QUOTE(barnaby2341 @ Aug 13 2007, 10:14 PM)
Ahhh...the Sky is falling argument. Just because people are allowed to use curse words doesn't mean that they will or will do so in excess. I ask you Mike, Seamus, Nighttimer, doomed_planet, BoF, Mrs. PigPen, would you all start cussing uncontrollably if given the opportunity? If not, what makes you so different than everybody else? Must we save ourselves from the Barbarians? Or do you just think you are all superior?
What is the determiner of "in excess" in terms to profanity usage? As an owner, obviously one of the ultimate determiners would be my opinion, along with Jaime's opinion. We have decided that "in excess" is any
profanity. I cited one reason as the diverse ages of our members. Other factors include the desire not to be blocked at primary and secondary educational institutions, our desire to maintain our current readership by members of the executive branch, legislative branch, other governmental agencies both state and local, and media organizations, and our desire to not be blocked from access by businesses and corporations.
I think your list of members is, frankly, a bad list, and its flaws are obvious. I don't think any of the members you listed maintain any assertion of superiority than any other member. But of the members you listed, there is a site founder, a long-time and trusted moderator, two members who have been here for around 4 years, one who has been around 3 years, and one who has been around about 8 months. We all fully understand the rules, and know that leading by example is an effective way to influence others to follow our lead and abide by the rules of the site.
But would the last six members who joined automatically refrain from profanity? How about the six before that? Or the 3,000+ before that? From my years of experience working on this site, the answer is a definitive no
, not all of the members who register would voluntarily refrain from even your definition of excessive profanity. Heck, read the first post to this topic if you need a perfect example of what this forum would end up being if the rules were not in place and evenly applied.
But it's not just the lack of cussing that bothers me, which is insignificant, but the reporting of truthful language that the tattle-tales reject because it doesn't flatter them. We talk about politics, but we don't need to be politically correct. Free speech as written about in the Constitution is a sham. So the one place we should be able to freely express our opinions without reprisal or repercussion is the "Internets."
Again, look at my arguments regarding profanity, and now change profanity to "inflammatory and nonconstructive posts." You might disagree, but the rules are well established, easily accessible, and proven to provide the foundation for the kind of debate that we have set out to host.
Not to get into a constitutional argument, but "free speech as written about in the Constitution" does not apply here. We are not funded or operated by the government, and therefore there is no right to free speech that is applicable here. This is the same at any privately-operated website in existence. Individuals are
able to "freely express our opinions without reprisal or repercussion" online. See blogs, personal websites, newsgroups, chat rooms, and other forums-- given that they are either government-operated or the private ownership has enfranchised their site in the constitutionally-protected rights established in the first amendment.
I have been to the VH1 Flavor of Love message boards (can't be all business
) and yes, unmoderated boards are childish, inflammatory, and a waste of time, because the TROLLs run wild. AD has moderators, but here they don't moderate TROLLs; they moderate passion.
We do moderate trolls, you just don't see it. We have staffers online at just about any given moment, and the trolls that do attempt to participate here are very quickly dealt with in a civil and consistent fashion. We didn't get to where we are by sitting on our hands and ignoring what is going on at the site. We take an active role in ensuring that members participate in accordance with the rules we've established, and members who choose not to follow the rules are very quickly and deliberately made aware that there are greener pastures for them elsewhere.