Say it with me now, kids: It’s not censorship if it’s a private interest. Remember that. Repeat it when the Trump stans start to cry.
RPGnet is one the internet’s oldest gaming-centric discussion forums. It’s also, as of Oct. 29, 2018, a Donald Trump-free zone.
A Monday post from one of the forum’s moderators spells out a new rule that bans any discussion of Trump support from RPGnet. The reasoning behind the ban is made abundantly clear right at the outset.
The following policy announcement is the result of over a year of serious debate by the moderation team. The decision is as close to unanimous as we ever get. It will not be the subject of further debate. We have fully considered the downsides and ultimately decided we have to stay true to our values. We will not pretend that evil isn’t evil, or that it becomes a legitimate difference of political opinion if you put a suit and tie on it.
The strongly worded statement goes on to state that Trump’s “public comments, policies, and the makeup of his administration are so wholly incompatible with our values that formal political neutrality is not tenable. We can be welcoming to (for example) persons of every ethnicity who want to talk about games, or we can allow support for open white supremacy. Not both.”
The post then goes on to outline the fine points of the policy — for example, conservative views aren’t banned, and retroactive bans won’t be handed down to anyone who’s voiced support for Trump in the past.
It concludes with a list of “citations” meant to illustrate the many forms Trump’s reprehensible behavior has taken. There’s even an entry devoted to pointing out that “globalist” is typically a racist dog whistle used to target Jews. It’s hardly a complete accounting (newsflash, Trump is an awful person) but it does paint a picture.
I don’t personally frequent many online forums like this. But in the almost two years since Trump’s inauguration, I can’t recall seeing any other website introduce a policy that takes such a specific, strong stance Trump-related discussion.
It’s a welcome breath of fresh air, frankly. As the current administration finds new lows to sink to virtually every day — just a few days ago, Trump blamed the horrific synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on that congregation’s lack of a security presence — people and interests should be taking a stand like this.
As RPGnet’s new policy lays out, there’s a difference between political discourse and openly fostering hateful ideologies. Trump and his cronies frequently engage in the latter, and it’s less and less subtle with each new day.
There isn’t any place in the current political discourse for a rational defense of Trump. RPGnet smartly recognized that, and stepped up to take action. Here’s hoping other community-centric websites see this and follow suit.
Lastly: Bravo to RPGnet for taking a stand that will surely result in no small amount of social media fallout. It’s a courageous decision, and courage is something the world could use more of these days.
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