#1  
Old 09-30-2019, 12:59 PM
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Calls to Action


In the fast-moving "Trump Impeachment Inquiry" thread, Bone correctly moderates a call to action:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
From the board wide forum rules:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone
Calls to Action - Do not instigate members to take action for or against any issue or entity. Do not post phone numbers, email addresses or any other personally identifiable information of any entity in this regard. Threads calling for folks to take actions (political, charitable, personal, etc.) are prohibited unless there is prior approval from a moderator or administrator.
There has been quite a bit of this in the thread. It's fast moving, and people are obviously interested in the topic. I think people can figure out if they want to take additional action on their own. The purpose of the board is one of discussion, not a mechanism for calls to action.

There is a fine line to be sure, and I'm only quoting this one post because it was the most recent. But as a note to everyone, please avoid calls to action such as this.

[/moderating]
That rule is clear.

I propose it be relaxed.

Obviously, we don't want the board to be spammed with calls to action over every statute in Sheboygan or every ordinance in Oslo. And we don't want people to be organizing protests in the streets of Hong Kong, with the questions that'd raise about the board's international status.

But encouraging people to contact their legislators, on whatever side they find themselves, about the biggest political issue of the day? As a tiny component of a thread about that political issue?

I'm not seeing the harm.

So I'd love to see one of two possible solutions.
1) I'm requesting prior approval from administration for similar requests to be made in that thread. Similar requests would be requests for folks to contact their representatives in a civil fashion to express their views on issues surrounding impeachment. Anti-impeachment folks may of course make this sort of call to action just as easily as pro-impeachment folks.

2) More broadly, I'd love to see this rule be relaxed in connection to threads in Elections. Threads about political issues are going to attract people active in politics, and if a small percentage of posts in a thread are requests for others to be politically active, I think that's an entirely healthy thing, both for the board and for our citizenry. Threads that are started as calls to action might still require prior approval, and if someone starts taking over threads with spammy calls to action, that could still get moderated.
  #2  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:30 PM
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I like the rule the way it is. While I may not object to call made in this case I can think of a lot of threads where something like that would piss me off to no end. It comes down to if I agree with the point or not. Plus as we've seen with other threads (Positive Gun News for example) allowing it here will just mean that at some point someone will start to call for donations and letters of support to the current POTUS. And everything honk-off-wise that generates won't be very interesting reading

If I am not mistaken there have been a few call-to-action threads proposed to and cleared by the Mods and TPTB in advance. I would rather see it kept that way with pre-approval rather than a relaxing in any of the Forums.
  #3  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:32 PM
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In regard to Hong Kong, a call to action would not only be a good, it would be in keeping with the values of not only this board but of western values overall. What could the Chinese do? Block the site? So what. All this Trump nonsense is blinding us to real battlegrounds around the world. Long after Trump is gone and dead Hong Kongers could be living in an autocratic hell with no voice in their future.
  #4  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:42 PM
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Here is the full modded post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Gonna cross-post this:

If you're not calling your Representatives and Senators today, then you're not moving the needle.

Make your calls. Even if you support this shit, make your calls.

Directory of Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives

Directory of Senators: https://www.senate.gov/general/conta...nators_cfm.cfm

"Hi, my name is ThelmaLou, I live in zip code XXXXX in the great city of YYYY, and I want to let the Representative/Senator know that I support the impeachment of Donald J Trump from the Presidency of the United States ("under the 'Bribery' clause in article 2, section 4 of the US Constitution" for those of you who want to give a reason.)

In addition, my support of the Rep/Sen in the upcoming election is completely contingent upon their supporting the impeachment of Donald J. Trump.

Lastly, my support of any Republican in 2020 is contingent to how this plays out. If Donald Trump is on the ticket, I will not vote for any down-ballot Republican. I may not vote for the Democrat, but I definitely won't vote for the Republican.

Thank you. Do you need anything else?"

