A Conversation for h2g2 House Rules

Homophobic posts and content

Post 1

Rillington

Reading through the house rules above I note that writing and posting homophobic, anti-gay stuff is not against those rules. As a result, many deeply offensive, homophobic postings are allowed through on the BBC messageboards (examples can be given) and given that BBC programmes condone anti-gay rhetoric I am wondering what the position is on h2g2 given that this point is not mentioned in the hosue rules.

Any thoughts on this by users or any official comment would be welcome.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 2

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

You saw this part of the house rules, yes?

"Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable."

If you see an anti-gay post that you personally find harrassing, harmful, or abusive, hit the yikes button and in the dialogue box explain clearly why you find the post objectionable, and a moderator will look at it. If you don't agree with the decision the moderator makes, reply to the email you receive, and the Italics in charge of h2g2 will take another look at it all and get back to you.

The House Rules don't need to mention anti-gay hate speech in order to cover it, just as they currently don't mention anti-disabled hate speech and yet in my experience they clearly cover that.

smiley - cheers
Mikey


Homophobic posts and content

Post 3

Rillington

Sure did, and thank you for replying with the full quote.

Homophobia is the one thing in society which is condoned by heterosexuals and is carried out by heterosexuals. Quite why they do it is beyond me. Therefore saying that only racist comments are against house rules bothers me as many deeply homophobic comments are allowed to stand, and that heteros can use the BBC's forums to have a go at gays whereas if these comments where even slightly racist then they would rightly be removed and sanctions would rightly be imposed on the person who amde those racist comments.

The fact that the rules allow for homophobic comemnts to be made by saying that making them is not against the rules is the issue I have and is why I feel it necessary in the current climate with regard to BBC reatement of gays, which has seen all our outlets within silenced and removed coupeld with condoning gay prejudice and stereotypes, to mention the fact that the h2g2 house rules allow for these gay hating themes to be posted. IF the powers that be want gays to feel comfortable and to be part of h2g2 then surely it would be reasonable for the rules to say that homophobic posts are not acceptable.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 4

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

Are there specific posts on h2g2 that you find objectionable for this reason? If so, have you "yikesed" them as I described above? The h2g2 House Rules do indeed prohibit *any* speech that is harmful, abusive, or harassing -- and that is the case regardless of which individual or group is the target.

Truthfully, I have not myself seen any evidence that h2g2 is an unwelcoming environment for gays. There are individual posters here which do hold anti-gay opinions, of course -- just like there are individual posters here which hold racist and sexist opinions, and individual posters with hatred directed towards specific age, cultural, or religious groups, or those with physical or mental disabilities. But from what I've seen, when these posters have chosen to make such hateful and offensive statements here on h2g2, they've been slapped down in pretty quickly -- in some cases through moderation via the "yikes" button, and in the other cases those in the thread choose to post their own responses rather than using the "yikes".

If you've had problems with other BBC fora -- well, that's not really anything the people here have much control over. And sometimes people complain here about posts but they haven't used the yikes button or responded to the subsequent moderator email if need be. Here on h2g2, the moderators don't look at every post, they will only examine a post if someone alerts them to a potential problem.

On a separate note, I think there's a distinct difference between homophobic statements and anti-gay statements. A statement that is homophobic might be something like "I have never known any gay people, and I feel uncomfortable with the idea of being around them." I've certainly seen statements like that focused on race rather than sexual orientation, and while I find them sad, I don't know of any reason why they should be deleted on sight. On the other hand, postings that proclaim such hurtful nonsense as "All gays are pederasters and deserve AIDS" should rightfully be deleted, as they violate the House Rules. There's a difference there.

I also thinks it's quite a large generalization for you to proclaim that homophobia is condoned and carried out by heterosexuals in general. There are people of every imaginable sexual orientation who act in a homophobic manner, or condone such actions in others; there are also people of every sexual orientation who fight against homophobia.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 5

Rillington

Again, thank you for taking the time to reply. I do appreciate it.

I have not read anything objectionable on h2g2 but I have not read anything outisde of the m2m2 section. The gay hate I have read has been from the BBC messageboards which has been allowed to stand because posting it is not against the rules as only racist material breaks house rules so therefore they can get away with it. You can therefore understand why I ask why anti gay rhetoric is not against the rules on bbc.co.uk.

