RPG.net has passed down a policy that prevents its users from supporting President Donald Trump or his policies.
The anti-American policy was put into place by the administrator and the moderators of the forum on October 30th, 2018.
In the announcement post, the administrator of the forum explains…
“The following policy announcement is the result of over a year of serious debate by the moderation team. The decision is as close to unanimous as we ever get. It will not be the subject of further debate. We have fully considered the downsides and ultimately decided we have to stay true to our values. We will not pretend that evil isn’t evil, or that it becomes a legitimate difference of political opinion if you put a suit and tie on it.
“We are banning support of Donald Trump or his administration on the RPGnet forums. This is because his public comments, policies, and the makeup of his administration are so wholly incompatible with our values that formal political neutrality is not tenable. We can be welcoming to (for example) persons of every ethnicity who want to talk about games, or we can allow support for open white supremacy. Not both. Below will be an outline of the policy and a very incomplete set of citations.
“We have a community here that we’ve built carefully over time, and support for elected hate groups aren’t welcome here. We can’t save the world, but we can protect and care for the small patch that is this board.”
The policy outline states that you can still privately support President Donald Trump or his policies, but you are prohibited from making it known on RPG.net.
They state that they aren’t banning all Republicans, just those who openly support President Donald Trump. They also claim they aren’t supporting all Democrats either, but you can still voice your support for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, which seems to show a clear case of double-standards.
They also state that if you have a MAGA hat in your profile picture, or anything in your bio or profile that states open support for President Donald Trump or his cabinet or his policies, you will have to change it if you don’t want to be banned.
The post frames a negative image of Trump based on selected news articles and YouTube posts from mostly Left-leaning outlets, showing a very clear bias in how the administrative team reached their consensus.
As is typical of the Reddit community, they were very much in support of the ban since majority of Reddit is apparently anti-Republican and anti-Trump. The top rated user post on the Reddit thread is from user AofANLA, who writes…
[…] “”Why aren’t we allowed to post in support of Trump on this forum?” Is a question that jumps to mind here, and from my understanding it’s because the mods have drawn a direct line between Trumps policies and racism/anti-queerness/etc AND they’re added citations as to why they believe this.
“So what?” Well, when a proportion of a sites userbase keep talking about how they don’t like your kind, it makes you not want to hang out there. This is a move aiming to INCREASE participantion on the site by removing posts that would drive people away.
“But I don’t think Trump’s policies are racist because..” well the mod team do and they’ve listed why. Sometimes perception is the more important thing.
“I have freedom of speech to say what I want” sure, but I think places like RPGNET are more like a community gathering place. If people are unable to enter because others are driving them away then you need to get rid of the negative elements.” […]
Defending this kind of censorship based on someone’s (mis)interpretation of the President’s policies sets a dangerous precedent. Essentially we may begin to see more communities taking this route in banning users who openly support the President of the United States. At which point, communities actively trying to get people to become anti-American sets the stage for an explosive outcome.