How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

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How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:52 pm

So, I was recently engaged in a conversation with some other quizbowlers regarding whether or not it was okay to ban someone from a tournament if they expressed certain political beliefs. To put it in context, the individual in question has:

1) Worn white supremacist t-shirts to quizbowl tournaments
2) Does not demure when accused of being a fascist
3) Thinks and says that liberals deserve to be killed for being liberal
4) Thinks transgendered people have mental disorders.
5) Unironically thinks the confederacy was great and celebrates the birthdays of prominent confederates.

My thinking as a tournament director was that I am entitled as a TD to not allow people who are personally threatening to me (I'm a liberal democrat, so presumably this person wants me to meet a bullet in between my eyes) to come to my tournaments. Further, I argue that people who are paying often many hundreds of dollars to come to my tournaments deserve to not have to play next to someone who thinks they're less human than he is or would want to kill them. I believe this to be a fair position. Finally, I would argue it's inappropriate to make the many POC who so kindly volunteer to staff my tournaments read to someone who thinks the world would be a better place if they didn't exist.

I also further made the point that if I banned him, and if I told the school he attends that he is not allowed to come to the tournament, and they brought him anyway, I would forbid them from playing that tournament. I also believe this to be a fair position, as what else can I do to enforce my own rules?

I would 100% not allow this individual to play my tournaments and I think that is fair. Apparently, this is not a commonly held opinion, so I'm curious about what everyone thinks.

Is it okay to not allow someone to come to tournaments due to things they did/said outside of quizbowl?
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Cheynem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:16 pm

I was one of the primary people arguing with Collin. I am strongly opposed to the idea of banning people for what they have done or said outside of quizbowl.

Let me be clear: as a tournament director, I would not tolerate ANY racist, sexist, harmful, threatening or otherwise inappropriate behavior from players and staffers (most of my post concerns players, as I think it's fair to be pickier with staffers). Any such behavior at a tournament is grounds for expulsion and possible banning.

However, what Collin seems to be primarily referring to is what a person says in private and posts on social media. I think this is a very harmful precedent for quizbowlers to pursue. We've certainly seen some pretty heated and downright offensive rhetoric even on these forums, let alone looking through someone's social media trail. I don't think anyone's seriously argued that because of things said people should be banned from quizbowl.

Here are my two primary reasons:

1. They play to the viewpoints of the tournament director, who may or may not share your viewpoints. By establishing the principle of "I'll ban people I find offensive/threatening," you're saying that all tournament directors can and should do the same thing. Would you support a far-right TD banning atheist or LGBT players? Even if you think that's ludicrous, the standards will invariably become subjective. Even if I don't agree with a person's viewpoints, even if I find them abhorrent or hateful, I might not necessarily think they're so hateful or threatening that they deserve a ban.

2. I think quizbowl should primarily be about inclusion, rather than exclusion, as I am a big advocate of the marketplace of ideas. I once held very different viewpoints than I do now; I changed because of greater exposure to new ideas and thoughts. Collin asked "would you allow a KKK member to play your tournament?" I told him, "yes, assuming the member doesn't do anything terrible at the tournament [this would include wearing Klan gear, obviously], because I think it would be good for a Klan member to be exposed to an activity played by people of diverse races, creeds, and faiths." Again, let me be clear that I would not tolerate offensive behavior at the tournament (or even quasi-related stuff, like if somebody posted "I'm going to kill all the black people I see at the tournament tomorrow"). I am not advocating that people should feel threatened or given an unreasonable burden--which is again why I'm making a distinction about behavior--but I would argue that there aren't too many frothing at the mouth, violence threatening Klansmen in quizbowl. There might be trolls, people who say stupid things on the Internet, people who are offensive or ignorant, and even people who are hateful. If they can restrain themselves sufficiently to play a quizbowl tournament, I think there is more gained by letting them play rather than not.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:18 pm

I still hold the sentiments I expressed when this argument happened on iqbm. Short answer: I don't think so.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby tksaleija » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:24 pm

Kilroy Was Here wrote:So, I was recently engaged in a conversation with some other quizbowlers regarding whether or not it was okay to ban someone from a tournament if they expressed certain political beliefs. To put it in context, the individual in question has:

1) Worn white supremacist t-shirts to quizbowl tournaments
2) Does not demure when accused of being a fascist
3) Has said things like "liberal democrats deserve to be executed"
4) Thinks transgendered people have mental disorders.
5) Unironically thinks the confederacy was great and celebrates the birthdays of prominent confederates.

My thinking as a tournament director was that I am entitled as a TD to not allow people who are personally threatening to me (I'm a liberal democrat, so presumably this person wants me to meet a bullet in between my eyes) to come to my tournaments. Further, I argue that people who are paying often many hundreds of dollars to come to my tournaments deserve to not have to play next to someone who thinks they're less human than he is or would want to kill them. I believe this to be a fair position. Finally, I would argue it's inappropriate to make the many POC who so kindly volunteer to staff my tournaments read to someone who thinks the world would be a better place if they didn't exist.

I also further made the point that if I banned him, and if I told the school he attends that he is not allowed to come to the tournament, and they brought him anyway, I would forbid them from playing that tournament. I also believe this to be a fair position, as what else can I do to enforce my own rules?

I would 100% not allow this individual to play my tournaments and I think that is fair. Apparently, this is not a commonly held opinion, so I'm curious about what everyone thinks.

Is it okay to not allow someone to come to tournaments due to things they did/said outside of quizbowl?


It's a weird gray area. I agree that you have the right, as a TD, to not allow certain people to play, but I also believe that banning people can become a slippery slope. Your reasons are very just in my opinion (comfort or yourself and players), but I can see someone twisting this to say it's a restriction of freedom of speech. Ultimately, I think the best solution would be to warn/inform the school or team that any intentionally inflammatory hate speech will result in an immediate expulsion of the player from the tournament. This leaves the responsibility on the player and school, rather than you. The team can choose to specifically speak to the player in question, but the general expectation will be "don't be a slimeball."

P.S. I have never staffed or been a TD, so take this as you will, but I think the points still stand.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby 1.82 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:27 pm

No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:32 pm

1.82 wrote:No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.


I'd appreciate it if you followed me in my "let's not make this about one specific person" mission and not mention any names. Thanks
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:35 pm

1.82 wrote:No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.

Naveed is right
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby heterodyne » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:39 pm

Kilroy Was Here wrote:
1.82 wrote:No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.


I'd appreciate it if you followed me in my "let's not make this about one specific person" mission and not mention any names. Thanks

Hmm, you don't want to make it about any specific person, despite making policy claims about one specific person for whom you have provided five (5) uniquely identifying descriptions. Odd.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:45 pm

heterodyne wrote:
Kilroy Was Here wrote:
1.82 wrote:No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.


I'd appreciate it if you followed me in my "let's not make this about one specific person" mission and not mention any names. Thanks

Hmm, you don't want to make it about any specific person, despite making policy claims about one specific person for whom you have provided five (5) uniquely identifying descriptions. Odd.


