[Open Discussion] Future SD Forum Guidelines and community (locked)

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These are still being finalised and not yet final. The draft, as such:

Forum Guidelines for SD

Golden rule: Address the argument civily, don't attack the person.

Guidelines for making threads:
  1. The thread you create should have discussion value. This means the thread should ask questions and provoke thought, not merely a commentary. Random ramblings and posting nonsensical topics will not be tolerated.
  2. You should contribute to the thread you make in your first post. This means you should at least respond in some manner to the topic you pose for discussion in making the topic. Threads that only quote or link news article(s) without you adding some significant additional personal commentary will be locked. If you ask questions in your post, you should address some of them.
  3. Try your best to justify claims you make with authoritative sources, especially when asked. The majority of your argument should be you own and not the sources you cite.
  4. To the best of your ability, please check if a thread of similar or identical nature has been made prior before starting your thread.
  5. If required, please define terms necessary for the thread.
  6. Duplicate threads will be locked.
  7. Threads can be controversial, but only within reason.
  8. Threads directed against specific groups of people or to attack or insult groups of people will be locked.


Guidelines for responding to posts and threads:
  1. Excessive cursing, swearing and vulgar language will not be tolerated.
  2. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Generalising personal attacks will not be tolerated.
  3. As far as possible, quote only the parts of a post you want to respond to and not the entire post. Quote only parts of a post that are relevant. Quote pyramids are not tolerated.
  4. Stay on topic. Off-topic and off-hand comments that are irrelevant to the topic should not be the emphasis of your posts.
  5. When making a claim, try as far as possible to justify it with authoritative sources. The majority of your argument should be your own, not the sources you present.
  6. When attack an argument, do not insult it.
  7. Respect the person(s) you are discussing with.
  8. Avoid responding to what you believe are inflammatory posts or threads.


All other rules stipulated in the Kongregate Terms and conduct guidelines apply.
Some of my comments:

What I want to try to achieve with Rule 1 for making a thread is to increase threads such as this, this and this. I want to decrease threads like this, this and this.

When I mean by generalising personal attacks, I want to reduce flings such as "You liberals" and so on. Such flings tend to be over-generic and used in an aggressive undertones.

As TheAwesomeOpossum pointed out here, I think it is fair that attacking an argument should not mean you insulting it. As such, I think tolerance for calling an argument "stupid", "full of crap" and such should not be high. Such comments only further inflame a situation instead of bringing it forward.

With regards to off-topic posts, I want to crack down on off-hand comments that are the emphasis of a post. I do not mind if you want to state something off-topic as a side thought, but as far as possible, should not be the reason for you posting.
Appeal to users:

If possible, I would really love for you people to flag posts and threads. Think a thread has no discussion value? Please flag it with a short reason as to why it does not. If a thread has been made before? Please flag it with a link to the thread that has already been made. Flags are crucial as they provide feedback to us moderators and administrators about what you people tolerate and not tolerate, which is important for us in responding to your likes.

When you flag a post, you can pen additional information that will be helpful. As far as possible, elaborating on why you are flagging the post will help moderators a lot. Thanks!
Feedback I would like:
  1. What type of SD forum do you want? Would you like stricter moderation or lax moderation?
  2. What type of threads do you want or not want in SD?
  3. What are your tolerances for religious and politically-centric threads?
  4. What are your tolerances for threads that do not have much discussion value?
  5. How serious should the threads be?
  6. What, or how, do you think you could improve the SD forums community wise?
 
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Updates

With regards to caesar’s concern here, I am open to alternatives for the rewording of the clause.

As it stands right now, it is: When making a claim, try as far as possible to justify it with authoritative sources.

There are a few possible alternatives.

It might be possible to reword it as such: When justifying something, please use authoritative sources.

Or, as vikaTae suggest: When asked for justification of your claims, the onus is on you to provide authoritative sources.

 
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*reserved*

 
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This was greatly needed. Thanks, Laxaria.


1. Moderate moderation would be nice. SD is very tame at times but I think that’s what for the most part led to downfall. Moderators would skimp over mud-slinging arguments due to the fact that it would not be the type of thing expected in SD. I would want the moderation to be more active in watching debates to make sure they are civil and don’t turn into a mud-slinging contest of inflated ego and false superiority.

2. Any threads that follow things that would normally belong in SD are fine. Such as politics, ethnicity, morality, sexuality, science, religion, etc. The moderation, to my knowledge, has never had a problem determining which threads do and do not belong in Serious Discussion.

