not to be a dick…but if there is a poster who persists in making personal attacks about Hillary Clinton, without support and in a way that also disparages an entire group of people, I absolutely support reporting his or her posts.

So, the standing ATMB rule “We don’t publicly discuss banned users” is relaxed in this case? A mod is participating, after all.

Am I junior modding? I apologize if it appears that way. I’m just curious as to the rationale of letting the thread continue, rather than shutting it down IAW standing policy.

I personally speculate that the “learning moment” value of this justifies letting the tread run for a productive bit. If so, I approve. (For what little that’s worth.)

I see two problems.

  1. No one was banned.
  2. They are discussing the merits of the warning, not the poster.

ETA - at gnoitall

I guess that’s the crux of my question. Why is this seen to “disparage an entire group of people”?

Good point. I misread the announcement as “Banned” when, in fact, QSH was only suspended. If the rule is a bright line, I guess we’re still on the right side of it.

Disparagement comes from using “homosexual” or “gay” with the intent to disparage, not as a neutral factual (or non-malicious speculative) description.

In other words, “gay” is an insult if you use it with the intent to insult. As an insult, it is intended to lump both the target and the group being compared together, and to imply that both are bad. “Gay people are bad, and you are gay, so you are bad. QED.”

I agree. Is there any evidence at all that QSH meant it as an insult?

To the extent it was meant as disparagement at all, the more natural reading is disparagement over the closeted aspect, not the gay aspect. It remains (sadly) common for gay men who are also culturally conservative–and especially if they are Republican politicians–to remain in the closet. Concern over that issue, or even disparagement about that issue, is very rarely about homophobia.

(Though I concede I have not seen all of the posts preceding this one. Maybe it is clear from prior ones.)

Wait, so I can call politicians worthless human beings deserving of scorn and insinuate that they fornicate with animals sans any evidence, but calling a politician a closeted homosexual sans evidence is out of bounds?

Referring to a person as gay has an entirely different meaning than referring to that person as gay. Pink implies an effeminate characteristic when directed at a male, sending the message that he is less of a man than a straight male.

As has been pointed out, this involves a suspension rather than a banning. In any case, it is not prohibited to discuss the reasons why a poster was banned with respect to the rules. What we want to avoid is personal attacks on someone who can’t defend themselves.

Can you provide some examples of this? Not my forum, but I would think saying that a politician indulged in bestiality in GD without evidence would not be construed as a productive form of debate.

It seems to me the mods are trying to make GD about actual debate instead of just an insult fest.

Like they want less of this extreme example:

Poster 1: Hillary is a fascist pig.
Poster 2: Oh yeah, well Trump rapes babies.
Poster 1: Oh yeah, well Hillary has sex with horses.
Poster 2: Oh yeah, well Trump watches Fox news.

I can’t, and I’m not going to search thread after thread with those terms :slight_smile: It was really meant as a generalized insult query. My understanding was that insulting off board folks was permissible. Not as support for a debate position, but in general. Surely if there are policy disagreements with various politicians those can be hashed out, and if included in that discussion we say, ‘and that guy is really an asshole too’ is that out of bounds? I mean, the person is not literally an asshole (only) so clearly that’s meant to insult the person.

My interest would be whether or not we’re moderating general insults directed at off board people. If so, fine. If the moderation is based on the nature of the insult, then…what are the guidelines?

That’s fair, but seems like a thin basis in this particular context to conclude that QSH meant to insult Rubio’s sexuality rather than to suggest that Rubio is hiding his sexuality.

I also echo Bone’s point that I don’t think even hate speech-y insults about politicians are generally warnable offenses. Could be wrong.

I think the best defense of this was that he was previously noted not to do this in order to keep the debate productive, and he disregarded that note. But I cannot tell from the earlier posts whether he was indeed individually noted or not. If he wasn’t, that seems unfair.

Insults against off board people are not prohibited. However, as with so many things, it depends on the forum and the context as to whether or not they might be moderated. For example, if there were a question in GQ about a particular scientist’s theory, attacks on him or her because of their sexuality or personal behavior might be inappropriate for the forum.

I think one could argue that the latter implication is inherently insulting if it presupposes that being homosexual is something shameful or worth hiding. I can’t say that’s the case here, of course, although the continued use of the insinuation and the font color might suggest that was the intent. Might.