Reply – Re: TV Tropes is actually a horrible place.
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Re: TV Tropes is actually a horrible place.
— by chris the cynic chris the cynic
So the first thing I see here is:
Well, I can't defend that, but that's just the SA thread.

Again, Something Awful bans horrible people and deletes horrible things.

There's something interesting about that.  Something Awful, the place you describe as indefensible, is being defended by you as not allowing horrible things.  I guess something can be indefensibly hurtful, hostile, wrong and triggering without being horrible.

Where exactly is the line drawn?  When does the indefensible become the horrible?

That's my first thought, you've definitely come out with repeated defenses of those who would refuse to ban the indefensible.  That shows a healthy separation between how you feel about content (it's indefensible) and how you feel about a willingness to host that content (you repeatedly defend it and hold it up as an example of doing things right, or at least better.)

You understand, recognize, and champion the idea that it might be defensible to host content that it is indefensible to say.

Then elsewhere you condemn hosting the horrible as being horrible.

Where does the changeover happen?


I'm following deconstructions of three book series right now.  One of them involves the emotional manipulation of a depressed girl by a sadistic 104 year old man.  Another describes the destruction of the universe as we know it by a sadistic mass murder who kidnaps children, then tortures murders, and tortures some more the adults.  Twilight and Left Behind hare both deeply disturbing things in which we are meant to side with abusers and murderers.

I have previously read The Turner Diaries, it is a novel by a white supremacist that has been described as the bible of the Neo-Nazi movement in my country.  It involves the extermination of all non-white people, grotesque racism, and giant helpings of murder.

In my house, somewhere, there is a book of Nazi propaganda, the most important thing in the book (and the reason I wish I could find it right now) is the introduction, in which it describes why one would want to study Nazi propaganda.  There is a place for the preservation and publication of things which are evil.  There is cause to study and understand it.

Having firsthand accounts from stalkers, for example, ought to be an invaluable resource for those studying such things.  Hosting them isn't a problem.  Taking them down when people didn't like them even though your usual standard is to leave them up is a problem.  Inconsistency is a problem.  If one isn't going to edit, one shouldn't edit.  Period.  This has been discussed elsewhere.  If you say you won't edit you shouldn't, if you say you will you should, to do anything else is to fail in your role.

(At first I thought they they had failed in this regard, but I see that they got rid of Troper Tales entirely, so they have been consistent.  Once upon a time the accepted such things, now they don't, no evidence of selective editing in the middle.)

Even more so when it comes to whether or not works should have pages, of course they should have pages.  It doesn't matter how horrible they are, you don't remove something from your encyclopedia because you don't like it.  Amoung many, many other things, that's how we constantly end up with people saying, "X wasn't so bad," when it was grotesque.  If you sanitize things you erase the truth.


And all of this is before we get to the question of kink.  People don't get to choose their kink.  (If anyone knows differently, please speak up because there's some things about myself I'd like to change.)  Kinks aren't a problem.  Even the ones that make me want to vomit and leave me wishing brain bleach was an actual thing.  Even ones that years later still give me unpleasant feeling in spite of only encountering the briefest mention of them one time.  Kinks are not bad.

If someone is attracted to children that's not good, it's extremely unfortunate, but unless they act on it they're not evil.  Thinking about this disgusts me, but the fact is that there's no reason that they don't deserve something to get off to as much as anyone else.  If someone isn't hurting anyone, then by all means let them masturbate to whatever the fuck they want.  I don't want to know about it, I'd rather not accidentally bump into it on TVTropes, but it is simply not the case that their masturbatory material should be disappeared because we don't approve of it.

If it is hurting someone (as in the case of actual child pornography) that's another matter entirely, but cartoons and comics generally are not.

Someone who is attracted to children but never does anything remotely inappropriate with a child is not someone we should be punishing for their attraction to children.  Erasing them and their fiction from a site attempting to catalog the entirety of the human condition as told through our fiction would be punishment.  The term is "damnatio memoriae".  In this case it would be both dishonest and unfair.

As for rape, the same thing applies really.  Some people fantasize about being raped, some fantasize about doing the raping.  As long as it stays fantasy, there's nothing wrong with that.  People don't control what gets them off.

It's taken me a long time to reach the point where I can say this, there was a time when my visceral reaction to some of the things you're talking about would have caused me to agree with you.  I don't want that stuff on my internet.  But it isn't my internet.

It isn't my internet and the point of TV Tropes is not to create a place where only things I like show up.  TV Tropes is there to document everything.  Everything.  Everything includes a lot of stuff I don't like.  I would have been disappointed if I'd found that the Turner Diaries, the worst thing I've ever read, didn't have a page there.  (I just checked and it does, where it is pleasantly and correctly described as "a hate-filled and mean-spirited Author Tract".)

So yeah, they ought to have a lot of stuff you or I find objectionable.  They ought to have everything you or I find objectionable.  If it exists in the realm of storytelling, it ought to have a page.