Forward to next post: Nebula Awards 2011
I’m pulling this onto the front page from the most recent political thread, because election season is coming, and I for one can’t face the crap we’re already slinging around in this community. Which is a pretty sucky position to be in as a moderator. So, heads up, people.
We, as a community, have become sloppy in our political discourse. We’re painting with much broader brushes than is appropriate, and we’re calling each other out far too quickly and too harshly. So from this point forward, in all political discussions:
1. If you wish to denigrate a group of people of whom you are not a member, do it in as constrained a way as possible, allowing space for the mistaken, the misunderstood, and the misinformed. Do not take the loudest and most obnoxious members of that group as representative without well-sourced evidence that this is accurate.
2. Before you accuse another member of this community of being “disingenuous”, “dishonest”, “lying”, or any synonyms, broadly construed, I want the following:
(a) a clear, sourced and unambiguous trail of why you believe that this person has been inconsistent with either their own stated record or the widely-accepted facts of the matter,
(b) a chance already given to that person to square the account before you make this accusation
I will disemvowel violations of these rules.
I trust this is clear.
Comments are closed on this matter. If you have a problem with these guidelines, email me privately, at my comment username at this domain. On second thought, we might as well discuss it here, because otherwise it’ll clog up the other thread. But make it persuasive and, if possible, pleasant to read. Respectful is a bare minimum. I’ve had enough crabbing already.
Morning second thoughts: Perhaps the first of these rules is too harsh. It doesn’t allow, for instance, the occasional cri de coeur, the outburst of shock, the impulse to shout at the clouds. But what it also prevents, what I am thoroughly weary of, what I am heartsick at the thought of moderating for another election cycle, is the way that those cries and outbursts have turned into the base assumptions for discourse.
Given that, I’ll happily entertain proposed revisions which distinguish between the two. And I’m willing to not disemvowel on sight, if warnings will cause people to do better.
But let’s be clear: conversations where we repeat, unexamined and unspecified, our blanket assumptions at one another about Those Other People—whoever they are—do not make anyone smarter, wiser, or more joyful. Quite the reverse.