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Statement from the Moderators

Posted: 04:11AM Oct 3, 2011
Posts: 987

Recently, many members have been asking about the way in which the Public Forums, and in particular General Discussion, are moderated. After discussing the issues at length, we are ready to clarify the situation, and have agreed upon some changes in the way we approach the task. We apologize for the wait, but we had to allow enough time for all of the Moderators to take part in the discussion.

As a general rule, the Moderators try to interfere as infrequently as possible and will continue to do so. We would like to allow a greater number of topics to be discussed, so long as they are participated in the correct manner, giving the users more freedom and with it more responsibility.

When posting in General Discussion, users should be aware that what they say is free to be "discussed" – they are perfectly entitled to share their views, but have to accept that others are then entitled to relate their opposing views, as long as it is done in a polite and respectful manner. Users should not label others as "offensive" for simply disagreeing with their views, and similarly, users should not post simply to mock or belittle other's views. Any violation of this common courtesy will be deleted and noted that the comment was inappropriate. Contrary views can be shared politely if they are relevant to the discussion and not posted simply to cause conflict. If users do not wish for their views to be questioned, then opening a Talkbox for similar-minded users would be a more appropriate course of action.

With reference to more topics acceptable for discussion, we feel that we have perhaps taken the "family friendly" maxim too far resulting in the forums becoming more "for kids" than for all ages. We would like to give more leeway for more mature topics to be discussed by older users as well. Obviously, common sense needs to be applied here regarding what is acceptable for an all ages website. Strictly "adult" conversations should still be avoided, but more mature subject matter (such as the LGBT topic) will be allowable, so long as it is carried out in a respectful and decent manner, and legitimate discussion is possible on the subject. If users do not like the topics, they are free to not read them. Unfortunately, it's impossible to state exactly what is and isn't acceptable; topics will have to be taken on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure about a particular topic, feel free to contact one of the moderators about it beforehand for clarification.

As for the rule forbidding the discussion on illegal activities, we would like to clarify our view on this point. This rule pertains to discussions such as how to perform or get away with illegal activities, arranging or planning of illegal activities, personal experiences carrying out illegal activities, and so on. Discussions relating to, for example, causes and effects of a particular illegal happening, or how to deal with certain illegal activities, are acceptable. For example, discussing the cause and impact of illegal immigration would be acceptable, but discussing ways of carrying out the act without getting caught would not! Again, common sense should be applied by users as to what topics should be discussed.

This is Jake's site, and we must all abide by Jake's forum rules, but similarly Moderators have been entrusted with the day-to-day running of the Forums. As stated here, we will interfere as little as possible, but when we do step in or make a decision on something, this should be respected. Users should not feel or talk like the Moderators are against them – if they are unsure on a decision, they can contact the Moderators for an explanation. The Moderators will respond in a timely manner, but remember we are giving up our time to try to assist in the running of the website and it is not possible to please all of the people all of the time. We can only promise that we will do our best.
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