I used them as context as to what I think is an appropriate level of terribleness to ban somebody. If I were to simply invent some things, my point of "Hey, these are the sorts of beliefs that make me afraid to be around someone," would not be as effective.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby High Dependency Unit » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:45 pm

I think an important question is whether the individual's presence would make tournament participants feel threatened or extremely uncomfortable. For example, a member of our team was often bullied at tournaments by a student at another school, and I've been prepared to ban said student from our tournaments if necessary (though the two have not been to the same tournaments recently). If I felt that an individual could damage the tournament experiences of 1 or more participants, I would consider asking them not to attend.

No, you can't ban someone because his/her politics are bad. But you can ban someone for tangentially-related reasons (i.e. if said individual openly told transgender individuals he thought they had mental disorders, I would consider banning him, but if he keeps it to himself, that's not a real issue. Similarly, if he openly advocates for violence against certain individuals or groups, he should be banned, period).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:49 pm

So, I think I'm on Collin's side, although I'm not sure I'd make the same decision were I the one to TD the tournament. In particular, I think it's important to focus on
1) Worn white supremacist t-shirts to quizbowl tournaments

and
3) Thinks and says that liberals deserve to be killed for being liberal

The other points, though bad, are in my opinion just "this person has bad opinions" which is certainly not worth banning someone from a tournament over. However, I think that 1) is important, because it shows that the individual in question has a history of questionable behavior at quizbowl tournaments, which makes it more relevant to quizbowl.

Furthermore, 3) is important, because it crosses a line. I certainly don't want to play quizbowl with, or facilitate the playing of quizbowl by, somebody who honestly believes I should be shot for my ideas. In general, I think there's a reasonable interest in not welcoming people who actively advocate the death of a pretty large chunk of the quizbowl community. Again -- there is a line, and calling for deaths has got to be over it.

To directly address points others have made:

Cheynem wrote:We've certainly seen some pretty heated and downright offensive rhetoric even on these forums, let alone looking through someone's social media trail. I don't think anyone's seriously argued that because of things said people should be banned from quizbowl.


none of those people have made death threats or called for people's deaths as far as I know.

Cheynem wrote:Would you support a far-right TD banning atheist or LGBT players?


If those players publicly called for the deaths of Baptists, and/or had previously worn shirts to tournaments saying things like "DIE CIS SCUM", damn right I would. Calling for deaths of people is bad.

Cheynem wrote:I think it would be good for a Klan member to be exposed to an activity played by people of diverse races, creeds, and faiths.


Um, quizbowl exists to facilitate academic competition, not to rehabilitate racists.

Cheynem wrote:even quasi-related stuff, like if somebody posted "I'm going to kill all the black people I see at the tournament tomorrow"


I fail to see how this is materially different from "Liberal Democrats deserve to be executed". Yeah, sure, there's a legitimate difference in that the player in question didn't actually say he'd perform the executions himself, but we're still in the territory of "calling for deaths".

tksaleija wrote:believe that banning people can become a slippery slope


I think this is avoided by drawing a clear line at "don't call for people's deaths". Also, I think the quizbowl community is small enough, and the number of people affected by this small enough, that it's probably even feasible to deal with things like this on a case-by-case basis.

tksaleija wrote:the best solution would be to warn/inform the school or team that any intentionally inflammatory hate speech will result in an immediate expulsion of the player from the tournament. This leaves the responsibility on the player and school, rather than you.


This is a good idea, and if I were the TD it might be what I'd do, but I think a TD would be justified in going further.

1.82 wrote:No, you can't ban Luke Tierney from tournaments just because you found out today that his politics are bad.


Naveed, the impetus for this post was Luke's statement that "Liberal Democrats deserve to be executed", which was (by my understanding) very recent. I would think that Collin has known that Luke Tierney is a conservative for a while -- so have I, but I wouldn't have come close to supporting banning him from quizbowl tournaments until he called for my death.

2017 in amusement parks wrote:I think an important question is whether the individual's presence would make tournament participants feel threatened or extremely uncomfortable. For example, a member of our team was often bullied at tournaments by a student at another school, and I've been prepared to ban said student from our tournaments if necessary (though the two have not been to the same tournaments recently). If I felt that an individual could damage the tournament experiences of 1 or more participants, I would consider asking them not to attend.

No, you can't ban someone because his/her politics are bad. But you can ban someone for tangentially-related reasons (i.e. if said individual openly told transgender individuals he thought they had mental disorders, I would consider banning him, but if he keeps it to himself, that's not a real issue. Similarly, if he openly advocates for violence against certain individuals or groups, he should be banned, period).


I agree with this post in its entirety.

oh, and:

Kilroy Was Here wrote:I'd appreciate it if you followed me in my "let's not make this about one specific person" mission and not mention any names. Thanks


just for the record, though I agree with most of Collin's post, this is bad. We all know who's being targeted, and though I think this is a good discussion to have in general, it's also worthwhile to discuss the specific case at hand.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Progcon » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:50 pm

Mike Cheyne is entirely right. I am TDing Rube in January. I really don't want to have to go through the social media history of tons of high school quizbowlers I have never met in my life (and have to ask their coaches for names) just to see if a couple have hateful views so I can ban them. The most practical option is, in my opinion, is to ban a player who does hateful things at a tournament such as threaten other players and staff, say blatantly hateful things (you can imagine what these things would be), or harass other players and staff. These situations are extremely black and white and they are easy to legislate. Eg. "Did you say you wanted to hurt Mr. X? If so, you are not allowed to play the rest of this tournament." I see no reason to proactively ban certain players unless they say they are planning on spreading hate or violent speech. If a player feels unsafe or uncomfortable at a tournament I'm staffing or TDing, I'd encourage them to talk to me or the TD and I'm sure something can be worked out.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Habitat_Against_Humanity » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:59 pm

Kilroy Was Here wrote: Further, I argue that people who are paying often many hundreds of dollars to come to my tournaments deserve to not have to play next to someone who thinks they're less human than he is or would want to kill them. I believe this to be a fair position. Finally, I would argue it's inappropriate to make the many POC who so kindly volunteer to staff my tournaments read to someone who thinks the world would be a better place if they didn't exist.


Is it okay to not allow someone to come to tournaments due to things they did/said outside of quizbowl?


To what extent is it your tournament, though? I'm not sure to what extent TD's have carte blanche to enforce whims and wishes outside of the rules of the tournament. What if the rest of your club doesn't agree with you? (I'm just saying hypothetically, I have no idea what goes on at UofM internally) Given that the club as a whole should be pretty much the only beneficiary of the money gotten from a tournament, I'm not sure you have the power to enforce such a rule when it amounts to taking money away from the club.

Secondly, would you enforce this same policy at an NAQT qualifying event like SCT, where you, as a representative of Michigan's team have a vested interest in having other schools send teams that might be weaker without presence of said player? Would you be the one to decide not to allow a team to qualify for ICT or Nats based on who you want showing up? If your answer is yes, you've screwed up.

If this is an issue at a qualifying tournament, ACF or NAQT should make the call, not the whim of Collin Parks.


