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Christer
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2018-04-30 10:44:23
59 votes, rating 5.8
Censorship, free speech and FUMBBL
Recently, a somewhat heated topic appeared on the site where a team theme and bio caused some... let's call it constructive dialogue.

First off, let me start this blog by clearly stating that I am not a particularly religious person and actively consider myself an atheist (I hereby give "consent" for FUMBBL to "process" this as per the GDPR, see the previous blog ;) ).

The team in question was of a religious theme, written in a way that is - to me - sincere and positive. As the person responsible for the website and its policies I am ultimately the person who needs to make a call on whether or not certain texts are allowed on the site or not.

Now, had the text in question been hostile or aggressive in tone or been trying to ridicule a certain belief it would have been an obvious call to not allow it. That type of thing is explicitly disallowed as per the rules page you've all agreed to. The objection I've heard from a few people is that it's an effort to "peddle their religious beliefs" and thus shouldn't be allowed on the site.

So with this coming to the point where I need to make a call, I have two aspects I need to consider. First off the question whether or not it violates existing rules or the spirit of the rules, and secondly if it would be excessive censorship to remove it.

I personally think that religion and politics is probably not a good idea to use as themes due to how passionate people are on these two topics. That goes for anywhere online (or even in real life). That being said, I do believe free speech is a good thing and censoring because I don't "like" a topic or if I don't agree isn't something I want to do (or to be done here). The team in question has a positive outlook on religion and does not violate the direct rule we have about religious persecution (and no, as an atheist, I don't think someone challenging me to believe is persecution).

In the end, the matter comes down to me making a call whether or not I should censor any religious and/or political theme. Or even in extension any other loaded theme, let's say which football team is better (which certain sports fans think is worth actually fighting and injuring others over). My call is to allow it in the name of free speech and expect people to be reasonable and not go huffing and puffing about people having other beliefs or interests than themselves.

PS. I realize that me making this type of post will likely induce a series of teams and themes designed specifically to skirt the line of what is allowed and what isn't. I urge you to consider that the staff members here are helping out in a voluntary capacity and are not particularly interested in arguing all day long.
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Comments
Posted by Verminardo on 2018-04-30 12:34:17
Hear, hear.
Posted by CroixFer on 2018-04-30 13:42:28
Let´s clone Christer and promote him to Senior official of all political institutions in Europe....
Amazing common sense, dude.
Posted by ArthurWynne on 2018-04-30 13:45:13
I don't see the team and the "challenge to believe" in quite as positive a light as you do, Christer, but I won't quibble over matters of personal interpretation. What's most important is the principles behind a stance, and I think the stance you articulate here is about the best I could hope for FUMBBL or any hobby site to take.

Thank you very much!
Posted by Lill-Leif on 2018-04-30 14:18:52
Can I rename the players in my Ogre team? https://fumbbl.com/p/team?team_id=368040 In 200x I somehow thought it was a brilliant idea to name them all after mass murderers.
Posted by koadah on 2018-04-30 14:51:21
I don't think that many (any?) people were actually asking the site to censor PeteW's post.

Comments were directed to PeteW and other posters.

PeteW has toned it down a bit but kept most of the main message.

So, everybody wins.

Apart from those people who were banned of course.
Posted by Gary_Gygax on 2018-04-30 15:08:49
At least nobody mentioned that heretic guy always using the "italian swearing power" on tournaments :)
Posted by PeteW on 2018-04-30 15:53:21
The Italians I play against always seem to talk about pigs a lot... Not sure why!

Thx Christer. :)
Posted by Gary_Gygax on 2018-04-30 16:24:22
Not only pigs, Pete! :D
Posted by Arktoris on 2018-04-30 16:40:30
went to the team and read the bio. saw absolutely nothing wrong (assuming it wasn't edited). thank you Christer for a sensible and civil conclusion.
Posted by Synn on 2018-04-30 21:38:05
I would still encourage opponents to crucify the players anyway.

__Synn
Posted by thoralf on 2018-04-30 21:38:52
The bio introduces two of the three fundamental puzzles of religion: theodicy and the duality of faith. Even non religious people could therefore profit from thinking about it.
Posted by Java on 2018-04-30 21:57:28
We indeed DO love our pigs. And dogs. And thieves. And hangmen. And piles of dung. And platypuses.

We take after the Romans after all, we're a polytheist country.
Posted by pythrr on 2018-04-30 23:11:23
ODIN APPROVES THIS POST
Posted by Guardikai on 2018-05-01 12:20:24
Makes sense to me.