A note on discussion, moderation, and interaction with fellow humans

The aim of this post is not to point fingers at any particular user/developer/staff member/group of people, but rather to highlight some guidelines that are put in place to keep discussion and interaction productive.

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The FAQ section of this site incorporates the boilerplate guidelines set out by the creators of Discourse , along with some additional tweaks on the kind level of discussion that should be expected on this forum.

Also a good general rule of thumb for how to behave on a forum can be found on Reddit, with their Reddiquette - though being a moderator over there can be a huge ballache, as not that many users follow it. But I think it has some good points! Some excerpts (in some cases slightly modified to better reflect this forum) that I think apply to general forums:

Please do:

  • Remember the human. When you communicate online, all you see is a computer screen. When talking to someone you might want to ask yourself “Would I say it to the person’s face?” or “Would I get jumped if I said this to a buddy?”
  • Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life.
  • Moderate based on quality, not opinion. Well written and interesting content can be worthwhile, even if you disagree with it.
  • Search for duplicates before posting. Redundant posts add nothing new to previous conversations. That said, sometimes bad timing, a bad title, or just plain bad luck can cause an interesting story to fail to get noticed. Feel free to post something again if you feel that the earlier posting didn’t get the attention it deserved and you think you can do better.
  • Report any spam you find.
  • Use an “Innocent until proven guilty” mentality. Unless there is obvious proof that a submission is fake, or is whoring karma, please don’t say it is. It ruins the experience for not only you, but the other people using this forum
  • Read over your submission for mistakes before submitting Make sure the facts you provide are accurate to avoid any confusion down the line.

Please don’t:

  • Engage in illegal activity.
  • Post someone’s personal information, or post links to personal information. This includes links to public Facebook pages and screenshots of Facebook pages with the names still legible. We all get outraged by the ignorant things people say and do online, but witch hunts and vigilantism hurt innocent people too often
  • Be (intentionally) rude at all. By choosing not to be rude, you increase the overall civility of the community and make it better for all of us.
  • Follow those who are rabble rousing against another user without first investigating both sides of the issue that’s being presented. Those who are inciting this type of action often have malicious reasons behind their actions and are, more often than not, a troll. Remember, every time a user who’s contributed large amounts of effort into assisting the growth of community as a whole is driven away, projects that would benefit the whole easily flounder.
  • Conduct personal attacks on other commenters. Ad hominem and other distracting attacks do not add anything to the conversation.
  • Start a flame war. Just report and “walk away”. If you really feel you have to confront them, leave a polite message with a quote or link to the rules, and no more.
  • Insult others. Insults do not contribute to a rational discussion. Constructive Criticism, however, is appropriate and encouraged.
  • Troll. Trolling does not contribute to the conversation.
  • Moderate a story based on your opinion of its source. Quality of content is more important than who created it.
  • Report posts just because you do not like them. You should only be using the report button if the post breaks the forum rules.
  • Editorialize or sensationalize your submission title.
    Make comments that lack content. Phrases such as “this”, “lol”, and “I came here to say this” are not witty, original, or funny, and do not add anything to the discussion.
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