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Politics Moderating Policy

Politics Moderating Policy

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General Politics Guidelines

Politics is a difficult subject to discuss on an online message board. People who post political threads here have a variety of opinions and beliefs that span the political spectrum and keeping the discussion civil can be tricky.

Generally, you won't have any troubles if you:
  • Be respectful toward fellow website members.
  • Avoid serious insults or mocking the character of other website members, or the character of other groups of people.
  • Avoid mocking or ridiculing other peoples' posts on the forums.
  • Avoid name calling directed at other members.
In some situations the guidelines above can be vague, and there are exceptions, so the next pages will go through more of the specifics of how political moderating guidelines are enforced, with examples to help clarify.

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No Name Calling

This rule has been in place since the very early days of the website. Avoid name calling directed at other members or people in other political groups, even if you really think it's true/accurate.

Avoid Name Calling Directed At Other Members:
  • "You're a moron!"
  • "You're such a liar."
  • "You're a troll."

Avoid Name Calling Directed At People In Political Groups:
  • "They're such libtards."
  • "Stupid Rethuglicans."
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Be Respectful. No Character Attacks

Be respectful toward other members. Don't throw severe insults or mock the character of your fellow website members or other groups of people who are in a different political party than your own (even if you believe these things to be true). Character attacks tend to kill productive political discussion. Avoid ad hominem attacks. Instead, stick to the facts and argue the issues. Don't make things personal. Important: If you're going to post something that seems like a character attack, it must be worded in a way that it's clear you're not referring to or alluding to another website member, or it will be removed by default.

Avoid Character Attacks On Other Members:
  • "You're a hypocrite!"
  • "You're hopelessly biased."
  • "I don't trust a word you say."
  • "Your hatred and bias is blinding you."
  • "The left can't help themselves from lying."
  • "Conservatives are hypocrites to the extreme."

Avoid Character Attacks On People In Other Political Parties:
  • "Republicans are terrible human beings."
  • "Democrats can't think straight."
  • "Conservatives are pathetic."
  • "Look how idiotic liberals are."

Note: It is a common occurrence that an insulting or condescending statement may be somewhat vague as to whether it's referring to a political party's politicians (OK), or all members of all that political party (against the rules). This requires a judgment call from the moderator. If you want to avoid potentially being moderated, please make sure you are clearly referring to a politician/politicians and not ALL members of the political party.

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No Demeaning, Mocking, Ridiculing, Condescending, Sarcastic Comments

To keep conversation civil, avoid comments directed at other members or their posts with differing political views that are demeaning, ridiculing, condescending, or sarcastic in a negative way toward that member.

Avoid:
  • "Grow up, kid"
  • "You're so naive"
  • "Only people who live in fantasy worlds believe that"
  • "Oh genius, enlighten me!"
  • "You sound drunk!"
  • "LMAO, you don't know what you're talking about."
  • "Are you off your meds??"
  • "I didn't even understand what you're trying to say it's so dumb"

Avoid Sarcastic / Insulting Compliments:
  • "You're cute/adorable"
  • "Nice spin!"
  • "That's priceless coming from you!"

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Rejecting Opinions Outright

Avoid claiming another person's opinions are illegitimate, fake, or not genuine. You should assume the information and opinions posted by other members on the forums are ones they genuinely hold and are posted in good faith.

Avoid:
  • "You're doing nothing but spin!"
  • "Wow, you're just regurgitating XYZ News' talking points!"
  • "You don't even know why you think that!"
  • "You're just repeating talking points."

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EXCEPTIONS

The one major exception to these rules, is that it's generally OK to insult, mock or attack political figures and members of "the media". This is OK as long as you avoid generalizing the attack to include everyone in a political party. This can sometimes be a fine line, so make sure you understand this guideline before proceeding to use this exception in your posts.

Not Prohibited:
  • "Trump is a scumbag."
  • "Obama is a psychopath!"
  • "Hillary is a liar and can't be trusted."

Avoid:
Avoid generalizing the statements to include more than just the political figure:
  • "Trump is a scumbag, just like every other Republican."
  • "Obama and his followers are psychopaths!"
  • "Hillary is a typical liberal who lies and can't be trusted."

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Vague Interpretation

Sometimes something written on the forums can be interpreted by reasonable people in two or more different ways. Text communication is notorious for being difficult to interpret.

Generally, if a post can reasonably be interpreted as breaking these rules, your posts will be subject to a moderator's judgment call.

Moderators will often use past behavior, posting history, conversation context, and past moderator actions to inform these decisions.

If you want to make sure that your messages aren't subject to a moderator's judgment call, then take care to be clear with your wording, and avoid comments that could possibly be interpreted as breaking guidelines.

If you are routinely posting near the "gray line" between what is and is not against the rules, you should expect your posts to be moderated occasionally.

Unfortunately, we often get people who are intentionally vague in order to attempt to skirt the rules. If a moderator suspects this might be the case, your post will be removed automatically.

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Only Human

Moderators are only human. We try to be fair and unbiased, but sometimes we fail. There is no computer algorithm to perfectly moderate the forums at all times, and our moderating is imperfect.

We also have to make, sometimes, hundreds of small moderator judgement calls on the forums on a daily basis. Each judgment call needs to be done quickly to keep up with the volume. Sometimes we'll get it wrong.

BUT, our promise to you is that we take the job very seriously and strive to be fair at all times.

If you need any clarifications, don't hesitate to send your moderators a Private Message using the link below:

Send TheWoodlandsTXDotCom a PM »



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