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Posting Guidelines: CE and R&P

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The Flip Booked Cat

Joined: 29 Jun 2004
Posts: 3359
Location: Welcoming our Canadian Overlords
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Posting Guidelines: CE and R&P Reply with quote

These guidelines are meant to supplement (not replace) Teh Soapbox Terms of Service and Posting Guidelines. Please contact one of the mods/Admin if you have any questions.

Citing Sources

Astra wrote:
Ok, I've noticed this has been brought up a couple times in these forums.

As most of you have heard, I post on another board whose purpose is to debunk internet rumors and urban legends. When someone posts a fact, they had better have a cite or else they are going to get called on it. Posting what you say is true with no outside source aside from, "I heard it from a friend of a friend (A FOAF)" is going to make other posters skeptical of your claims, especially if you are claiming something like "My mom forwarded this email and Bill Gates sent her a million dollars for it!"

How does this apply to the Soapbox?

A lot of "facts" get posted in the news forums. Discussions get very heated, and it seems like the lack of sources is a root cause. People get their news from many different places, some more biased than others. At least when other posters see those sources, they can judge their relevance themselves instead of relying on "I saw this report that said..." and taking it as the truth.

Now, I am not saying that people who post without sources are trying to lie or make stuff up. Not at all. What I am saying is that there are a lot of people with different viewpoints on this board, and we don't all see the same way. One person might interpret an article in a totally different way than another person does. If you post the original source of your information, you share it with the rest of us and we can look at it from our own viewpoints and maybe understand what you are saying better, or possibly see something that you did not.

I was on my high school public speaking team for a year. I didn't participate in the debate events (we didn't have a debate sponsor) but I watched them. In a debate competition, you never say anything without a source. You have that source with you while you speak and it is there for anyone to see. If you inject an opinion, you clearly label it as opinion so that nobody confuses your personal thought with the facts presented. There are reasons those standards exist in the competition, and some people might want to consider those reasons when they post to these topics.

What I am trying to say is that I see a lot of hostility over something that should not be a big deal. It boils down to this
    *If it is your opinion, say "I think..." or "It is my opinion that..."

    *Post sources. If you read something in a magazine somewhere, try to find an online edition or at least say "This was in last week's New York Times. If you read something on the internet, post the link. It takes a little extra time, but it helps everyone understand where you are coming from and cuts down on the amount of bullshit that gets passed around.

    *If you can't find a source, at least try to give us an idea of where you got the information. If you say, "I think I read it in a magazine last month," maybe someone else will remember it. They can back your case up, or correct you if your memory of the article was flawed.

    *Do not use "Cite, please" as an argument. Asking for a cite is asking for clarification of a point. It should not be used as another way to say, "WRONGGGG!"

    *In the same vein, do not take being asking for a source as an insult. It is perfectly reasonable to be asked where you are getting your information from.

    *"Play nice."

I hope this helps clear up some of the spats in here.
: hops off her soapbox and drags it away :

Expectations for Behavior in CE/R&P

zootnarf wrote:
1. All members will agree to argue issues and not personalities on this forum.

2. All members will respect the presence, posts, and decisions of the moderators on this forum. Any grievances with a particular mod may be brought up via PM with another mod or administrator.

3. All members will be expected to ignore posts/threads that are obviously intended to be disruptive, and they will not inflame the situation further. The moderators will handle any such situation.

4. All members will keep in mind that they do not own this board. All members have the right to hold different opinions than the mods and admins or other members and to vigorously debate such issues here. All members do not have the right to be rude and insulting. If they act in such a manner, they may find themselves a monkey without a tree.

{This list is limited to the major points. The above list is by no means exhaustive. The Moderators will take whatever steps necessary to enforce civility in the the soapbox. Moderators reserve the right to make judgment calls on disruptive behavior as it occurs, as the TOS requires, and as the administration decides, regardless of whether or not the specific offense is listed above.}

Let's be as self-moderating and adult as many of you have shown you can be. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and now go out there and practice it!

The Moderators

Posting Ettiquette for CE/R&P

zootnarf wrote:


I. Thou Shalt Know And Understand The TOS.

II. Thou Shalt Not Offend:
Don't be patronizing or insulting to others. Sarcasm is fine in limited doses, but if your intent is to offend, expect consequences.

III. Thou Shalt Not Be Easily Offended:
Have a thick skin. Don't take debate personally. People have the right to disagree with you just as you have the right to disagree with them. Don't be offended if someone thinks your ideas are wrong. That's a statement about them, not about you.

IV. Thou Shalt Let A Discussion Be A Discussion:
And not a "competition." There are no rewards for winning.

V. Thou Shalt Be Tolerant And Accepting:
Accept each other as we are instead of trying to convince each other to be different. The differences among us are what make this board great.

