They’ve just announced a new moderation guideline.
Adam Savage once described to me the problem this way: if the Internet was a dude, we’d all agree that dude has a serious problem with women.
We’ve actually been tightening up moderation style along these lines for awhile now, but as of today, the FArQ will be updated with new rules reminding you all that we don’t want to be the He Man Woman Hater’s Club. This represents enough of a departure from pretty much how every other large internet community operates that I figure an announcement is necessary.
There are lots of examples of highly misogynistic language in pop culture, and Fark has used those plenty over the years. From SNL’s "Jane, you ignorant slut" to Blazing Saddles’ multiple casual references to rape, there are a lot of instances where views are made extreme to parody them. On Fark, we have a tendency to use pop culture references as a type of referential shorthand with one another.
On SNL and in a comedy movie, though, the context is clear. On the Internet, it’s impossible to know the difference between a person with hateful views and a person lampooning hateful views to make a point. The mods try to be reasonable, and context often matters. We will try and determine what you meant, but that’s not always a pass. If your post can be taken one of two ways, and one of those ways can be interpreted as misogynistic, the mods may delete it — even if that wasn’t your intent.
Things that aren’t acceptable:
- Rape jokes
- Calling women as a group "whores" or "sluts" or similar demeaning terminology
- Jokes suggesting that a woman who suffered a crime was somehow asking for it
Obviously, these are just a few examples and shouldn’t be taken as the full gospel, but to give you a few examples of what will always be over the line. Trying to anticipate every situation and every conversation in every thread would be ridiculous, so consider these guidelines and post accordingly. I recommend that when encountering grey areas, instead of trying to figure out where the actual line is, the best strategy would be to stay out of the grey area entirely.
As one of the folks who picks headlines, I can also say with some certainty that we’re not going to get everything right all the time on our end either. I’ve been trying to keep an eye toward these guidelines for a couple months now and I still make mistakes and/or miss problem taglines completely. We’re trying to make the Fark community a better place, and hopefully this will be a few steps in the right direction.
Cue blithering ninnies whining about censorship; sad pitiful people who want to complain about about how men are discriminated against, line up over there; everyone who decides they’ll never read Fark again…well, that’s fine, just go away. But I think it is a nice step in the right direction, and it’s good to acknowledge it.
Now, about Reddit…