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About ShannonLeigh

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  • Birthday 11/03/1992

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  1. By banning political speech you have sparked political speech. Retract your policy and take the time to form a competent and comprehensive policy instead. @Telanir

  2. “(violent revolutions, genocide, eliminating age of consent laws, executing heretics, etc.)” literally all things that have/do happen in character on the server. Why do we have to ignore these sorts of things and avoid the discussion on them in regards to the REAL world, but allow them to occur in game? I’d say that these all easily fall under mature themes as well. “If we allow political debate, we get into the dangerous territory of forum moderators deciding the Overton Window for legitimate discussion.” The server has been up since 2011. In all that time, this sort of political debate has been allowed. It didn’t manage to rip itself apart or burn down in all that time. Why should we ban it now? The purpose of the thread is to highlight the lack of planning and forethought that Telanir’s new policy has. The points I make in my post are clearly my personal opinion on the matter, but I wanted to draw to light the ramifications a vaguely worded policy like that can have. I’m very aware that using #FreeHongKong doesn’t actually DO anything. It’s a form of protest against this policy, one that I disagree with to my very core. Trust me when I say that I feel completely helpless when it comes to Hong Kong, as well as many other issues around the world. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t voice my opinion and spread awareness of the situation.
  3. Hello! My name is Shannon. I’ve been on LotC for several years now, and have been mildly vocal over those years in regards to different subjects of debate. I usually try to keep my commentary short and concise because I personally struggle to get through really long posts. However, this particular subject is one I’m especially passionate about and this post will probably get a bit long winded at times, but I will do my best to stay focused. I’m going to be posing a lot of questions that, while I may have a personal answer for, I want the reader to ask themselves. Feel free to respond to the post with your personal answers and opinions. Anyway, let’s start with a basic definition! Censorship and Deplatforming Censorship is a concept that most of us learn about in secondary school. We read books like 1984 by George Orwell or Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, which are typically among the required reading for high school students in the United States. Luckily, many of us do not experience real world censorship in our day to day, as most of us are living in first world countries with constitutions that protect our basic human rights. However, most of us are aware that censorship is alive and well in many parts of the world where people are being suppressed by their governments in an effort to control them. The Internet, as we all know, is not controlled by any one government, and while some countries can choose to shut the service off, they cannot control it. This opens up the question: Are people granted rights on the internet? Do we have a right to free speech on the Internet? The short answer, from a legislative perspective, is no. The Internet, and websites like this one, are not subject to upholding our personal basic right to freedom of speech. That brings us to a concept called Deplatforming.[1] “Deplatforming, also known as no-platforming, is a form of political activism or prior restraint by an individual, group, or organization with the goal of shutting down controversial speakers or speech, or denying them access to a venue in which to express their opinion.” Do the users of Lord of the Craft come to the forum specifically to discuss political or controversial topics? No, not typically. Does that mean that the rule doesn’t deplatform us as users? In my personal opinion, I believe it still does. In effect, we are being denied the ability to freely discuss our opinions on specific subject matter. From my own subjective moral standpoint, this is wrong. Let’s look at why censorship and deplatforming are a problem. I’m going to try and avoid generalizing and speaking about it on a global level, because my goal is to focus on it’s effects here on LotC. Most users of Lord of the Craft are between the ages of 16 and 26. The human mind stops maturing at age 25.[2] In our most formative years, we have decided to spend a great deal of time roleplaying in a fantasy medieval world. I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s because a few of us are in fact trying to find a temporary escape from the real world, and there is nothing wrong with that. Using a social platform as a coping mechanism is okay, to an extent. However, we have to look at where coping becomes seclusion. Avoiding problems for extended periods of time will not magically solve them. Everyone has to learn this at some point in their lives, and I have certainly learned that lesson while trying to run from my own by submerging myself into the LotC world. That being said, I do not believe that people come onto the server to cope with or specifically avoid matters that are controversial or political. In fact, I think it’s incredibly important for the users of LotC to be exposed to matters that are political and controversial