EDIT: It looks like UofM is hosting neither SCT nor Regionals. I think the point about TD overreach still stands though. ... and changed with to "without" to actually make sense
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:01 pm

Progcon wrote:Mike Cheyne is entirely right. I am TDing Rube in January. I really don't want to have to go through the social media history of tons of high school quizbowlers I have never met in my life (and have to ask their coaches for names) just to see if a couple have hateful views so I can ban them. The most practical option is, in my opinion, is to ban a player who does hateful things at a tournament such as threaten other players and staff, say blatantly hateful things (you can imagine what these things would be), or harass other players and staff. These situations are extremely black and white and they are easy to legislate. Eg. "Did you say you wanted to hurt Mr. X? If so, you are not allowed to play the rest of this tournament." I see no reason to proactively ban certain players unless they say they are planning on spreading hate or violent speech. If a player feels unsafe or uncomfortable at a tournament I'm staffing or TDing, I'd encourage them to talk to me or the TD and I'm sure something can be worked out.


I would agree with this, quizbowl and politics/beliefs are two separate spheres and should stay separate.

That being said, if someone says something racist/sexist/violent/homophobic/islamophobic/ etc. at a tournament, they should be banned from all tournaments period, end of story, no second chances. Because being comfortable has to go both ways. There is a line between (made up example) saying you disagree with DACA and saying all illegal immigrants should be shot. One is not hate speech, one is. One can be banned, one can't. I would agree with the above that a carte blanche ban should be the editor's call, but the TD can deal with these issues at said tournament as they arise.

I also do not by the slippery slope argument for two reasons. Number one, most quizbowl people are reasonable people and will not ban someone because they disagree with their politics/are of a different group. Secondly, if someone were to do such a thing, the community would have the ability to pressure/blacklist said group until a sufficent apology has been given and a clear message sent.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby brianamagin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:03 pm

While I can't say that someone holding those sorts of ideologies isn't worrying and possibly scary to a certain extent, I don't believe that it is enough reason to ban someone.

I'm sure there are probably (although I can't say for sure) people in the quiz bowl community that have some extreme views that they may or may not share with others, but it's not right just to ban someone from attending tournaments purely based on views that they post on social media. Unless said person has personally threatened someone specifically then you do not have the grounds to ban them from attending your tournaments.
I don't believe it's right to have what someone does and says outside of quiz bowl have any sort of effect on them within the activity. If said person begins saying threatening statements, or expressing opinions that blatantly make people uncomfortable at quiz bowl tournaments then you have no right to ban them from attending.

Some people have ideas that we don't agree with, or that we honestly just think are straight up wrong, but unless they throw those ideas in your face you shouldn't outwardly take any action on them for it. Everyone, whether good or bad, right or wrong, all has the same rights in life (and in quiz bowl) so you can not refuse them opportunities. If you want to disagree with them, feel free, but make no attempt to get a rise out of them just to help support your claim. You hold your ideas and he can hold his and unless either of you decide to attack the other you can agree to be civil while in person and get through a quiz bowl tournament without getting hurt. And if you want to decide to hate him and spend the entire car ride back from that tournament complaining about him, that is your right; but we are all adults here and I'd hope we can agree to act civil at an activity that we all enjoy participating in.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Cheynem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:04 pm

I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:05 pm

El Salvadoreno wrote:
Progcon wrote:Mike Cheyne is entirely right. I am TDing Rube in January. I really don't want to have to go through the social media history of tons of high school quizbowlers I have never met in my life (and have to ask their coaches for names) just to see if a couple have hateful views so I can ban them. The most practical option is, in my opinion, is to ban a player who does hateful things at a tournament such as threaten other players and staff, say blatantly hateful things (you can imagine what these things would be), or harass other players and staff. These situations are extremely black and white and they are easy to legislate. Eg. "Did you say you wanted to hurt Mr. X? If so, you are not allowed to play the rest of this tournament." I see no reason to proactively ban certain players unless they say they are planning on spreading hate or violent speech. If a player feels unsafe or uncomfortable at a tournament I'm staffing or TDing, I'd encourage them to talk to me or the TD and I'm sure something can be worked out.


I would agree with this, quizbowl and politics/beliefs are two separate spheres and should stay separate.

That being said, if someone says something racist/sexist/violent/homophobic/islamophobic/ etc. at a tournament, they should be banned from all tournaments period, end of story, no second chances. Because being comfortable has to go both ways. There is a line between (made up example) saying you disagree with DACA and saying all illegal immigrants should be shot. One is not hate speech, one is. One can be banned, one can't. I would agree with the above that a carte blanche ban should be the editor's call, but the TD can deal with these issues at said tournament as they arise.

I also do not by the slippery slope argument for two reasons. Number one, most quizbowl people are reasonable people and will not ban someone because they disagree with their politics/are of a different group. Secondly, if someone were to do such a thing, the community would have the ability to pressure/blacklist said group until a sufficent apology has been given and a clear message sent.


I don't really see a difference between wearing a shirt that contains white-supremacist propaganda at a tournament and "saying something racist," at a tournament. By your logic, he would rightly be banned.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:07 pm

Kilroy Was Here wrote:
El Salvadoreno wrote:
Progcon wrote:Mike Cheyne is entirely right. I am TDing Rube in January. I really don't want to have to go through the social media history of tons of high school quizbowlers I have never met in my life (and have to ask their coaches for names) just to see if a couple have hateful views so I can ban them. The most practical option is, in my opinion, is to ban a player who does hateful things at a tournament such as threaten other players and staff, say blatantly hateful things (you can imagine what these things would be), or harass other players and staff. These situations are extremely black and white and they are easy to legislate. Eg. "Did you say you wanted to hurt Mr. X? If so, you are not allowed to play the rest of this tournament." I see no reason to proactively ban certain players unless they say they are planning on spreading hate or violent speech. If a player feels unsafe or uncomfortable at a tournament I'm staffing or TDing, I'd encourage them to talk to me or the TD and I'm sure something can be worked out.


I would agree with this, quizbowl and politics/beliefs are two separate spheres and should stay separate.

That being said, if someone says something racist/sexist/violent/homophobic/islamophobic/ etc. at a tournament, they should be banned from all tournaments period, end of story, no second chances. Because being comfortable has to go both ways. There is a line between (made up example) saying you disagree with DACA and saying all illegal immigrants should be shot. One is not hate speech, one is. One can be banned, one can't. I would agree with the above that a carte blanche ban should be the editor's call, but the TD can deal with these issues at said tournament as they arise.

I also do not by the slippery slope argument for two reasons. Number one, most quizbowl people are reasonable people and will not ban someone because they disagree with their politics/are of a different group. Secondly, if someone were to do such a thing, the community would have the ability to pressure/blacklist said group until a sufficent apology has been given and a clear message sent.


I don't really see a difference between wearing a shirt that contains white-supremacist propaganda at a tournament and "saying something racist," at a tournament. By your logic, he would rightly be banned.


Yes, that is my position. If it was not clear, "speech" can be extended to include apparel, scoreboard notes, nametag notes, etc. etc.
Last edited by El Salvadoreno on Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:07 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:
Kilroy Was Here wrote: Further, I argue that people who are paying often many hundreds of dollars to come to my tournaments deserve to not have to play next to someone who thinks they're less human than he is or would want to kill them. I believe this to be a fair position. Finally, I would argue it's inappropriate to make the many POC who so kindly volunteer to staff my tournaments read to someone who thinks the world would be a better place if they didn't exist.


