Concerns on political usernames

(Don’t know if this goes to #general or #meta)
As we all know, IF has redone the callsign system in 20.2 which wiped out a large number of inappropriate callsigns. We IFATCs can also report users for inappropriate callsigns. However, the username is still completely free to choose and as a result, some people used their usernames instead as a new place to say their political opinions (e.g. something related to HK and TW issues, US elections, etc.), which can make other players feel like being insulted.

Some may argue “That’s because you are Chinese and can be easily triggered by different opinions.” But sorry, it’s not the case. Personally, I hate that politics infiltrate into every corner, even a mobile flight sim which have nothing to do with politics. Even if someone’s username is political but with my belief, I still consider them as childish and ridiculous. This is Infinite Flight, not a political debate room. It’s of no use fighting for one’s political belief in a flight sim except making you look immature.

And what annoys me that we have no ways to get rid of those usernames. A friend of mine, who is also an IFATC, once spotted a political username and asked a supervisor if he can report them. The conversation went as follows:bee7733cd933164a29e37b1783698db
(Names are censored for privacy issue)
Even an IFATC supervisor allows those usernames to exist, and consider them as acceptable and fine. This made me feel at a loss. If you believe it’s a freedom of speech issue, then again take a look at where you are. This is Infinite Flight, not a political debate room. The freedom of speech isn’t supposed to be utilized everywhere in the world.

A bad example of total no monitoring is RFS. In RFS they have public text channels, opensource livery templates, etc. Not only can they use usernames, but also custom liveries and public messages to shout out their beliefs. This often leads to chaos in the channel with people who hold different opinions abusing each other with harsh words. The livery collection also contains many political and insulting paintings. That really pollutes the whole environment and ruins the flying experience.

Today I searched for that FreeHK guy and surprisingly found that he is in the forum, though not active:
image
Then I checked the new rules on politics:

1. No party political slogans, photos, or other media or text in any profile

Considering his username is used as a slogan by a group of HK people (trying to remain neutral), I wonder if this kind of usernames violates the forum rules. Not only him, but many others. And I hope that sups and mods think twice before allowing their existence.

We’ve had enough politics IRL, why still taking them into virtual world?

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I seriously could not agree more, and this is an issue I face every single day and it needs to have a solution.

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I agree that any political references like this should be banned. It would lead to a more peaceful community

In that specific case pictured above is fine. They are not attempting to spread any political bias with the appearance of their username.

Anything worse is a different story. There’s a fine line of free speech and abuse of that right.

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That’s because this sort of issue is more common than you’d think. A callsign, for example, “Malaysian 370” is acceptable as we can’t determine whether or not the pilot is doing a memorial flight, or is actually trying to be offensive. This is the main issue behind most political and offence-related issues.

In the case of this display name, we, once again, can’t determine whether or not the individual is trying to be offensive, raise awareness or fight for what’s going on.

I hope this helps explain a few things as to why many questionable callsigns or display names are deemed acceptable.


EDIT: On the subject of political issues I do agree with you to an extent. Political bias shouldn’t be accepted, but to raise awareness or memorialise a flight is a great thing in my opinion.

All the best,
Adam

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This is not political and is related to aviation. I’m talking about those pure-political ones.

Why “raise awareness” in a flight sim? It’s of no use except annoying some users and polluting the environment built for aviators.

Just going off of this statement here, the IFATC manual states that discretion should be used when reporting for usernames/callsigns as the intention is unknown.

The supervisor was following the ATC Manual. As much as we may not like something, we can’t just report for everything we don’t like. Otherwise, expert server would be pretty empty

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From the same post you’ve quoted:

Please be aware that civil rights issues (such as BLM) are not considered party political in nature on this forum.

I quite see it being a “civil rights issue”. It is ludicrous that people think a mobile flight simulator forum is a place that can make a change in the world and it sucks some want to bring politics. People forgot that it could be not politicized - nowadays you don’t just buy a Pepsi, you support “the right cause” instead of a fizzy drink company. Whether that’s good or bad can be debated, but that’s the world we live in, and you just gotta live with it, knowing there’s a FreeHK callsign out there

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For some people, big issues (and this depends on the person’s opinion) should be supported to allow people to learn about world issues. People want to do what they can, even if it won’t make much of a difference.


Fully aware of this, just using it as a somewhat related example. :)


EDIT: To be clear, I’m not trying to pick sides here. I’m attempting to make some things clear to others who may have questions about the same things. I don’t fully agree with election-type display names, but large political world issues, in my opinion, are acceptable.

In my opinion, let’s just ignore these guys. Let’s reserve that option for usernames that are bluntly offending.

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This username is allowed as it isn’t a party-political slogan.

Political discourse, especially on the internet, is contentious at the best of times. A line has to be drawn somewhere, or we’ll spend all our time chasing our tails with issues like you mentioned (“Pepsi profile pictures aren’t allowed because X”). That line is drawn at party-political statements.

For what it’s worth, I think the idea of censoring certain usernames from any forum is an infringement upon the most basic right to express one’s views freely. That said, there’s a time and a place. This forum is about, and only about, the goings on of aviation in the real world and in IF. In my view it ought to remain that way for the good of us all. As for memorial flights, I think a possible addition in future to the current callsign system might be to have a subsection of ‘memorial callsigns’ which could let IFATC know, perhaps? (Maybe if they had the suffix ‘memorial’ or something similar, such as there already are for ‘heavy’ and ‘super’)? Yes there is potential for abuse of such a system but I suspect only a few would stoop to using a flight marked out as memorial to make a statement to achieve their own ends

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I think it isn’t a problem to use it.

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The very basic rule is no party politics. Other things that could be considered political, or politicised, are not banned at this time. Thanks!

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