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REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the following changes
in the uk.* Usenet hierarchy:
create moderated newsgroup uk.politics.moderated uk.politics.moderated
uk.politics.moderated uk.politics.moderated Politics discussion (Moderated)
*** ALL DISCUSSION MUST TAKE PLACE IN UK.NET.NEWS.CONFIG ***
This is not a Call for Votes (CFV); you cannot vote at this time.
Further procedural details are given below.
Previous discussions on this putative group have popped up from time
to time and there has been a level of apparent support for the group's
creation, primarily in terms of "uk.politics.misc is too busy/too
wild/too abuse-ridden to take part in" or
"uk.legal.moderated/uk.d-i-y/uk.rec.sheds/etc are often flooded with
politics threads that are wildly off-topic and/or irritating" and that
it would be a Good Idea to have a controlled forum for politics
discussion to take place in. Each of the times this idea has cropped
up in one form or another, there have been enough "I'd use that group
if it existed" comments to convince me that it's an idea with legs.
It is expected that offering a moderated group will persuade those who
formerly participated to resume their participation in rational,
focused, and informed discussion. Proper moderation will enable
serious postings to the group to remain on topic while not limiting
who can voice opinions or what opinions can be voiced.
In previous discussion, it was suggested that the moderation policy
could be based on existing uk.* modpols, such as for ukram or ulm, and
I'm pretty comfortable with that. Suggestions welcomed.
I think that the key thing to help keep the group tolerable would be
to forbid cross-posting, everything else can be relatively light-touch
moderation, with particularly strong personal abuse rejected (I say
"particularly strong" personal abuse as I do expect that an amount of
"robust discussion" should be expected in a political discussion
forum, in the vein of "your views towards the homeless are quite
reprehensible and typical of the Tory mindset", or "as always with you
Loony Leftys you want to spend someone else's money", for
example). Mindless personal attacks should be forbidden in the group,
as should foully-expressed bigotry against any individual or group.
I would like to launch the group with a good-sized moderation team,
ideally 6 or 8 people or so, and preferably from a broad range of
political positions. Volunteers welcomed, to be added into RFD2 at
uk.politics.moderated is for the discussion of politics and policy,
with an emphasis on politics in the UK (although politics from around
the globe is on-topic, moderators may choose to more quickly curtail
non-UK politics threads), moderated to remove abuse and/or
unreasonable thread drift.
This newsgroup is only intended to supplement, not supercede, any
MODERATION POLICY: uk.politics.moderated
The following are prohibited:
* Commercial advertisements and money-making schemes.
* Chain letters.
* Posts in HTML.
* EMP spam.
* Binaries, apart from PGP signatures, X-Face headers, and other
ancillary article meta-data.
* Forgery of valid e-mail addresses.
* Excessive morphing/nym-shifting.
* Copyright violations. Pointers to news articles, blogs, etc. on this
topic are welcome but are required to use only short extracts.
* Personal attacks and flames, as defined by the moderation team.
* Advertising products or services
* Links to "objectionable" web content, including pornographic sites,
sites encouraging illegal activities, or sites deemed unacceptable by
the moderation team. The moderation team will cursorily check the
contents of specific links to confirm on-topic content, but acceptance
for posting does not imply endorsement or approval of the entire
present or future contents of that web site.
* Discussion of moderation decisions. See below for information on
appealing moderator action.
Moderators are not obliged to accept any post.
Moderators may use whatever tools they feel appropriate to ensure the
smooth running of the group.
The moderators shall keep and publish regularly a detailed policy
document detailing how moderation is currently performed.
Moderators should attempt to ensure that discussions can continue
without undue delay, and should therefore attempt to make a decision
on all posts within a few hours of submission.
There shall be a team of moderators between 2 and 10 in number. The
current moderators will elect a chief moderator to carry out the
moderation administrative housekeeping actions. Moderators may appoint
their own successors and may remove any active or inactive moderator
at their discretion.
The moderation policy and tools used will enforce the following
* Crossposting is generally not allowed.
* Postings must be in plain text. In particular no HTML or mixed text
and HTML posts will be allowed.
* No binary postings of any sort will be accepted. Exceptions will be
made for cryptographic signatures and such.
* Messages must not have a 'Followup-To' header that points out of
uk.politics.moderated other than to "poster").
* Messages must not continue a thread that has been "closed" by the
* The moderators do not intend to rigidly enforce a "dirty words"
list. Context and tone, as well as UK cultural assumptions, will be
taken into account. The civil tone and language content of the
newsgroup should aim for a dignified adult forum, one that can
frankly address controversial topics, but one that is not childish
or abusive, nor uses profanity for ad-hominem attacks or shock
* Priority will be given to new, original, non-repetitive, and
newsworthy material written primarily for a Usenet audience. Quotes
and references to outside material may be provided to help support
discussion, assertions, and understanding, but should be used
Posters who feel that their posts have been unfairly rejected, either
for specific content or by a specific moderator, may appeal the
decision. They may do so by contacting the moderators at the
Administrative Contact address below. The moderators will discuss and
vote on the appeal and respond within 14 days if the appeal is
successful. The moderators will also reply within 14 days to
unsuccessful submitters of any appeal that is on-topic, reasoned,
civilly stated, and is not substantially an attempt to revisit the
subject matter and arguments of a previous unsuccessful appeal.
Submitters whose appeals have been rejected may seek redress of their
ongoing grievance by appealing to the readers of the
uk.net.news.moderation newsgroup. The uk.politics.moderated moderators
would prefer that those wishing to appeal moderation decisions for
uk.politics.moderated utilise that newsgroup's appeals process first,
and only post to uk.net.news.moderation if that appeal is
unsuccessful. Such publicly posted appeals should also contain the
contents of the rejected (or approved) article in dispute and the full
text of any replies from the moderators. Such appeals should also
attempt to argue for or against a moderation decision based on the
contents of the uk.politics.moderated charter and moderation
policies. The moderators may choose not to publicly reply to
complaints about moderation decisions posted to uk.net.news.moderation
that are not based on the charter or moderation policies, are uncivil,
that misrepresent facts, or are substantially an attempt to revisit
the subject matter and arguments of a previous unsuccessful appeal.
MODERATOR INFO: uk.politics.moderated
Moderator: Stephen Cole <use...@stephenthomascole.com
Additional candidates for the moderation team are being sought in
order to ensure minimal posting delays and to avoid any appearance of
Moderation System Administrator: Propose that moderation software is
hosted and maintained by the Chiark service, similar to other uk.*
moderated newsgroups, if such an arrangement is able to be negotiated.
Article Submissions: TBD
Administrative Contact: TBD
This is a request for discussion, not a call for votes. In this phase of
the process, any potential problems with the proposal should be raised
and resolved. The discussion period will continue for a minimum of 10
days, starting from when this RFD is posted to uk.net.news.announce
(i.e. until January 28th) after which a Call For Votes (CFV) may be
posted by a neutral vote taker if the discussion warrants it.
Alternatively, the proposal may proceed by the fast-track method. Please
do not attempt to vote until this happens.
This RFD attempts to comply fully with the "Guidelines for Group Creation
within the UK Hierarchy" as published regularly in uk.net.news.announce
and is available from http://www.usenet.org.uk/guidelines.html
Usenet website). Please refer to this document if you have any questions
about the process.
This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups:
Stephen Cole <use...@stephenthomascole.com
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