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.
======================================================================================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