Hello GT! In light of recent events, we wanted to roll this out as well. The mods have been giving advice and guides to posting in Groupthink since it was relaunched under Kinja. This is our long overdue update of these rules.
There's not a lot of them and they pretty much boil down to these simple steps:
1. Don't be a jerk.
1A. Seriously, don't be a jerk.
2. Don't be a racist.
2A. Seriously, don't be a racist – racism directed towards any oppressed group will not be tolerated.
2B. Also don't engage in Ableism/Colorism/Sexism… Just avoid "isms." This is a feminist forum, but moreover an explicitly intersectional feminist forum.
3. And don't be a shit-stirrer either.
3A. Sustained shit-stirring directed at one specific individual is tantamount to a bullying campaign, conduct that will not be tolerated. Just, don't.
4. Don't derail, which is a type of shit-stirring.
4A. So we're clear: Shit-stirring can be simply defined as someone deliberately trying to antagonize other GTers, through direct or indirect contact. However, we also believe that derailing is a type of shit-stirring. When you deliberately mock someone who is being serious or who is genuinely offended, you're shit-stirring. This isn't about just changing the subject or someone misunderstanding – shit-stirring is when we see you deliberately undermining the opinions and feelings of others in an attempt to denigrate or otherwise insult a GT member. Intent is what's key here. Don't sneer at someone who is trying to explain a position or idea. If it's derailing someone intentionally, it's not ok.
5. Don't doxx anyone, which is being a jerk and a shit-stirrer at the same time, and will get you unceremoniously banned from the forum.
6. Breaking the rules: Usually, your first offense will get you warned. We ask that you at least briefly acknowledge any warnings, even if it's just a quick, "Got it," or "Understood." If you continue to be a problem, you will get de-authored and blocked from GT. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING WE TAKE LIGHTLY, especially with long-time GTers. Additionally, if you are told to stay away from someone, we expect you to do so. There are just folks who can't get along. It happens. Specifically, we mean to avoid any/all negative contact with that person. Whether you're dealing with them directly or talking smack about them, that's breaking this "restraining order" rule.* Don't do it. It's being a jerk. Remember it's a two-way street — both parties need to step away from one another. We put these "restraining orders" in place so that we don't need to de-author or ban people. Respect this, please.
Groupthink is a forum for everyone. That is not to say that 'everyone' will get author access or that 'everyone' will be a non-gray on the forum. However, it does mean that this is a general purpose space and, accordingly, our aim is to make this a welcoming forum that people feel comfortable interacting with each other in.
In order to accomplish this, we strongly discourage people from making posts bashing other commenters, starting inter-forum pissing contests, and purposefully picking fights with people you don't get along with.
We are not asking that everyone get along. We are not banning cathartic ranting. But we are asking that authors on this forum maybe think twice before posting about how much they hate Commenter X, especially when they know Commenter X will see the post, and everyone will start bitching about everyone else. No one enjoys seeing that go down. It's awkward, it's embarrassing, and most importantly, it damages the community.
Because I anticipate this will be a question asked, allow me to be perfectly clear on an issue related to 'don't be a jerk'. We are not here to censor unpopular opinions. We are not asking you to post only along certain political views. We are not asking you to refrain from discussing touchy subjects. The mods are not here to police your views. For the most part (see above) talk about anything you want – make your points respectfully and clearly, accept that not everyone will agree with what you have to say, and understand that this is an open forum where a lot of different kinds of people will read your post. This is a rule of thumb that applies to authors, commenters, and mods on Groupthink. Don't be a jerk.
I (Sorcia) am the current Head Mod of groupthink. Slay Belle is our Glorious Owner, while Celia, La Comtesse, and Joan Beam are on the public moderator team. There are a handful of other moderators who wish to remain anonymous and who mainly assist us in adding new authors and alerting us to issues that might crop up on the forum. At the moment, we are not looking to expand the number of admins.
The launch of Kinja has given you, the commenters, access to a number of tools that used to be admin-only. This means less work for us, but it also means that you, the commenters, need to be more responsible for your conversations on this board. If someone is harassing you in response to something you wrote? Dismiss them. If the conversation is unproductive, walk away. If someone is chiding you for cursing too much, dismiss them and walk away. Basically, we expect you all to act like adults and therefore to handle conflict like adults.
If you run into a situation that you are unsure of how to handle, or if you find a troll or have a persistent issue with another commenter, feel free to contact any of the mods for assistance. You can find us on-site or email us at at firstname.lastname@example.org. This way all mods get the email so we can better respond to your issue. This is important – we cannot be everywhere and we rely on you telling us about situations that require our attention. If you feel like you need to contact one of us individually, you can email Sorcia at email@example.com, Celia at firstname.lastname@example.org, LaComtesse at LaComtesseJamie@gmail.com, or JoanBeam at email@example.com.
There are two main levels of posting access to GT. One is the basic commenter and the other is authorship privileges.
Like on the main page, anyone is free to comment on any thread on GT. If you are not 'followed' by Groupthink, your comment will show up as 'grey'. This is not a judgment on your worth as a person or a commenter; it is simply how Kinja works.
Authorship privileges are granted by the mods. If you wish to post to Groupthink, respond to one of our semi-regular request threads. You may not get authorship the first time you ask, but you are welcome to request again at any point. (See any request post for expanded details on this process.) Authors are able to follow/unfollow commenters on behalf of 'Groupthink'. 'Following' moves a commenter from a 'grey' to a 'black'. We trust authors enough to not need our permission to 'follow' a commenter – we wouldn't have made you authors if we didn't trust you in the first place. However, any author found to be abusing their posting access to mess with other commenter's status on GT will have their authorship revoked, and possibly banned from the forum.
This is the guidelines post as of 8/27/2014. While we have seen authors and commenters on Groupthink make posts suggesting how to act on GT, please note that 'official' guidelines are determined by the mod team. All mod posts are tagged 'mod talk' for ease of reference.
Any questions? Shoot them in the comments.
* "Restraining order" is just the hyperbolic term we use for this practice, please note.