3. I am open to all views on religious threads and am willing to accept views on politically-centric threads. I do think that ones such as, “Islam is wrong and stupid”, and other ridiculous, ludicrous threads should be locked, for they do not present their ideas in the correct way. A better way to present your idea in a thread would be to say “Here’s why I oppose Islam”. I do think the moderation should start doing this more often.

4. A master thread or embargo is not needed. It’s not like they’re clogging up Serious Discussion or anything >.>.

5. As long as they have a point and we can have a quasi-continuous discussion on the aforesaid threads, then I see no issue with them.

6. Define “serious”.

7. I think the moderation should emphasize the fact that everyone’s views and ideals should be accepted and that if you oppose them you should do so peacefully. I feel that if the moderation takes action (such as removing rude posts) then this forums community will greatly increase in quality. I could give you a long list of people that have decided to leave this place for the sole fact that the community here was full of egotistical, false superiority, assholes.

 
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don’t turn into a mud-slinging contest of inflated ego and false superiority.

It is actually very hard and a tad demanding to expect moderators to follow all posts in a thread, each and every thread.

Personally, I would really love to see more users flagging posts. It helps a lot more in the long run, honestly. :)

 
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Originally posted by Laxaria:

don’t turn into a mud-slinging contest of inflated ego and false superiority.

It is actually very hard and a tad demanding to expect moderators to follow all posts in a thread, each and every thread.

Personally, I would really love to see more users flagging posts. It helps a lot more in the long run, honestly. :)

If flagging the mud-slinging contests helps the moderation of Serious Discussion then that’s what I’ll do :). Hopefully, that would make it easier for you, for there are a lot of things here in need of cleaning up.

 
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other ridiculous, ludicrous threads should be locked, for they do not present their ideas in the correct way.

That is an issue I do get a lot. What would you classify as ridiculous and ludicrous? Perhaps providing some examples will help.

Define “serious”.

Should threads be considered informal debates or of a level where it should be more casual?

Should threads such as counselling threads, advice threads or homework threads be allowed?

 
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I get the feeling that discussions are going to become one sided with the more progressive arguments becoming dominate and the more conservative posts being shut out. From the time I joined this forum I have noticed conservative ideas being shot down and the person posting that idea being ganged up on so to speak. I have found myself several times the center of such an attack.

As I am one of the newer posters and not in any clicks, it leaves me quite exposed.

 
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A few things I think maybe should use some clarifying in the rules.

It is your onus to double check that a previous thread has not been made prior.

there are 219 pages of threads and counting, I don’t mean to sound like a smart ass, this is an honest question, how many pages should we go back when checking? There are plenty of topics probably covered and obviously looking through 219 (and counting) pages of threads is excessive, not to mention, maybe it is just me, but people bumping year old threads bugs the crap out of me. Can we say maybe check the first 5 pages or something? I feel like if a thread sunk further than that there is likely a reason.
Stay on topic. Off-topic and off-hand comments that are irrelevant to the topic should not be the emphasis of your posts

this was talked about on the thread I started, and I have to say, that derailing a thread is not always a bad thing, if the derailing process is an organic one. If we have this rule can moderators try to keep in mind when the derailing of the thread is damaging and when it is the natural direction of the conversation? As was so not particularly elegantly put by Spaghedeity: “nobody would make small talk if they were only allowed to keep talking about the weather or their ugly-ass kids.” That being said threads aren’t small talk but, to try to keep discussion flowing in a natural manner I think some amount of derailment should be allowed. Obviously if it leads into talking about your favorite songs or something (I use this example because I have done this once or twice) then it is not a good direction and should be discussed via shouts or PMs.
What are your tolerances for religious and politically-centric threads?

This is the center of SD I feel, making stupid claims is one thing, but these are important subjects and I feel they important in SD.
Would you like a temporary embargo or control measures on religious and politically-centric threads? Would you prefer a master-thread for all these discussions?

I don’t like redundant threads but there are many different nuances to these sorts of threads, so I feel like a master thread would be blocking to many different angles of approach together.
How serious should the threads be?

It’s a games site, and people are largely here to have fun, I don’t see that we should be tyrannical in our enforcement of the seriousness of these threads. Obviously this is not supposed to be like OT where we discuss whatever, but if a thread can get a good discussion going then it is probably serious enough.
What, or how, do you think you could improve the SD forums community wise?

