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A clarification on the Speak Easy


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#1 Blade

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:57 AM

Hello all.

I wanted to clarify the something about the Speak Easy forum here at Bleeping Computer. While we enjoy giving our members this place to discuss and debate there have recently been several attempts to misuse this forum in manners not in keeping with its purpose. I would like to address this.

I would like to call your attention to the message listed at the top of every page in the Speak Easy forum. Specifically the phrase:

 
This section is for polite and thoughtful debate on potentially controversial topics.

 
Recently, a number of people have misunderstood the purpose of the Speak Easy forum as a place where you can say anything you want and have it be published to the world. This is not the case. By 'polite and thoughtful debate' we mean just that. The Speak Easy is not the place for anyone to make a political statement, a tyrannical rant, or some other form of closed minded, one sided posting that does not bring to light a topic in a manner which encourages debate and discussion. If you are looking for a place where you can post these things then you will not find it here. We're not interested in being a sounding board.

Additionally, we expect that any posting in the Speak Easy remain civilized. If one is unable to express his or her viewpoint in a manner which is polite and free of personal attack, then one is not the kind of person who deserves the right to participate. I'm sorry if any of you feel that this is discrimination against the potty-mouthed or something, but it's really not if you think about it for a moment. Those individuals who lack the capacity to express an idea or opinion without remaining polite and civil rely on the shock value of their strong language to carry impact rather than the actual meaning of their message. Furthermore, those who include personal attacks in their opinions have just fallen prey to one of the most simplistic of the logical fallacies: argumentum ad hominem. Such personal attacks are irrelevant to the discussion at hand and do nothing except distract and inflame. In either case this violates the purpose of the forum which is 'polite and thoughtful debate' and as such we are not only well within our rights, but obligated to the community, to remove this sort of post.

As for the requirement for new topics to have mod approval, this is unfortunately necessitated due to past experience. In the past people have misconstrued and/or taken advantage of the nature of the Speak Easy to post items which are not only in violation of the rules of the forum, but also violate basic human dignity. Due to this problem the Speak Easy was in fact closed for a time, and was re-opened at the behest of our community albeit with the new restriction in place to ensure that such a problem would be mitigated for the future.

If any of this seems unfair or unreasonable then you are well within your rights to refrain from participating in the Speak Easy. However, I would ask that you kindly refrain from accusing censorship or discrimination on the part of the staff here before you've actually taken the time to think things through. Such outbursts will do nothing except wear out your welcome.

I hope that this clears up any misconceptions. If there are any questions, please feel free to send me a PM.

~Blade
Forum Administrator.

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