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Announcements in Forum: The Debate Room
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
retired moderator
Old 18th Feb 2010 at 7:00 AM
Debate Room Rules & Guidelines
Welcome to the Debate Room! This is your opportunity to debate intelligently with other forum members about relevant topics and current events. Before you post, please read the following rules and guidelines:

This is the Debate Room

This is the Debate Room--not the Angrily Say Whatever You Want Room, not the Personal Soapbox Room, and definitely not the Argument Room. The Debate Room is supposed to be an opportunity for everyone to come together and discuss things civilly and intelligently, making points, presenting evidence, and listening to what others have to say in a polite and respectful manner, even if you don't agree with them.

Debate Room Ettiquette

  • Be nice! Rudeness, snark, venom, jackassery, cattyness, or anything other than politeness is not allowed. It's very likely that everyone will have a wide and varying set of opinions, and the only way for that to work is for each debater to be polite and tolerant of everyone else, whether you agree or not. Deliberately inflammatory topics, posts, and subjects will not be allowed here. Don't post with the sole intention of being insulting or derisive. In other words, use your brain. Your goal is to voice and explain your opinion, not to cruelly ridicule anyone who doesn't agree with you. If you cannot be courteous and kind, then do not post.

  • Provide Evidence! A debate doesn't go very far if everyone just posts "well that's how I feel" with nothing to back it up - that's not a debate, it's a statement. This doesn't mean you have to spend days researching, but if you're going to say the sky is green, you'd better have a link to scientific study that says it's so. But also, remember that the debate is about what you have to say, not Youtube links, Wikipedia, or whatever. The evidence you present should back up your position, and shouldn't be all the content of your post.

  • Stay on topic! Please refer back to the topic of the first post when participating in a debate - do not drag debates off topic with unrelated or marginally related subjects. Some minor digression is okay but if a thread is getting dragged significantly off topic, please create a new thread for it. If staff have to continually step in to ask a thread go back on topic, we may end up locking it - keep threads open by staying on topic.

  • Religion and Politics are Off Topic in All Other Threads! Some posters feel the need to drag religion and politics into every thread, no matter what the topic. Unless the original topic of the thread is directly related to religion or politics (we have stickied threads for this!), do not drag threads off topic with it! Threads that get dragged off topic in this way will be locked.

Starting a Debate Thread
  • Search first! Before posting a new thread in the Debate Room, do a quick search to make sure that someone else hasn't already started a debate with a similar topic. If you find a similar debate that hasn't been touched in a while (i.e., several months), then it's probably safe for you to renew the topic by posting a new thread.

  • Well-Thought-Out First Post: Give your thread a descriptive subject line, and state up-front what your debate thread is about. Try to keep your own personal bias out of your first post - present it as a question, without choosing sides on the issue. You can always post afterward to add your opinion on the subject. You can provide links to more information on the subject, too, but please don't overdo it: one or two links to background info is fine, but people don't want to follow 20 links just to know what you're talking about.

  • Topics NOT allowed: This is a PG-13 site, so adult topics are not allowed - that is, sexually explicit content, graphic violence, etc. Additionally, threads debating the policies and details of MTS and the way we work are not allowed - if you have a question, concern, or suggestion regarding the site, please Private Message a moderator or administrator.

  • Real Debate Topics: Remember, the Debate Room is for real debate on big issues - your thread topic should inspire actual back and forth debate between posters. Avoid creating topics such as "What would you do if..." and "Which is your favorite..." that will result in people creating lists rather than debating each other. And "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?" type stuff is just stupid.

If you are ever unsure about whether a topic is okay for the Debate Room, feel free to Private Message a staff member before posting for clarification: jhd1189, whiterider, HystericalParoxysm, or Delphy.

Obey Staff Directions!

Like regular users, site staff (users with coloured badges under their names) can be debated with when posting on a topic in the Debate Room, and staff must follow the same debate guidelines as everyone else. We like to participate in debates sometimes, just like regular users.

However, if a staff members tells you to get back on topic, to stop posting about something, to be nice to your fellow posters, to vacate a thread, or ANY other direction regarding your conduct, that is not up for debate! Our staff have discretion to enforce the rules as written as well as use their judgment when things come up that fall outside of the rules. If a moderator does something that you don't like, well... tough. This is a privately owned and operated site, and if you disobey directions given to you by staff, you can be removed from the Debate Room, or the site entirely - permanently if necessary.

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