Is it okay to not allow someone to come to tournaments due to things they did/said outside of quizbowl?


To what extent is it your tournament, though? I'm not sure to what extent TD's have carte blanche to enforce whims and wishes outside of the rules of the tournament. What if the rest of your club doesn't agree with you? (I'm just saying hypothetically, I have no idea what goes on at UofM internally) Given that the club as a whole should be pretty much the only beneficiary of the money gotten from a tournament, I'm not sure you have the power to enforce such a rule when it amounts to taking money away from the club.


Seeing as I was specifically elected by the members of U of M quizbowl to be tournament director, it very much is my tournament. I run it on behalf of Michigan, but I am given full authority over the tournament. I spoke to the team about this, and they are behind me in believing this is a fair reason to ban someone and that I have the authority to do so.

Secondly, would you enforce this same policy at an NAQT qualifying event like SCT, where you, as a representative of Michigan's team have a vested interest in having other schools send teams that might be weaker with presence of said player? Would you be the one to decide not to allow a team to qualify for ICT or Nats based on who you want showing up?


If I were to host a qualifier, I would make sure that the editors of that set are aware of my blacklist. If they see a problem with it, we won't host. If they don't, we will continue to host.

If this is an issue at a qualifying tournament, ACF or NAQT should make the call, not the whim of Collin Parks.


I wouldn't disagree. If NAQT wants to allow white supremacist into their tournaments, that's their problem, not mine.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:08 pm

Cheynem wrote:I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"

The quotation Conor referenced was in a private convo. I think this is relevant information here.
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Progcon » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:08 pm

El Salvadoreno wrote:
Progcon wrote:Mike Cheyne is entirely right. I am TDing Rube in January. I really don't want to have to go through the social media history of tons of high school quizbowlers I have never met in my life (and have to ask their coaches for names) just to see if a couple have hateful views so I can ban them. The most practical option is, in my opinion, is to ban a player who does hateful things at a tournament such as threaten other players and staff, say blatantly hateful things (you can imagine what these things would be), or harass other players and staff. These situations are extremely black and white and they are easy to legislate. Eg. "Did you say you wanted to hurt Mr. X? If so, you are not allowed to play the rest of this tournament." I see no reason to proactively ban certain players unless they say they are planning on spreading hate or violent speech. If a player feels unsafe or uncomfortable at a tournament I'm staffing or TDing, I'd encourage them to talk to me or the TD and I'm sure something can be worked out.


I would agree with this, quizbowl and politics/beliefs are two separate spheres and should stay separate.

That being said, if someone says something racist/sexist/violent/homophobic/islamophobic/ etc. at a tournament, they should be banned from all tournaments period, end of story, no second chances. Because being comfortable has to go both ways. There is a line between (made up example) saying you disagree with DACA and saying all illegal immigrants should be shot. One is not hate speech, one is. One can be banned, one can't. I would agree with the above that a carte blanche ban should be the editor's call, but the TD can deal with these issues at said tournament as they arise.

I also do not by the slippery slope argument for two reasons. Number one, most quizbowl people are reasonable people and will not ban someone because they disagree with their politics/are of a different group. Secondly, if someone were to do such a thing, the community would have the ability to pressure/blacklist said group until a sufficent apology has been given and a clear message sent.


I think you are mostly correct but I am super opposed to "zero tolerance" and "three strikes your're out type laws". It's pretty clear that you are a shitty person and should be banned if you say "illegal immigrants should be shot" but I think we can all imagine that there are potentially hateful or distressing things that exist in a gray area. I wouldn't want a player banned for life for making a offensive joke that came out wrong or making a sarcastic remark that was not funny. If you want to ban them for a tournament or two, fine, but I'm always nervous when people talk about implementing blanket zero tolerance policies because we have seen how they work in practice sometimes (drug possession laws).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby eashwar » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:22 pm

Cheynem wrote:I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"


I would say that your example of "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" also crosses the line of calling for the deaths of individuals, and while both are hyperbolic, statements probably being hyperbole still should be treated with the weight of actual threats of violence.

I agree with the idea that quizbowl's point isn't to police social viewpoints either. But the point is to hold academic competition in a safe and inclusive setting, and if we treat any threats of violence seriously, then we need to consider whether or not this person is going to foster that setting. They may not have expressed their viewpoints at a tournament, but people have lives outside of tournaments, and will have (such as fear of violence) that they have outside of tournaments when they are at those tournaments as well, if this safe setting isn't enforced.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:24 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"

"Liberal democrats deserve to be executed" was in a private convo. I think this is relevant information here.


Myers is right, and it is also questionable whether it was made in 100% seriousness. To my recollection, some people on this forum have expressed similar sentiments - in public! - that the shooting of congressmen was a fine thing. I don't think anyone has called for their banning (nor should they)
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby luke1865 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:24 pm

So first things first. There are factual issues with every single point you have raised. I do not think anyone should be executed because of what they think. That was obviously a joke and everyone involved in the conversation understood. I am also not a fascist. I am a traditionalist and I oppose fascism for several reasons. That political compass was grossly inaccurate and was posted humorously with the tag line "lol" to show how stupid it was

On an unrelated note, I think a certain student at the University of Michigan should be banned for his long history of cyberbullying, including during live stream that many of us saw....

To end, as I pmed you, defamation is a crime. Several of the things you have said are false or deliberately misleading, and you are doing it with clear malice
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:34 pm

luke1865 wrote:So first things first. There are factual issues with every single point you have raised. I do not think anyone should be executed because of what they think.


Yeah, I'm not sure I believe you. Wait no, I'm SURE I don't believe you, and I've received more than one message from people saying "oh, that's not really anything special from him."

If you make the sort of jokes and with enough frequency that lead to several people to tell me "He's a racist and a fascist," then you may want to examine what kind of jokes you make.

I am a traditionalist and I oppose fascism for several reasons.


Right, and, given by the fact you thought wearing a Rhodesia shirt in public was appropriate, your "traditions" are white supremacy.

Again, I am willing to believe the several people I've talked to who have echoed the idea that "Luke thinks these things," over you.

On an unrelated note, I think a certain student at the University of Michigan should be banned for his long history of cyberbullying, including during live stream that many of us saw


Yes, because making jokes at other peoples expense that I regret is not at all different from saying "hey, these people should die." Try again.

defamation is a crime. Several of the things you have said are false or deliberately misleading, and you are doing it with clear malice


Okay, and when you bring a lawsuit against me, I'll worry about that. You should note that threatening legal action is not allowed on the forums (or at least wasn't back when I was active).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby luke1865 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:36 pm

I did not threaten legal action on the forum. I merely pointed out that you are committing a crime. Do with that what you will. I would also like to point out that, by your own admission, you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the things you are talking about. You are just a self righteous gossip trying to virtue signal
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby tksaleija » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:41 pm

For the sake of the preservation of this discussion, I think we should move away from individual fights and arguments, lest we find that what could have been a good, thought-provoking post has now become banned because it devolved into fights. If you feel the need to discuss more fervently, I would just personally suggest doing it elsewhere.

