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Thursday, January 24, 2013

They Can't Seem to Provide Me Any Good Answers

And that's ironic.

As promised, here’s what happened (so far) regarding a certain Big Internet Portal “question and answer” forum.

I had been participating there for years, helping people, clearing away the cobwebs of ignorance, making friends, and often getting “thumbs up” and Best Answer in the process, along with private positive feedback. Sometimes I linked to the service here on this blog, promoting them free of charge.

I had provided many, many, many answers and had asked a grand total of two questions.

But I may never be allowed to participate there anymore, due to being suspended. (If you are still active there, feel free to copy & paste anything from this blog, including from the FAQs and Discredited Arguments page, to answer questions there.) Also, if you know of a more reasonable question & answer forum, point me to it.) Nobody there seems to have the time or inclincation to actually discuss my suspension.

Now, I do understand it is their ball. There’s no law requiring them to be reasonable, fair, sensible, or actually discuss the matter with me, instead of sending me generic copy & pasted corporatespeak. But I did want to share with you, dear readers, what happened.

The gruesome details are below.


Keep in mind that through all of what I describe below, many of my answers continued to be awarded “Best Answer” over and over again.


On Wednesday, January 16, I got an auto-generated email from the service informing me that one of my answers had been “reported”…

The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"This sounds like sexual harassment and sexual assault, and there is probably no effective way of handling this without getting your mother involved. I have no problems with consensual play between siblings. This doesn't sound like that; it sounds like bullying and assault."
Horrible, scary answer right?
This answer has been removed and 10 points have been deducted from your account. You may not have realized this, but all answers submitted on [CENSORED] Answers must comply with the Answers Community Guidelines.

If you believe that your answer does not violate the Answers Community Guidelines, and would like to appeal the removal of your answer, you can have your case reviewed by Answers Customer Care. You have 7 days to submit your appeal. Please be aware that if your appeal is rejected, an additional 10 points will be removed from your account.
So there you go. There’s no quote of the actual question or a link to the question or even the question category, and any such link in my own account had been removed upon the “reporting.” That puts anyone wanting to make an appeal at a disadvantage. So does the fact that there is no indication of WHICH guideline the answer is alleged to have violated.

All it takes is ONE person to wake up on the wrong side of their lonely, empty bed and report an answer, and then the person who took the time to answer is “guilty until proven innocent” and kept in the dark about who their accuser is, and risks losing even more points by appealing.

I had gotten the rare reporting notice before, and had some of those successfully appealed, but this time I ended up getting a rapid-succession of similar notices, indicating to me that some bigot had decided to check my profile for my list of answers and report a bunch of my answers. That is a flaw in their system.

Here’s the second one…
"Isn't it ridiculous that anyone would have to ask such questions about consensual affection? There should be no law against any kind or level of affection between consenting adults, regardless of their relation. It isn't anyone else's business.”
And my answer then launched in to my systematic dismantling of anti-equality arguments.

Now, I had appealed the first reporting, not realizing I was being targeted by an obsessed stalker. My appeal was rejected…
We're sorry, but upon review we found that the following answer was indeed in violation of the [CENSORED] Answers Community Guidelines:

"This sounds like sexual harassment and sexual assault, and there is probably no effective way of handling this without getting your mother involved. I have no problems with consensual play between siblings. This doesn't sound like that; it sounds like bullying and assault."

Violation Reason: Incest
Now, the question itself was about “incest.” So how can my answer be a violation because of “incest?”

So, on Thursday, January 17 I asked only my second question on this service…
Shouldn't Answer Writers Be Told Who Reported Their Answer?

If my answer is reported for violating "Community Guidelines," shouldn't I get to know WHO reported the answer AND shouldn't the person reporting the answer have to quote which part of the answer or what about the answer violates which guideline? I've given essentially the same answers to what were really the same questions, and any of my answers that have been reported have, in many other instances, been Best Answer. I put thought and effort into my answers and I am available to be contacted if someone has a problem with an answer. People can vote down answers or give their own if they don't like mine or anyone else's, so reporting an answer should take some effort and come with some accountability.
I started to get answers.

BUT… that question was then reported! (And as with answers, being reported means it immediately disappears.) And my appeal was denied! Details below.

