CR, civility, and Free Speech

iBrian

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We welcome all faiths and political orientations to CR.

All we ask is that everyone who seeks to post here is civil, and follows the Code of Conduct linked to from every page of the site.

Anyone who feels that they cannot be civil to other members here or site staff, has no place here.

We try and defuse issues where they arise on the boards with reminders as appropriate - but sometimes we have to take action and remove posts, warn members privately, or even ban someone for their repeated disruptive behaviour.

Like most established forums, we don't make these issues a matter for public discussion, because they inevitably lead to continued disruption, and serve no constructive purpose.

Sometimes disruptive members insist they have a right to attack CR's members, staff, and site itself, and call it "Free Speech". However, CR allows absolutely no remit for individual members to claim that they have a right to violate the Code of Conduct. In that regard, we make every effort to focus on upholding civility, *not* Free Speech.

CR has managed to build a communty of rare diversity, across the theological and political spectrum. To continue to build on this work, we will continue to insist on civility, and insist that people who wish to disrupt and offend go elsewhere. Most members here are perfectly fine with that - they are here precisely because we try and take their concerns seriously, and uphold *everybody* to the same basic rules of behaviour.

If anyone here feels that they are entitled by right to Free Speech, to justify causing offence and disruption, and that moderated communities therefore restrict their rights, then they are welcome to post to usenet - and carry out their Free Speech among the viagra ads, casino links, neo-fascist lit, and pictures of children giving blowjobs to Jesus - because CR will never become like that.

CR will never uphold itself to be a Free Speech forum - neither will most moderated communities - because they have to protect the interests of their community, rather than the rights of single individuals to damage it to serve their own personal ends.

We have basic rules, and expect people to adhere to them, nothing more.

A public service notice, in case anybody was confused about the issue. :)
 
Thank you I, Brian for attempting to explain this issue.

As you and I have been entertaining this in private, I appreciate some of it being opened so we all realize what we are involved in.

It concerned me when I was made aware of a member who was banned from posting as he violated rules. As with shifting discussions from one thread to the other, banning also is something the powers that be decide. As this is not a free speech forum as described, the powers that be make decisions based on what they see is best for the community they have created, it is their perogative.

We see the shifts in forums, as the discussion on liberal v. literal thread, was deemed political even though we were discussing the breadth of the christian faith (gematria included).

But this all stemmed from my naivity in the workings of these forums. I'm developing an understanding, but not yet a concensus with the thinking.

I've discovered one of the reasons you see a very active member, an active contributor disappear from the forum, no longer post, never to be heard from again....
We have basic rules, and expect people to adhere to them, nothing more.
it may be they took a break, or it may be they were banned.

Again, this is someones sandbox, and the scope and breadth of diversity is dictated by those that build and maintain the sandbox, their perogative.

I am currently on a self imposed ban, I'd love to respond and comment from my heart, but others feel I trample on theirs. I may be back, I've got some thinking to do. Just so you know, I didn't disappear because the powers that be banned me, I've exiled myself due to my disagreement with the system in place.
 
Established members being banned here isn't common - but administrating a community requires a balance that isn't always easy to achieve - sometimes we'll appear too harsh, sometimes too lenient.

Generally, we'll try and be lenient and give people a chance - we've seen members look like potential trouble from the start, but we try and give most second or even third chances where possible, so that we're not seen to be making hard decisions without good reason. Besides, every forum is different, and sometimes new members just need to learn to adapt to how a particular forum's mechanics work.

But if a particular member is given repeated warnings, and they ignore them, there's little option open - either we allow such a person to dictate forum policy on their own terms against the rest of the community, or else we apply the same ground rules to all.
 
anyone who chooses to post, on these CR forums, must first register to do so. the first thing they encounter, when registering, is the "Code of Conduct" to which they must agree. thus there clearly is no blanket free-speech protection, but that is not to say that anyone can not speak freely. what is asked is that we speak to others, particularly to those with whom we might disagree, with civility. at least that's my perception.

once banned, i can understand the desire to not dwell on the why thereof. but i agree with wil in that it would be nice to know WHO has been banned. for example; when a person stops posting, others might begin to wonder if they are having computer problems, have gone seriously ill, or have died. i do not know about vBulletin software, but there is other forum hosting software which automatically generates and displays the username/s of those who have been banned. perhaps such a list would be appropriate here, even if only posted within a "locked thread"?

i respect the right of CR founders/administrators to pursue whatever course they think best serves their community. but i also hope they will consider a change in policy. and either way, i hope that wil chooses to return to posting here, soon!

peace
 
As a general point, individual bannings aren't discussed - not least because it's unfair to create a discussion about an individual member, who cannot reply to public comments made about them.

