Forum Rules

List


Forum RuleRank
Be Respectful Towards Other Members
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No rude or vulgar attacks against specific members or a group of members in the community. No attacks of a personal nature outside the scope of the forums (such as age, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, etc...).
No Personal Attacks Against Other Members
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No Sexist Comments Against Other Members
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No Stalking or Harassing Other Members in the Forums
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Three things must occur for someone to be guilty of stalking or harassing someone in our forums. First, there must be a pattern of repeated instances of someone replying to many of your posts. Second, the offending posts must be of "further from community standards" than the ones you have made. Finally, you must not be guilty of harassing someone back & making things a lot worse. What we mean by the second requirement is that if someone posts some extreme stuff or is engaged in some charged rhetoric that is close to breaking some of our forum rules and another person consistently replies to all the posts but in a polite manner, we would not consider it harassment. But if your posts are generally positive or neutral and someone consistently replies to them in a negative tone we would consider that harassment or stalking.
Respect Liberal People, Groups & Ideas
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Constructive criticism or debate is okay. Name-calling or blanket generalizations against liberals is not. No communism, fascism, nazi references.
General Insults Against Liberals or Progressives as a Group is Not Allowed
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This is referring to liberals or progressives in a negative way or using negative terms such as "libtards" or "dummycrats" or saying "they are just a bunch of liberals" or something like that.
Negative Nicknames or Terms Against Liberals are not Allowed
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No "Communist", "Fascist" or "Nazi" References Against Liberals or Independents
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"Socialist" Used in a Negative Connotation Against liberals is not Allowed
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No Blanket or Dismissive Criticism of Mainstream Liberal Ideas
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You cannot be dismissive towards ideas supported by a majority of liberals and considered mainstream. This includes flippant remarks, "saying someone doesn't know what they are talking about", "liberals just don't understand how XYZ works", etc... You must make a polite argument against an idea considered mainstream by a majority of liberals.
Fact-checking Liberal Ideas Must be Credible & Respectful
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Liberals sometimes get their facts wrong on conservatives. So it's okay for members to call out something false said about conservatives. As we don't need to lie to get popular support for our ideas. But you must do so respectfully & show a credible reference that debunks the lie. Stick to the methodology, language & tone that a fact checking researcher would use and not a conservative partisan just looking to attack liberals. You also must stay within the bounds of fact checking websites as often it may not be clear cut if something is a lie or not. As an example, if someone says something partially wrong about conservatives you cannot call their entire statement wrong. You must clarify what specifically you believe is wrong.
No Blanket Criticism of Credible Independent or Liberal Media Outlets in Lieu of an Argument
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Conservatives sometimes ignore a detailed debunking of their point by just dismissing the source as being non credible in lieu of actually making an argument. Specific valid criticisms of sources is okay as every media outlet makes mistakes from time to time. But general dismissive criticism such as saying "Media Matters! Ha. You can't trust them." is against the rules. Intellectual & fact-based discussions on credibility & bias of liberal & independent sources is okay. Vague or dismissive references to "liberal media bias" especially when making arguments is not allowed.
No Questioning Sources or Evidence Supporting Liberal Ideas in Lieu of an Argument
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In arguing against liberal ideas presented in the forums, you cannot claim that they don't have enough or adequate data or sources to back it up in lieu of an argument. This is a "burden of proof" fallacy. You must instead counter with your own research & arguments and if you do question their sources or evidence you must provide your own sources or evidence against.
No Lies or Misinformation About Democrats or Liberal People, Groups or Ideas
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Make sure you get your facts straight before posting something negative against any liberal or Democratic politician in good standing (supported by the DNC). This applies for political criticism from both the right and the left. So be careful to be truthful in debating candidates in Democratic primaries. Even if you are just sharing information one Democrat is falsely accusing another of your post can be flagged.
No Indirect References to Lies About Liberals
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No jokes, subtle references, insinuations or nicknames about liberals that refer to or appear to endorse a lie. These can be perfectly innocent or innocuous sounding statements on their own but in a negative context would be flagged. Such as, "At least I was born in the United States" or an even more subtle "Is Obama doing anything special for Ramadan?" It all depends on the context and veiled intentions of the poster. So if Obama is hosting an event at the White House for Ramadan as is standard for all Presidents and the question was posed in this context it is fine. But in another context where the question implies that Obama is a Muslim and is personally doing something special for Ramadan then that is not allowed.
