About nine months ago, in anticipation of a heated Presidential campaign and resulting fallout, we began to unofficially relax some of our "Political
Trolling" rules and guidelines. While we still took action against overt political snipes and insults directed toward other members, we relaxed our
rules regarding broad-swipe denigrations and disparaging alterations of the names of politicians.
Our decision wasn't so much as a policy change, but a recognition that the intensely charged political environment was inevitably going to create a
unmanageable work overload for our staff.
Now, it's time to reel the rhetoric back in to ATS standards.
Those who enjoy concocting broad-stroke insults direct toward those not of their political persuasion may jerk their knee and call this a restriction
of free expression... so be it.
But the overwhelming atmosphere of hate, insults, and over-the-top exaggerations is not desired here on ATS. When we see an abundance of disparaging
names and hateful condescension, the atmosphere is polluted and discussion turns away from the issues and toward each other. And that, my friends, is
playing into the political game
"they" want you to play.
From this moment forward, the following rules apply throughout all of ATS:
Politically inspired name calling of an ideological group is not allowed: examples: "Loonie Libs," "Obamaites," "Repuglicans,"
Alterations of a politicians name, or any other high-profile political figure, for disparaging political effect is not allowed, including
within member avatars and signatures.
Avatars designed exclusively to denigrate a politician or political figure, using derogatory wording or photo-manipulation, is not
Posts that continually parrot previously proven false political rhetoric without substantive contribution to the topic are not allowed.
Posts that stray from the discussion of the issue/topic and focus on the political affiliation of members are not allowed.
All other politically-charged trolling and sniping intended, in the opinion of our staff and topic participants, to derail discussion away
form the issues are not allowed.
In the event we encounter the above infractions, you risk the removal of your entire post or thread without warning
It's no secret that we aspire to a higher-level of discourse here on ATS. It's unfortunate that our hand is being forced by the tonality of
political discussions... this is something I'd rather not do. However, it's something we must do so that the issues can once again be the focus of
If you're unable to participate in political debate without engaging in making up disparaging names for those not of your affiliation, then perhaps
ATS is not the place for you to discuss politics.
Original post has been refined to clarify two points.
[edit on 14-8-2009 by SkepticOverlord]