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Old 2017-01-19, 23:39   Link #1
Key Board
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MAL rewrites a contributor's piece on Nazi... without the author's permission

"This unfortunate connection all came to a head for My Anime List contributor Reuben Baron when he discovered his November article, “10 Anime And Manga About Kicking Nazi Ass,” had been rewritten in a gentler tone toward Nazi anime characters. The new article was titled “11 Anime And Manga Featuring Nazis.”

http://www.animefeminist.com/anime-l...-nazi-article/

A site disagreeing with your opinion and not publishing it, is one thing

But rewriting your article without your consent is just disturbing
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Old 2017-01-20, 09:08   Link #2
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Remember when being a Nazi used to be a bad thing?

The fact that the original writer is Jewish makes it worse.
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Old 2017-01-20, 12:20   Link #3
Guardian Enzo
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Remember MAL is not the source of the problem, just a mirror held up to it. There's a venal streak in anime fandom (and the broader world) that romanticizes Nazism. It exists, let's not pretend it doesn't. Content creators like LN authors and mangaka are aware of it, and some play directly to that audience.

I'm horrified by what MAL did, obviously, and I'm done with them as a reference and generally speaking. But people should not kid themselves that this is a MAL problem and that's it.
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Old 2017-01-20, 12:32   Link #4
Harry Dresden
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Welp. Why am I not surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Remember MAL is not the source of the problem, just a mirror held up to it. There's a venal streak in anime fandom (and the broader world) that romanticizes Nazism. It exists, let's not pretend it doesn't. Content creators like LN authors and mangaka are aware of it, and some play directly to that audience.

I'm horrified by what MAL did, obviously, and I'm done with them as a reference and generally speaking. But people should not kid themselves that this is a MAL problem and that's it.
I'd say MAL having someone in their paid staff or their parent company who is supporting neo-nazism IS kind of MAL problem. As is the rest of the MAL staff or their parent company complying with that person's wishes, instead of, you know, firing that person. I, mean, MAL has a subscription. How does one even know that the money form it does not go into funding some white supremacist organization now?

There are problems with anime community and then there's a legal commercial entity supporting nazism. The former is everyone's problem , the latter is specifically MAL's problem in this case.

And yeah, anime community has less than reputable groups of people within it. Partly due to how Japan overall views Nazi germany and is infatuated with it( I mean even now we have shows running with nazi-aesthetic influences and stuff), but there are other elements too(ex: the "ironic" shitposting nature of 4chan which attracts those who genuinely believe what they post too). The tendency to attract military-obsessed and nazi-supporting people IS a huge problem with both video games and anime communities, which is further enabled by both the demographic it can attract due to being a form of escapism(ex: people who feel socially outcast for example, and thus are more susceptible to such "anti-establishment" ideas) and due to the idea of internet anonymity allowing for cruel and immoral behavior. Its nigh impossible issue to solve and a terrifying one at that.

How does one even begin to solve that? Well, one of major anime community sites(MAL), not endorsing nazis would be a good start. Let's be serious - what MAL essentially did here IS nothing else than normalizing and enabling that kind of behavior - normalizing the idea of nazis as "acceptable". And in this case its not just bunch of anonymous people on the internet that are the problem. Someone specific in the MAL management or their parent company specifically wanted it changed and is okay with nazism and the rest of company was okay with it.

The problem runs far deeper, but that does not mean MAL should be let off the hook because of it.

Last edited by Harry Dresden; 2017-01-20 at 12:43.
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Old 2017-01-20, 12:38   Link #5
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IMHO, the Occam's Razor explanation for what happened with Reuben's article is not that someone at MAL abjectly supports neo-Nazism. Much more likely is that it was a classic Japanese corporate response (and let's remember MAL is Japanese corporate-owned) of hyper-conservativism (in the behavioral rather than political sense) in not wanting to allow any expression of personal belief that could possibly jeopardize their profits.

Is is possible there's a Nazi sympathizer at DENA who kiboshed the article for political reasons? Sure - but I think that's less likely. Either way MAL is deservedly being pilloried for this, but I think the idea that they'd be worried about offending neo-Nazi anime fans is even more disturbing than the idea that there's one in their midst. Because that implies it's a demographic large enough for them to consider important.

