Starting this thread, I know I’m probably going to get a ton of IMs/PMs/e-mails in the next 24 hours saying “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”
Recently, political discussion rose once again, in the form of op-ed articles being posted in the Chit-Chat section. I know we had several instances of such things in the past (banning of political advertisements, etc.), yet there hasn’t been a definite decision on what to do with threads that bring up ideological and political discussions.
Since I haven’t seen this idea be brought forward yet, why not have a Politics Sub-Forum, moderated by default so people don’t incite flame wars in a few minutes before moderators can respond to the issue.
Politics are a real thing in any community, especially one as large as ChiefDelphi, and shoving them aside and pretending the notion of political discussion doesn’t exist isn’t an option.
I’d like to recommend that a group of neutral moderators be placed in control of the forum to monitor and approve posts. Furthermore, I’d also like to recommend that the group of moderators be rotated in a cycle every few weeks or months so there isn’t any allegations that the moderators lean towards one side of an argument or another.
Gotta say Adam, I don’t agree with this one. This is a forum for Robotics, and FIRST, and while some banter is alright, stuff involving politics is bound to irritate someone, and even in a moderated world, someone could easily get offended. I don’t think CD.Com should ever be a place for political discussion, that’s just not the point. If I had to choose between allowing political discussion and eliminating all off-topic/chit-chat areas I would eliminate them all hands down. It’s just not the place for it, if you want to discuss politics there are many places just for that. Personally I’ve never been the greatest fan of chit-chat and the games subforum, I admit I participate in an occasional caption contest, but I think they could just as easily be held via email or on another site, and it’s not really the focus of CD.Com to host it. Also, the past abuse of CD-Media with such nonsensical things is another strike against it, and occasionally some of the photos that get approved make my scratch my head and say “On topic how?”. I’m all for freedom of speech, but not if it means treading on a lot of people’s feet. Especially not considering the long list of people who’re ultimately responsible for what we post, even though they had nothing to do with it, it just doesn’t seem fair to subject them to the potential hazards of a political or religious debate that they aren’t even participating in, that have nothing to do with FIRST or Robotics anyway.
While all forums require moderators to maintain them, chit chat does not require every post to be read and approved by a moderator.
Brandon has tons of other far more worthwhile things to work on that would actually improve what this site is meant for, than putting together a new system of moderation that either taxes the current moderators, or creates a need for an entirely new group of moderators.
I’ll have to agree with all the ‘no’ responses in here. There are plenty of other places to do this, and as Cory said, the administrators and coaches of team 47 have many more things to worry about than figuring out all of the right & wrong ways to handle each & every post.
This site is about robotics. Let’s talk about robotics.
Yes, there are Chit-Chat and Game forums, but a thread about iPods or your favorite pizza are going to cause a tiny fraction of the problems that a thread about the US in Iraq or religious beliefs potentially could.
I also vote no. As a non US citizen I would find it difficult to moderate even as someone impartial. I would think that a US citizen would find it even harder as they would all have their own political stances.
As I have said before, my mom once told me that a wise person does not discuss politics or religion. Why look for trouble when we have such a great venue to talk robotics, which we all have in common?
I also have to say no to this, too. There is such diversity on this forum. People come from many, many mixed backgrounds, which will inevitably cause problems. We have members from America, Israel, Canada, Brazil, the UK, etc. on here, and they have all formed their own opinions on different political topics. ChiefDelphi was made to discuss robotics mainly. Sure, there are topics about iPods and games about movie quotes, but, like it was mentioned earlier, disagreements on who sings the best version of “She Bangs” is going to cause a lot less trouble than a disagreement on something political.
ChiefDelphi is called a community oftentimes. I view it as a community for people involved in FIRST, robotics, science and technology. Discussions often develop and evolve in each topic thread, even the ones in Chit Chat. It is open.
The more we call on moderators for forums/discussions/threads, the less open the community will become. Members of the high school teams that post here often start as new members of FIRST. Many are new to the concepts of Gracious Professionalism and cultural changes. The open community of ChiefDelphi is what helps these concepts grow in understanding, not calling for more moderators for off topics. To me, it doesn’t jive.
I’m going to have to put my ballot in the no box for this one, but with that said. I’ve been seeing alot of people wanting to express themselves lately on subjects that dont really relate to CD.com and its mission. And people are struggleing with what seems to be a lack of an outlet for what they want to say. So I suggest this:
Why dont those who wish to express themselves start a new site. Simply for that purpose. Start another set of forums, or maybe an open blog, and make it for discussion of these topics which aren’t allowed here on CD. I’m intending this to sound mean in any way, I’m not saying “Dont play with us, find your own ball” I’m saying this is a great oppertunity to build another community that can stand on its own beside this community in a completely seperate manner that would allow for even broader and possibly rewarding discussion/commentary.
Or if thats not your thing, then like Brandon said there are already alot of places out there where you can do the same thing. CD is not the place for it though, our heated discussions need to be about the long term ramifications of exposer to body paint, and the political parties should consist of AndyMarkcrats and IFI-icans…
Debates get interesting, and from prior forum debating experience quickly get out of hand. Probably a good 5% of my home forum’s (check home URL) debate threads get locked, because flaming gets out of control. It’s a lot of moderation, creates a lot of tension and discord… and can be hard to keep civil. Especially in election years
A moderated political subforum is way too much work for the moderators.
Keep things the way they are for now. If we have an increase in non-flamebait/flamewar political discussions, give em a sub-forum. Politics are like any other subject of discussion. Topics don’t start flamewars, people do. I think CD is actually one of the better places to have these discussions just because people in the FIRST community are generally very polite, respectful, and open to discussion of ideas.
It has been said that this is a robotics forum, but it is also a community, and as long as people are civil and respectful towards each other, it doesn’t matter what is being discussed.