Section 1. Overview
We want our online communities to be a venue for freethinkers to exchange ideas, challenge their beliefs, and foster a sense of community. As freethinkers, we highly value the freedom of expression but we’re also working towards building a community where reasoned discourse is the norm. We’ll try to keep moderation on our online communities to a minimum but keep in mind: there are limits.
These guidelines are not absolute; the moderators reserve the right to arbitrate on a case by case basis. As we face new challenges to the community, we reserve the right to modify these guidelines and also welcome discussion about the community guidelines. But this is our promise: we’ll always aim to keep the guidelines to a minimum.
Section 2. Posting Guidelines
You’re free to take any position on any subject when you post in the community. We trust you will post in good faith and assume the same good faith of others who comment in response. Know your logical fallacies and check if you’re falling into sloppy thinking when you take your position. Being critical of your own thoughts is part of being a freethinker.
You’re free to defend your position; we don’t expect you to be cool-headed about it all the time, but we trust you to stick to the issue instead of attacking the people who contradict your position. Be open to the idea that you might be wrong. It’s okay, no one expects perfection. Being able to change your position when presented with a better argument and data is the mark of a mature intellect.
The following is a simple flowchart that outlines an ideal discussion:
This community is only as valuable as YOUR contributions make it. Posts with unique insights – yes, even those that are NOT held by a majority of freethinkers – are welcome, provided they are argued in good faith and with supporting data if possible.
We trust you to not troll the community. Just in case we’re not clear on the concept of trolling, read this. Habitual trolls will be shown the door. Posts that are ostensibly consistent with a freethought perspective but are trollish, do not add to the discussion and are full of personal attacks, are unwelcome on this page, and may be dealt with accordingly.
The community moderators look at everything on a case by case basis. We may be more lenient with comments than with wall posts. We try to exercise maximum tolerance, but such tolerance is not unlimited.
Section 3. Minor Violations – In posting, keep in mind that the following are strongly discouraged and are to be avoided at all times:
- Personal attacks
- Irrelevant/excessively frequent posting (spam)
The above violations will warrant a warning. Excessive/repeated violation will lead to a ban.
Section 4. Major Violations – The following are strictly prohibited and will automatically result in a ban:
- Unrelated advertising
- Posting another’s personal information (e.g., address, phone number, etc.)
- Habitual trolling*
- Threats of violence and bodily harm**
*Trolling is defined as “posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic comments with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”
**Veiled or ambiguous threats shall be presumed to be actual threats, and a moderator may ask the poster to categorically state that the post is not a threat and give a clear and convincing explanation why it is not a threat. If the explanation fails to overcome the presumption of threat, the post will be considered as a threat and will be dealt with accordingly.
Section 5. Reporting of Violations
If you think that a certain individual has made a violation, bring the post in question to any site/group/forum moderator.
Section 6. Facebook Specific
- Please don’t use the group document function. If you’d like to discuss a document, create a document on your own profile and post the link on the wall.
- Please avoid using the Facebook group invite function to bring people into the group. We’re uncomfortable with it since it brings people to the group without their permission. Rationale discussed further here.
- Please do not post illegal download links (torrents, streams, direct downloads, etc.) on the group/in the comments. This is against Facebook’s terms of service and will get you warned, and then possibly banned if you do it again.
Violations of the above guidelines will warrant a warning and a deletion of the post for Nos. 1 and 3. Excessive/repeated violation will lead to a ban.
Section 7. Blocking of Mods
Blocking of mods, while not an offense per se, is highly discouraged, as mods need to see every post in order to moderate the group.
- If any member is found to have blocked 2 or more mods from seeing their posts, they will be asked to provide justification. (A mod may have deserved being blocked by being a total ass outside of the FF group.)
- If a member is found to have blocked 5 or more mods, they may be warned for attempting to evade moderation or banned outright.
- Blocking non-mod members of the group is generally frowned upon, especially if it is used to stifle disagreement, effectively cutting off the free exchange of ideas.