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Old 04-12-2009, 09:09 PM
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Default Forus rules - clarification?

Sorry - typo in the forum title.

The forum rules are clear on the banning of the subject of discussion of religion or politics. I personally enjoy such discussions but am happy to abide by the rules as this is supposed to be a light hearted entertainment forum. However, there are many political and religious threads which are cropping up all the time. Some members are blatantly evangelising the Christian faith, quoting swathes of the bible and disrespecting people with secular/humanist beliefs. The opposite also occurs with secularists ridiculing religious positions.

What is the actual site position on this? When threads with right wing titles start up, there's the usual phalanx of liberals to oppose, and then the thread is removed. Once and for all, can I participate in political and religious discussions on this site or not? Is it only ok if a right/left wing thread is posted but everyone agrees? Perhaps it's just when threads "turn nasty"? Threads have been removed and people have posted that they're relieved that the political threads have been deleted - the following day the same people are right back in there engaged in another political topic!

I'm seeing interesting discussions popping up that I would like to take part in, but it's been made clear to me by the moderators that this isn't allowed. What should I be doing? Having personally discussed this with a moderator, I'm uncomfortable just ignoring the rules (it seems rude) but why should everyone else have all the fun? :-)

Last edited by Scribbler : 04-12-2009 at 09:18 PM.
  #2  
Old 04-12-2009, 09:46 PM
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It's a difficult problem, all right. As a Moderator at another forum I find that which ever way one tries to dice it there will always be 'grey' area posts that might strictly cross a narrow definition of the rules, yet not be worthy of deletion. In the end it comes down to the interpretation of the rules by the Mod.

Personally, I'd rather not see religious/secular/atheistic/humanistic discussions take place here, because I have very strong views on the matter, and whenever I see someone slagging off at what I believe or misrepresent it, I get upset. I'm sure others would be upset if I posted about what I believe. I am part of a minority group that is daily exposed to what the majority accepts as the norm and the intolerance that goes with it, and I'd be happy to not have to be forced to endure it here just so I can read Star Trek posts.

Having said that, I don't think banning minor mentions of religion or politics as part of a different discussion is needful, e.g., if someone cheers about pirates being killed and another points out a differing moral position, and then the first describes a differing moral position, my personal feeling is that this is fair enough.

So this is my view, though some may disagree.
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Last edited by Bright Eyes : 04-12-2009 at 09:50 PM.
  #3  
Old 04-13-2009, 01:43 AM
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Just go with the flow, Scribbler. It really seems like you are asking the mods to crack down on the rule "bending" that occurs. I don't think that's very cool. If that is not your intention, why worry about it if you have never been warned or given "time off"??
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:05 AM
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IMO, I think it's about consistency and not asking the mods to "crack down."

The political threads were closed and deleted to comply with the Terms of Service. A couple of current threads have already involved significant discussion of religion vis a vis other topics. Under the "Controversial Topics" section of the Terms, these threads shouldn't be around.

Personally, I'm for talking about anything. But, the rules are the rules and Scribbler is well within his rights to ask for a clarification...especially if replying to one of the threads could earn him a warning or "time off."
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShirtWalking View Post
IMO, I think it's about consistency and not asking the mods to "crack down."

The political threads were closed and deleted to comply with the Terms of Service. A couple of current threads have already involved significant discussion of religion vis a vis other topics. Under the "Controversial Topics" section of the Terms, these threads shouldn't be around.

Personally, I'm for talking about anything. But, the rules are the rules and Scribbler is well within his rights to ask for a clarification...especially if replying to one of the threads could earn him a warning or "time off."

True enough, but we have seen enough tolerance from the mods to know when a thread is likely to be deleted. Even up to today, the mods seem more inclined to allow us to continue a discussion even if has turned political or religious as long as we are polite and not bashing individuals.

I too am for talking about anything. I don't see a problem with using the Off Topic area to have such discussions. If someone claims to come here solely for Trek discussions and is offended by some threads, how hard is it to avoid the Off Topic area? I mean do people stumble on stuff? I never have. Am I special? How hard is it to see a thread titled "take that Pirates" located in the off topic area and to realize, "gee, this isn't about Trek"?

At this point it IS CLEAR what the rules are. It is EQUALLY CLEAR that those rules have been bent enough to allow for some polite discussion regarding morality, religion, politics, etc. This thread, and the "clarification" it asks for, comes across as more likely an attempt at asking for a crack down or more strict adherence to the rules. That sounds like crying to me. No offense.
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Last edited by MrQ1701 : 04-13-2009 at 03:41 AM.
  #6  
Old 04-13-2009, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQ1701 View Post
True enough, but we have seen enough tolerance from the mods to know when a thread is likely to be deleted. Even up to today, the mods seem more inclined to allow us to continue a discussion even if has turned political or religious as long as we are polite and not bashing individuals.

