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Author Topic: Personal Attacks, Civility and Respect  (Read 6198 times)

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Rasta Nick

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Personal Attacks, Civility and Respect
« on: February 24, 2005, 05:38:42 PM »


My goal is to provide a forum where a diverse group people can discuss topics in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Despite my best efforts, many of our members often stray from this ideal and cheapen the quality of discourse for everyone else. It is simply impossible to write a comprehensive set of rules forbidding every type of antisocial behaviour. The fact that the rules don't forbid a certain type of post does not automatically make an uncivil post appropriate, nor does it imply I approve of disrespectful behaviour. Every member of this community has a responsibility to participate in a respectful manner, and to help foster an atmosphere of thoughtful discussion. I strongly advise that our members exercise a little common decency, rather than trying to parse the message board rules to figure out what type of antisocial behaviour is not forbidden.

Do not post personal attacks or engage in name calling against other members of this discussion board.

If you are going to disagree with someone, please stick to the message rather than the messenger. For example, if someone posts factually incorrect information, it is appropriate to say, "Your facts are wrong," but it is not appropriate to say "you are a liar."

Do not publicly accuse another member of this message board of being a disruptor. Do not try to come up with cute ways of skirting around the spirit of this rule. If you think someone is a disruptor, click the "Report" link above their post so the moderators can deal with it.

Unfortunately, it has become all too common for members of this message board to label anyone with a slightly different point of view as a disruptor. We disapprove of this behaviour because its intent is to stifle discussion, enforce a particular "party line," and pre-emptively label a particular point of view as inappropriate or unwelcome. This makes thoughtful and open debate virtually impossible.

This forum welcomes a broad range of opinions. As such, you are likely to disagree strongly with many of the comments you see expressed here. Please do not take these differences of opinion personally. The simple fact that someone disagrees with you does not give you the right to lash out and break the rules of this message board. A thick skin is usually required to participate on this or any forum.

Strictly speaking, sweeping statements about entire groups of people are not considered personal attacks. However, they are often inflammatory and counterproductive and will be treated as an attack.

Do not start a new discussion thread with the purpose of insulting or criticizing another member or picking a fight with another member. Do not use your signature line to be disrespectful.

We do not typically delete threads which many members may consider to be "flame bait." However, the administrator or a moderator will occasionally remove threads which we arbitrarily consider too rhetorically hot or too inflammatory. Please use good judgment when starting threads; inflammatory rhetoric does not normally lead to productive discussion.

If you are the type of person who just can't get along with other people, and if you seem to repeatedly cause trouble, eventually we will decide that your presence is a disruption and we will ban you. It doesn't matter how long you have been a member of this board.

There are no exceptions to these civility rules. You cannot attack someone because they attacked you first, or because that person "deserved it," or because you think someone is a disruptor. We consider it a personal attack to call a liar a liar, to call a moron a moron, or to call a jerk a jerk.

For detailed information about how we enforce our personal attacks rule, please read "What is a Personal Attack?"
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