Being polite is a privilege.

Some people have never even heard of 'nonviolent communication', 'I-messaging', 'listen-looping', 'conflict resolution', 'transformative justice', etc.

These people often don't not have loads of progressive friends, stable jobs, caring parents, etc.

Please bear that in mind when someone who has it worse than you says something mean or whatever, because they might just be expressing themselves the best way they can. Work with the emotion, not the words.

@douginamug And, above all, if you are litterate in communication tools, don't use it as a weapon against those who are still quite illetterate-but-with-good-will.

@douginamug if someone is being mean to you repeatedly, they're harassing you. Sometimes that can be out of ignorance. If so, hopefully they'll find someone with patience, understanding and kindness to help them out. That *does not have to be you*. Don't exhaust yourself.

Victims of harassment have to be protected regardless of whoever is doing the harassment. It's not on them to «grow a skin». And people have to own up their mistakes whatever the root cause is. A community that does not collectively uphold these standards will be swamped in flamewars and general hostility.

Mind also that checking others' privileges on mastodon is at best impossible, at worse a violation of their privacy, so if you make that an excuse, trolls won't fail to notice.


Privilege is indeed relevant as an input for the (formal or informal) moderation collective when they arbitrate between educating about rules and enforcing them. That's why you need moderation policies which give them ample room for judgement.

@FlorentBecker Yes! Have you come across any decent resources on this topic? I feel this is lacking in many alternative/progressive groups because they assume that 1) they can make rules for all cases 2) when people join, they accept the rules and 3) if people break the rules, they should just go.

@douginamug off the top of my head, nothing on that topic specifically; just some reading i did a while ago about activist burn-out.

@FlorentBecker Right again. My original comment was based on some recent experiences in a physical space.

Asking people to 'grow a thick skin' (i.e. 'put up with it') is bad. [ignoring the issue]

Excluding people the first time they do something 'wrong' without an opportunity to understand/change is also bad. [avoiding the issue]

Actually _transforming_ seems to be really hard.

@FlorentBecker Totally. My comment was more about initial reactions.

Unacceptable behavior should not be tolerated, but how to _respond_ to it might be a lot different depending _who_ is doing it.


It's not exactly the same debate than Yanek and Stepan"s in Camus's "Les Justes" but it's still a bit more complicated than you're making it.

@LienRag Haven't read that: do you recommend it? Yes, my comment lacks nuance—only so much you can fit in 500 chars.


Well, it's my preferred Camus play, but I don't know how much this means...


Since "Les Justes" is not a theorical book, I may need to clarify my original message: what I meant is that there are a lot of societies, including poor ones, who highly value politeness as they consider that only solidarity and mutual help allow to get along together and sometimes to just survive.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!