Petition for a Less Racist chinaSMACK Comments Section

I received the following email…

Dear Fauna,

We are a group of people from different countries and different walks of life. We are both Chinese and non-Chinese, in China and overseas. We are all fans of the website you created that allows us to see many things about Chinese society that we would not be able to see otherwise if we cannot easily read Chinese. We are all thankful for your hard work, including your other translators and moderators.

However, we are submitting this petition to ask you to please reconsider your policy of allowing blatantly racist and derogatory comments on your website. Attached is a list of our names, email addresses, and where we are from. Everyone who has signed this petition agrees with the below concerns and supports more moderation of the comments section.

We understand you allow these comments by commenters as a mirror to the racist Chinese comments found on Chinese websites that you translate. We understand that you allow this because it is the reality of both Chinese and foreign netizens. We understand you believe people should be allowed to see that these attitudes and beliefs are still common. We understand you also think people who see this will be motivated to fight them.

This is very idealistic of you but it is not realistic. It is also hurting the potential of your website and your work because the bigotry and hate speech is overwhelming everyone who enjoys your work and wants to have more meaningful and productive conversations.

There are already more than enough examples of foreign racism and bigotry to mirror the Chinese examples. Your website doesn’t have to be another collection of them. We also know from your own comments that you find the racist comments personally distressing. There is no need for you to masochistically put up with the insults and disrespect from these people. You do not need to prove to any of us that foreigners are just as racist and hateful as Chinese people. More importantly, the people who don’t already know this will never accept it anyway.

Instead, your website is increasingly becoming a poisonous environment where educated and reasonable people are either crowded out or shouted down by the ignorant and irresponsible. It has gotten to the point where most of us and many others who are capable of discussing China critically without being careless and immature will no longer bother discussing the actual issues because of the consciously derogatory and juvenile behavior by a large group of regular commenters on your website.

Many of your readers are ethnic Chinese people from overseas, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the mainland. Some commenters treat your comments section as a private discussion forum forgetting that there are many ethnic Chinese people who are present. Many of these people would never say the things they write on your website in real life with a Chinese person around them and without the anonymity of the internet. Your Chinese readers should not be subjected to this.

Many of your non-Chinese readers are also embarrassed and ashamed of these people although we are not afraid of you misunderstanding that we are all like them. We know you are an intelligent woman who is also unafraid to show the negative side of your own country and people. However, your blog is supposed to be a bridge-blog but there are too many disrespectful commenters who threaten to sabotage any constructive conversation between Chinese and non-Chinese. It is a waste of time and energy for those of us who have a genuine interest in learning about and from each other with mutual respect.

Your website is the most popular website of its kind. Your comments section could be an incredible forum for intelligent, insightful, and valuable discussion instead of a toxic forum for ignorance, hypocrisy, and insecurity. The opinions of some Chinese people cannot be changed with the truth in front of them. The same is true for some foreigners. It does not make sense to provide a mirror to people who are incapable of looking at themselves.

You can fight racism more and encourage greater mutual understanding by moderating the comments and filtering out the neverending stream of the same old bitter rants and destructive stereotypes that are already present on so many other websites. This includes rants and stereotypes targeting both Chinese and non-Chinese. Make your website more conducive to higher quality discussions. You say you want to show us that Chinese and foreigners are not so different after all. You’re successful in doing that every day. We already know foreigners are not so different from Chinese, so we don’t need foreigners proving that to us every single day.

Instead of a comment policy that specifically allows racism, adopt a comment policy that specifically requires basic human courtesy and respect. The comments section of the most popular blog about China deserves better.

Sincerely and respectfully,
The undersigned.

Please discuss.

Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Jack

    我同意!

    • BigCAD/Mao’s Corpse

      If readers have too weak a stomach for the comments section, avoid.

      It is easy enough to discern trolls, fengqing, self loathing 海外华人, TEFL parasites and the naive (or a combination of the above), from those which may actually having something of interest to say and/or can actually argue a point, so no requirement to change from the status quo.

      百花齐放,百家争鸣.

      • Dan

        I think we should follow the crowdvoting method used in just about every notable web community. Everyone is allowed to voice his opinions, but other members can upvote/downvote the comments based on the thoughtfulness and quality of the post.

        After all, this is exactly how Chinasmack selects which Chinese posts to translate (i.e. choosing the most upvoted comments in the Chinese forums). Crowdvoting not only maintains the spirit of open discussion, but it will also enable Chinasmack to scale up as the community expands.

        Just take Youtube as an example. Before instituting crowdvoting, the most recent comments were always occupied by the most immature and thoughtless posts. There’s no point in posting anything meaningful because those comments are immediately buried by quick and mindless ones. As a result, Youtube’s comment section quickly degenerated into a forum of “First!” posts and childish or racist arguments between posters. This not at all unlike the endless “Sofa!” and immature fights between current Chinasmack members.

        Once Youtube implemented the crowdvoting model, the top comments very often the most interesting posts. It’s not a perfect method by any means, but it’s working pretty well for a site with hundreds of millions of users. Now, Youtube users are incentivized to share the most funny and insightful posts.

        The upvoted comments are not necessarily the most politically correct ones (in fact many of them can be quite insensitive), but that’s ok because those comments are reflective of the attitude and thoughts of the community, and thus are of value and worth for everyone to see.

        • parking

          I would upvote this. A better idea.

          • Dr. Jones Jr.

            I think either Chinasmack (or maybe Chinahush) originally had a system like that which was eventually discontinued. One problem with it is that it’s easy enough for a bunch of fenqing, wumaodang, trolls (or whomever) to just down vote a comment stating a truth they don’t want to face or don’t wish to see promulgated.

            I don’t like the racist and/or puerile shit to be found on this site any more than any other well-adjusted human being, but it is well worth considering that various methods of censorship easily form a slippery slope–self-censorship by the community quite possibly as slippery as any other.

          • Dan

            Hey Dr. Jones (Can’t reply directly to your comment for some reason), but don’t worry – a more sophisticated crowdvoting model has measures to prevent a censorship slippery-slope. The best way of thinking about this to imagine upvotes/downvotes as a way of categorizing comments.

            For example, Reddit, a forum of 20+ million users, enables members to sort comments in one of 4 ways: Best, New, Top, or Controversial.

            If you put your setting as ‘Best,’ then you’ll see the comments ranked by the highest number of upvotes. Similarly, sorting by ‘New’ puts all of the most recent comments (regardless of votes) on top. Conversely, sorting by ‘Top’ puts the oldest comments on top. Lastly, comments that receive many downvotes can be easily viewed when you sort the comments using the ‘Controversial’ setting. In this sorting format, the most controversial comment will appear as the first post.

            The current problem with Chinasmack is that insightful comments – whether tasteful or provocative – are buried in a sea of not so good comments. It creates complete chaos, so the most incendiary comments become the most visible.

            A crowdvoting method not only gives the best comments a way to rise to the top, but it also allows users to identify more controversial comments if that’s what piques their interests. In this way, good comments usually have a way of being salvaged.

            If a thoughtful comment is unfairly downvoted because it’s offensive to some users, the community can save it by ranking comments by ‘Controversial’ and upvoting the comment to the top. If the comments section of an article becomes saturated with too many preexisting posts (as it will inevitably as Chinasmack grows), quality new comments can also be upvoted to the top if users surf through the ‘New’ sorting. Finally, for users who just want to get the quick takeaways of our community’s opinions and reactions to any story, they may simply sort by ‘Best,’ which will rank the comments by the most upvotes.

            Basically, don’t think of crowdvoting as a gateway to censorship. Rather, see it as a tool of organizing the comments, so that the most interesting posts that our community generate – whether tasteful or crude, tolerant or intolerant, or funny or not – will be more accessible and identifiable for all to see.

          • Gaaad!!!

            Dear Fauna

            While ChinaSmack endeavours to show others that Chinese people are no different from foreigners through popular or controversial stories on the Chinese Internet, I’ve always felt that it fulfils another equally if not more important function. Namely to show the Chinese people that foreigners through their comments here are themselves not that different either.

            There’s a Jewish saying that, “You can tell what’s in the heart of a man by how he behaves when he’s drunk, when he’s angry and when he has money” and to which I might also add, “And when he is or thinks he is anonymous.”

            Remember the mission statement and your original intentions for this site. They are what made this site successful. The rest is just distracting window dressing. Keep up the interesting work.

            Sincerely

          • We had a voting system in the past but it was too much abuse so we are still not very confident about voting systems.

            Also: http://www.reddit.com/r/ShitRedditSays/

          • anon

            Fauna reads Reddit?

          • Dan

            Hi Fauna, I wasn’t around when the site first had voting, but it seems like Chinasmack has grown tremendously since the 2 years that I have been here – so much so that I think it might be a good idea to bring it back once again and trust in the community’s ability to self-regulate (http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=chinasmack).

            I think it’s no coincidence that this article has generated one of the most lively discussions on the site. Regardless of what you decide to do, I think one important takeaway is that there is a silent majority of members here, who are eager to contribute if they believe their voices can be heard. Many members are in support of moderation; many members are in defense of free speech. I know you have a difficult task ahead of you, but one thing to keep in mind is how many thoughtful comments have been generated here by all sides. All it takes to get the silent majority (lurkers like me!) to start participating is by making us feel that our voices can be heard regardless of the stance we take.

            Crowdvoting is not the only method of organizing a forum and encouraging discussion. It is also by no means the perfect way of achieving that goal. But for the large forums out there – some with millions of users – it is an efficient and relatively fair way of encouraging discussion. When you have that many people all trying to comment, not having a mechanism like crowdvoting leads to complete chaos, and both the popular and the unpopular stances are drowned out by the trolls.

            On a site like Reddit, you take the good with the bad (you’re right – there are hundreds of sub-forums on there that are even worse than the one you linked! haha). However, given the diversity of opinions and considering how large Chinasmack has grown, empowering members to self-regulate through voting might be the simplest and fairest way of encouraging lively discussions. It’s a model that’s worked for Youtube and Reddit and probably many of those Chinese forums I read about from Chinasmack. Those users aren’t any smarter or more civil than us, but I’d say crowdvoting as worked pretty well for their communities.

            The 700+ comments on this page is an indication of how large this community has become. Given the provocative nature of the news that are posted on Chinasmack, it’s inevitable that you’ll get strong differences in opinions. I would encourage you to think about crowdvoting some more (if not for resolving this discussion but for contemplating Chinsmack’s direction down the road). Members don’t have to agree with each other to make crowdvoting work. Even highly partisan users can distinguish a good argument representing their beliefs from the personal attacks and trolling that are against an opinion they don’t support. I understand the site has had bad experience with it before, and all of this might sound far too idealistic, but the success of the forums on Youtube, Reddit, and other sites is a testament to the efficacy of crowdvoting.

            Don’t worry if you’re still unconvinced. I love Chinasmack for the all the interesting and quicky stories it provides, so keep up the good work, and I’ll continue to visit and recommend the site to my friends regardless of how you decide to deal with all this. Since I always spend too much time lurking and not enough time contributing, I feel it’d be appropriate to close this off by thanking you for all the great content you’ve provided.

            Thanks!

        • BigCAD/Mao’s Corpse

          Seconded

          • Joe

            I totally agree with this.

          • ejin

            Ding to Dan… smart crowdvoting is the way…. just needs careful design.

        • Bingya

          I think this is a great idea, though personally I think downvoting may cause a lot of pettiness.

        • Akuma

          Yep, I also agree this method can give viewers a tool to decide the righteousness of the comment, a diplomaticsolution.

        • cashew

          UPVOTE. :)

          I believe in free speech and being honest in passing along information, but I too feel the same embarrassment at some of the comments on here. I am Chinese, not in China. Whenever I share your amazing or interesting stories with my non-Chinese friends, I often feel I should apologise to them for the heinousness of the comments I know they’ll find on this site.

          It’s sad that a comment can sometimes stand as a representative for a group of people who don’t all feel the same way. Dan’s idea is a great way to let people have their say, as well as letting the non-vocal community share how they feel about it.

    • Brett Hunan

      Am I the only one that thinks chinaSMACK operators already moderate plenty and ban people after other commenters call for it? I mean, you can look back and see that certain people completely stopped posting after others raised a fuss. You are all acting like we have zero say in what goes on here and that just isnt true.

      It isn’t as immediate as a “down vote” or “ignore” button but no one can argue it doesn’t happen. chinaSMACK has its posting policies and the mods do an okay job at making sure posters follow it.

      I might get railed for this, but racist comments are sometimes beneficial. Its your choice to post something intelligent or not. If you see a racist comment you can make an argument for the rest of rational thinkers. If you make a racist comment, you are showing us how we all still need to grow as people.

      If chinaSACK banned all racist comments as a rule, they shouldn’t be allowed to translate the racist Chinese comments from the original story. Do you want Fauna to translate comments to show only a “pure/accepting” or “hateful/racist” China? She posts whatever is most popular on the Chinese side to let us see what many of the Chinese netizens are thinking about.

      People who read this site to learn more about China would be getting the view that the “undersigned” wanted them to have and not so much of the truth. The truth is that people are racist everywhere. Covering up that fact would be a lie and you would therefore be creating a dreamworld where everything is just dandy. Things arent dandy everywhere, or even anywhere. and I dont feel like we should pretend they are.

      I argue that trolling comments which have nothing to do with the article have more reason to be banned than a relevant comment which has racism. A problem with this approach is: where do we draw the line? Sometimes people take something as racist even though the intentions of the poster weren’t racist as all. Shit, I have been accused of being racist more times than I can count, but that doesn’t mean I ever made a racist post. Sometimes we just get off-topic. Should those comments be banned because they arent directly related to the story at hand?

      chinaSMACK allows everyone to act the idiots we can all be. I would be okay if that remained the same.

      • Sherry

        I kind of agree with this. I abhor the hateful and racist comments I see on Chinasmack, however, I find them useful. As long as they’re designed in a respectful manner (yes i know, it’s hard to see racist/hateful as respectful, but I mean that it has actual arguments etc) and on-topic, I am fine with it. Although they’re not the nicest comments, they’re a mirror for reality and I think everyone should realise that it’s like this, even if people don’t always say it in real life.

        The waaaaay too off-topic comments could be less though, or the ones where people only insult each other etc… troll troll… =__=

      • simon

        Right, racist comments can be “beneficial”, just like frozen vegetables are advertised as “fresh”. I think there’s a term for that… oh right an oxymoron.

        • mr. wiener

          You’d prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist? No wait let’s have “racist free” zones. All the people who are dying for a quick slang off at other races can go there for a quick puff of prejudice.

          • simon

            ummm what? when did i say anything about not letting racist remarks exist on this forum? I’m actually OK if the forum continued as it is. What i am pissed about, is people trying to JUSTIFY racist remarks? ummm racist remarks are beneficial? wtf are you smoking?

            You could say “I don’t mind racist comments” and i would be fine with that, but to say “I think racist comments are beneficial”, i think that is UTTER bullshit.

            Sorry, but your comment has nothing to do with what i’m remarking about.

          • Brett Hunan

            simon you are skewing my meaning so you can toot your own horn. High five*.

            My point isnt that racism is good, positive, rational, or any other synonym for these adjectives. My point was that racist comments allow us to make decisions on how we will react. You can ignore them, agree with them, or (as I was hinting is a better choice) attempt to rationalize to the poster why his/her racist comment is wrong.

            wiener got it. The comments themselves arent beneficial, but the fact that we can see them and react to them in a rational manner is most definitely beneficial….if we choose to do so.

        • Brett Hunan

          I gave examples as to why. Perhaps “beneficial” was a poor word choice but I am sure that you are just ignoring what I meant so that you could write something clever about vegetables.

        • simon

          ok brett, if that’s what you meant than i misunderstood what you were saying.

          Like i said, i’m totally fine with allowing for racist remarks as well. it’s just that the wording got me a little heated up, i hope you understand where i’m coming from, i respect a lot of your comments.

        • cb4242

          Well, said. 100% agreed.

          • Brett Hunan

            Another one who can’t understand context and stats seeing red after the word “racist”.

      • anon

        I agree in part.

        There already is moderation. I can understand some people think it isn’t enough just like some people think it may already be too much. You can’t please everyone and since Fauna cares what we the commentariat think (by soliciting discussion over this), it’ll have to be whatever she thinks pleases the most.

        I don’t think the moderators moderate consistently or promptly but I won’t be too harsh about it since they sound like volunteers.

        I don’t think chinaSMACK banning racist comments necessarily means they have to stop translating racist Chinese comments from the original story. That only makes sense if the site’s purpose is to exist as a mirror. If the site’s purpose is more “academic”, a one-way mirror where we’re given the opportunity to look in, there’s no reason why they can still show racist Chinese comments while moderating discussion on this side of the glass. That’s how many things in life are set up. How many news websites report about racism but moderate it? How many school courses study racism but forbid it among their students? I don’t think the hypocrisy argument necessarily works. It’d be hypocritical if she advocated racist views but forbids others to advocate theirs. It’s not hypocritical if she’s only reporting racist views.

