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Character Attacks vs. Generally Offensive Statements
Old 03-14-2010, 02:45 PM
Boozy Boozy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,558
Default Character Attacks vs. Generally Offensive Statements

There has been a great deal of misunderstanding of late about what does and does not constitute a personal attack. As everyone who has read the Site Rules should know, attacks on another member's character are forbidden.

However, it appears that some clarification is in order.

Because this is a debate forum, generalizations about groups of people (Christians, Democrats, the handicapped, eg) are permitted. Even if these generalizations are offensive to you. Fratching is not an offense-free zone.

What is NOT permitted is calling out a specific member of the forum and calling them names.

For example:

"Canadians are not as smart as Americans.". This comment is permissable (even though it is offensive to Canadians) because it is not directed at a particular member.

"Boozy is not as smart as Americans.". This comment is NOT permissable because it is directed at a specific member.

We all align ourselves with certain groups, and certain comments directed at these groups may offend us. But a debate forum can simply not exist without hosting potentially offensive statements. This is where the difference between "personal attacks" and "taking things personally" is so important.

Fratching is not for everyone. Some people align themselves with certain groups so strongly that any remark about that group will be taken so personally that reasonable debate shuts down.

Only you can decide if Fratching is something you can handle.

Now, having said all of that, the moderators are not going to allow hate groups to take root here. If you come across a post that is so offensive to you that you simply cannot imagine responding to it in a calm fashion, report the post.

The moderators can't promise that we'll act on each and every report, but we do take each and every report seriously.

Under no circumstances are discussions about a member's character acceptable. Address the arguments within the post, not the poster themselves.

"It's not fair, so-and-so started it by offending me" is not an acceptable excuse for name-calling, and probably won't win you any points with the moderators.

I hope that explains our position.

Let's all act like adults, okay? We have a wonderful and rare thing here; a fully-functioning internet debate forum. I want to keep it that way.
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