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Author Topic: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter  (Read 29666 times)

timoran

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #15 on: 10.06.2015, 01:40:48 »

Honestly, think for yourself for a moment, check past cons' photos for with how many Americans EF staffers hang out, and the American cons' photos for how many EF staffers are there… do you really still believe something like that would be true?  m(

Hmm, could you link me to any such photos which contain either of the two EF staff who expressed the anti-American sentiments on Twitter?
Otherwise, the only thing I could conclude from what you've said is that the Eurofurence organization is divided on their thoughts of America.
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Akeela

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #16 on: 10.06.2015, 01:53:08 »

During both this incident and the incident around EF's refusal to refund a membership for a dealer in January, several members of the EF staff made comments on their (yes, personal, but very much public and identified as EF staff) Twitter accounts to leave the impression that Americans are unwelcome at Eurofurence. This includes one of the members of the EF Board of Directors.

Do the other members of the Board share this anti-American sentiment? Could this be clarified? I have seen that American visitors to EF are no insignificant number, based on the nosecount page.

To my knowledge, there is no anti-american sentiment within the EF organisation. Also, to my knowledge, the entire board of directors visits the USA and cons there on a regular basis. I can wholeheartedly say for myself that I haven't met an american fur yet I wouldn't drink a beer with, or share a good con with. Personal sympathies apply as usual, of course. Last but not least, I believe I can say with confidence that uncle Kage has been a friend of EF, and a personal friend to the board of directors for several years now.
So, no. I don't think that there is any kind of doubt that americans have always been welcome at EF, and always will be.
« Last Edit: 10.06.2015, 01:55:34 by Akeela »
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Runo

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #17 on: 10.06.2015, 08:04:09 »

Honestly, think for yourself for a moment, check past cons' photos for with how many Americans EF staffers hang out, and the American cons' photos for how many EF staffers are there… do you really still believe something like that would be true?  m(

Hmm, could you link me to any such photos which contain either of the two EF staff who expressed the anti-American sentiments on Twitter?
Otherwise, the only thing I could conclude from what you've said is that the Eurofurence organization is divided on their thoughts of America.

Sorry, but I've got better things to do w/ my free time than to sift through tons of photos just to convince you. :P You'll either have to believe me or do that work yourself. If you're just looking for a reason to justify not attending, I sure won't dump my free time into trying to win you over.
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Cheetah

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #18 on: 10.06.2015, 10:17:59 »

During both this incident and the incident around EF's refusal to refund a membership for a dealer in January, several members of the EF staff made comments on their (yes, personal, but very much public and identified as EF staff) Twitter accounts to leave the impression that Americans are unwelcome at Eurofurence. This includes one of the members of the EF Board of Directors.

I can't remember any board members posting any anti-american tweets - maybe there is a misunderstanding who's on the board of directors? I can assure you, none of the members of the board has any anti-American sentiments :) We have many personal friends over in the USA, and most of us have been visiting US conventions regularly since the mid 90's. Beyond just being an attendee, I also frequently contribute as a DJ - for example at Anthrocon, FCN, MFF, Megaplex. And if you still have any doubt, you're invited to meet me personally at Anthrocon in just a few weeks :)

On twitter, single tweets are often taken out of context and being passed around with comments making them appear to be a huge thing that they really weren't. A lot of very wrong things have been said by various people in the heat of the moment, and that was certainly a mistake - but in many cases, these tweets look a lot less political and more like the actual personal emotional response they were in the original context of an ongoing personal argument between a few very agitated private parties.

There are a few people who are currently trolling our staff and spinning everything they say hopelessly out of control, taking less than a dozen tweets said within a period of less than 24 hours and creating an image of EF based on just that and two lines in our rules of conduct, as if the reality for the last 20 years didn't exist.

We have a staff of more than 200 volunteers, and we're frequently welcoming guests from more than 25 countries and pretty much every continent except antarctica. Really, we're not the kind of event you're volunteering for if you're a nationalistic or politically closed minded person.

You'll be safe at EF no matter where you're from, I can promise you that.

And the same goes for everybody else, including "babyfurs" - please take your eyes of those two lines in the RoC, and look at the whole thing before your make your judgement.

« Last Edit: 10.06.2015, 10:23:41 by Cheetah »
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Ralphie Raccoon

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #19 on: 10.06.2015, 13:24:35 »

Of course there is a difference between the statement and the application of the rules.