Edit: This isn't a threat or me taking sides at all (most of you have no idea who I am anyways so you probably want me to stop butting in), just a gentle nudge in a more peaceful area
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:42 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Sit Room Guy wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"

"Liberal democrats deserve to be executed" was in a private convo. I think this is relevant information here.


Myers is right, and it is also questionable whether it was made in 100% seriousness. To my recollection, some people on this forum have expressed similar sentiments - in public! - that the shooting of congressmen was a fine thing. I don't think anyone has called for their banning (nor should they)


Well this is true in the abstract, "private conversations" can sometimes still be overheard and still make people uncomfortable whether hyperbolic or not. And just because it is hyperbolic does not mean it is not hate speech. If I say "all blacks should be lynched" I may not mean that, but that does not mean I am not a racist (this example is obviously figurative).

At the end of the day, speaking in abstracts will always make the waters muddy. And yeah, the zero tolerance/ fire and brimstone speech I made upthread is probably a little too far for anything that is not super blatant hate speech (i.e. the lynching example above).

In short, people should be able to police themselves and realize that what they say can and does sometimes make people uncomfortable and that that should be avoided if at all possible. But if people cannot, then yes there needs to be some system of consequences, especially for repeated behavior.

EDIT: Grammar. Also avoiding say x group should die is in general a good rule to follow
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kasper Kaijanen » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:44 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I think I would have to make a value judgment on "liberal Democrats deserve to be executed" in regards if this is actually a threat. Is this anymore offensive than saying "Anybody who voted to repeal net neutrality should be tortured or executed" (a statement I've seen widely on people's Facebooks)? Let me be clear: I'm not offended by people saying that, but both seem to be similarly hyperbolic statements basically outlining somebody's views. I don't think I would ban somebody over it.

You're right that quizbowl's point isn't to rehabilitate racists, but neither is it necessarily to police social viewpoints. The point is academic competition. If a person is indeed a threat or is behaving in a disruptive or offensive matter, then that person should be removed and/or banned. I think Michael Borecki's point is more or less correct--that if a person keeps his views to himself, that's "fine" (for the purposes of playing quizbowl).

I should also note that I have no problem giving a warning to people suspected of doing offensive things or have a track record in that vein and then strictly enforcing the warning. Please don't confuse my viewpoint with "we must respect free speech at all costs!"

The quotation Conor referenced was in a private convo. I think this is relevant information here.


Was it, say, the kind of conversation you might have in a locker room?
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:45 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Myers is right, and it is also questionable whether it was made in 100% seriousness. To my recollection, some people on this forum have expressed similar sentiments - in public! - that the shooting of congressmen was a fine thing. I don't think anyone has called for their banning (nor should they)


Well, Rep. Scalise doesn't play quizbowl, whereas there are a number of "liberal Democrats" who do. I think the issue here is that the set of people whose deaths were called for has a significant and nonempty intersection with the set of quizbowlers.

To use a more hypothetical example, suppose someone a) is passively a homophobe but keeps it to themselves at tournaments, b) has espoused homophobic views at tournaments, or c) doesn't say anything at tournaments but has called for the death of LGBT people on social media.

In case a) I'd never support banning that person.

In case b) I'd almost certainly ban that person.

In case c) it would depend on the context of those statements. I would defend the right of TDs to ban the person, including my own club's TD.

Luke falls somewhere between b) and c) (obv not for homophobia but other stuff), given his having worn a white supremacist shirt to a tournament, as well as the aforementioned comments online. The shirt incident was long enough that, were I to direct a college tournament (and I'll likely be the TD if/when we host a tournament this semester), I wouldn't ban him from the tournament. I would, however, make it clear that if any participant were to engage in hateful speech, they'd be kicked out of the tournament, and that Luke would be especially under scrutiny in this regard (to the point that I'd likely tell staff

I would be interested in knowing whether anyone disagrees with cases a) and b) above, or with the course of action that I would take.

tksaleija wrote:For the sake of the preservation of this discussion, I think we should move away from individual fights and arguments, lest we find that what could have been a good, thought-provoking post has now become banned because it devolved into fights. If you feel the need to discuss more fervently, I would just personally suggest doing it elsewhere.


This is a good post, since the point of this thread was "at what point should we bar people from playing quizbowl for hate speech, if any?" and not "isn't Luke Tierney / Collin Parks a bad person?".

El Salvadoreno wrote:In short, people should be able to police themselves and realize that what they say can and does sometimes make people uncomfortable and that that should be avoided if at all possible. But if people cannot, then yes there needs to be some system of consequences, especially for repeated behavior.


I endorse this opinion.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Progcon » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 pm

I'd also like to say that I think that individual clubs need to be able to flex a lot of power here. If you are the leader of a college or high school club, and one of your club members says something hateful, pull them aside an tell them that's not okay. Also consider if it'd be worth it to make them stay at home while their teammates go to the next tournament. Dealing with hateful speech at the club level prevents big drama on social media and I think it makes a bigger difference when it's your team leader telling you to knock if off rather than some tournament director you don't really know. TDs should be able to have some discretion but I think the club should try to handle things internally if possible.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:46 pm

luke1865 wrote:I did not threaten legal action on the forum. I merely pointed out that you are committing a crime. Do with that what you will. I would also like to point out that, by your own admission, you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the things you are talking about. You are just a self righteous gossip trying to virtue signal

What do people generally do after they have a crime committed against them? Is it, perhaps, legal action?
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:48 pm

Tibetan literature wrote:Was it, say, the kind of conversation you might have in a locker room?

Perhaps. Scrolling through DMs to find incriminating stuff to get your opponent banned doesn't seem like an ideal future for any of us, though.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Kilroy Was Here » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:51 pm

luke1865 wrote:I did not threaten legal action on the forum. I merely pointed out that you are committing a crime. Do with that what you will. I would also like to point out that, by your own admission, you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the things you are talking about. You are just a self righteous gossip trying to virtue signal


Or, I was aghast at the fact that people seemingly are willing to tolerate the hateful trash you spew, and mentioned that I wouldn't let you at my tournaments. This started an argument about whether or not a TD could/should ban someone, which continued on to here. I even, for your own sake, tried to keep your name out of it as much as I physically could.

If you thanks that's a crime, then you might want to talk to a legal mind other than Donald Trump.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:53 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:
Tibetan literature wrote:Was it, say, the kind of conversation you might have in a locker room?

Perhaps. Scrolling through DMs to find incriminating stuff to get your opponent banned doesn't seem like an ideal future for any of us, though.


I think Jakob makes a good point in that what people say in private conversation probably shouldn't be taken as a public threat, unless it's obviously one (or, like, it's directed at the recipient of the private conversation). You are welcome to draw a conclusion from it that the person making those statements is a bad person, but it doesn't seem like it should warrant banning someone from your quizbowl tournament.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby luke1865 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:53 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Myers is right, and it is also questionable whether it was made in 100% seriousness. To my recollection, some people on this forum have expressed similar sentiments - in public! - that the shooting of congressmen was a fine thing. I don't think anyone has called for their banning (nor should they)


Well, Rep. Scalise doesn't play quizbowl, whereas there are a number of "liberal Democrats" who do. I think the issue here is that the set of people whose deaths were called for has a significant and nonempty intersection with the set of quizbowlers.