        I think I fall closer to the democratic end of this spectrum than the idealistic freedom end. Everyday we artificially control our environment to achieve various purposes and goals. These people want to control the environment for higher quality discussion while a lot of other people want to control the environment for more freedom of discussion. They’re merely different goals, conflicting interests, different interest groups. Things aren’t dandy anywhere but that hasn’t stopped us from creating groups and institutions where we exclude certain people and behaviors for a purpose. They’re seeking higher quality conversation, not the Holocaust. I don’t get the impression that they’re trying to pretend that things are dandy anywhere, they just want chinaSMACK to be a place more palatable to them. That’s no different from the other “side”. Just different ideas of what’s palatable.

        I agree that trolling is worse than honest racism and should be moderated more than racism itself. The problem though is still who decides what is “trolling”? Are “personal attacks” trolling? Do they become “trolling” after a certain number of them? Do we trust Fauna and her moderators? I do, but there are many who don’t. So what do we do?

        chinaSMACK allows people to act like idiots but it already restricts some forms of idiotic behavior. I think the battle here is for more or less restriction instead of absolute or none.

        • maja

          reading the original letter I also thought the authors had an academic point-of-view. the question is: is this website aimed to everyone or only to scholars? I think that chinasmack can be much more meaningful trying to be interesting and friendly for everyone and being chimasmack a website, something that you can find on the internet, and since a good half of the internet consist of racist remarks and pornography…
          having a free internet website accessible to anyone but without any trolling, racism or personal discussions would be like being a white blonde dude with a backpack and walk around in a smaller chinese city pretending that the kids wouldn’t shout 老外!behind your back.

          I’ll try to produce an example, I wrote pornography in my comment. I’m pretty sure that there is people that find the mere presence of this word unacceptable and offensive and would refuse to read anything else of what I wrote. at the same time if I can imagine lengthy discussions on why posters should or should not be allowed to say “pornography” or “fuck!” in their comments and I would just skip them, possibly skipping the whole discussion for that article… so, what kind of posts should be moderated?

          • maja

            well, it’s more like a further argument that an example :P

    • donscarletti

      同意你妹啊、他妈的同意
      你祖宗十八代都同意,你个猪

      可能是我的最后的机会所以因该多骂点

      • Chunghwa

        虽然他妹同意,我可不同意
        他妹长得像车祸,我不希望我孩子将来也长得像车祸

  • huddy147

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    • Patrick

      For what reason? Does it really make sense, or is it just politically correct? I hate racism, I disagree with it completely. But I cannot pretend it’s not there by sticking my head in the sand. The undersigned have really only respectfully submitted the statement that they don’t want to deal with it….

      The real issue is – who are the police? Does anything of value gets censored? Many of the original comments are often racist in nature. The fact is that racism is prevalent and has an effect on perception. It would detract from the experience.

      Do you start censoring the things you “think” are racist? People often hide their racist thoughts with excuses that sound less racist.

      Not to be offensive, but to all the people that use this site to “connect” and feel jaded by the poster feeling this forum is ours or theirs – it’s everyone’s. And I’d like to say (before someone starts a petition against swearing), take your politically correct bullshit and fuck yourself with it, ya fucking minders. The petition itself is an elitist view not unlike a racist attitude itself, only it hides a pretentious attitude that they are above racism. It’s stupid, it’s bullshit and plain dishonest. So again, really, go fuck yourselves.

      • KDog

        I think the comments section could be something you click to open up rather than something always there, loads of news websites do this. This way you have a choice whether to expose yourself to arrogant shits who rant about nothing and everything.

        • KDog

          that said, there’s the odd gem of wisdom as well. I also agree with Young man, its hard to draw the line and political correctness can become a source of tyranny

    • Young Man

      If Chinasmack starts censoring its comments I’ll stop visiting the site.

      It has become a very common tactic of certain pro-CCP groups to cry racism at any criticism of their country or government. Censorship will only serve to help these people to censor any comments they don’t like.

      I have faith in the creators of this site and I belive that Fauna et al have posted this ‘petition’ (incidentally- it’s nothing of the sort unless we can see the names of these ”group of people from different countries and different walks of life… both Chinese and non-Chinese”- I am highly sceptical that their numbers are particularly high) in the hope that the response from us, the readers, will be resoundingly negative.

      Nice try, wumao, nice try.

      • Chunghwa

        Yeah, all people who don’t agree with you and/or dislike the current state of the website and want a bit more moderation are wumao. Great ad hominem there.

        “If Chinasmack starts censoring its comments I’ll stop visiting the site.”
        Oh no, one person. What a huge threat, we should stop this discussion guys. We can’t afford to lose this guy.

        Not everybody is arguing that every single comment that isn’t approved by a Catholic pastor should be deleted. Some people, including myself, would like to see a decrease in shitposting. Pointless comments that serve little to no purpose. Shit that you see in every single page on ChinaSMACK.

        For the lengths people go to justify their shitposting, wouldn’t it be better for them to find ways to add quality to their usual comments?

        • Young Man

          You are using a straw man argument.
          By saying I don’t believe in censorship I am strongly for people I disagree with voicing their opinions. It is you, apparently, who wish to remove comments which you fond objectional.
          On reflection, I regret putting the ”wumao” comment at the end because it’s given you the excuse to ignore the rest of my opinion- the important part, if I may say so:

          For many CCP supporters ANY criticism of China or Chinese behaviour is racist. They will flood the site with complaints, down-votes, flags, whatever about anything they disagree with rather than openly argue against it.

          This proposal gives the censorious instict a mighty weapon.

          It also gives the owners of this site a lot more work.

          So I withdraw my, admittedly silly, wumao comment and apologise for it- can you now address the other points I’ve made?

          • anon

            Wait, isn’t openly assuming and accusing the petitioners as being pro-CCP and wumao a straw man argument as well? Or is it poisoning the well?

            And hasn’t it also become a “common tactic” for certain people to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being pro-CCP and wumao?

            I think a big problem here is how many people immediately assume and flame anyone who disagrees with them as being pro-CCP or wumao. It’s just as ridiculous as assuming any foreigner who has a criticism of China of being some foreign agent hellbent on inciting social instability in China. Come on.

        • Young Man

          Oh and one more point- who gets to decide what is, to use your charming and mature phrase, ”shitposting”?

          You?

          • Chunghwa

            Did you discover the internet yesterday?

            http://lmgtfy.com/?q=“shitposting”

          • Young Man

            I didn’t ask for a definition of the term (it’s pretty obvious what it means) I asked who gets to decide to whom and to what it alludes. It seems pretty clear to me that ”shitposting” is anything you don’t like; find boring, offensive, irritating or otherwise dislikable. Tell me I’m wrong if you feel I’m off target.

            How would you feel if someone decided that the term ”shitposting” was needlessly offensive and removed all of your posts? To me, you started this discourse on a combative front and have continued that way. I think your discourse is kind of aggressive and you strike me as someone who could very, very easily go over the the line and become the kind of poster who gets banned for bullying. That’s how censoring threads works.

            Ask yourself this- would you have said the things you post to my face? Whatever you say, I doubt it because if you did speak the way you type you’d be getting in fights all the time. Nontheless- I would NEVER argue that your posts should be deleted or your account suspended- other will though, and you want to give them that power.

            I’m defending your rights to say what you want, even when you seem to not realise you need to be defended.

          • jin

            “would you have said the things you post to my face?”

            would any of those racist, trolls, 10y olds say stuff they say in your face?

            “For many CCP supporters ANY criticism of China or Chinese behaviour is racist.”

            For many racists ANY good words about china or chinese is defending, reflecting. example: massive poop (if you know who i mean)

  • K

    I agree. China Smack is a great idea, but the reality of your website is that it has become a place where people who want to express racist and insulting things come together. The vibe is negative and unpleasant. We all know Chinese people can be racist, we also know every other ethnic group can be racist too. So if we already know this why does China Smack seem to want to promote this type of racism. This makes China Smack even worse than the racist people.

    • Canadian_Skies

      No, the reality is, the extracted articles come with translated blatantly racist and derogatory comments from the original source. What you’ll get is an extracted article with blatantly racist and derogatory comments in a freedom of speech mode (which people seem to think means one can’t say something that offends another … hilarious)

      The end result is the end of Chinasmack – a place where people can visit and read both original articles and original blatantly racist and derogatory comments, and comment freely on either.

      The end result is the end of Chinasmack – where racism is often a part of the national issues and conflicts. Could you imagine being Dutch, and reading an article that relates to the Dutch, accompanied by anti-Dutch comments. Reading the sensible comments, AND the anti-Dutch comments, and the raw reactions to content such as those is HONEST JOURNALISM IN PUBLIC FORUM! FAIR, AND FAIR.

      The end result is the end of Chinasmack. Don’t do it kids.

      If anything, allow for a flagged article option that requires a “click to proceed and acknowledge that some of the content may be offensive. Even then, I find it undermines the point of the journalistic essence of this site.

      The end result is the end of Chinasmack and a direct result of UNPRACTICAL CENSORSHIP!

      • Chunghwa

        “The end result is the end of Chinasmack and a direct result of UNPRACTICAL CENSORSHIP!”

        It works either way. You either get a draconian website where you can’t post anything because nazi rules, or you end up with a shithole like /b/. No “censorship” over there, check out how “great” it is.

        Why don’t we go for a middle path? Is it really that hard?

      • Canadian_Skies

        Wow, I typed too fast, I didn’t realize I missed my points.
        Grand apology for the repost with edits.

        ————————————
        No, the reality is, the extracted articles come with translated blatantly racist and derogatory comments from the original source. What you’ll get is an extracted article with blatantly racist and derogatory comments in a freedom of speech mode (which people seem to think means one can’t say something that offends another … hilarious) AND THE PETITION BASICALLY SAYS WE HAVE NO OPINION ON THE MATTER! … adorable.

        Chinasmack – a place where people can visit and read both original articles and original blatantly racist and derogatory comments, and comment freely on either.

        Racism is often a part of the national issues and conflicts. Could you imagine being Dutch, and reading an article that relates to the Dutch, accompanied by anti-Dutch comments. Reading the sensible comments, AND the anti-Dutch comments, and the raw reactions to content such as those is HONEST JOURNALISM IN PUBLIC FORUM! FAIR, AND FAIR.

        The petition is the end of Chinasmack. Don’t do it kids.

        If anything, allow for a flagged article option that requires a “click to proceed and acknowledge that some of the content may be offensive. Even then, I STILL find it undermines the point of the journalistic essence of this site.

        The end result is the end of Chinasmack and a direct result of UNPRACTICAL CENSORSHIP!

        • Boris

          You are the voice of reason.
          ‘We, the undersigned…’ who have conveniently remained nameless.
          Fuck ’em. Maggots! Bring me the head of ‘anon’.
          If someone wants to change the overall colour of the posts, they can lead by example, rather than sneakily appealing to the moderator to enforce their wishes.
          That people write things here they wouldn’t say to people’s faces makes this site more valuable, not less.

          • elizabeth

            “That people write things here they wouldn’t say to people’s faces makes this site more valuable, not less.”

            It depends, a double-edged sword to be used at the discretion of the person holding it for the right or wrong reasons.

          • Boris

            Censorship deprives me of the chance to assess whether they are wielding said sword for ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ reasons.

          • Cooljackal

            Kind of reminds me of Cypher from the matrix. He wanted to be ignorant of the truth because the end result would be his happiness (plus his proposed lifestyle), instead of learning to deal with the truth.

          • elizabeth

            You do need vulgar language to bring across the truth unless that is the only lexicon that you understand.

            Again, Cooljackal, you have the habit of putting words into my mouth. When did I say I do not want to know the truth? Would it suffice to say “I don’t like you” or do you need “Wake up your dense numbskull you idiotic sob, and stop stuffing your trashy juvenile words into my mouth and go to school, for hell’s sake, you whatever cunt, to learn how to interpret my comments” before you get it?

          • elizabeth

            You do not need…

          • Cooljackal

            And elizabeth, you seriously need to get away from this “applying everything anyone says as an insult to me personally” shtick. It just makes you look extremely insecure and just reinforces what people on here say about people who misunderstand things and can’t handle words online.

            Why is everything a personal attack to you? Do I need to preface everything I say with “Elizabeth, if you are reading this, it is not meant to be about you”. Geez.

          • Cooljackal

            And btw, you don’t need vulgarity to bring across the truth, but the world is filled with very intelligent people who often use vulgarity to bring across the truth. Some people use safe language when discussing a topic, some people don’t.

            Does steve ballmer need to yell, curse and throw chairs to tell his staff that linux sucks? No, but he does it any way and people have to accept him the way he is. Did Steve Jobs need to use use profanity and yell at people about the iphone design? No, but thats how he was sometimes. If you don’t like it then don’t read about him and don’t work for him.

            RIP Steve.

          • elizabeth

            Those so called intelligent people who have to throw things and tantrums and expect people to accept them aren’t actually very good at communicating and getting their point across without throwing things and their weight around.

            Oxymoron.

            And thank you for agreeing that you don’t need vulgarities to get your point across.

            That does wonders to my self-esteem more than you could ever know.

            :D

          • Cooljackal

            Actually they are very good at communicating. It’s just no the type of communication most people like.

            Sooo, no, its not an oxymoron. But nice try.

            And I never actually said vulgarity is needed. I just said that if you allow any post online, it will be more truthful whether it is racist or vulgar.

            But I am glad you feel better.

          • elizabeth

            “Actually they are very good at communicating. It’s just no the type of communication most people like.”

            If they are that intelligent, they would be able to communicate in a way that most people like.

            So, yes, oxymoron.

            “And I never actually said vulgarity is needed. I just said that if you allow any post online, it will be more truthful whether it is racist or vulgar.”

            This is bollocks. ‘Any post’ online means you consider lies, distortions, vulgarities, etc. as contribution to the truth. That means vulgarities need to be allowed in order to be more truthful. Less vulgarities, less truth. That was your stance. But somehow you chickened out after being cornered to admit that vulgarities are not needed to convey the truth.

            Any post, including lies makes for more truthful discourse? Not cool, not at all.

          • Cooljackal

            “If they are that intelligent, they would be able to communicate in a way that most people like.”

            No, if they are intelligent, they will communicate in the way that conveys the information so others understand them and NOT just in the way most people like. You seem to be confusing the two. So again, no, it’s not an oxymoron.

            And you seem to be misunderstanding things yet again. You do realize what my statement meant right? Not just what you took it as. It was actually very simple. If you don’t censor speech online, aside from racist/stupid comments, people are more likely to post what they really think as opposed to what they say. What they think might be twisted, but it’s still the truth.

            And please stop using strawman arguments.

            “This is bollocks. ‘Any post’ online means you consider lies, distortions, vulgarities, etc. as contribution to the truth.”

            No, it just means that stupid posts come along with the truth.

            “That means vulgarities need to be allowed in order to be more truthful.”

            Who determines how vulgar a statement is? Sure people can agree on some things that are extreme but if someone calls me an asshole, I wouldn’t consider than a vulgar statement on an ONLINE blog. You just seem way more sensitive than most people. Don’t try to project than on others please.

            “But somehow you chickened out after being cornered to admit that vulgarities are not needed to convey the truth.”

            How the hell did I chicken out? I have been giving normal replies to you every time. And for someone who seems to whine about “character assassination” you sure do resort quickly to statements like those yourself. And don’t give me that crap about you just “pointing it out”.

            “Any post, including lies makes for more truthful discourse? Not cool, not at all.”

            I’ve already addressed this above and so have a lot of other people here.

            Create a punitive system and you can control the quality of posts an address this “vulgar/racist” post issue but you will also reduce the number of people who will speak their minds, even if you find it as a hurtful stream of vulgarity and lies that goes against you very core.

          • Cooljackal

            And one more further clarification in case you say I am not addressing your comments.

            The world is not an ideal place (even look at Brett’s post about this). Not everyone will talk to you in a nice way, not everyone will apologize, not everyone will agree with your opinion, and not everyone will refrain from using vulgarities to say what’s on their minds.

            Do “I” personally need vulgarity to communicate my thoughts? No. Can everyone potentially eliminate vulgarity when communicating, yes (well, maybe not the tourettes people). Will it happen, NO. You would have an easier time making everyone vegetarian.

            If we lived in an ideal world, a lot of things would be different and we probably wouldn’t even have chinaSMACK. But we don’t live in one. So if you (not just you, it’s you in a general sense) are a sensitive person who gets upset when people ONLINE on a BLOG argue back and forth using vulgarities then it’s safer/easier for you to put a vulgarity filter on your computer because people in the “real world” won’t conform magically conform to your views, even if you think they are wrong.

          • elizabeth

            “No, if they are intelligent, they will communicate in the way that conveys the information so others understand them and NOT just in the way most people like. You seem to be confusing the two.”

            It’s no point arguing with someone who says one thing and then deflects to another as soon as he is cornered.

            You fail to understand that the mode of delivery is as important as the message itself. Intelligent people will know that for someone to understand, they will need to listen first. How would you expect the throwing of things and tantrums to work better than delivering a message in a way that others will be more inclined to listen?

            Let me guess, next, you will deny that you ever said that intelligent people can communicate but not in a way that people will like. I’ll leave it to others to decide if they would like to go on the merry go round with you. Reasoning with you is like reasoning with moop. Come to think of it, I wonder where he is. Reincarnated?