in nature. I do not believe we can grow and mature as a people and as a community by ignoring the real facts of the world. To become a well rounded and mature individual, I believe one must be willing to expose their minds to other thought processes and opinions, and in the modern information age, here on the internet, we have such an incredible opportunity to do so. Unlike our parents, and their parents before them, we have an incredible ease of access to people our age from all around the globe who each have been raised in different environments and have varying beliefs and opinions. It’s with the access to these various streams of thought that we as young adults can grow and progress. The world is, of course, a very harsh and horrible place. It will continue to stay that way as long as we bury our heads in the sand and act like nothing is happening, refusing to expose our minds to the greater reality. Political Debate Political debate is something most of us are exposed to in some regard almost every day. Whether it’s the news feed on your phone, your Youtube homepage recommendations, or a television program, all of us are regularly exposed to the current ongoings in the world. It’s a regular segment on news channels to host people, be them experts or otherwise, to attend their shows and debate a current matter. We’ve all seen clips of these debates become heated as one or both sides become impassioned about the subject. It’s perfectly normal and has been happening for as long as humans have been able to speak to one another. We’re volatile creatures by nature, a violent species with a strong will. Many of us are quite stubborn. Does this make these debates useless? Are people simply wasting their breath and energy by debating these subjects? Personally, I strongly believe they are not. Politics touches every part of our lives, every part of our world. Even people who actively avoid politics are still touched by them because of lawmaking and their governments enforcing various policies. So, is it healthy to avoid the debate entirely because it might upset us? At some point, all of us will get into an argument or heated discussion about something political in nature. It’s a fact of life. But just because it’s inevitable and often times uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s bad for us. Tracing back to the point about such debate being healthy for us, we also have to continue to argue and discuss to learn the boundaries by which we should operate. By experiencing hurt, be it physical, verbal, or emotional, we are taught the boundaries at which these things affect us and others around us. Someone who experiences that sort of hurt can then use the experience to understand the gravity of which that feeling affects a person. Conflict is not inherently bad. It can be used for mental and emotional growth of a person. Of course, it won’t always happen that way. Some people won’t grow from it, but that’s simply another lesson to be learned. Depriving people of that opportunity doesn’t help anyone. Depriving people of the exposure to different or opposing beliefs will not be beneficial to anyone. The Moral Consequences As previously mentioned, the owners and rule makers of LotC and it’s forums have no legal responsibility to uphold freedom of speech on their platform. However, we can ask the question, do they have a moral responsibility to uphold freedom of speech as a basic human right on their platform? Morality is broad and everyone in the community is at their own unique place on the moral spectrum. I believe though that we have a baseline of modern morals, ones that are defined by the United Nations as basic human rights. One of the rights as defined by the UN is the freedom of expression. This includes freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly and petition.[3] Can we say that, by denying one of the basic rights that the United Nations deems as universal, that LotC’s rule is morally corrupt? I know it sounds extreme, referencing the United Nations in regards to a minecraft roleplaying server, but the reason I do it is because the right exists for a reason. No matter the country or the platform, these rights are meant to be universal. Given to all people, no matter what. To deny that right, to deny that freedom because you want the users of this platform to argue less, is not a proper solution. The Line of Controversy In addition to a ban on any form of political speech, Telanir has banned any discussion of the vaguely termed ‘controversial’ subject matter. The problem here is that one's definition of what is and is not controversial will vary in degrees both small and large. My 80 year old grandfather believes global warming isn’t real. Does that mean that because he defines it as a controversial topic, it’s discussion should be banned? LGBT people are denied their basic rights all around the world, but will I not be able to discuss my own sexual orientation because I myself am LGBT? Who I am at my core is considered controversial by many, many people around the world. Will I be unable to discuss it? What about our transgender community members? Are they no longer allowed to discuss who they are? You have to see how shakey the platform that you are trying to prop this rule up on is. At what point will the community decide they are not able to be themselves within LotC? The Blur between OOC and IC Despite the rule mentioning that it applies to OOC lines of communication, there is a significant blur