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Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#21
It sure seems a bit racist, but it's not provable, and is probably accidental. To call the entire story "racist" is really, really harsh, and also makes RR look bad. ("How dare you host racist stories???")

Basically, it is not enough to condemn a whole story, so the review was deleted as there is not enough "evidence" to be sure it is too bad.

Do you think the story is so bad it needs to be removed?

Because those are the only two options. Either it is super racist and insulting, and RR must remove it, or it's unclear and not enough to be removed: which means your review calling it super-racist needs to be removed instead. So don't take it personally, it's just a really hard spot for everyone, and there is no reality where your review is staying up (calling it racist) and the story is also staying up, non-removed. 

I think RR did the correct decision 

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#23
shacro Wrote: Culture was never discussed or even mattered in this discussion

I find that racism and culture inherently go together.

It's one thing to say persons with Japanese heritage are more likely than average to express fabricant powers than to say people with ancestry from land masses (including islands) in a certain area of a certain ocean are likely to express fabricant powers.

OTOH maybe that is what is being implied by the fire/volcano comments.

I do feel that I am missing something in terms of what you "saw" in the book as compared to what I am seeing.

Maybe I should ask about your cultural background.

I'm "white", but more accurately of Polish heritage and so despite my superficial acceptance into the cultural majority where I live, I have had to deal with a crap ton of insults and prejudice.

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#24
This whole thread is weird. 

I wouldn't read this story, and for the record, I do think this story is playing on prejudiced tropes. Since the history of the region is clearly taken into account, does that mean the entire history of the region or...just post-industrial and modern-era esque? The very premise of this story COULD have worked, but when this author decided to give powers based on the "genealogy and background" of each country, (which is already a bit contradictory since country lines and nationalities do not exactly coincide with the history and genetics of a region) it was assured bias and subconscious prejudice from the author was going to seep through. And as you mentioned, this isn't explicit racism but it does fall along the lines of prejudice and bias. I will use these terms instead since the phrase casual racism is a bit grey, undefined, and seems to tickle people crazy here. 

Germany and Japan have fabrication powers so they industrially advance by "copying" the west, African countries (already, let's completely ignore how vast and diverse Africa as a CONTINENT is) have "beastly" powers. And are these powers supposed to reflect the region's background? Really? Really? Or are they supposed to reflect the biased views westerners had of Africa? Someone said these are tropes of history and the regions? No, I disagree. They are tropes the Westerners believed of Africa. They are not reflective of history. 

What next? Let's play on the "historical tropes" of the middle east. Let's make them... experts at explosions. because this reflects their genealogy and background right? Do you see what I'm saying? Sure it plays on the historical tropes, but these tropes are inherently harmful. They are also not indicative of the rich background and culture of the region. At all. This is how I saw these examples to be. 

Now, this is where the OP saw racism. And again since everyone is allergic to the word and we must tread carefully so as to not stain Royal Road's name, let's not use the word too much. 

I see bias. I see ignorance. I see a blatant disrespect for the actual genealogy and background of the world. I see the author as having little knowledge of world history. 

I agree with you OP. 

Whether or not you have the intent to be racist doesn't mean that the end factor won't be...immoral. Unproblematic  

gonna add something: Perhaps instead of calling it racist since it IS a strong word why not say you thought this story to be biased? That it didn't feel like the powers reflected the genealogy and background of the regions but just relied on very western-focused tropes of those regions? Maybe people WILL like that sort of outlook but you didn't. 

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#25
I wish people did not get so up-in-arms over the term “racist.”

Most of us are, to a degree, due to cultural conditioning. And we can never truly unlearn that shit until we look it in the eye, recognize and name it for what it is, and make the active and daily choice to not be that way. 

OP, I’m sorry you’ve received the backlash that you have. I think you make some very valid points, and I think many of them are being skimmed over and misconstrued because you used a word that hits people hard in their feelings. There are some other valid points being made here too, of course. Like, I doubt that the author set out to write a story built on racial/regional biases, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t end up happening anyway. Unconscious bias is insidious like that.  

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#26
tempast404 Wrote: If you spend any time at all reading reviews on this site you will find some that read like "This story has bad grammar, poor pacing, superficial characterization, no theme, and no plot... 4 stars."
I think that is just a natural flaw of x number out of y number system. All reviews naturally trend to either be 10/10 or 1/10. Only review volume eventual pushes the score to something accurate.
Wordiculturalist Wrote: You either have no idea what cultures are or you don't understand the incredible value in a cultural difference.
I personal dont hold much value in culture. My parent didnt raise me to be proud of certain culture, outside of the normal patriotic love of your country. I dont have a really strong opinion on it. You could easily sway me to the other side. Because to me this isnt something i care that much about. The only reason i argued with you about it. Is because It was the center of your argument about my review being misleading.
Ararara Wrote: It sure seems a bit racist, but it's not provable, and is probably accidental. To call the entire story "racist" is really, really harsh, and also makes RR look bad. ("How dare you host racist stories???")

Basically, it is not enough to condemn a whole story, so the review was deleted as there is not enough "evidence" to be sure it is too bad.

Do you think the story is so bad it needs to be removed?

Because those are the only two options. Either it is super racist and insulting, and RR must remove it, or it's unclear and not enough to be removed: which means your review calling it super-racist needs to be removed instead. So don't take it personally, it's just a really hard spot for everyone, and there is no reality where your review is staying up (calling it racist) and the story is also staying up, non-removed.