            And oh yes, just because I do not like vulgarities, I am sensitive and insecure? You may as well throw in a high horse and an ivory tower. That sounds just about right for those unable to wiggle out of their failed arguments to use as a red herring.

            As for the straw man, the best example here would be “…if you allow any post online, it will be more truthful whether it is racist or vulgar.”

          • Cooljackal

            “It’s no point arguing with someone who says one thing and then deflects to another as soon as he is cornered.”

            This statement is why we can’t CONVERSE with you. You jump around bits of conversation more than I do. And I’ve never felt conered by what you have said, on the contrary, I have replied in a normal manner every time. You just seem to find the need to use phrases like “cornered” to justify your inability to grasp a concept other than yours.

            “You fail to understand that the mode of delivery is as important as the message itself. Intelligent people will know that for someone to understand, they will need to listen first. How would you expect the throwing of things and tantrums to work better than delivering a message in a way that others will be more inclined to listen?”

            If the method of delivery is important than wouldn’t that mean that someone showing anger would be more indicative of their mental state than just saying “I am angry” with an emotionless face?

            “Let me guess, next, you will deny that you ever said that intelligent people can communicate but not in a way that people will like.”

            You are misquoting me. I just said that even intelligent people can communicate using vulgarities. It comes down to the individual person. A communication doesn’t have to be completely sterile to be understood just like a purely vulgar communication can be unintelligible.

            Did you just need some space to fill on your post? Seems that way.

            “And oh yes, just because I do not like vulgarities, I am sensitive and insecure?”

            No, you seem sensitive and insecure because of your reaction to them, and how you become immediately defensive of anything you post.

            “As for the straw man, the best example here would be “…if you allow any post online, it will be more truthful whether it is racist or vulgar.”

            I can say that was phrased a little off but the meaning is still correct. An open forum allows people to speak their minds. If you allow people to speak their minds anonymously, like online, then you WILL hear what is on their minds and not just the filtered speech they would say in person to people who arent their closest friends.

            And whenever I have felt I said something incorrectly, I have always redacted and apologized.

          • elizabeth

            Wow, now I am defensive because I respond to your arguments with counter-arguments.

            Really, what next?

          • Cooljackal

            And before you accuse me of being sensitive (redirecting is what you are apparently good at), notice that my replies are because you took what I said out of context and assumed I was saying something about you. Just like that conversation with you, me and moop about HK, just like that conversation prior to this one on a recent article, and just like you did here.

          • elizabeth

            And by the way, not welcoming vulgar language in discourse does not mean not allowing people to speak their minds. So, your point about allowing people to speak their minds, blah, blah, blah, would also be a straw man, if indeed you are actually responding to my post.

          • elizabeth

            Are you talking to me now, Cooljackal?

            I wouldn’t want to take your comments out of context or I’d be an insecure defensive nutcase.

          • elizabeth

            Just like, just like, just like…strawman…strawman…strawman… it’d be more helpful if you could provide links to the actual conversations.

          • Cooljackal

            “And by the way, not welcoming vulgar language in discourse does not mean not allowing people to speak their minds.”

            True, you can speak your mind without vulgarities, I never said I was a problem. I just said that an open forum where speech is not restricted in anyway will invariably bring vulgarities but also truth from people speak their minds emotionally through vulgarities.

            While only allowing non-vulgar speech wouldn’t stop people from speaking their minds, the end result would be people who would use vulgarity to explain whats on their mind wouldn’t post. So in the end you would cut out vulgarity but also the emotional stream of thoughts expressed through vulgarity (like others have already posted).

          • elizabeth

            “While only allowing non-vulgar speech wouldn’t stop people from speaking their minds, the end result would be people who would use vulgarity to explain whats on their mind wouldn’t post. So in the end you would cut out vulgarity but also the emotional stream of thoughts expressed through vulgarity”

            That would happen if a person is (a) overly agitated to the point that he could not express himself properly (b) lacking in properly vocabulary (c) deliberately offensive (d) habitually desensitized to vulgar language.

            In which case (a) he should calm down or he would not make much sense or get a meaningful response (b) or improve his lexicon (c) he is not worth listening to (d) be more aware of the world outside of his vulgar one.

            People who can’t post or will not post without the use of vulgar language need help.

          • Cooljackal

            #1:
            http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/japanese-anti-china-demonstration-chinese-netizen-reactions.html/comment-page-1#comment-516296

            “Again, don’t assume people are out to get you. I wasn’t trying to insult you at all. As my previous post on another article, I think you misunderstood what I said.”

            #2:
            The search on this site isn’t very good but if you search for “cooljackal moop elizabeth” you will see this quote “Cooljackal Concluding that I am a Chinese without a shred of evidence, just based on generalizations like ‘style’.”

            My reply to that thread was that you misunderstood what I said and that I wasn’t trying to insult you.

            #3
            This thread. Since my initial post was not about you.

          • El Puma R.

            When the cat’s away,
            The mice will play.
            Political voilence fill ya city, ye-ah!
            Don’t involve Rasta in your say say;
            Rasta don’t work for no C.I.A.
            Rat race, rat race, rat race! Rat race, I’m sayin’:
            When you think is peace and safety:
            A sudden destruction.
            Collective security for surety, ye-ah!

            Don’t forget your history;
            Know your destiny:
            In the abundance of water,
            The fool is thirsty.
            Rat race, rat race, rat race!

            Rat race!
            Oh, it’s a disgrace
            To see the human-race
            In a rat race, rat race!

            Bob marley

          • Cooljackal

            Bless your idealistic heart.

            While you make some good points, in an ideal world that would happen, it doesn’t happen in the real world.

            So, my original assertian still stands. Regardless of what people “should” be doing, what people “actually” do is quite different.

            Open forum still equals some extremely stupid and racist comments but also anonymous and sometimes vulgarity filled insights.

          • Chunghwa

            I don’t see why people are always making the argument that “if you can’t stand profanity on the internet, then you’re a big baby in real life, the real world isn’t padded in rubber”. Have people really been living in their basement for so long to the point that they don’t know how society functions?

            Sure, you’re “free” to be as obscene as you like in real life. You can be rude to all the people around you, and say whatever your mind thinks.

            Good luck getting a job promotion, an insurance claim, or a settlement in court.

            For those who aren’t that aware of how real life works, in real life people who are successful tend to be suck-ups. They might hate the shit out of someone, but they wouldn’t say it. Why say something if it doesn’t benefit you? Animosity towards someone only gets you in their bad books, which might bite back in the future when you least expect it. The Japanese concept of “honne and tatamae” is similar: there’s what one thinks, and what one actually says with a facade. People in the real world act civil towards one another because it’s a societal norm to not grasp at each others throats for tiny reasons. That investment banker might hate your guts, but he won’t tell you, he’ll keep smiling and shit, because he wants your fucking investment. If he behaved like a cunt, he wouldn’t be as successful.

            TL;DR: The “face real life” argument is dumb.

          • elizabeth

            @ Cooljackal

            Just because the world is not ideal does not mean we should not try to make it better. Being resigned to saying the world is what it is so we have to accept it, is a lazy excuse for not doing something or continuing to do something undesirable. It’s like saying since there are racists and people will be people, we should just accept it and let them be.

            “Cooljackal Concluding that I am a Chinese without a shred of evidence, just based on generalizations like ‘style’.”

            That is a response to this:

            “Elizabeth, you are right that your ethnicity or any other characteristics shouldn’t matter here. But what moop is saying is kind of true. You can see it on this board with people from other countries as well but your style of argument is very reminiscent of what you would see with even highly educated people in mainland china that you usually interact with. The type of logic that just doesn’t “seem to” make sense to some of us.”

            http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/hong-kongers-raise-british-flag-tell-mainlanders-to-get-lost.html/comment-page-2#comment-514605

            Context is important, you’d agree.

            “Again, don’t assume people are out to get you. I wasn’t trying to insult you at all. As my previous post on another article, I think you misunderstood what I said.”

            Why not quote what you wrote instead of being selective? You have tried to paint me as a HKer basher. Here it is:

            “I think she means HK people. In a lot of previous articles she has stated her unfavorable opinions about them. They are also the ones who have called mainland chinese “locust”.”

            http://www.chinasmack.com/2012/stories/japanese-anti-china-demonstration-chinese-netizen-reactions.html/comment-page-1#comment-516224

            But when called to give evidence of ‘a lot of previous articles’, you weren’t able to. You seem to thrive on ambiguity.

            Context, Cooljackal, context, you said. No who’s taking whose comments out of context?

          • Cooljackal

            @Chunghwa

            My main comment was that if you don’t censor, you end up with some people who are more likely to speak their minds (even if its racist and vulgar). And that is all. The rest of the side discussion that seems to have spawned from this means nothing.

            I agree with what you are saying. Just think about what the investment banker would actually say if he was allowed to post anonymously to an uncensored hedge fund website. Go and visit the pilots forums and see what they say. The ‘face real life’ argument has some merrit, if you don’t like something you are free to try to change it and if you can’t, then turn it off. Don’t take it personally. Really.

            @elizabeth

            Trying to make something out of nothing also doesn’t help the world. Again, my main argument is still valid. Think about the investment banker example if you want.

            So, first quote, you took the middle of the thread (nicely misleading), why dont you post the rest? The part where you accepted my explanation that I never said or thought you were chinese and merely said that your style was reminiscent of it.

            Yes elizabeth, context.

            So, even though you agreed to my clarification on the HK thing on the second post, where I explained EXACTLY what was meant from that post you still are saying that I am bashing you (even after accepting that I was not)? Seriously, can someone have a normal conversation with you and not have you take it as a personal insult? And even after you accept the explanation, bring it up later in the WRONG context?

            Please repost the last two exchanges between you and me on this thread as well, maybe after re-reading the final comments it will refresh your memory as to what ACTUALLy occured.

            The ‘a lot of previous articles’ was also explained in the same exact thread where I said I misquoted and took responsibility for that, of have you forgotten and just needed something to back up your complaint?

            As to why not quote what I said? If you are as thoughtful and impartial as you say you are, I shouldn’t have to continuously prove that our conversations took place by quoting them. Unless ofcourse you truly disagree, in which case I will. And if I am wrong I will apologize, which I always have.

            So elizabeth, in this case I would have to say it is you who are out of context. I don’t know if something happened to you in real life or if your main style of argument involves redirecting the focus of the argument from the main point to defending personal attacks, but starting off by assuming someone is insulting you is not the most productive way to have a conversation.

            And, as always, my ORIGINAL post still stands. If you don’t censor, you end up with some people who are more likely to speak their minds (even if its racist and vulgar).

            Have a good day!

          • They are not nameless to me. I will not publicly share their personal information when I do not publicly share other people’s personal information.

          • elizabeth

            @ Cooljackal

            We will agree to disagree like we did the HKer ‘locust’ case. I don’t see any point in someone apologizing and still doing the same fuzzy thing repeatedly. Maybe we just don’t gel.

          • Germandude

            So Fauna, I understand that you don’t give out names. Which I support. However, could you say how many signed?

          • Cooljackal

            @Fauna

            Is this the thread you wanted to post to??

            @elizabeth

            You can disagree with me all you want, I have no issues with that. There is nothing fuzzy in what I say, only what fuzzy things your mind seems to interpret. And I only apologized about one thing that I was wrong about, the others I just clarified for you since you seemed to misunderstand it.

            Next time I wont bother to clarify it. And if you take something I say as a personal insult then I will just point to this thread so you can take your time to read through your own logic and realize your mind is playing tricks on you. Hopefully after that you will come back to your senses and stick to the comment topic.

            Yes, you don’t gel with me. But I’m okay with that.

          • elizabeth

            @ Fauna

            It doesn’t matter who or how many signed the petition. It’s the content that counts. There is no need for us to rely on the background information of petitioners unless our decision depends on who we want to support, in which case, it is most likely racially motivated anyway.

            The petitioners have as much right as anyone to ask for what they would like to see on this site. After all, freedom of speech should belong to everyone, reasonable or otherwise, delivered in Western or Asian style or whatever style, spoken outright, privately or in your face.

            Only that I find it ironical that the freedom fighters insist on giving free rein to abusive and vulgar language on the premise of freedom of speech but at the show disdain towards being politically correct.

            At the end of the day, it’s your call and users of this site should respect your decision.

            Keep up the good work!

          • anon

            If I was Fauna, I probably wouldn’t give out the number of signatures because it distracts from the actual issue and makes it a numbers game instead of an actual discussion of the merits of more moderation. However, if we want to be democratic about it, knowing the number of people who signed that petition would ultimately matter, if only to mobilize the interest groups in disagreement to churn out their numbers…

          • moop

            “If I was Fauna, I probably wouldn’t give out the number of signatures because it distracts from the actual issue and makes it a numbers game instead of an actual discussion of the merits of more moderation. However, if we want to be democratic about it, knowing the number of people who signed that petition would ultimately matter, if only to mobilize the interest groups in disagreement to churn out their numbers…”

            it doesnt turn it into a numbers game. it would give us an idea of where most of the participants on this site stand or where they dont stand. why change an entire site over the bitching of just a few people? and if changes are made to the site, dont you think the number of petitioners matters? don’t you think that might legitimize any changes made. most of us, including myself are probably going to assume that the number is quite small unless proven otherwise

          • anon

            moop, like I said, if we’re going to be democratic about it, then the numbers would matter. Question is, is democracy really the measure she’s going to use? We don’t know. Maybe she posted this to get an idea of the numbers of people who oppose it and is therefore weighing the numbers. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe she posted this because she wants to hear the arguments and see what ultimately convinces her more. It’s her site, it’s her choice with regards to what decision she’ll make and how she arrives at that decision. She’ll live with the consequences too.

            We all make decisions in different ways and even at different times. Sometimes we’ll go with what we feel others want. Other times we’ll go with what we ourselves want regardless of what other people think.

            Personally, I’m don’t think there’s an apocalyptic downside with more moderation. This is partly because I don’t see this as an either-or, all or nothing, censorship or free speech situation. If she increases moderation, she stands to lose and gain some. If she doesn’t, she stands to lose and keep some. Frankly, I’m not confident that those who stand to lose will ever truly see their loss as legitimate.

            If she comes out and makes this a poll where votes will decide what happens, then she should be held to that. But she hasn’t. I suspect she’s thinking more about the actual issue and the pros and cons for more moderation or keeping the comment policy as it is.

            I personally think the number must be quite large for her to have made it public and ask for discussion. I mean, simply publishing it and drawing so much attention to it is her literally shining a spotlight on a potential “negative” about her site. People don’t normally call attention to things that might reflect poorly on themselves, so I think its rather serious.

          • moop

            “I personally think the number must be quite large for her to have made it public and ask for discussion. I mean, simply publishing it and drawing so much attention to it is her literally shining a spotlight on a potential “negative” about her site. People don’t normally call attention to things that might reflect poorly on themselves, so I think its rather serious.”

            you’re leaving out that her other motivation could simply be that she herself is tired of the racism and she is merely posting the petition as a pretense for her future actions. she’s been trying to give kudos to “good comments” recently in an attempt to guide commenting already. they werent even good comments, but rather vapid statements with no value attached to them. that seems to be what a portion of the petitioners want, for all of the commentariat to affirm that we really arent that different, and well, shit happens in china- but shit also happens in other places throughout the world, so lets not make any statements with value attached or make any really criticisms without first prefacing that we acknowledge that fucked up things happen in china and that they already happen around the world… it’s tedious, and i cant imagine a more boring environment were every poster is more or less.

          • anon

            you’re leaving out that her other motivation could simply be that she herself is tired of the racism and she is merely posting the petition as a pretense for her future actions.

            Her being tired of the racism herself could very well be true and I would say, “So?” Her site.

            Her posting the petition as a pretense sounds a bit more like a conspiracy theory. Anything is possible but it doesn’t match my impression of her. I know she took the piss out of you a while ago and I’m more inclined to think you’re a bit sensitive about the issue and resentful of her.

            she’s been trying to give kudos to “good comments” recently in an attempt to guide commenting already.

            I haven’t seen those comments but…what’s wrong with this? You’re upset with her for expressing her opinion and complimenting comments she like?

            they werent even good comments, but rather vapid statements with no value attached to them.

            Come on, that’s your opinion. I could say the same about many of your comments and the people who give kudos to you.

            that seems to be what a portion of the petitioners want, for all of the commentariat to affirm that we really arent that different, and well, shit happens in china- but shit also happens in other places throughout the world, so lets not make any statements with value attached or make any really criticisms without first prefacing that we acknowledge that fucked up things happen in china and that they already happen around the world… it’s tedious, and i cant imagine a more boring environment were every poster is more or less.

            You probably already know I fundamentally disagree with you on this. I think it is entirely possible to make value statements without being offensive and I don’t subscribe to the false notion that objection to offensive behavior is some sort of censorship of all value statements. I simply find that intellectually lazy AND dishonest.

            What you find boring and tedious may not be boring and tedious for others, and vice versa. I personally don’t think “higher quality discussions” necessarily means boring uniformity of opinion, and I think its questionable that some people would conflate the two.