In the meantime, I got more of my answers reported. In responding to someone who keeps posting pretty much the same question over and over again, which is something like “Woud you have sex with your sibling if someone put a gun to your head?” my answer got reported…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Questions like this are insulting to the siblings who are in lifelong, happy, beautiful wholistic relationships. Also insulting is when some coward reports answers they don't like. Disagree? Then give a thumbs down, or write your own answer, or contact me through the information I've provided."
My first question asked, many, many months before, was reported…
The question you asked on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Is there any good reason to still deny the polygamous freedom to marry?"

This question has been removed and 10 points have been deducted from your account. You may not have realized this, but all questions submitted on [CENSORED] Answers must comply with the Answers Community Guidelines.

If you believe that your question does not violate the Answers Community Guidelines, and would like to appeal the removal of your question, you can have your case reviewed by Answers Customer Care. You have 7 days to submit your appeal. Please be aware that if your appeal is rejected, an additional 10 points will be removed from your account.
Another answer was reported…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"You can get information about assaults/molestations by close relatives by checking with RAINN: www.rainn.org/ Those things are far different than CONSENSUAL sex, which I hope you don't consider a problem."
What in the world is offensive about that?!?

And again…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Yes. Although the same could be said about assault/rape/molestation, I will only be addressing CONSENSUAL incest. CONSENSUAL incest happens everywhere, and always has. From rich to poor, rural to urban, royal to peasant, it goes on everywhere, including everything from youthful experimentation to lifelong spousal relationships to everything in between."
That one was actually at the Indian version of the service. Consensual incest is legal in India.

Another answer was reported, an answer I gave in response to a question about the possibility of some youthful experimentation years ago resulting in prosecution now…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"If they were both minors CLOSE IN AGE, there would likely not be charges as long as there wasn't any claim of force or coercion (and as long as some older kid or adult wasn't directing them to do it). Most experts consider that exploration or experimentation rather than exploitation…”
That all happened before my second question was reported…
The question you asked on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Shouldn't Answer Writers Be Told Who Reported Their Answer?"

This question has been removed and 10 points have been deducted from your account. You may not have realized this, but all questions submitted on [CENSORED] Answers must comply with the Answers Community Guidelines.

If you believe that your question does not violate the Answers Community Guidelines, and would like to appeal the removal of your question, you can have your case reviewed by Answers Customer Care. You have 7 days to submit your appeal. Please be aware that if your appeal is rejected, an additional 10 points will be removed from your account.
As with the answers, no reason is given as to why it was reported.

Then another answer was reported…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Very few people, if any, are truly addicted to sex, at least in a way that is any different than someone being "addicted" to eating a certain flavor of ice cream or doing anything else they enjoy. What you describe is someone finding out what it is that turns them on the most. It's like saying if someone subscribes to Sports Illustrated first, and then later a golfing magazine that there was some sort of "progression" of "addiction,", but really it was someone who always wanted a magazine about golf but didn't know it existed. If someone likes having sex with certain people or in a certain way, it doesn't mean they are addicted."
And another, which was in response to someone who was wondering if sibling she knew had something going on…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"In general, whatever the level of affection between adult siblings (of, it they're minors, if they are close in age), it should be up to them and nobody should interfere. There are stupid laws limited relationships in some places, but those laws need to be overturned. It is also their business if they want to tell anyone else what their level of affection is…”
Another answer reported…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"If you don't want to get someone pregnant, you should always wear a condom. As far as "incest," crossing the line would be anyone who forces themselves on anyone or molests a child, but that is true whether they are close relatives or not. There's nothing wrong with experimenting with, dating, or even marrying a FIRST cousin, let alone a second cousin. There are some countries and a little over half of US states where the bigotry against marriage equality extends to preventing first cousins from marrying, but there are many places where marrying a first cousin is legal and common. I'm not aware of any restrictions on second cousins…”

Mind you, this was all going on in a matter of minutes. Finally there was an email; with a different subject line: Violation Notice Email
You have posted content to [CENSORED] Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your content has been deleted and 10 points have been deducted from your points total. Community Guidelines help to keep [CENSORED] Answers a safe and useful community, so we appreciate your consideration of its rules.

Question: Should incest be decriminalized around the USA?

