Information for Newbies: Community guidelines and their enforcement

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Information for Newbies: Community guidelines and their enforcement Arch Reactor 5/25/12 10:25 PM
Community Guidelines
We're thrilled you've joined our discussion group. Our members are highly diverse, and you'll find an excellent mix of conversation across a vast intellectual spectrum.

This is not a completely unstructured forum, however. We do have certain standards of respect and civility. Here is a complete and exhaustive list:
  1. Don't be a jerk.
Basically, just use your common sense. Talk with us like we were face to face, and that your words would receive immediate feedback. Resist the temptations of online disinhibition.

Still uncertain? Alright, here's some more:
  • Many curse words are OK when they are used appropriately. That is, when they are used for intense but non-aggressive emphasis, or for light-hearted comedic effect. Newer users are highly encouraged to spend some time posting in the community and build a reputation before using profanity. Let us get comfortable with you first!

    Some words are more acceptable than others, and some just aren't ever acceptable. An exhaustive list of all profanity is impractical, so we instead advise that you spend time in the group getting a feel for things. We're an organic community and the lines do shift, if very slowly.

  • We are a proud community of free-thinkers, diverse in our views, opinions, and experience in all dimensions. We love stimulating, intellectual exchange, and this forum is meant to be a vehicle for just that (in addition to more casual dialog, of course). In our experience, though, there are some topics which are just too controversial not to degrade into flamewars. You know, the usual suspects: Politics, religion, the Great Pumpkin.

    These topics are not prohibited, but they are discouraged, and moderators will take action if things start to fall apart. Instead, if you really feel a burning need to explore another person's mind, we suggest contacting them directly or even speaking with them in person at the Space. It's easier to communicate when you don't feel pressured to defend or prove your position in front of the rest of the group, no matter which side you're on.

  • When posting to the list, keep in mind that:
    • There may be young people.
    • The content of this group's recent discussions often create the first impressions of newbies.
    • Most importantly, this list is public and it's archived and it's sent to people's email inboxes, over which our moderators have no control whatsoever. Therefore, you have to assume that whatever you post to this group is written indelibly for the whole Internet to see, for the rest of time. If you want us to help you unsay some words we'll certainly do all we can to scrub the archives, but try as we might, we cannot erase people's email and memory, nor can we control their ability to republish your words.
Finally, some fine print: Arch Reactor Hackerspace is not responsible for what our members say and, as an organization, does not endorse, agree with, disagree with, or condemn any of our member's speech unless explicitly stated so by one of our officers after consensus has been reached among the Board of Officers and Directors.

Enforcement
Basically, we operate on the assumption that we're all rational adults until proven otherwise. Because of this, we're pretty lenient about it when someone crosses the lines. We'd rather be the concerned friend who pulls you aside and quietly asks you to look in the mirror, instead of the high school principal who calls your parents. If you do get called our on something, it will be done privately.

That said, our moderators will respond to flamewars and exceptional or repeated instances of antisocial behavior with appropriate temporary bans on a case-by-case basis. If it comes to it, an administrator will issue a permanent ban. We try to consider the offender's side of things, but at the end of the day, other people just want a nice place to hang out, and it's our job to protect that.