Rules for Appropriate Debate

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The Forum Rules and Guidelines describe the acceptable and unacceptable ways to participate in a discussion in a forum thread.

These rules augment and clarify the general rules. Guidelines indicate the spirit of the rules which are especially applicable to threads where there are strong or conflicting opinions.


Guidelines: Show respect for your fellow members. Expect and accept that other users may have strongly held opinions that differ from yours. In other words, basic human courtesy.

  1. Name-calling. Name-calling falls into the category of insults and will be treated as such according to the Forum Rules, your own opinion about another member notwithstanding. You can't call a bigot a bigot, a troll a troll, or a fanboy a fanboy, any more than you can call an idiot an idiot. You can disagree with the content of another member's statement or give your evidence or opinion to dispute their claims, but you may not make a negative personal characterisation about that member. If their content breaks the rules, report it.

  2. Slurs. Slurs and insults against groups of people based on negative-stereotyping and obvious generalisations fall into the category of trolling and will be treated as such.

  3. Taunting. Mocking or taunting another forum member is not acceptable. Posts that ridicule another member or obviously exaggerate or misstate their views may be edited or removed.


Guidelines: Be willing to engage in fact-based, constructive debate. Look for ways to inform and learn from others.

  1. Sources. If you claim that something's a fact, back it up with a source. If you can't produce evidence when someone asks you to cite your sources you should admit it is not a fact and remove the claim from your post.

  2. Repetition. If you repeat the same claims without adding new information, we might remove your posts.

  3. Trolling. Posts that appear to be designed to cause argument or irritate rather than contribute to a constructive discussion are considered trolling and will be treated as such.

  4. Duplicates. If a new thread repeats a topic that has been previously discussed or debated, without basis for a separate discussion, the thread may be closed, removed, or merged into an earlier thread on the same topic. A news report on a previously discussed issue doesn't automatically deserve a new thread.


Guidelines: Stay within the forum rules to preserve your membership privileges.

  1. Reporting. Members should report posts to call the moderators' attention to troublesome posts/posters; that is the limit of what should be done, do not try to moderate others yourself.

  2. Responsibility. You're responsible for your own behaviour. "I was goaded into breaking the rules" is not an excuse. If you think a post is inappropriate, report it, ignore it, and/or respond without breaking the rules.

  3. Suspensions. Forum members whose posts are removed for violating these rules may be subject to temporary or permanent account suspension, particularly for repeated or serious rules violations.


If the rules aren't clear, ask for clarification before posting. You can ask privately using the Contact Form.
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