From my experience at ConFuzzled, I've seen a few attendees in the past wearing sleepers and pacifiers with no problem (walking around in an exposed diaper would probably be frowned upon though). And the wording in their CoC is exactly the same.

I think that perhaps in this case, it is worth spelling out the rules more specifically in terms of fetishes, listing items of apparel and other articles that are permitted and that are banned, and a clause to ask permission for anything else.

But in the end this whole thing really isn't about the rules, it was a breakdown in standards of communication. What happened on twitter is unfortunate, but the damage has been done. I know EF and some of its staff have received a lot of bile in retaliation, and I will not say that it was deserved, but I think EF has to be the bigger person here and work to rebuild bridges with the affected community. I would also consider making an exception to the no refund policy for this year, for those affected by this incident that no longer wish to attend.
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Eisfuchs

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #20 on: 10.06.2015, 13:40:14 »

Yes,make the rules more complex, that will always help. Even considering that they have been unchanged for years and worked perfectly since then. We all agree that an outburst on twitter justifies this measure, even exceptions to rules agreed upon before registering.
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Cheetah

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #21 on: 10.06.2015, 14:01:08 »

I think that perhaps in this case, it is worth spelling out the rules more specifically in terms of fetishes, listing items of apparel and other articles that are permitted and that are banned, and a clause to ask permission for anything else.

Thanks for your suggestion - we've considered that before. Unfortunately, as Eisfuchs said, making the rules more specific can actually make them worse. A significant part of the current outrage is already about the question why we are (seemingly) singling out specific groups, people are getting offended, expect a political agenda because we "ban" group A while not mentioning group B ... People have gone so far, as to claim that the item list in the RoC is actually my personal "hate list", sorted by my personal priority. And some people see rules as a challenge to find the one item you missed. We don't really want to encougare playing that game.
« Last Edit: 10.06.2015, 14:02:53 by Cheetah »
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Ralphie Raccoon

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #22 on: 10.06.2015, 14:25:57 »

I would cite the example of the Cfz weapons policy as an example where a rule revision really helped. As it was a Medieval theme, the staff anticipated many people would want to bring imitation weapons. As a result, they revised the rules on them to make them more specific and clear, and people were generally happy about it. Just make it really clear that anything not on the list has to be cleared with a member of staff before the convention or it will not be permitted.

Even if you don't want to do that, I think it might be worth making a public statement anyway just clarifying if wearing a pacifier or a sleeper is permitted in convention areas (I'm going to assume an exposed diaper is not). A strict reading of the rules would say no, but the example is gave with Cfz shows that they aren't usually read that strictly.

I think I should state right now that I am not a babyfur, so I don't have any personal beef with these events.

Yes,make the rules more complex, that will always help. Even considering that they have been unchanged for years and worked perfectly since then. We all agree that an outburst on twitter justifies this measure, even exceptions to rules agreed upon before registering.

There's no need to be so snarky, thankyou.
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Cairyn

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #23 on: 10.06.2015, 15:05:42 »

Even if you don't want to do that, I think it might be worth making a public statement anyway just clarifying if wearing a pacifier or a sleeper is permitted in convention areas (I'm going to assume an exposed diaper is not). A strict reading of the rules would say no, but the example is gave with Cfz shows that they aren't usually read that strictly.

A little bit of common sense goes a long way, I think. The hotel lobby is a public area. Would you go to a restaurant wearing pajamas? Would you suck on a pacifier while riding the subway?

I like to believe that the overwhelming majority of attendees is happy to apply that measure of common sense. Those who are not, are most likely intentionally looking to make trouble, and no amount of specification in the rules is going to deter them.
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Giza

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #24 on: 10.06.2015, 15:28:00 »

During both this incident and the incident around EF's refusal to refund a membership for a dealer in January, several members of the EF staff made comments on their (yes, personal, but very much public and identified as EF staff) Twitter accounts to leave the impression that Americans are unwelcome at Eurofurence. This includes one of the members of the EF Board of Directors.

Do the other members of the Board share this anti-American sentiment? Could this be clarified? I have seen that American visitors to EF are no insignificant number, based on the nosecount page.

This American attendee (EF 10) and Staff Member (EF 20) has never been made to feel unwelcome at Eurofurence.

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Ralphie Raccoon

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #25 on: 10.06.2015, 16:30:06 »

A little bit of common sense goes a long way, I think. The hotel lobby is a public area. Would you go to a restaurant wearing pajamas? Would you suck on a pacifier while riding the subway?

