Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:59 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:45 pm
I still fail to see the link between old posts on DWT and the tragic incident in NZ :shrug:
:straw:
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Bundokji
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Bundokji » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:08 pm

Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:59 pm
:straw:
Not really. The attack in NZ and right speech are two important topics, each worthy of discussing. Linking them, however, seems to be :redherring: and :stir:
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:09 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:00 am
The difficulty (challenge? problem? all three?) of online forums is that all kinds of people come along and join in the discussion. Moderation then becomes a balancing act between maintaining good behaviour and allowing free expression of opinions. Set the bar too high, and the forum becomes rigid, repressive, unfriendly; set it too low, and the quality of discussion goes :toilet: - sometimes very quickly.

All I can say is that all of us on the mod teams at the various Wheels do our best with what we have inherited from our predecessors.
I agree and respect that.

It seems to me that the live-streaming of the NZ slaughter, which then went viral, illustrates the power of the web to spread speech that is truly harmful. Moreover, the news reports indicate that the globally scattered white supremacist movement has been invigorated by online discussion in a way that, previously, was a technological impossibility.

In light of this event, and other events, in my view it is increasingly important to emphasize the teaching of Right Speech on any Dhamma/Dharma platform on the Internet. Also, to the extent any Dharma/Dhamma platform contains extremist anti-Rohingya commentary, or anti-Muslim commentary (such as the previously visible comment about urinating on a certain prophet), I believe it is appropriate that this should be hidden from public view, if not deleted altogether.

DWT was created before it became evident how damaging this type of extremist, hurtful speech can create. I strongly feel this should be addressed, otherwise I would not have returned from a six-month break. Literally, when I saw the news out of NZ, I thought immediately of DWT.

Here at DWE we have a new forum. I appreciate that things will (hopefully) be different here.
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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:10 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:08 pm
Not really. The attack in NZ and right speech are two important topics, each worthy of discussing. Linking them, however, seems to be :redherring: and :stir:
It might seem that way to you. Please see the post above and give it more thought, if you wish.
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Nicholas
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Nicholas » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:10 pm

Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:58 pm
Nicholas wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:03 pm
Imposition of right speech by moderators or a political regime or an educational institution etc. is neither Right Speech nor effective in producing either mundane nor supra-mundane Right Speech.
This illustrates the crux of the misunderstanding. Nobody can do your work for you. Nobody can impose right speech for you.
Quite true, therefore unless one is a bhikkhu who has a duty (I suppose) to correct and guide, it is none of the responsibility of lay folk to so.

As the sutta goes on, Buddha suggests lighting candles, not cursing the darkness of wrong speech.
2. He avoids tale-bearing, and abstains from it. What he has
heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension
there; and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here,
so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are
divided; and those that are united, he encourages. Concord
gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is
concord that he spreads by his words.

3. He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks
such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, such
words as go to the heart, and are courteous, friendly, and
agreeable to many.

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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm

Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:58 pm
The platform is comprised entirely of speech. It should be appropriate to raise the issue of Right Speech. In a community of Buddhists, we can be supporting one another to develop all of the factors of the Path. When hurtful speech in manifest in our Buddhist community, it is appropriate to call it out.
Correct, I agree Right Speech is utmost importance. And Right Speech includes not generalizing an entire forum and by implication all of its members as having one view in wrong speech remarks such as, "dhammawheel.com attacks . . . ." as if all the members hold those views. As my previous posts show, the vast majority of members of DW forums, including DWT are leftist, liberal. One can be right wing and still a buddhist. Perhaps you disagree and this is your prerogative, but the fact remains that there are buddhists who are conservative and right wing. Not that it matters, but I have made it very clear I am a centrist in numerous political discussions.
Based on the everything available on the internet, this is an issue which has been brought repeatedly to the attention of DNS and DWT (and I realize it is not really fair to draw DWE into it, but this is the only forum which permits such discussion). Teachings on Right Speech, and discussion of Right Speech, is not the same is imposition of Right Speech.
Yes, exactly, politics is not allowed to be discussed any more on DWT, nor lounge type topics. It is strictly focused on Dhamma discussion over at DWT. Which means this whole topic is moot.

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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:25 pm

Nicholas wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:10 pm
Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:58 pm
Nicholas wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:03 pm
Imposition of right speech by moderators or a political regime or an educational institution etc. is neither Right Speech nor effective in producing either mundane nor supra-mundane Right Speech.
This illustrates the crux of the misunderstanding. Nobody can do your work for you. Nobody can impose right speech for you.
Quite true, therefore unless one is a bhikkhu who has a duty (I suppose) to correct and guide, it is none of the responsibility of lay folk to so.

As the sutta goes on, Buddha suggests lighting candles, not cursing the darkness of wrong speech.
2. He avoids tale-bearing, and abstains from it. What he has
heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension
there; and what he has heard there, he does not repeat here,
so as to cause dissension here. Thus he unites those that are
divided; and those that are united, he encourages. Concord
gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is
concord that he spreads by his words.

