Author Topic: PLEASE READ--Access to the P/R forum is allowed by permission only  (Read 2699 times)

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Offline bosk1

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We recognize that political and/or religious topics often invoke strong feelings, and can be difficult to discuss without creating conflict.  That is why many music-related and other nonpolitical or nonreligious forums ban political and religious discussion altogether. 

While these kinds of topics can often be inflammatory, when discussed properly, the discussions can and often do lead to greater mutual understanding and respect.  As experience on this forum has shown, such discussions can be very worthwhile and can be discussed thoughtfully, respectfully, and nonconfrontationally, even when views are in opposition to one another, and arguments are expressed vigorously and passionately.

HOWEVER, the P/R forum, like no other, has a tendency to get somewhat out of control and can become very difficult for the staff of this site to moderate.  It is all too easy for discussions to get out of hand, for insults and namecalling (direct or indirect) to start flying, and for rules to be broken.  This has led to unpleasant consequences in the past, such as members being banned from P/R, members being banned from the forum, and the moderation staff becoming so frustrated with the P/R forum that there have been several instances where we considered removing it from the forums altogether.  Consequently, we are instituting some changes to the P/R forum, effective immediately.  We do not possibly expect that these or any other changes can make the forum perfect.  However, we hope that these changes will accomplish two goals:  (1) allowing productive political and/or religious discussion to continue, and to keep such discussion limited to this subforum where it belongs, and (2) to curb some of the problem behaviors we have witnessed from a relatively small number of members in the past.

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1.  Effective immediately, access to P/R is allowed by permission only.  This subforum will be "read-only" for guests and the user-base at large unless a user requests and is granted permission to access P/R.  To request access, go to the forum suggestions subforum and post in the thread there that you have read and agree to the following (click here for the thread):

"Before you are granted access to the P/R subforum, you are required to acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide by the "PLEASE READ--Access to the P/R forum is allowed by permission only" thread.  As part of being granted access to the P/R sub-forum you understand that you are expected to abide by the stated rules at all times; and that you may without warning be denied access at any time it is determined that you have violated those rules, or done anything that might have caused your access to be revoked.  Access to this sub-forum is by invitation only, and at the discretion of the mod staff. You acknowledge that your ability to post in it are a privilege not offered to everyone.  Please take that privilege seriously."

Whichever mod has time to get to it first will approve you or will respond to you via PM that your account is not approved for whatever reason.  Generally, if you are a brand new user with no posting history, access will be denied until we have had a chance to review your posting habits and are confident you can post in this subforum without violating the forum rules.  Access will be granted in the sole discretion of the mod staff.

2.  Follow the forum rules.  Due to the nature of the topics in this subforum, we understand that things can more easily get heated.  However, all users who post in P/R are expected to adhere to all forum rules in this subforum, as in any other subforum.  That means no slurs based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.  That means no namecalling, express or implied.  That means no accusations that are aimed to inflame.  For example, do not accuse people of being racists, bigots, homophobes, or any other insulting or derogatory term.  Do not try to skirt around the rule by lumping people in with larger groups and labeling those groups in a derogatory manner (e.g., "the Republicans are a bunch of racists," or "the Democrats are a bunch of commie baby killers").  If someone is breaking a rule and/or posting inappropriately, resist the urge to respond in kind.  Report the post to a moderator and let us handle it.  Failure to follow forum rules has consequences.  Rule infractions may result in temporary or permanent bans from either the P/R forum or the forum as a whole, in the sole discretion of the mod staff.

3.  Keep threads on topic.  Thread drift is inevitable, especially in P/R.  We know that.  But please do your best not to take threads off topic.

4.  If you have a problem with how P/R is being run, PM a mod.  Just like any other user on this forum, the forum admin and the forum mods all have our own points of view and our own personal biases.  We acknowledge that.  And we try our best not to let our personal biases influence how we run the forum.  Occasionally, you may feel that our bias is keeping us from being objective in the way we handle situations.  The public forum is not the place to air your grievances.  Send us a private message.  Whether we think you are right or wrong, we appreciate you bringing these issues to our attention and will give them due consideration.

5.  The views expressed in this subforum are not necessarily held or supported by the staff or by Dream Theater.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 11:45:32 AM by bosk1 »
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline bosk1

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Re: PLEASE READ--Access to the P/R forum is allowed by permission only
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 10:58:08 AM »
Some other related points from an older thread started by milllllllllllah.  Some of this is duplicative of what I have posted above, but there is some other good info as well that bears bringing to your attention if you want to post in this subforum. 

Things have been getting out-of-control here, and I simply donít have the time to baby-sit and ask folks to play nicely anymore.  As such, I am laying out some guidelines, and the consequences of crossing said lines.  Please read, and take seriously.

The following behaviors need to stop...now:

Thread Derailment

I understand that sometimes tangents happen, and relevant side points come up; this can make for a very interesting discussion.  If it looks like itís veering away from the thread topic, feel free to start a new topic, or ask me to split it out into a new topic...I will also split topics as I see itís needed.