Relating to the final point, in my experience, I have yet to come across a heterosexual who has no issue with gays and have definately not come across any heteros who would fight against gay prejudice. This has been bourne out by the way that gays have been treated and portrayed by the BBC in general and I guess this reflects life in general. As a result I have gone out of my way to ensure all my friends have the same sexual orientation as me so that I avoid the hassle that heteros dish out to gays by staying out of their way as much as possible.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 6

Mikey the Humming Mouse - A3938628 Learn More About the Edited Guide!

Well, like I said above, if you have problems with the other BBC messageboards, complaining here is unlikely to help much. This page is really just about h2g2.

As it stands, I've tried to explain to you that the h2g2 House Rules do indeed prohibit abusive, harrassing, or hurtful speech of any flavor, including such speech motivated by homophobia.

You don't seem willing to believe me, but you also apparently haven't actually seen any posts here on h2g2 that you find offensive. If you'd found offensive posts here on h2g2, had tried yikesing them and responding to the moderation email and still had no luck, then I'd be able to understand your argument. But that hasn't been the case -- you seem to just be insisting that h2g2 must be homophobic and full of hate speech just because you have observed it in some places elsewhere, outside of h2g2.

I'm also a bit confused, if only because your repeated statements here about heterosexuals are every bit as offensive as some homophobic statements I've seen. In the real world, you can't have it both ways. If statements that "All gays are evil" are offensive and shouldn't be tolerated, then the same goes for statements that "All straights are evil".

Just as some straight people have chosen to live in a narrow world where they exclude gay people from their community, so have you chosen a similarly narrow world. And when people purposefully narrow their world like that, their perceptions of what people are like "on the other side" tend to get less and less realistic.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 7

Mens Sana In Thingummy Gosho

Nicely put, Mikey.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 8

Rillington

Correct what you say about other BBC messageboards but you can understand why I am nervous given what I have experienced elsewhere within the BBC.

I don't think that I said that h2g2 was homophobic and if I did then I apologise as I didn't mean to. What I said was that given how the BBC has treated the gay community over the past year, I have been wondering if the same policy ends up on h2g2 given that h2g2 is facilitated by the BBC (and presumably run by the BBC), hence my question and this has been brought to a head in this instant by the rules not saying that gay hate posts are against those rules whereas race hate stuff IS against those rules. When the gay messageboard did exist I was an active member of that messageboard and contributed well over 1000 postings. I never had any hassle or disrespect but when I made a few contributions to the merged One Life topic all I had was that disrespectful and homophobic treatment. I have had simialr elsewhere on the BBC forums and these posts have been allowed to stand because they do not break the rules. Given that h2g2 is not targetted at any one group, you can see why I might be nervous given what has happened since October elsewhere within the BBC. I don't ask for my sexual orientation to be disrespected but that is what seems to happen and the only place it doesn't happen is on gay-specific messageboards and forums.

I think what you say about my choices of friends is a very well made point and the conclusion you draw from that is a very logical one. However, the treatment I have had from heterosexuals in person, on bbc.co.uk and how we are treated in general is likely to cause me to withdraw into a social group of people who are the same as me, treat me as an equal from that point of view and know I can be me without looking over my shoulder and given that I am not allowed to be myself outside of my gay circle is obviously not going to result in me wanting to associate with people who have a problem with me just becuase of one aspect of me regardless of the person that I am and I like to think I'm a decent and good person.

I will conclude this post by saying that I very much appreciate people, including those who run h2g2, talking to me on this issue and this is something that did not happen on the BBC messageboards so thank you for that.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 9

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned

Hello Rillington,

I have been watching this thread, as have many others. I would like to say that Mickey has given you the best advice that any of us could give.

If you find anything on Hootoo to be in anyway harrassing, please hit the yikes button and inform the moderators.

If they say they can't find anything wrong with it, reply to that email and ask them to forward it to the h2g2 Editors for adjudication. You will then receive a reply from the Editors if they believe you are correct in your assessment.

Please remember to give your reasons clearly as moderators only ever see the posting you are complaining about, and not those leading up to it.


lil.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 10

Rillington

In truth I'm not entirely sure it's worth it anymore. I've become tired of haivng these exchanges with heteros who probably think I'm rather pathetic in truth. The fact remains that homophobic postings are NOT against the rules or it would say so and as has been pointed out in another similar thread, gay hate postings do appear in certain parts of h2g2 and are allowed to stand as these people are allowed to post such things with impunity, which would be logical given they are not against the rules.