3. He avoids harsh language, and abstains from it. He speaks
such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, such
words as go to the heart, and are courteous, friendly, and
agreeable to many.
Good post. I have given serious thought to all of this. My view is that we are in a platform which is comprised entirely of speech, and labels itself Dharma/Dhamma. When extremely harmful speech manifests, when name-calling manifests, etc., is it really the best practice to roll over and allow such harmful speech to pass without commentary?

These types of issues have been roiling for some time with regard to DWT, judging from what I see on the web. If we so strongly believe in freedom of speech that we allow hurtful, extremist views to be posted and preserved for years on a Dhamma/Dharma site, should we not equally support discussion of Right Speech? I fail to see how discussion Right Speech in the context of public harmful speech constitutes (1) being the thought police, or (2) "tale-bearing", or (3) "harsh language." Those who find discussion of Right Speech in such context to be offensive really need to have thicker skin, or cease participating.

In my view, we have an affirmative responsibility in a forum such as this to curate the messages regarding Dharma/Dhamma. Even at FaceBook and YouTube, they take the responsibility to so curate, getting rid of the likes of Alex Jones etc. Why should a Dharma/Dhamma platform have a lower standard than FaceBook and YouTube? Why should raising the issue of Right Speech on a Dharma/Dhamma platform be condemned as "thought police" or "brain bully," or banned as "meta discussion"?

The NZ live-stream, and the killer's apparent inspiration from online sources, brings this issue to the fore.
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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:30 pm

DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm
Correct, I agree Right Speech is utmost importance. And Right Speech includes not generalizing an entire forum and by implication all of its members as having one view in wrong speech remarks such as, "dhammawheel.com attacks . . . ." as if all the members hold those views.
Of course nobody believes every one of the participants is of the same mind. However, the decision to allow extremist views (1) to be posted in the first instance, and then (2) to be preserved for years in the historic archive is NOT a decision of the forum participants. It is a decision of the forum leadership/ownership.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm
As my previous posts show, the vast majority of members of DW forums, including DWT are leftist, liberal. One can be right wing and still a buddhist.
Undisputed and irrelevant.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm
... I have made it very clear I am a centrist in numerous political discussions.
Undisputed and irrelevant.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm
... politics is not allowed to be discussed any more on DWT, nor lounge type topics. It is strictly focused on Dhamma discussion over at DWT.
Undisputed and irrelevant.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:16 pm
Which means this whole topic is moot.
I disagree. Please see further discussion above.
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Bundokji
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Bundokji » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:30 pm

Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:10 pm
It might seem that way to you. Please see the post above and give it more thought, if you wish.
With all due respect, i still do not see the link. If your mind associated the incident in NZ with old posts in DW, that does not make the link necessary.

I admit though that hate speech can affect people, but also allowing what we consider as wrong views to be presented can give us the chance to challenge them especially if one believes that there is no strong logic behind such views.

The same technology has been used by radical Muslims including ISIS for recruitment. What are you suggesting? at least giving people the chance to present their views and to be exposed to opposing views might save some lives, keeping in mind that violence and terrorism is not a new phenomena arising with the emergence of technology and the internet.

FYI. Hate speech against Islam has had a moderating effect on Muslims. While hate speech against Muslims can be unfair, exaggerated and based on generalizations, it revealed to many young Muslims that they have a vested interest in reforming the religion, but this "desirable side effect" of hate speech is rarely acknowledged, and can be directly known by people who happen to live in Muslim countries.
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:42 pm

You are not a moderator over at DWT so you don't see all the goings on over there, especially behind the scenes. Offensive posts get reported, they get discussed and the Moderating team makes a decision. Only a few decisions are unanimous. Sometimes there are disagreements, even among mods and a decision is made by majority, not all mods or admins. Many offensive and extremist posts have been removed, members banned. Since you are not a moderator, you wouldn't know this directly or see this.

There was a neo-Nazi member who even taught at a Canadian college and taught Buddhist meditation and has numerous youtube videos. He even made some neo-Nazi revisionist posts, questioning the "real number" of Jews who died in the holocaust. I responded to his post with some evidence for the of course 6+ million Jews who were murdered. I felt it was best to leave his post so I could respond and refute his lies. Some of his other posts were removed and he was subsequently banned.

There have been other posts which were reported and the posts were removed and in some cases, the members banned.