Perhaps more seriously, any public discussion about individual banning could be perceived to be calling the character of that person into question, and effectively be followed by accusations of defamation.

At the end of the day, if someone repeatedly receives warning on their conduct, it's an issue privately dealt with between that person and the staff raising the issue.

That does mean that if someone is banned they can obviously present a very one-sided story elsewhere, but that's a general hazard - and freedom - of the internet.

For the record, most bannings are simply serial spammers - they come in and post multiple threads with proselytising material posted from other websites at a particular faith group here, or else for commercial offers such as "free iPods".
 
There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.

~Edward Wallis Hoch​
 
Brian, as a service to those of us who are very new here, would it be possible for the moderators in each forum to "bump" the appropriate "sticky" up to the top, so we can all read the guidelines?

I didn't even know there were such things until today. And I don't know how to search for them.

BTW, I'm *delighted* that there are "civil discourse" rules here - I've been a participant on boards where "Free Speech" was the rule, and the abusiveness of some posters drove many others away.
 
Käthe said:
Brian, as a service to those of us who are very new here, would it be possible for the moderators in each forum to "bump" the appropriate "sticky" up to the top, so we can all read the guidelines?

I didn't even know there were such things until today. And I don't know how to search for them.

BTW, I'm *delighted* that there are "civil discourse" rules here - I've been a participant on boards where "Free Speech" was the rule, and the abusiveness of some posters drove many others away.

The Code of Conduct is linked on the top menu bar at the top of every page - it's white on grey on my computer, and says User CP then Code of Conduct then Members List then New Posts then Search then Quick Links. You can jumpt to it directly from this link: http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/code-of-conduct.php

The Christianity forum has a sticky at the top that lays out some more ground rules for that forum, since what is "Christianity" occasionally becomes an issue.

... Bruce
 
brucegdc said:
The Code of Conduct is linked on the top menu bar at the top of every page - it's white on grey on my computer, and says User CP then Code of Conduct then Members List then New Posts then Search then Quick Links. You can jumpt to it directly from this link: http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/code-of-conduct.php

The Christianity forum has a sticky at the top that lays out some more ground rules for that forum, since what is "Christianity" occasionally becomes an issue.

... Bruce

Yes, thank you; I've read the Code of Conduct every day I've posted here, to remind myself.

I take it from your response that each forum doesn't have a "sticky", then. Ok, I'll stop looking for them. :)
 
We tend not to leave stickies around, unless things get a little testy in an area. :)
 
Thank you, Brian, for this thread!

BTW, I'm *delighted* that there are "civil discourse" rules here - I've been a participant on boards where "Free Speech" was the rule, and the abusiveness of some posters drove many others away.
Thank you Kathe! It is these "civil discourse" rules that attracted me here, and the main reason I stick around.
 
Kindest Regards, Käthe!
Käthe said:
Merry meet, juantoo3!

Cute board name, BTW (one, two, three).
Merry meet to you as well, although that is not my typical greeting.

Will a simple "howdy" do?

BTW, what part of California are you hailing from? Born and raised, I've got family all over the state.
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, Käthe!

[sic]

BTW, what part of California are you hailing from? Born and raised, I've got family all over the state.

She has posted an introduction in the Introductions board, juantoo3. You're welcome to browse. :D

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
 
Where does the sudden disablement of signatures fit into all of this? Signatures are a minor issue, for sure, but I enjoyed them. Will they be coming back, perhaps when the whole site is born anew under a different name, or are they gone for good?
 
Ah, I forgot about signatures. :)

They went with the forum upgrade, but looking now, I like the way it makes the discussions simpler to read.
 
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