between what happens in character and out of character, both on a personal and political level. Misogyny, homophobia, racism, and classism are all a regular part of day to day interactions for many people in the world of LotC. Why should we, as a community, be unable to discuss this and it’s real world ramifications, and yet be subjected to it in character? If LotC is the world we escape into to avoid these real world problems, then why are they allowed to occur in character? I am by no means saying that you should now go and ban all those things in character. Hell, you’d lose half the player base because of those things alone. The political and moral mirror to the real world in game is highly present in a vast majority of interactions on the server. Where do we plan to draw the line about discussion? If I speak about my characters struggles with sexism and homophobia in character, will I simply be expected to stay silent on any real world experiences I’ve had in regards to that? We have to look deeply into this rule and understand that there are certain aspects, political, controversial, and of a mature nature, that occur both in the real world and in our roleplay world. Mature Content and the LotC Experience In addition to the discussion about the lines between OOC and IC, we find ourselves at the subject of ‘mature themes’ on LotC. As it has been mentioned and as many people are aware, content that would most definitely be considered ‘mature’ is daily and commonplace on the server. Decapitations, murder, mutilation, and torture are all a part of life for our characters. I wonder if this rule about OOC discussion is a step towards the disallowment of these sorts of actions in character as well. Actions, that quite frankly, go hand in hand with medieval environments. I do not think the server would be as enjoyable or dynamic without these sorts of evils present in the in character world. I believe that by vaguely stating that ‘mature themes’ should not be discussed, there has been a serious wrench thrown into the discussion about it in regards to in character matters. The Judges The next point I come to is the discussion about who the judges are and how to decide what is and is not rule breaking. All of the staff are volunteers, as we know, and I would hazard a guess that all of the GMs are under the age of 25. There has long been the concern of staff using rules to their own advantage, and whether or not we want to believe it, it has happened in the past and is liable to happen again. We are flawed and volatile creatures, as much as we may hate to admit it, and I can only see this rule being abused by those who are not trustworthy with the power this gives them. Target bans have been made even easier to give out with this, by deeming anything even remotely controversial or political as rule breaking. I want to be clear that I do not think the vast majority of staff would abuse this rule, but it certainly opens up a door for those who would. The fact is that controversy is subjective, and when you add in something subjective as a law/rule, the judge inherently is unable to be objective. Defining Inflammatory Discussion Quite frankly, I do not have any solutions to this matter. It’s not really my job to have a solution. But I do think that this rule was poorly thought out, poorly planned, and will be poorly executed. I believe that this rule has the opportunity to be much more highly defined and fine tuned to fit what Telanir is trying to go for, which is a space where people cannot harass others with derogatory or otherwise harmful discussion. That much, I agree with. But the manner in which this has been presented and thus far upheld to the community is laughable. I do believe that with proper planning and thought, the staff CAN define what is inflammatory discussion, and prohibit that sort of behavior on the LotC medium. I do not think that an extremely vague and broad rule is any kind of proper means to solve the problem that Telanir sees in the community. The Human Resources Approach Expanding on that, I believe that what we are seeing is a prime example of Telanir’s almost complete disconnect from the server and the communities mentality and ideals. Telanir seems to me to be treating the server as a PR project, a campaign or corporation in which he must soften all the edges in order to avoid controversy. The long winded and largely meaningless blog posts we receive from him only serve to highlight his inability to understand the wants and needs of the server. By using sweeping actions, he ineffectively finds solutions to otherwise specifically solvable problems. The TL;DR Outright banning discussion about political, controversial, and mature themes is morally questionable, not productive for the growth of the community, extremely hard to define, and ineffective. Telanir did not put enough thought or planning into this wide armed rule, and the server will suffer for it. If you made it through all of that ranting, I thank you for your time to read. As I mentioned at the start, this is a subject that I am extremely passionate about, and I will not stop discussing and fighting back against this policy until something is done about it. #FreeHongKong. [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deplatforming [2] https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708#:~:targetText=But emerging science about brain,maturity until the age 25. [3] https://www.aclu.org/other/freedom-expression BONUS CONTENT!
  4. #FreeHongKong

