The CoC and Enforcement Policy
NewsTalkers started with the concept of a news social forum that is community driven. That hasn't changed since its inception, and never will. But there have been many events as of late that I feel that I must clarify some of the CoC and the matter of how things will be carried out based on the CoC. I am going to go point by point, so that it is easy to discuss.
1. The community dictates the tone of the community. That means that if you see something that you feel is a CoC violation, you should report it to a mod. You have 3 methods to do this; by email, by IM and by "Report an Issue" found on the top tabs. If you don't report, but instead complain, then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. If you see something, say something!
2. Mods are members when they are commenting in black; they are just like any other member. If you feel that a mod is breaking the CoC as a member, they can be reported, too. I have found that this is a great source of confusion.
3. A mod can't moderate their own article, or an article they are actively participating in, with the exception of a general warning. Call it being a fireman.. So it is quite fine for a mod to say (example)"Let's tone it down", but they can't say 'XYZ tone it down". That would be a conflict of interest.
4. Author's own their own articles and seeds. That means that if you have a specific way that you want your article to run, you must post it at the beginning of the seed/article. So if you want people not to curse, or specifically don't want any off topic comments, you must say so right from the start. If someone isn't respecting your specific rules, then get a mod. Changing rules mid way through a seed/ article is not acceptable and will not be enforced
5. There will be a three strike rule about breaking the CoC. If a person acquires three CoC violations, they will get a day suspension. The next three, will get them 2 days suspension and so on. To clarify the specific infractions of the CoC that have been causing the most problems on the site are comments that are personal attacks, are meant to derail a discussion with worthless content that is designed to ruin the article, baiting and trolling. Members who give it back in kind, instead of getting a mod, will also get hit with a violation. If you are unclear about this, it's a lot like porn. You know it when you see it. Now I know many of you like to use spicy language, silly fun comments, go off topic and even stir the pot so to speak, and might be worried this might infringe on your activity here. To that, I would say if you never have seen the purple pen, you have nothing to worry about. Our Speak Your Mind tag is still up. This is just to prevent the overload of nasty useless comments that have been showing up on many of our threads. It is necessary for me to spell this out carefully, so that there is a full understanding of how things will proceed and to make sure that the community understands the rules and that they are not arbitrary. It is my hope that this will only happen sparingly.
The article is now open for questions and suggestions. .
Decision on the Matter of CoC Enforcement Policy
So at this point and with much discussion I have come to a plan to try. First, unlike the CoC, this is a policy issue and that must be enforced by volunteer mods. Therefore, there will not be a vote on this. There will be an evaluation of how well it is working after a 3 month period when the members will be allowed to vote. This insures 2 things 1) a plan is in action and being tested by the people who have to implement it and 2)the vote will let the community have their say on how effective it has been.
The plan is as follows:
- Community members have the responsibility to report. Without that, there is no way to control this problem. This isn't snitching. It is the meaning of a community moderated site, and why members volunteer to become mods. Let it be known, that we are probably the only community moderated site out on the internet. I have done much research on this. That makes us special, and we should feel proud, but we should also feel responsible for our own destiney.
- This plan will be posted on the front page for all who see. Ignorance of the ruling is not an excuse.
- There will be an adjustment period. It would be unfair to hit everyone up with it with one days notice, since everyone doesn't come to the site every day. There will also be an email blast about it,to try and inform people of this policy change. The adjustment period will be 1 week starting from today and ending on 7/28.
- Warnings will become a feature of this system. If a mod notices a discussion going bad, they may issue a warning in purple. Members may report to mods if they feel a discussion is going bad. If the warning isn't heeded, and a comment is removed for a CoC violation, that will be a strike.
- Finally, the code for CoC violations will go as follows:
- First 3 CoC violations and you will receive 2 days suspension
- Second 3 CoC violations and you will receive 1 weeks suspension. Every CoC violation after that, will give you 1 week suspension. Get three one week suspension in a row and the next infraction will get you 1 month suspension. Every CoC violation from that point on, will give you a 1 month suspension.
- Your record will be wiped clean every 3 months, from the date of your last infraction.
Everyone loses their temper from time to time, as we are all human, and this sliding scale allows for that, while having more "bite". At the end of the first 3 months, this sliding scale of punishment will go to vote by the community.
I would like to thank you all for your input and look forward to the evaluation of this in 3 months time.