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2017-01-21 at 02:54.
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Old 2017-01-20, 12:47   Link #6
Harry Dresden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
IMHO, the Occam's Razor explanation for what happened with Reuben's article is not that someone at MAL abjectly supports neo-Nazism. Much more likely is that it was a classic Japanese corporate response (and let's remember MAL is Japanese corporate-owned) of hyper-conservative (in the behavioral rather than political sense) of not wanting to allow any expression of personal belief that could possibly jeopardize their profits.

Is is possible there's a Nazi sympathizer at DENA who kiboshed the article for political reasons? Sure - but I think that's less likely. Either way MAL is deservedly being pilloried for this, but I think the idea that they'd be worried about offending neo-Nazi anime fans is even more disturbing than the idea that there's one in their midst. Because that implies it's a demographic large enough for them to consider important.
I'd say the very change of the tone of article implies that. IF it was just usual try at avoiding "controversy" and article was removed then yeah you would be right. Right now that is not what happened. The article got mentions of rise of neo-nazism removed and instead the tone changed to indicate that "using Nazis as evil is lazy writing". It also went to lengths to add a "positive" nazi character into a list. That holds specific implications far beyond avoiding controversies.

And yeah, implications of pandering to ideologies like that are horrifying, as is the possibility of them being big enough to pander to but I mean I am not that surprised at that? Especially considering Today's political climate(ex: USA), its quite clear that people like that are on the rise. The idea that a company is okay with pandering to that is what's troubling and honestly far more shocking and horrifying.
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Old 2017-01-21, 01:16   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
IMHO, the Occam's Razor explanation for what happened with Reuben's article is not that someone at MAL abjectly supports neo-Nazism. Much more likely is that it was a classic Japanese corporate response (and let's remember MAL is Japanese corporate-owned) of hyper-conservative (in the behavioral rather than political sense) of not wanting to allow any expression of personal belief that could possibly jeopardize their profits.
.
What.....


isn't the owner CraveOnline?


I think you are overestimating MAL's impact on the anime makers in Japan...Or are you thinking of Kadokawa?
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Old 2017-01-21, 02:51   Link #8
Harry Dresden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
What.....


isn't the owner CraveOnline?


I think you are overestimating MAL's impact on the anime makers in Japan...Or are you thinking of Kadokawa?
Not anymore. ITs owned by DeNA since 2015
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Old 2017-01-21, 10:59   Link #9
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What the hell....why buy MAL of all things.... The place is like /a/ and it cannot compete with CR as far as streaming goes...nor does mobage seem popular there
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Old 2017-01-21, 14:59   Link #10
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https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMyA...16476195053007

Official MAL response. TLDR: multiple paragraph version of "we just want to keep politics out of our anime guys". They justify the editing claiming it is to remove "politics" and they claim the original article was "offensive". But they state that in the most roundabout PR way possible. Paragraphs upon paragraphs about the "vision of the website" and all that stuff.

EDIT: And there are already someone ranting about "feminists" and "political correctness" in comments of that response...Oh MAL.
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Old 2017-01-23, 00:00   Link #11
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I removed a tangent from this thread attacking the source, because this is completely off-topic. The company's own statements are aligned with the source's explanation of what happened (even if they disagree on the conclusion/interpretation). If you want to participate in this thread, stay focused on the actual story at hand.


Personally, I will say that, at the very least, the revised policy of not modifying an article after publication without the author's approval is reasonable, though it should have been in place to begin with.
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Old 2017-01-24, 04:42   Link #12
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If MAL did not "like" the article, they should have deleted with a written explanation on why they did that. It would still cause a scandal since hey MAL did not like an article because it talked about nazis in bad way, but it would have been way less scummy.

As for the whole politics argument, i really don't get it. Asking a writer to "not be political" is ridiculous in on itself in the first place, As Neil Druckman, the writer of Last of Us said, " “No can do. Writers work off of their views of the world.". Anyone with experience in writing or journalism will say to you that its impossible to make "objective" articles unless you are literally reporting academically correct facts(ex: News). Any article or review or narrative by it's nature is an opinion piece.

