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Podium rules and discussion thread

rayzac 26,578 2,197 November 5, 2009 at 09:47 AM
What is The Podium?

The purpose of The Podium is to provide a community where controversial topics can be discussed in an environment that is conducive to open conversation. Everyone has an opinion and should be able to share it without fear of attack or reprisal. These discussions tend to get heated so the below guidelines and rules are strictly enforced so we can maintain a forum where everyone feels comfortable contributing.

How do we maintain this environment of open conversation?

Some rules have been put in place below as a guideline to follow. It is impossible to list every possible infraction so please remember this is just a guideline and will be updated as needed. Moderators will remove posts that go against the above stated purpose even if not specifically mentioned in the below rules. If you question why a post is removed, private message (PM) a moderator. Do not make a post asking why.

Well thought out posts encourage a back-and-forth discussion. Based on previous experiences, we have found that members who continually criticize the opinions of others but rarely share their own side tend to kill off discussions. Also, members who post statements as facts that are questionable and/or not widely known and are unable to or unwilling to back it up with links or other evidence tend to divert from true debate. With that in mind, the moderators reserve the right to remove members who we believe have a negative impact on the community as a whole. This decision will be based on a consensus of the moderators.

When a debate topic is presented, members are expected to remain on topic. Discussions do tend to go into various tangents and as long as there is a clear path of discussion that lead there, it will be allowed. However, something clearly off topic will be removed.

What makes a good post?

This is a place of opinions and not everyone will share the same opinion. To help stimulate discussion, when you post an opinion, we encourage you to include facts or experiences that enforce your opinion and if needed, back the facts up with links or evidence. If you post an article as a reply to an existing thread, we also encourage you to state the reason you are posting this if it is not evident and what your thoughts are on the subject.

When starting a new thread, the title must follow the below rules and fit into the overall purpose of the podium. All commentary should be kept inside the thread. If using an article to begin a thread, the title of the article should be used. The exception to this would be if a debate topic is being presented and the article is just being used as ancillary information.

What should be avoided in posts?

Since many of the rules below tend to be subjective, it is advisable to keep your posts away from any gray areas where a moderator decision will need to be made. Some examples include:
  • Calling out other members by name when not directly replying to them
  • Making blanket statements that are not proven and based on opinions
  • Using nicknames for other members unless they have approved it
  • Ganging up on other members
What are the rules?

The following list is presented to be used as a guideline. It is impossible to list every rule so please use common sense when posting. The moderators reserve the right to delete any post the breaks one of the below rules or goes against the intent of SlickDeals and the Podium. If you find one of your posts was removed, please send a PM to one of the moderators of the podium found at the bottom or the Podium forum list or by clicking here. Do not create a "why was my post deleted" thread.

1. No personal attacks are allowed. Personal attacks will be deleted. Controversial conversations always tend to get heated, so in order to enjoy the debates, personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. Personal attacks are considered to be, not not limited to, name calling, labeling (I.E. racist, bigot, etc), or negative comments directed at another member. This can also include the use of certain images and smileys such as crazy and sheep. Whether you call someone a sheep directly or imply it with the graphic, it is still an attack. In addition, if you see someone breaking a rule, use the mod alert button and please include comments as to what you think is the rule being broken if it is not clearly obvious. Calling someone a troll or other such term will get you a warning, so use the mod alert button instead.

2. Use common sense when posting. The same type of rules in the lounge apply to The Podium. No nudity, no heavy profanity (which is filtered anyway), no obscene photographs or pictures.

3. No complaining about politics in The Podium. That is what it is for. If you don't want to get involved in political debates, then feel free to leave The Podium and join any other forum on the site.

4. (REVISED) From now on, no trolling via thread titles, include a link to the article, and your take (your own summary if you choose). Posts SHOULD NOT INCLUDE LARGE BLOCKS OF TEXT FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. You can still quote from the article, but only use what you need to make your point (you guys are kind of doing this now by bolding particular parts- just quote what you might otherwise have bolded). Also, please err on the side of under-quoting.

5. Please refrain from posting content from chain emails. Most chain emails have been proven to be untrue in some form or fashion, and they are simply not good sources for topics of debate. If for you some reason you just feel that you have to post this kind of stuff, please verify the contents with www.breakthechain.org [breakthechain.org] or www.snopes.com [snopes.com]. If proven untrue, just don't post it. Chain emails that are proven untrue will be deleted.

