Hello, Avocados! We’ve got some announcements to make about changes to the channel. This will be a little long, so bear with us!
Secondly, we are fully done with the analysis and discussion of the Politics Thread Survey results. We’d like to thank Hobbes again for his help in putting this together, every step of the way. And we’d also like to thank all the members of the community who shared their concerns, suggestions, and creativity both in the survey and in discussions of next steps.
We’ve decided on some guideline changes both for the PT and the site in general that we believe will make the PT and the Avocado a better place to be for everyone. People who don’t visit the PT: STILL READ THIS! Some of these guideline changes affect everyone. All changes can also be seen on the Site Guidelines page. Here’s what we’ve changed:
1. New Guideline: Make No Threats (formerly McSquirrel Rule) – Threats (real, hypothetical, or otherwise) against public officials, public figures, ordinary people, and other commenters is strictly prohibited not only by the Avocado but by Disqus guidelines. Such comments will be deleted. Please refrain from just using “McSquirrel” as a way to get around this guideline.
2. Updated Considerate Insults/Red Handle guideline: Refrain from mocking public officials/figures and other people based aspects about themselves that they cannot change (looks, age, what state or country they live in, weight, etc) – such comments will also be deleted. McConnell is no longer an exception. This rule also includes generation and state bashing. Exceptions are not made if you’re from the state you’re bashing. Criticizing legislature, etc is fine but “just get rid of Florida” and similar statements are not. We updated the language around this in the guideline.
3. New PT Guideline: Bad Takes: Please refrain from making posts that feature reposts of bigoted/otherwise horrific things said by people with no political power. “People with no political power” would mean unverified Twitter randos, people on Breitbart or similar sites, and people who otherwise are not an important part of the political landscape. If you feel you absolutely must repost something along these lines, use a spoiler with a content warning, with specific notes about what content is behind the spoiler. Posts that do not do this will be deleted.
Miss Rim will be trying out the idea of a specific and separate “bad takes” thread, and obviously when this exists you are okay to post such takes there, but still use content warnings as needed. Further guidelines for that test thread will be explained in the thread itself.
4. New PT Guideline: Be Aware of Privilege: Give consideration to the perspectives of our members of color, LGBTQ members, and members who identify as women – they often feel like they have to speak louder than others if even given that opportunity. If they voice a concern about something, listen. Understand. Take a moment to examine yourself as well. This should be considered a site-wide guideline as well, but applies in particular to the PT.
5. New PT Guideline: Twitter embeds: When posting a Twitter embed, please include some context and/or the text of the embed for those who cannot read embeds, and to help encourage discussion. If a story is breaking and you don’t see it in the featured post alert, an exception is made.
6. New Site Guideline: Use of trigger warnings: When it doubt, use a trigger or content warning for potentially upsetting topics, and specifically include notes on what the content is (as in “trigger warning for homophobia”).
We also discussed some changes that we’re not adding to the rules or guidelines, but that we’d like to put out as ideas to the community at large, because they came up a lot in the survey.
1. Have one header a week that focuses on international news, if people are willing to volunteer to do this.
2. Have more encouragement (replies, upvotes, just “thank you for this!”) for people who post longer-form discussions, international news, and local-to-them news in the PT.
3. For the mod team: when making Clam alerts, include links when possible and continue to clarify that they are meant to let people know what stories have already been posted, not keep people from discussing the stories in more depth.
4. For header writers and the mod team: for at least a short time, create a header addition to be used in all PT headers that includes a link to this post, to inform everyone about the new guideline updates.
And that’s all we’ve got for that! Feel free to discuss these changes below. We’ll be setting up a similar survey for the OT in the not-too-distant future!