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Is There Civilization Without Civility

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posted on Jan, 6 2020 @ 11:31 AM
Two words that come up quite too often on ATS is Civility and Decorum. And they are almost always used in conjunction with one another. Civility is the formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. Decorum is the prescribed limits of appropriate social behavior within set situations. One of the best off the cuff definitions of decorum I have read is “when manners are too little, and morals are too much” to describe the condition of the word.

Is ATS a civilization? Well, we are certainly a community. Our residents come from diverse backgrounds and upbringings. And to keep things smooth there is a certain civility and decorum that we must all adhere to in order to keep things smooth.

Yet somewhere along the way this has become lost. Bickering between members with no regard for one another nor the thread for which they are in forcing the outside reader to be a spectator to their brinkmanship rather than the discussion at hand. It is rude to the other person. It is crude to reader. And bestows an intellectual dishonesty to yourself, that you cannot avoid an opportunity of distraction. What’s worse is that people reply to it. The other person replies in the same tone or worse. The spectator joins in one one or the other or both, widening the gap between subject and squabble.

And where does it go from there? A moderator speaks up to get people back on track. The OP thinks the moderator is targeting them and the same disrupting members either ignore the call to order or acknowledge it for a moment until they are attacked again. All this turns the written word into a scribble done by a child gripping a crayon in a clenched fist like a dagger. The staff have little options at this point, Swiss cheese the thread or just trash it the howls of the OP for “letting it get out of hand and ruined.”

Any member of the staff can tell you that when your fingers are full of venom that the best way is write your hate filled replies and just do not post them. That when you are the target to alert and not reply. That you are responsible for your own posts. To be the change you want to see. To keep the mudslinging in the Mudpit. Any member of the staff can tell you any number of things, but it is really up to you.

Usually I would direct you to the T&C because reading the whole thing is fairly enlightening especially the number of ways of speaking to Civility and Decorum without spelling it out exactly like this particular one at the end:

    24) Right of Community Management. This is a privately owned discussion board community. TAN reserves the right to take action against any member, or member Posting, which is deemed to be devoted purely to disruption, represents behavior contrary to community building, or in cases where the content is contrary to the core ideals of the Websites. This action may include removal of your Posting and/or complete banning of your username and IP address. TAN reserves the right to eliminate or edit any content deemed inappropriate for the discussion boards, news network or any affiliated sites. TAN reserves the right to establish limits on topics that may be discussed if, in their opinion, the discussion of those topics attract an audience that is counterproductive to maintaining the ideals set forth in the Terms and Conditions of Use and the Terms and Conditions of Membership.

We do not want to close threads on entire topics nor force broad topics to a single forum. The community deserves to be able to talk about these topics that are so important in the world today. So we're not going to do that. The topics will remain open. The individuals ruining them with their poor behavior will be addressed individually.

Civil discourse and decorum will win on ATS because that is what made ATS different from other forums. This announcement is closed to replies. If you see a member posting in a way that violates the above, click the alert button and the staff will deal with it.

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