For far too long, NaNo has allowed a cesspit of unspeakable behavior to fester. Racists go unpunished, homophobes are allowed to speak freely, and various beliefs can be insulted without consequence. The moderators swoop in to play hero after the fight is over, and the ones trying to keep the peace are used as scapegoats. Time and time again, the mods have claimed that if only we would all respect each other and hear each other's sides, we could get along. This is untrue. The oppressors will ALWAYS oppress. It's time for the users of NaNo to let the mods know we will not stand for this any longer. It's time for us to take action.
So what does that look like? For starters, every nanoer who feels comfortable doing so is encouraged to write an email to the mods letting them know how you feel. An email template can be found here. In addition, testimonials and questions can be sent via this Google Form (which does not collect emails, so no worries).
We have to make some noise to show the mods how important this is. Therefore, we will be organizing a strike in the near future. During the strike, everyone participating will not use the forums or log into nano. This carrd will be updated with information as the situation changes. When a date is set, it will be added here for everyone to see, and when it starts, there will be a countdown at the top of the homepage marking how much time is left until it ends.Stay vigilant, stay loud, stay strong.
Some users have chosen to remain anonymous."I genuinely do not feel safe on the forums at this point. I know that I'm always going to be the bad guy for getting upset about anything. If I lay down, it keeps happening. If I stand up, I'm called aggressive and a bully." - Moth"When I joined NaNo years ago, I was fourteen. I felt safe on the forums because I knew the mods were there to step in if anyone was getting hurt. Now, I'm not so sure. I have seen the mods silence important discussions, punish NaNoers for speaking up for themselves, and completely ignore situations that both break the rules of the site and endanger the safety of the teenagers under their protection. The mods seem more concerned with tone policing and "keeping the peace" than with addressing bigotry or keeping NaNoers safe. They're the adults in the room, and they have consistently failed to live up to that responsibility." - Mercury"I’ve only been on NaNo for a few months, but just from that short amount of time the mods have continuously proven their incompetency. I’ve seen racists be free to be racist with little to no consequence from mods. I’ve seen numerous users abuse and manipulate others with little to no consequence from mods. I’ve seen those same abusers create alts with little to no consequence from mods. I’ve seen human rights be grossly debated with little to no consequence from mods.NaNo seemingly prides itself in being a safe space for minors, claiming to have vigilant and attentive moderators who care for and protect their young users. This is yet to be proven true. The users have been left to fend for themselves. The users who actually have defended themselves have faced consequences and/or punishment for doing so, while the actual offenders get off with no more than a “be nice :(“. There’s a line between being opinionated and being unruly and offensive, which the mods don’t seem to have a good grasp of. That’s scary. How can we be safe here with moderators who don’t even know what they’re doing? It shouldn’t be on us to do their job for them." - Wil"i first became active on nano during so-called "nano-drama". i quickly watched mini psas become an absolute minefield as moth defended its stance on intersectionality against a slew of threats and quite frankly offensive or otherwise ignorant responses (no seriously, go back and look.) i was this nobody (again seriously, my psa got FOUR responses because no one knew who the heck i was) who pulled up and helped defuse the situation before the literal moderators arrived at the mess.now, almost a year later, i have yet to see the mods act competently in a timely fashion - if i see them at all. situations like the other anti-racism psa drama (where we tried telling folk to not use asian names if you aren't asian yourself) or the much more recent pro-life vs pro-choice argument in the conservative thread get dealt with by posting a band-aid long post response before removing offending messages. this does absolutely nothing besides sweeping the issue under the rug. more importantly - well-known user issues such as the arlo and boba situations have not been mentioned at ALL by the moderator team. i should not need to explain why this is an issue. overall, i've been less than pleased by the way the moderator team has handled past events, and i've seen no indication that it has improved within the near-year timespan i've been an active member of the community here." - apollo"I've been around on Nano for a while, and while I knew about most of the stuff that has happened, I didn't know that it wasn't being handled like it should've been. I am upset that instead of speaking out against the constant problems they just silence it, say to be kind, then leave.
This is an app for minors, but that doesn't mean that the mods have to "protect" some who may be younger than 13 from real world problems or actually informing the young people on here how to deal with these situations, because that is what it seems the mods are doing, regardless of whatever the actual reason is. Preventing young people from learning this kind of stuff puts them at risk of getting hurt at other possible "safe" sights for minors that, in reality, aren't. I don't want to see nano become like one of them" - Faye"I consistently check all of the political threads, and it bothers me how things are addressed. How things are said matters more than what people are actually saying. People can explicitly say that they disagree with human rights and it's okay as long as they say so in a "respectful tone." Mods remove things based on how they are said, instead of the genuine harm they are causing. (Side note: I am grateful to the mods for trying to help. However, I think things need to be done in a much better way.) When people become rightfully angry, they are silenced by posts being removed or being told that they can't talk about certain things. We need change." - Anonymous"i'm not sure how long ago it's been now - a year or two, at most - when a group of two or three nanoers were constantly harrasing the lgbtq community, creating a "straight people" thread, being passive-agressive towards lgbtq nanoers, invading our spaces, & a lot of other stuff. every time the response was the same from the mods: a removal, one of those "be kind" posts, & that was it. two older nanoers made a post in quiltbag explaining the situation & listing the users so we could avoid them so we wouldn't get hurt. not even 24 hours later they were both temporarily banned for bullying. for context, i don't remember even ONE temporary ban coming to those who were hurting us. it's something that stuck with me for a while now." - Anonymous"I have spent most of my life living by the rule that if I don't know what to say, I don't say anything. it tends to feel like if I say something without spending minutes or hours calculating if it's worth saying, if I'm phrasing it in a way that will be understood, if it's the 'right thing' to say in that situation, it'll always end badly. I stay quiet a lot because of this, in small interactions and big ones. when harmful things are posted, I tend to stay silent, or at most second someone else's response, because I'm scared I won't be able to explain my points well enough, or my tone won't be level enough by the standards of the moderators. this is not okay.
