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Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:08 pm UTC
by Belial
With the specific nature of this forum, it's necessary that it be given its own particular rules:

Rule 1 - This Forum is Serious Business

It is for the purpose of thought provoking and serious discussion of issues and concepts. If we decide your topic is not in keeping with the spirit of this forum, it will be locked, deleted or moved to General discussion.

Rule 2 - Staying on topic is Serious Business

We generally take a pretty lax stance toward off-topic posts on the rest of the forum. The Serious Business forums are not the place for that. Off-topic posts will be deleted with extreme prejudice.

Rule 3 - Civility and Politeness are Serious Business

This is true of the entire Fora, but it bears restating here. Ideally, these forums will play host to a lot of discussions that can get people pretty fired up. We all have strong opinions about something or another, and it's easy to get over-excited when our beliefs are challenged.

That said, we're all friends here. We're here to discuss a topic, not to attack or browbeat each other. No matter what, try to keep things civil. If you don't think you can do that, don't post.

Flames, personal attacks, and general hostility will not be tolerated. Violators will be warned. If it's not reigned in, the Mod Team has the ability to ban users from specific forums. Specific bans from Serious Business may be dealt out for consistently poor behavior.

Rule 4 - Duplicating threads is NOT Serious Business

Before you post a new topic, check to see if the issue has already been discussed. If so, bump the old thread rather than starting a new one. It's only polite.

Rule 5 - Thread Titles are (somewhat) Serious Business

Thread titles should not contain *any* noticeable bias. They should also be descriptive and, hopefully, brief.

Rule 6 - The Report Post Button is your friend.

Please use the Report Post Button early and often to report problematic content (see above for what is considered "problematic").

Rule 7 - Moderation is Serious Business

Belial wrote:Ideally, the only response you should have to a moderator decision in Serious Business is a question of how best to follow it. For example, if they tell you to jump, you should, perhaps, request clarification as to the height of said jump.

However, if you find you want to argue:

First, don't.

Second, If you absolutely must, PM. If you think the mod in question is being unreasonable, PM another moderator. If all else fails, sit back and accept the ruling.

However, DO NOT turn the thread into an argument about a moderator ruling. The mods are trying to keep these threads on topic, and civil, and your argument with their rulings is definitely not the first, and may very well fail to be the second as well. It does not belong, and it *will* be deleted.

Red and Purple text came from a Moderator wearing their Moderator Hat. Do not edit or disrespect a Moderator when they're wearing their Moderator Hat. It should be noted that neither Red nor Purple text indicates anger. It's just a color.

Rule 8 - As Above, so Below

All other rules of the XKCD Fora apply here as well.

Rule 9 - Reading Threads is Serious Business

Knowing what is currently happening in a thread is the most basic of courtesies. Before posting, be sure that you're read the entirety of a thread. In the case where that is significantly long (5 pages or more) be sure to have read the first post and at the very least the most recent two pages. Egregious violators will be warned and their posts removed.

Rule 10 - Attributing Quotes is Serious Business

Context in written debate is crucial. When quoting another poster, it is courteous to only include the relevant portions of their post. However, quotes must be attributed so that the context of that short snippet can be adequately understood. When quoting several short snippets from one or more posters the first quote from each contributor should be attributed at the very least.

Rule 11 - Citing 'facts' is Serious Business

Anything stated as fact should be either entirely obvious ("a human will die") or be cited. Posts or threads that are particularly assertive of questionable 'facts' will be moderated.

Rule 12 - Links Are Not Enough

Posting or linking to any outside material (but especially youtube clips), no matter how topical it may be, without including any insight, commentary or thought of your own is not a Serious Business worthy post. It may be deleted.

Analysis of the linked page would be great; a brief summary should be standard; and at a bare minimum, explain how it ties into the current discussion (and what part of the linked page reflects that connection, if applicable.)

Please use this thread for discussion regarding the Serious Business Rules.

Re: These Rules are SERIOUS BUSINESS (7NOV08)

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:15 pm UTC
by Azrael
Also, please report a discussion if part (or all) of it falls into one of the following categories

A) Blog Posts: I know this will cause me trouble because the answer to "What's a Blog Post?" is subjective. But mostly I mean those threads that start off with a half-thought-out, lengthy dissertation on a topic with little reasoning, justification or comprehend-ability behind it and no room for actual debate or discussion. I only want a report for the ones that really jump off the screen as being self-indulgent.