However...  Intentional derailment will be dealt with harshly.  Pulling a thread off-topic just to get in a shot at another poster, or to insert an unrelated opinion/issue in an attempt to gain an advantage in the debate isnít going to be tolerated anymore.  if youíve got something that you need to say so badly, give it its own thread.

Also, please keep a debate in its proper thread...letís stop having the same debate across five different threads.  We can have discussions on more than one topic going at a time, without them converging.  Itís not that hard to walk and chew gum at the same time.


Generalizations/dismissal

Stop making very broad generalizations or caricatures of a given group, lumping another poster into that group, and then dismiss them purely for being a member of that group. Religious, political, ethnic, smoker, lactose-intolerant, whatever.  Stop it.  Itís intellectually lazy (since you never even have to respond to the personís actual position), very inflammatory, and it causes any real discourse to grind to a halt.


Telling the other person what they think

Stop telling the other person what they think, and why they think it.  Itís another means of dismissal and intellectual laziness, and it is equally irksome and destructive.


Making it personal

Donít make arguments personal; keep it to the topic.  No name calling.  Despite this being the internet, I donít think itís too much to ask for us to treat each other with some degree of civility.


EDIT by bosk1:

Another issue I have noticed that is getting to a level I am becoming less tolerant of:

Asking for threads to be locked, users to be banned, etc.

This is similar to some of the above, but is a specific type of derailing/off-topic posting.  If you are annoyed with a particular poster or topic, and you think the discussion has gotten to a point where it is no longer productive, outright annoying, or whatever, here is the best advice I can give:  DON'T POST IN THE THREAD.  That's right.  Ignore it.  This forum does not exist so that all DTF forum members will be annoyance free.  Topics here will annoy you from time to time.  People here may annoy you from time to time.  But you have no right to decide how many times someone can make a point, or whether they have the right to debate a topic or make a thread.  That's up to the mods.  And if there is no forum rule violation, I am not going to shut down the discussion.  For some reason, when a thread pops up that some don't like and feel has been debated "enough," their personal OCD kicks in and they can't let the thread just be without feeling like they have somehow conceded defeat if they haven't posted.  Get over it.  This isn't a contest.  You don't "win" anything by getting in the last word or getting the thread locked.  I'll say it one more time:  IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ON TOPIC AND CONSTRUCTIVE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISCUSSION, DON'T POST IN THE THREAD.  Simple as that.

/edit.




These guidelines are now in effect.  Flout them, and you can take a vacation from P/R for a bit.  Make a habit of doing so, and that vacation will become permanent.  As always, the general forum rules still apply as well.  This isn't quite "zero tolerance", but it is "not much tolerance".

Among the folks who post here, there are a wide variety of experiences, philosophies, educations, and opinions. It is really frustrating that nuanced, interesting discussion gets completely lost as a result of the above-described behaviors.  Iím not trying to clamp down on fun...the irreverence that happens in this forum is one of its redeeming qualities.  I just want people to stop being jerks.


And in case anyone was wondering:  yes, bosk1 approves.

I should also add a couple of things with regard to thread derailment.

1.  Some thread drift is almost always inevitable.  We get that.  But taking a thread off its intended course with completely unrelated arguments is what we are trying to stop.  Really, it's not that hard to start a new thread.

2.  While, stricly speaking, little one-liners that do not contribute to the discussion are spam and thread derailment, we also allow some room for humor.  But be warned:  if it ain't funny, you run the risk of bringing down the wrath.


Also, never EVER mention the Matrix in P/R as a primary source for making a political, religious, or philosophical argument.  Ever.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline bosk1

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Re: PLEASE READ--Access to the P/R forum is allowed by permission only
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 05:03:24 PM »
OKAY, NEW PLAN FOR APPROVAL:

Don't PM a mod (unless you haven't heard anything).  I have been out all day, and just got back a little while ago with a BUNCH of requests via PM that I unfortunately don't have time to respond to right now.  For anyone wanting permission, go to the forum suggestions subforum and post in the thread there that you have read and agree to the following (click here for the thread):

"Before you are granted access to the P/R subforum, you are required to acknowledge that you have read and agree to abide by the "PLEASE READ--Access to the P/R forum is allowed by permission only" thread.  As part of being granted access to the P/R sub-forum you understand that you are expected to abide by the stated rules at all times; and that you may without warning be denied access at any time it is determined that you have violated those rules, or done anything that might have caused your access to be revoked.  Access to this sub-forum is by invitation only, and at the discretion of the mod staff. You acknowledge that your ability to post in it are a privilege not offered to everyone.  Please take that privilege seriously."

Whichever mod has time to get to it first will approve you or will respond to you via PM that your account is not approved for whatever reason.  Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 05:09:33 PM by bosk1 »
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."