Over the last few days, we've seen a few conversations take ugly turns, with comments sinking to personal insults, coarse language, and threats of violence. We've been able to deal with most of these incidents by editing offending comments or, in a few instances, by expelling the members who made them. These expulsions have always been preceded by implicit or explicit warnings -- edits, deletions, or emails -- unless the comment is exceptionally offensive.
The Code of Conduct describes what's over the line, but it has some holes: obscenity, vulgarity, and rudeness are open to interpretation; and, barring "99% of conspiracy theories" but not specifying them raises questions about the 1% that are allowed.
More to the point, it's possible to be passionate -- and these are passionate times -- without resorting to noisy talk about violence, or armed rebellion, or things of that nature. It's possible to rattle the sabers without drawing them.
Finally, the point of Ricochet isn't to identify who can yell the loudest, or who is more conservative than whom. The point is to create -- for those of us who agree, broadly, on some basic ideas -- a lively, smart, civil place to have a conversation. And have another conversation the next day. And the next.
Ricochet, we hope, is a place you'll want to come back to. So as a simple rule, let's not insult each other on the site. Let's not get personal. There's no way to have a useful, interesting, or illuminating conversation when we're calling each other names.
Earlier this morning, Pilgrim suggested the following:
I think it would be a good idea for The Logo to open a conversation on the Code of Conduct - sort of a Ricochet constitutional convention. Two issues that I would want discussed would be 1) the addition and wording of a zero tolerance policy and 2) community involvement in banishment of members that may have stepped one foot over the line. I have my ideas of how those items should be addressed but will hold in the event that this suggestion is taken.
We think that's a fine idea. Please let us know what you think.