Rule #6 (No Threats) debate thread***Final Vote! Poll open until Monday 5pm MST--Post 163 ITT **

This to discuss rule number 6. If you have not visited the first phase thread, go here now and cast your vote on the open items.

Here is rule 6 and the poll results, which did not meet the 70% threshold to ratify and was a pretty even split. This is the only rule that had ZERO voters think it was not needed.

Let’s get into it.

Probably fair for the people who want to discuss it to state what their concerns are. I suppose “indirect” and “veiled” are subject to judgment, so a mod could take something that’s not a threat and call it a veiled threat and inappropriately sanction somebody because of it; but for this rule (and for rule 7) it may be productive to start with clear cut cases and work our way into the boundaries of the gray area posts, rather than start with the gray area posts and peter out. I guess maybe the severity of the violence that is threatened may also be an issue?

I take this as a standard forum rule I see on every discussion forum, so we all agree that the most immediate, possible actionable threats are to be moderated aggressively.

What counts as an incitement to violence? One person’s resistance movement is another’s incitement to violence. Can I get banned for suggesting people attend an Occupy ICE action?

And who decides when an appropriate law enforcement agency is contacted on behalf of the forum? Nothing is stopping anyone from contacting law enforcement any time they want, but what triggers an official Unstuck is contacting law enforcement? Are we handing over IP and email addresses when we contact law enforcement?

Is there any circumstance or post that would make you call the cops?

What if someone makes a post where they threaten to kill their spouse and themselves?

What if someone alludes to committing a mass shooting?

Those are two situations where I’d be prompted to contact authorities.

No, that sounds like a peaceful protest.

We could specify that advocating for non-violent harassment of public figures as a form of protest is acceptable discourse.

All mods in agreement? All mods+admin in agreement?

That’s a great question. I’m not inclined to support handing this over lightly, but I also think we should certainly do it when it’s appropriate. Like as an extreme example, if someone made a specific threat of violence against someone else that we took seriously, we should report them and should turn that stuff over if/when requested by authorities.

Yes, yes and yes. And in the interest of full clarity based on my peace of mind, morals, principles, etc, if people don’t want mods turning that information over in those situations, then I’ll be stepping down as a mod. Not trying to be dramatic here, and I’m a big believer in right to privacy from search, etc, but there are lines and when clearly over the lines, the first mod who sees that stuff should report it and provide that info ASAP.

So having thought about it a bit, unanimous consent may not be a good idea because it would waste time. We’ve seen numerous examples of mass shooters posting online and carrying out their killing in less than an hour. We don’t need to be waiting for a mod to login to agree that turning them in is the right move when minutes could literally be the difference in saving lives.

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Of course it’s absurdly unlikely we’re ever in that exact situation, but this is the time to put a policy in place so we should discuss it and have a policy.

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I voted for more discussion bc it’s a powder keg issue and obviously warranted something beyond a rubber stamping.

The whole ‘notify law enforcement’ makes me squeamish but I guess it’s obvious so whatever. I’d prefer that line not in there bc of the tone it sets fwiw.

Probably, but I don’t think calling the cops at the moderators discretion should be an official Unstuck policy.

Okay, how about the upcoming G7 protests? Three people went to prison for conspiracy to commit riots and vandalism for helping organize the Toronto G20 protests. Would they have been banned if they posted here encouraging people to come to the protests? What if someone who wasn’t an organizer posted about it?

What about saying Americans should take to the streets like they’re doing in Bolivia if Trump is re-elect under suspicious circumstances? Or if he loses and refuses to accept the results?

One is illegal and the other is not.

That was four scenarios, which one was illegal?

Presumably the one that resulted in jail sentences.

Fuck this place

I am more curious about situations like in OOT. This whole Nima debacle? Is it a threat to put-up a page with someone’s info and name? Can we do something against it? I mean…I believe that it is pretty difficult to prevent that from happening even with police.

Then I myself have threatened a couple of times to take things into RL. Never anything illegal. Would in the same situations absolutely do it again. I mean… I always wondered which sense makes it to ban someone who threatens to take things into RL. A ban in such situation is rather a removal of social constraints + a removal of an alternative outlet. So it is completely counterproductive.

I was being trite because it seems pretty clear to me that all those scenarios are OK to encourage people here to attend because none are clearly going to descend into unavoidable criminality, iow that one can participate in those events without taking part in criminal activities.