I can see the links and sample script as a problem but discussion about calling representatives is going to be thornier. I agree with the OP that the Elections forum needs some more leeway on this subject, especially if the request is not made in such direct language as in the offending post.
  #5  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:57 PM
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It weeds out those that spam message boards for just that reason.
  #6  
Old 09-30-2019, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
It weeds out those that spam message boards for just that reason.
I think the final sentence of my OP addressed this concern.
  #7  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
So I'd love to see one of two possible solutions.
1) I'm requesting prior approval from administration for similar requests to be made in that thread. Similar requests would be requests for folks to contact their representatives in a civil fashion to express their views on issues surrounding impeachment. Anti-impeachment folks may of course make this sort of call to action just as easily as pro-impeachment folks.

2) More broadly, I'd love to see this rule be relaxed in connection to threads in Elections. Threads about political issues are going to attract people active in politics, and if a small percentage of posts in a thread are requests for others to be politically active, I think that's an entirely healthy thing, both for the board and for our citizenry. Threads that are started as calls to action might still require prior approval, and if someone starts taking over threads with spammy calls to action, that could still get moderated.
On #1 I'm opposed. The reason is that it is one of the bigger issues of the day, and if anyone was so inclined, the information on how to contact their elected representatives is easily found. Cajoling or encouragement on the boards isn't necessary for that. That as a given, I think it could generally distract from the topic of the thread. We've been trying to keep the 1000+post thread relatively on topic and this type of call to action can distract from that.

On #2 We tend to moderate with a light touch on this rule, especially in Elections. Because many topics are about current event issues, and things that elected representatives may wind up voting on, there is a bit of interplay between discussing the issues and what may be construed as calls to action. Mostly I leave it alone. In instances where the call to action is very overt, like a person's phone number or contact information, urging others to take specific rather than general action, etc. is where I step in as I did in the example mentioned in this thread. The rule is good because it allows us to cutoff more egregious examples, and on a discretionary basis provide guidance when called for.

Now, if there were a separate topic in Elections like, "The best ways to participate in civic government - a guide to local, state, and federal representatives" or something like that, and people want to discuss the importance of contacting those that represent them, that'd be totally fine.

Last edited by Bone; 09-30-2019 at 02:15 PM.
  #8  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:17 PM
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Understood. Would it be okay to have a thread, separate from the enormous one, specifically for calls to action on impeachment-related issues?

Would an omnibus thread, similar to the "Best way to participate" thread you propose, only including specific, "I just contacted my representatives about X issue," posts, be okay?

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 09-30-2019 at 02:18 PM.
  #9  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
That rule is clear.

I propose it be relaxed.
We finally have an example of one clearly worded, bright-line, easily understood rule on the SDMB,and someone has to want to change it.

Seriously, I can call people to action on Facebook, on Twitter, on my local sportsfan forum - hell, I can probably send out a call to action on LinkedIn, although I've never tried it. Leaving the SDMB an advocacy-free zone is fine by me.
  #10  
Old 09-30-2019, 04:06 PM
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As I understand it, we are allowed to invite folks to click a link for examples or suggested actions. I think that is plenty. Anybody can make a quick, free, imgur of their suggestions and place copy-able text in the first comment box. It is fast and easy to provide the info without breaking the rule.
  #11  
Old 09-30-2019, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Here is the full modded post
You reposted a post that a moderator had issued a warning to? Probably not a good idea. I'd advise you to contact a moderator and ask them to delete your post.
  #12  
Old 09-30-2019, 06:54 PM
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Moderator Note

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
You reposted a post that a moderator had issued a warning to? Probably not a good idea. I'd advise you to contact a moderator and ask them to delete your post.
I'm going to allow the post to remain in this case. The post is what led to this thread being created in ATMB, and the post contains elements that are being discussed (links and sample script). As long as the post continues to be used as examples of elements that possibly should or should not be allowed, and the post is not used as an actual call to action in ATMB (which it isn't, so far) I don't have a problem with it.
  #13  
Old 09-30-2019, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post

I can see the links and sample script as a problem but discussion about calling representatives is going to be thornier. I agree with the OP that the Elections forum needs some more leeway on this subject, especially if the request is not made in such direct language as in the offending post.
Take the sample script away and/or at least cut it after the first paragraph and maybe it would fly. Put the sample script alone without the links ("I don't know what you may do but I'm calling my congressman and telling him this") and maybe it would fly. The combination? Both barrels? Nope. That is not something I want to see; almost especially in elections. I just don't see where it would gain me as much information as our current standards and practices do.

