• Member Since 20th Apr, 2012
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Hold your ground but do not be unkind. (Ponyphonic, "Shy Heart")

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    Downvotes for you, Logan!

    Sethisto recently posted "On Racism in the Fandom, and Equestria Daily Going Forward". I made a few comments on that along the lines of how maybe, y'know, having Nazi crap in the fandom wasn't the best idea and, also y'know, maybe having people who loved posting Nazi crap in the fandom wasn't the best

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Downvotes for you, Logan! · 10:51am June 29th

Sethisto recently posted "On Racism in the Fandom, and Equestria Daily Going Forward". I made a few comments on that along the lines of how maybe, y'know, having Nazi crap in the fandom wasn't the best idea and, also y'know, maybe having people who loved posting Nazi crap in the fandom wasn't the best idea either. Naturally this was considered a terrible threat to freedom of speech by some, hence those downvotes.

Some interesting, or rather "interesting", responses, too. I especially loved the couple of people who, if I'm interpreting their words correctly, insisted that Nazis didn't exist any more because WW2 was over and Nazis were German anyway. An actual German person posted in the end and still got a bunch of downvotes. Actually, said German person's words deserve a wider audience:

There is nothing tolerant about permitting such individuals to threaten and intimidate others because of the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation or for speaking up against them. They rather than measures against them are the threat to freedom of speech, and the integrity of our fandom if the huge majority of perfectly decent people in our fandom maintains a comfortable but destructive silence or state of denial about it.

—Malte279, Equestria Daily comment

Report Loganberry · 198 views · #fandom
Comments ( 22 )
RoMS #1 · June 29th · · ·

Nazis didn't exist any more because WW2 was over and Nazis were German anyway

Not the first time, neither the last time you will see that, sorry. As the recent blog posts have shown, such as Cyne's here, you quickly see that a lot of the so-called centrists and fence-sitters are prompt to jump out of the woodwork to defend nazis, fascists and that ilk of terrible people. For the sake of principles they rarely understand.

The best to do on fimfiction, because the moderation has shown they're not ready to act, is to mock them. Relentlessly so.

Author Interviewer

I really wish I had learned about The Paradox of Tolerance long before I had. ._.

It's one thing to acknowledge the US has no major hate speech legislation (some exceptions to that, though, do exist: it isn't 100% carte blanche). Where people go wrong is in believing "free speech" is a consequence-free license to silence, intimidate, and abuse others.

It isn't, actually. There's no law to prevent people from being kicked off a fan site for encouraging or enabling discrimination and abuse. "Free speech" is not a permit to excuse violations of basic international human rights, or of common decency. There's a massive difference between "what's legal" and "what's ethical".

Not forgetting that, if we're going to invoke rules, some of this stuff actually is in violation of the site's own. Such as "No attacks directed at individuals or groups due to race, gender, gender identity, religion or sexual identity", and "No celebration, glorification or encouragement of real life criminal activity", and "We reserve the right to remove or restrict content for other reasons, at the discretion of site staff. This may include banning users in more extreme cases".

People worrying or "worrying" about slippery slopes (and not, apparently, about slippery slope fallacies) towards some dystopian censor state are "worrying" too late. It's plain nonsense.

The whole point of a tolerant forum is to help people feel secure in joining in, because they are protected. If your intention is to deliberately make others feel insecure, you do not need protection. You are what we need protection from.

Well, Exhibit A that comes to mind after reading your final comment is this:

One small comment on your post, which I must stress isn't intended as a criticism: I tend to avoid using "centrist" in that way myself because I'm British, and over here it has a meaning that isn't at all the one that's often used by Americans and online. So I have to do a mental double-take when I see it quite often. (I suppose it's a bit like the way "liberal" doesn't imply "left" here as strongly as it seems to in the US.)

Don't take it personally. When people first find out some awful revelation, their first reaction is often denial.

And as I've said elsewhere, I can clearly see that at least here on Fimfiction, the good guys outnumber the bad guys many times over. So hang in there.

It's depressing in the extreme, a combination of pigheaded ignorance (refusing to believe neo-Nazi groups exist, sometimes in the same post as referencing "BLM's shady Marxist origins" or the secret aims of "the Antifa leaders"), specifically-American veneration of "free speech", and actual racist dipshits of various degrees just stirring the pot.

But we still stand up. I think even if you don't change their minds, just not staying silent is still important for the 90% of people who are reading but not joining in.

(Also, for what it's worth, I've seen Sethisto being called out recently as having, if not sympathies for the alt right, then at least being willing to accommodate them. I therefore found his statement clear, unambiguous and really rather heartening, and the ratios on the top few gazillion comments seem to suggest at least a majority of EQD posters agree.)

RoMS #7 · June 29th · · ·


TL;DR - centrist as I use it is much broader than just a regional consideration. It's about people more interested in defending discoursing processes than people, who in the end defend nazis over the people those nazis would love to see eradicated.