The bigger problem here will come if/when Trump gets re-elected and changes the laws of assembly, but hopefully that won’t happen. If it does I say it’s fine (necessary, even) to break laws that are unjust.


Technically, wanting to give noogies to Trump until his toupet falls off is violent but hardly a rule breaker imo.

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So I have been on a forum where someone found out their spouse was cheating and got drunk and posted that they wanted to confront them and also wanted to die.

There are people who threaten mass shootings or talk about them online.

Now I straight up took the language in that rule from another site without much thought on it. Nobody really brought it up in the first thread but I personally don’t like it or think it is necessary. It is a personal choice for each of us if we feel like someone is a literal danger and how to proceed but I don’t think it falls on mods to have a policy to parse that or be the judge of it, nor should we bother spelling it out as a warning.

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As long as the organizers were not calling for violence (or washing their hands of it wink-wink nod-nod), then no, they would not be banned.

I haven’t followed the events in Bolivia closely, but assuming it’s similar to what went on in Venezuela there was a mix of peaceful protest, violent protest, and peaceful protests turned violent under duress. Since a blanket “Take to the streets,” call could mean any of the three, I would be okay with it and perhaps ask for clarification. I don’t know the details there, but if peaceful protesters took to the streets and the government started firing on them or something, I don’t have a problem with them defending themselves and fighting back. You’re now talking about a civil war. If you show up to a protest and a civil war starts, my morals don’t say you have to stand there peacefully and take it.

Also, Trump refusing to accept the results could change things. At that point I’d be calling for a large, peaceful protest at/surrounding the White House that does not back down to any calls to disperse by anyone.

I agree with you here. We could put some statement about the difference in calling for legal/illegal violence in the rule, but really we’re talking about rule #7 at this point, and the forum can always revisit it later if Trump starts eating babies. My thought in general is that you don’t call for violence unless peaceful options have been eliminated. So, like, if someone wanted to violently storm a detention center due to the inhumane family separation policies, I could understand their point, but I think their call is out of line and should be moderated because they could try peaceful options first.

So the reply to that is going to be something like, “But cuse, that means you do accept calls for violence under some situations… You’re just trying to impose your line on where it becomes acceptable on the forum!”

Well, we’re arguing about where the line should be and I have strongly held beliefs on it, so I’m expressing them. I also think it’s best to put a more cautious rule in place now, and then shift it if/when needed with the consensus of the forum. If we get to a point where it becomes acceptable discourse, at least we’ll know that 70% (or 67% or 60%, whatever the threshold is) is in agreement, rather than 31% dictating it to everyone. This is why I’d encourage people who are unsure about these rules to vote on the side of being more cautious and strict about violent rhetoric/threats/whatever the topic. If you change your mind later, it can be moved that way…

We’re probably never going to adopt a stronger rule than right now, though, unless something terrible makes the forum re-think it, and we all hope that doesn’t happen.

Commenting on some posts above:

Mods are not the ones that should be tasked with (allowed to) calling law enforcement as “officials” of Unstuck Politics website. That needs to be solely the purview of Admin.

I think we should remove the language about notifying law enforcement from this rule.

I agree that we should add language allowing posts pertaining to peaceful protests and other acts of non-violent civil disobedience.


I am not okay with any policy that allows mods in their capacity as mods to call law enforcement on behalf of Unstuck, and especially to hand over any personally identifying info about a user without a warrant. If someone feels the need to contact the authorities, they are free to do so, (but there should be consequences for doing this out of spite, and I assume something like contacting Lawbro poster’s bar to make a complaint because he said something mean to me in a thread is covered somewhere). Unstuck should not be doing this as an organization.

But more importantly, Admins have nothing to do with this stuff. I am an admin because I work on UI stuff and in order to do that I need administrative access. That I have administrative access should by no means be interpreted as giving me any powers or duties other than changing how the forum looks. Any decisions regarding the forums fall under moderators’ purview. Admins are not a higher level than mods. They have the ability to do certain things a mod cannot do, but the roles are not hierarchical: mods have one role and admins don’t interfere with that; admins have a separate role that does not involve moderating users or content.


Also I do not understand why “incitement to violence” is included in this rule about threats, when there is a separate rule explicitly devoted to violence. Any mention of violence should be stricken from this rule and dealt with under the rule that pertains to violence.

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