          • moop

            “You probably already know I fundamentally disagree with you on this. I think it is entirely possible to make value statements without being offensive and I don’t subscribe to the false notion that objection to offensive behavior is some sort of censorship of all value statements. I simply find that intellectually lazy AND dishonest.”

            oh, trust me i know. you’ve never made a valued statement on this site except when correcting others. you type a lot yet say nothing most of the time. i dont really remember a time when you’ve actually commented on something relating to the article rather than the commenters. you, like fauna, only seem to comment to point of the hypocrisy of laowai posters, whether real or imagined.
            i never said value statements have to be offensive. what i am hinting at is that any valued statement that can be construed as negatively commenting on chinese society, chinese culture, or the prc is written off as racist by some and somehow hypocritical by others. that is just as harmful and i think that is what a lot of petitioners are pushing for.

            and i’m not bitter over fauna louding me out. i have a problem with her only doing so to laowai. i know i get out of hand sometimes, i’ve never denied that. i cant recall a time when she’s actually in the open taken a chinese poster to task, can you?

            “What you find boring and tedious may not be boring and tedious for others, and vice versa. I personally don’t think “higher quality discussions” necessarily means boring uniformity of opinion, and I think its questionable that some people would conflate the two.””

            i assure you, if this site gets reduced to people having to constantly preface everything they say with some kind of disclaimer as to avoid not getting censored or booted for racism, then people will leave and it will get very boring

          • Gaaad!!!

            Oh, come on Moop, you profess not to be bitter yet you actually come across as quite bitter (its healthy for everybody to get a good spanking every now and again anyway). As someone who straddle cultures, frankly I understand and often regard a lot of the Chinese comments here as in fact defensive, which is typically human nature, and in reaction to the sometimes superficial and unthinking “laowai” criticisms of anything China related, though granted that the reactions may be poorly or over aggressively worded (language/culture barriers?) or sometimes simply inarticulate knee jerk responses.

            And frankly what’s wrong with pointing out hypocrisy when something is clearly hypocritical whether they are voiced by Chinese or “laowai”? If foreigners want to use this site to bitch about their unruminated China experience are “Chinese” then not allowed to point out the hypocrisy where such exists in order to “further mutual cultural understanding”? Or are some laowais only able to criticise yet incapable of accepting criticism or see or accept a different perspective, a different way of doing things, remember our children pooping “debate” ;)?

            Finally, in case you haven’t noticed and without intending to speak on anybody’s behalf, Fauna IS Chinese after all so perhaps she understands where other Chinese’ criticisms of hypocrisy are coming from. And frankly, since when is this site supposed to be a democracy and what’s the point anyway? We are all here only at each others’ sufferance; we at Fauna’s because we enjoy her’s and her colleagues’ work here and she at ours for our patronage. There’s no democracy involved and there need not be either. To think otherwise would be delusional and an unfeasible over complication.

          • anon

            oh, trust me i know. you’ve never made a valued statement on this site except when correcting others. you type a lot yet say nothing most of the time. i dont really remember a time when you’ve actually commented on something relating to the article rather than the commenters. you, like fauna, only seem to comment to point of the hypocrisy of laowai posters, whether real or imagined.

            I don’t think so but I recognize that’s your impression of me. I’m still slogging through all of the discussion here but I see that a lot of people have already made the argument that this site is as much about seeing how non-Chinese like laowai posters react as it is about the Chinese netizens. If that’s the case, what’s wrong with commenting about other people’s comments?

            Even if that isn’t the case, what’s wrong with commenting about other people’s comments in a discussion forum? Why are you resentful of laowai posters being commented upon? Surely you don’t think people should be limited to only commenting about the Chinese? Surely you yourself comment on other people’s comments? What gives?

            i never said value statements have to be offensive. what i am hinting at is that any valued statement that can be construed as negatively commenting on chinese society, chinese culture, or the prc is written off as racist by some and somehow hypocritical by others. that is just as harmful and i think that is what a lot of petitioners are pushing for.

            Fine, I get the impression that you think moderation of “racism” precludes, prevents, censors value statements. I don’t agree with that.

            I agree that mere criticism can be illegitimately accused of racism and that racism can be used to illegitimately silence criticism. However, I’m not ready to equate racism and offensive behavior with mere criticism. I don’t see this group complaining about criticism, or even just criticism against the Chinese. I know you suspect they’re really just butthurt over criticism of the Chinese but what matters is what Fauna thinks. Even if they’re actually referring to criticism, Fauna may not and may have another definition.

            Trying to cast suspicion on the petitioners isn’t really effective, because on some level, its you saying you think Fauna is so stupid that she’ll just do whatever they tell her to like a pawn. Come on, at least give her that much respect that she’s her own individual and has her own mind to discern what she believes and wants.

            and i’m not bitter over fauna louding me out. i have a problem with her only doing so to laowai. i know i get out of hand sometimes, i’ve never denied that. i cant recall a time when she’s actually in the open taken a chinese poster to task, can you?

            No, I can’t, but I don’t find that suspicious in the grand scheme of things. The reason is because I see her as a Chinese person who has never been afraid to translate and share stuff about China and its people with outsiders by taking the time to translate them and make it freely available to non-Chinese people on a very popular website. Besides, she has a blanket dismissal of fenqing on her FAQ page, written in Chinese. She doesn’t strike me as being insecure about the negatives of her country and people. Her being offended by or tired of racism and offensive behavior doesn’t strike me as abnormal either. It’s really presumptuous to hurl the biased accusation at her when we consider everything about her fairly. This isn’t to say she is definitely free from bias, as I think everyone is biased in some way, but I’m not persuaded by it. It isn’t enough.

            It’s similar to how many commenters defend themselves against what they perceive to be complaints of their criticisms (and not racism or offensiveness) by pointing out that this site is about China so of course most of what they’ll be seen saying here will be targeted at China and the Chinese. Likewise, most of the commenters of this website are foreigners, expats, laowai, what have you so of course she’s more likely to be seen responding to laowai posters. This defense doesn’t completely absolve anyone of guilt for bias or prejudice, but if you can accept using it for yourself, you’ll have to extend it to Fauna too.

            i assure you, if this site gets reduced to people having to constantly preface everything they say with some kind of disclaimer as to avoid not getting censored or booted for racism, then people will leave and it will get very boring

            Again, that’s your opinion. It may be true, or it may not be. About the only thing that is likely true is that you will think it is boring if you leave. But that’s a given.

            I personally seriously doubt she’ll be moderating to that extent. It just doesn’t strike me as her style if she’s run her site the way she has up to now.

    • Cynic

      Thanks for your very racist comment.

      I’m on a plane right now and Chinese peoples breath is stinky. They also like to look at my cell phone as I am typing. Racist comment but not untrue or unhealthy for others to read.

      • Cynic

        I was replying to K

      • El Puma R.

        OMFG you couldn’t be more real with your statements.
        But be careful there are some crybabies who choose to hide their names behind cowardly petitions.

        I’ll download a shitload of donkey banging petite teen while she eats chocolate donkey rain porn, so I can play it every time they check my screen

  • Cooljackal

    Interesting. I wonder how many members have been silent on the comments section because of this.

    • mr. wiener

      Lots, that is why Fauna is mulling this one over, Little bit of censorship, increase exposure.
      I’ve complained about people on this site before and had them banned, I’m not proud of the fact either. If you have a “smite” button sometimes it gets just too damned easy to use. If you see a comment you don’t like, report them if you wish, I just settle for telling then to STFU now.
      Things ain’t great now , but it could be a darn sight worse if we start turning the censorship screws too tight. Moderate your own damn comments everyone and try to be a bit more civil [not too much, that’d give me the pip].

  • Kukuku

    I’d like this group to provide us with examples of non-racist negative comments because everything negative about China and Chinese people is considered racist.

    • Chunghwa

      There is a difference between

      >This is insane. Why are Chinese people trashing their own cars, simply because they’re Japanese made? It makes no sense, and shows how immature some people in China are.

      and

      >LMFAO DEM CHINKS ARE CHIMPING OUT LIKE NIGGERS, xDDDD LOL LET’S GET DIS SHIT STARTED
      >2012
      >CHINA
      >CIVILIZED
      >LOL U MAD CHINKS YOU’RE LIKE MONKEYS RIOTING LIKE A BUNCH OF RETARDS LMAOOOOOO

      • +1

      • BigJ

        The second one is much more funny:)

        • Jim

          Actually, it isn’t at all. It’s been a good 15-20 years since I thought anything at all like that was funny. You are either 14 years old, or just got access to the internet in the last two months if you honestly think adolescent drivel like that is funny… srsly. lmao. rofl. bleh…

          • simon

            Actually, BigJ is just a troll with a very limited brain capacity, hence he finds this kind of shit funny.

            His comment is the perfect example of when an ignore option would be suitable.

          • Boris

            OK, so it wasn’t all that funny. It doesn’t change the fact, however, that you still have to contend with the melon that’s stuck up your anus.

        • Almond

          Of course you would think so. You’re part of the group that is being complained about.

      • Young Man

        ”LMFAO DEM CHINKS ARE CHIMPING OUT LIKE NIGGERS, xDDDD LOL LET’S GET DIS SHIT STARTED”

        How many comments can you actually find on this site like this?

        • moop

          not many, people who do that regularly already get banned eventually, something these petitioners seem to either have forgotten or are willfully ignoring… i’m going to go with the later

        • jeffli

          also using a computer is not difficult, and some adolescents actually like to communicate in the above manner. Are these type s of adolescents to be censored?

          “A beautiful and well scented rose of truth needs the foul smelling manure of stupidity,lies and racism in order to grow.”

  • Ana

    Yes please. I get so tired reading comments from chinasmack. It’s becoming like youtube only worse.

    • Kukuku

      Solution: Don’t read?

      • Tom Swift

        It’s this kind of crap that is tiring. You wouldn’t talk this way in public to someone, why do it online? Be civil.

        • Kukuku

          I usually say everything that’s on my mind quite frankly. I only have a few people who can endure this but I don’t care.

          • Tom Swift

            http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-excuses-we-make-doing-terrible-things_p2/

            You might want to read Excuse #1 on this page, Kukuku.

          • Kukuku

            Done. Don’t care.

          • anon

            Then you won’t care if someone else doesn’t care about squelching you from the site? Come on, that’s false apathy. The less you care about what others think the more you empower them to not care what you think. Don’t sabotage yourself.

          • mr. wiener

            Kukuku meet anon, anon , kukuku.
            You’d better get used to it.

          • Boris

            In a few days he’ll wish you’d introduced him to Gu Kailai and her special beverages.

        • Chunghwa

          Exactly, “be civil”. Tom’s pretty much summed up everything that I needed to rant about in two simple words.

          Sometimes whenever I scroll down to the comments section, it’s always, “damn, not this shit again”. It’s the same for every single article/entry, except for maybe the less popular ones.

          • Dmitri Sled

            The problem is that people aren’t civil, and that an electronic messaging medium is inherently different from a face-to-face interaction where you have the luxury of seeing the other person’s displeasure and be shamed of yourself that way.

            How about this: IGNORE the racist nonsense. Or reply to it, telling the asshole to STFU and DIAF. Or politely reply to it, pointing out the error in the person’s thinking with minimal use of swear words. Why do you need a moderator to remove it from your sight?

            Our world has billions of people in it, and most of their opinions are tiring and stupid. That’s just the way it is. Plenty of private social groups (e.g. your friends) exist to escape the tiring, shabby crappiness of plebe-think.

          • anon

            An electronic messaging medium is indeed inherently different but is there anything inherently wrong with encouraging people to treat it more like face-to-face interaction?

            Basically what we have here is a group of people who find the racist nonsense too difficult to ignore and/or continuously reply to which is preventing them from realizing the potential they feel this site could have for them. Moderation of the community is also a service that can be provided by a website, and they’re asking for that service. They want to make this site their private social group, wresting it away from those they think have made the site THEIR own private social group. I have a hard time faulting either side for their competition to shape the community to meet their own desires and needs.

            It’s a little like the Hong Kong versus mainlander “locusts” issue, except its interesting to see who thinks themselves as the local and who are the outsiders.

      • Almond

        I love it when people suggest that other people should moderate their own behavior instead of focusing on the fact that civil discussion and not avoidance should be emphasized.

  • K

    Here is a typical China Smack post from 2009. This website should be ashamed.

    Obama’s little sister.
    Similarities: Male black dog x different skin colored woman.
    Differences: Black x White = Obama, Black x Yellow = Luo Jing.

    • Dmitri Sled

      Uh…why? Did the writers working for the website write this comment? Why should anyone be ashamed except the person who posted that? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

      • matt

        Both commenters and the website have responsibility. If you want to leave a comment, then you have a responsibility to be polite. If you want to have a website with a comment section (increasing your page views and ad revenue) then you are responsible for moderation. Good on Chinasmack if they make this change.

    • Boris

      Typical?

    • lonetrey

      Here is a typical China Smack post from 2012. This poster should be ashamed. Seeing as how the post blames the wrong party.

      quote:
      Here is a typical China Smack post from 2009. This website should be ashamed.

      Obama’s little sister.
      Similarities: Male black dog x different skin colored woman.
      Differences: Black x White = Obama, Black x Yellow = Luo Jing.

    • moop

      K that comment was not written by a chinasmack user. that is a translated comment by a chinese netizen.

  • Mark

    I would very much like to see an intelligent discussion in the chinaSMACK comments about the implications of the Chinese netizens’ discussion and what it reflects of Chinese society and current affairs. Even if the translated Chinese netizens’ comments include racism, our comments don’t need to. There are plenty of other places on the internet to have an unintelligent conversation about China and Chinese people.

    I am a very frequent reader of chinaSMACK, but I rarely comment because I just think “what’s the point?” if nobody is going to engage intelligently in the discussion anyway.

    Fully support this petition!

    • Boris

      ‘There are plenty of other places on the internet to have an unintelligent conversation about China and Chinese people.’ Yes, but I’m happy to have mine here.
      PS. You sound like a born-again Christian.

      • mr. wiener

        It’s the hair cut.

        • Boris

          Almost an Edmund Black-adder.

    • Brett Hunan

      You can start a conversation like that if you wanted to. I dont think I have ever seen you post here. You have the same opportunity as all of us the make this site as better or worse as we can. Just complaining about the lack of substance isnt doing anything at all.

      I also support holding the posters to a higher standard. That starts from within. You cant force it by moderating. You can be part of the solution if you posted “intelligently” on this site instead of passively reading.

      • anon

        I agree but I want to point out something. Some people start conversations and some people join them. Different types of people. Isn’t it possible that if the atmosphere of the discussion section was different that a different type of person would be more or less willing to join in the conversation?

        For example, if you see a crowd of people openly hating on the Japanese, wouldn’t the people most likely to join in be those who agree and those who disagree would be turned off from engaging?

        If however the crowd of people were openly discussing the Japanese in some different way, wouldn’t that make the crowd more appealing to a different sort of person and simultaneously discourage another?

        We can’t dismiss how a community’s “vibe” affects who participates. After all, lurking is almost common knowledge for anyone entering a community. Moderation is often about keeping the “evil begets evil” cycle in check in order to keep the place open for others, because they might have something valuable to share if only we made it welcome for them. It is admirable but not really realistic for most people to just dive in and not give a shit about how they’ll be received. A lot of the trolls or trollish behavior on this site often occurs because somewhere along the line they thought it was tolerated. When they do it, they begin reinforcing that behavior as being tolerated, or even desirable, and this gradually risks alienating others.

    • gogodancer

      Same here

    • moop

      “I am a very frequent reader of chinaSMACK, but I rarely comment because I just think “what’s the point?”” oh, well then congratulations on your efforts to not even make an effort. you dont have a voice if you dont use it

    • the ace of books

      “if nobody is going to engage intelligently in the discussion anyway.”

      …and thus, by your comment, completely shortchanging those of us who do engage in intelligent discussion. Thanks for that.

      Really, if you want to start a comment, start a comment! People may or may not pick it up and run with it, but that’s the internet for you. I’ve seen plent y of intelligent discussions and comment on this site, and being defeatist about the issue ignores all of them.

    • elizabeth

      +1

      Intelligent conversation? Wow, looks and brains. We need you here, handsome, lol! I really mean it.

  • Tom Swift

    I enjoy ChinaSMACK but get tired of the “sofa” comments and puerile discussions. Not just the racist material but the overall juvenile comments bring the entire site down. You don’t want to turn into the expat forums like the ones in Shanghai, the ones that make me embarrassed to be a foreigner in China. Intelligent comments and debate is welcome, screaming about “sofas” and how stupid the Chinese are brings nothing to the conversation.

    • Kukuku

      Which reminds me : SOFA!

      No one called it yet.

      • Snicker

        SO true…good one!

        Actually, there is nothing wrong with sofa. Seriously, who cares? It is stupid, but hey, it’s also a tradition. Is there anything wrong with that? In the midst of all this seriousness, is there no room for a little bit of ridiculousness?

        @Tom Swift
        Anyway, if you’re first, then you can do whatever you want…if you want to call sofa, then call it! If you want to say something deep and thoughtful, do that too…the fact that you’re not first should not diminish your comment’s meaning…

    • simon

      while i agree with most of what has been said in the post, let’s not become too draconian with this website. for one thing, making this website a pure armchair discussion on china would just strip it of its personality.. things like saying sofa for example – while i don’t really care for it – as long as it is not offensive, i don’t see the reason to be against it.