Promotion of Manufactured Scandals or Phony Outrage Against Liberals is not Allowed
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Conservative media likes to manufacture & promote fake scandals for propaganda reasons. Or blow something minor way out of proportion. They will constantly make references to these manufactured "scandals" repeatedly over and over until their base believes it. So making a reference to a scandal which has been debunked or inferring something minor is worse than it is is not allowed.
Conservative Viewpoints are Held to a Higher Standard of Conduct
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Politics is a difficult subject to moderate. We believe the Republican party & the U.S. conservative movement has moved way far to the right over the years and is no longer ground in reality. So viewpoints & ideas from the right are allowed only if they are ground in reality and do not demagogue. Political beliefs are complicated & even some of our most liberal members may have conservative views or play "devil's advocate" on an issue or two. As long as you do not delve into right-wing extremism and are polite, conservative viewpoints are welcome. Right-wing & extremist viewpoints are not.
Arguments Supporting Conservative Ideas Must be Rational & Ground in Reality
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When supporting a conservative viewpoint in a discussion, you cannot make poor or illogical arguments. There are also certain arguments that are not allowed to be made in our forum because the data, science, reasoning, math, etc... overwhelmingly favors the liberal side but conservatives ignore it for political reasons. Such as believing that being gay is a choice, that climate change is not occurring or that lowering taxes at current tax rates will actually increase government revenue.
Repeating Generic Conservative Talking Points in Lieu of an Argument is not Allowed
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Intellectual conservative viewpoints are allowed. If you are merely parroting things heard from conservatives in the media then we are assuming you are more interested in spreading Republican propaganda than having a real discussion.
No Extremism0
No promotion of hate groups or conspiracy theories. No use of bigoted, racist or hateful language (unless in certain cases to expose such use by others). No extremism directed at specific people or groups. No hoping for death or physical harm towards any person (exceptions for violent criminals, etc) or "cheering" if anything bad happens. This counts equally for both the left or the right.
No Bigotry, Demeaning Language or Extremist Beliefs Against a Group of People0
Bigotry is exhibiting intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs or genetics. The key area of focus & debate in our forums will be the "irrationality" part. It is perfectly fine to express intolerance & animosity towards the Westboro Baptist Church because of their extremism & bigotry towards others such as gays. But it would not be okay to attack Baptists in general.
No Anti-Gay or LGBT Bigotry, Demeaning Language or Extremist Beliefs
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No Belief that Gay People go to Hell
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This one is pretty simple. If you believe that gay people go to hell your account will be banned for bigotry towards gay people. It's pretty mean to think that a group of people will burn for all of eternity just because of how they were born. The one way they try to justify it is by promoting widely debunked research claiming being gay is a choice.
No Bigotry or Demeaning Language Towards One's Personal Characteristics
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Racism is not Tolerated in the Forums
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Religious Beliefs Should be Respected
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Avoid bigoted language or stereotyping religious beliefs. Debating religion is not a subject we want to be overly controlling on. But debates must be intellectual & respectful & avoid harsh & negative language. However, we do not support the promotion of religious beliefs that favor or marginalize a group of people based on their genetics. So expressing the belief that non Christians will go to hell is okay. Believing that gay people will go to hell is not. Or believing that your religion favors one race over another. Any criticism of any religious belief based on facts, reasoning & logic is okay but demagoguery against religious beliefs is not allowed. No negative stereotyping or generalizing individuals of a particular faith based on specific actions or beliefs from authoritative sources, people, groups or entities of that faith. Such as it's okay to say negative things about the Catholic Church in regards to their policy on contraception or their cover-up of child abuse. It is not okay to make a negative generalization against all Catholics. Or, it is okay to say negative things about Israel or Zionism but not okay to make a negative generalization about all Jewish people. Same thing applies to Islam, Atheism or any religious belief.