I too am for talking about anything. I don't see a problem with using the Off Topic area to have such discussions. If someone claims to come here solely for Trek discussions and is offended by some threads, how hard is it to avoid the Off Topic area? I mean do people stumble on stuff? I never have. Am I special? How hard is it to see a thread titled "take that Pirates" located in the off topic area and to realize, "gee, this isn't about Trek"?
But being polite really has little to do with it.

The "Thanks for deleting the political threads" has already been locked and that thread was nothing but respectful. The TOS doesn't say anything about being polite, it just says that topics like those aren't allowed.

I totally get what you're saying, but there's got to be some consistency. If threads are going to be deleted because of the topic, then it's not fair to let other potentially controversial threads stand untouched. I get that some people don't like talking about politics, but there's probably many (if not more) who dislike the insertion of religion, too.

Take the "Iowa 250 years ahead of Trek" thread. I'm all for discussing why there hasn't been a gay character in Trek---even if I don't care that there hasn't been one. As soon as it became a religious/political/biblical debate, though, that thread became pretty polarizing. I'm stunned it's still there, honestly. There have been political threads deleted for less. That's all I'm sayin'.
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:28 AM
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I believe you'll find that both the threads you are talking about were going along fine until one particular member, bent on kicking up trouble, began posting. I find it to the Mods credit that they allow us to begin discussing whatever we like, but only step in when the less mature members decide that they are going to disrupt the conversation with insults, or highly partisan sloganeering... sometimes near the level of hate speech.

If you don't like a thread being shut down, then please, feel free to start one of your own. Since I was the guy who started both of the threads you mentioned, I feel I can say that the Mods are treating us all quite well. I certainly don't feel like they are picking on ME by eventually shutting down discusssions I have begun... so why the heck do you have such a problem with it?

Whenever you try to talk about REAL topics, passions run high. Because of that, you just have to expect some people (not going to mention any names) who seem to enjoy going in and taking a crap in the punchbowl, to deliberately torpedo any chat that's going merrily along. That's how they get their giggles. By being jerks.

That's just the way online is.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanWriter45 View Post
I believe you'll find that both the threads you are talking about were going along fine until one particular member, bent on kicking up trouble, began posting. I find it to the Mods credit that they allow us to begin discussing whatever we like, but only step in when the less mature members decide that they are going to disrupt the conversation with insults, or highly partisan sloganeering... sometimes near the level of hate speech.

If you don't like a thread being shut down, then please, feel free to start one of your own. Since I was the guy who started both of the threads you mentioned, I feel I can say that the Mods are treating us all quite well. I certainly don't feel like they are picking on ME by eventually shutting down discusssions I have begun... so why the heck do you have such a problem with it?

Whenever you try to talk about REAL topics, passions run high. Because of that, you just have to expect some people (not going to mention any names) who seem to enjoy going in and taking a crap in the punchbowl, to deliberately torpedo any chat that's going merrily along. That's how they get their giggles. By being jerks.

That's just the way online is.
Again, that's really not my point. It's not about what I like or dislike, because I personally don't have a problem with the topic. Again, I agree with you.

It's about consistency, or more succinctly, the lack thereof.

If the "Controversial Topics" paragraph of the TOS is what's going to be used to close down threads under the guise that the subject matter is too polarizing. Don't talk about politics, but the teachings of Jesus in the Bible are OK? That doesn't make any sense at all.

And, again, I can't stress this enough: I think that anything should be fair game for discussion in "Off Topic." I just want to see some consistency in the deletion practice or a change to the TOS.

I'm not attacking the Mods and I'm not being disrespectful. It's also not about having a problem with it. I'm asking a question with regards to consistency and fairness and I should be well within my rights (and the TOS) to do that.

They want us to play by the rules and I'm asking a question about the rules. That's all.
  #9  
Old 04-13-2009, 05:39 AM
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The deletion practice IS consistent. You just think it's subject based. It's not. It's based on when those threads turn nasty.

The one and only subject that I know gets removed out of hand are those dealing with graphic depictions of violence or sex and/or cursing... and those are removed only because there are kids on this site.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2009, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanWriter45 View Post
The deletion practice IS consistent. You just think it's subject based. It's not. It's based on when those threads turn nasty.

The one and only subject that I know gets removed out of hand are those dealing with graphic depictions of violence or sex and/or cursing... and those are removed only because there are kids on this site.
I'm sorry, FanWriter, but you're wrong. It IS subject based according to the Terms of Service and it was even quoted by the Mod in the "Thanks for removing the political threads" thread.

http://www.startrekmovie.com/forums/...6&postcount=28

The deletion practice is not consistent right now.
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