      Fauna, it’ll be hard to try and balance the discussions in this forum. Perhaps more moderation is required, but this is a delicate thing, too much emphasis on “puerile discussions” and you might end up stripping away the vibe of the forum.

      again the emphasis should be on stripping away the offensive and straight up derogatory comments (this usually happens on both sides, sometimes comments result as a response to provocation and sometimes comments are made intentionally)

      But like i said, bringing this subject up may bring about quite a radical change, you might lose a lot of current posters, you might also gain of lurkers, some of this can be beneficial some of this can be disadvantageous. Anyways i support you Fauna, always liked this forum and i am quite 随意.

      • Cooljackal

        I agree with your point simon.

        Even the most jaded expats don’t come out and straight up say something completely racist. They may get angry after a discussion and say something that might be borderline or go over the line once in a while but for the most part they can keep themselves in check (you’ll still see frequent sarcastic comments, but nothing blatantly racist).

        I think it would be okay to moderate some of the comments that fall into that extreme category, which are obviously not meant as jokes.

        • Cooljackal

          So I guess that “ignore” option people have mentioned might end up taking care of this concern.

  • david

    Fauna

    I do not think that you need to change your format.
    people are just people and chinasmack shows that.

    if people are tired of reading those types of comments then perhaps they need to go elsewhere? sorry to say that. because that’s what happens.

    another fact, the internet has been a place of spewing bullshit for the past 20+ years and any surviving website must deal with one simple fact.

    that it has all been done a million times over and over. the concept of it is not new.

    I don’t read comments much but just bounce in, write something, then leave.

    technology has developed a great deal but applications have not. To be blunt

    Eventually people will tire of this type of nonsense and seek out other forms of online fun.

    i was using blog type bbs long before windows was even around. the concept is old, boring and does not reveal much creativity on the part of website owners and developers.

    blogging type sites are cool because it gives people a chance to air our their differences and speak their minds. ok fine, i can dig that. however, haven’t you guys heard of the off button?

    • Dafawx

      most, if not all news websites censor or moderate posts.

      I do not necessarily agree with censorship at all but its the status quo in the business world and to survive.

      • Dmitri Sled

        “the status quo in the business world”

        That’s the worst rationale for something I’ve ever heard. To hell with the “business world” – all our efforts should be focused on conforming this separate world to the needs and wishes of the rest of the goddamn planet. If you do not agree with censorship, then don’t make compromises in its favor simply because that’s the easier way to make $$$ these days.

    • Chunghwa

      When I first came to this website, it was 2008 when ChinaSMACK was still fresh and new, and people were talking about things like the Olympics, Grass Mud Horse, Green Dam Girl (or was that the year after?), and I really liked this website. The content was interesting, the discussion was fun, and things were great overall. I remember the discussions between Fauna and PUSAN PLAYA and all that back in the day, and am quite sure that they didn’t turn into the nonsense that we usually have here today.

      Then the website became more popular, and the comments began to degrade in quality. People were no longer discussing things like they were, and essentially people started attacking each other here. ChinaSMACK was posted on blogs, forums, even linked from major websites, and whilst I assume that ChinaSMACK devs are drooling at the money coming in from the increased ad revenue, I’ve been loathing the influx of shitposters. Now, not all newcomers are bad – it’s just that ChinaSMACK is the type of website that tends to attract shitty commenters. It’s quite obvious from the types of comments we see nowadays that people have been linking to ChinaSMACK from the shitty boards on 4chan more and more, because we’re starting to get a similar atmosphere here. Not that I have anything against 4chan itself, since I’m a regular at /g/ and /jp/, but you can’t deny that much of the website has a horrible userbase, and some of it is migrating over here to this website.

      • Kitty

        Seconded. I put ChinaSmack in Google Reader two years ago because I couldn’t stand the majority of comments any more, especially those who dismiss racism as a real thing and when they accuse some people of being politically correct or oversensitive. Fuck that.

      • anon

        Strange, I don’t have such a nostalgic view of chinaSMACK. I think its more or less the same in quality but there’s just a whole lot more quantity. It’s like China, where proportion of “bad” is actually not that different but is nonetheless seemingly inflated by the sheer absolute numbers.

        • Nick in Beijing

          Thank you anon for a reasonable comment.

        • Chunghwa

          Just having a glance over at KoreaBANG (I don’t go there regularly), and they seem to be able to have civil, intelligent discussion there. Maybe what they say about smaller communities is true. ;_;

  • Dafawx

    If Chinasmack is trying to be an actual news site then yes the comments should be moderated.

    • Dafawx

      “Many of these people would never say the things they write on your website in real life with a Chinese person around them and without the anonymity of the internet.”

      -“Many of these people would actually say the things they write on your website in real life with a Chinese person around them and without the anonymity of the internet.”

  • Being a foreigner Is hard in china as it is.
    And reading racist comments in this website is like hitting on the hot iron to the feelings of the people who come from different walks of life.
    So I firmly support this petition. And hope you make some necessary changes.

  • elizabeth

    Whether a comment is racist or not is sometimes subjective and open to debate. Some readers tend to be too sensitive and take offense at the every chance to silence unfavorable views/feedback. I am not denying that there are outright racist comments that should be censored though. In addition, there are those who judge the merit of comments based on who or where the commenter comes from, which of course, does nothing to raise the level of discourse.

    However, it would help a lot to moderate name-calling and abusive language because these serve no purpose in encouraging meaningful dialogue since the offensive would be too angry to think straight and or accept others’ opinions and the recipients would be too put-off and/or silenced to put across their views effectively. If anyone needs an outlet to vent his/her anger, it would be better to take a walk in the park or do some rigorous exercises etc. than use the community here as punching bags.

    My two cents worth.

    • mr. wiener

      I’m good with some of the comments that are outright trolling to be removed. Some lackwit posting “All Chinese should be castrated” adds nothing to the discussion. However as Yer fella Obama said the other day , the only solution to racist speech is more speech. Most trolls bore easily, I’d be very judicious with it’s use.
      Maybe some of our regular posters could try to remember this and act..a little… more civily to others before the names start flying. [self included]

      • elizabeth

        Yes, I am all for some self-censorship, if not, an apology goes a long way, as I have seen in some instances.

    • Hong Konger

      I agree with Elizabeth.
      You don’t want to block comments so much that the site becomes politically correct and boring.
      I also agree that users should not be blocked, just individual comments.
      But when there are really awful comments — hated speech, like excessively obscene calls for death or violence against a people — they should be taken out.
      This is not censorship. This is a web master looking after her own site, which is only fair enough.

      Maybe implement at YouTube-like system in which people can vote “likes” and “dislikes.” The trolls / haters — who usually get the most “dislikes” — are usually hidden from view. If you really want to read them, you can click on them. But they don’t bother the rest of us. Similarly, consider having a system in which readers can report abuse.

      Otherwise moderating all of these hundreds of comments would take an incredible amount of time. It would also slow down the real-time interaction here. After all, Flora is not a media company with a staff of people paid to moderate comments 24 hours a day.

  • Chunghwa

    I myself am in support in better moderation of comments, and also believe that the comments here should be more reasonable. I understand people’s desire for freedom of speech, but when the comments here essentially become people constantly attacking each other, it becomes no more than a shit-flinging contest between animals. There is a difference between exercising the freedom to say what your mind thinks, and being a nuisance on the internet. And yes, I’m aware that the internet is a place for flinging shit at one another, but there’s plenty of other places to do that.

    I’m not asking for ChinaSMACK staff to be Nazis. I’m asking for the discussion community to have a think about what should be reasonable in regards to comments.

    • Dafawx

      It comes to the point, how much to moderate and how much to let go.

  • mouse

    Most of the racist shit posted to ChinaSmack is just fucking lazy and extremely boring anyway. Its the worst part of the comments. If the racist comments/jokes were even partly funny, or the trolls to this site were actually trying and not D-list, this would be a totally different story. As it is, its an embarrassment

    Mao wouldn’t put up with this shit, delete and ban the motherfuckers
    Its a website about Chinese news, Im fine with Chinese-style censorship

    • Kukuku

      As long as I get to be a moderator. :)

    • mouse

      CHINKS DURR HURR HURR `,)B

      fucking ban everyone

    • Anon

      Chinese-style censorship? You mean censor all the politically sensitive stuff and leave foaming-at-the-mouth racist rants and calls for genocide alone?

  • Dmitri Sled

    I would like to submit a counter-petition to ALLOW all comments in the comment section, racist or otherwise. I fervently disagree with the above petition, which basically calls on you to censor people’s comments so the Chinese (and foreign) readers of this website can operate in a manufactured level of cultural tolerance, not reflective of the harsh realities of our brutal, unfair – and, yes, very often racist – world.

    Apart from the basic arguments in favor of as much free speech as safely possible, there are three reasons why the censorship of comments is at best not advisable.

    1. ChinaSMACK is a popular website with lots of visitors, but it is highly naive to think that you will make much headway towards changing the hearts and minds of those with racist tendencies by simply removing the presence of overt racism. A comments section of a website is hardly the first place these thought patterns are reinforced.

    2. By creating a means with which to censor comments, you are not only creating more work and headaches for yourselves, but you are allowing for the creation of a contentious grey area where unpalatable truths about specifically-cultural tendencies (and, hey, let’s be realistic here, they do exist: millions of Americans are ignorant Bible-thumping hicks who see absolutely no contradiction in Jesus and guns; Russians are depressed, world-weary drunks, etc.) are often mistaken for racism and censored out, closing some of the most interesting potential discussions about culture, identity, relativism – i.e. the very issues the petition attempts to address. Again, the presence of racist foreigners who spout utter crap about China isn’t a manufactured phenomenon – it is a spontaneous expression of certain Western cultural tendencies, and to brush them under the rug will only set progress back by presenting a false idea about the English-speaking world.

    3. The best policy for racist comments is to let the community spontaneously and voluntarily refute them. If someone chooses to make racist statements in a comments section, they are merely letting us into their understanding of reality. Moderating their comments will only ferment sentiments of grievance and underdoggishness, whereas being naturally rebuked by the Chinasmack community will have that elusive peer-to-peer social sting that precludes REAL shame.

    The bottom line is:

    YOU have the power to adjust your attitudes while reading comments. You can choose to huff, puff, get offended, start crying, consider the world to be unfair and against your people, etc. If you are that sensitive, then maybe you shouldn’t read comment sections on websites or even be out and about on the goddamn internet in the first place. (The Internet is NOT a safe zone, nor should it be.)

    However, if you see a racist comment, laugh at it not because racism is funny but because the ludicrous thought processes of some people and the degree of their ignorance are worth a laugh, sigh at the fact that there are so goddamn many of them, and then write a rebuke – it can be gentle, scathing, humorous, as long as it gets the job done and shows to the rest of the readers that, yes, racism DOES exist, but so do the people who think racists are ignorant troglodytes with little hope of transcending their lot in life, and who pity and despise the racists in equal degree.

    • mouse

      Im personally fine with people posting offensive/racist stuff.

      The problem is that at least half of the comments on ChinaSmack are boring fucking shitposting garbage and the comments section here needs a serious cull

      • Vault Dweller

        That’s the issue, racism is a symptom, not the illness, of the decline of the English comment section. It’s just the method of choice of trolls at the moment because everyone knows people will get butthurt over racism. It’s going to be a loooooong list of bans if you want to get rid of every way people can troll. But then what? What if people can’t be bothered speaking their minds and saying something insightful for fear of getting their comment blocked? At least if everything is allowed, people can say whatever they came to say and ignore the stuff that they don’t like. I’m guessing the eventual solution would be a complete ban of comments from the non-Chinese community but that’s far worse than bigotry.

        • mouse

          Don’t ban based on a certain post content,
          Just get rid of people who suck and are boring repetitive shitposters

          • Dmitri Sled

            Honestly, that’s probably the best policy. The unofficial “disappearing” of folks would sound totally fucked if we were talking real-world here, not a commentspace account you can re-register in a matter of minutes. The best outcome is that at least a few of the lazier trolls give up after being banned.

          • elizabeth

            I would choose to moderate comments instead of individuals. Everyone has the potential to contribute, but not all comments are beneficial to the community.

            If we eat nutritious food, we become healthy and thrive. Gobble up or spout trash, we become disease carriers that will infect the whole and make it sick.

          • anon

            Man, “boring” is even more subjective than “racist”.

    • That wouldn’t be censorship.
      Censorship is when a government bans something, or a site bends to government pressure — for ex, mainland media writing about sensitive topics.
      But a private blog can have whatever rules that blog wants.
      I don’t allow obscenities and racist comments on my personal site since I don’t write anonymously and my family read it. I moderate all my comments and require a log-in. That’s my right.
      There are plenty of other places people can legally post offensive stuff, which is also their right.
      But my site, my rules.
      Same with ChinaSmack. Flora can allow as much or as little of this speech as she wants.

      • Dmitri Sled

        Interesting point about the meaning of censorship. I would argue that “private” and “government” are merely two horns on the same goat, and that for the purposes of this discussion, a private blog site is more or less the same as a country: in each instance one or more persons has the final say over the result of the actions of others. So if your reader posts a comment and you think it needs to go, you make it go away – much the same as if a censor board in a country thinks a piece of literature “needs to go”, and act upon that. The reasons behind these decisions are largely irrelevant at this bird’s-eye level of discussion.

        Certain countries allow more speech than others, just like certain sites do. It depends on a variety of factors, but the most successful rules are put in place with pragmatism in mind. I guess I just don’t think moderating comments is a particularly pragmatic thing to do in this instance, as the negative consequences of doing so outweigh the positive ones.

      • vince

        haha flora….

      • Winter B4 Spring

        ooops –> FaUnA :)

    • simon

      you make a good point, but there is only so many times a person can “laugh off” a racist/derogatory comment. once you see the comments pop up again and again it really becomes a chore.

      Actually, Fauna, i don’t know if it’s implementable. Maybe there could be an ignore option on this forum, when you get tired of the same person making the same kind of pointless comment, click on “ignore” and in the future any post he makes automatically doesn’t show up?

      • Vault Dweller

        I’d be fine with that.

        • Kukuku

          Me too, but do you honestly believe the intention of the petition is to allow people to make this choice? Forgive my suspicion , but I’m sure they won’t be satisfied until they know OTHERS don’t have the right to write/read what they want.

      • Dmitri Sled

        Yeah, an “ignore” option is a much better idea than outright moderation. Upvotes/downvotes seem to work quite well too in sinking the crap to the bottom. The only downside to comment voting is the difficulty of calibrating the system so new comments get a chance to bask in the spotlight and be judged by the community.

        • simon

          i think ignore option would trump the up/down vote system. This way it can be tailored to each individual poster. They can automatically ignore any future posts from the said troll/s.

          I think it would actually be a win win, trollers and their friends can continue to make retarded comments while being invisible to nearly everyone else.

          Sensible posters can continue having enjoyable discussions

          moderators don’t have the dilemma of judging what constitutes as acceptable, unacceptable and the “grey” area.

          In conclusion, i am a genius.

        • Dan

          I think upvote/downvote is a great idea for Chinasmack. Everyone is still allowed to voice his opinion, but you create a system, in which the highest quality comments float to the top.

          Just as Fauna picks the most popular/highest upvoted Chinese comments to translate into English, upvoting the best English comments will enable visitors of Chinasmack to better gauge the site members’ reactions.

          Without any form of voting system, readers are discouraged from posting thoughtful comments because they are invariably buried under all the “Sofa!” and troll comments.

    • elizabeth

      It boils down to what the owner(s) of this site wants from the comments.

      Traffic? Yes, then allow for anyone who has something to say for whatever reason to contribute. The more the merrier.

      If it is constructive discussion and quality, then they will have to censor.

      Question is, is it necessary to have another of thousands of so many trash sites duplicated here? How can ChinaSMACK differentiate itself and rise above the trashy sites to do something beneficial for China, for the world?

      Do you allow all kinds of abuse to perpetrate in your own home? Wouldn’t it come to a point where you would have to step in to keep the peace and preserve the family?

      Just because the Internet is the way it is does not mean we should be one that blends in. If you think about it carefully, it is the same ‘conformity’ ‘Mao-style’ mirrored on the other extreme end of speech.

      Free speech is to allow for those who have something beneficial (even offensive) to contribute to discussion, not a channel for mindless abuse from individuals who come to with their own private goals and agenda.

      There is no absolute free speech or rights in this world because humans beings all have their own interests and no man is an island.

  • Nilerafter24

    Fauna, the only solution is to have a better user database where it’s relatively hard to become a user and comment. The moment someone goes overboard, snap! and they’re banned.
    I’ve been reading ChinaSMACK for three years though I rarely comment.
    Moderation is tough business. Drawing a fine line between honest criticism and harsh commentary is often difficult.
    And to be honest, a troll is a troll no matter what. They will keep coming back to post their ignorant comments. They will find ways.

    Racist and ignorant comments can simply be ignored. The whole point of ChinaSMACK is to form an opinion around the comments of Chinese netizens and not the people down below.

    • Chunghwa

      “And to be honest, a troll is a troll no matter what. They will keep coming back to post their ignorant comments. They will find ways.”