Show Tolerance Towards Non-Believers & Atheism
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This applies to anyone showing doubt towards the existing of god. You cannot make negative generalizations against Atheists based on the actions of a few. Such as you cannot criticize Atheism in general for policies of Communist countries or any specific Atheist group. It is okay to criticize specific people or groups that say or do extreme things in the name of Atheism -- just don't make negative generalizations towards all Atheists or non-believers.
Show Tolerance Towards Christians & Christianity
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Since Christianity is by far the dominant religion in the United States, the debate is a lot different than with minority religions. The right likes to play the "Christian card" to stir up their base by pretending that liberals are "attacking" Christianity. So saying that liberals hate Christianity or that they are waging a "War on Christmas" or playing the "Christian Card" is not allowed. You cannot make negative false generalizations against all Christians based on the actions of a few. Such as you cannot make negative generalizations against Christianity in general for policies or beliefs of specific Christian people or organizations. It is okay to criticize specific people or groups that say or do extreme things in the name of their religion -- just don't make negative generalizations towards all people of that religion. Such as you can't say that Mormons hate gay people. But it is okay to say negative things about the Mormon church if they are promoting anti-gay viewpoints. The former is criticizing individual people in generalized terms (some of whom may personally disagree with their Church) while the latter is criticizing an institution. Another common example of violating this rule would be making blanket generalizations that conservatives or liberals are not "true Christians". However, you can say that someone is not a "true christian" for supporting abortion or being against helping the poor.
Show Tolerance Towards Jews & Judaism
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This applies to religious beliefs. You cannot make negative generalizations against all Jews based on the actions of a few. Such as you cannot make negative generalizations against Judaism in general for policies of Israel or any Jewish organization. It is okay to criticize specific people or groups that say or do extreme things in the name of their religion -- just don't make negative generalizations towards all people of that religion.
Show Tolerance Towards Muslims & Islam
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This applies to religious beliefs. You cannot make negative generalizations against all Muslims based on the actions of a few. Such as you cannot make negative generalizations against Islam in general for policies of specific Islamic countries or any Islamic organization. It is okay to criticize specific people or groups that say or do extreme things in the name of their religion -- just don't make negative generalizations towards all people of that religion.
Promotion of Conspiracy Theories is not Allowed
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No promotion of conspiracy theories from the left or the right. This includes Obama birth certificate, 9/11 Truthers, New World Order, JFK, etc. If it's listed in Wikipedia as a conspiracy theory then we consider it a conspiracy theory.
No Promotion of Hate Groups
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No Promotion of Pseudoscience or Widely Discredited Science
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Fear Mongering or Promoting discredited science is not allowed. Spreading misinformation against proven, peer reviewed science is not allowed such as claiming that vaccinations cause Autism and are bad for you. Or promoting false data on fluoridation of water supplies.
Arguments Against Global Warming Must be Factual & Based on Credible Science
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We'll allow debate on Global Warming despite the fact that the science community has a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. We'll let the community argue it. However, we will not allow any generally dismissive comments against climate change or climate change scientists. You cannot ignore science when on our forums just because you are subjected to lots of anti-science demagoguery.
References to Nazis or Hitler to Criticize Anyone is not Allowed
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No references to Hitler or Nazis against any person or group unless they actually have Nazi sympathies such as white supremacist groups. If you have to resort to comparing someone to the killing of millions of innocent people then you've already lost the argument.
Respect the Community Experience0
Do not do things that diminish the community experience of our members. This includes trolling, spamming, purposely being disruptive or anything that may be bothersome or annoying to a large number of our members. Use common sense here.
Do Not Abuse the Private Messaging System
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Do Not Add the Same Post More Than Once
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No Disrupting or Abusing the Moderation System
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No Excessive Use of Profanity
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We have no problem with the word fuck or profanity in general. But when it is overused, it distracts & can diminish the community experience. Use it in moderation & never in personal attacks against other members.
Avoid Engaging Members Being Disruptive
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If a member engages in disruptive behavior, please avoid the temptation to respond in the forums as that harms the real and active discussions. It is better to just flag the post for moderators to remove. In the spirit of promoting good discussions, moderators may remove posts that go off topic trying to counteract disruptive behavior. There is no penalty for this -- the purpose is solely to remove the disruption from meaningful discussions.
