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Serious Discussion Intelligent Debate and Discussion of Important Life Topics.

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Old 02-06-2009
 
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BlizzForums Neo
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Default Serious Discussion Guidelines v4.2

Serious Discussion (SD) holds slightly different rules to other forums on this board. SD is more tightly moderated in terms of how you post, and we ask that you respect these stricter rules in order to keep this forum as intellectual as possible. Repeated failure to respect these rules will result in disciplinary action. Remember that BlizzForums is not a democracy. You do not have a total right to say or do what you please. If you don't want to abide by these rules, don't post.
  • Be civil and respectful of others
    This may sound basic, but you'll be surprised how often this rule is ignored. We understand that debates can get rather heated, especially in controversial topics. Nevertheless, you must maintain some degree of civility in your posts. No matter what you think of someone's thoughts, they are just as entitled to express them as you. Try and understand that just because someone is saying something, does not mean that your own opinions and beliefs are going to be absorbed and lost forever.

    Following on from this, flaming is unnacceptable. Heated debate is one thing, but outright flaming of someone is something else entirely. If you have issues with the way someone is posting, take it to one of the forum moderators. Do not flame them back because this just makes the situation degenerate even further. If you are trying to make someone see sense in a different ideology, you aren't going to succeed by insulting them. Threads that degenerate into insult-fests will be closed and the offending parties will be dealt with by staff.

    Racist and other bigoted posts are also not tolerated. Full stop. Even if you hold the most extreme views as to immigration restriction or racial segregation, never use abusive or derogatory language based on racism or similar bigotry. Keep your offensive thoughts to yourself. There is a large spectrum of races, religions and nationalities represented on these boards and we want all users to feel welcome here. We are not trying to censor you or force you to change your beliefs, but we expect you to keep a degree of good manners and politeness. You would likely not use such offensive terms in the street, so don't use the relative anonymity of the internet to try the same thing here.

    New members, (newbies, noobs, n00bs) are welcome to present their opinions and thoughts in SD, and I ask that more senior members of the forums accommodate them a little more and give them some leeway. We want to encourage the growth of SD, not make it a secluded area for some kind of elite minority. We were all new once.

    Swearing is generally tolerated, but there are limits. A post with every second word as a swear-word is generally over the top, but also makes you look less intelligent. Endeavour to endow yourself and your posts with as eloquent and varied a vocabulary as you possibly can. It might even make you look smarter.
  • Post properly
    The basic rules about posting in other forums apply here. Do not spam, do not double post and do not post offensive or inappropriate images. Also, do not bump threads for the sake of it. If people want to post, they will post. If they don't want to post, they won't. All such posts will be deleted or merged appropriately, and repeated offenses will result in a temporary ban from either this forum or all of BlizzForums.

    When posting outside material such as images or articles, think objectively about what you believe other users may think about what you are posting. If it is offensive or unpleasant, make a link and give a visible warning that there is questionable content beyond. That said, pornographic, gory or violent images with no context in the debate are not acceptable. We'd like to keep this board as clean as possible for younger users.
  • Make worthwhile posts
    Following on from the above, there are some further rules particular to Serious Discussion. What is and what is not a 'worthwhile' post may be debateable, but there are some basic rules. When you post in this forum, it is expected that you are going to contribute to an intellectual discussion. Posting spam or useless posts such as 'Yeah', 'I agree' or 'Hi there!' is not acceptable, and such posts will be deleted.

    If you have an opinion, back it up with a reason. You are not contributing anything if you just say something like 'I think X is a bad President or I think Y is a good Prime Minister'. People don't care as much about what you think as to why you think.

    Jokes and humour can add to the flavour of the forum, but making posts that solely consist of a joke or pointless ridicule doesn't add anything. Have a laugh with others, but try and make useful additions to the discussion as well. This forum is not a dour and boring debate arena, but for lively and interesting discussions.

    Useless one-liner type posts and totally off-topic posts will be deleted by the Moderators. If you have nothing to contribute, then don't post.
  • Keep a reasonable standard of spelling and grammar
    The idea of this forum is not to rattle of a post as quickly as possible, so avoid using SMS/1337 abbreviations like 'ur', 'ppl' and similar. Like overusing swearing, this will make you look less intelligent and may also result in many people simply ignoring your post. Also, try and spell as accurately as possible. Obviously nobody is a perfect speller all the time and many users may not be native speakers of English but if your post is spelled so badly that it becomes difficult to read, then you have another recipe for an ignored post.

