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Winds of Change

OT Additional Mods Civility 2004

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#1 Appreciate

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 10:37 PM

Here in AQG we have just announced the appointment of two additional mods to oversee this forum.  Our new staff in OT will be working to more proactively enforce our board guidelines about the use of language.  

Due to Comicon and other commitments, we have erraneously let stand a number of posts containing quite offensive language.  While we think it too late to ask for those edits, we are going to be more proactive in the future about removing language that contains hatefulness, sweeping generalizations, and other negative approaches.

We have no wish to stifle debate and welcome ALL politcal opinions EXCEPT FOR THOSE THAT RELY ON CALLING OTHER GROUPS BAD WORDS AND OFFENSIVE NAMES.  We are no longer going to tolerate that level of debate in this forum.

So please, take heed of this change and even if tempted, do not succumb to the temptation to say hateful things about people or groups with whom you do not agree.  We do NOT want to turn into a board that has to be heavy handed.  Please, we beg you, police yourselves so we don't have to.

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#2 Robert Hewitt Wolfe

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:40 PM

Just for clarification, is calling someone a "Luddite" hate-speak?  

Just kidding.  Good luck on civilizing the brawling frontier of OT.

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There's a peacefulness and a rage inside us all."
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#3 Josh

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:43 PM

Good luck, guys. You're gonna need it.
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#4 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 31 July 2004 - 11:59 PM

Shouldn't this be stickied at the top before it gets buried?
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#5 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:25 AM

Robert, I think it is all in how it is done.

Open letter to the board....

I am a great believer in qualifiers - to some that may sound mealy mouthed but to me it is not - I refuse to make people withhold their opinions, but I expect them to make sure that they let others know that it is their point of view, their opinions, not some god like fact pronounced on high...

You can say that you dislike a certain political party, you can say that to you they are over reacting, that from your Point of View they are two faced or what ever....because you are expressing Your Opinion

but I feel that all posters who do this need to make sure that all others realize that this is You Opinion, not a statement of fact.

Not all peace protesters are hate filled phonies, not all politicians are honorless idiots out for themselves first, not all Republicans are fanatic war mongers, not all Democrats are liberal scum.

I won't deny that there are some out there that are just those things but it is the  'tarring all with one brush' that is wrong, and not conductive to reasonable dialog and discussion.

I will say that , in my opinion, that the tarring, those generalizations, are where the troubles are coming from, and we don't need or want that sort of thing here in OT.

for example: if Bush makes a statement you feel is idiotic, I feel you are free to say that you feel that his statement won idiot of the year award - but state it so that it is clearly understood that it is your opinion.

It'd foster debate and discussion to explain why you feel this way.

If Kerry comes out with what you believe to be a lie, feel free to state that you believe this...but unless you have hard facts to prove your assertion it is just that, an assertion of belief, and should be labeled as such, so no one mis understands.

We are all reasoning adults here, and understand that opinions and beliefs, are the right of each of us...and that while opinions may not be shared or agreed with they are just that each persons opinions and beliefs.

Attacking some one else for their beliefs is not in any way shape or form 'cool', 'with it', or 'mature', much less civil.  Please remember that civility is not equal to 'weak' or 'loseing', or any sort of lessening of self.  It is often harder to be civil, to be reasonable than to just lash out with an attack.

You can state that you disagree with their views but don't attack them personally.

You hold your beliefs and opinions just as dear as they do theirs.

I guess what I am trying to say is all about respect for others and the right to be respected in return.

edited cause I can't close tags :blush:

Edited by Shalamar, 01 August 2004 - 12:26 AM.

The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

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#6 JadziaDax

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:31 AM

Good luck.

(Aren't you going to top this thread?....it'll get buried otherwise)
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#7 Anakam

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:31 AM

Thanks for the post, Shal... :)
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:40 AM

Brava Shalamar.

I had typed more but I've been absent for some time so I think I'll just leave it at what Shal and Kath said.  :)

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#9 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:41 AM

I'm kind of hopeing that posts by others, weighing in with their thoughts on this will keep it near the top.

I honestly, and I think every moderator and admin herre will agree with me, want other peoples thoughts and views. Every one that we hear is valuable, has merit, and I fully believe helps us do our job better.

I also think that we should have open minds, be willing to engage in discussion with out our 'selves' feeling threatened or dismisssed or denigrated.  Disagreeing with anothers pov, or opinion doesn't mean we dislike or hate or turn our noses up at them - or it shouldn't.  Having your pov or opinion disagreed with does not mean that it is an attack on you either. People can agree to disagree and still be respected, still be friends.
The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

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#10 JadziaDax

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:47 AM

Our thoughts?

Like..... No flaming, rudeness, or name-calling?

Isn't that under the board rules or something?

I'll add my $0.02 in the fact that I feel the rules are more or less tossed out the window in here....I'd just like to see more respect and less 'attacking-because-your-ideals-are-different-then-mine' mentality I see a lot.
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#11 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 01:22 AM

Dax, I feel that people should be able to express themselves without name calling, flameing or rudeness.

and this is the last place the guidelines should be tossed out the window!

If we can't discuss the hard things, the push button areas with out respect, tolerance and the very real fact that behind each post is a very real person, what does that say about us, as individuals, and as a whole?  Nothing good, I'd say...

I feel we can do better than name calling, sweeping generalizations, and hurtfulness.
The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

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#12 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 09:24 AM

We can be better than that, but it involves a choice.

A choice to argue the issues rather than resort to character assasination of entire groups.


A choice to understand that people of intelligence, ethics, and morality can feel different ways on even hot button issues.

