“You’re intolerant of me!” is a frequent refrain hurled at community manager and moderators who ban or delete comments from abusive groups. Yonatan Zunger has a nuanced view of what tolerance should be, which I think is important for guiding work on codes of conduct and anti-abuse policies.
Tolerance is not a moral absolute; it is a peace treaty. … When viewed through this lens, the problems above have clear answers. The antisocial member of the group, who harms other people in the group on a regular basis, need not be accepted; the purpose of your group’s acceptance is to let people feel that they have a home, and someone who actively tries to thwart this is incompatible with the broader purpose of that acceptance.
Tolerance means that when one breaks the rules through (for example) homophobic, racist, or misogynistic behavior, the administrators of the community can use proportionate responses to one’s behavior such as deleting content, suspending or banning accounts.
Some ways to implement that:
- Don’t fight in hostile terrain like Twitter and FB
- Post, but don’t argue with people responding in bad faith
- Don’t hesitate to block them
- Twitter and FB rarely ban bad actors, so use platforms where you can ban abusive users
- Use static blogs without comments and serve them with HTTPS
- If you allow comments, use commenting engines that let you ban and block users and who will suspend or remove abusers