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June 07, 2023, 09:04:27 am

Author Topic: Rants and Debates guidelines  (Read 8303 times)  Share 

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Rants and Debates guidelines
« on: November 14, 2019, 06:20:12 pm »
Hey everyone,

In the interests of making ATAR Notes a safe environment for everyone who wishes to use it, there will be some new standards enforced on this board from now on. This post will include the existing rules for acceptable debates, as well as clearer guidelines on the types of debates that are inappropriate.

Topics that aren’t permitted include discussions about the validity of various aspects of personal identity that are innate, not chosen – this includes things like race, gender, and sexuality. Debates over how members of various marginalised groups should be treated by society and how and to what extent they should be recognised both legally and socially are also inappropriate.

Arguments or posts that break the forum rules on respect (quoted below for convenience) are equally not allowed. This includes things such as disparaging marginalised groups and personal attacks against other users.

1. Respect for Others
This is the number one rule of the community - have respect for others. On a basic level, this obviously precludes religious slander, racism (no matter how veiled), sexism, disparaging LGBTQIA+ groups, or otherwise acting like an insufferable fool.

Disagreements will invariably happen. If you don’t like someone’s opinion, act like it. But don’t act like you don’t like them, because that will bring disrespect. If you lack the sophistication to challenge someone’s opinion without being insulting or rude, then you shouldn’t try to challenge someone’s opinion. Period. Again, this is irrespective of race, gender, religion, political affiliation or any other personal variable. I don’t care if you’re a snobby leftist or a snobby rightest who thinks everyone on the other side of the political spectrum is wrong and you’re the only insightful one in the world – you don’t get to belittle others.

This is the big rule for this community – respect. There will be harsh consequences for anyone found to be bullying another user in any way on this site, which could include being permanently prevented from using the forums.

In regard to general forum conduct – we all need to be conscious of the fact that AN is a gloriously diverse place, made up of not only different types of people, but of people with different experiences. Some people on ATAR Notes have suffered bullying, have emotionally abusive parents, or live with disabilities – physical or otherwise. With this in mind, particular types of language should not feature in your discussion on ATAR Notes.

Words and phrases like faggot, slut, rape, spastic, retard, fat, kill myself and so on are not to be used as hyperbolic terms or in denigrating ways. For example, it is not appropriate to say, “my math teacher’s a faggot”, “I got raped by that exam”, or, “the lack of feedback my fat bitch English teacher gives me makes me want to kill myself”.

I understand this is common parlance amongst our demographic – the student demographic. And we place no judgement if you choose to banter like that with your friends in privacy. But the fact of the matter is this: ATAR Notes is a truly brilliant place, and it will remain that way for as many people as possible. The English language is supremely rich, and there are always ways of expressing yourself without making others feel uncomfortable or upset. Using language in aforementioned ways actively detracts from our ability to be great for the greatest number – and for that reason, we ask that you refrain.

Respect extends also to the ways in which we address one another. Do not refer to others in ways you think may be offensive to them, or taken offensively by them. References in address to, for example (not an exhaustive list), background, sexuality, personal preferences, physical appearance, mental state, and religion, should be avoided. We're not here to comment on others' traits, whether that be in a seemingly positive or negative way. Both can make users feel uncomfortable, and that is in direct conflict with the wonderful community we have here. As such, please avoid potentially uncomfortable terms such as "beautiful", "sexy", "darling", "young lady", and so on.

Some examples of well-argued and respectful debates:
-   Do families deserve special treatment just for being relations?
-   Dogs vs cats
-   The role of technology in the classroom
-   The correct phrasing of “paper-scissors-rock”

ATAR Notes is primarily a high school/uni education forum, and as such the ability of members and guests to safely access content on the forums takes precedence over debates.

If you are not sure whether your topic is okay, feel free to message a moderator or admin.  A list of current mods and admins can be found here.

Posts/threads that break these rules may be deleted or locked as deemed appropriate by the moderation team. Users who break the forum rules on this board will be subject to the same consequences as users who break forum rules on other areas of AN.
2019: B. Environment and Sustainability/B. Science @ ANU
2020: Just Vibing
2021: B. Paramedicine/B. Nursing @ ACU Canberra