I think RR did the correct decision
I wrote in the previous replies that i regret bringing toxicity to royal road. A community i deeply love. I wrote my review in the heat of the moment, pointing out the bad parts of it. Something that even mainstream books dont get given this level of scrutiny. With apologies out of the way. What royal road did wasnt the right decision, They violated their own rules by taking down my review. Their take down of my review was done arbitrarily, what happened to the court of public opinion. My review was disliked bombed so most people can understand that the fans didnt agree with my points. The review was taken down for a rule that actually didnt match. So how is that right.
Wordiculturalist Wrote: The point of this whole discussion is your review implies "book is racist" which is horrendously misleading because it implies that the author is racist when really it's about a line of thought that is perpetuated by a villain. Villains aren't allowed to be evil/wrong? How are we supposed to write good villains then?
As long as it progress the story then its fine. But attacking me for even pointing it out annoys me. Its like people that read smut stories, the comments are filled with people asking if there is ntr. Some people just dont want to read a story and then mid way through get blasted with something that ruins it for them.
newtinmpls Wrote: Maybe I should ask about your cultural background.
I would like to think my arguments matter more then who i am. And what i saw in the story isnt that bad, this was just one of the few times i went off on a rant.

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#27
shacro Wrote: newtinmpls Wrote:
    Maybe I should ask about your cultural background.

I would like to think my arguments matter more then who i am. And what i saw in the story isnt that bad, this was just one of the few times i went off on a rant.

Dear heart, you cleverly skipped the fact that I included my own cultural background.

I don't believe that my arguments can be separated from who I am.

I am of Polish heritage. Yeah, America (where I live) is supposed to be a melting pot, but in my case, I have to go back several generations to find the 1/16th of my heritage that is Bulgarian and not specifically Polish. And a chunk of my ancestors lived in German-occupied Poland. And one of my great-great something uncles was an officer in the Austrian Army (yeah, THAT one).

I am more than the sum of my heritage (and that's not even touching that other hot spot - religion); but it does shape me. All that we are and all that we come from shapes us (oh, BTW if you haven't read "States of Consciousness" by Charles T. Tart I totally have to give it a shoutout here).

So let me say that

1-I am grateful that you posted this thread, I think it's illuminating that so many folks have so many shades of opinion on what is or isn't racist and how racism/cuture, power and prejudice can and should (or should not) be used in a story.

 2-Just as a factual matter, under the RoyalRoad.com terms and conditions, section 2 is the following: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time."

This is a general statement, often included in many "general rules" that basically reiterates that this is their sandbox, and all of us continue to play in it at their kind whim. They don't have to be "fair" according to any standard but their own, and clearly in many many places they stress a desire for and insistence on kindness and tolerance.

That being said, I would prefer to hear more about what are the phrases and such in this story that are distressing to you. This would help me understand your reaction and I might learn something (always a good thing).

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#28
I went back and looked at chapter 3.

Fabricator powers are listed as being likely for persons associated with/family from: Japan, Germany, Silicon Valley and Detroit.
Bestial powers, also described as "mover", "bruiser" or "shifter" are associated with Asia and Africa
Water/hydromancer powers are associated with island nations and states (hmmm...why not Japan - for that matter why not Britain)
Pyromancers from those near volcanic regions.

Without asking the author, I tend to presume at this point:

1-the writer is American or was raised there. The idea that something as specific as "Silicon Valley" would be included in the same level of category as "Asia" is right in line with the tremendous geographical ignorance seen in American education. Yes, I am American, so I feel pretty confident in pointing that out.

2-There is reference to a character named "Jose" whose powers (described as a D rank bruiser) were based on the gene he had apparently inherited related to something called the "Iberian Lizard"; which is actually from Spain. I did not see anything overt in the story (and I may well have missed it) describing his heritage as either Spanish or Mexican (Or something else for that matter). I've not heard Spain or Mexico be called either Asiatic or African. So I'm thinking that the "trends" above are trends and not absolutes.

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#29
minime Wrote: I agree with you OP.
I appreciate the support, but i take responsibility for what i said. I dont want people fighting the fight i started for me.  This isnt a i win or i lose, type of argument. There was something i saw and then i pointed out. The consequences are fully on me.
KittraMcBriar Wrote: I wish people did not get so up-in-arms over the term “racist.”
Thats just how it is. Telling people to change is akin to pushing a rock uphill forever.
newtinmpls Wrote: That being said, I would prefer to hear more about what are the phrases and such in this story that are distressing to you. This would help me understand your reaction and I might learn something (always a good thing).
So i had to reopen the story and look through it again, because i forgot. It seems like the author went back and edited them to clean up the wording. The word Beastly was completely removed, no mentions of genetics also. Some wording was improved. You can still go to the comments(chapter 3) and find that one guy with a raven pfp mentioning it. Even with all that said. It wasnt really that bad before the tweaking of his work.

Btw Sorry for ignoring some of your points before, i dont feel comfortable. actually scrutinizing you personally. You stand on just your own two feet here and not on the shoulders of your ancestors. The sins of the father and all that.

Re: My review was deleted for rule 3.3

#30
I'll be locking this thread now as the original poster's question has been fully answered.

I will, however, summarise everything first.

Rule 3.3 is, of course, used to remove reviews that make very damning claims against fictions when such claims are not valid, but it is also used even if the claims are valid at times. If a fiction breaks our site rules, please report it, and don't review it. An extreme example of this would be if a fiction contains paedophilia. Reviewing does no good. Reporting it helps us investigate and take action as needed. In this specific instance, the review fell under being inaccurate.

I've gone ahead and had the developer help me check the edits of the fiction and they are very minor to the point of being completely unrelated to the mention of the nationalities. And for clarity, it was not a racial comment, it was about nationalities, meaning were it offensive, it would be closer to xenophobia than racism.

Regardless, with all of that out of the way, I'll lock this thread now.

Regards,
Moderator John,
Royal Road Team
This thread is locked