To use a more hypothetical example, suppose someone a) is passively a homophobe but keeps it to themselves at tournaments, b) has espoused homophobic views at tournaments, or c) doesn't say anything at tournaments but has called for the death of LGBT people on social media.

In case a) I'd never support banning that person.

In case b) I'd almost certainly ban that person.

In case c) it would depend on the context of those statements. I would defend the right of TDs to ban the person, including my own club's TD.

Luke falls somewhere between b) and c) (obv not for homophobia but other stuff), given his having worn a white supremacist shirt to a tournament, as well as the aforementioned comments online. The shirt incident was long enough that, were I to direct a college tournament (and I'll likely be the TD if/when we host a tournament this semester), I wouldn't ban him from the tournament. I would, however, make it clear that if any participant were to engage in hateful speech, they'd be kicked out of the tournament, and that Luke would be especially under scrutiny in this regard (to the point that I'd likely tell staff

I would be interested in knowing whether anyone disagrees with cases a) and b) above, or with the course of action that I would take.

tksaleija wrote:For the sake of the preservation of this discussion, I think we should move away from individual fights and arguments, lest we find that what could have been a good, thought-provoking post has now become banned because it devolved into fights. If you feel the need to discuss more fervently, I would just personally suggest doing it elsewhere.


This is a good post, since the point of this thread was "at what point should we bar people from playing quizbowl for hate speech, if any?" and not "isn't Luke Tierney / Collin Parks a bad person?".

El Salvadoreno wrote:In short, people should be able to police themselves and realize that what they say can and does sometimes make people uncomfortable and that that should be avoided if at all possible. But if people cannot, then yes there needs to be some system of consequences, especially for repeated behavior.


I endorse this opinion.


This is another issue of people using factually accurate descriptions. The shirt was not a "white supremacist shirt". That is not a neutral description of it. It was a mistake to wear it, but it was not espousing a racist message on its own. Believe it or not, people have different views of history. I liked that shirt because it is an anti communist message
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Beetle » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:55 pm

The assertion being made by the OP is so self-evidently incoherent that I'm beginning to wonder why I'm even replying.

Oh, now I remember! It's because I was the one that initiated the conversation with Luke. We were the only two parties involved -- it was a private conversation over Facebook. We were discussing the exit polls for the Alabama senate race a few nights ago and I mentioned how, paraphrasing, "every GOP establishment shill must hang." I can at least speak for myself and say that I don't actually want to see people hanged for any reason. And I think I can also speak for Luke in that we were engaging in purposely hyperbolic discussion to have a good laugh. I then shared the one small part (two one-sentence messages) of the chatlog over Facebook messager to another friend for amusement, clearly implicating that it was ironic. This person then spread the message to a private group chat, not communicating correctly the proper context for the messages. The screenshot of the chat was then spread to an incredibly toxic group that promotes open harassment of players who express political views to the right of Leon Trotsky, again without context.

The idea that a TD holds such censorious, regressive views -- to the point of campaigning on banning a person over things said in a private, two-person chat, things not even targeting a particular quiz bowler -- is undoubtedly more scandalous than the content of the messages themselves.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby luke1865 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:56 pm

Kilroy Was Here wrote:
luke1865 wrote:I did not threaten legal action on the forum. I merely pointed out that you are committing a crime. Do with that what you will. I would also like to point out that, by your own admission, you have no firsthand knowledge of any of the things you are talking about. You are just a self righteous gossip trying to virtue signal


Or, I was aghast at the fact that people seemingly are willing to tolerate the hateful trash you spew, and mentioned that I wouldn't let you at my tournaments. This started an argument about whether or not a TD could/should ban someone, which continued on to here. I even, for your own sake, tried to keep your name out of it as much as I physically could.

If you thanks that's a crime, then you might want to talk to a legal mind other than Donald Trump.


Why would you use those specific examples if you wanted to keep me out of it? You are a liar who is trying to score points while refusing to take responsibility for your own actions or the crime you are engaged in. It is sad that harassing teenagers is much fun for you
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Cheynem » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:57 pm

I'll try and talk about Conor's solution in the abstract since I agree that we should focus less on hyperspecifics (which as others have correctly pointed out, are incredibly messing up what could be an interesting and useful thread):

In Conor's case, he is saying he wouldn't ban Player X for a clear act of misbehavior at a tournament some years ago, but he would issue a strict no-tolerance warning and perhaps tell staff to be on their guard. I think this is entirely fine. As I've said, I believe bad acts actually done at a tournament should not be tolerated. If a player also had a checkered history, I also think it's fair to be especially vigilant and wary of that player (this would be true for any player for any number of bad deeds).

I agree with Conor's solution primarily because it is a response to a past/potentially future concrete bad action at a tournament. I think that is the simplest and best thing to focus on rather than in trying to interpret or police people's private or social media comments, unless the latter are particularly threatening.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:57 pm

Also grats UMich you made people (including me) sympathize (at least in this very limited case) with Luke :capybara:-ing Tierney. That's an *extraordinarily* difficult task.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Cody » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:59 pm

Everyone in this thread supporting bans for behavior that doesn't directly affect tournaments (including participants at tournaments) is wrong. Full stop.

Since Mike Cheyne is fully correct (per usual) and has done all of the sensible talking, let's focus on something else.

Who exactly do you think you are, Collin? Why does "Tournament Director" at the "University of Michigan" give you the right to determine who gets to play quizbowl? Who else, at which other universities, gets this power? What criteria are you using to functionally ban people from the game of quizbowl? Are your maxims subject to review?

A tournament director has many responsibilities. You have responsibilities to the editors of the tournament you are hosting. (You know, the people that determine eligibility?) You have responsibilities to the teams you are hosting. You have responsibilities to your staffers. Etc.

The balance is whether Luke has done something sufficiently bad to warrant banning him in light of your responsibilities to those groups. Removing a racist shirt upon being told it is not acceptable and he wouldn't be allowed to play quizbowl in it? Expresses objectionable and hateful views in private or semi-private forums? Bad these may be, but they do not affect your tournaments. You can coexist in a public space with Luke without any problems because he does not disrupt tournaments (to my knowledge). Quizbowl is all about inclusion, and banning people does nothing but isolate them.

I have TDed a tournament where a player with Tourette's repeatedly muttered "c***" at half-time with a female scorekeeper in the room. (Thankfully, the moderator in that room was a pro.) There are ways to deal with unacceptable behavior without banning people from quizbowl. (Certainly, zero-tolerance policies are NEVER the answer.)

Lest we forget, the last time there was a kerfluffle about banning someone from tournaments (5-ish years ago), it was a Catholic expressing anti-abortion views on social media. Banning someone for their views was a bad idea then, and is no less of one now. You are quite literally skidding down a slippery slope.