I don’t want to be a self righteous prick, so I am not going to say others have to or should do this, but simply state the way I view the SD community. I view the community largely as a group of friends I have, now I have friends in real life, who I very much disagree with on some topics, even to the point where I find their view illogical at best but better described by the word “stupid,” but I don’t call my friends in real life stupid, because I value our friendship. (But I will gladly attack their point of view) I try (not always successfully) to take a similar approach here on the SD forums, because largely I consider the members here to be my friends.
What type of threads do you want or not want in SD?

Threads with a hateful premise, survey threads, that kind of thing.
What are your tolerances for threads that do not have much discussion value?

Depends, people post technology based threads on occasion and I have little I can say on them, but I would never want to take away other people’s opportunity to discuss such things. Also I think there should be a bit of leniency on the subject for sure, I wouldn’t want people afraid to post threads. But then as people on OT say, “Obvious troll is Obvious” that kind of a thread is a good one to lock, and depending on the severity discipline the OP.
What type of SD forum do you want? Would you like stricter moderation or lax moderation?

seems fine as is, a few personal attacks is definitely no reason to remove the post if it is for the most part contributing well to the thread, we are all human and so we make mistakes and get angry, take those mistakes into account when moderating, if there is a bit of personal attacking but mostly a logically constructed argument give it the benefit of the doubt… or maybe better, if it is all fine until the end say and then it is like, “You are an idiot… [explicative][unimportant to the rest of the argument]” then maybe just edit the personal attack out.

 
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@ Jhco: See, the very reason why I want to hold an open discussion is that I think it is highly unfair to associate people purely by their political standpoints and views, decry them because they adopt certain political views, then fling them generic insults like “you liberals” with aggressive and disrespectful undertones.

Unfortunately, respect works both ways. Accepting the opinions of others without downright resorting to flings and insults as such should be the goal.


@ stilton:

Can we say maybe check the first 5 pages or something? I feel like if a thread sunk further than that there is likely a reason.

Perhaps. I suppose the clause would need some better wording, although I find using a site specific search on Google very handy more than once. At the same time, I don’t want 10 conspiracy theorists threads on the first page.

that derailing a thread is not always a bad thing, if the derailing process is an organic one

Yet again, I understand what you mean. What I want to cut down on specifically are posts purely filled with off-hand comments that do not contribute in any positive manner to the progression of the thread.

Threads with a hateful premise, survey threads, that kind of thing.

Could you expand on those? :)

if there is a bit of personal attacking but mostly a logically constructed argument give it the benefit of the doubt

Unfortunately, I tend to find that resorting to personal attacks tend to result in a less than stellar argument.

I’m relatively tolerant over it, but only to some extents.

 
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Originally posted by jhco50:

I get the feeling that discussions are going to become one sided with the more progressive arguments becoming dominate and the more conservative posts being shut out. From the time I joined this forum I have noticed conservative ideas being shot down and the person posting that idea being ganged up on so to speak. I have found myself several times the center of such an attack.

As I am one of the newer posters and not in any clicks, it leaves me quite exposed.

I am hoping not Jhco this thread I think is a reaction to one I started about personal attacks, and I started that thread largely because I was getting tired of people giving you shit all the time. (Granted I also would love to see you lay off on the personal attacks at times). Hopefully this leads to more civil argument, and if it does, hopefully people will not shoot down your arguments without addressing them (because “that’s stupid I won’t address that” is a poor argument)

 
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That is an issue I do get a lot. What would you classify as ridiculous and ludicrous? Perhaps providing some examples will help.

I provided an example in my post :P.


Should threads be considered informal debates or of a level where it should be more casual?
Should threads such as counselling threads, advice threads or homework threads be allowed?

I honestly couldn’t answer that one then. I just think that it comes naturally to SD’ers and the SD moderation when a thread is not seirous enough for SD. Don’t you feel the same a little?

 
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I provided an example in my post :P.

Any more? Links to existing threads would be helpful so I can gauge an understanding of what you define by ridiculous and ludicrous.

I honestly couldn’t answer that one then. I just think that it comes naturally to SD’ers and the SD moderation when a thread is not seirous enough for SD. Don’t you feel the same a little?

Which is why I am for users flagging posts and threads. If you can provide a compelling argument as to why a thread should be locked, or a post removed, it makes my job easier. My decision is not purely based on my thoughts, but based on what some other members of the community feels.

 
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Any more? Links to existing threads would be helpful so I can gauge an understanding of what you define by ridiculous and ludicrous.

Alright, I’ll find some thread examples and normal examples, and I’ll get back to you in PMs.