And as for the links in this case; I remember a phrase we used to see quite a bit around all kinds of subjects and questions back when I first got active --- allow me to Google that for you.
  #14  
Old 09-30-2019, 08:47 PM
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I don't want to be called to action. That might mean I would have to do something, and I already have a full schedule of sitting on my ass today.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #15  
Old 09-30-2019, 09:06 PM
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Not sure what I think about the op but the rule seems not all that bright line to me. Or enforced much at all.

“Vote tomorrow! It’s Election Day.” is a call to action. I doubt it would modded. We have advocacy aplenty here. The rule seems little enforced as it is. It seems odd that it is on the books.
  #16  
Old 10-01-2019, 08:31 AM
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Maybe put the "Call to Action" threads in Marketplace. It is, on some level, trying to sell something. It might increase traffic in that forum, which, AFAICT, is not very busy. It might even increase subscription income, if highly motivated people wanted to subscribe so they could post those kinds of threads.

Or leave things as is. Whether or not this specific call to action is so much more important than any other is a judgment call, or at least so much more important that it calls for special rulings.

IMO it is not. YMMV. A bright line ruling that 'this issue is important enough for these reasons' is essentially impossible to make.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid
“Vote tomorrow! It’s Election Day.” is a call to action. I doubt it would modded.
It probably wouldn't. "Election Day is tomorrow! Vote for this candidate, or that party, or No on some referendum" probably would, just as "brush your teeth" is OK but "use such-and-such a toothpaste" would not be.

Regards,
Shodan
  #17  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:24 AM
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I don't see the problem with either side calling for action in the context of a political debate thread. Even if a call for action reads like "we need to keep those Mexican drug dealers and rapists out of our country! Write to your congressman today and insist they provide funding for the Wall! Immigration is fine so long as it's from decent countries like Norway and Canada, but criminal brown-skinned folks from south of the border need to stay OUT of the US..." This would seem to be perfectly fair game. What is the point of engaging in a debate BUT to help win hearts and minds to one's way of thinking? A call to action by its very nature is implicit in any political debate.

I very seldom, if ever, post in the political debate threads, but I was stirred by some of the very persuasive things I read posted by several people there (including JohnT), and decided to take action in this instance. I am aware that others here express themselves more eloquently than I, and requested suggested language in writing to my congressman, which JohnT obligingly provided at my request. I fail to see to see how he or others exhorting others to come around to their way of thinking and act in accordance with those beliefs, negatively impacts the smooth functioning of this forum in any way. If enforcement of this rule is imposed lightly, I can certainly see why.
  #18  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I don't want to be called to action. That might mean I would have to do something, and I already have a full schedule of sitting on my ass today.
We have a coupla pitchforks in the barn. I'd love to be called to action if it involved carrying a pitchfork, or a torch for that matter.
  #19  
Old 10-01-2019, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I don't want to be called to action. That might mean I would have to do something, and I already have a full schedule of sitting on my ass today.
You, too? We should start a union, maybe.

Eh, maybe not. Seems like work.
  #20  
Old 10-01-2019, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
We have a coupla pitchforks in the barn. I'd love to be called to action if it involved carrying a pitchfork, or a torch for that matter.
I'm with you on the pitchforks, but I've lost my appetite for torches since around August, 2017.
  #21  
Old 10-02-2019, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
We have a coupla pitchforks in the barn. I'd love to be called to action if it involved carrying a pitchfork, or a torch for that matter.
Its kinda obvious

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLvGnro4Cgw
  #22  
Old 10-03-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kopek View Post
I guessed correctly! I love how the women and children watch the menfolk forming their mob.
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