Let's not forget the absolutely deplorable, misogynistic behavior of some University of Michigan (that school where you are the TD, remember?) quizbowlers during the HSNCT finals. Fuck. Off. (edit: scooped.)
Last edited by Cody on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:03 pm

Beetle wrote:The assertion being made by the OP is so self-evidently incoherent that I'm beginning to wonder why I'm even replying.

Oh, now I remember! It's because I was the one that initiated the conversation with Luke. We were the only two parties involved -- it was a private conversation over Facebook. We were discussing the exit polls for the Alabama senate race a few nights ago and I mentioned how, paraphrasing, "every GOP establishment shill must hang." I can at least speak for myself and say that I don't actually want to see people hanged for any reason. And I think I can also speak for Luke in that we were engaging in purposely hyperbolic discussion to have a good laugh. I then shared the one small part (two one-sentence messages) of the chatlog over Facebook messager to another friend for amusement, clearly implicating that it was ironic. This person then spread the message to a private group chat, not communicating correctly the proper context for the messages. The screenshot of the chat was then spread to an incredibly toxic group that promotes open harassment of players who express political views to the right of Leon Trotsky, again without context.

The idea that a TD holds such censorious, regressive views -- to the point of campaigning on banning a person over things said in a private, two-person chat, things not even targeting a particular quiz bowler -- is undoubtedly more scandalous than the content of the messages themselves.


If you are correct (and I'm not sure why you'd be lying about this) I can't defend banning Luke unless he actually makes such statements publically and unironically, which to my new knowledge he hasn't. I will admit to not having seen the original quote (not being on facebook) and going off of what I was told. This does not change any of the general statements I have made in this thread, but it changes where Luke's actions fit on the spectrum to somewhere that's pretty clearly not worthy of banning.

I'll try and talk about Conor's solution in the abstract since I agree that we should focus less on hyperspecifics (which as others have correctly pointed out, are incredibly messing up what could be an interesting and useful thread):

In Conor's case, he is saying he wouldn't ban Player X for a clear act of misbehavior at a tournament some years ago, but he would issue a strict no-tolerance warning and perhaps tell staff to be on their guard. I think this is entirely fine. As I've said, I believe bad acts actually done at a tournament should not be tolerated. If a player also had a checkered history, I also think it's fair to be especially vigilant and wary of that player (this would be true for any player for any number of bad deeds).

I agree with Conor's solution primarily because it is a response to a past/potentially future concrete bad action at a tournament. I think that is the simplest and best thing to focus on rather than in trying to interpret or police people's private or social media comments, unless the latter are particularly threatening.


Cool, I think this is a reasonable community norm to have explicitly stated.
Last edited by CPiGuy on Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby El Salvadoreno » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:04 pm

CPiGuy wrote:Well, Rep. Scalise doesn't play quizbowl, whereas there are a number of "liberal Democrats" who do. I think the issue here is that the set of people whose deaths were called for has a significant and nonempty intersection with the set of quizbowlers.

To use a more hypothetical example, suppose someone a) is passively a homophobe but keeps it to themselves at tournaments, b) has espoused homophobic views at tournaments, or c) doesn't say anything at tournaments but has called for the death of LGBT people on social media.

In case a) I'd never support banning that person.

In case b) I'd almost certainly ban that person.

In case c) it would depend on the context of those statements. I would defend the right of TDs to ban the person, including my own club's TD.


I agree on a & b. But, as I said above, the best rule of thumb for c is things outside quizbowl stay outside quizbowl (what I am calling now the the sphere rules).

Also, what happened to Rep. Scalise was a tragic act of terrorism, regardless of your political views. The world (and the U.S.) would, in general, be a better place if people did not say people deserve bodily harm. But again, I would say the sphere rules apply if someone made a comment like this online (if it were at a tournament, I would need context).

Also, if someone has Tourette's that is a mightily different case from someone saying c*** for no reason (in a clearly offensive manner).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby An Economic Ignoramus » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:06 pm

Beetle wrote: The screenshot of the chat was then spread to an incredibly toxic group that promotes open harassment of players who express political views to the right of Leon Trotsky, again without context.


This is 100% false on every count, as literally any reasonable person you talk to will confirm. I'm not a whack job, however, so I will not accuse you of committing a crime.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby tksaleija » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:15 pm

Okay, it feels like we're reaching a point where people are just reiterating the same ideas as have already been discussed. To make it all more concise, here's what seems to be the (more or less) middle ground idea: If a person posts inflammatory content outside of a tournament, the responsibility of addressing this lies with the team or school (i.e. Person A posts about the KKK being cool dudes who aren't bad and the coach says "stop that or you're not participating at this tournament). A TD can't control what people think, but preemptive banning can make the person banned a "martyr for their cause" and will have more issues than if they had let the teams deal with it. BUT, if Person A says the same things in the middle of a game, around other people, creating a toxic environment, then the idea of banning could become something to be discussed (I feel like this could also apply if Person A posts a tweet during the the tournament that is racist/sexist/homophobic etc. with malicious intent).

Tl;dr Teams can deal with their players how they want outside of a tournament, but TDs can deal with their attendees as they want within their tournament (i.e. TDs don't/shouldn't have the power of the preemptive ban, only coaches or schools, since that's who'd be represented at comps).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Borrowing 100,000 Arrows » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:24 pm

Cody wrote: Let's not forget the absolutely deplorable, misogynistic behavior of some University of Michigan (that school where you are the TD, remember?) quizbowlers during the HSNCT finals. Fuck. Off. (edit: scooped.)


This made me and several of my teammates very uncomfortable. I am glad that someone finally brought this up publicly (though this thread seems like kind of a bad place to do so). I really think that there ought to be some sort of consequences for the people who made those comments, they were extremely inappropriate and reflect very poorly on our community (I imagine that there were parents and school-administrators watching that live-stream).
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby CPiGuy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:31 pm

Cody wrote:Everyone in this thread supporting bans for behavior that doesn't directly affect tournaments (including participants at tournaments) is wrong. Full stop.

Since Mike Cheyne is fully correct (per usual) and has done all of the sensible talking, let's focus on something else.

Who exactly do you think you are, Collin? Why does "Tournament Director" at the "University of Michigan" give you the right to determine who gets to play quizbowl? Who else, at which other universities, gets this power? What criteria are you using to functionally ban people from the game of quizbowl? Are your maxims subject to review?

A tournament director has many responsibilities. You have responsibilities to the editors of the tournament you are hosting. (You know, the people that determine eligibility?) You have responsibilities to the teams you are hosting. You have responsibilities to your staffers. Etc.

The balance is whether Luke has done something sufficiently bad to warrant banning him in light of your responsibilities to those groups. Removing a racist shirt upon being told it is not acceptable and he wouldn't be allowed to play quizbowl in it? Expresses objectionable and hateful views in private or semi-private forums? Bad these may be, but they do not affect your tournaments. You can coexist in a public space with Luke without any problems because he does not disrupt tournaments (to my knowledge). Quizbowl is all about inclusion, and banning people does nothing but isolate them.

I have TDed a tournament where a player with Tourette's repeatedly muttered "c***" at half-time with a female scorekeeper in the room. (Thankfully, the moderator in that room was a pro.) There are ways to deal with unacceptable behavior without banning people from quizbowl. (Certainly, zero-tolerance policies are NEVER the answer.)

