Greetings all, I don’t know if officially “announcing” your arrival here is the done thing, or whether it will invoke the Wrath of Goats and Squids upon me, but I just thought I’d pop up and say Hi! to you people.
Also, just a quick question - I’ve noticed that things tend to get a bit, well, heated in the BBQ Pit. How does that jive with that section of the Rules that says:
Welcome, Sarah. An extremely good question! Just in my opinion as an ordinary member, I’d say the Pit seems to have a bit more leeway that other forums regarding profanity etc. But it certainly doesn’t seem to jibe with the Rules.
And the rules are a bit looser in the BBQ Pit, but there are still rules. Even in the Pit, you can’t get away with things like threats, illegal activities, and unsupported accusations (although Pittings could, I suppose, qualify as abusive). “Obscene” and “profane” must, as always, be judged according to community standards, and the standards of this particular community do admittedly take a bit of getting used to. In the meanwhile, if you’re ever in doubt about something, e-mail the mods to ask about it before posting.
Welcome, indeed, Sarah. As an aside: normally, introductory posts (“Hi! I’m here!”) go in the forum called Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS), but since you’ve asked a question about the rules, I’ll leave it here. No prob, no worries.
When the Boards started up, there tended to be lots of flaming everywhere. We decided to keep it confined to one area, kind of like having a mess-room in the basement where the kids can throw paint and spill stuff and no one cares. The rule you quoted:
still applies in the Pit, but we’re fairly lenient about where to draw the line. Those terms are all pretty much subjective, after all – we know the extremes, but it’s hard to define where the line is drawn. At what point are insults “abusive,” for instance?
Even in the Pit, one cannot post “any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, … hateful, harassing, … [or] threatening.” Of course, what one person thinks is “hateful” may not be what another person thinks is “hateful,” but the Pit Moderators do draw a line, and we have excluded hate-speech against ethnic groups, for instance.
The other categories: abusive, vulgar, obscene, or profane, well, again, these are all pretty much subjective. There is a line, of course, but it’s a bit grey and fuzzy – you can recognize when something is way the hell over the line, but there’s lots of grey areas. (If you don’t think so, look at the US courts and legal system and the conflicts over what’s “obscene.” If the courts with all their history and cases can’t define the line precisely, why should we?)
True, we’re interpreting way looser in the Pit than elsewhere. Yes, posters can be fairly abusive of each other in the Pit, but there is still a limit. Yes, posters can use coarse or vulgar langauge in the Pit, but again, there’s a limit. Coarse language can be used for dramatic effect, in all the forums, but we stop the excessive use. In terms of obscenity, we do not permit direct links to unsuitable photos, but we are a website intended for adults – after all, Cecil has discussed the caloric content of semen, so we’re pretty relaxed about discussions of topics that my great-aunt would have certainly considered obscene.
We do want direct links to be workplace-friendly, of course.
So, yes, those rules do apply to the Pit, but the line is drawn way far to the liberal interpretation end. My great-aunt, who thoguht the word “damn” was vulgar, probably wouldn’t have fit in here very well.
There is not wrath in the goats and squids; they are actually quite joyous about the whole thing. Anyway, you don’t get goats and squids until you have a paying membership. Goats and calamari ain’t cheap, ya know!