I acknowledge that some of this stems from personal issues, and is not the responsibility of others. but I'm not going to keep pretending the actions of the moderators haven't played a role.
I was active in the recent discussion about abortion. I made my own posts instead of seconding those of others. I second-guessed my wording a lot. I expressed my disgust with those arguing against my rights. I did it in a way that called out the ideals more than the individual. I was still terrified I'd get in trouble. I still am. this is not okay.
I've noticed a pattern. when hateful things are posted, the mods aren't there. when people's manipulation is exposed, the mods aren't there. when children are forced to defend their rights and their very existence in what's advertised as a safe space, the mods aren't there.
when the discussions have blown up to more than a hundred posts, when the harm has already been done, when we've been told we don't deserve rights and we've gotten sick of 'flag it and move on' and decided to do something about what's happened, the mods show up. the mods show up, and they say 'be nice.' they show up and they take down the offenders' posts and give them a slap on the wrist. they show up and they proceed to shame us for not sugarcoating our responses. they show up, and they tell us that the bigots are full of crap, yeah, but that we were too aggressive when we called them out. they take down posts because someone swore once, or didn't keep their tone all sugar and light. they take down explanations of the issues with the logic behind the hateful posts,. they act like being sick of your rights being debated and letting that show in your responses to that debate is as bad or worse as starting that debate. they act like a negative tone is as bad or worse than a message of dehumanization and hate wrapped with a pretty bow to distract from what it is. this is not okay.
the mods have admitted, at least once, that they see things as fine as long as there's no personal attacks or negative tones in a conversation. but, apparently, they have decided that saying a person shouldn't have rights because of their race, gender, orientation, sex, disability, or any number of other things does not constitute a personal attack. but saying that the people that say that are behaving in a way that's disgusting is. this is not okay.
moderators are supposed to protect the community they're moderating. they have not done that. children should not have to defend themselves from people saying they don't deserve rights. we have had to do that. and when we decided keeping the oppressors' feelings in all those layers of bubble wrap wasn't worth it, the moderators decided that somehow we were a part of the problem. this is not okay.
when I first joined this site, it felt like the safest place I'd been in aside from my own home. but the longer I stay here the more I realize that's not real. 'there is no war in Ba Sing Se' is what the community guidelines tell us, what the moderators tell us. there's a (frick)ing war in Ba Sing Se and I'm tired of pretending otherwise so they can pat themselves on the back.
this crap is not okay." - anonymous"The mods like to talk about ‘safety’. They fail to recognize that the only safety they’re creating is for people who seem to feel comfortable manipulating others or posting discriminatory things under the guise of ‘friendliness’ or ‘discussion’. When it finally escalates to the point where the mods are required to step in, they give a general address to everyone about how we have to “respect opinions and differences”, and always bring up this topic of “safety”. But in doing so, they punish the people who are forced to defend their own rights, and they send the message that they care more about peace than equity. In doing so, they make the forums less and less safe for us and more accommodating for bigoted people. If we respond with firmness or anger, then they delete our posts. The moderators have a responsibility to everyone in the community, and that means that they have to back up minoritized people, and help lift their voices, not smother them." - layla"i used to trust the mods but recently there's been a lot more incidents of them not doing their jobs well. i'm not sure if i was just unaware of it before or if they've been getting worse at moderation. users shouldn't have to explain to them why harmful posts should be taken down.as an example, recently, a thread promoting vaping was created; the mods removed the posts but not the thread itself, until several hours later. if this was a troll, their response was delayed and they should've removed the thread earlier. [someone's saying rd said this was a glitch. if this was the case he could've been more transparent about not being able to remove the thread] if this was a team of adults, their delayed response was even worse. a site FOR CHILDREN shouldn't have ADULTS [especially ones trying to advertise harmful products] on it. the mods can't be negligent about stuff like this." - made"thank you for speaking out about this. this is really important. i don't really know how to say this but one of the mods was kind of guilt trippy? bringing up how they had a hard day and sighing iirc when i brought up an issue privately. unfortunately, i do not have receipts or anything and i'm not sure if this is a big enough issue but just in case, i'd like to mention it.another thing that i've seen multiple times is people flagging posts about sketchy age gaps. the mods removed the posts from the people saying that hey maybe that relationship isn't healthy.and also one time i flagged this post advocating suicide if you feel like you have no other option and the mods didn't remove it. they just removed the flag." - anonymous
Click this link to open a new email to the moderators. In a respectful but clear tone, explain what just happened and include a link if possible. Including screenshots and other relevant files is optional, but helpful. Multiple people are encouraged to report the same incident. Backing each other up is important to keep our forum safe.Want to go a step further? Log the incident in our timeline document. This will not dox you. This document is not managed by the NaNo mods and is completely under the control of the Speak Out committee. Any trolling will be deleted.