Revenue Proposal: The Swear Jar

In another thread, I made the rather flippant suggestion about this board administration selling indulgences for swearing. xash suggested that if I wished to continue this line of thought I should take it to another thread, and I’ve since given this some consideration. With a little tweaking, it seems that as well as being a useful safety valve for when tempers flare, the idea could be an ongoing source of fun as well as revenue.

Instead of moderator indulgences, members could “buy” cuss words via a Swear Jar, on a similar sliding scale of offence . To prevent foul language getting out of hand in the more serious forums, I would see it as being limited to The Pit only, with existing vetoes on extremely offensive terms and personal insults remaining in place to prevent it becoming a free-for-all.

It would, in effect, be a voluntary donation system. Revenue collection details are a little vague - obviously it would be too much to expect moderators to keep track of and enforce payment of every little swear - but I’d see it as working on an honour system, with swearers responsible for keeping track of their total and paying into the jar at the end of the month.

This would help to keep it both self-policing and somewhat light-hearted, with perhaps a stickied thread devoted to keeping a running total of the total “fines” due on an ongoing basis. It could also serve as a valuable safety valve for those chafing under some of the language restrictions in place able to vent their spleens - for a price.

So those who could afford it would have more rights than those who couldn’t? Sounds a little “Animal Farmish” to me, and it still turn the Pit into something we really don’t want it to be.

Of course, you could make the same argument for selling custom titles and paid memberships.

But neither one of those lower the tone of the forum. It’s like the difference between buying special liscense plates, and paying off a cop to avoid a ticket.

It wouldn’t lower the tone any more then it is now, though, since existing language restrictions would remain in place: it’s not like you’d be able to purchase immunity. And the problem with the cop analogy is that the cop doesn’t get to set the speed limits, whereas you guys do: it’s not paying to break the rules if you guys build a little leeway into them.

If you want to have politeness across the board, you could just destroy the pit.

Yeah. This way you at least get people to pay for rudeness: hell, it could even foster a new level of civility.

Or they could, y’know, just be civil.

But the pit was specifically designed for people to be uncivil. Now you’re telling them to be uncivil, but it says that it’s for incivility, and people are just…confused.

Here’s what I’d do. Nuke the pit. Put it in an archive section or something. Make a new forum, right under GD. Call it something pretentious, like “On Graver Matters”. That’s where all the non-debate politics threads would go, along with deaths and so on. Then make an addendum on the ‘DBaJ’ rule: be polite to each other. Net result: MPSIMS gets a little more aggressive, we get a politics forum, and you guys can replace the mish-mash of confusing new rules with one simple rule. And, on top of that, all the uncivil people leave. Either they get banned, or they just go to some other board.

The vast maority of SDMB posters have no problem understanding what belongs in the BBQ Pit and what doesn’t, and have handled the forums as they are now set up without too much misunderstanding and/or consternation for quite a few years now, as far as I can tell.

Quite a few years? The pit changed not a year back. Significantly. That’s what I thought this thread was about.

I stand corrected. While most had little trouble adapting to the new BBQ Pit rules, as evidenced by the great number of people that haven’t broken the new rules, it seems that a small minority have had a bit of trouble adjusting to them.
Would this be more correct?

For every warning doled out under the new pit rules, there’s probably five GFactor ‘no warning’ mod notes. Just anecdotally, it seems like there are a lot more modhat posts in the pit than there were before the NPR (new pit rules).

Also: I’m assuming that the NPR were implemented to make the pit civil (or more civil, at least). Is that accurate? If not, then what were they for, exactly?

Well, yes, but as this board stands they’re not going to be without a certain amount of heavily enforced restrictions - which, as **pedescribe **points out, is why the Pit exists - so why not turn a buck of it?

Perhaps because the type of people that are incapable of staying within the rules they’ve agreed to follow are also the type of people least likely to follow any sort of “honor system” of payments for transgressions?

Off. A buck off it. And I’d see it as being largely slf-policing by the members anyhow: if Poster X pays for his trangressions, he’s gonna make sure Poster Y does, and vice versa.

How in the world could Poster X make Poster Y do anything at all?

Well, the details are sketchy, but as stated in the OP I’d envisage a Pit sticky to keep a running total of who has paid for what and who hasn’t: if someone’s clearly in the red, they could be reported for it, although hopefully that wouldn’t be too necessary.

I can’t agree with Scissorjack here. A swear jar makes no sense, since one of the main completes with the NPR is the sheer number and complexity of them, and a swear jar would only multiply the complexity.

I have a counter suggestion: how about we have an adult board where people can use adult language and not have to bother with this bullshit?