New Rules 2020: Discussion Thread

Now, as I’m sure you’ve notice, I’ve just stickied new rules for both Great Debates and Politics and Elections.

Tubadiva and I have been working on these rules for a month or so as we took to heart the posts made in the ‘How Do We Make It Work’ threads in both fora.

I realize there is no way the rules will make everyone happy. No way at all. But I do think they’ll move things in Great Debates and Politics and Elections in a significantly better way.

While a lot of the rules remain the same or very similar I do want to point out a few things I think are important changes.

  1. Hijacks will now be more broadly defined. We want to see more and more specific threads. That means attempts to redirect them or to derail them are now potentially sanctionable.
  2. No more omnibus threads. In our experience, the large ongoing omnibus threads are the most contentious and lead to the most trouble for posters. Please keep your threads very specific moving forward. We’d rather have four topics about various aspects of tax policy than one overarching one covering all four.
  3. Forum Banning. A new sanction that’s available to moderation staff is the banning of a poster from Great Debates and/of Politics and Elections. Since these are the two most contentious fora, we’re electing to give people a ‘time out’ from here as a means of preserving valuable posters who may become temporarily overwrought.

I’ll respond to questions here as I can over the day.

I just want to say Thank You for taking the time to come up with these, the rule regarding hijacks in particular. IMHO they are very much needed.

Happy New Year!

  1. Does this mean we can no longer pit anyone as a result of their posts in GD or Elections? In the past, I’ve seen someone link to a pit thread and invite the poster to join them there.

  2. Would a thread like ‘Why do Asians score higher on the SAT?’ be considered racism?

Eh, I think some of the prohibitions in the the thrice told tales section are sort of silly but the rules seem clear enough for the most part.

Regardless of my personal nitpick on that, I do appreciate the work you folks put in to the forums.

Suggestion for banned topics: Anti-vax bullshit. Even more stupid than climate denialism, and talking to anti-vaxxers is pointless.

Just one very minor nitpick. The phrase “may be sanctioned” in the middle of the item on hijacks is utterly ambiguous. The word “sanction” has two contradictory meanings and should be avoided.

That said, I think the rules are great and I appreciate the thought that went into them.