Lest we forget, the last time there was a kerfluffle about banning someone from tournaments (5-ish years ago), it was a Catholic expressing anti-abortion views on social media. Banning someone for their views was a bad idea then, and is no less of one now. You are quite literally skidding down a slippery slope.

Let's not forget the absolutely deplorable, misogynistic behavior of some University of Michigan (that school where you are the TD, remember?) quizbowlers during the HSNCT finals. Fuck. Off. (edit: scooped.)


As another member of the Michigan quizbowl board, I would like to make some things clear:

-- as the TD, Collin gets to run the tournament; if in his opinion banning someone from a tournament were necessary to fulfill his responsibilities to the staffers and the other attending teams, I think that would fall under his purview to determine. Likewise, if the editors of the tournament were to tell him "don't host this tournament unless you don't ban people", then he would decline to host the tournament because he didn't feel he could fulfill his responsibility to the editors. I don't think he's violated any of those responsibilities, or claimed to intend to. I can't speak for what happens at other universities, but I'm not sure how relevant it is.

-- Collin's question was largely theoretical; there would certainly be further discussion among our club before making a decision like this (including having other people direct the tournament if Collin didn't feel able to). Many of the club members felt, based on the information we initially had, that he would be justified in doing this, even if we wouldn't do it ourselves. There were also many people who felt that he wasn't justified in doing so. There would undoubtedly be further discussion and possibly actual votes (I'd have to consult our club constitution on that one) before any actual decision was made. Collin's opinions should not be interpreted as being those of the Michigan club, unless they appear in an actual tournament announcement (and you can bet that if they do, the club would have to have agreed to them).

-- As for the HSNCT finals thing, the people making the deplorable sexist comments were not associated with Michigan as far as I know; the worst conduct that any of our club members were involved with was joking about how a female player was liable to say "nice buzz" loudly, which I can't really see as being either deplorable or misogynistic, even if it is possibly mean-spirited. Stop making unfounded claims about our club based on the behavior of people on the internet who aren't part of it.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby luke1865 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:35 pm

CPiGuy wrote:
Cody wrote:Everyone in this thread supporting bans for behavior that doesn't directly affect tournaments (including participants at tournaments) is wrong. Full stop.

Since Mike Cheyne is fully correct (per usual) and has done all of the sensible talking, let's focus on something else.

Who exactly do you think you are, Collin? Why does "Tournament Director" at the "University of Michigan" give you the right to determine who gets to play quizbowl? Who else, at which other universities, gets this power? What criteria are you using to functionally ban people from the game of quizbowl? Are your maxims subject to review?

A tournament director has many responsibilities. You have responsibilities to the editors of the tournament you are hosting. (You know, the people that determine eligibility?) You have responsibilities to the teams you are hosting. You have responsibilities to your staffers. Etc.

The balance is whether Luke has done something sufficiently bad to warrant banning him in light of your responsibilities to those groups. Removing a racist shirt upon being told it is not acceptable and he wouldn't be allowed to play quizbowl in it? Expresses objectionable and hateful views in private or semi-private forums? Bad these may be, but they do not affect your tournaments. You can coexist in a public space with Luke without any problems because he does not disrupt tournaments (to my knowledge). Quizbowl is all about inclusion, and banning people does nothing but isolate them.

I have TDed a tournament where a player with Tourette's repeatedly muttered "c***" at half-time with a female scorekeeper in the room. (Thankfully, the moderator in that room was a pro.) There are ways to deal with unacceptable behavior without banning people from quizbowl. (Certainly, zero-tolerance policies are NEVER the answer.)

Lest we forget, the last time there was a kerfluffle about banning someone from tournaments (5-ish years ago), it was a Catholic expressing anti-abortion views on social media. Banning someone for their views was a bad idea then, and is no less of one now. You are quite literally skidding down a slippery slope.

Let's not forget the absolutely deplorable, misogynistic behavior of some University of Michigan (that school where you are the TD, remember?) quizbowlers during the HSNCT finals. Fuck. Off. (edit: scooped.)


As another member of the Michigan quizbowl board, I would like to make some things clear:

-- as the TD, Collin gets to run the tournament; if in his opinion banning someone from a tournament were necessary to fulfill his responsibilities to the staffers and the other attending teams, I think that would fall under his purview to determine. Likewise, if the editors of the tournament were to tell him "don't host this tournament unless you don't ban people", then he would decline to host the tournament because he didn't feel he could fulfill his responsibility to the editors. I don't think he's violated any of those responsibilities, or claimed to intend to. I can't speak for what happens at other universities, but I'm not sure how relevant it is.

-- Collin's question was largely theoretical; there would certainly be further discussion among our club before making a decision like this (including having other people direct the tournament if Collin didn't feel able to). Many of the club members felt, based on the information we initially had, that he would be justified in doing this, even if we wouldn't do it ourselves. There were also many people who felt that he wasn't justified in doing so. There would undoubtedly be further discussion and possibly actual votes (I'd have to consult our club constitution on that one) before any actual decision was made. Collin's opinions should not be interpreted as being those of the Michigan club, unless they appear in an actual tournament announcement (and you can bet that if they do, the club would have to have agreed to them).

-- As for the HSNCT finals thing, the people making the deplorable sexist comments were not associated with Michigan as far as I know; the worst conduct that any of our club members were involved with was joking about how a female player was liable to say "nice buzz" loudly, which I can't really see as being either deplorable or misogynistic, even if it is possibly mean-spirited. Stop making unfounded claims about our club based on the behavior of people on the internet who aren't part of it.


Collin very clearly mocked Chloe and disparaged her ability. He made a joke about her buzzer being broken. I can't say the motivation was sexist (unlike Colin I don't believe in accusing people of things with no evidence), but it was clearly very rude and an instance of cyberbullying towards a high schooler
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Cody » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:39 pm

tksaleija wrote:Tl;dr Teams can deal with their players how they want outside of a tournament, but TDs can deal with their attendees as they want within their tournament (i.e. TDs don't/shouldn't have the power of the preemptive ban, only coaches or schools, since that's who'd be represented at comps).
This is ultimately a very important point. There is a substantive difference between banning someone from your team, and banning someone from tournaments, which is a function of the role of a club vs a tournament. Quizbowl clubs often turn into tight-knit social groups, and someone can be toxic as a member of a quizbowl club even if they never disrupt a tournament. (It's very easy for a tesn to collapse due to one toxic person driving people away.) Tournaments are entirely separate, though. It's a public competition. While the quizbowlers you meet at tournaments can indeed turn into a tight-knit social group, it's a very different dynamic from that of a quizbowl club. While privately expressed, publicly known views can be toxic at the club level, there is no reason they have to interfere with a tournament.

All of which is to say, if Chicago, of all clubs, does not seem to have a problem with Luke being on the team, maybe your position is far less sound and far more fundamentally flawed than your black-and-white bullet points would suggest.
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Re: How far should we tolerate hate speech in quizbowl?

Postby Guile Island » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:43 pm

This thread has been out of hand for a while. We're going to lock it for now while the staff have some more discussion on the matter.
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