      Not only are they difficult to thwart, they also ruin a community with their shenanigans. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve stopped visiting ChinaHush (another website) since, I dunno, 2009 or 2010. Back then 0% of the comments over there were intelligent, and 100% of the comments were pure rubbish.

      • moop

        i’m sorry, all i heard was “i want the this website to bend to my will”

        • Chunghwa

          Nope. It’s the newcomers that have really shitty quality posts coming over, and saying “we want your website to conform to OUR norms”. Despite the newcomers being the guest, they demand that the website has to cater to them, how they view the situation should be, and that it’s completely fine to neglect the views of people who have been enjoying themselves quite fine already.

          The discussion here on this website has changed. No longer do we have discussion about Chinese netizen culture. It’s always incoherent nonsense: your typical article comments section will contain name-dropping and circlejerking (“hurr inb4 hongjian defense force, xDDD” and “mmmm I want to lick eattot’s feet”) no different from the tripfaggotry on /a/, ignorant mindless posting that show no signs of thinking before posting like the ones you find in tumblr and youtube, and trolling/baiting/flaming akin to that of any shitty internet community.

          It’s no different to the GIRRL GAMERZ of today who are now saying that videogames should be catered towards female gamers, and that they’re too male centric. Videogame websites are now full of this feminist bullshit, because females have suddenly taking interest in playing videogames, despite shunning them years before.

          People have been linked to ChinaSMACK and have taken interest in it. Sure, they have the freedom to join in with the discussion, however these people take no effort to remotely try to fit in. They bring their standards in with them. This website has essentially become a mixture of /b/, /pol/, tumblr and the CNN website comments section after 2011.

  • Louis

    Personally, I don’t think comments should be moderated. Comments made by Chinese netizens are really eye-opening, considering my Chinese vocabulary is sort of sparse, and I wouldn’t be able to navigate regular Chinese message boards very easily. Sometimes, the comments section can tell you just as much about the state of the Chinese people as the article itself.

    • Chunghwa

      >Comments made by Chinese netizens are really eye-opening

      What? Most of the comments here aren’t even by Chinese. Do 90% of people jump over the Great Firewall just to visit ChinaSMACK?

      >Sometimes, the comments section can tell you just as much about the state of the Chinese people as the article itself.

      The comments section here tells you more about what internet users think about China, not what the Chinese people are like. Or are you confusing the translated Chinese netizen comment examples with the comments section?

      • Cooljackal

        I think Louis was talking about the Chinese article comments that are translated being eye-opening.

        The follow up non-article comments at the bottom that we can post to are the ones where people can get more insight.

      • Germandude

        Chinasmack can be reached just fine from China mainland. No problem and no need for a proxy.

      • moop

        “What? Most of the comments here aren’t even by Chinese. Do 90% of people jump over the Great Firewall just to visit ChinaSMACK?”

        chinasmack is not behind the great firewall of china. you can access it without proxy or a vpn

      • RuffledFeathers

        China smack is not banned by the great firewall

  • ryan

    More moderation would be nice.
    I really enjoy Chinasmack because it lets me see some of the issues coming up in China today and also what the Chinese themselves think about them.
    The English comment section on the other hand is usually just a kind of poisonous stew. Instead of a discussion on whatever issue is being covered, it is full of trolls and China bashing. I usually try to avoid reading it at all, but sometimes I still get sucked in. My day is always a little bit darker after spending much time in the comments section.
    To be fair to the trolls, the troll-baiters, and the general haters, I suppose the comments sections on most websites are about this bad. If you read the news on any website and try to read through the comments, you will see people frothing at the mouth.
    It would be nice if Chinasmack was better

    • Steve

      “My day is always a little bit darker after spending much time in the comments section.”

      That’s exactly how I feel. There are people who enjoy that kind of “edgy banter” and that’s fine, but I suspect there are a lot of people like me who are put off commenting here because it seems like such a snake-pit.

      If it’s implementable, I’m for the “ignore user” option that was suggested above.

  • Vault Dweller

    Freedom of expression should trump hurt feelings when it comes to importance. Unjustified racism only reflects poorly on the person making the comments, at least if they are allowed, others can discuss the ramifications of such statements and, who knows, maybe they will change their mind. Stupidity can’t be totally banned, though. Most of the truly racist stuff here is just trolling, if you ban racist comments they will just find another method of trolling Chinasmack until you ban almost any comment.

    If you lose posters because they can’t stomach name-calling and racism, then I don’t think they are worthy posters in the first place. Racism isn’t fought by ignoring it, it’s fought by acknowledging it and refuting it – same as one would fight superstition or nonsense. Barring that, there isn’t really a good way of making a site troll-free unless you want to be severely restrictive with posting and membership.

    • Chunghwa

      So you’re saying that trolls and shitposters are “worthy posters”?

      What is a “worthy poster” anyway? Is it supposed to be something deemed subjectively, or objectively? What makes a “worthy poster”, and what distinguishes one from someone who is not a “worthy poster”?

      Or is this another one of those “I’ve been on the internetz longer than j00, I’m b3tt3r and y0u are suxx0rz” things?

      • Vault Dweller

        No, I’m just saying that people that lose their desire to post because someone said something they didn’t like are weak. Everyone knows racism exists, it’s not like these posters can pretend it doesn’t exist and suddenly lose their posting appetite because they saw some on a forum. In fact, the best forum I’ve ever visited has never and will never moderate racism or bigoted statements. It’s one of the most insightful forums I’ve read, it has many quality posters to learn alot from and who know their stuff.

        Worthy posters, to me, are people who speak their mind, racist or otherwise, about the article at hand. They need not be expats living in China, or Chinese living abroad, they just need to contribute in some way to the topic being discussed. An unworthy poster, on the other hand, is someone who doesn’t contribute anything to the discussion, whether it be racism, flaming, bot spamming or otherwise. I don’t, however, think they should be moderated for it, I think they should be reprimanded via comments from worthy posters. Fighting shitposting head on is a better strategy (and portrays a better image) than sweeping it under the rug and disregarding it.

        • Steve

          I haven’t posted here before because the tone of discussion has been bizarre – lots of showboating, and lots of bigotry. That’s not being “weak”, that’s just seeing a clusterfuck, and thinking ‘meh, not worth the time/energy’.

          In real life, when I meet bigoted people, I often challenge them on it, but it’s usually fruitless and never fun. On the internet, people choose where to go, and I’d personally rather go somewhere with fewer idiots.

          Props to you if you “acknowledge and refute” racism here by the way.

      • Rune

        “So you’re saying that trolls and shitposters are “worthy posters”?”

        Yes, since the new definition of “trolling and shitposting” seems to be posting anything that you don’t agree with. What happens when internet censorship has been established and suddenly political correctness changes to something else entirely, and you find your own point of view is now forbidden?

    • mouse

      Why are ChinaSmack trolls chronically incapable of making funny racist jokes?
      What is it about ChinaSmack that attracts such shit-tier posters?

      There’s definitely been tasteless comments left here that Ive laughed my ass off at but they are few and far between

      • Chunghwa

        “Why are ChinaSmack trolls chronically incapable of making funny racist jokes?”

        Exactly this. There are times when racist jokes are funny. The posters on ChinaSMACK don’t seem to be able to make their comments funny, they’re plain boring.

        • Rune

          Yeah, boring comments should be banned. Also please ban everything else I don’t personally agree with.

          Sincerely and respectfully,
          The undersigned.

        • BigJ

          Sir, my message is simple.
          Niggers, Jews,honkies, homosexuals, Mexicans, A-rabs and all
          kind of different chinks stink! And I hate them!! :) LOL

          Was that a funny racist joke? :)

          • Chunghwa

            I like the more subtle kinds.

            A professor speaks to four students: “You will need to write a paper on your own opinions regarding the scarcity of food in other countries.”

            The European student asks, “What’s scarcity?”
            The American student asks, “What are other countries?”
            The African student asks, “What is food?”
            The Chinese student asks, “What is my own opinion?”

          • elizabeth

            I like Chunghwa’s joke more.

          • BigJ

            Why can’t Chinese couples have caucasian babies?
            Because two Wongs don’t make a White. :)

          • Kukuku

            Why do Chinese men beat women all the time?

            -Because they are weak and frail!

            -Ok, but what about the women?

    • anon

      What about losing posters because they can’t stomach expressing themselves without name-calling and racism? I mean, wouldn’t they be “weak” too?

      I agree that racism isn’t fought by ignoring it, but is moderating for it “ignoring” it? Or is pretending it isn’t offensive and undesirable for many “ignoring” it? Many of our home country’s laws or rules regarding racism and hate speech can be seen as “acknowledging” the problem of racism and “refuting it” by using negative reinforcement to discourage such attitudes. A lot of the greater racial and multicultural tolerance in our countries relative to counties like China stems from a conscious effort to combat the public proliferation of racist attitudes and behavior. That’s akin to moderation of racism.

  • wyodoodoyw

    I agree too. Some of the stories are depressing enough without the racist, hurtful comments being included.

    • Rune

      “Please ban everything that hurts my feelings.”

      • Chunghwa

        “I can put things in quotation marks.”

  • Rune

    I disagree. Race relations are important. ChinaSMACK is a great place where people from different cultures can clash, air grievances with one another, and come to some sort of understanding. If you start banning and censoring people for not being politically correct enough, the forum becomes useless. I can’t stand it when people immediately resort to censorship to get rid of the things they don’t like. If you don’t like what someone says, just ignore it. Or engage them and attempt to change their mind.

    Also more importantly, banning certain things presents a dishonest image. One thing we count on in ChinaSmACK stories is an honest representation of various Chinese Netizens comments. How can we censor our own board, presenting an image of unified anti-racism and “holding hands across America”, then show both the good and the bad side of Chinese comments? You’ll have to censor all the naughty Chinese comments you don’t like as well then, or be a raging hypocrite.

    Allow me to paraphrase this petition.. “Your rights end where my feelings begin.”

    • Christina

      dumb bitch

      • Rune

        “dumb bitch”

        (USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

        • Christina

          Rune,

          I’m sorry if I offended you.

          I just HAD to use that to make a point.

          I DON’T think I, or anyone, should be able to post things like that. It adds absolutely no value to the discussion, and such offensive name-calling shows nothing about the poster but that he/she is immature and incapable of composing a coherent response to the issue at hand.

          • asdf

            “dumb bitch” was indeed a very mature coherent response to the issue at hand.

          • Rune

            And I made a counter point, that according to your wishes, you would have been banned for that post. You know what I do when I see a post like that? I keep scrolling. I don’t drop to the floor and chew the carpet, I don’t run to my bed and cry myself to sleep. I don’t create a whiny petition asking the person be banned for offending me. I just scroll by until I find a comment I am interested in.

            There are plenty of people who dislike me and what I said. To them, your insult was probably seen as apt and humorous. So, it has some value. Likewise, to many, a comment calling someone a savage or a monkey is probably seen as apt and humorous. Just because you can’t personally find the value in something doesn’t mean others can’t. And you know it has value to someone otherwise they would not have posted it.

          • Vault Dweller

            I’d be more offended if someone was banned for calling me a dumb bitch

          • elizabeth

            Yes, only a…would not see that you have deliberately left a bait.

            You go gal!

          • Cooljackal

            Maybe we are thinking about it the wrong way. Instead of negative reinforcement, we should use positive reinforcement.

            Have a “snickerdoodles” button. That way we can reward good comments with rank, and snickerdoodles, obviously :)

          • k

            I 100% agree with you on the name personal name calling and abuse….that is the kind of stuff I would like to see gone here.

          • donscarletti

            @K

            Like the time someone called you a proletarian?

            Just ignore it, move on, stay happy!

      • Boris

        ?

      • Kukuku

        Look at miss “typical Chinese facial picture at an angle”.

      • mr. wiener

        Cute, she tilts her head on the side like a puppy begging for treats, she likes snickerdoodles and best of all she has a mouth like a sailor!!
        I swear if I wasn’t decades older than you, married and you weren’t so far out of my league anyway…..

        • donscarletti

          Well, on the mainland, I’ve never seen a man not taking a shot at a pretty girl just because he’s decades older, married and ugly.

  • BigJ

    Want a powerful branding strategy? Take a controversial position. Offend someone and attract your target market.The great thing is, Chinasmack doesn’t have to offend anyone. All they have to do is put a controversial story and let people do the rest. Most of the stories on here are Chinese or foreigners doing stupid shit. So naturally people will say stupid or racist shit about it.

    Controversy sells newspapers, books, and movies. You can also use controversy to sell your product, service or yourself. Notice how they often do it in the movie business. The entertainment industry has lots of vivid controversy lessons for marketers.

    Now if this site started censoring comments, you would loose a lot of readers. Half the fun of this site is reading the stupid comments. If this site was all about high 5’s and hugs and kisses it would be boring.It’s like the chinese comments they post from weibo at the first of every story. I would say 60% or racist. They CHOOSE to put them on there.Why?? It’s controversial.

    It’s like racism is new to these people. Racism has been going on since the beginning of time. Nothing will change that. If you don’t like racist comments, don’t reply to them or don’t read comments from that person. Simple.

    This message was brought to you by Bigj. The opinions in this comment do not represent those of this website or it’s sponsors. :)

    • Steve

      Sure, I agree that censoring the comments would mean ChinaSmack would lose a lot of readers.

      But it might gain some too. There are lots of people who might be holding back, and who knows, advertisers might even prefer a slightly smaller, more engaged, socialised crowd to the current mob?

      • BigJ

        Good point buddy, but look at what stories get the most comments.”White guys does blah blah to chinese.” Black person gets blah blah from chinese police” “Chinese people blah blah to the Japanese.” Every story that is racially motivated gets like 1000+ comments. It’s good business. The stories that are just normal get less then 100 comments. When there are racially motivated stories, you will get racially motivated comments. Good or bad. People need to learn to not let every little thing bother them. How the people who wrote that e-mail survive on planet earth is a mystery to me.Transcend race, hombres. :)

      • BigJ

        A good example is right in this story. Go to the bottom of the e-mail that the PC thugs wrote and look at the “related post”.

        Shanghai ‘Black Girl’ Lou Jing Abused By Racist Netizens
        1,673 comments

        Some Chinese Netizen Comments On Swine Flu & Twitter
        4 comments.

        Fuck, swine flu can fucking kill you!! But apparently only 4 people give a shit about that. Oh but Chinese people don’t like black people…1,673 seem to have something to say about that. Racism for the win. :)

  • Snarl

    While I agree that many comments here are racist, I find the petition to be somewhat ethnocentric. The following two quotes are racially charged in their own way:

    1) “Many of your non-Chinese readers are also embarrassed and ashamed of these people although we are not afraid of you misunderstanding that we are all like them.”

    2) “We already know foreigners are not so different from Chinese, so we don’t need foreigners proving that to us every single day.”

    In the first quote, the author speaks for an audience that he identifies in the second quote as “foreign”. While not offensive outright, it seems the authors of the petition lack the insight that the commenters here, in aggregate, are equal opportunity offenders.

    While I am not a regular commenter. I am a regular reader, and I appreciate the low level of moderation in the comments section. It gives me a very candid impression of the views of the readers–especially those who ignore the racist comments–and it also stimulates some of the more interesting controversial discussions.

    • Rune

      “It gives me a very candid impression of the views of the readers”

      Exactly. I want to see what people REALLY think. I don’t want to see a bunch of censored PC psychobabble, that’s what Reddit is for. I read the Chinese netizens reactions to see what they really think, and I read our own comment section to see what other people really think. I want to see what people are actually thinking, not what some moderator believes we SHOULD be thinking.

      Political correctness is the new religion of the west, and racism is the new blasphemy. As westerners we pride ourselves on our free speech when it comes to insulting Islam, yet when we see racism, suddenly all our high talk regarding free speech goes right out the window.

      • elizabeth

        How does it benefit you to read people calling each other ‘idiot’, ‘shit’, ‘chink’, ‘americunt’, ‘pussy’ and discussions on how thick or long somebody’s asset is?

        Does it make you feel better about yourself? If yes, it’s about your feelings as much as it is about those who take offense at racist rants. If not, why clog up the space with such garbage?

        • Rune

          That’s the whole reason I come here, to see Chinese netizens calling Japanese “monkeys”, whites “devils”, and generally insulting everyone under the sun. If you removed those comments, then ChinaSMACk would instantly become far less interesting. And if you don’t remove those comments, then it is pretty damn hypocritical to then censor those same style comments on our own board.

          What I want to know is how the hell you survive out there in the real world where everything isn’t padded in rubber? Are you seriously so sensitive that seeing a racist comment causes you to cry yourself to sleep?

          • elizabeth

            So it is about you, not the community. You enjoy cheap thrills. I came for more than cheap thrills.

            I personally don’t care if people call me an idiot or dumbass, although I don’t enjoy it, but is that kind of culture beneficial in encouraging constructive discourse?

            Would you rather be called an asshole than a gentleman. Would you prefer to converse with someone civil than barbaric…in real life?

            I’d say censor trashy vulgar language but not ideas (be they pleasant or offensive as long as they are constructive).

        • Rune

          Let me put it in terms that you might possibly relate to. You read a chinasmack story about Africans in Guangzhou. You see Chinese comments calling Africans monkeys and other derogatory insults.