The whole "don't bring in politics" is just weird argument to make since by such a definition ANYTHING is politics and everything is politics. I mean, should MAL ban discussing Legend of Galactic Heroes from its site then? Or, hell, half the shows there? Somehow having entire threads on that site about how "holocaust never even happened" is perfectly okay with them but this is "political". As always it feels like "politics" argument is only brought out against the very specific ideas and leanings there.

And how does saying "nazis are bad and horrible" make it "political"? What does "political" even mean? Nazis being bad or racism being bad is not some fluid point of view, its not an opinion, its factual, its the basis of the legal system all over the world, and it is basis of the very idea of human rights.

The sad thing is, MAL doubled down on their position for a simple fact because they can get away with it. The comments on their "statement" speak for themselves(usual diatribes about "sjw", "political correctness", "evil feminists" and all other buzzwords usually associated with less than tolerant side of the internet) and about the kind of demographic such edit was meant to pander to. The statement is pretty much - "oops we got caught, we won't do it again but tbh we simply don't care"

The only really reasonable answer would have been to either fix the article or delete it. And then to fire whoever thought that "bullying poor nazis is bad". The sad thing is that Guardian Enzo is right in that it most likely comes from DeNA. At least MAL's employee tweets make it sound like that as a lot of them sound bitter about the position MAL is forced to take and are quick to note that "MAL team" is not the actual mal team but the DeNA administration handling MAL.

Frankly all that one can do now is not use MAL anymore. Its the only way to actually make a "statement" that is effective. If there's one positive thing about this incident is that it shed some light on just how big the dark corners of anime community are. Highlighted the increasingly bigger and bigger problematic aspects of the community.

EDIT: A good opinion piece from original source website on the whole "why do you even care" question"

Last edited by Harry Dresden; 2017-01-24 at 05:06.
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Old 2017-01-24, 07:21   Link #13
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On the whole "DONT BRING POLITICS IN MY HOBBIES", anime fans/gamers/tabletop players meant "Dont project your real life politics in your blogging/articles etc..."

It's fine to talk about the merit of autocracy vs democracy in Legend of Galatic Heroes because this is one of the many topics discussed in Legend of Galatic Heroes, or vigilante justice and its slippery slope vs actual justice in Death Note because this is in the show, but when you deliberately and constantly slip constant societal and political comments in an attempt to stir up shit, it's ppl's right to put their foot down and tell you to stop. Especially nowadays in such volatile environment.
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Old 2017-01-24, 09:17   Link #14
Harry Dresden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
On the whole "DONT BRING POLITICS IN MY HOBBIES", anime fans/gamers/tabletop players meant "Dont project your real life politics in your blogging/articles etc..."

It's fine to talk about the merit of autocracy vs democracy in Legend of Galatic Heroes because this is one of the many topics discussed in Legend of Galatic Heroes, or vigilante justice and its slippery slope vs actual justice in Death Note because this is in the show, but when you deliberately and constantly slip constant societal and political comments in an attempt to stir up shit, it's ppl's right to put their foot down and tell you to stop. Especially nowadays in such volatile environment.

Again there's no such thing as "projecting your real life politics". ANY opinion is can be seen as that and any article, any form of narrative is an opinion peace.

ITs also Hypocritical on MAL's part to claim they altered the article "to keep politics out of it" while at the same time ADDING stuff like "positive nazi portrayal" to the article. How is THAT not politics? How is "nazis are bad and rise of neo-nazi movements is terrifying" politics?

As for "keeping politics out" - the media does not exist in a vacuum. Narrative is created by real people with real worldviews and the media represents that worldview. The very reason narrative exists, the very reason art exists is to say something about the world we live in.

Why shouldn't a writer be allowed to analyze a work in the matter of what it means in terms of real world? Should we just ignore talking about Yuri Kuma Arashi just because it condemns the modern japanese homophobia? Should we not talk about Concrete Revolutio because it explores the prevalent tendency of present day Japan to whitewash their own history?
If we go past anime, should we stop discussing Luke Cage's portrayal of the problems in life of african american people? How about Jessica Jones or any other work that explores misogyny? Or Orange is The New Black exploration of female prisons?
I guess one can't talk about books then either - stuff like Orwell's Animal Farm is critique on socialism overall after all.

