Code of conduct update: comments related to racial injustice

Country Manager11
Posted 22nd Jun 2020
Hi all

Over the last few weeks there has been an increase in discussion related to race-related issues and the Black Lives Matter movement on the website. While this is primarily a deal-sharing community, there are often deals or discussions posted that make these topics relevant- for instance Nike closing its stores on Juneteenth, or Humble Fight for Racial Justice Bundle, and we want to encourage constructive debate.

Sadly, these threads have often become argumentative, upsetting to members of our community and staff, and difficult to moderate consistently under our current rules.

So to clear this up, we wanted to make plain hotukdeals’ position: Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, the UK and many other countries. Any comments or behaviour that we feel denies these facts, or downplays the effects of them, will be removed and persistent behaviour will be treated as any rule-breaking is under our code of conduct.

I’m sure there will still be comments that are difficult for us to judge, as this is a complex issue, so this is intended as a guiding statement to set out our stall. Members of the Community Support team who remove activity from the website based on this statement are acting in line with our policy, and we have updated the site rules to reflect this.

The tragic events of the last few weeks have highlighted the need for further education about and consideration of the problems facing Black and other minority communities. We are continuing to learn ourselves and will keep our policies under review. Please get in touch with us if you see anywhere you think we could improve our actions or approach and we are always happy to discuss.

Thanks
Dan

PS. We have debated whether to leave this thread open for comments. We're going to begin by doing so, and will be moderating it on the basis of the approach above - if it becomes overly argumentative though we will consider locking and removing all comments
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Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, the UK and many other countries. Any comments or behaviour that we feel denies these facts, or downplays the effects of them, will be removed and persistent behaviour will be treated as any rule-breaking is under our code of conduct.

Sorry Dan don't agree with this generalisation nor that the moderators should have the facility and power to adjudicate complex topics. Unfortunately controversial subjects even with constructive criticism could easily be perceived or misconstrued as offensive or racially divisive by a minority of individuals. Do you honestly trust your colleagues to make the difficult judgemental calls when we see mainstream media, university students, and intellectuals fall foul to prejudice, political bias and agenda(ism)?

Of course I'm for the support and encouragement of free-speech, intellectual argument and debate, but as with other platforms you'll probably start to notice that the bias will creep into those controversial topics, and posts disagreeing deleted and the users banned.

Better just to lock comments on hot button issues. Everyone gets angry in topics full of deleted comments, regardless of which side they're on. With blanket locking there's more shielding the mods from claims of bias. This is after all just a site about deals.

Also, if you're going to be aggressive with deleted comments, you should remove the usernames from any quotes that are affected. Was the quote full of racists slurs or just someone disagreeing? No way of knowing but there's an implication of the former which is not fair. Plenty of other sites like Reddit do this.
I’m on crutches at the moment, I broke my foot. I was in a garden centre days afterward and I saw a gentleman in a wheel chair. I looked at him through different eyes. Getting around on crutches temporarily is proving to be quite a task, imagine a wheel chair I found myself thinking. Prejudice exists within me, I wasn’t born with it but society/ culture or whatever has implanted it in my psyche but this experience reminded me that we are all just a step away from disability, financial hardship, homelessness, old age etc .. the things we often judge people on. Now I know this post is titled racial injustice but i hope you know where I’m coming from
Edited by: "Jump_Out_Gang" 22nd Jun
11 Comments
Upon reading I thought this was leading towards these topics being banned from discussion. Glad to see this stance taken instead
I am happy seeing the acknowledgement from the HUKD team; it is a sad reality and having experienced it first hand in many countries around the world, I feel it is also something that cannot be addressed overnight.

At the same time, I also believe HUKD is not the forum for a subject like this. There are many others available that are geared for a sensitive, painful and deeply emotional subject like racism where the moderators are also differently trained to handle it. HUKD is more used to stuff where the life of a post is measured in days, if not a few hours, and this issue is diametrically opposite that.
Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, the UK and many other countries. Any comments or behaviour that we feel denies these facts, or downplays the effects of them, will be removed and persistent behaviour will be treated as any rule-breaking is under our code of conduct.

Sorry Dan don't agree with this generalisation nor that the moderators should have the facility and power to adjudicate complex topics. Unfortunately controversial subjects even with constructive criticism could easily be perceived or misconstrued as offensive or racially divisive by a minority of individuals. Do you honestly trust your colleagues to make the difficult judgemental calls when we see mainstream media, university students, and intellectuals fall foul to prejudice, political bias and agenda(ism)?

Of course I'm for the support and encouragement of free-speech, intellectual argument and debate, but as with other platforms you'll probably start to notice that the bias will creep into those controversial topics, and posts disagreeing deleted and the users banned.

