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This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion platform with the same respect you would a public park. The project, too, is a shared community resource - a place to share skills, knowledge, and interests through ongoing conversation. These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help the project make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your message adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later. The topics discussed here matter to the community, and the project wants you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said. One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing or listening to the topics here, depending on the platform, before replying or starting your own, and you will have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That is fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling.
  • Ad hominem attacks.
  • Responding to a post's tone instead of its actual content.
  • Knee-jerk contradiction.

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations the community has here set the tone for everyone. Help the project influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this platform an interesting place to be - and avoiding those that do not. The project provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: likes, flags, replies, edits, private messages, and so forth depending on the platform. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else's, too. Let us try to leave our park better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Sentinels, organizers, developers, and operators have special authority; they are responsible for this platform. But so are you. With your help, they can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police. When you see bad behavior, do not reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone's time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by intervention. In order to maintain the community, rights are reserved to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time if the content violates these rules. Nobody previews new content in any way; the sentinels, organizers, developers, and operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Do not post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Do not post anything obscene or sexually explicit without tagging it as such.
  • Respect each other. Do not harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our platform. Do not post spam or otherwise vandalize the platform.

These are not concrete terms with precise definitions - avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you are unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times. This is a public platform, and search engines index these discussions depending on the platform. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that the community can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So, if the platform supports the functionality:

  • Do not start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Do not cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Do not post no-content replies.
  • Do not divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Do not excessively sign your messages - every message has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting "+1" or "Agreed", use the Like button, if available. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, create a new topic.