Every work is "politics' and exploring what the narrative means IS part of narrative interpretation, of critical analysis. Every work was written by real people and has correlations and thematic connections to reality, to real world issues and problems. Exploring that is what it means to analyze a work.

Stripping that away is stripping away the very point any form of narrative exsits in the first place. Its no different from censorship. And its frankly impossible. While it is a matter with video games, I feel this satire article really does well to highlight how nonsensical such an idea is in temrs of narrative

There's no such thing as "projecting your politics into it". An opinion piece by itself is subjective presentation of single person's view on the matter. One can disagree or agree with the opinions presented but unless its toxic hatespeech there's absolutely no reason to censor someone's opinion.


What we have here is very unfortunate care of the OPPOSITE happening. An individual who happens to be jewish wrote article meant to lift up people spirits in the trying times where neo-nazi movements are on the rise. And instead that article got "edited" without his notice into normalizing nazis as "not evil" or even claiming that portraying nazis as evil is "lazy".

I open MAL's featured articles now and what do I see? "The Top 10 Otome Games Of All Time (Available In English)". Sooooo why is this article then not edited to add a "positive example of a bishojo game"? Why does "Top Anime Queens" article not get a "top anime king example" edited in? Or a claim that "writing female queens is lazy"? Why does this absurd notion of "equalizing" things only apply to article that condemns nazis? Now the logical and reasonable thing would be not edit any articles and not claim absurd things like "not wanting politics in your anime" and stuff, but if MAL is taking a stance to do what they did with that article, why not do it to all articles? After all, all the articles are opinions you can find an opposite opinion to.

Last edited by Harry Dresden; 2017-01-24 at 09:28.
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Old 2017-01-24, 11:47   Link #15
Guardian Enzo
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I remain convinced (and so does the author of the article, by the way) that this wasn't done as a matter of placating an angry Nazi sympathizer high-up at MAL. Rather, it was a classic Japanese corporate decision that came from DeNA, who were worried about offending the regrettably significant portion of the anime audience that romanticizes fascism.

MAL has personally apologized to the author, and pledged to change their editorial policy so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. Well and good. But the larger point for me is that we live in a time when criticizing Nazism is considered "political". If this had been an attack on Trump or Brexit, that would be one thing - but it was not. If we're no longer at a point where we have a cultural consensus in the mainstream that NAZIS ARE BAD, I think we're seriously fucked. And nothing in MAL/DeNA's public statements addresses that fundamental issue.
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Old 2017-01-24, 15:01   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
On the whole "DONT BRING POLITICS IN MY HOBBIES", anime fans/gamers/tabletop players meant "Dont project your real life politics in your blogging/articles etc..."
No, they really mean "don't bring politics I don't agree with in my hobbies". (And in this case, the "politics not agreed with" is that Nazis were bad. ) Like Harry said, everything is politics. The choice to edit the article certainly was, whether it was because of some higher up's deeply held beliefs in nazism or just to pander to a crowd.
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Old 2017-01-25, 03:29   Link #17
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I wonder what is this MAL for while.
So it is myanimelist.net, that myanimelist?

Well, I had a feeling that site is rather tolerant towards some posts that are verbally violent.
But to think altering someone's writing makes me think the site is really shady.

So the administration from MAL really changed the original author's writing?

I see this situation like this, "This kind writing hurts others feelings, so let's change it to a writing that makes everyone happy though it denies the original writer's message to the readers".

The word Nazi, makes me wonder why its content is used for entertainment in the first place?
Why is Nazi beneficial for animes and mangas?
I think it is not only because of the styles and powers.
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Old 2017-01-26, 10:12   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rladls2121 View Post
The word Nazi, makes me wonder why its content is used for entertainment in the first place?
Why is Nazi beneficial for animes and mangas?
I think it is not only because of the styles and powers.
Axis powers make convenient bad guys because most people don't sympathize with them. It's not just something to be found in anime and manga, but in fiction in general.
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Old 2017-01-26, 11:16   Link #19
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Not to mention they're the embodiment of institutional evil in the past century and if you want to tell a story of fighting evil, they make am excellent subject. The real question we should be asking is why so many LN authors and anime fans seem to think they're something to be romanticized.
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Old 2017-01-26, 11:36   Link #20
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for the creators,
Nazi = Axis = on our side during WW2
also \\ german engineering //
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