Beware of pro-Israel Quora.com

Beware of pro-Israel Quora.com

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Beware of pro-Israel Quora.com

The social media “question” site Quora.com recently pushed me to join so I did. I thought it might help with columns I write. You post a question and strangers answer. I posted a question this week that apparently Quora didn’t like. Why haven’t the Arabs done more to protest against President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, and are they just dysfunctional?

By Ray Hanania

I recently joined an online discussion site called Quora.com. Quora had pushed me with emails urging me to join, so I thought I would try it.

Quora.com allows you to post some questions and people — strangers — respond. Sounds a lot like Facebook, to me. But I thought, OK, maybe this is a new frontier for social media contact with others.

This week, I decided to get involved and post a question I wanted an answer too. I wanted to know what others thought because I am planning to write a column about it for the ArabNews.com where I write every week on Thursdays.

Christian and Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem are under siege by Israel

The column in the Arab News gets a lot of readers in the Arab World who speak and read English — I don’t write it in Arabic. And the Arab News is planning a big push in the United States where the expression of views and opinions by Arab Americans and pro-Palestine and pro-Two State Solution advocates are censored, bullied and marginalized by the mainstream American news media.

Maybe Quora was different?

Turns out no. They didn’t appreciate a question that didn’t violate their stated policy. But it did violate their unstated policy of supporting Israel.

Here’s the question I wrote that was critical fo the Arab World’s failure to standup to President Trump and Israel’s moves to declare Jerusalem Israel’s official capital:

Why do you think the Arabs haven’t done anything serious to protest the US recognition of Jerusalem, (other than stamping their feet, screaming and getting emotional)? Is it because they are dysfunctional and their bark is bigger than their bite?

The question implies what I believe, that the Arabs have done nothing of any real substance to protest the Jerusalem issue. It also suggest that’s because they are “dysfunctional” and instead of substance often turn to actions that do little to make policy change, but do make themselves feel better, like “stamping their feet, screaming and getting emotional”.

I can understand someone not agreeing with me that the Arabs have done nothing. But it sounds like Quora is upset mostly because I wondered why no one has challenged Israel’s actions to takeover Jerusalem and America’s decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, which most Arabs claim they believe is “occupied.”

It stayed up one day and the responses were ugly, with people, mostly pro-Israel writers, attacking me. They were mad that I was suggesting that Arabs should do something to protest and have not.

On its face, the question criticizes the Arabs but the heart of the issue is to criticize the lack of action by the Arab World, Arab leaders and Arab activists in the West and in the Arab World. They have done nothing. And to me that shows how dysfunctional Arabs are.

Can you use the word “dysfunctional”? Only in the context of criticizing Arabs, I guess.

So Quora wrote me this morning:

Hello,

We recently found some of your content (Why do you think the Arabs haven’t done anything serious to protest the US recognition of Jerusalem, (other than stamping their feet, screaming and getting emotional)? Is it because they are dysfunctional and their bark is bigger than their bite?) that violates Quora’s Be Nice, Be Respectful policy (See What is Quora’s “Be Nice, Be Respectful” policy?).

Please keep this policy in mind when interacting with other people on Quora. If you continue posting content that violates this policy, you may be banned from using Quora. For more information, see: How do I appeal a Quora Moderation decision?

If you think this is an error on our part, please submit a moderation appeal at [Link Removed] contact with a link to your content.

Thank you,
Quora Moderation

I read through their policy and wondered, did they feel I was a member of a terrorist organization? Did I personally attack someone else “personally”?

Maybe it was me criticizing the Arabs as “dysfunctional” and their reaction to the Jerusalem event as “screaming, stamping their feet, etc”?

Maybe I should have asked, why is the mainstream news media and the owners of Social Media like Facebook, Twitter and now Quora, so anti-Arab in their policies? Facebook has removed hundreds of thousands of accounts recently after Israel’s government protested against those accounts. And without a discussion or word, they were just erased. (The owner of Quora is a former Facebook technology executive. No surprise there!)

Erased, the way they want to erase Palestine!

Here is their policy:

This is an official Quora policy. Last updated May 26, 2015.

Overview

A core Quora principle (“Be Nice, Be Respectful“) requires that people treat other people on the site with civility, respect, and consideration. Assume that others on the site are also trying to make it a great resource. Respect opposing or differing opinions, beliefs and conclusions. Try to listen to and understand others you may disagree with. Encourage others on the site to also be welcoming and respectful.