6. No spamming of the message boards. Spamming includes, but is not limited to, starting several new threads on the same topic and bumping several threads on similar subjects to the front page. If similar threads are active at the same time, one of the threads will be left open to continue discussions and all others will be closed. In addition, posting links to videos or pictures as a joke and/or insult will be considered spam. Posts that are clearly off topic in debate threads are also considered spam.

7. No post-and-run. A post-and-run is someone who will continually starts threads without offering their own thoughts or opinions or does not stick around to participate in the thread. The keyword is continually. We do not require opinions on every article, but it is recommended, but if this becomes an apparent trend, it will be stopped.

8. No trolling. There have been lengthy discussions on what is trolling. The official definition that we use is seen here. [wikipedia.org]. You can also see a short list here of what we consider trolling.

9. Use the proper category icon when starting a new thread. News should be used for threads without a clear debate topic. Debate threads require a clear debate topic and should remain on topic as much as possible as stated above. Going purposefully off topic in a debate thread will be seen as spamming.

The purpose of The Podium is to allow anyone and everyone to voice their opinions on controversial topics, without fear of censorship. If you have something to say, say it! If you have questions or need clarification on any of the above rules, or simply wish to ask if a post is OK before you post it, please PM a moderator. So now that you are here, why not step up to The Podium?!

The SlickDeals.net mod team.
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The prior discussion threads can be found here, here, here, or here..
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Last edited by rayzac December 21, 2009 at 12:01 PM.
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Above are the new rules that will take effect in the coming days. One major change that you will notice are category icons for threads. The categories for now will be News and Debate. The difference between the two will be threads with the debate category MUST have a clear debate topic. All other posts will be in the news category. This does not mean that you are free to post any news article. We will still follow the same standards we have always had for what is allowed. This means no chain e-mails, gossip pieces, or the like.

The charter has been adjusted for the categories to include:


Quote :
When a debate topic is presented, members are expected to remain on topic. Discussions do tend to go into various tangents and as long as there is a clear path of discussion that lead there, it will be allowed. However, something clearly off topic will be removed.
Quote :
When starting a new thread, the title must follow the below rules and fit into the overall purpose of the podium. All commentary should be kept inside the thread. If using an article to begin a thread, the title of the article should be used. The exception to this would be if a debate topic is being presented and the article is just being used as ancillary information.
Quote :
6. No spamming of the message boards. Spamming includes, but is not limited to, starting several new threads on the same topic and bumping several threads on similar subjects to the front page. If similar threads are active at the same time, one of the threads will be left open to continue discussions and all others will be closed. In addition, posting links to videos or pictures as a joke and/or insult will be considered spam. Posts that are clearly off topic in debate threads are also considered spam.
Quote :
9. Use the proper category icon when starting a new thread. News should be used for threads without a clear debate topic. Debate threads require a clear debate topic and should remain on topic as much as possible as stated above. Going purposefully off topic in a debate thread will be seen as spamming.
Some general changes have also been made to the charter and rules:

Quote :
Also, members who post statements as facts that are questionable and/or not widely known and are unable to or unwilling to back it up with links or other evidence tend to divert from true debate. With that in mind, the moderators reserve the right to remove members who we believe have a negative impact on the community as a whole. This decision will be based on a consensus of the moderators.
Quote :
Since many of the rules below tend to be subjective, it is advisable to keep your posts away from any gray areas where a moderator decision will need to be made. Some examples include:

* Calling out other members by name when not directly replying to them
* Making blanket statements that are not proven and based on opinions
* Using nicknames for other members unless they have approved it
* Ganging up on other members
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The purpose of this thread is to allow discussion of the rules. This is not a thread to attack others, begin other discussions, or other such off topic chatter.
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Quote :
Making blanket statements that are not proven and based on opinions.
Would applying statistics to a small group of specific people fall under this umbrella? Statistics lose validity, the less generally one is speaking.
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Quote from JackHandey View Post :
Would applying statistics to a small group of specific people fall under this umbrella? Statistics lose validity, the less generally one is speaking.
Could you be less vague with the question? I am not sure what you are trying to ask.
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Quote from rayzac View Post :
Could you be less vague with the question? I am not sure what you are trying to ask.
Ok, example.

