• Baden
    3.4k
    General Guidelines:

    1) Language matters:

    This is an English language forum on an academic topic. Posts should display an acceptable level of English with regard to grammar, punctuation and layout. This goes for both native and non-native speakers (although we're likely to be more sympathetic when judging the writing of the latter).

    2) Tone matters:

    A respectful and moderate tone is desirable as it's the most likely to foster serious and productive discussion. Having said that, you may express yourself strongly as long as it doesn't disrupt a thread or degenerate into flaming (which is not tolerated and will result in your post being deleted).

    3) Context matters:

    The amount of leeway you get on the above depends to a degree on where you post and what the topic under discussion is. You're likely to have more freedom in the Shoutbox or in discussions in the Lounge, for example, than in the philosophical discussions.

    Starting new discussions:

    Don't start a new discussion unless you are:

    a) Genuinely interested in the topic you've begun and are willing to engage those who engage you.

    b) Able to write a thoughtful OP of reasonable length that illustrates this interest, and to provide arguments for any position you intend to advocate.

    c) Capable of writing a decent title that accurately and concisely describes the content of your OP.

    d) Starting an original topic, i.e. a similar discussion is not already active.

    (No bumps allowed. If you want to attract replies, think of a better way).

    Posters:

    Types of posters who are welcome here:

    Those with a genuine interest in / curiosity about philosophy and the ability to express this in an intelligent way, and those who are willing to give their interlocutors a fair reading and not make unwarranted assumptions about their intentions (i.e. intelligent, interested and charitable posters).

    Types of posters who are not welcome here:

    Evangelists: Those who must convince everyone that their religion, ideology, political persuasion, or philosophical theory is the only one worth having.

    Racists, homophobes, sexists, Nazi sympathisers, etc.: We don't consider your views worthy of debate, and you'll be banned for espousing them.

    Advertisers, spammers: Instant deletion of post followed by ban.

    Trolls: You know who you are. You won't last long

    Sockpuppets

    How moderation works:

    Any member who is an admin or a moderator has the right to edit or delete your post or discussion. You won't receive any notification of these changes (not a conscious choice on our part, but an integral feature of the forum software). If you want to check who the admins and moderators are, click on the "staff" link in the members section.

    If you notice a change that you object to, you have the right to appeal, which you can do by either contacting a moderator or an admin via private message, or by starting a new discussion in the Feedback category. You'll get a fair hearing, if not necessarily the result that you want.

    The above guidelines are in place to help us maintain a high standard of discussion and debate, and they will be enforced. If you feel from the get-go that their very existence impinges on your right to free speech, this is probably not the place for you.

    Moderator conduct:

    In discussions, a moderator is subject to the same guidelines as everyone else, and shouldn't, under normal circumstances*, moderate their interlocutors. You can report a moderator or ask that a moderator be moderated in the same way as you would any other poster: by flagging their posts or by sending a private message to another moderator. In other words, moderators, as posters, don't have a special set of guidelines to operate under. So, in this capacity, they should be treated like other posters. When it comes to moderating decisions, however, they are not like other posters, because they have powers other posters don't. In these cases, the Feedback category, or, again, a private message, can be used to complain about moderators' actions in their capacity as moderators. Do not use other discussions to do this or your comments will be deemed off-topic and will be subject to deletion. Feedback discussions should also be kept on-topic with regard to the specific complaint being made.

    (*Exceptional circumstances may include instances of racism, extreme flaming, etc. When the decision is very obvious, the action needs to be taken quickly, and there may be no one else on duty to do it.)

    Bans:

    Admins have the right to ban members. We don't do that lightly, and you will probably be warned about your behaviour if you are under consideration for a ban. However, if you are a spammer, troll, racist or in some other way obviously unsuited to the forum, a summary ban will be applied. Bans are permanent and non-negotiable. Returning banned members will be rebanned.
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