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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:40 pm

Nicholas wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:10 pm
Buck McGeehy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:58 pm
Nicholas wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:03 pm
Imposition of right speech by moderators or a political regime or an educational institution etc. is neither Right Speech nor effective in producing either mundane nor supra-mundane Right Speech.
This illustrates the crux of the misunderstanding. Nobody can do your work for you. Nobody can impose right speech for you.
Quite true, therefore unless one is a bhikkhu who has a duty (I suppose) to correct and guide, it is none of the responsibility of lay folk to so.
Right Speech can't be imposed but horribly Wrong Speech can be censored and the author can be encouraged to learn from the interaction.
And I believe we all have a responsibility to "correct and guide" others, as far as we are able. Then again, I'm a teacher IRL and a mod here, and in both roles I have exactly that responsibility (among others). If we sat around here waiting for a bhikkhu, the forum would devolve into anarchy very quickly.

:namaste:
Kim

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Buck McGeehy
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by Buck McGeehy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:08 am

DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:42 pm
Offensive posts get reported, they get discussed and the Moderating team makes a decision. Only a few decisions are unanimous. Sometimes there are disagreements, even among mods and a decision is made by majority, not all mods or admins.
This does not surprise me, given that DWT mods themselves have been among those making or supporting anti-Muslim posts and berating those who raise the issue of Right Speech. The old thread with the reference to urinating on a prophet is a good example of a DWT mod stoking anti-Muslim sentiments, even if under the guise of some conciliatory language.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:42 pm
Many offensive and extremist posts have been removed, members banned. Since you are not a moderator, you wouldn't know this directly or see this.
What I can see demonstrates that extremist and/or racist and/or anti-semitic and/or anti-Muslim posts are not removed if they are authored by DWT mods/admin. Like this disgusting comment belittling a Black Lives Matter supporter:
... Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been a very public advocate of Black Lives Matter. ... Black foetuses though? Not so much.
https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t ... 15#p446186
The context of that thread is not race. The comment is race-baiting. It's one thing if this comment was made by a member, but it was made by your administrator, the disc jockey you previously empowered to abuse your Dhamma site to circulate anti-semitic George Soros conspiracy theories, who regularly cited Breitbart articles, and who has no qualms about engaging in name-calling and other juvenile behavior.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:42 pm
There was a neo-Nazi member who even taught at a Canadian college and taught Buddhist meditation and has numerous youtube videos. He even made some neo-Nazi revisionist posts, questioning the "real number" of Jews who died in the holocaust. I responded to his post with some evidence for the of course 6+ million Jews who were murdered. I felt it was best to leave his post so I could respond and refute his lies. Some of his other posts were removed and he was subsequently banned.
And this has what to do with spreading Dhamma? You are curating a Dhamma/Dharma discussion. I don't know why you feel it is appropriate in such a forum to give voice to a Holocaust denier. This is how you create a false equivalence and give legitimacy to hate speech that should find no home on a Dhamma/Dharma site, in my opinion. But again, you are the owner, so it is your choice.
DNS wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:42 pm
There have been other posts which were reported and the posts were removed and in some cases, the members banned.
I have no doubt that members were banned for political reasons, especially those who spoke out against the ugliness that was manifest in the DWT admin's far-right political agenda. Good of you to finally put a muzzle on him, but honestly, there are many, many harmful comments left over in historic archives that have nothing at all to do with Dhamma.

I understand you don't want to be the "thought police" or be accused of being a snowflake or being prissy, or other names and language that your DWT team and at least one venerable monk have used to attack DWT critics. I see how this comes across as raising complaints about DWT, but truly, the NZ live-stream which went viral, and the fact that the killer was inspired by the online white supremacist community, should give us pause about taking such a hard-line stance against the view that Dhamma/Dharma sites should be curated to support Dhamma/Dharma, and to embody Right Speech. A lot of ugly posts which remain give legitimacy to anti-Muslim views and add to the false equivalence in which hatred is normalized. This is not Dhamma.
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Re: Horrors in NZ and taking responsibility for hurtful speech

Post by DNS » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:16 pm

Buck McGeehy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:08 am
And this has what to do with spreading Dhamma? You are curating a Dhamma/Dharma discussion. I don't know why you feel it is appropriate in such a forum to give voice to a Holocaust denier. This is how you create a false equivalence and give legitimacy to hate speech that should find no home on a Dhamma/Dharma site, in my opinion. But again, you are the owner, so it is your choice.
As I mentioned, I left it there so I could refute it. Ignoring it gives the impression that one can't refute it. Removing it could have been done, but why not refute it, when it's so easy to refute, so I chose to do that. And just as another FYI for you, there was another post from that individual that he posted that made him look really foolish. I wanted to keep it, since it exposed him in a rather strange way, but the team decided to remove it (against my wishes :D ).

And yes, you're right, it has nothing to do with spreading Dhamma; it's just more political discussion. And that's why we don't allow any more political discussions, even lounge type topics, even the popular music thread. Now DWT just focuses on Dhamma. And the same should be done here too; this is for discussion of engaged buddhism. So now that we've all had the chance to express our opinions, time to close this and return to discussing engaged buddhism.

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