Submitted by TheNerdyAnarchist in AskRaddle (edited )

So someone has apparently created a script or a bot that searches through r/@ for any variation of the phrase "punch nazis" and reports it to the admins. These invariably get taken down by Reddit's "Anti-Evil Operations" bot as threats/calls to violence, and the users who post them can get anything from a warning to a ban.

We (mods) are eventually going to have to mount some kind of defense here at some point.

I'm usually pretty good at this kind of thing, but whenever this defense is put up, I kind of want it to be unassailable, but I'm not confident that I can think of something that would convince them. I would love any input Raddlers have as to what we can use to do this.


Edit: I'm not looking for jokes here....I need serious "professional"-type input

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zoom_zip wrote

when hitler died there were parades in the streets. the celebration was printed on newspaper headlines and broadcast on the radio. people threw parties in celebration of the death of a nazi. would reddit ban those?

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LittleHelp wrote

How good of a defense you can mount probably depends on how many words you can use to make it and how willing the ones you are talking to will be to listen to it.

On the surface, I'm not sure there is an easy way to defend it. Modern society is build on the principle of no individualistic violence; only institutionalized violence is acceptable in this framework. This is not based on theory or arguments, but based on principle. Leaving the solving of disputes to the law instead of individuals is the foundation of modern civilisation, because it ensures and enshrines the state's monopoly on violence.

Arguing against principle is very hard. People either believe it or they don't. A liberal corporation or mind would argue that instead of punching nazis, one should leave the damage they cause for the law & the state to solve. One avenue of attack might be to demonstrably showcase that the law is ill-equipped to deal with nazis, but a liberal could look at this demonstration and conclude that we just need better laws (as opposed to more nazi punching). So this line of thought probably is not "unassailable" but it might convince some people.

The other avenue would be to argue that the phrase is not meant literally. Convincing corporations that this phrase is some kind of a meme or a result of frustration and not meant to be carried out in real life would maybe sway their judgement. You could also argue that the phrase is too generalized to be taken seriously as opposed to a call for violence against a specific person. These vectors of attack probably aren't unassailable either, though. These are pretty much what the alt-right uses to defend their calls for violence.

Of course, the alt-right uses their violence out of bigotry, while anarchists would use violence against nazis to stop that exact violence from occurring. But.. again, if someone rejects interpersonal violence based on principle, this nuance is not likely to sway their views on whether or not to censor mentions of nazi punching.

You could wade through ToS to see if a technicality could convince them to allow these phrases. But that would still not be unassailable because ToS can change and are completely arbitrary.

I think ultimately, the problem is that since I believe you are arguing against principle, you need to either get them to give up on their principles by sheer amounts of evidence and examples that showcase the failure of these principles or distract them in some way from the fact that this is about their principles.

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TheNerdyAnarchist OP wrote (edited )

One thought I had was to approach the subject of the various forms of violence that are not only accepted, but celebrated as the entire purpose of certain subreddits (e.g. fight video subreddits, "JusticeServed", instant karma, etc.) - Same thing in terms of right-wing subreddits that show videos of "crimes" and discuss the things the State should do to the people doing it.

I'm just ill equipped to put together something like this because it would be a pretty heavy theoretical bent on what violence is and what makes certain forms acceptable and others not.

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ChaosAnarchy wrote (edited )

As discussed in one of Peter Gelderloos works (https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/peter-gelderloos-the-failure-of-nonviolence), a lot of people have different definitions on what is violence or not.

(...)

Perhaps the most important argument against non-violence is that violence as a concept is ambiguous to the point of being incoherent. It is a concept that is prone to manipulation, and its definition is in the hands of the media and the government, so that those who base their struggle on trying to avoid it will forever be taking cues and following the lead of those in power.

Put simply, violence does not exist. It is not a thing. It is a category, a human construct in which we choose to place a wide array of actions, phenomena, situations, and so forth. “Violence” is whatever the person speaking at the moment decides to describe as violent. Usually, this means things they do not like. As a result, the use of the category “violence” tends towards hypocrisy.

Max Stirner said on state violence:

We are used to classify the states according to the different ways in which "the supreme power" is distributed. If it has an individual - monarchy, all - democracy etc.. So the supreme power! Violence against whom? Against the individual and his "self-will". The state exerts "force", the individual may not do this. The state's conduct is violence, and calls its violence "law," that of the individual "crime". Crime, then, is the name of the violence of the individual, and only by crime does he break the violence of the state, if he is of the opinion that the state is not above him, but that he is above the state.

How is state violence connected? Well a lot of nazis / right-wing extremists are still in power or when Nazi Germany was abolished a lot were still in a high state position.

TL:DR (even non-quoted text of "The Failure of Non-Violence)

The state has the monopoly on the definition on what is violence, so Reddit can just say bleh to you

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LittleHelp wrote

Ah, another point to be aware of maybe is that "showing that punching nazis isn't bad" and "showing that saying 'punch nazis' isn't bad" are wildly different things to do so deciding which you want to focus on might be helpful

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kinshavo wrote

Gas-stationing, will take a while until they remember Milano

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TheNerdyAnarchist OP wrote

I'm looking for more serious responses.

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kinshavo wrote

I'm being serious, sorry if was not what you looking for

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kinshavo wrote

Anyway, respectability can get lost from anarchism

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TheNerdyAnarchist OP wrote

I just spent an hour telling someone on the sub to fuck themselves for appealing to respectability politics type stuff....I feel ya.

Sorry...I'm just a little on edge, and I'm getting anxious about this. I'm sure the fact that I haven't slept isn't helping.

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kinshavo wrote

Sony worry, I am not a native speaker so sometimes I can be weird, and being on the internet don't help getting through person to person level.

Anyway take care, moderation Job is unsavory and many times don't pay

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ChaosAnarchy wrote

"Punch nazis" is a slogan to remind one of the danger of right-extremist individuals to society™ and that their potential threat is so high that it is better to eliminate them preliminary

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tuesday wrote

what about if it's a phrase like punch down punch up, like we use for comedy. it isn't literally advocating that we punch anything.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

I suspect that reddit admins will be overwhelmingly more concerned with immediate optics than your arguments. I imagine they don't give a shit about our values and whatever distinctions we want to draw between different kinds of violence. I don't know what precedents there are for people arguing their way to not being banned, but maybe they exist?

Do you have a sense of the real likelihood that the admins will be coming for the sub?

I'm not convinced it is a terrain worth fighting for, but I assume you and some other mods feel differently. Otherwise, does the option exist for you to close the sub and direct traffic to raddle instead, before the sub is closed for you in a way you have less control over?

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Archaplain wrote

i dont think reddit admins will give a shit, you can however use this suitation as an example to explain to the @ userbase the limitations and flaws of reddit as a platform for anti-authoritarianism in an announcement (or perhaps a bot that DMs the user making comments like these what to expect). I know you were looking for a way to fight them head on but i dont see that happening.

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Archaplain wrote

OH that makes a ton of sense, how AEO was getting to them before they even turned up in mod queue, if you find any solution(s) tell me as well.

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roanoke9 wrote

How about make a bot that reports any defense of capitalism as encouraging violence. It will not be agreed with but the volume of reports alone will be amusing.

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TheNerdyAnarchist OP wrote

It'll just get banned for abuse of the reporting feature within a day or so, and the reports go to Mods > "AEO" (which is a bot) > ??? (nowhere...)

The only time something actually reaches human admins is if whoever reported the content appeals the AEO "decision"

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