In Reply to: Re: Wide awake! posted by Coordinator on August 22, 2008 at 09:47:08:
Just so you know, we're carefully considering what our board users want.
Politics is still off limits, but it's almost impossible to write posts completely devoid of politics. Activist is very articulate about "what is politics," and whether or not we agree, we will let the China issues ride for now. The truth is there are many shades of grey, and the topic is on the fringes. And to be fair, Activist wasn't the first to break the rules or post on the fringe. (see the entire thread below starting with "Big brother watching you/us" by Farmer for example.)
Our main concern is not to let things get out of hand like it did years ago, when the board was dominated by American politics, and there was name-calling, outright hostility, etc. All civility broke down and the boards were cluttered with back-and forths of little educational value being posted every few minutes. People were being forced to take sides, or seen as being on sides they weren't even on, etc. Every opposing view was not seen as merely a different opinion or persuasion but as an attack on someone else. The coordinators were being accused of being left-leaning, right-wing, of being anti-Christian. Everyone read into everyth statement we made about anything for years afterwards. I guess we must have been pretty fair because we pissed off everyone on every side. But we couldn't do our job properly, and people were refusing to cooperate. We were busy answering private emails, complaints and even threats and blackmail behind the scenes. Pure insanity!
I've seen very sane and intelligent discussions about politics on other sites (of course they may have deleted 10 posts for every one that remains, I wouldn't know), and it's a shame we can't do the same.
I have in mind comments by Thinker in his "What I want from this chatboard?" post made on June 13, 2008. He wanted among other things: "Pluralism and the maturity to accept our differences."
In his own words: "They say you if your want to spoil a party, just talk about politics or religion. Things being the way they are, the nature of the internet communication, it's hard to avoid conflict and misunderstandings. But intolerance to the point of anger, hatred and ill-will?"
Couldn't have said it better.