In the recent thread, where 124nic8 was attempting to justify MSNBC's inference of racism towards a specific protest, and that misrepresenting a black man, as a white man was acceptable. His rationale is that there is a possibility of racism, and that it was not incorrect to imply that a significant portion of them may be motivated by racism, since in some survey, a significant number of white people indicated they had racial bias.

My problem with that is, we have no way of knowing if any of the 12 people there were motivated by racism, and there is no justification for assuming that any of those have a racial bias at all, unless they display such.

Statistics are great, when one is discussing, "When you have a million people of X or Y trait, and the probability of either is A, or B".... And then extrapolating a number of how many of them are likely to have any specific trait.

It is entirely another, when one is willing to allow for probability to lead to condemnation... To use stereotypes to accuse specific people of engaging in behaviors... Isn't that bigotry itself?

It is one thing, when one is discussing large groups... probability is more relevant. However, when you start trying to assign traits to specific individuals, that is where it is less relevant. When you can do that, then your sample size is far too small for statistics to be useful.
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Quote from JackHandey View Post :
Ok, example.

In the recent thread, where 124nic8 was attempting to justify MSNBC's inference of racism towards a specific protest, and that misrepresenting a black man, as a white man was acceptable. His rationale is that there is a possibility of racism, and that it was not incorrect to imply that a significant portion of them may be motivated by racism, since in some survey, a significant number of white people indicated they had racial bias.

My problem with that is, we have no way of knowing if any of the 12 people there were motivated by racism, and there is no justification for assuming that any of those have a racial bias at all, unless they display such.

Statistics are great, when one is discussing, "When you have a million people of X or Y trait, and the probability of either is A, or B".... And then extrapolating a number of how many of them are likely to have any specific trait.

It is entirely another, when one is willing to allow for probability to lead to condemnation... To use stereotypes to accuse specific people of engaging in behaviors... Isn't that bigotry itself?

It is one thing, when one is discussing large groups... probability is more relevant. However, when you start trying to assign traits to specific individuals, that is where it is less relevant. When you can do that, then your sample size is far too small for statistics to be useful.
On the one hand this is just people arguing over a point. It starts one way and 124 comes in and argues for the other view... and then you say, how can we really presume they're racist? Which itself is a question that is fundamentally unknowable. MSNBC raises the issue, gets us talking about it, and maybe gets some additional ratings out of it b/c they're now the channel that asks the 'tough questions'... or something. But MSNBC raises an issue that is just pure speculation.

So how might one go about that, if one were going to defend that possibility? Statistics are one option. Now the validity and applicibility of those statistics are subject to debate... and if they are not applicable then great... demonstrate it, or claim it, or whatever. Why is this an issue that requires moderator intervention? This is a debate! People bring what evidence they have at their disposal, and if it fits, fine, if it doesn't that's fine too, and can be pointed out.

I think this gets to the point I've been making around here. There is so little to debate in this topic that people are going to great lengths to come up with something. One side posts a thread and says, see MSNBC sux... the other side feels the compulsion to defend that and so gets into a debate about how racisim is not implausible b/c a certain percentage of people are racist by their own admission. It's just an argument. It's something to take or leave. If you think it's worth debating, then you debate it... if not then you don't. I don't understand this impulse towards more control.

One side posts a thread and people jump on a bandwagon or whatever... that's trivial, but that's why we have news threads. People invest themselves in threads and they are animated by arguments and disagreement, and beyond that are also irritated by the wrong kind of argument, i guess. But the fact remains that you invest yourself in the thread in the first place and I think sometimes you've just gotta leave it alone if it bothers you that much.
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I see your point, I really do.

I guess there is a fundamental thing in me that nags me about it... That trying to think in the way that is required to, in order to see the argument from the other side, creates a certain level of cognitive dissonance. It bothers me to see something that I perceive to be so wrong, and in the previous case hypocritical, in using stereotyping to to imply racial bigotry, without direct evidence.

Perhaps it would be better if we did place those that use such tactics to argue, that we consider ludicrous, on ignore.

I envy you your ability to just walk away... It happens to irritate me, like an OCD person seeing a crooked picture.
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Quote from JackHandey View Post :
Ok, example.

