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Rules for The Soap Box

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Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2012
As announced in the survey thread about setting up a New Political Board (NPB), we have already discussed among the mod team rather extensively which lessons we need to learn from the end of Hyde Park. It was a long process and had more to do with the observation and enforcement of rules than the rules themselves.

In the following, we have mapped out what we deem important and plan to implement and would appreciate some feed-back and maybe further ideas from the Dims political community here.

Given the past experiences, it is a more detailed than we would like and includes some things you normally shouldn’t need to tell literate adults. But maybe spelling out a few additional lines can help make the discussion and later decision process a little more transparent.

The internal mod team discussion though has come up with guarding rails on both sides:
Neither a “we’re adults – we don’t need rules” approach nor an minute enumeration of every potential opinion deviation is feasible.

We hope to come up with a set of comprehensive, more or less self-enforcing rules that account for a lively, controversial but civilized discussion as we know it from the other forums here. Disagree about the issue; agree on the ground rules.

Draft Rules

The New Political Board at Dimensions offers a forum for the Dims community to discuss North American, international and regional (i.e. ASEAN, CELAC, EU) general political issues in an open and respectful manner.

  1. Dimensions is an adult site, so participation in the Soap Box is linked to showing respectful behavior to other adults as you yourself expect it in a face-to-face situation. It also is a site that caters to a non-mainstream interest – meaning fat acceptance and admiration. Posters are expected to actively show and live the tolerance they demand for their interests towards others. This means making a conscious effort and contribution to developing this into a true civil society forum.

  2. Political boundaries are advocacy for issues and causes that are generally understood to be illegal and antisocial -- Nazism, racial supremacy, pedophilia, invocation of violence or terrorism, and similar subjects. Threads and posts on these issues will be deleted.

    This board is for discussing political issues – and not attacking political opponents. All posters must respect other political convictions and religious beliefs and refrain from personal aggression against others because of theirs.
    Legal framework for decision making is the State of California Defamation Law, as in the section of the California Civil Code (§§ 44, 45a & 46).

    In board practice this means:

    • Discussion means posters interact with others and respond. That includes reacting to other arguments and opinions, not simply reiterating your own.

    • Faking data or quotes or establishing fake correlations is outlawed.
      For example: Some things are universally acknowledged – like 197 countries set up the United Nations Secretariat to combat Climate Change. Even if you don’t believe in it, accept it that most of the world sees this as a fact.

    • No name calling – neither personally, not other groups, not in thread or post titles.

    • No images outside of the designated image thread. No degrading images even on the image thread.

  3. The infraction system used for the rest of the boards will only be used on the political boards for offenses against Dimensions-wide rules. For the most part, however, infractions of the NPB rules will be dealt with using a simplified system:

    1. When a moderator sees a post that they consider may break the rules, they will moderate the post (rendering it invisible to most posters, but the mods can still see it), and report it for moderator discussion. That moderator will post a short post stating that a post by (poster name) has been pulled for moderator review.

    2. Once at least three mods have reviewed the post and two of them agree about it, it will categorized in one of three ways: Acceptable, yellow card, red card (see below).

    3. Depending on the moderator panel decision, the following actions will happen:

      • Acceptable. Post is restored, moderator post about the review is edited to explain the conclusion.

      • Yellow/Red Card: Post is fully deleted, any follow-up discussion directly related to that post is deleted (could require moderator editing of longer posts), the moderator post is edited to note that a yellow/red card was issued to (poster name), and in the tracking sticky that poster is noted as having a yellow/red card.

    What are these Yellow and Red cards?

    • A yellow card is an official warning. When you are issued a yellow card, it stays with you for a month. A yellow card is issued for poor behavior and marginal cases. If you get a second yellow card while you have an active yellow card, you instead are given a red card.

    • A red card is given for more serious rules breaches, or repetitive lesser offenses. A red card lasts for a month. While you have a red card against your name, you lose your NPB posting privileges. You may still be active on the rest of the board, however bringing political discussions into other boards while under a red card will get you infracted under the general rules (and we’ll be far less tolerant of borderline cases of politics while a poster is under a red card). Posters who receive three red cards in a calender year will be permanently banned from The Soap Box.

    As we have a limited pool of moderators, who are all volunteers and have many other demands on their time, getting three moderators to review a case may take some time, so even posts which are eventually deemed acceptable may disappear for longer than is ideal. If you really don’t want this to happen to your posts, try not to tread too close to the edge of the rules.

  4. Access to the board will be via whitelist; in order to post on The Soap Box people will have to ask for access from the mod team. Previous members of the Hyde Park board will be 'grandfathered' onto the Soap Box and automatically given access when requested. New members will have to make a total of 10 posts on the rest of the forum before access will be granted. This is to stop sock-puppet accounts and spam.

  5. The Soap Box will be reviewed by the mods after 3 months (31st March 2017) to decide if the board will continue into the future or be removed.

Ideas we want community input on

  1. How long would you like the yellow cards to last? I have written a month currently, but would two weeks be better? A week? What do you think will work best?

Finally, feel free to question things, give opinions and give advice for us regarding these rules. We want to work with you to make something that benefits the whole community.
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