Attacking people or content

Personal attacks are not allowed on Quora, nor are disrespectful or insulting attacks directed at other people’s content. People should be civil and respectful in disagreement with others and should not (1) make attacks or otherwise disparage other people, (2) refer to other people’s content with insulting or disrespectful language, (3) harass others on the site or (4) advocate self-harm, even in a joking manner. These behaviors hurt the Quora community and deter users from helping to create a better resource.

Do your best to see the world from the perspective of the person who posted the question (the original poster [“OP”]) or answer. It is often not helpful to criticize or challenge the fundamental beliefs of the OP (in an answer) or answerer (in a comment). For example, in responding to the question “Is it OK to only go to church on Easter?”, the following answer would be considered disrespectful and is not allowed: “There is no God and religious rituals are a waste of time.” Use good judgement and be empathetic. Answers and comments that challenge the fundamental beliefs of an OP or answerer will be held to a very high standard re: Be Nice, Be Respectful.

Comment threads & how to disagree in comments

In general, comment threads on Quora are interactions among strangers. Given that another person on the site may be new to Quora and/or doesn’t know you, we require a higher level of politeness than other interactive platforms where users know one another and/or where more adversarial social norms are established and tolerated. A key goal of the Be Nice, Be Respectful policy is ensure that comments do not discourage or intimidate other people on Quora.

Disagreement and debate on Quora is encouraged and is often important to making the page more helpful. It is OK to disagree as long as your comments are civil, respectful, and polite, and as long as you give the impression of assuming good will on the part of the person you are disagreeing with. A good way of framing this test is: “If I am new to Quora and / or don’t know you, would it be reasonable for me to perceive your comment as hostile or disrespectful toward me or what I’ve written?” The answer should be no.

In multi-comment threads where there is significant disagreement among people, a person should stop commenting on the thread before creating the reasonable impression that they are harassing, attacking, and/or bullying another person.

Examples

Examples of behaviors that violate the “Be Nice, Be Respectful” policy include:

Personal attacks, including hurtful, insulting, or hostile comments.

Making unjustified accusations against other user(s).

Engaging in a pattern of behaviour that constitutes harassment of a targeted person or persons, e.g., by making threats, repeated annoying and unwanted contacts, repeated personal attacks, or posting personal information.

Racial, sexual, homophobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, or other epithets directed against another contributor.

Using someone’s affiliations as a means of dismissing or discrediting their views (this does not include pointing out a conflict of interest of relevance to the discussion at hand).

Speculating on the real life identity of an anonymous user.

Harassment

Harassment is defined as offensive behavior that appears to a reasonable observer to have the purpose of adversely affecting a targeted person or persons. The intended outcome may be to make using Quora unpleasant for the target, to undermine them, or to discourage them from editing and using the site. Examples of harassment include (but are not limited to): (1) making threats, (2) repeated annoying and unwanted contacts, (3) posting the personal information of another person, (4) using sexually explicit, profane, adversarial, or flirtatious language toward another person if such language would likely make the person uncomfortable.

Hate speech

Users are not allowed to post content or adopt a tone that would be interpreted by a reasonable observer as a form of hate speech, particularly toward a race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, political group, sexual orientation or another similar characteristic. Questions and question details about generalizations in these topics should be phrased as neutrally and respectfully as possible.

Retaliation is not OK

It is never OK to violate the Be Nice, Be Respectful policy, even in response to another person who has violated the policy.

Please note that the Be Nice, Be Respectful policy also pertains to content posted by users who no longer use Quora.

Racial and ethnic slurs

Using any of the words on Wikipedia’s list of ethnic slurs is not allowed in questions, answers, or comments, unless the purpose is to ask a sincere question about the usage/background of the word.

Messages

The Be Nice, Be Respectful policy applies to Messages on Quora.

Consequences

Content that violates this policy may be reported to and removed by admins, and violations of this policy can result in a warning, comment blockingan edit-block, or a ban.

Depending on the severity of the Be Nice, Be Respectful violation, a user may be banned immediately (i.e., without waiting for content warnings or edit-blocks). People who appear to be using Quora for the primary purpose of harassing others may be banned without warning.

Block first before reporting violations

If you feel that another person is violating this policy with respect to you or your content, you should block them in addition to reporting them to moderation.

Banning users in terrorist groups

Quora will ban and delete all the content of any user who is a confirmed and/or declared member of any group on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at rghanania@gmail.com and read his columns each week at ArabNews.com.)

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Ray Hanania