Deleted Answer: Consensual incest should be decriminalized. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults. There is no rational reason for keeping laws or taboos against consensual incest that is consistently applied to other relationships. Personal disgust or religion is only a reason why one person would not want to personally engage in what I call consanguinamory, not why someone else shouldn't do it. It isn't for everyone, but we're not all going to want to have each others' love lives, now are we? Some people try to justify their prejudice against consanguineous sex and marriage by being part-time eugenicists and saying that such relationships inevitably lead to “mutant” or “deformed” babies. This argument can be refuted on several fronts. 1. Some consanguineous relationships involve only people of the same gender. 2. Not all mixed-gender relationships birth biological children. 3. Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. 4. We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of these problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. Unless someone is willing to deny reproductive rights and medical privacy to others and force everyone to take genetic tests and bar carriers and the congenitally disabled and women over 35 from having children, then equal protection principles prevent this from being a justification to bar this freedom of association and freedom to marry. Some say "Your sibling should not be your lover." That is not a reason. It begs the question. Many people have many relationships that have more than one aspect. Some women say their sister is their best friend. Why can’t their sister be a wife, too? Some say “There is a power differential.” This applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to sex or to marry. There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. To question if consent is truly possible in these cases is insulting and demeaning. Some say “There are so many people outside of your family." There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. So, this isn't a good reason either. Some people who say it is wrong seem to have no problem with complete strangers having sex. So get over it, all of you who want your personal disgust to dictate the lives of others.

Violation Reason: Sexually Explicit Or Offensive Content
Really?!?
Question: Please please help?!?!?
If I recall correctly, someone was asking about including incest in a novel they were writing.
Deleted Answer: Does not bother me at all, if it is consensual. If it isn't, the predator better get punished.

Violation Reason: Sexually Explicit Or Offensive Content
Huh?!?
Question: Why is incest considered wrong?

Deleted Answer: Yes, an adult should be allowed to love ANY consenting adults. Why many people consider consensual incest wrong has to do with their own personal feelings (they are not attracted to anyone in their family), superstition, tradition of sex-negative laws and repressive cultural elements, ignorance, envy, jealousy, etc…

Violation Reason: Sexually Explicit Or Offensive Content
Again, HUH?!?
Question: Should I tell my son who his biological father is?
If I recall correctly, this was from a woman who had consensual sex with her brother and bore his genetic child.
Deleted Answer: I don't see any need for you to tell your son the truth, since it doesn't appear you are going to get back together with your brother. It might open you up to legal troubles and other troubles. MOST children born to siblings are healthy. People might say he needs to know for health reasons, but that's not true. He can go to doctors and get all kinds of tests that will be better at telling him what his health risks are. This situation is more common than people realize. I know siblings who are together as spouses, raising healthy children. They should not have to hide just because other people are disgusted or disapprove.

Violation Reason: Sexually Explicit Or Offensive Content
WHERE?!? (That question was asked twice more, so I gave the same answer again and again, to the same result.)

Then, it was back to the emails with the “your answer has been reported” subject line. This one, if I recall correctly, was in response to someone asking if their consensual adult relationship is illegal, and they asked it in “Religion & Spiritually”…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"Why is this asked in R&S? I expect deletion any moment. But just in case... Laws vary from place to place. For example, the laws of US states Rhode Island and New Jersey are very progressive and this would not be illegal. Some other modern countries have no laws against this…”
That’s when the ax came down.
[CENSORED] Answers Suspension Notice
Hello Keith(fullmarriageequality)

You have posted content to [CENSORED] Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your account has been suspended.

If you feel you were not in violation, please contact our Customer Care and tell us why.

Regards,
[CENSORED] Customer Care
Apparently, all it takes is one bigot to follow your list of answers and report enough of them in rapid succession to trigger an automatic suspension. There is no possible way to counter the “reporting” of questions this way quickly enough to avoid this automatic suspension, even if the appeals would have been sustained. This can happen to ANYONE who has answered more than a few questions. Once the suspension was in place, I couldn’t answer or ask, I couldn’t submit appeals (even has I continued to get notices that my answers were being reported) I couldn’t see my contacts, I couldn’t do anything but simply read questions & answers (the ones that haven’t been reported, anyway).

I wrote to Customer Care…

I've answered many, many questions for a couple of years now and have been respectful while doing do, and I've tried to follow Community Guidelines. Many people have chosen my answers as Best Answers and have given me thumbs up.

