Does anyone not break the agreement?

Just took another look at this, and I realized I haven’t lived up to the agreement 100 percent. I have posted material which could be considered vulgar, and perhaps obscene and sexually oriented, even though I agreed not to when I registered. To be honest, I got caught up in the fun of the board and completely forgot most of the stuff I (and everyone else here) agreed to. Instead, I just tried to use common sense and not be a jerk.

It piqued my curiosity: Is there any single poster (or moderator or administrator) out there who can honestly say he or she has lived up to this agreement 100 percent?

And would moderators and administrators really want us to?

(This post is NOT intended as criticism of how the board is run. I have no complaints.)

There is quite a difference between inadvertantly breaking the rules, and deliberately and repeatedly breaking the rules in an attempt to show some sort of “superiority”. When the Board asks you to stop doing something, you can either 1) Stop doing it, or 2) Do it even more and write nasty notices all over the board about everyone else’s mistakes, then loudly procaim that you are a “martyr”.

We are aware that the current agreement as it stands is not sufficient for what we’re aiming for here . . . and it’s being rewritten.

Understand that we are still formulating stuff here . . . that things change over time and experience.

Also please understand that we want the Teeming Millions to come here to read and post and learn stuff and have fun. On the one hand, we don’t want to stifle free expression; on the other hand, we want this to be a good–no, a GREAT experience–for as many people as we can and where there’s no limits there’s mostly chaos.

We’re looking for that middle ground that gives our forum members the most freedom and flexibility but that also ensures that great experience for the largest number of the group.

Slythe’s comments are well taken, too. :slight_smile:

Let me ask you folks, the people that have to live by these rules: what do YOU think is appropriate and how would you say it? I cannot promise that we’ll adopt your personal point of view, but I promise you we WILL read it.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

Hi slythe,

I should have made it more clear that I was NOT commenting on Contestant #3.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.

Neither was I. He is not the first, nor will he be the last, to go ballistic over their own self importance. I’ve been hit by the ol’ two-by-four myself a couple of times.

Neither was I, my ass. I’m assuming that “martyr” line was referring to someone else, right?

I would think personal abuse and incitement to violence should be banned. Ditto “spamming” and forms of pornography that are forbidden in the USA (the country of origin of the SDMB). In other words, what is forbidden now.

On a personal note, I would disagree with the “BBQ Pit” forum. I think it would be better to say “If you have to flame, go do it somewhere else.”

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.

Hey, while we were discussing, the agreement has changed slightly . . . go look at it, please.

[Rules,]]Rules,[/URL"] Policies and Disclaimers](

Note that “Don’t Be A Jerk” still applies. :slight_smile:

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope
It’s a good rule for life, too.

[Note: This message has been edited by TubaDiva]

Uhm, Dear Heart
The Policies link does not work.
(What a jerk, right?) :wink:

Well, the rules say “don’t post anything profane.” ?? Which meaning of profane is indicated in that sentence? (definitions taken from Merriam-Webster Online)

[ul][li]1 not concerned with religion or religious purposes : SECULAR[/li][li]2 not holy because unconsecrated, impure, or defiled : UNSANCTIFIED[/li][li]3 serving to debase or defile what is holy : IRREVERENT[/li][li]4 a : not being among the initiated b : not possessing esoteric or expert knowledge[/ul][/li]

J’ai assez vécu pour voir que différence engendre haine.

You know, I really really like No. 4. :slight_smile:

I’ve punted this over to the Powers That Be.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

I think this link is what TubaDiva was attempting:

Most of the prohibited stuff is already prohibited by law (at least, the law in most countries) – harrassment, slander, incitement to violence, hate speech (yes, its criminality is constitutionally questionable at this point), pyramid schemes, obscenity (the legally obscene, like bestiality pictures), etc…

So, you really don’t need to explicitly prohibit what’s illegal, however, given that the laws can vary from country to country and that some people are ignorant, I guess you should spell out what’s illegal.

The real question is, what legal activities do you want to prohibit? Some are easy to name: Chain letters, general proselytization, hard core X-rated pics. Others might not be so easy: ‘Swear’ words? Nude pics? Trolling?

Can we go around and say f***? The harshest swear words appear often in BBQ, are they also OK in the general forums? Which swear words are too profane? Is this an ‘R’ BB or an ‘X’?