I have decided to all-but withdraw from the BBC messageboards becuase I am sick of justifying myself and my sexual orientation. I accept that this is a battle I aren't going to win and I'll end up getting banned from bbc.co.uk as others who agree with me have been.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 11

Cal - interim high priest of the Church of the Holy Tail

When I was an <./>ACE</.> Someone posted a homophobic comment to one of my welcomes. I did not see it, it had already been pulled by the time i saw the thread again, so you are quite wrong, people are not allowed to "get away" with it at all, if that were the case that post would have not been pulled and would be still sitting there for all to see.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 12

Mens Sana In Thingummy Gosho

Firstly, Rillington, how do you know that everyone you're talking to is 'a hetero'? A lot of people find it incredibly offensive to have someone else simply assume that they must be straight because they haven't said 'I'm gay'. Including yourself, there are at least two gay people in this thread that I know of for sure. The other one might be me or it might not. I don't know you well enough yet to tell you which way my pendulum swings, but if you hang around here long enough you could easily find out.

Secondly, I think you yourself are being, if not offensive, than exceptionally rude, in saying "heteros who probably think I'm rather pathetic in truth". I would have launched into a much more scathing condemnation of your views had you not included the word 'probably', but even so, you're showing a degree of bigotry and prejudice I really don't care for.

And thirdly, Mikey has already pointed out this from the House Rules: "Unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive, or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable." Now, Mikey has explained things as well as anyone could - and with remarkable patience - that this means homophobic content will not be allowed on h2g2 and yet you still don't seem able to accept this, so like her, I feel that I too am banging my head against a brick wall trying to get this across to you. So, like Mikey, I too will stop banging my head against this particular brickwork and conclude that there's no point in talking any more because there's nobody listening.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 13

Rillington

I'm sorry if you think I am rude and bordering on the offensive. I think my concern is a legitimate one given that only race hate is stated as being against the rules and that homophobic hate would be far less prevelent if it was against the house rules, as a result, it can be found easily enough on bbc.co.uk.

I think most of you do think I am rather pathetic, and if not then certainly pedantic. All I am trying to do is ask for some official protection against gay hate and I don't think it is rude to add my cynicism, based on a series of things which the BBC has done with regard to gays over the past year or so. It's just a shame that others don't think that gay hate is worth mentioning and that only race hate is important and something to be frowned upon.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 14

h2g2Support

... and as you've already been told that you do have protection against hateful postings, perhaps it's time to pause and settle in rather than repeating the same unfounded concerns about *this* site?


Homophobic posts and content

Post 15

Batty_ACE

Homophobia is the one thing in society which is condoned by heterosexuals and is carried out by heterosexuals.

I find this statement rather sweeping and, as a heterosexual, insulting. Some of my closest friends are gay or bisexual and I, though heterosexual, have no tolerance for hate mongering of any sort including with regard to sexual orientation.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 16

Rillington

I apologise for insulting you but the reason that we get hassle is because heterosexuals have issues with homosexuality and do something about it. It is also a fact that, regardless of the rights and wrongs, making homophobic comments is seen as acceptable in the way that making racist comments, for example is not. I'm not saying that every heterosexual makes homophobic comments as that is clearly not the case and if I hinted that then again I apologise. However if heterosexuals did genuinely accept us as equals then we would be euqal in law and in society and that includes basic thigns as being able to hold our partner's hand in public, something same sex couples are not able to do. It's basic things like that which is the problem. We\ are not considered as equals for whatever reason, reasons I have never worked out, but that's how it is.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 17

Batty_ACE

Nor does every heterosexual condone or accept it. I've told many a jerk to smiley - bleep off and frankly, if someone were to make such a comment at work I'd file formal grievance even though it isn't plainly directed at me.

Bigotry is bigotry. Including sweeping statements against non-homosexuals as if they are all to blame. If anything it lessens the credibility of the person making the statement to do so.


Homophobic posts and content

Post 18

Cal - interim high priest of the Church of the Holy Tail

It doesn't matter if you are Gay, Bi , straight, black, white, yellow, green (*grins*) someone somewhere will have a problem with you.

In some cases it might be your regilion people take exception to, the type of clothes you wear, even something as silly as the way you talk. My dislexia seems to make some people angry *grins* oh my god I have no chance do I, I'm Bi, 1 quater spanish, church of England and dislexic! It's a wonder I'm not being hounded from every corner!



Homophobic posts and content

Post 19

Batty_ACE

*looks at Cal shocked* smiley - bigeyes you're green???


Homophobic posts and content

Post 20

Batty_ACE

*giggles* sorry.. couldn't resist... actually more to the point -

well said, Cal! smiley - applause


Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more