Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.
These are not hard and fast rules, merely aids to the human judgment of our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.
Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.
The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.
One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.
You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
- Ad hominem attacks.
- Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
- Knee-jerk contradiction.
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.
The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.
Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favorites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.
Let’s try to leave our park better than we found it.
Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.
When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.
In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts in any way; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.
Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:
- Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
- Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
- Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
- Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.
This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.
Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:
- Don’t start a new Topic if there already exists a suitable Topic on the very same subject, especially if it’s recent. Use Search before you post! Obviously if it’s a particularly fresh angle a new Topic might be more appropriate. Use your discretion.
- Don’t start a topic in the wrong category or no category. Familiarise yourself with all the available ones.
- Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
- Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream - consider posting a new Topic or on a more appropriate existing Topic.
- Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it!
- Don’t @ someone unnecessarily: especially in order to simply reply: you can just reply to their post using the reply button on their post or use the Quote tool. They will be informed that you’ve replied and your action will leave a graphical bread crumb of the relationship between your post and the original post and show who and what you are replying to.
- Don’t reply to multiple people in the same post if at all possible: consider a new post if you wish to address someone else especially if it’s on a different subject. It makes it impossible for staff to re-organise posts into new Topics if you mix up two subjects in one post.
- Unless your intention is to reply to someone else, don’t create another post if all you wish to do is add extra text. You can use the pencil tool to edit your existing post:
- Don’t post asides in the same post: I can’t easily move those. If you absolutely have to post an aside do it in a separate post.
- Try to minimise ‘public personal messages’: if its a personal message then maybe you should send them a private message? (There’s a button you can use on their User Card to send them a private message - get to the User Card by clicking their avatar):
- Quote people using the quote tool (yes I’m aware of the bug on iOS at the moment … but it’s due to be fixed soon) to help readers understand context.
- Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a New Topic.
- Post about personal progress in your own Topic in Personal Diaries and refer people to those posts if they ask how you are.
You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.
Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.