    That said, don't attack people for making the odd spelling mistake. There is a big difference between complaining about a barely legible post and complaining about a single typo. You should also be aware that some users on this board use Commonwealth English spellings, which are different to American spellings. Remember that not everyone may have been taught the same style of English as you have.
  • Do not post long articles with nothing else in the post
    When starting a thread, provide some material and opinions for discussion. Nobody wants to read through a huge news article and simply find you saying 'Discuss' at the end of the post. Post a link to the article and then post your own thoughts on the issue. Threads that actually have some original content provided by the creator tend to go a lot better than threads that just have a copy-paste article.
  • Do not revive old threads
    This rule can be highly variable as to what is an old thread and when you can revive them. As a rule of thumb, a dead thread is anything older than about two or three weeks with no new posts. The first and second pages will generally contain all of the day's active threads, and anything much older than this will simply be left alone.

    However, there are some circumstances that moderators will accept if you revive a thread. Generally, if the thread is inactive but not extremely out of date and you have something to add to the debate, you may post and revive the thread. This is generally only acceptable within about a month or so of the thread being posted, but even this may annoy some people.

    Anything older than a month, even if you have new information to add, should not be revived. Make a new thread and use that to have your discussion.
  • Avoid making redundant threads
    When you make a new thread, it is a good idea to check the other recent threads to make sure that the topic you are posting about is not already active in another thread. Duplicated threads will be closed. This rule can often be confusing when taken with the above rule, but it is easy enough to learn once you have been actively posting long enough.
  • Moderators make the call
    This is the case in other forums, but here it is again. When a post has been deleted, a thread closed or a user banned, do not post about it in the forums. The Moderator/Senior Moderator/Admin makes the final judgment on what should be closed or deleted.

    If you have an issue with an action taken by a Moderator, then PM either a Senior Moderator or an Admin and the issue shall be discussed and dealt with appropriately. All complaints about a member of staff should be taken up with an Administrator or Senior Moderator. Never argue nor make complaints about a Moderator in the public forum.

    Remember that the Moderators of this forum have been chosen because they know their way around Serious Discussion and have contributed well in the past, so they do have experience and knowledge of how SD operates.

These rules are simple enough to follow and you will have no serious problems if you keep within them. A number of them allow some leniency and it may fall upon a Moderator's discretion as to how to enforce them in certain situations. Also be aware that this list may have rules added to it if we need to cover something not already mentioned above. If you have any questions, please direct them to myself or one of the Serious Discussion Moderators.

Enjoy posting in SD

Originally posted by Gorbet on 03-08-2006, tweaked and updated on 02-06-2009
 
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Old 02-06-2009
 
#2
BlizzForums Neo
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Default Re: Serious Discussion Guidelines v4.2

The following post was written by Cronoss during an even earlier incarnation of Blizzforums and Serious Discussion. Even so it still remains relevant to this day and properly captures what SD is all about.
SERIOUS DISCUSSION GUIDELINES v2.0
By Cronoss

Welcome to the second version of the ever-important but rarely-regarded Serious Discussion Guidelines. This Guideline was created by Yours Truly with the help of other Serious Discussion (SD) posters with the aim of providing new users with SD's historical background, guidelines, and posting suggestions.

The Serious Discussion forum was originally created on the old Legacy HeadQuarters forums several years ago in the interest of creating a space where posters wishing to have a more serious, educated, and - for lack of a better word - profound discussion could habituate without facing the mountain of less-than-qualitative and more-than-quantitative posting generally regarded as "unintelligent", "uncontributive" or "not-up-to-par" which permeates most forum discussion.

As such, the Serious Discussion forum was created with specific interest in serious, mostly non-gaming and non-Blizzard related content ranging from religion to current affairs.

The SD forum you see before you today is the probably the third or fourth resurrection of the same idea: a haven free of spam and heavily moderated — the ideal place for "serious discussion" to take place. The SD forum may seem overwhelming - it is the most strictly moderated forum on the boards and the conversation here is the hardest to follow - so it is a good idea to read, not write, for the first while if you are new to this corner of Bforums. In an ideal conception, anyone can post in SD so long as they express themselves with civility, articulate their opinions, and provide some backdrop, fact, or elaboration in support of their arguments. Simply stating something with no synthesis or method/line of thinking will result in SD's equivalent of flaming, or moderation. Use of good grammar and "conventional English" is highly encouraged, as is a general awareness of the argument at hand. Sticking your head out with no real idea of what's outside may result in some bad consequences. Conservative posting is encouraged as well.

Eventually the SD regulars and institutions may get to know you and respect your opinion, provided you heed what is said above and present yourself with grace and humility. With time, the strict atmosphere of SD will become a place of liberation, where you can express your ideas and opinions on issues that matter. Better, you'll get feedback from peers - often not the case in most real-life social situations. Remember, however, that "always agreeing" with the popular opinion won't win you any battles or reputation, especially if you can't contribute anything worthwhile.