We’ve tried to eschew ratings or hard and fast rules, because we want to give you folks the most latitude that we can.

Besides, it’s a drag to have a lot of rules and we really don’t want to be censors or playground monitors. We assume that you are rational thinking adults (well, most of you are . . . mostly :slight_smile: ) and we expect you to behave as rational thinking adults without prompting from us.

At the same time, there ARE limits to everything.

We ARE aimed at an adult audience; this is not Romper Room, this is not a kid-centered site. That’s deliberate. Kids got their own stuff, this is not the place. Which is not to say kids can’t come here, but I hope they do so with the full consent and supervision of their adult guardians.

We prefer to try to take things on a case by case basis; what’s appropriate for the situation, that’s how you should guide your actions.

Note that wordage that would be totally appropriate for a slanging match in the Pit is NOT appropriate for a query in General Questions. In the same vein, opinions are not facts; that’s why we have MPSIMS, to give just one example.

Try to make your postings appropriate for the area they’re being listed in . . .and true to their content. Don’t try to provoke debate in General Questions; on the other hand, don’t look first for factual answers to your questions in Great Debates, where opinion is more accepted as a part of what goes down.

Free expression is mostly a good thing, but your right to post freely ends where abuse of other people begin. Let common sense and good manners be your guide and you’ll always be correct. The Golden Rule’s not bad either; how would YOU like to be addressed, how would you like to be treated? Act accordingly and you’ll be a beloved member of the Teeming Millions. Which will probably qualify you for great prizes. Or something.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope
Is everybody good and confused now?

Hi TubaDiva and everyone,

Thanks for the responses.

Getting back to my OP, I’m guessing that the answer to my first question is ‘‘no,’’ and the answer to my second question also is ‘‘no.’’ Right? :wink:

Since this is a moderated board, and since the goal is to create an environment in which everyone can have fun as well as overcome ignorance, I have a suggestion for something you could add to the agreement. How about:

I realize this rule is implicit in the descriptions of the various forums, but there seems to be a sizable minority of posters who cannot resist writing, for example: ‘‘You are a ridiculous person,’’ when they mean, ‘‘What you wrote seems ridiculous to me,’’ or ‘‘Learn to read,’’ when they mean, ‘‘You apparently misread my post.’’ In other words, they attack the poster’s perceived flaws as a person, rather than the content of the poster’s message. This is a recipe for an argument.

I’ve noticed in many threads where arguments have erupted needlessly because a poster resorted to an unnecessary personal attack, when it would have been more effective (and more fun) if the poster had merely commented on a previous poster’s words (rather than on his or her perceived personality flaws).

On the other hand, I’m not sure how this could be enforced. Unfortunately, in our society, many people don’t seem to understand the difference between attacking a person’s words, and attacking a person. And many posters seem to take it personally and get angry when someone disagrees with them.

Am I the only one who is concerned about this? If so, I’ll shut up and get off the bandwagon. But I really do think this board would be more fun and more effective without the name-calling, and without the commentaries on posters’ personal flaws.

After all, it’s kind of lonely being the only person on a bandwagon. :wink:

(meant to say ‘‘soapbox’’ instead of ‘‘bandwagon’’ in the previous post.)

The one thing that has come closest to making me stop reading this board is that somebody always seems to find a reason to rant about somebody else. I rarely read the BBQ pit, but I still hear how someone can’t stand Wally M7, or Daniel P. Bostaph, or somebody else.

I find these things unnecessary. Both of the above mentioned posters have made some very intelligent and well reasoned posts, and I don’t recall them picking on anyone else, but even if they did things in a manner similar to C#3, I would think that it would be the Board Staff’s problem, rather than that of any of the users.

It seems that a lot of people look at how many posts they have made, and think that the higher the number the more right they have to criticize others and their views.

It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Tubadiva said:

Hey! We have lots of factual answers in Great Debates. It’s not our fault if some of the posters don’t want to accept the facts! Sheesh…

Well David, that’s your opinion. :slight_smile:

your humble TubaDiva
Don’t confuse me with the facts!

Sure you didn’t mean to say, “handbasket?”

your humble TubaDiva
but at least we’re all going there TOGETHER.

PS Personally I like your descriptive 'graph from above; I’ll pass it on.