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Joe Chapline
12-14-2010, 08:52 PM
I hesitate to post this, because participation in the forum has been great, and I don't want to slow it down or cramp anyone's style. But, in the first days of the forum I chided members for very mild cursing, and I want to be consistent. It would make me happy if everyone refrains from cursing completely. Keep in mind that nothing posted here is private -- our intention and hope is that the forum will have a broad audience.

OneEighth
12-15-2010, 09:33 AM
You make an important point, Joe.
This is a public forum and can be accessed by anyone---including those who are vehemently opposed to cycling initiatives.
What we say and how we say it will go a long way to defining how the public perceives cyclists.
Having to defend against negative stereotyping is a distraction from the issues we want at the center of the debate---safety, access, sustainability, etc.
Keep it clean, keep it on point, keep it logical.

Chris Eatough
12-15-2010, 09:45 AM
Here is my take on this:
Lively discussion is welcomed on this forum, and it IS a place that people can state their opinions.
However, it should all be non offensive, in good taste, and with clean language.
If we all post as if our mothers, niece's and nephews are reading, then that should do the trick!

Joe Chapline
12-15-2010, 10:59 AM
Thank you for the feedback, gentlemen. I think we're in agreement. Going forward, I plan to just "bleep out" any curse words or crude language, without making a fuss about it. If anyone thinks I'm being too restrictive, feel free to speak up (politely).

Mykeru
01-04-2011, 11:15 AM
I agree, in principle, with the call for decorum. However, whereas I think "cursing" is pretty well defined, "offensive" isn't.

In fact, what's offensive is completely subjective.

Problem is, the people who get to ban anything offensive also tend to reserve the right to define what is offensive and from there, decide not to have discussions, but to simple remove subjects of discussion from the table by fiat.

I'll bet some of the things people think is pure apple pie and mother's milk I might find offensive. What if someone posts and mentions that they're gay and someone else finds that offensive due to their special relationship with Jesus? What if a third person is a homophobic anti-theist? Can he get double coupons on being offended?

Maybe we need a list of things that are "Potentially offensive but too bad for you, they get an exemption".

So, in that spirit, I would also call on people not to curse, not to be offensive and, more importantly, not to post anything stupid.

Mild stupidity is forgivable, in moderation, but please use your best judgement not to post anything that's actually head-banging stupid as a courtesy to other posters.

I hope, by dropping the hammer on stupidity, we can then have vigorous and fruitful discussions.

WillStewart
01-05-2011, 07:43 AM
Freedom of speech is a valuable right, though we have to recognize that each forum sets its own rules for behavior; if one doesn't like the rules at one forum, they are free to start one of their own.

I support the administrator's call for restraint from cursing and believe we can state our positions without being offensive. Nasty tones are not conducive to constructive conversation, the latter requiring modest thought and energy to maintain.

Thanks to Joe for investing his time and energy into this valuable collaborative communications environment.

Chris Eatough
01-05-2011, 08:43 AM
Also, we should remember that this forum has not had problems with crudeness or offensive language in the past with maybe just one very minor incident. It has not been a problem, and is not something we should be too worried about moving forward. Keep up the good discussion!

bkclmbkyk
01-05-2011, 12:44 PM
It can be a pain in something I guess I can't say to keep on top of it, but if you start early and enforce it, you'll end up with a cleaner, nicer forum in the long run, if a little less colorful than it might otherwise be. Good luck!

Mykeru
01-05-2011, 07:15 PM
Freedom of speech is a valuable right, though we have to recognize that each forum sets its own rules for behavior; if one doesn't like the rules at one forum, they are free to start one of their own.

I support the administrator's call for restraint from cursing and believe we can state our positions without being offensive. Nasty tones are not conducive to constructive conversation, the latter requiring modest thought and energy to maintain.

Thanks to Joe for investing his time and energy into this valuable collaborative communications environment.

I don't slight Joe for his investment of time.

I'm simply pointing out, from personal experience -- including running and administering forums -- that sweeping talk about "offensiveness" is inherently ambiguous, tend to stifle discussion and, perhaps most importantly, is almost never equitably enforced.

Short version: That kind of caveat never ends well.

And what's a "nasty tone"? Because, and I'm not being facetious here, I read your tone as somewhat nasty.

Mykeru
01-05-2011, 07:25 PM
It can be a pain in something I guess I can't say to keep on top of it, but if you start early and enforce it, you'll end up with a cleaner, nicer forum in the long run, if a little less colorful than it might otherwise be. Good luck!

No, what you end up with, after "offensiveness" expands to include things those with power to define it disagree with, is an echo chamber.

Look, my point is this: It's easy to casually decide you are going to drop the ban hammer on "offensive" speech. Thinking how that cashes in in the real world takes a little more work. Fairly enforcing even unambiguous standards is, sadly, beyond most people's capability.

This is why the First Amendment of the Constitution has always been interpreted to protect offensive speech, not obscene speech lacking social, artistic or empirical value, but offensive speech. Because protecting speech that doesn't include things you find disagreeable, contentious, even repugnant, is hardly free.

And yes, those who are hovering over their send button to opine some "love it or leave it, make your own forum" observation, let me counter your polemics with with this: Why not move to to some Saudi or North Korean forum, where they serve their heavy-handed tyranny without the sugar coating of hypocrisy?

Mark Blacknell
01-05-2011, 08:09 PM
Dude. Mykeru. Invoking a misplaced First Amendment defense and North Korea in the first half dozen posts here? Not encouraging. Just chill and check out the environment before going wild on it, yeah?

Mykeru
01-06-2011, 03:00 AM
Dude. Mykeru. Invoking a misplaced First Amendment defense and North Korea in the first half dozen posts here? Not encouraging. Just chill and check out the environment before going wild on it, yeah?

1. How many posts do I have to have here before I'm entitled to an opinion and can construct and argument to express it?

2. What should those posts looks like? Should I just agree with everyone, or can I fill space by reprinting my shopping list?

3. Although it's my "first dozen posts here", can I transfer some credits for it being my god-knows-how-many-posts, including Pine and Usenet, since 1994?

consularrider
01-06-2011, 08:18 AM
I will do like do on other forums and just ignore the threads that start getting argumentative or full of trolls. Maybe we can get an option to hide threads we have no interest in, or maybe that option is already here and I just don't know where to look?

CCrew
01-06-2011, 09:32 AM
I will do like do on other forums and just ignore the threads that start getting argumentative or full of trolls. Maybe we can get an option to hide threads we have no interest in, or maybe that option is already here and I just don't know where to look?

consularrider, under settings/forum settings/edit ignore list on the top right.

consularrider
01-06-2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the info. I generally don't want to totally ignore a user since even the worst troll may occasionally have some good insight. It just seems to me that sometimes threads get too off track, so I guess I just have to remember them, and not open new messages.