By the standards of almost every TOS this side of the dark web, post #2209048 is a textbook example of hate speech, and its author Nick Bougas (AKA A. Wyatt Mann) is a known white supremacist. Predictably, the comments have been a three-way tug-of-war between people who don't understand how it was approved, "lol triggered", and those that don't like it but acknowledge it technically doesn't break any rules.
But, doesn't it?
National, Racial, or Ethnic Hatred
Suggested Suspension Length: 3 days
This category includes:
- Promoting national, racial, or ethnic hatred
- Creating posts, threads, or comments with recognized national, racial, or ethnic slurs
- Creating posts, threads, or comments with hateful content
- Alluding to symbols of national, racial, or ethnic hatred
This is intended to make sure people aren’t outwardly offending people’s national, racial, or ethnic pride. This is something that we need to gauge by intent, not just presentation. There are acceptable forms of art that present shock value, or an unpopular point of view, but where we need to step in is if someone is deliberately being malicious.
Note that the Glossary defines a Post as "An image or other content uploaded to e621, on the posts section of the website. Not to be confused with a 'forum post'."
Under the strictest interpretation, any upload featuring racist themes would be unacceptable, but needless to say that is not current practice; indeed, response to most tickets on the issue is typically a curt "use your blacklist". It is understandable the site would justify acceptance of ostensibly-racist content that is ironic, satirical, or "in-universe" under the auspice of artistic merit. But post #2209048 is literal hate propaganda, and the rules as they stand do not define clear public parameters for policing such content compared to more "acceptable" cases.
This appears to be because the Site Rules are intended for policing user behaviour, and are not the standards for the site entire. These instead are outlined in the Terms of Service, which as of current revision do not link either to Site Rules or Upload Guidelines, only Tagging Guidelines. Beyond complicating an easy index of The Rules, it muddies the scope of their appropriate jurisdictions: so far as I can tell, hate speech is not defined with explicit application to the entire site, ergo, hateful content is deemed permissible so long as it is not targeting the e621 user base by name.
The problem, of course, is determining what constitutes an attack short of direct and deliberate call-outs. One angry user uploading nothing but hate pieces mirroring flaming on the board is demonstrating clear intent; another that sprinkles such works in between unrelated uploads and does not wear their politics on their sleeve can make a convincing argument it's purely for posterity, even if their end motivation is the same.
I am not challenging Millcore's rationale (which was upheld by NMNY), nor am I suggesting the post uploader was acting with malicious intent. My concern is that official policy as currently written contains interpretive ambiguities that, as the description to post #2209048 seems to suggest, risk being abused by malicious rules-lawyers to push edge cases.
I created this topic for three reasons:
1) In researching this topic, including a trawl through racism, I am left without a clear definition nor identifiable precedent for what qualifies actionable hate speech in an upload beyond admin fiat;
3) Pursuant to 2) above, I am unclear as to whether e621 has a general policy on hate speech and discriminatory content encompassing the entire website.
tl;dr: Does e621 have a bedrock, site-wide policy on hate speech, and if so, where can we find it?
Updated by NotMeNotYou