Someone, for some reason, is targeting me and has decided to report my answers (and questions) and since I have answered so many questions, all they had to do was start reporting all of my answers to trigger this suspension.

Having a difference of opinion is NOT a violation. Please restore my [CENSORED] Answers activity and stop the person who is stalking me.

Thank you,
-Keith


This is the “response” they sent me…
Thank you for contacting [CENSORED] Customer Care.

Your Incident ID is: [CENSORED]

• If you are reporting abuse, we appreciate your efforts to make our community better. We will investigate and take action where appropriate, and may contact you if additional information is required to complete our investigation.

• If you are submitting a request for assistance, or asking a question, we will respond as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
The [CENSORED] Customer Care Team
Then, another answer of mine was reported, and since I was suspended I couldn’t appeal. If I recall correctly, it was about a couple of people who were masturbating in front of each other, or at least in the same room…
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"It isn't incest if there is no sexual contact between the two of you. But regardless, all that matters is what the two of you want. Masturbation is natural and normal and there's nothing wrong with it, whether he's doing it, or you are doing it, or you are doing it at the same time. It isn't unusual for siblings as close in age as you are to experiment and explore in front of each other or with each other, regardless of what any prudes say."
Then I got a decline of my appeal for one of the answer given to the person asking from India…
We're sorry, but upon review we found that the following answer was indeed in violation of the [CENSORED] Answers Community Guidelines:

"Yes. Although the same could be said about assault/rape/molestation, I will only be addressing CONSENSUAL incest. CONSENSUAL incest happens everywhere, and always has. From rich to poor, rural to urban, royal to peasant, it goes on everywhere, including everything from youthful experimentation to lifelong spousal relationships to everything in between."

Violation Reason: Non-Commercial Personal Site Promotion
Ah! Finally something that appears to make sense: I linked to a page on my blog. Why? It was relevant to the answer. I’d gladly link to better pages. So, if someone asks, say, a question about French History and an expert in the topic answers the question and links to his own academic paper, that would be a violation? Give me a break.

Next came word about my second question…
We're sorry, but upon review we found that the following question was indeed in violation of the [CENSORED] Answers Community Guidelines:

"Shouldn't Answer Writers Be Told Who Reported Their Answer?"

Violation Reason: Chatting / Not a Question or Answer / Incomprehensible
HUH?!?

That was all on Thursday the 17th.  On Friday I got this “response”…
Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Subject
[CENSORED] Answers Suspension Notice

Discussion Thread
Response Via Email (Angus McKenzie)    01/18/2013 08:00 AM
Hello Keith,

Thank you for contacting [CENSORED].

You have posted content in violation of our Community Guidelines or [CENSORED] Terms of Service. As a result, your account has been suspended from [CENSORED] Answers, and you will no longer be able to access this service.

Uhm, gee, thanks for not explaining anything. I wrote back…

I realize that someone reported my questions and answers are being violations. I get that. However, what happened was that over the years, I've answered hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of questions, and someone targeted me by simply going through and reporting my answers and my two questions in rapid-fire succession, this preventing me from dealing with each reporting, and apparently triggering automatically a suspension. Please tell me exactly how a question such as "Is there any good reason to still deny the polygamous freedom to marry?" or "Shouldn't Answer Writers Be Told Who Reported Their Answer?" are is a violation? (And yes, they were asked in the right place.)

I await an actual response.

Thank you,
Keith Pullman


This was their "response"…
Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Subject
[CENSORED] Answers Suspension Notice

Discussion Thread
Response Via Email (Airis Lennon)    01/18/2013 04:41 PM
Hello Keith,

Thank you for contacting [CENSORED].
We have reviewed your appeal request. Upon review, we found that your content was indeed in violation of the [CENSORED] Answers Community Guidelines, [CENSORED] Community Guidelines, or the [CENSORED] Terms of Service. As a result, your content will remain removed from [CENSORED] Answers.
So on Saturday I responded…

HOW exactly is "Shouldn't Answer Writers Be Told Who Reported Their Answer?"a violation, when asked in the "[CENSORED] Answers" category? So far, I have not received any specific information other than what looks like form letters. I can only assume my suspension was automatically triggered for no other reason than ONE person not liking my opinions, and simply reporting my answers/questions in rapid-fire succession until I was suspended.

