Hello everyone, it has been already over 3 years since ChinaHush was first launched. First, many thanks to whoever supported this website. I have finally just finished another round of the redesign. For those of you who followed me since the beginning, this is the 3.0 version. As web technology advances, I am also learning a lot along the way of evolving ChinaHush.
The biggest challenges of maintain ChinaHush is perhaps creating more fresh content constantly. I enjoy reading interesting Chinese articles and translating them into English, but my time is limited I can only produce limited amount of content. We also had contributors joining us in the past years which helped the site a lot. But we need more of you, I realize in order to create more content and have more interesting martial for us to enjoy, we need the help of our community. The new design begins the aim of creating this community. To start, for those of you who want to help out, for example, if you want to post something on ChinaHush or if you have an interesting link to share or want something translated and posted on the site, you can contact us by Submitting Something here. Submit photos, videos, and writings, anything… as long as it is interesting. Also do contact me if you like to become a translator, writer or editor for the site.
In the past, my policy of post comments has always been giving as much freedom as possible to you. Because I believe in freedom of speech and everyone should be able to voice their opinion freely. However, one of the biggest complains from many of you is the quality of the comments. Many of you find the comments racist and offensive. I also see this problem… First I am going to share an email I received from one of the readers.
In writing to you, I want to first express something that I really like about Chinahush and then something that I really don’t like. I hope you will be able to appreciate that I am taking the time to write an email about this topic because I believe it is important enough to discuss.
First, I really enjoy the nature of the website. Having studied in China, constantly speaking and studying Chinese and also expecting to go back next year, I’m always interested in hearing about news stories from China and understanding more about China’s internet and youth culture. I find that Chinahush and Chinasmack usually write about different topics also, which is a good way to get more perspectives of hot topics in China. For this, I really appreciate what you do with this website.
With that being said, I think you or some moderator needs to start paying more attention to the comments that are happening on the site. Many people celebrate the United States for having freedom of speech, but there are still some forms of speech in the US that are illegal and not allowed, despite the 1st Amendment.
One of these is hate speech, and I think the comments of more than a few users have crossed the line into hate speech. On your "About Us" page you state that "We hope we present another perspective, so that friends who have this common interest will learn more about Chinese cultures, lifestyles, trends, what Chinese people are talking about, and the latest memes in China…"
I don’t think allowing hate speech on the comment boards is going to help further your cause. If you want a community of people who are going to be like you say in your About us page: "ChinaHush is also intended to create a community with a common interest in China. We want to connect friends, whether you speak English and would like to learn Chinese or about China, or if you speak Chinese and would like to learn English, or are simply looking for a good read", then you have to be willing to recognize when a person or people are not contributing to your cause and are simply tearing it down.
If someone is engaging in hate speech against a person or group of people, they do not deserve to have their voice heard. As human beings, we are granted the right to express our opinion, but as human beings we are also granted the right to be free from vicious personal attacks from others based on ethnicity. Furthermore, someone who engages in hate speech inspires other people to become angry and attack them, perhaps with more hate speech, certainly with more vicious replies. This does not help to create the kind of community where people can study Chinese, English, connect with friends, or find a good read. It turns people away from the website.
I can tell you honestly that multiple people that I have recommended the website to have told me "it has interesting articles..but..I don’t want to participate because I feel that the people who comment are just racist trolls". If this is what you want to sacrifice in the name of perfect free speech, I guess that is your option, but you should be aware of the damage that allowing these people to continue does to your community.
I guess you would probably know who I’m talking about by this point, if you read the comments at all. It’s ******* of course. There are other people who make racist hate speeches, but his are the worst, because they are generally not only full of hate speech, but lies as well about Chinese, Korean and American people. He does nothing to help the website’s cause and is instead creating only antagonism and turning people away from the site. His responses provoke angry responses in return which are also full of hate speech. He makes the website unenjoyable, because it’s impossible to discuss a news story without having to read his stupidity. I’ve encouraged everyone to ignore him for several weeks, but it’s apparent that he will never shut up by just being ignored.
He ***… and doesn’t deserve to be heard because his purpose is the exact opposite of yours. he doesn’t want people to understand each other, learn from each other, connect and be friends. He wants people to hate each other in the same ignorant way that he does. I know you like to leave the garbage on the website to "show what kind of people there are in the world" but you need to understand that people like that make others want to NOT use the website…it’s tearing down your purpose.
If you have not been following his comments, I suggest you take a look at some of them for yourself. They have definitely crossed a line between healthy debate and hate speech. I think the comments section of your website needs some moderation. Obviously, it’s your website and you should decide how best to deal with a problem like this, but it is definitely a problem, and I hope you will take this message seriously. What you want to do about it up to you, but I hope you have the wisdom to know the difference between hate speech and free speech and where to draw the line.
Thank you for your time, and thank you for a really interesting website. Sorry for the long email, I’m bored at work and have nothing better to do.
Here are some of my responses
When I started the site I wanted to let people to comment freely, my intention was to let anything go and even some of the racist comments. My thinking was to show everyone’s opinion and let people know what others truly are. I thought if I moderate some comments but not others, it is not fair and not really showing the whole picture of the world. And I also thought that “more people are GOOD” so if someone posted some really BAD comments, more reasonable people would reply to it, and more voices that against the BAD comments would appear. I though the comments arguing against the racist hate messages would eventually be dominating. But I guess I was wrong, some trolls seem to have nothing better to do in life than spread hate message ALL DAY LONG on my website… and I guess even more people are good and reasonable but most of them keep quite and they just read…
I really appreciate your input and hope you can continue to enjoy the site… I am aware of this issue and will think of ways to address that.
So, the time has come to address this issue, in the effort of creating a better experience for the community, I have made these community comment rules. Please read the rules carefully before posting anything. I will be STRICLY enforcing them and moderate comments from now on! Anything deemed illegal, offensive or otherwise inappropriate by us will be removed, and continue offenders will be banned! So for those of you that like to make comments and do make good points but occasionally get carried away and cross the lines, please think before you post and change the way you present yourself, we do value your valuable inputs! But will no longer tolerate any offensive material in our community. I am working hard to keep ChinaHush a clean and fun place to have informative conversations. I would also like to ask the community to help me, to notify me when these comments are found, and don’t feed the trolls!
You might have noticed I have made the register and login links public in this version, even thought you don’t have to register and log in to post comments, we encourage you to register for the site, it will only take couple seconds. I think this will help us for building a better community in the future.
Finally, I hope you will like this new design and please feel free to give me feedback and suggestions.
More to come… new features coming soon…