Stay on Topic -- No "Hijacking" Threads
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No Mimicing Other Members' Display Names or Profiles
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No Posting Under Multiple Different Accounts
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Disruptive Behavior or "Trolling" is not Allowed
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Respect
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No spamming the website. There is obvious spam (promoting stuff unrelated to politics) and not so obvious spam (promoting stuff related to politics). If there is a topic that you have written on before, you may of course share links to your blog that are related to the discussion. However, if your link is not related and it is clear you are just replying in the post to promote a website or blog, then the post will be flagged.
No Harming Democratic Party Candidates Chances of Winning General Elections0
This rule deals with the realities of a political forum in a country with primarily a two-party system. If we did not have this rule, opponents of liberal to moderate ideas would use our forums to promote 3rd party or fringe candidates in general elections as a means to create wedge issues & help win elections. Which would distract from the focus on politics & ideas and adversely affect the community experience. So it is okay to argue that the Democratic party or Democratic candidates should adopt a position of the Green, Libertarian or even Republican party on an issue. But not to advocate for or against specific candidates in a general election.
No Advocating for 3rd Party Candidates over Democrats0
This rule deals with the realities of a political forum in a country with primarily a two-party system. If we did not have this rule, opponents of liberal to moderate ideas would use our forums to promote 3rd party or fringe candidates in general elections as a means to create wedge issues & help win elections. So it is okay to argue that the Democratic party or Democratic candidates should adopt a position of the Green, Libertarian or even Republican party on an issue. But not to advocate for or against specific candidates.
No Advocating for the Libertarian Party or for Libertarian Candidates over Democrats0
Many liberals are sympathetic to the Libertarian party based on their positions on foreign policy & some social issues. However, there are many positions most liberals would also strongly disagree with. It is okay to intelligently promote & debate Libertarian ideas in the forums. Or wish that Democrats or the Democratic Party would be more like the Libertarian party in some ways. You can be a registered Libertarian and participate in discussions of Libertarian ideas. You just cannot advocate for the Libertarian party or a libertarian candidate over a Democratic one. It is, however, okay to advocate for a Libertarian candidate over a Republican such as if no Democrat is in the race or you are convincing or arguing for conservatives to vote Libertarian instead of Republican.
No Advocating for the GOP or for Republican Candidates over Democrats0
No Efforts to Reduce Turnout for Democratic Candidates0
It is not okay to directly or indirectly encourage others not to vote or promote anything that might reduce turnout for Democratic candidates. Some liberals may believe that "boycotting" an election or not voting for a Democrat out of protest will help get more & better liberal laws passed. We disagree with that and this rule reflects that. It's perfectly fine to criticize Democrats but do not advocate for people to not vote just because you are not happy with them. Also note that many conservatives intending to be disruptive will purposely exploit criticisms the liberal base has for Democrats in order to discourage & reduce turnout. With posts like "Why should I vote? Democrat A is just like Republican B" etc... etc... If you are unhappy with the current Democrat running in a general election, you are welcome to promote efforts to elect "better" Democrats in the future or promoting the Democratic Party taking positions on issues that you feel strongly on. It is okay to state that you personally are not going to vote or plan to vote for a non Democrat as long as it is done in a way that does not directly or indirectly discourage others from voting for a Democrat.
Do Not Violate Civil Laws
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The main two things to watch out for are copyright law and defamation. Do not post entire articles in our forums as the author owns the work and it is copyright violation. Post no more than 2-3 paragraphs and include a link to the article you wish to cite or discuss instead. Also, be aware that you could be liable for what you write on the Internet and be the target of defamation lawsuits. So avoid non credible or unfounded attacks or harassment of people, businesses or groups.
Do Not Post Copyrighted Material
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When you are posting something that someone else wrote, you must adhere to copyright laws. So do not copy more than two paragraphs of an article AND be sure to include a link to the article in the post. This way, people can simply click on the article and read it from its source. If you add more than two paragraphs or fail to include a link to the source the post will be removed. Repeated violations could result in your account being closed.
Do Not Defame Anyone
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Do Not Promote or Engage in Illegal Activity
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This is obvious. No threats of violence against other members or public figures. No harassment of other members. No promotion or endorsement of illegal activities. No attempts to harm the website.