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Author Topic: Etiquette and political discussions  (Read 14150 times)

Jeremy Roussak

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Etiquette and political discussions
« on: March 10, 2018, 02:38:26 pm »

The Coffee Corner has not been a happy place of late. The forum’s description indicates that it is for “discussion of photographic topics of a general nature” but several threads have been purely political, some overtly so and some masquerading as having a connection, however peripheral, with photography. Discussions have become unnecessarily aggressive, more heat has been generated than light, some threads have descended into acrimony and some members have been temporarily barred from posting. Perfectly reasonably, Kevin and Chris took the decision to ban further political discussion.

I have now started to act as a moderator. I enjoy discussion and rational argument; I spend my working life indulging in it. I like hearing political views, whether they coincide with or differ from my own. I have therefore taken the decision, with the agreement of Kevin and Chris, to reopen the forum to politics and the word “photographic” has been removed from the description. Political discussion must, however, be confined to the Coffee Corner: this is a photographic site.

We have retained the last sentence of the board’s description: “Posters must conduct themselves in a civil and adult nature”. I intend to moderate political discussions very much more strictly than those on photography-related topics. The rules are set out below: they will apply in particular to political discussions in the Coffee Corner, but the principles apply to all exchanges in any of LuLa’s forums.

  • Discussions must be conducted politely.
  • Robust discussion is to be encouraged but offensive language is not. That is not intended to be a ban on all language which to which anyone might take exception - we are not maiden aunts - but consideration of whether the words used would be spoken in a face-to-face conversation in a home will give some indication of what is acceptable.
  • Ad hominem attacks on members will not be tolerated.
  • The forum is not, however, a “safe space”, in which views which some might find upsetting are silenced merely because some might find them upsetting.

Sanctions will be applied, flexibly but rationally, to those who break the rules. The sanctions will include deletion of the offending post; warnings, private and/or public; temporary bans from posting, beginning with a week; and, for persistent and repeat offenders, permanent exclusion. On occasion, it may be necessary to lock or delete the entire thread.

We are all adults; many, if not all, of us are professional people. I can see no reason why interesting and thoughtful discussions cannot take place in compliance with those stipulations. I hope they can.


[EDIT: I have posted this message here and in the Coffee Corner. This thread is locked; the other is not.]
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 07:29:17 pm by Jeremy Roussak »
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