          Then you look down at our own comments, and see none of those things. This provides the false impression that Westerners are somehow above this sort of thing.

          Isn’t it enlightening to see Chinese netizens calling whites devils, then look down and see whites calling Chinese chinks? It is ironic, and can lead to new insights.

          But having it your way, all that goes right out the window. Chinese look like raging bigots, we look like lambs, and this website loses all integrity. Or, they could omit those Chinese comments as well, in which case it is no longer an accurate representation, and once again the site loses all integrity.

          Stop trying to ban what you don’t like. Whether you can see the value in something or not, it still may be there, however unlikely.

          • elizabeth

            Why care about how you or I look like? This is contrary to what you have written above – you do care about your own image and feelings after all.

            I do see any benefit in witnessing both sides calling each other names nor is there a need to balance the insults. In my books, the one who insults gets one down. The one who looks like sheep, one up, simply because he/she has risen above the insults…with ‘style’.

          • elizabeth

            I do not see any benefit…

          • elizabeth

            @ Boris

            So how does that knowledge (which can be freely obtained elsewhere) help you personally or this community?

          • Web of Lies

            Having rules in a forum is not banning anything, if implemented correctly, it can promote more meaningful discussion. It makes no sense to not filter out trivial and hateful responses that steer the community in the wrong direction. If user’s aren’t able to comment without attacking a person or group, then that is a loss of integrity. It devalues the merit of any insight this board has to offer. Not moderating comments is just an excuse.

        • Boris

          Observing a rant may be the closest glimpse of reality offered here. You can be sat in a restaurant with smiles and ‘ganbei’ and ‘waiguo pengyou’ every few minutes from your hosts, but when you’re walking down the street you may feel something entirely different. Jennster’s ‘Most foreigners in China look retarded’ and KuKu’s ‘Most Chinese are bad’ may offend me deeply, but to prevent me knowing some people hold such extreme attitudes does me a disservice. Besides, Hongjian’s vitriolic verbal assults on Americunts are essential reading.

          • elizabeth

            If you need ChinaSMACK to keep you tuned in to the attitudes of the man in the street, it might be a good idea to get out there, where locals are, more often.

            I’d say, the vulgarity and abuse I’d witness here in ChinaSMACK is a distortion of reality in the streets. Apart from the double-standards, I don’t get people coming up to me every other lane calling me an asshole.

          • Cooljackal

            Yeah, but how do you know they aren’t thinking it? If anything, outside of the super extreme troll/racist comments, you’ll get a much more honest view of what a person really thinks, even if you find it personally offensive.

          • elizabeth

            @ Cool

            So what if you know someone thinks you are an asshole?

          • Cooljackal

            Umm, then I would know that someone thinks I am an asshole.

          • Boris

            ‘A distortion of reality’ -sure. But also a reflection of genuine sentiments. This is especially valuable in a society like China where people hustle stoically day to day to survive, keeping their heads down and opinions to themselves. As for getting out into the streets, I find it hard to discipline myself to stay indoors to meet my responsibilities. I’m genuinely addicted to being out in the city where I live. It drives me nuts, but it’s never boring.

          • elizabeth

            @ Boris

            In other words, what drives you nuts in the real world in China does not get into your head until the hammer of extreme distortion and vulgarity nails it all in for you at ChinaSMACK.

            I suppose the same goes for Cooljackal.

          • Boris

            Sorry, I don’t follow your logic. What drives me nuts where I live are blatant things such as people driving with the level of consideration of a kamikaze pilot -knowledge which anyone who’s spent 20 seconds in China is privy to. Yeah, no-one in China has yet to call me an arsehole, and in the city where I live I don’t know of a single foreigner who’s been on the receiving end of such an insult. My immediate assumption is that Chinese people must like foreigners. Comments like Jennster’s force me to question that assumption.

          • Cooljackal

            Nope.

            What drives me nuts in the physical China is already in my head. But like a mature adult I know how to deal with it. Just like I know how to handle myself when there are “not nice” words being written on chinasmack, even about me or anyone else.

            Doesn’t change the fact that you will know what a person is really thinking. It’s a snapshot of a collective mindset at that point in time, regardless of it being completely hate filled or racist.

            I’m ok with moderating super extreme retarded comments or the ignore/voting system. I am also ok with how it is now, because words on a blog don’t bother me.

    • Web of Lies

      Have to disagree with you on this, being candid doesn’t mean it’s necessary to hurdle personal insults at an individual or a group of people. Usually when one person “pulls out the punches” it gets reciprocated.

  • simon

    I emphasize again, i think a lot of this dilemma can be negated by a well thought out ignore option if it can be implemented.

    Let every poster have the ability to ignore others who continually make offensive/retarded comments. This way any original post the troll makes and any follow up to his post can be automatically ignored. As well as any follow up post the troll makes to an original post will also be ignored.

    • For that to work, Chinasmack would have to allow user sign up’s rather than the current non-user posting method which would limit traffic.

      • k

        But probably improve the quality of their commentators and comments. I really like the vote up or down system, I can vote down comments I think are offensive or stupid and it hides them from me or better yet have other people vote down bad comments and hide them.so I never have to botber to.read them.

        • The ignoring feature is not possible.

          Our past experience with voting is that “bad comments” received the most votes and “bad behavior” also increased. People with strong opinions are not only louder, they are also more willing to cheat to make their voice louder. It is this experience that we are not confident about voting.

  • JP

    more censorship :(
    a pathetic attempt to save face.
    please keep posting the comments!
    if they are a true reflection of what chinese netizens
    are posting then they should be reflected here on this site.

    censoring/filtering the comments in such a manner
    destroys the credibility of this site in diminishes one of the
    core elements that we users enjoy about this site.

    keep your integrity!
    please ignore this petition

    • The petition is about our comments section, not our translated Chinese netizen comments.

      • donnachadh

        If you’re going to translate controversial comments from Chinese-language sites then you should allow the posting of controversial comments in English in response.

        I fail to see how someone who is not racist themselves can be upset by racism only when it is expressed by westerners.

        • RuffledFeathers

          Thank you for finally pointing this out

  • MrT

    Well if I was me I would ban me for a start.
    I is pure troll!

  • Steve O

    Ignorant, racist and plain ol’ dumb comments seem to work for cnn. And they are big time.

  • It’s a slippery slope. what is considered racist by one person or group can be very different than what is considered racism by another. Also, generalizations, a necessity in any conversation about a particular group of people, cam often be seen as racist by others.

    I predict that self censorship or over explaining comments to follow a zero racism agenda will become very difficult and ridiculous.

    Example: Someone might write an unkind comment such as this, “Chinese are dirty people.” No doubt many will make offense to such a comment and call it racist when in fact it is a observation/generalization. if the author wanted to avoid accusations of racism, they’d have to write something like this: “Some mainland Chinese people are dirty.” Which is true of any group and doesn’t hold any value when talking about mainland Chinese people.

    Another example: “Chinese people write using Chinese characters.” is as false as saying Chinese people are dirty. Not everyone in China, and not every Chinese person in the world can write Chinese characters, therefore, to avoid this race based generalization, the author would have to write, “Some mainland Chinese people write using Chinese characters.” Well duh, but one is now excluding non mainlanders and people of different ethnic origins which is of course, racist. So we could try, “Some mainland Chinese people, some Chinese people from other countries, some Japanese people, and of course, some people who are not ethnically Japanese or Chinese can write using Chinese characters.” Now, no one could possibly be offended, but thee is also no meaning in the statement.

    • And let’s not forget… Saying: “Chinese people are idiots,” is as racist as saying “Chinese people are smart.”

      • Kukuku

        Except one is a lie.

        Wanna play 2 guesses?

  • Rune

    I wonder how many of the people signing this have themselves made posts in the past complaining about Chinese censorship?

    The logic seems to be, “censorship is bad when it censors me, but good when it censors people I don’t like.”

    • Chunghwa

      Who are you quoting?

      And yes I’m spamming an overused /jp/ shitpost, but my question still stands. Who the tickle-tackle nipple-wipples are you quoting?

      And once we move beyond that, why the flipper-flopper dicker-dockers are you so inclined to make assumptions on what everyone else is thinking? It’s great that you’re an armchair psychologist and all, but don’t you think it’s a bit flimsy-flumsy up-the-bumsy silly? And I’m taking about the “omg words in quotation marks! It’s like I’m actually putting words in people’s mouths!” thing.

      Jilly-jolly. What a folly.

      • Rune

        I have seen you reply to a lot of people, but so far I have not seen you even once form an actual counter argument. Do you even have an opinion? Running around flaming and accusing everyone of fallacies is certified shitposting. You know the (new) rules… (CHUNGHWA WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)

  • Chris

    An ignore feature? Yes, sure, that’s the most simple and effective solution. Entirely user driven, no real effort on part of the site administrators, and it allows people to excise what they don’t want to see.

    Banning on racism is a huge gray area. The difference between honest observation and hate speech can be difficult to discern as long as someone makes the pretense of eloquence.

    The idea that you can create a “productive forum” is a flawed one because at the end of the day it is a website designed to bring the high-hits websites of the foreign web to English speakers, not a cultural white dove. To put it simply, the site thrives on the interesting/bizarre and I think as an entertainment site the community doesn’t really need high brow moderation.

    The only ban I would support is using racial slurs and maybe some of the too obvious theme-trolls (chucky, etc…. not so much out of cultural insensitive, but just the simple fact that they are some of the most uninspired trolls I’ve ever seen). Other than that, game on.

    • Rod

      “hate speech can be difficult to discern as long as someone makes the pretense of eloquence”

      Good point.

      I’ve seen some really long winded comments that basically call for the downfall or genocide or a particular race/nation. It reads like a college thesis, but is basically hateful.

      While some other comments say stuff like ‘fucking Chinese’ or ‘fucking Americans’, but at the end of the day, that’s how people talk.

      Where do you draw the line?

      • Chris

        I draw the line at clear insults/slurs directed toward’s another commenter’s ethnicity/nationality/gender/etc.

    • k

      I do not think you should be calling anyone out on trolling Chris as I often see you post some pretty mean, trolling comments yourself and I think Chucky is a great commentator even thogh he does piss me off a lot, I think his comments can be very interesting and give a different POV on a story.

      • Chris

        Are you the girl who was crying about a policeman doing his job? You sure do make a fine habit of stalking people for someone who complains about other people being bullies.

        • Chris

          And you do realize Chucky is a joke account, right?

  • Mop

    I’m okay with how it’s currently being handled. If I want to search for actual discussion/insightful comments in the comment section, I’d just scroll down until I see a block of text or lists of comments chained in with each other. I don’t mind the little junk in between. Sure, it may be better for people to not have to do this, but to have that would mean taking out comments one person finds unworthy. I don’t think it’d be worth it to do that.

  • Viktor

    Yeah let’s censor the comments and make ChinaSMACK more like the PRC

    • Chunghwa

      Association fallacy.

      The PRC censors for different reasons, namely public control, to prevent doubleplusungood crimethink. Over here, we have a shitposting epidemic.

      • Rune

        It isn’t an association fallacy. Do you even know what that is? The act of censorship is being debated, not the motives behind it. His statement is clear, censorship is wrong regardless of who does it.

        There is a new fallacy being suggested by some, the logical fallacy of feeling you have won a debate by going around accusing everyone of fallacies without ever actually making a coherent counterpoint or rebuttal. Not helping your case is the fact you don’t seem to have any sort of grasp on what these fallacies actually mean or when they apply.

      • eight

        i fail to see the difference

        • asdf

          Well said.

          The Western media itself is a epidemic Shitposting machine whose job is to precipiate doubleplusungood crimethink inside every country which threatens their own interests, using their current superior living standards as a means to enforce and validate their nonsense. The idiotic comments which follow merely rub salt in the wound.

          Of course China is just as guilty of propaganda as any other country, but their ability to spread it is still pathetic. Resorting to censorship is a highly desperate measure, and a clear sign of China’s submissive position in this current conflict. When its GDP/capita gap narrows with developed nations, support for the Chinese government will increase. Thus tight censorship will no longer be required as the IQ required to identify western hypocrisies drops accordingly. This is exactly why the U.S. tries so hard to topple CCP before it can further develop and improve its own country.

  • asdf

    How many racists do we see on russiaslam koreabang or indiaboom? It’s not surprising that comments on Chinasmack are more fucked up than on all those other cites combined. Chinabashing isn’t just a political tool anymore, it has become a trend. Widespread international hatred towards Chinese people and the propaganda which incites it will not disappear until China stops hurting the self-interests of other nations. We should actually welcome all this pathetic racist whining since they are a friendly reminder that our nation is strong and well, that she is independent enough to protect herself against imperialism and exploitation. The day China related articles/videos are showered with praise and flattery would be the day China becomes a stagnant cocksucking tributary.

    • Alex

      China bashing. LOL

      Keep dreaming with your victim mentality.

      • asdf

        victim mentality. LOL
        Keep blanking out with your absent mentality.

        • asdf

          In fact what pisses western governments off the most is that Not only is the CCP adequately resisting exploitation. It is imposing a bit of imperialism of its own onto neighboring countries. The strong will always be hated, the weak will always be loved. Chinese victim mentality my ass.

      • Chunghwa

        Oy vey, bad goyim, it’s just like the shoah all ova again!

    • Germandude

      Russia is not so interesting to me at the moment.
      Korea is small and I have never been there, nor do plan to go there. Same goes for Indonesia.

      I am living and working in China for almost 7 years now. My wife is Chinese. That’s why I am here. And I guess most people posting here are living in China. Not so many in Russia, Indonesia and Korea, u know?

      • Chunghwa

        I think they really need to make a site dedicated to Japan. Currently the only notable site that resembles something like that would be Sankakucomplex, and that site is a shitty, horrible site run by an autist called Artefact who thinks he’s an amazing journalist, and the shit-ton of mindless weeaboos on his shitty site are always boosting his ego. All the articles/posts there are tabloid-esque yellow journalism and shit people write on 2ch that nobody cares about. Not to mention the use of fap material to attract an audience.

        We really need a JapanSLAP or something, as a better alternative to shitkakucomplex. Once we break the monopoly, then maybe we’d have better quality articles thanks to competition.

        • asdf

          Refusing to make “JapanSLAP” is most likely a political statement. Hopefully they’ll be prove me wrong. I too would like to see a site like that.

    • vince

      That would be because a lion’s of the readership here lives in China and having sister sites such as Indo – Russia whatever is kinda pointless unless say its a russian living in China who is fluent in English, kinda hard to find right? Or perhaps a foreigner living in Russia would be more inclined to comment on Russiaslam.
      There are already more well established sites like redhotrussia.com and it would take time for it to garner the userbase that Chinasmack has.
      In order of popularity ChinaSmack > KoreaBang > IndoBoom > RussiaSlam so obviously you would find the greater amount of commentators and trolls here, it has nothing to do with people hating China more or whatever so you’re whole comment is moot.
      As to whether the nation is strong and well, I’m not going to comment on that because people see what they like to see and no amount of ‘discussion’ is going to change that, would be nice to see more feel good stories in China.
      You know the irony here is that ChinaSmack translates the most popular Chinese news so if all the news that is popular relates to corruption, demolitions, forced abortion and so on, how would this make the readership feel? Anyway come to your own conclusions.

      • asdf

        The russian korean indian, indonesian counterparts do publish a fair share of heartbreaking, disgust-invoking articles as well. I do understand they receive less viewers overall. Of course Chinasmack holds the highest quantity of both racist and constructive comments. But even if we consider the amount of hate speech not in absolute terms, but as a ratio to the total number of comments. Chinasmack remains unrivaled. You have to admit conflicting political ideologies is the main culprit here.

        • vince

          Well asdf I would say you are right about conflicting political ideologies but I would think some of us, like myself for example have had our opinions of China worn down the longer we stay here, ChinaSmack hasn’t really helped in that regard.
          I couldn’t care less if the country was communist in nature or democratic as long as the peoples needs are put first, my wife is Chinese and my son is a mix so I have a personal connection to China as well, so I would wish for it’s improvement.
          Reading stories about kids getting kidnapped, forced abortions and all those other things I mentioned above have led me to believe that China is not the prime location that I once thought it was, I have no hate for China but do wish that the people in charge would put it into their heads that the greatest resource of a country is it’s people.
          I think quite a few of us here don’t hate China per say but would delight in perhaps a change of attitude and behavior, a country and it’s people shouldn’t be content easily and should strive for self improvement, I’m gonna say a lot of governments suck, democratic or otherwise.
          I’ve already decided that I’m going back to Dubai and then moving my entire family back to Malaysia for my son’s education and perhaps some peace of mind, I feel things are getting a bit unstable here, what with that foreigner witch hunt a while back and now the dispute over the Islands.
          I’m not trying to be condescending or anything else asdf but I thought I might give you some insight into why some people would get ‘angry’ at China, still love the place though, hope it goes through this period in time without any big mishaps.

          • asdf

            As for china’s social problems and corruption, those are characteristic of any developing nation democratic or not. Only developed countries are attractive enough to be “prime locations” for immigration.

            The foreigner witch hunt, however, is entirely stirred up by government propaganda i agree. It is a shame that nations cannot enforce nationalism through reason, but need to trigger blind idiotic passions instead. (the result is chinese citizens hunting foreigners and smashing each other’s cars) again their hatred is also a result of political conflict.