You and I, in fact everyone all over the world,
we’re literally African under the skin; brothers and sisters
separated by a mere two thousand generations.
Old-fashioned concepts of race are not only socially divisive,
but scientifically wrong.
- Dr. Spencer Wells

Genetic evidence shows all humans are 99.9% identical and do not fall neatly into physical categories some people call races. The differences among us—like skin color and hair texture—evolved as humans adapted to different environments. They account for less than one tenth of one percent of our genetic makeup.
I’m on crutches at the moment, I broke my foot. I was in a garden centre days afterward and I saw a gentleman in a wheel chair. I looked at him through different eyes. Getting around on crutches temporarily is proving to be quite a task, imagine a wheel chair I found myself thinking. Prejudice exists within me, I wasn’t born with it but society/ culture or whatever has implanted it in my psyche but this experience reminded me that we are all just a step away from disability, financial hardship, homelessness, old age etc .. the things we often judge people on. Now I know this post is titled racial injustice but i hope you know where I’m coming from
Edited by: "Jump_Out_Gang" 22nd Jun
bozo00722/06/2020 13:21

I am happy seeing the acknowledgement from the HUKD team; it is a sad …I am happy seeing the acknowledgement from the HUKD team; it is a sad reality and having experienced it first hand in many countries around the world, I feel it is also something that cannot be addressed overnight.At the same time, I also believe HUKD is not the forum for a subject like this. There are many others available that are geared for a sensitive, painful and deeply emotional subject like racism where the moderators are also differently trained to handle it. HUKD is more used to stuff where the life of a post is measured in days, if not a few hours, and this issue is diametrically opposite that.



Thanks for your feedback here @bozo007

@Dan covered some of your points in the description but i'll add them back in again here where relevant.

There are often deals or discussions posted that make these topics relevant and it is only right that we can expect some type of discussion to ensue. Our intention with this announcement is to make our community aware of the position we're taking so members know what we expect.

What you say about the moderation team does not do their job justice in my view or the level of experience that they have. The job is simply not one which required only an automated approach. We have to make judgment calls on a wide range of issues every day.

I do agree about training. Any training to help staff get a better understanding of issues they might have to deal with with a community as big as ours will be really beneficial.
Edited by: "Jason" 22nd Jun
@Jason my apologies, meant no disrespect to the mod team and the work they do. My point was that moderating a different subject many times requires a significantly different skill set and / or training. If that is something already in place, then my comments are redundant.
bozo00722/06/2020 14:38

@Jason my apologies, meant no disrespect to the mod team and the work they …@Jason my apologies, meant no disrespect to the mod team and the work they do. My point was that moderating a different subject many times requires a significantly different skill set and / or training. If that is something already in place, then my comments are redundant.


No need to apologise; no offence was taken

It is something I do agree with. As humans we never stop learning so if there are opportunities for us to receive training on issues such as this then we should look into it.
nemesiz22/06/2020 13:28

Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, …Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, the UK and many other countries. Any comments or behaviour that we feel denies these facts, or downplays the effects of them, will be removed and persistent behaviour will be treated as any rule-breaking is under our code of conduct.Sorry Dan don't agree with this generalisation nor that the moderators should have the facility and power to adjudicate complex topics. Unfortunately controversial subjects even with constructive criticism could easily be perceived or misconstrued as offensive or racially divisive by a minority of individuals. Do you honestly trust your colleagues to make the difficult judgemental calls when we see mainstream media, university students, and intellectuals fall foul to prejudice, political bias and agenda(ism)? Of course I'm for the support and encouragement of free-speech, intellectual argument and debate, but as with other platforms you'll probably start to notice that the bias will creep into those controversial topics, and posts disagreeing deleted and the users banned.




Hi Nemesiz

Thanks for your reply. This is certainly an issue that attracts controversy, and has some highly complex aspects. However what we are addressing here is the denial or minimising of systemic racism and the resultant prejudices and injustice - specifically regarding BAME people. There is enough evidence of these issues that we are happy to let the team remove any comments which challenge or downplay this.

We are also believers in freedom of speech, but obviously we have a framework of rules around this - freedom of speech is not freedom to have every offensive view given a platform or amplified. And nor is it freedom to make comments denigrating the experiences of our BAME users and staff.

Of course, other issues that put a different demographic with protected characteristics at a disadvantage are dealt with accordingly too.

Thanks
Dan
Better just to lock comments on hot button issues. Everyone gets angry in topics full of deleted comments, regardless of which side they're on. With blanket locking there's more shielding the mods from claims of bias. This is after all just a site about deals.

Also, if you're going to be aggressive with deleted comments, you should remove the usernames from any quotes that are affected. Was the quote full of racists slurs or just someone disagreeing? No way of knowing but there's an implication of the former which is not fair. Plenty of other sites like Reddit do this.
"Systemic racism exists, and often leads to racial injustice - in the US, the UK and many other countries. Any comments or behaviour that we feel denies these facts, or downplays the effects of them, will be removed and persistent behaviour will be treated as any rule-breaking is under our code of conduct."


Racism is a fact, systemic racism is not a fact - it's an opinion. I don't believe that this country's institutions (police, judiciary, civil service et al) today are systemically racist, and moreover - in the light of attacks and killings of police - should be protected. Moreover, much like the first poster said, moderators on HotUKDeals aren't qualified to adjudicate on what is and isn't acceptable on this topic and have their own subjective biases and prejudices. In my view, visualising the black community as a monolithic structure with a shared victimhood and single viewpoint on the topic is racist.

There is no doubt that social media in general is toxic and has poisoned polite discourse on both sides of the argument here. I am coming more and more round to the idea that internet anonymity is a bad idea.
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