Another Example:

Two Threads, Same Idea, Different Presentation

Thread A:

Title: Pro-Choice Liberals are stupid baby killers

Thread B:

Title: I do not agree with pro-choice liberals, here is why

Do you kind of get a better understanding now? Thread A could cause more unnecessary mudslinging tan Thread B. You should rename it, or leave them a message telling them how to make yourself presentable :).


Which is why I am for users flagging posts and threads. If you can provide a compelling argument as to why a thread should be locked, or a post removed, it makes my job easier. My decision is not purely based on my thoughts, but based on what some other members of the community feels.

Alright, I understand where you’re coming from. I’ll try to flag posts more often here.

 
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Yep.

I think it will also have to depend on the content of the thread though. If both threads contain the same content which is inflammatory, singling out and decrying specific political ideologies, they are no different than each other.

 
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Thank you stilt.

When I first joined Stilt, I dropped in on a firearms discussion that was kind of inaccurate. I thought I could add to it by bringing in information I had learned over a lifetime of shooting and reloading. It was like dropping into a den of snakes and I was quite taken back by the aggressiveness of the other posters. I was still me at that time and not overly aggressive.

As time went on and I kept getting slapped around I started standing up a bit. It wasn’t until I got into a thread on DADT that the crap hit the fan. I was called every name in the book. I was called things like bigot, racist, and on and on. Suffice it to say that I told one of them, if we were face to face I would kick his backside. Of course I was silenced. That is when I realized I had better stand on both feet and fight fire with fire.

However, I am not normally aggressive on forums. I belong to several and there is a lot more respect for each other. I should keep in mind that this is a forum is mostly populated with people of opposite political view than mine. Still, I get in trouble easily with my aggressiveness.

I do like the idea of a civil discussion and exchange of ideas, but I don’t really think it will become one. I can’t see how it can and still be a conduit for free ideas.

 
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That is when I realized I had better stand on both feet and fight fire with fire.

Unfortunately, that’s not the type of behaviour that will be tolerated.

If someone has spewed a whole bunch of personal attacks against you, please just flag the post and let the moderators handle it. Attacking others back in retaliation is the reason why discussions turn into flame-wars, and that is simply not the point.

I do like the idea of a civil discussion and exchange of ideas, but I don’t really think it will become one. I can’t see how it can and still be a conduit for free ideas.

It can be, but only if every single person plays their part by being open to other ideas. This means not slinging stereotypes on people, over-generalising and generally decrying someone based on their views.

Still, I get in trouble easily with my aggressiveness.

Cut back on the aggressiveness, and I’m quite sure you’ll find people more accepting and willing to listen. If you are presenting a point to a more liberal-thinker while possessing an aggressive voice and telling him that he’s an idiot, nothing really happens except a brawl. Passive aggression, intolerance and discriminatory language does not help.

Once again, I want to appeal to all users to just flag posts which are not in good taste instead of retaliating. Retaliating itself only worsens a situation.

 
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Originally posted by Laxaria:

That is when I realized I had better stand on both feet and fight fire with fire.

Unfortunately, that’s not the type of behaviour that will be tolerated.

If someone has spewed a whole bunch of personal attacks against you, please just flag the post and let the moderators handle it. Attacking others back in retaliation is the reason why discussions turn into flame-wars, and that is simply not the point.

I do like the idea of a civil discussion and exchange of ideas, but I don’t really think it will become one. I can’t see how it can and still be a conduit for free ideas.

It can be, but only if every single person plays their part by being open to other ideas. This means not slinging stereotypes on people, over-generalising and generally decrying someone based on their views.

Still, I get in trouble easily with my aggressiveness.

Cut back on the aggressiveness, and I’m quite sure you’ll find people more accepting and willing to listen. If you are presenting a point to a more liberal-thinker while possessing an aggressive voice and telling him that he’s an idiot, nothing really happens except a brawl. Passive aggression, intolerance and discriminatory language does not help.

Once again, I want to appeal to all users to just flag posts which are not in good taste instead of retaliating. Retaliating itself only worsens a situation.

I wasn’t aware at the time what the flag was for. This site works entirely different than any I have ever been on.

 
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Agree with Laxaria. I am hoping that for the most part SDers can tolerate opposing views. But if you start earning a reputation for being aggressive it starts to taint even your non-aggressive ones. Not to say this is entirely your fault but there are things you can do to help yourself out.

 
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I wasn’t aware at the time what the flag was for. This site works entirely different than any I have ever been on.

Well I hope I clarified its purpose. :)

It is akin to reporting a post, really.

 
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