    • Gontraf

      But that’s the thing… I mean where do you draw the line between China bashing and genuine well-founded criticism ?

      For example, does an innocent statement such as “The Chinese government is a bunch of scumbags” fall in the China bashing category ? There are lots of scumbag governements all over the world but this is a website about China so I’m not going to mention all these other scumbags alongside the Chinese ones. Some may perceive this lack of balance as China bashing and take offense…

      Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you on how disgusting the anti-Chinese propaganda can be, but at the same time there are things in China that deserve a good heartfelt criticism because like for most nations, Chinese society is not that strong and certainly not that well.

      Or am I being hateful and racist?

      • asdf

        The very existence of this petition is a solid indicator of how far we’ve crossed the line.

        • Snicker

          I’m sorry, I have to disagree that the existence of a petition is a solid indicator of how far we’ve crossed the line. The existence of the petition is an indicator that one or more people disagree with the state of affairs, and that’s it.

          We don’t know how many people disagree with the state of affairs, we don’t know how many people disagree for the same reasons or for different reasons, we don’t know how many people agree with the state of affairs.

          Are the comments in this page going to inform Fauna? There are good arguments in either direction by different communities of people. In the future, will Chinasmack be limited to those who have Master’s degrees in Poli Sci or Asian studies (And above)? Will we have to cite our sources or face banning from the site?

          To be honest, I’m not sure what kind of idealistic “higher discussion” y’all are looking for. Dear Sirs, Should Chinasmack start to look like The Economist?

          I would like for some, such as Chunghwa or Elizabeth or the others of the apparent “undersigned” to show us some enlightened websites that have a high viewership, likely low budget and an open comments section.

          Do they actually exist in nature? I’m sorry, Chinasmack is really the only site I read regularly, most out of habit (and lack of time), so I don’t really know what else is out there…I like it the way it is. And to be frank, I don’t think there’s a practical way to change it.

          Except for what people have mentioned about users being able to specify which other users they would like to ignore…

    • sonny

      @asdf

      “We should actually welcome all this pathetic racist whining since they are a friendly reminder that our nation is strong and well”

      haha, exactly! worldwide trash talk, the surest sign of a nation’s superpower status. welcome to the club, friend. hey, who knows, maybe in a decade or two you can even incite half the islamic world to riot with just a shitty video on youku.

  • The is a WordPress site. Anyone out there running their own WP sites, I have a few, can tell you that a lot of the censorship suggestions are very problematic for the WP platform and would likely require a completely new site using a different system entirely, not to mention, a lot of mods patrolling comments.

    My suggestion to the petition OP is: If you don’t like it here, then go start your own site.

    • Taikongren

      I’m not sure, but I think it can be done. WP has a lot of abilities to show and hide posts. I think it would not cost too much to create a script to look-up the user’s account prefferences, pull up an ignore list from that, and display posts accordingly.

  • quasar

    This website is only worthwhile when there is freedom of expression. People who are offended by “racist” comments are pussies!

    • To be PC, you should have said: “People who are offended by “racist” comments are pussies and/or dicks!”

  • I love this site so much I bought x3 ChinaSMACK T-shirts

    I agree, need to cut back on the trollers-racists, 五毛党

    My name is in Red, so you can track me

    Song of the Article

    Anything Goes
    -Cole Porter

    http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/a4n7sS_EyqE

    • asdf

      If there’s anything they should be censoring it should be advertisements.

    • Boris

      Inherit that from your dead grandmother’s dusty LP collection?
      Can’t fault the immortal genius that is Joe Zawinul, hence:
      Weather Report,
      ‘A remark you made’.

  • Alex

    -“Rational criticism to the country”
    -“OMG RACIST!!!1!!!”

    C’mon… It’s like this all the time. Super china lovers that behave sometimes worse than chinese ultra-nationalistic people. Seems you cannot say anything that is not ass-licking Mao the Emperor’s ass.

    Or like those ultra-progresist(we call them in spanish “giliprogres” from gilipollas(dumbass) + progresista(progresist)) when you tell them a fact:
    -There is xx%(being higher than white ethnicity) of x ethnicity on the jails of x country.
    -OMG!! you’re so oppresive you nazi!! RACIST!!!

    Fucking tired of this bullcrap.

    Welcome to real life, maggots.

    • Alex

      Also, the site has a few really bad trolls. They suck at it.

      Linette was one of them.. the other one that girl that cannot write..

  • Rod

    I was under the impression there was already some form of moderation.

    It seems difficult to ban racism from the website – after all, you’re banning an idea.

    Maybe banning racist terms would work, but then again, people are creative. I can write %&$@# just as well as any other word, and you get the idea.

    To be honest, part of the reason I come back to the site is for the comments. As racist and offensive they are, they’re funny. I mean there are a few characters here that hate Americans, but whatever, it’s the internet.

    “Many of these people would never say the things they write on your website in real life with a Chinese person around them and without the anonymity of the internet”

    OF COURSE people say what they normally wouldn’t IRL

    “Your Chinese readers should not be subjected to this”

    If chinaSMACK bans racism from the comment section, then I want racist comments from the Chinese website not-translated too. In fact, why have a comment section at all. This way no one is offended.

    • K

      I don’t have a problem with the differing opinions on here, I think it does make the comments section lively when people argue their opinion against someone else, even if they do use low choice words to argue a point, as long as it’s a point. But sometimes, on here it isn’t arguing but just plain mean name calling like calling “eattot a whore”….that’s the stuff I wish I didn’t see on here, nothing constructive about it and just mean. (Sorry to you use you eattot, I just see that sometimes people pick on you)

      • Rod

        I also don’t want to call out specific people, but it seems that on a site where people get familiar with each other, it’s gonna happen. My point is that I see the comments that she makes, and she kind of asks for it. And a lot of times that the way it works. The more you say, the more chances you have of bumping heads with someone. Kind of like IRL.

  • nzbule

    I dont agree with this proposed censorship, it should never be okay to silence someones voice on the grounds that you do not like what they are saying, why not just tell people what you want them to say?

    freedom of speech should be a fundamental right for all, no matter what they want to say. I for one like being able to read all comments to see the full range of peoples thoughts on matters.

    I think a be better option suited for those who do not want exposure to racism and derogatory language would be an optional filter to show or hide such comments.

  • Anita M Bailey

    It’s easy to say don’t read or participate in the forum. But that does not change the fact that comments posted on this forum do need to be moderated more and/or censored. I am shocked at some of the dialogue that is exchanged between posters. You also have posters who make comments that have nothing to do with the topic being discussed. After awhile, enough is enough. Can’t we just have a dialogue about the topic instead of attacking one another? Sometimes we need to just stop talking alot of “smack”! And I disagree with Elizabeth. The fact that you are not bold enough nor courageous enough to stand up and say what you think or believe to a person’s face, to me, makes your opinion weak not valuable.

    • elizabeth

      I don’t have to be bold or vocal all the time to make my point.

      Trading ‘asshole’s and information on asset sizes does not does nothing to make me strong. Walking away and resisting the bad in human nature does.

      When I speak up when I feel the need to, you’d be surprised how wrong you are.

  • Germandude

    Just so that I get it out first: the style of Chinasmack’s commenting section is confusing and not easy to follow. I mean, how often do I want to reply to BigJ and by clicking the wrong reply (that seemed being the right one to me), I accidentally replied to asdf? (sry guys for using ur names, but yours show up to my right while writing this).

    2nd regarding censorship: it’s funny, racist comments that probably show the real thoughts of people are hurting discussions and the atmosphere of CS-readers. On the other hand linette and Nanny Hiccups discussing female underwear under serious topics are considered to be contributing, or what?

    Trolls come in so many forms, u will never beat them. Ultimately, they will win either way.

    What I would suggest is to redesign the commenting area on Chinasmack. Sorry asdf to pick ur name again ;-)

    Let’s say asdf writes a new comment in regards to the article. He gets 3 replies from which he thinks one is OT and one is trolling. Wouldn’t it be smart and possible with today’s software to make him able to hide comments he doesn’t like? I think that would help. Let the user flag racism, OT, insulting comments and get the comment out of his posting section. If a moderator sees this and decides that there was no insult etc used, let him put the comment back (in order to avoid people deleting different opinions for only that reason). Plus, let the user create an ignore list, so that we don’t have to read shopping suggestions for underwear, while the topic on hand deals with innocent dieing. Let me block a user that has a vagina as his avatar.

    Hope u got my meaning.

    • K

      I wish I could block some people on here and I’m sure some people wish they could block me. I like the arguing over a topic back and forth, it makes it a lively discussion, but when the other person is just calling you names for no reason at all like Chris just called me “proletariate trash” in the last article out of left field just to be nasty to me, it just ruins my time here cause I spend too much time trying to defend myself. Personally, I’d love to block him so I don’t have to have him follow me around the comments section calling me names.

      • Vault Dweller

        I’d just like to voice my concern about offensive comments turning good posters away. I personally would be saddened if racism and bad posting made K and her Gravatar leave Chinasmack.

      • Rod

        This is what I don’t get. There have been members blocked before, and there have been comments moderated. I don’t know how someone calling you prostitute trash got through the filters.

        There are moderators…what are their current criteria for deletion/blocking?

    • asdf

      If that was the case then my comments will have no opposition trailing beneath it. Neither would any other comments. The only non-hidden responses i will allow would be a bunch of weak arguments I have successfully destroyed. I absolutely hate how youtube uploaders are allowed to hide comments as spam under their own video. It just defeats the purpose of it all. People tend to regard any differing opinion, valid or not, as “trolling”. So no i do not support censorship in any manner despite how much Mr. vagina avatar pisses me off.

      • asdf

        Perhaps a like or thumbs up system should be allowed? And comments can be hidden after too many negative votes. That would be nice.

        • mr. wiener

          I’d buy that for a dollar.

        • asdf

          Well now that i think of it, actual trolls can just easily mobilize their standing army of multiple email accounts to take advantage of this voting system. So iuno. This is complicated.

    • Jennster

      hey german dude, you guys are fine people here in china. but stop being 2 metres and listening to anti chinese media back home and believing in it. :D

      • Germandude

        Jennster, I am sorry, but what are you tying to tell me?
        That German media have no clue about what they r writing in regards towards China? I wholeheartedly agree with that. As a matter of fact, I doubt any country’s popular media rally know what they are talking about. Sorry, got that wrong. No country’s media are talking about what they are really knowing.

        But then again, what are you trying to tell me? Really don’t understand the meaning, even after reading it multiple times.

    • There are only 5 levels of comment depth because more would cause each comment to become too narrow and we think that looks too ugly. This is why you must go back to the last 4th level comment to reply to a 5 level comment. Our current system is a compromise for nested comments.

      We cannot make custom ignoring feature because we depend on cache to keep our website available. The cost is probably very high and we actually do not make so much money.

      • Interested

        Create a flag or spam like control for racist or hate comments. Once labeled, it should hide away similar to that of youtube. So let hater burried out of sight.

        Racists will never recieve much attention on classic racist site like stormfront. Racists use this popular forum (Chinasmack) to spread their hate.

        Or even better, collaborate with FBI, CIA, or other anti-terrorist organizations to have their IP address and identify such radical individual since they are more likely to become a terrorist. FBI always finds way to put them in jail since they are more likely to commit other crimes too.

      • Interested

        Also ask for donnation to keep your site alive and well moderated.

  • Vault Dweller

    This shit is getting out of hand. What if a bunch of people here deem smiley faces or V signs to be offensive? Deal with it, Fauna’s always had the policy of allowing racist comments because it’s an integral part of her website’s purpose. You want her to change everything around, just so some people don’t have to skim over a comment they don’t like? What grants your subjective offensive words/statements any more pertinent than mine?

    • Chunghwa

      It’s been Fauna’s policy since 2008, but the site was very different back then, and we actually got constructive, useful discussion. There’s been an influx in newcomers who think that they can dictate what the atmosphere of the site should be like. People complaining “WAAH, THIS ISN’T CHINA NEWS, STOP POSTING ARTICLES ABOUT SONGS, WAAAH.”

      I’ve noticed many people have left. I don’t see that Matthew guy around anymore these days (he wears a hat in his Gravatar), nor do I see much of the old ChinaSMACK userbase. All these new names around – moop, asdf, Bo Xilai for Emperor, eattot (alright, maybe eattot isn’t THAT new) – you see them so commonly. I don’t even remember the last time I saw PUSAN PLAYA or that American expat living in China with the goatee (forgot his name lol). Pretty much Kedafu is the only one that still sticks around.

      • Cooljackal

        Hmm, interesting. Did not know that. I guess then the question is, who exactly is the audience of this site? Because if you target audience is the one who is complaining about the articles then it is with merit. But if they are the ones that want censorship then I guess that would be something else. Or do hits and ad revenue determine decisions and discussions about any of these are just that, discussions.

        • Cooljackal

          Sorry, some corrections:

          “..who exactly is the target audience..”

          And a “your” not “you” right after :)

      • Christina

        Chunghwa- I’ve been reading chinasmack since 2009 and noticed the same thing. I didn’t participate in the discussions until 2011, and stopped after facing some of the most ridiculous, troll-like stalker commentators possible. I used to love reading through all the comments, but now it has become a poo-flinging contest 80% of the time. many old timers who were actually interested in intellectual conversation, like Tenggu and those you mentioned, are gone, and I daresay it’s because they were crowded out by the proliferation of poo-flinging monkeys.

  • K

    I don’t know, but I just know I love reading Csmack and Kbang but sometimes there are so many mean comments and attacks on a personal level and I just don’t like to see people calling other people in the forum offensive names and just making the forum a place where I just don’t want to be because there is so much derogatory name calling of other commentators for no reason at all other then to just be mean. I know it’s the internet, I know some people like to be ill and mean and show their ugly side in hate filled messages, but it does make it less enjoyable when you’re just trying to give your comment and then have people calling you every name they can think of. I don’t care about the sofas or how some conversations can get off topic (I think sometimes it makes the forum interesting) but the blatant, non-constructive meanness of some commentators on here just makes it a place I don’t want to come to sometimes.

  • Rune

    Sorry “The undersigned”, looks like the NAYs have it. Freedom stays.

    • Kukuku

      Yup. And Wonka has a message for them at 1:54.

  • Wu

    People will still post racist things, this is the internet.

    Also since people don’t have to “sign-up” for the site, there is even less control over comments.

    Myself for example. I read Chinasmack from 3 different IPs over the week, I have over 4 email accounts, I could keep posting for a while even if I was banned. And I am not even trying to be a troll.

    So how successful would Chinasmack be if you had to fill out a real membership and make an account to join?

    I think a bilingual(trilingual even maybe?) waring is needed. Just tell people that the 99% of the comments are opinions from unreliable sources.

    • Vault Dweller

      Bobba that, the problem isn’t racism, the problem is that people get offended over a bunch of words on the internet and can’t be bothered scrolling past anything that makes them EXTREMELY GLUM.

      This is the equivalent of going to Fauna’s house, which has a big sign with the text ‘Racism is allowed’ and then whining to because you overheard some guy say something that made you EXTREMELY GLUM and demand that the wondrous, glorious, savage and beautiful internet be edited as the only free place in the world because you can’t be bothered not listening to stuff you don’t like.

    • C84

      Nothing will stop the really determined people from posting racist comments, including any requirements to sign up for accounts. Unless if moderators are willing to spend hours and hours everyday individually approving comments. Then, how do you decide what crosses the line and is racist or not? Some video uploaders choose to do that on Youtube – they selectively decide which comments to post and which to not post. Some don’t allow any comments at all, which is really best for Youtube. Some have no moderation of comments at all, and that is where it starts getting extremely interesting, since it seems like almost no one gets banned on Youtube for offensive/racist language.

  • I can understand both Fauna’s wanting to expose that there is plenty of foreign racism and I can also understand other people not wanting to deal with racists all day long.

    The best solution is if Fauna could implement some kind of rating system where you can put people on ignore. This way everyone gets what they want.

    • vince

      Yeah i agree the rating system works pretty well, I’ve seen how effective it is on some other sites.

  • John

    I never post on this website but read comments all the time. While I do find many comments to be combative and either overtly anti-Chinese or anti-Western, I am never offended. They certainly never devolve into anything resembling youtube.

    I find this is petition to be absurd and absolutely antithetical to Chinasmack’s goals. I don’t want to get censored for saying something like the bulk of Chinese people are ignorant, because that statement, sorry, is true. Also, this is not racism. I have seen no derision of the Chinese race as a whole once. People should be allowed to critique a country and its social policies.

    Whoever wrote this petition should probably not even be reading this website. It’s just real for them.

  • vince

    Hey Fauna why don’t you take a look at this site http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/wordpress/33-wordpress-plugins-to-power-up-your-comment-section/ and see whether any of these can be currently implemented with ChinaSmack, that way people can rate comments and keep the comments section cleaner, everyone wins. I think Disqus is pretty good.

  • Weak

    It is only those of weak intellects and low character who resort to gagging the mouths of those who offend them.

    Why not burn some books? Purge our adversaries from society? Rewrite the history books to suit our desire for harmony?

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