February Update to Rules and Mission Statement Document

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February Update to Rules and Mission Statement Document

Postby Wesley » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:14 pm

The official ChattyChristians.com Rules and Mission Statement document has been modified and grown. Here's a list of what was performed and a brief explanation as to why.

Moved Mission Statement to the top.

I thought that if someone only reads one part of the whole document, the mission statement is the most important. All of the rules and whatnot are held in the mission statement in spirit, so that's the most important thing.

Rules Added:

Personal attacks result in an official warning. You may disagree with a person ("Your idea is wrong."), and even point out poor behavior ("Your behavior is poor."), but insults ("You're stupid."), invectives ("You're a jerk."), and put-downs ("You're so dumb you can't even spell right.") are never acceptable and will gain the attacker a warning.

This was explicitly stated because we want to make sure everyone knows that personal attacks are as egregious to the forum culture as irredeemable, contextless vulgarity. However we also don't want it to become an insular community of precious snowflakes. There is a time and place for proper, tactful, and respectful confrontation. Heavy emphasis on proper, tactful and respectful. Not every dialog about poor behavior is a personal attack.

"What to Report" section

We don't want to foster a culture of machine-gun content reporting. We would prefer if people worked out minor grievances among themselves. Two passages come to my mind:

Matt 18:15: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."

1 Cor 6:7: "Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?"

For example, if someone posted a clip of South Park that was that was rather raw but relevant to the discussion (even if just humorous), it still has cultural context and could be considered acceptable. At the present time the forum software does not have the ability to embed YouTube videos into the post itself, so you have to link off-site. However in the event that on-site embedding is implemented, we would prefer that obviously objectionable content be handled by 1) Asking yourself "is this really contextually relevant?" 2) adding a friendly note about the content being potentially objectionable, and 3) That it be a link and not embedded into the ChattyChristians.com site.

For example, I have personally posted some songs that I'm listening to (in the "What are you listening to right now" thread) that have some rough content in them. It's contextualized within that thread, however I linked to the YouTube video rather than embedded it and gave a polite warning "Hey it's got some raw lyrics."

"How Reports Are Handled" section

This is to formalize the report handling process both for any moderators and any potential reporters. Just know that not every report will result in the reportee getting an official warning (not that anyone will know because official warnings aren't publicly stated or indicated). The report could be politely declined, accepted but not result in a warning but rather a friendly conversation between a mod and the reportee, or yes it could result in an official warning.

"Warning System and Bans" section

We never publicly stated our intentions for the dreaded "official warnings." The spirit of this set of rules is that, combined with what is acceptable and unacceptable (laid out in the rest of the document), members will self-select themselves into and out of the community. If a person cannot abide by the rather broad rules above and still collects warnings too rapidly, then they will be permanently banned. You've got to try pretty hard to get to that point though.

We believe that the self-selection style of moderation combined with the rules above will allow only those who are genuinely interested in discussion and growth to remain long-term members.

"Thread Closures and Deletions" section

This one is a little unusual compared to other forums. If a thread has been created, then it remains open and stands on the footing of its own merit in perpetuity. Content authors will not have the thread closed at their request. If a topic has been derailed then moderators can split derailments into their own threads. The only exception being spam and obvious baiting (For example if someone posts a new thread: "Why are Christians so stupid?" and it's not an honest discussion about a new study showing religious affiliation's correlation to IQ.).


Those are the new rules, etc. Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
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February Update to Rules and Mission Statement Document



Re: February Update to Rules and Mission Statement Document

Postby little_tigress » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:35 pm

That all looks good to me Wesley. I think you covered everything very well :)
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