"Centrist" here is used in a broader sense than the American or British conception. Centrism might elude to wanting to find a middle point to each problem at hand. And, true, that is partly the point.

The conception of centrism here has a slight difference, however. A centrist does not have to explicitly want to achieve a center point between two opinions (often supposed to be extreme). Their behaviors and actions by themselves drag the political discourse to a standstill, a middle point where nothing is achieved. A mud pit of sorts. Adjacent to this, a centrist is much more cautious of the discourse and political process rather than the objective at hand. They will defend the sanctity of the political milieu, its rules, dogmas, processes, rather than defend an objective.

Let me give you an example that I would bet you encountered online: moderating nazis.

It should be safe and sane to assume no one wants nazis in their community. Besides nazis and nazi-allies of course. So, how would you deal with them? Well, you would ban them of course. The goal is to eradicate the nazis' influence, their platform, etc. to ensure they will 1) not have the capacity to proselyte, 2) not intimidate and lower the pleasantness of the community, 3) fuck off somewhere else. Those are the goals.

Now, banning people because of their speech (bc. wanting to kill minorities and Jews is apparently still considered speech in many parts of this community) implies you do not value all speech at the same level. This percolates to a larger assumption that you do not believe that a platform should be granted to every idea, up to be debated, voted on, chosen, or discarded. This ties to the recurring call that "the sun is supposed to reveal the rot." All in all, this disrespect for freedom of speech is supposed to be part of greater disrespect for freedom as a whole — supposedly a key part of our democratic civilization.

As such, the centrist will take offense, not at the nazis, but at you. You are, after all, endangering the democratic principles that are dear to them. You endanger the means of political discourse by simply voicing that nazis have no place in the democratic realm — which history and experience have shown they do not. And so you see those centrists up in arm to defend the political milieu, the supposed tools of democracy, etc. because you dare to want to ban people who are advocating the extermination of swath of people who take part in this democracy.

I will stop there because I'm writing some boring nitpicking to be honest. All in all, the centrist values a utopian depiction of democracy and its concepts above people. And the consequence of that, as we have seen recently, is that middle point maybe hopped for by centrists ends up not being their dreamt Athenian forum, but an antlion's pit trap.

I hate being pedantic on this, but people almost always misunderstand Popper's argument. From the actual text:

"In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise."

The claim he makes is that society should retain the right to suppress intolerant ideologies should they gain sufficient traction, not that said ideologies should be excluded from speech or debate. You may or may not disagree with that point of view, but Popper does not defend suppressing Nazis in the minority or their ideas. He defends direct opposition to a movement like Nazism should it gain strength.

In our case, the argument for Popper would be whether or not a specific intolerant ideology is truly rampant in our fandom. I don't know if it is or not, though I suspect it is a small minority causing most of this heartache. I also don't know if I agree with Popper that it would be unwise to suppress the minority's speech. But that's what he meant, and he was pretty smart on this subject.


That's an insight worth having. It's also pretty weird in some respects for us Europeans (or at least I find it as such): there shouldn't be any debate about whether or not the law "do[es] not value all speech at the same level" or "that a platform should be granted to every idea". Even in the US, which is odd among western countries for its lack of hate speech laws, there are still things you flat-out can't say or do. The only point of disagreement is around which subjects you draw the line and why.

That said, I thought centrism was related to the left-wing right-wing axis of political measurement. What you're describing here seems more like a kind of extreme political libertarianist outlook. Especially with the emphasis on freedom.

(And if I may: I frankly had to reread the idea that "the sun is supposed to reveal the rot". Is that what people genuinely believe? It makes the rather generous assumption that the public forum is purely rational, which is... I mean, what? Even without pointing to the US's peculiar media histrionics and systematic and political corruptions as obvious counterexamples, the political naivety of the concept speaks for itself; it's like saying there should be no laws against theft because it's obvious people can be trusted not to steal.)

RoMS #10 · June 29th · · ·


I'm from Europe as well so I get your point.

You are absolutely right when you say:

What you're describing here seems more like a kind of extreme political libertarianist outlook. Especially with the emphasis on freedom.

This libertarian outlook does permeate a lot of political discourse, especially online. The Internet is boasted as this bastion of freedom and transgression. Among a lot of people, however, the supposed right to transgress has sadly shifted into allowing transgression everywhere, at all cost. We find again the biopic of the centrist that I've painted in my earlier post: one must safeguard the existence of the medium where transgression must be allowed, over the security and well-being of people.

Meanwhile, the concept of transgression itself seems to have been muddied to include genocidal points of view and dehumanization of people (e.g. transphobia should be allowed because it's 'trangressive').

