However, recently, there has been a rash of threads that have erupted into heated discussions that have resulted in mudslinging, name-calling and use of derogatory terms. This meant that some threads were locked, removed or given a “time-out.” While we encourage discussion and spirited debate, there are some general guidelines to which we ask all participants adhere. They boil down to two very simple rules: Play nice and don’t run with scissors.In many ways, our board is very different from a lot of other message boards. Over the years, we’ve seen it grow and evolve into something that runs well without much need for hands-on moderation.
I ask everyone to again read the User Agreement and also to become familiar with some basic suggestions that may prevent misunderstanding.
For this board to work without over-moderation, it is important that each of us remember that we have a membership of diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultures. Therefore when posting, keep in mind that a joke, sarcasm or even certain phrases/terms may not translate well to the written medium. Remember that you are posting your opinions and therefore should preface statements with phrases such as “In my opinion,” “I think,” as not everyone shares the same opinion.
In addition, we all have the choice to act or react to what is posted. If something hits you as being “wrong,” move on and read it again at another time. Many times our emotions of the moment sway our reactions to what is written. When in doubt, step back and read the post again later. Participation in a discussion is voluntary so there is nothing wrong with skipping a discussion.
Here is a definition of a term that has come up repeatedly that I feel needs clarification.
This does not mean everyone posting a contrary opinion is a troll. Nor does it mean that every controversial thread is begun for “trolling.” If so, this forum would be very boring. Thought provoking discussions are the heart of this board, but I want us all to think before posting in the heat of the moment.An Internet troll, or simply troll in internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.
The primary responsibility of keeping peace on the message board rests with the individuals. If each individual remains open-minded and respectful of others’ beliefs and remembers that OBOD and the message board have an international membership, most conflicts will be avoided.
Thank you all for your continued efforts in making this such an interesting, welcoming community.