Greetings everyone! I am posting a first attempt at outlining some community guidelines below. This will be a living document, and will be updated as needed. Of course, feedback is always welcome. The guidelines are general with the hope of setting the tone for the type of environment we hope to foster here. The guidelines can be summarized as “be civil and constructive.”
We know that the overwhelming majority of the QC community already follows these guidelines intuitively. We are extremely grateful for that. That being said, it never hurts to have a set of guidelines posted for new users to help set the tone for productive conversation. So, without further delay, here are our guidelines:
Be civil to one another:
Act like you are all sitting in the same physical room, having a discussion. Be cordial, assume good faith, and do not issue personal attacks. Respect each other. Do not impersonate people or expose their private information (no “doxing”).
If you are unsure if your behavior is appropriate, imagine how you would feel if your post were featured on the front page of The New York Times. Would you still be proud of what you wrote? If not, don’t post it.
Try to improve the discussion:
The Boyscouts have a rule: leave it better than you found it. We believe the same sentiment may be applied to conversations, especially public ones. Leave the conversation better than you found it. If someone is mean, respond with kindness. Do not escalate. Don’t feed the trolls, as they say. Model good behavior so that observers will feel welcome, even if they hold opposing views.
If you are not sure what you are about to post adds to the discussion, or might derail the current conversation, give it some more thought before deciding what or whether you will contribute.
Criticize ideas, not people:
We welcome disagreement, even strong disagreement. But for a productive conversation to take place, we must separate people from their ideas. In all disagreement it is important to criticize ideas, and not people.
This means: no name-calling, ad hominem attacks, responding to a person’s tone instead of its content, or knee-jerk contradictions without substantiation. Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.
If you see a problem, flag it:
Thousands of words are typed out on Quillette Circle every day. This is great, as it shows that many great conversations are going on and the community is vibrant and engaged. But the volume of content makes moderation a difficult task, so we encourage our community to actively flag posts they feel violate the community guidelines.
Don’t worry about mobs mass-flagging posts in order to trigger an algorithm and get a user banned. Flagged posts will get reviewed by a living, breathing Quillette employee, who will decide whether the post violates any rules.
We hope you find these guidelines reasonable and not too restrictive. In the end, we want this place to be fun, engaging, and intellectually stimulating for all. Please do your best to foster that sort of environment. Thank you!