-Keith


Finally, I got yet another answer reported. Apparently it was about whether polygamy was going to be legalized or not.
The answer you gave on [CENSORED] Answers was reported by the Answers community:

"I sure hope so, because I support FULL marriage equality. The problems being blamed on polygamy are actually problems found in cultures with gender inequality, where it is patriarchal-polygyny (one husband, multiple wives) only. With gender equality, there's nothing wrong with allowing an ADULT, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, to marry ANY consenting ADULTS. It will actually reduce abuse as victims will be less afraid of law enforcement. Right now, a woman can live with and have sex with two men, but can't legally marry both of them. What kind of sense is that???"
Terrible, right?

And then I got some more “Best Answers,” as I had been getting all long.

Go figure.

So, there you have it. If you know of a more reasonable question & answer forum, point me to it.

So, some angry bigot who hates the idea of full marriage equality and relationship rights for all adults has managed to get me suspended based on a flaw in how that forum operates. Unfortunately for that bigot, that horse is out of the barn. We WILL get equality. An adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, will be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults. And there's nothing that they can do to stop us! We're on the right side of history.
— — —

4 comments:

  1. Perhaps:

    Yahoo Customer Service Info:
    866-562-7219 or 408-349-3300
    Yahoo Personal Email: 866-492-4664 (small fee)
    Yahoo Small Business: 866-562-7219
    8am - 5pm M-F (Pacific Time)
    cc-advoc@yahoo-inc.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only trouble is, (x) Answers has RULES, and not promoting incest is one of them. It is not an issue of your opinion. It is an issue of their rules. If incest of any sort becomes legal worldwide, I am sure they will change their rules. While it remains illegal (and sibling or parent/child sex is not legal anywhere) they will have rules against promoting it. The same way they oppose promoting prostitution, never mind in most cases everyone involved is fully consenting.

    You would find, if you could talk to the reporters, the issue was with your placing your website link onto the answers, this website, which is actively promoting INCEST. regardless that you call it "marriage equality". Regular posts of a site dedicated to glorifying farting and pooping, in the guise of "digestive health", would suffer the same fate.

    Denigrate both for being just the "eewww factor" if you like. A big majority of their users would react that way, therefore it is offensive to them, therefore the site owners don't want them exposed to it and/or leaving because of it. Business.

    My experience of the unnamed site suggests that you are mistaken when you write "I can only assume my suspension was automatically triggered for no other reason than ONE person not liking my opinions, and simply reporting my answers/questions in rapid-fire succession until I was suspended."....

    There are no automatic suspensions on that site If you got a suspension immediately following a very big string of deletions, the "one person" who took objection to your content would have been a senior staff member, not an ordinary fellow-user reporter. Only the "reported by the community" notices would be from user-reports. This means you are now known to the staff, so although you'd be free to start another account, that may not last long if it comes to their attention, and you continue to promote an activity that is against their rules. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous.

      "Only trouble is, (x) Answers has RULES, and not promoting incest is one of them."

      Explaining reality and promoting sensible law is NOT "promoting" incest. I promote the rights of every adult to be with other consenting adults. I responded to a question that was specifically about the subject of incest.

      You are not correct about the law. Consensual adult incest is legal in India (where one of the questions was) and many other countries, and a few US states. There is no federal law in the US against consensual adult incest.


      "You would find, if you could talk to the reporters, the issue was with your placing your website link onto the answers, this website, which is actively promoting INCEST."

      The link was mentioned in ONE instance cited above. And this site argues for ALL adults to have relationship rights.


      "My experience of the unnamed site..."

      And what exactly would that be, I wonder?


      "...suggests that you are mistaken when you write 'I can only assume my suspension was automatically triggered for no other reason than ONE person not liking my opinions, and simply reporting my answers/questions in rapid-fire succession until I was suspended.'...."

      I do know what my answers and two questions were reported in essentially a rapid-fire manner. So I am certain it was just one or two coordinated people doing so, unless you have some information about this exact situation that I don't for some reason.

      I find your focus on incest and your quick and articulate response to this entry interesting. Thanks for being so interested in this matter and any elaboration you want to make is most welcome.

      Delete

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE.