In putting these rules together, I’ve spent quite a bit of time considering what I want them to accomplish and what I want them to say about me and this site. One thing I’ve realized is that in my personal projects, I want to try as much as possible to inject some positivity into the world.
So, while you will see some of the standard “No” rules in this list — as there are some behaviors which are simply not acceptable and that should be made clear — what you will mostly see in my rules of engagement will be guidelines on how to help create a positive experience for everyone who comes here.
That said, let’s get the “No” rules out of the way right off the bat.
1. NO RACISM, SEXISM, TRANSPHOBIA, ABLEISM, HOMOPHOBIA OR GENERAL BIGOTRY.
2. NO PERSONAL ATTACKS. Insulting intelligence, appearance, gender, religion, etc. No name-calling of any kind. And definitely no threats of violence.
3. NO OFFENSIVE NAMES. ie: Names designed to insult people’s race, gender, religion or other.
4. NO TROLLING: Feel free to express opinions and critiques, but consider the feelings of those around you and respect them.
With those out of the way, let’s get down to what we can all do to make this site a comfortable and fun place for everyone to visit without making anyone feel shut out.
1. FEEL FREE TO CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITICIZE AND CRITIQUE, JUST BE SURE IT’S CONSTRUCTIVE. Criticizing and critiquing should be done in such a way that they help those it is directed at improve in what they are doing. If someone criticizes another in an effort to make them feel bad then they’re doing it wrong.
2. BE OPEN TO ACCEPTING OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS AND IDEAS. If someone disagrees with you or has a different opinion than you, it does not mean that they are attacking you. In fact, you can learn a lot about yourself and your own thoughts and ideals by listening to those who feel differently than you. So, before responding negatively, take a moment to consider where they are coming from.
3. LOOK FOR A WAY TO WORK OUT YOUR DIFFERENCES. The only differences that can’t be worked out are those that people are unwilling to work out. If you feel like things are getting too heated and that you’re fighting with someone rather than talking, take a break. Remember, it’s the internet, you don’t have to fight over things that aren’t worth fighting over.
4. REALIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE IS OFFENDED BY THE SAME THINGS. Remember, we all come from different places, have been raised differently and just have different perspectives on life. What might be offensive to one person may not be to another, or what might not offend you at all may be very offensive to someone else.
5. IF SOMEONE SAYS OR DOES SOMETHING THAT OFFENDS OR UPSETS YOU, CALMLY EXPLAIN TO THEM WHY RATHER THAN ASSUMING THAT THEY SHOULD KNOW WHY YOU’RE OFFENDED. The worst way to get someone to understand your feelings is to just start yelling at them about something. Understand that sometimes something as simple as where you live can determine what is offensive to you or not.
6. WHEN SOMEONE EXPLAINS TO YOU WHY SOMETHING UPSETS THEM, LISTEN. The key to understanding others is listening to them. And listening to someone else openly makes them more likely to listen to you as well.
7. TRY TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. This may be just one small site, but you gotta start somewhere. When you’re posting or commenting, keep in mind that just taking the time to be kind to each other can do a whole lot — even if it’s just on the internet.
8. RESPECT EVERYONE. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the writer, commenters or people being written about. Show respect to everyone equally.
PLEASE NOTE: If at any point I determine that a member’s presence has more of a negative impact on the community rather than a positive, I reserve the right to remove that member without discussion.