In the recent thread, where 124nic8 was attempting to justify MSNBC's inference of racism towards a specific protest, and that misrepresenting a black man, as a white man was acceptable. His rationale is that there is a possibility of racism, and that it was not incorrect to imply that a significant portion of them may be motivated by racism, since in some survey, a significant number of white people indicated they had racial bias.

My problem with that is, we have no way of knowing if any of the 12 people there were motivated by racism, and there is no justification for assuming that any of those have a racial bias at all, unless they display such.

Statistics are great, when one is discussing, "When you have a million people of X or Y trait, and the probability of either is A, or B".... And then extrapolating a number of how many of them are likely to have any specific trait.

It is entirely another, when one is willing to allow for probability to lead to condemnation... To use stereotypes to accuse specific people of engaging in behaviors... Isn't that bigotry itself?

It is one thing, when one is discussing large groups... probability is more relevant. However, when you start trying to assign traits to specific individuals, that is where it is less relevant. When you can do that, then your sample size is far too small for statistics to be useful.
Except you still do not understand what I said and I am at a loss to understand why.

I said the odds are that at least a few of the attendees were racist.

That means a few of the several hundreds attendees.

I already reinterated this at least once. I'm don't know why you continue to misconstrue what I wrote.

My statement was about statistics. You've presented nothing to dispute that statement.
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Quote from 124nic8 View Post :
Except you still do not understand what I said and I am at a loss to understand why.

I said the odds are that at least a few of the attendees were racist.

That means a few of the several hundreds attendees.

I already reinterated this at least once. I'm don't know why you continue to misconstrue what I wrote.

My statement was about statistics. You've presented nothing to dispute that statement.
You were using it to justify a statement made about those with firearms, which numbered twelve, and one of which were black.

They were not talking about all of the protesters, they were focusing on those that were armed, and implying they were a threat, and one with racial overtones at that.

Look.

We will never agree on this.

You think they are justified in saying whatever they want, as long as it is statistically possible for it to be so.

My problem it is that 12 people is too small of a group to use statistics reasonably, with the intent of utilizing it to justify applying stigma. They were not talking about everyone there, they were not using a generalized report of the rally as a springboard.

They were talking about guns, and racial overtones in conjunction. That limits the scope of the discussion there to those 12 people.
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Quote from JackHandey View Post :
They were talking about guns, and racial overtones in conjunction. That limits the scope of the discussion there to those 12 people.
I heard nothing which indicated their comments were restricted to only the armed attendees wrt to racial overtones.

But I do know that when I wrote "attendees" I was not referring to the armed attendees.

If I had meant that, I would have written that.
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Quote from 124nic8 View Post :
I heard nothing which indicated their comments were restricted to only the armed attendees wrt to racial overtones.

But I do know that when I wrote "attendees" I was not referring to the armed attendees.

If I had meant that, I would have written that.
Their speculation was a continued discussion of them discussing the armed members, how they (MSNBC) perceived them as an imminent physical threat to the president, and that they were of the belief that it was motivated by racial overtones.

Please provide any reason to believe they were discussing it in a more generalized way, as I did not see them expand the conversation to apply to anyone other than those 12, or in reference to anyone that was not armed at other rallies.

I apologize for continuing this debate here, but it is an unfortunate side effect of having to provide an example.
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Quote from 124nic8 View Post :
Except you still do not understand what I said and I am at a loss to understand why.

I said the odds are that at least a few of the attendees were racist.

That means a few of the several hundreds attendees.

I already reinterated this at least once. I'm don't know why you continue to misconstrue what I wrote.

My statement was about statistics. You've presented nothing to dispute that statement.
And as I said several times..... the "odds" are that there were likely felons and gang members in the crowd waiting to see Obama. But if Fox news had raised that speculation, and used video of a white man wearing "gang" clothing, edited to hide his race, to illustrate their "point", you'd still be discussing Fox's dishonest bias, and Jack and I would be agreeing with you.
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the GOP, which will lose the Presidency, the Senate, and maybe even the House of Representatives. And then, Hillary Clinton will appoint the most liberal, lesbian, man-hating bitch of a Supreme Court Justice that you've ever seen, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. And why? Because the American Voter is smart, and Donald Trump is stupid........

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Quote from Elmer View Post :
and Jack and I would be agreeing with you.
I'm not so sure about this point. Stick Out Tongue
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