    1. Crevel


      You're a little late ngl.

    2. ShannonLeigh




      I’ve been passionate about the matter for a long time and will now be as vocal about it as possible while @Telanir thinks it’s a  good idea to ban political discussion 

    3. frill


      Hong Kong is rightful Chinese clay

  5. **** you, Free Hong Kong
  6. Annabelle of Castor welcomed Milena into the Seven Skies with open arms. “You did wonderfully, dear Queen.”
  7. Mushrooms by Alexander Vyazemskiy It was a cold day, the middle of winter really. Estrid’s hands stung from the chill as she huddled at a small campsite, wrestling with the paper wrapped lunch she had brought. The elfess had been a vegetarian for hundreds of years now, and she’d been lucky enough to find a few small mushrooms clinging to a tree, even in these wintry months. She’d become quite familiar with mushrooms and many other flora during her long stints away in the forests, a common occurrence for the elfess. She liked to call them her walks, but everyone who was close to her knew it was her escaping the realities that had formed around her. Her mother, many centuries ago, had commented that Estrid always had her head up in the clouds, never looking down at where she was going. Perhaps her mother had been right, because the fat little mushrooms she was tucking into her sandwich were not safe for eating. Half hour later she was leaving the Gateway behind her, and passing through the fields into the wild western expanse which had, thus far, gone mostly untouched by the larger Arcas population. There had been a couple of groups that had ventured beyond the great mountain range, dwed lurking far beneath, but hat had been many decades ago. The Llyrian Concord was a cruel flower, one that flourished intensely, it’s colors bright and attractive. It had brought hundreds into its fold, and consumed the island of mali’ker that resided nearby as it did. It was quick to wilt, though, after too many eyes turned to it. It was Llyria that Estrid was returning to, mostly out of curiosity, and somewhat out of a desire to reminisce on old memories. Unfortunately, it was as the flax haired elfess approached the outer edge of the city that she noticed things were not quite as she remembered. The ground was broken... no, it was undulating, shifting in waves. The walls of the old buildings had giant gaping holes that made no sense, windows and boards writhing about in the air like worms. Objects floated in mid air, flower pots and dresser drawers, bookshelves and window shutters turning in slow motion as she passed them. In her chest, her heart beat in loud, slow thuds, and her cheeks flushed red as her mind took in the sights of the once populous city. As she moved further into the ruin, the ground below her feet became more and more broken, floating debris and chunks of stone making a mock pathway that she carefully stepped over, like rocks jutting out from a stream. This place she had once called home was now a wonderland, a waking dream that she could not make sense of. Estrid continued to wander around, beads of sweat rolling down from her forehead as a mild fever fought against her internal self. Time passed around her like ribbons being pulled by the wind, space opened up like doors and closed them politely behind her. She dared not reach out to anything, dared not try to make sense of the dreamscape she passed through. As she finally reached the far side of Llyria, her shoes making contact with soft sand, she spied a lonely rowboat, gentle waves lapping at its sides. She wasn’t sure why exactly, but she felt she needed to get into the boat, to leave this city behind and escape the dream. With slow, heavy steps, she made her way to the little dingy, numb hands grasping at the sides to push it out into the waves. The cold salt water rushed around her feet and into her shoes, but she paid it no mind as the boat began to float atop the waves. With an unelegant struggle, she hauled herself over the side and into the bottom, where she lay still as the sky spun circles over her head. It was then that she lost consciousness, and escaped the waking dream and into a more peaceful sleeping one. It was several hours later that the boat collided softly with a beach on the northern side of Korvassa, waking the elfess whose cheeks were now bright as cherry tomatoes. A sore, but clear headed Estrid clambered from the boat, cursing herself and swearing never to return to the ruined city.
  8. Sasha de Vitus spots a rat while entering the imperial city and says “oh shiiit, a RAT”
  9. You’ve always been an absolute delight and I wish you the best in life. I’m very glad I got to know you. God bless, my friend.
  10. A woman hears a bard pluck out the poem in a quiet tavern. She comments idly to her companion, “He was alright. Not great.. not bad, mind you. Certainly could have been worse.. but not the greatest. People like to talk nice about the dead, forget all the mediocrity of life. That’s fine, but he wasn’t that great. Guess that’s what you get for doing your job correctly these days, songs of praise..” Their conversation then drifts off to something about runes and landscapes.
  11. Annabelle d’Amaury watches from the Seven Skies and wishes dead things would stay dead so her house could finally rest with the rest of Ashford-Savoy.
  12. Sasha de Vitus shook her head, reclining in her seat. “Irrinor made a horrible mistake this day. Let the following be a reminder to all other nations, that no human of the empire’s blood shall be spilled without recompense.”
  13. A female figure clasps a hand over her mouth, trying desperately to hold in laughter. Before long, though, she burst out into hysterics, clutching her stomach. “They’re mad! About a library! One that’s protected by Skygods!” she howled out, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes. “Well good ******* luck to them!”
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