Finally, the POINT of the Serious Discussion forum warrants mention. You may find that in SD no one seems to change their opinion. SD is not here to convert people from one belief to another - it is about the sharing of knowledge and PERSPECTIVE in a free environment. SD posters are from all walks of life, areas of the world, believe in different religions and hold different mindsets. It is through the constructive exposition of each other's opinions, ideas, and thoughts that we can perspective. Even if this exercise doesn't change our perspective, it should at base enlighten and inform us about what other members or our race — the human race — feel and think. The "point" of SD thus has something to do with breaking down walls of ignorance, uninformed thinking, and closed-mindedness. It is about seeing the whole picture and learning more about your fellow man, here, on the same planet.

So, relax, think before you post, and be yourself.

Cronoss

 
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Old 02-06-2009
 
#3
BlizzForums Neo
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Default Re: Serious Discussion Guidelines v4.2

Introductory for Serious Discussion v4.2

I know what you're all thinking. He must be daft right? Another version of SD rules and guidelines? Who reads those anyway? Well ideally if you wish to participate in SD then you'd better have read the previous couple of posts!

A general reminder and repeat of what's mentioned above that failure to adhere to the rules we've set forward for Serious Discussion will result in your removal from this section. Also realize that if your actions are extreme enough you may end up taking a break from the community at large.

So what is Serious Discussion? Well that's pretty easy to answer (read the posts above this one)... However the short answer is that it's a place to discuss topics of interest in a serious manner. We assume that everyone who participates in Serious Discussion has the mental maturity to post. Basically that just means we don't care how old you are, you're equally welcome to post here so long as you keep things civil.

Because of the recent degradation of Serious Discussion I'm going to deviate slightly from my professional facade and lay down some ground rules. We all know that Serious Discussion needs help. There has been no one moderating this section to any serious or consistent degree for ages. As such we're enacting a couple of temporary consequences to the following actions:

No flaming, period. This is a zero-tolerance rule because of the disorder that currently pervades Serious Discussion. "Flaming" includes everything from insults, innuendos, hints, insinuations or personal attacks of any kind. Regardless of "who started it" or why you think it's ok, it's not. Ad hominem attacks, debating styles, whatever, stops now. It won't be tolerated any longer. If you start typing anything about another person that is not directly related to the topic or their argument, then just down post it.

For the record if you post like that anyway, disregarding my warnings, then your post will be removed. I don't care if it's dissertation-length and quality. On top of that you'll be given one warning. After that point the punishments will get more severe up to being removed from SD indefinitely.
Note: If you ignore these guidelines and post inappropriately no exceptions will be made, the offending post will simply be deleted. Depending on the severity you may also be restricted from SD for three days. Please be away that there won't be a multitude of "warnings" given. Everyone gets one, maybe two if I'm in a good mood. Otherwise things will be strict until the level of maturity and intelligence in SD is brought back to where it should be.

For extremely severe posts and asshatery I will remove you from SD for a week or two. For the record, these punishments are separate from the infractions system -- that is I may give you a 1pt infraction for breaking a specific rule in a forum, but that doesn't mean I have to do that nine more times to restrict you or ban you from the section.
So as to not seem completely evil and crazy drunk with power I just wanted to mention a couple things about post quality. I've noticed here and there people posting one-liners or images, or just links. Please note that that is not appropriate for this section. One-liners are only tolerated if they are extremely poignant, otherwise please don't spam the section with these type of posts. Please also be aware that if you're going to post here you might run your post through a spell checker before submitting it; while we aren't grammar nazis around here, if you can't take the time to proofread your post then we should we take the time to read it? Occasional typos are fine, but constant abbreviations, all lower case, abstaining from using punctuation is just not cool.

Just thought I'd add a personal touch to the thread since things are changing and I wanted people to know I'm serious about my dedication 'round here. Folks, look, you're not children but frankly some of you are beginning to act as such. All I ask is that you keep things civil -- that right there is one of my biggest wishes for Serious Discussion -- so we can hold some discussions worthy of the SD of old.

Again, to reiterate things: The trolling stops now. I won't tolerate it. From this point on if I even think your trolling, then it stops. If you're going to cry foul over this type of moderation, try to keep in mind that SD has had zero moderation for almost 4 months now. There'll be no appeals, no exceptions, and no justifications.

If you have questions, comments, or complaints please don't hesitate to contact me. Please note that public discussion of moderation will not be tolerated. Take it to PMs and we can discuss it. Otherwise as a staff member, I have the final say, period.

I'll also be looking for candidates for moderators of the "new" Serious Discussion. If you're interested in the position please contact me and let me know why you're insane enough to devote time to this place.

-Nick "Neo", you're friendly moogle staffer.

 
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Old 02-06-2009
 
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Default Re: Serious Discussion Guidelines v4.2

Additional Bump + Note: These rules are in affect from this point (2/6/09) forward. I won't retroactively clean-up the current discussion threads, but I wont tolerate any further trolling or other immature posting in those threads.

With your help we can clean up Serious Discussion and make a section that people actually enjoy being a part of.
 
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