I like to believe that the overwhelming majority of attendees is happy to apply that measure of common sense. Those who are not, are most likely intentionally looking to make trouble, and no amount of specification in the rules is going to deter them.


Would you do either of those things wearing an animal costume? Common sense is subjective. What is considered OK by some people is considered offensive or inappropriate by others. Some furries, I dare say, would consider, or have already done the above activities.

Personally I'd just save the drama and make it crystal clear. I know it hasn't been a problem up until now, but it clearly is a problem for some furries now due to this incident. If EF doesn't want babyfurs wearing anything cub related other than a cub badge outside their hotel rooms, then fine. I'm sure if they are unhappy about it they can ask for a refund and not attend.
« Last Edit: 10.06.2015, 16:32:19 by Ralphie Raccoon »
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Cairyn

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #26 on: 10.06.2015, 17:20:16 »

A little bit of common sense goes a long way, I think. The hotel lobby is a public area. Would you go to a restaurant wearing pajamas? Would you suck on a pacifier while riding the subway?

Would you do either of those things wearing an animal costume?

While I won't claim a fursuit is "normal" attire to be worn at every occasion*, people are regularly fursuiting even outside of a convention parade. They partake in LARPs and go to non-furry sci-fi cons. You will be looked at, but your fursuit will be seen as costume variation or mascot, and that's okay**. Try the same in pajamas in the same situations. I have yet to see a "pajama walk".

Common sense is subjective. What is considered OK by some people is considered offensive or inappropriate by others.

This is true, also the standards change over time, so maybe one day people will be accustomed to pajamas on the street. At the moment, I think this is not the case.

----------

* Your job interview may be a bad time and place to wear a fursuit, e.g.

** In fursuit, a restaurant makes little sense anyway because of the problem of eating with a mask.
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Ralphie Raccoon

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #27 on: 10.06.2015, 17:36:06 »


I have yet to see a "pajama walk".


I'm from the UK, you can find people in pajamas doing their shopping during the daytime. Some consider it trashy, and some stores have specifically banned it, but some people consider it acceptable.
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Cheetah

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #28 on: 10.06.2015, 17:56:31 »

Drawing a line is hard, and no matter where you draw the line of what is acceptable and what is not, it is almost always possible find something that is so close to the line that you could argue "why is this even excluded" or "oh come on, you allowed X, now you can even allow Y" or "I saw someone last week on the subway who totally did not get beaten up for it". But there is so much more to it than one criteria. As I mentioned in the original posting, it's a balance between personal freedom of expression and what we can get away with in public. But even that is not a black and white situation. We do not explicitly state so in our rules, but of course we are aiming at a certain atmosphere, and within a crowd, there are cool ways of sticking out, and then you can stick out like a sore thumb. Or, as you put it, trashy. Who wants to be around people who dress trashy? A basic dress code keeps people on common ground. It strengthens the sense of community. That is also what it's for.


(Edit: Anthrocon explicitly puts this in their RoC, by the way: "Attendees, when in public areas, may not wear clothing which is overly revealing or inappropriate to the atmosphere of the convention". We could adopt a similar wording in the future, if that helps understanding the intention.)
« Last Edit: 10.06.2015, 17:58:44 by Cheetah »
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Ralphie Raccoon

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Re: Official Statement Regarding the Policy Debate on Twitter
« Reply #29 on: 10.06.2015, 18:52:07 »

(Edit: Anthrocon explicitly puts this in their RoC, by the way: "Attendees, when in public areas, may not wear clothing which is overly revealing or inappropriate to the atmosphere of the convention". We could adopt a similar wording in the future, if that helps understanding the intention.)

To be honest, that's sounds even more vague and nebulous, perfect american legalese, the sort of thing that in other cases makes lawyers lots of money  ;)

I still think in this case, it would be worth being more specific. I've listed 3 yes/no questions below. I don't ask for myself of course, but I know quite a few babyfurs who would perhaps appreciate some clarification.

  • Are you allowed to wear a sleeper (sometimes called a onesie) in the public area of the convention (including ones with "babyish" designs)?
  • Are you allowed to suck on a pacifier in a public area of the convention?
  • Are you allowed to display a clip-on pacifier on apparel in a public area of the convention?

If you can answer these with a simple yes/no answer, I think it would go a way to clearing up some confusion. I haven't included the one on badges, since you already answered that.
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