A choice to stand up to verbal bullies rather than let them run roughshod over reasonable discussion.

These are choices we all have to be active in.

Or, what Shalamar said, by and large. :)

Ro

#13 Chakotay

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 09:40 AM

It's one thing to disagree with the opinion - that's fine. It's way off the mark to name call, I totally agree.

Maybe we will get more folks willing to come in and add their thoughts if they believe that things will be expressed less personally and vituperatively... I hope so.
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#14 LaughingVulcan

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 02:25 PM

I guess my two cents would be that you, Shalamar, express my thoughts about how precious language is.  Also how and why one must be always careful to not offend.  I do not enter political threads or threads that become politicized anymore, for my own reasons.

That said, I sincerely hope that the above stays foremost in my mind during this post.  For tensions and passions are often aroused by one's political beliefs.  Indeed, without passion political discussions tend to become empty shells of philosophy.  (I am not trying to knock philosophy, just that many see philosophy as another area of human endeavor devoid of passion.  It isn't, not all philosophy is empty, but it can seem that way.)

I know from my own life and existance that anytime passion is aroused that there is the risk of accidentally hurting, or being hurt.  My experiences aren't really relevant, for you probably either know what I'm talking about or haven't experienced it yet.  Sometimes when you start out to create you wind up destroying (and vice versa.)  At least in my masculine experience, to paraphrase The Pretenders, there is sometimes a thin line between love and hate.

So to me, it's important to realize that if one is going to engage in the clinch of political debate -or any type of debate, really- one may find oneself in a choke hold.  It may be accidental, on purpose, or even simply one's perception.  What may or may not be given and/or taken as an insult will happen.  What does one do in such circumstances?

Trying to prove the validity of your own point will most likely been seen by the other side as punching back.  It has the potential to escalate the situation further.  Backing away, and not responding again to that person or that thread, has the advantage of not making an already bad situation worse.  Yet there are not many who can honestly do this without keeping the memory of having been in an intellectual full-nelson.  You can simply point out that, in your humble opinion, the other person has crossed a line and leave it at that.  This too has advantage and disadvantage.  As does communicating with a moderator or administrator when one feels offended.

I'm sorry if all of this seems cliche or old hat, but I can't recognize that there is any perfect way to respond.  I, like probably most of us here, strive for our own notion of perfection.  My own understanding of the world, however, is that such a thing is not able to occur in this life.  So, we're left with (at best) managing imperfections.  Personally, I trust those who have been chosen to manage them.  To enforce our rules, and yet enforce them with mercy.  And that our community will continue on, even in the face of troubled times.

C'est la vie,

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#15 the 'Hawk

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:29 PM

Like I told Christopher in the AQG thread, you can use all the language you want to explain what you're going to do. That's still quantity. The quality will come in time.

The real litmus-test will come in its own good time.

:cool:
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#16 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 03:36 PM

I think that if you have to personally attack a person in order to try to get a point across, not only will the other person shut you out, but you've already lost your argument.
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#17 Ogami

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 08:25 PM

Appreciate wrote:

Due to Comicon and other commitments, we have erraneously let stand a number of posts containing quite offensive language. While we think it too late to ask for those edits, we are going to be more proactive in the future about removing language that contains hatefulness, sweeping generalizations, and other negative approaches.

Offensive language would mean language like the F-word.

You are instead referring to removing offensive thought.

At least be honest. I think it's safe to say what will be viewed as "sweeping generalizations".

I await the next removal of sweeping generalizations about Bush, conservatives, and Republicans.

Heh. Like that will happen in a billion years.

-Ogami

#18 Rov Judicata

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 08:38 PM

Ogami, on Aug 1 2004, 06:23 PM, said:

I await the next removal of sweeping generalizations about Bush, conservatives, and Republicans.

Heh. Like that will happen in a billion years.

-Ogami
If you have any concerns about any instances of that from this point forward, my PM box (and that of the OT mods) is always open.
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#19 Shalamar

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 08:43 PM

Ogami, wether it is sweeping generalizations about peace protestors, Democrats, Republicans, rednecks, or rap musc..if I see it I will ask for it to be edited.

There are ways of being offensive without resorting to swear words.

You are welcome to think what ever you like, we just ask that

Quote

removing language that contains hatefulness, sweeping generalizations, and other negative approaches.

not be posted here.

You can disagree with some one's views without resorting to the quote above. You can have intense discussion with out resorting to the quote above.

That is what we are asking from every one.

Edited to ad that the you above is the general all inclusive 'you' not any one in specific

Edited by Shalamar, 01 August 2004 - 08:44 PM.

The three most important R's
Respect for One's Self / Respect for Others / Responsibility for One's Words & Actions.

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#20 Bad Wolf

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 08:43 PM

actually I don't think one need be profane to be offensive.  For example, I could make the following statement:  All Conservatives are pro war religious fundamentalists.

I am sure many conservatives would find this statement to be offensive or at a minimum, overly general.  Note that there is no profanity in the statement.

I am free to think whatever I want to about Conservatives.  The question here is expression of thought and the method of expression.

For example I could easily modify the above statement so that it is not overly inclusive and clearly demonstrates that I am stating an opinion.  Like so:  In my experience, the vast majority of conservatives I have met are what I consider to be pro war and religious fundamentalist.

This modification took me less than 30 seconds to formulate.

Seems to me that if such a small effort can result in communication that is less likely to erupt into unpleasantness it is well worth it, not just for the sake of the community but for my own sake.  I mean, for me, being *not* angry or upset is a happier place.

Lil
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