VI. Thou Shalt Ignore:
Ignore things that you take personal issue with in order to promote a less antagonistic forum. You are not likely to change someone's mind and attempting to do so rarely achieves the desired results. If you do tackle an issue that you are personally invested in, do so with extreme caution.

VII. Thou Shalt Not Hold A Grudge:
Don't carry your hard feelings or baggage from one thread to another.

VIII. Thou Shalt Not Make Gross Generalizations.
Don't use broad stereotypes as assumptions for what others believe. Respect everyone as an individual with his or her own unique beliefs and opinions. Just because you think you can categorize someone as a Democrat, Libertarian, Republican, Atheist, Hindu, Christian, or other group does not mean that they hold all the beliefs or fit the stereotypes of those groups.

IX. Thou Shalt Not Take Thy Mods Name In Vain:
Be respectful and considerate with your moderators. If you feel like you need to retort or complain about a moderatorís post or action, please do so privately with that moderator or another of your choice. Flagrantly disregarding or making light of a moderator doing their job will incur the Wrath of Mods.

X. Thou Shalt Be Responsible For Thine Own Self:
Be responsible for your own posts. If you observe someone or a group of people violating the TOS or being jerks, let a moderator from that forum know and they will deal with it. Otherwise, it's best to just let it go. Responding with an attack of any kind, including calling them a troll, merely makes the situation worse and will likely get you in trouble, too.

XI. Thou Shalt Think Before Posting:
Before submitting your post, take a moment to step back, preview it, and make sure you really want to post what you have written. Are you posting emotionally or irrationally? If in doubt, walk away for a while and come back to it later. Take the time to be sure you are proud of the posts you make and to make wise and thoughtful decisions about what you say to others.

XII. Thou Shalt Walk In Anotherís Shoes:
Look at your post from the other postersí points of view. Put your belief, your name, your faith, your political stance in place of the targeted subject in your post and read it thoroughly, and honestly ask yourself if your feelings could withstand such a verbal barrage. Ask yourself, "Would I be insulted by this?" 'Does this post insult the person it's addressed to?' If it does, change it or donít post it at all.

XIII. Thou Shalt Be Respectful To Others:
Be respectful to your fellow posters and their feelings and beliefs. Be civil and give real thought to how you are affecting their emotions and unique perspectives. Imagine what you would say to this person if you were with them face to face. Know the art of apology. Saying, "I am sorry that what I said hurt you" is not an admission of guilt, it is a statement of regret, and it goes a long way to mend fences with someone and show your respect for them.

XIV. Thou Shalt Clarify Misunderstandings:
If someone's post to you seems insulting, politely ask the poster for clarification instead of retorting angrily or hastily. A post that seems inflammatory may just be poorly written or greatly misunderstood. If someone asks you for clarification, try to restate your point as clearly as possible without resorting to insulting their intelligence or posting flippantly that they should go back and read your post again. Give each other the benefit of the doubt.

XV. Thou Shalt Not Be Preachy And Self-righteous:
Your feelings about something are no more valid or important than anyone else's. Don't push them on others as if they were. If you arenít willing to seriously consider alternate or contrary views to your own, then perhaps this isnít the right community for you.

XVI. Thou Shalt Respect Othersí Posting Styles:
Donít discount the validity or make rude comments about someone's posting style. Spelling errors, bad grammar, typos, poor English, flowery posts, short posts, long posts, or posts in blue lettering are all valid ways of discussing things. Just because someone's communication style doesn't match your own doesn't make it wrong.

XVII. Thou Shalt Back Up Thy Facts With Sources:
Back up your facts with supporting statements and cite their sources. Others can judge the validity of the sources for themselves. Ask politely for others to support their facts and claims, but let it go if they choose not to. Sources arenít required to back up opinions, but they donít hurt, either.

XVIII. Thou Shalt Not Harass Or Beleaguer
Repeatedly asking someone to respond is also in bad form. So is ganging up on someone in a hurtful and mean spirited way for expressing a contrary or controversial opinion. If you do these things, expect consequences.

XIX. Blessed Are The Peacemakers:
Take the initiative in deflating a situation that may be developing between you and another member. It will only make you look good and everyone will appreciate it. If the tension continues, consider letting the issue go for now. You can always talk with the person when things settle down. If you see others behaving inappropriately, it's fine to make a polite suggestion that they step away and cool down. If they refuse to heed your suggestion don't take it personally and calmly notify a moderator. Above all, maintain a healthy perspective. Does it really matter whether you can get someone to concede that you are right? We're not shaping world policy here, these are casual discussions among friends.

XX. Blessed Are The Meek:
There is no excuse for flaming, attacking, belittling or insulting anyone. If you see others doing it, walk away fast to avoid the fallout. It's always a good idea to notify a moderator, especially if these things are happening to you. No one deserves to deal with that kind of behavior.

+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot +++
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