Tactical Command

Politics and Religion
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Author:  CyberShadow [ Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  The Rules of Engagement (all please read)

There have been a number of discussions about moderation and editing and other factors concerning peoples posts on these boards, and so I felt that we were in need of an official announcement.

I take full responsibility for the various discussions and issues which have arisen. I appointed mods without giving them an idea of exactly what I was looking for. As a result, all the mods carried out their tasks the best ways that they could, but that one persons view of the task differed from anothers. It is a credit to these boards that only now are we understanding that issues could come up. I apologise, and realise that I should have been clearer about the guidelines.

So, in an attempt to resolve the various issues, I thought that I would set out some basics for mods, posters and anyone else interested. These are only guidelines, and I rely on the mods to interpret them in the best interests of these boards. I also reserve the right to edit and adapt this post as new situations occur.

Titles - Please keep these as specific as you possibly can. The title is how we all decide whether to go ahead and read the post, so let people know what to expect. I know that vague and ambiguous titles actually reduce the number of people who read the threads, as we dont want to even bother checking if the thread is interesting. Mods - Please dont change titles. If a title is really vague, inappropriate of ambiguous, please PM the thread starter or post and ask the starter to change the title. In general, titles should be left, as even a badly named thread is easier to find than one that keeps changing its title.

Signal to Noise Ratio - In general, this can be relatively low on these boards. This, in itself is not a problem (and you know who you are  :D  ). However, I will ask that any wildly off topic discussions be started in the General Discussions forum. There is nothing to stop people starting a new thread there, and posting a link where the inspiration began. Also, the General Discussions boards can be used for pretty much whatever you like. There have been a few instances of people almost having conversations here, and that is fine if kept in one place. If long, off topic discussions do start in the middle of a thread, you run the risk of the entire thread being moved.

Colourful Language - Right now, these board have no official policy on the level of the language used. This was a deliberate decision, as I did not want to restrict peoples expression. However, we should not let this get out of hand. Therefore, I will be expanding the existing automatic filter on these boards. In essence, the board does not change your post at all, and if you edit it you will find the language unchanged. However, when the post is displayed, certain 'choice' words are replaced by more appropriate ones. This means that no-one changes your posts at all, and at the same time you are able to type without spending too much time and effort restricting your creative energies. Mods - If the filter misses anything, please dont alter the post, just PM or email me and I will update the filter and take care of it.

Unsociable Posts - These will not be tolerated. Simple. Any flames, personal attacks, or anything of the sort will result in a warning at the least. While we all have bad days, keep it civil. Again, this is something that has not been a problem in the relatively short history of these boards, and I include it only for the sake of completeness. Posts which are questionable can be reported to myself or a mod - there should be a link next to each post if needed.

'Empty Posts' - Not literally blank posts, but those which actually say very little. Please curb these as much as possible. Again, not a major problem here. There is not much else to say on this topic... perhaps I should get you all addicted here and then 'execute' the first person to get to 5000 posts...  :;):

Spelling, Grammar and Language - A hot topic on some boards. On the one side, this is not an English grammar lesson, and on the other excessive 'netspeak' or poor language can really slow people down. In the end, this comes down to how carefully you tap out your comments and posts. Please try to spend a little time checking grammar and readability. It makes things easier in the end, and there are quite a few non-native speakers on these boards. Please keep things as understandable as you can so that we can continue to welcome new members from as diverse a background as possible. Mods - This is a difficult issue. In general, it is probably best if the odd 'unique interpretation of the written word' was let through the net. If things become really difficult to read or understand then you should probably help out, but only in the worst of cases. Also, please leave a little note that you have done so, just so that the original poster knows what is going on. Also, I realise that there are members here who are quite happy for their posts to be tidied up freely. However, even in these cases it is probably best not to, as it can cause confusion.

To finish off, I would like to extend my thanks to all of the mods here. Anyone who has anything to do with the internet is aware of just how much of a thankless task it really can be. Their contribution is very much appreciated.

All the best.

Author:  CyberShadow [ Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Politics and Religion

The previous thread addressing this got mangled in the move.... so here is a report of it....

With the current issues in the Middle East, I felt that I should restate the remit of these boards clearly.

I am deliberately posting this here as it applies to all members and all boards, and this issue has occurred in a couple of threads (and in the future will potentially continue to appear in other threads).

To start, a quote from Warmaster Nice...

This leaves us with a big problem: What sort of opinions are "the right ones" that we can allow on a board like this. I think even touching this subject will cause a big argument as people will have widley different opinions of what is acceptable.

Basically I would just hate to see threads about racial or religious issues simply because of the argument "if you don't like it, don't read it".

Another important thing to remember is that although most of us are mature people with a nuanced view of the world, some forum readers aren't that old and are only starting to form their own opinions. I've been to gaming forums that had political sections which allowed some pretty nasty ultra right wing bigots to air their opinions. Although it was easy enough to tear their arguments apart I still felt horrified that kids might read this sort of thing and think that it was the truth. After all gaming forums for a large part is aimed at the younger audience.

Now of course this is a worst case scenario and the relaxed discussion we've had here cannot even begin to compare to that.

Sensitive issues should be avoided not because they are not important, but precisely because they are important. Even in (very rare) cases where there is a 'right' and a 'wrong'.

It is always difficult to cut political discussion from a wargames board - since I certainly believe that war is a progression of politics, but we should be careful that volatile discussions over a 'cold' medium such as this (where misinterpretation is very easy) does not fragment the general community and undo the purpose of the boards.

We are blessed with very mature and understanding regulars here, and I thank everyone for their discussion and contribution so far.

I am sorry if this stance is disagreed with by people, but this disatisfaction is small compared to the potential for large scale disagreement as a consequence of this type of discussion.

Anyone who would like to comment on this is welcome to contact me and I am open to discourse on this.

I would also like to state that this post is not made in response to any problems which are around, as the discussion is so far excellent, but rather as a preventative against what could result.

Thank you.

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