2) Quote-Sniping: These typically manifest as scroll-inducing, megaloads of single line quotes answered with single line responses. This. Is Not. Effective. It's terribly vexing and usually degenerates into mindless bickering.

iii) Soap Boxing, Rehashing, Circular Arguments: Passion is great. In bed. 'Round here, lets stick with calm, rational discourse that maintains a civil tone. If you find yourself falling into a rhythm of being every other response in a thread you started, it might be helpful to take a break and a breath or two, allowing an actual conversation to form. This will also help to prevent threads from becoming circular in their arguments (which is a problem in and of itself that should be avoided).

$) Patronizing or Insulting Editorializing: Saying that "I can't believe I'm having to say this" is a good first sign that you probably shouldn't say it. Certainly not more than once. Be a teacher, not a drill instructor.

Above all else, continually strive towards elevating your discourse. Take the high road, first and always.

Re: A torch has been passed ...

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:36 pm UTC
by Azrael
A Further Note About Trolling:

Belial wrote: A lot of what [is written in SB] is borderline trolling. Stating something confrontational, controversial, and inflammatory, and then refusing to adequately explain yourself is *not* a legitimate style of argument. And whether you mean it as such or not, it looks a lot like a calculated attempt to stir up shitslinging and negative sentiment for your own amusement. If I see this behavior continue on various parts of the fora, you will be receiving warnings and disciplinary actions. We do not brook trolls here.

[However,] it is *not* the forum population's responsibility to punish you or call you out on this, but it is the mod team's. Further complaints will come to us, [thanks to responsible use of the Report Button]. It doesn't belong here, people.

I don't want to have to say this again. This goes for *all* trolls, *all* forumites momentarily behaving trollishly, and *all* other people you may feel inclined to fling personal attacks at. It's against the rules. It won't be tolerated. If you have a legitimate problem with someone, take it to the mod team. If you just dislike them so much you can't keep a civil tongue in your head, walk away.

Re: These Rules are SERIOUS BUSINESS (23JAN09)

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:22 am UTC
by Azrael
Regarding Philosophy:

I'd like to formally encourage participants to start threads debating deeply philosophical topics here in SB.

Using the [Philosophy] tag in the thread title will indicate that an OP wants a philosophically rigorous discussion to take place in that thread. Much like in the rest of SB threads, off-topic content will be removed. Posters in such threads are asked to act as the neighborhood watch and vigorously report posts that don't make an honest and informed attempt to contribute.

EDIT: (6DEC2010) During that last ~11 months it has been shown that there is no need for a Philosophy sub-forum. However, I think the [Philosophy] tag is still useful and should continue to be used whenever appropriate. If circumstances change, the request can be reopened.

Re: A General Note Regarding Post Quality

Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:30 pm UTC
by Azrael
Correlation can actually have merit:

Do you know what is really bothersome? When someone shouts "but correlation does not imply
causation!" and gets it wrong.

I know the mantra is apt to be popular here for some strange reason, but read the alt text and then do some research. I expect all of you to spend enough time now so that you can get this one right in the future.

Re: These Rules are SERIOUS BUSINESS (9DEC09)

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:03 pm UTC
by Azrael

Please refrain from posting topics that amount to a poll. Polls (threads using the phpBB feature itself) often attract hit-and-run posters who don't spend the time to read the thread before posting, and are unlikely to return; they just want to click an option and feel that their voices have been "heard".

Similarly, threads in the "What is your opinion on...?" format infrequently (rarely / never) foster an actual discussion. If undertaken they should be designed and managed so as to promote meaningful discourse, rather than a disconnected collection of unrelated musings (which is a problem in and of itself that should be avoided).

Religion in SB [NEW "RULE"]

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:23 pm UTC
by Azrael
Alright, the religion megathread has outlasted both it's original purpose (quarantine) and it's ostensible function (discussing religion). Moving forward, I'd like to move away from the mega-thread mentality. Individual threads should be started discussing specific religious topics as needed, and tagged as [RELIGION] in the title.

People found to be beating dead horses or dragging baggage across threads will be ejected in an entirely subjective and somewhat arbitrary fashion. Repeated offenders will gain the title NOT ALLOWED IN RELIGIOUS DISCUSSIONS and barred from participating in any threads with the [RELIGION] tag. Such offenders may also be booted from SB and/or the larger forum, depending on how aggravating they've been along the way. While I admit that this system is not perfect, it ought to do the trick for now. Constructive suggestions are welcome.