As for your parenthesis, you are again absolutely right that it presupposes rational agents (as with the allegory of the marketplace of ideas, which, let's be honest is a joke). As for:

[...] "the sun is supposed to reveal the rot". Is that what people genuinely believe?

This is indeed a big point in libertarian and conservative places. See here: "Ben Shapiro - Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant | Ep. 997" (CW: Ben Shapiro), or here "is sunlight really best disinfectant?".

Oh, I'm not taking it personally. And even if I was, I don't exactly mind being downvoted for saying racists don't belong in our fandom. I'm proud of those downvotes!


That said, I thought centrism was related to the left-wing right-wing axis of political measurement.

Yeah, that's what I've grown up with and the reason the internet-era usage can confuse me. In terms of British politics of the 1980s, simplified hugely: Labour = left, Tories = right, Liberals = centrist. That is what I think of first when I see "centrist". Obviously language changes, and the meaning of "centrist" is changing now. My poor old brain hasn't fully caught up yet.

The problem is, the bad guys often drive off the more vulnerable of the good guys. Like an obvious example in this fandom would be how so many IRL pony meet ups have a lot of women leave because of creepy men.


I will stop there because I'm writing some boring nitpicking to be honest.

Nah keep going. I’m always down for dunking on centrists.

Lol I love that redundant content warning.


Until now, yes. But it looks like the proverbial shit has hit the fan, and things will be different when the dust settles. This was bound to happen eventually, and I believe it is fortunate that it happened before Alt-Right elements in this fandom grew more numerous.

This. This is not a new problem.
There have always been Nazis, petit Fasc, Wehraboos and thier respective cheerleaders and hangers-on in this community simply by virtue of where it originated.
The only surprising thing is how long it's been tolerated outside of that environment.

Some articles to read:
The Atlantic

When things took off in 2010, the only place I could find anything horse related was that place; 4chan.
The design of that place is quite inclusive.
Pictures are the primary content, but you can post comments as concise or verbose as you like. You don't need to maintain an account, just post whatever.
But the people, the community there....
I quickly learned to treat it as a strictly read-only environment, as any deviation from the accepted groupthink is not treated well. And it doesn't matter how logical, interesting, or factually correct something is - if it isn't what they already agree with, it's wrong, now and forever.
They don't want to hear your opinons on anything. They want to hear thier opinions coming out of your mouth.

That is where this community comes from. And that is why these people are so numerous. And that is why there is so much tolerance for thier nonsense.
It's not a matter of these people growning more numerous. Because they were already here. They've been here from the start.
Hell, there's a few authors (even on this site) who have spent probably hundreds of hours, if not more, writing stories trying really hard to romanticise the thrid reich and portray it as some misunderstood but noble thing. *urgh...*
And there's a couple I really liked the writing style of and followed for ages, but had to un-follow them because they started "aryan-ising" thier stories by creeping in various odious little things. Or just thier conduct in general became unpleasant.

Maybe the shift in politics over the past 3-4 years has emboldened them enough to start taking off thier masks more freely?
(Sadly, a lot of "normal" people have also done this in reality.)
More and more people have started "just asking questions", and constructing flimsy "both sides" arguments which hold as much water as a collander in order to try and normalise Nazis. And try to justify it using a flimsy understanding of the concept of "free speech".
Which is interesting in it's own right, because...

There is no such thing as "free speech" on the internet.
Every website, every forum, every platform has a code of conduct or terms of service. And that lays down in very black & white terms what is and is not acceptable. And violating those terms gets you censured or banned.
Every site is it's own little kingdom, where the owner of it has the final say on what can and can't be done there.
There is no freedom. There never has been. There has only been what is allowed, and what isn't.
There's nothing political about this, it's just how the internet works.

And that is what needs to change: The "terms of servive" for the community.
Like Germany has already done with it's "community", we need to do with ours.
Some things are not permitted to be used outside of academic discussion or historical research/education.
Removing the people themselves is not strictly nescessary. All they'd have to do is abide by the updated "ToS" and not be openly Nazi. And everything "glorifying" Nazis needs to be removed.
Some absolutely will refuse, and will get pressured out. (And nothing of value will be lost.)

[edited to remove unwelcome comment]



Okay, take that to PMs or your own spaces, please.

[rest of my comment removed as it referred directly to a comment that has been deleted by its author.]

Fair enough. I've removed that bit.
I can only apologise for "inflaming" your blog in such a manner.

Thank you. I've edited my own comment to remove the reference.

Wehraboos? I’m not familiar with that term.

A history or alternate history fan who is firmly entrenched in the belief that Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht was the best military in history, without a single flaw. - While not necessarily [sic], many Wehraboos can become Nazi apologists.

Based on the similar-sounding term "weeaboo" (a catch-all definition for Japanophiles).

Politics is an ocean of bad blood.
But you're right, this isn't the venue for it. And I was wrong to treat it as such.

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