"Hatred" message on postcards?

These years are full of different political views… and I’m not sure, if attacking other groups of people with different political view is considered “hatred” message.

The reason is recently I received a postcard attacking particular group of people with a particular political view, describing them as rubbish. (Imagine the message is something like "Too bad they support this president candidate, they are rubbish).

I am not really offended by the message but I’m pretty sure some people will be, and this kind of “political condemnation” will becoming more popular, so I would like to know if there is any regulation on this issue? Or what would you do to deal with it?


I try to avoid politics and religion in my cards, unless someone has a very clear point in their profile and I agree with it so I might comment on it.

Im not sure about the rules of PC having sth specific but for sure they have a part which says “be polite in what you write” etc

And calling people rubbish is certainly not polite. I dont know if I would report it, but I think it falls under the category of hate speech (especially if it offends your beliefs or you personally).

I think the moderators should have knowledge of this incident (because there might be more for the same user)

Postcrossing Community Guidelines: "Be Friendly"

“Postcrossing is a global and diverse community of people, which is what makes it special. Be mindful of everyone’s differences and always be polite and respectful. There’s no room in Postcrossing for hate speech or hateful imagery that attacks any person or group based on, but not limited to, their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, medical condition, body size, age, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.”

Sometimes, it is complicated to classify something as “hateful,” and other times, it is very obvious. It seems as though the Postcrosser who wrote to you made an assumption that you share their political opinions. Unless you have somehow made it clear that you have one political stance or the other, this type of assumption is risky, and the Postcrosser might be reported for violating the guidelines (if not by you, perhaps by another user who feels targeted), even though “politics” is not specifically mentioned.

This year has been an especially emotionally and politically charged one. I expect that others may have had similar experiences.


Same as @melimar, I never comment on sensitive topics like politics, religion, sexual orientation etc, unless the Postcrosser stated his/her point very strongly in the profile and asked what we thought about it.

Even then, I keep my message as objective as possible when I agree with the opinion, as I don’t want to offend the Postcrosser. If I disagree with the opinion, I will definitely not comment at all.

You should report this to the Postcrossing moderators who will be able to assess if this is indeed ‘hate speech’.


I’ve received a few cards (and some thank yous) with messages about Brexit, accusing me of supporting it. I’m an EU immigrant. I did not vote for it. I wasn’t British at the time so I didn’t even have a vote.

In response, I’ve made my status a lot clearer in my profile. When the vote was new, I had a full disclaimer there discussing Brexit and what I think of it. Even then people were rude.


wow… I never thought someone would go through this because of Brexit. I mean there are 2million things to write about on a card… why on earth choose this?


Wow, I really don’t understand why people are so insensitive about these things. It only goes to show how close-minded and stereotypical they are when they associate one matter or their take on one issue to everyone in that country. :man_facepalming:t2:


I know, it makes me so sad. Brexit is personally devastating to me so it does feel very insensitive for people to casually accuse me of it. I’ve seen many friends and fellow immigrants leave. Many have been shouted at. I had to stop speaking Finnish to my daughter in public when I read about many Finns being told to go back to Poland. I am deeply saddened about the whole thing.

And then I get told “thanks for the lovely card, my god, what you do with the brexit!”


I’m sorry you made that experience. I see that some people can’t really distinguish between a person and their country. That’s sad, I mean the country you live in really isn’t the thing that defines you! Most people even didn’t choose it themselves!


I’m sorry for how you might have felt even if you weren’t the object of the hate speech. Calling anyone “rubbish” is hate speech. I would personally not report the user but say something, politely, in the registration message.
Luckily this never happened to me. I think Postcrossing is a place of relax and good thoughts, when it comes to writing down a postcard I always keep politics outside the door, as I do in the reality too, tbh.
Sometimes strangers show us why we need real life friends.


I ve catched myself having hard feelings for germany (cause my last breakup was because of him leaving to start a new life in Germany) but Id never get it out on ppl living in the country! You have to distinguish between personal feelings and what is actually real! :crazy_face:


I received this card 2 or 3 weeks ago and it’s one of my favorites ever. I don’t mind a little politics, as long as it’s respectful. The sender of this card actually apologized for Trump, I think that’s pretty funny to write on a card like this


I’d like that card, too. But it might be a bit strange to receive it for a Postcrossing card since there’s nothing on my profile indicating my political stance. I’m a middle-Aged Caucasian woman living in the Midwest of the US, so it would be easy for people to assume I think a certain way, and really, I wouldn’t blame them. However, I would gently correct them if they said something egregious.


Hi Phoebe!

If what you received was perceived as hate speech, then please let the team know on the Contact form, so that we can have a look and make sure the issue is addressed. We can sometimes take awhile to reply, but we’ll get to it.


Sorry you got a card that was political & that you didn’t want to receive, but expressing a political opinion "Imagine the message is something like “Too bad they support this president candidate, they are rubbish).” is not hate speech folks - even if the language was stronger & I can imagine it was given the subject matter. It’s an opinion. I think most of our countries can & should be able to handle people expressing their views on politicians.

And let’s remember literally many lives & many human rights were at stake with a number of elections this year in the world, so I can understand people’s passionate views.

There are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but this isn’t one of them in my opinion & I’ve done a lot of human rights & anti-hate work in my career.


I do agree with this, and I would also add that the word rubbish itself is very varied. To some of the readers, it sounds like someone is compared to literal trash, like all they are is a filthy piece of litter. To others, me included, rubbish means inconvenient or bad. It’s rubbish to drop your ice cream on the floor. It’s rubbish that it is a Monday. The weather is rubbish. Which one did they mean?


I don’t think that was the actual wording, just something like it.

I agree with you, LC, and hearted your post. Then I looked at the original poster’s ‘card’. She’s from Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong have had to put up with no end of “rubbish” in the last few years and fwiw we support them in their struggle for basic human rights and free elections. Just saying that context is everything.


Yes, they have & I support them too but expressing an opinion about a politician likely isn’t hate speech, it may be uncivil, it may be rude or disagreeable, but hate speech has specific definitions & just being offended by an political opinion is not hate speech especially if it’s not specifically targeted at you.


@_annalies, many of us share the sentiments on the front and back of your card. :sweat_smile: Whether or not people outside the US follow politics in the US, a lot of us (perhaps even the majority) have felt consistently mortified by how we have been represented to the rest of the world, and we badly need some emotional catharsis, as well as external validation that people don’t automatically associate us with our political leadership. (i.e. Please don’t hate us:pleading_face:)

(Think of it this way: I am at a family party, and my creepy uncle starts drunkenly causing a scene and embarrassing everyone, so I hide in the corner and frantically text you–my bestie :sparkling_heart:–to help me escape the awkwardness. For four years.)

I do agree with @LC-Canada that a politically-oriented insult–depending on the specific context–may not qualify as hate speech, however unpleasant. Criticizing ideas or behaviors is different than criticizing something people cannot change, such as ethnicity, physical ability, etc.

I agree completely; there are certain situations when anger is absolutely justified.

For a few months, I also had a short disclaimer in my profile (like @elanlei). I wrote that although the US is going through a difficult time, I hope for a future in which justice, empathy, and kindness prevail to make ours a country that can be safely enjoyed by everyone, and that I do not believe that hatred makes any nation “great.” It was enough of a hint that I received some lovely messages of support and commiseration that made me feel better and established a nice connection, so I don’t think politics must be avoided entirely. Tread carefully, though, and know your audience!