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Debate Forum Rules

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Peter Quill

Sppf Debate Section Rules

I. Thread Creation

For a rather long time threads used to be moderated in the debates section, so that they could be up to the standard of quality that is expected in the section. However, the staff found that there weren't many threads being created at all, and that thread moderation was being more harmful than it was helpful. All threads will show up in the debate section upon creation. That being said, they still have to follow a certain kind of quality and guidelines to ensure that they aren't closed.

  • Content: This is a debate section, meaning that there actually has to be something that, well, can be debated. Things like an argument between if the PS4 or the Xbox One is better isn't suited for this section. Do take note, however, that not every thread has to be political in nature. As long as the topic is a divisive issue (and has relevance to many different people in the world) it can be made into a thread here. An example of this would be something like vegetarianism. It's not an insanely political subject, however it's divisive enough of an issue that people can easily have an interesting and wide-spread discussion about it.

  • Structure: The way your thread is set up is going to make a big difference on whether it will get closed or not. An example like 'i dont like abortion discuss' is going to get your thread closed. You have to explain what exactly the issue being debated is. And while not necessary, using a context that supports why exactly this is an important issue right now will help other people understand and gives them room to start crafting an argument. While it's not necessary to start off your OP with your opinion on the subject, it's generally considered a good idea because then people can start debating right away.

II. The Actual Rules

  1. Follow all Sppf Rules
    • This is fairly self-explanatory. While in the debate forum you have to follow the general rules of the forum. You can find a list of the rules here.
  2. Read your opponent's source
    • The fact that I had to make this a written rule is nothing short of incredible. You can hate your opponent's position as much as you want, but to full out dismiss the sources that they use is incredibly rude. Any instance of people flat-out ignoring a source will be infracted immediately. Quite simply, it's bad forum and makes absolutely no sense because if the source is faulty you should be able to pick out the mistakes and add that to your debate.
  3. Do not ignore your opponent
    • We're not going to infract you if you just happen to forget to respond to a post or something. Sometimes debates just die out, and we understand that. However, if you are intentionally dodging points when people are asking you to respond to them simply because you are too afraid to admit that you are wrong or something similar we will infract you. It's just bad form.
  4. Actually post an argument or something that can be responded to
    • This actually comes up a lot and it's sort of ridiculous. If you don't believe in something that's fine, however, you need to actually make a post that contributes to the topic. Saying stuff like "xxx doesn't exist" or "xx is dumb" is going to get you infracted because it does nothing for the debate at hand. If you write a post that's backed up with evidence (hell it doesn't even need to be backed up with evidence as long as there's actual reasoning shown to why you believe your opinion) then you'll be fine.
  5. Policies regarding personal attacks and other things similar
    • As said before, the debate forum is a place where there are many different opinions. There are also quite the amount of clashing interests and values, so it's obvious that things are going to get heated. While we appreciate neutral posts, we also have better things to do with our time than to police the tone or sarcasm that goes on in posts. People get angry, and things can come out very harshly worded. Unless the posts in question are completely inappropriate (and trust us, moderators know where discretionary boundaries are) you may just have to get thicker skin and take the words at face value.
    • Personal attacks, however, should be avoided. Do take careful note on what makes a personal attack though. If someone says something along the lines of "You're completely blinded by xxx" that isn't a personal attack. They're trying to make a point. Once again, we know what constitutes as a personal attack or not. We know when to step in.
    • In a similar line of thought, please keep all sort of hateful rants out of the debate forum. We get it if you hate the republicans or whatever, but you're just wasting our time and your time because we aren't reading the rants. Seriously. We're tired of reading stuff like that.
  6. Policies regarding the use of sources
    • A new feature that we are going to use in the debate forum is the implementation of banned sources. Anything that is found in this thread (link to be added) is not to be used in the debate. We are using this system to ensure quality and to eliminate as much bias as we can.
    • If you want to question your source before posting it, or if you'd like to suggest a post to be added to the list please contact one of the debates mods. We will look at it together and decide if the source in question is ok or not. We are good judges of being impartial.
    • If you feel that a source someone has posted that is not on the list is too biased for the debate, report the post in question and say so. A moderator will look it over and make a warning that it is and for the person not to use it again. We will not infract because it wasn't on the list. We will, however, infract people if you continually post bad sources despite being warned many different times.

III. Notes on Moderation
Since the regular mods have fewer responsibilities outside of debates, you should try and contact them with questions at first. The chain of command goes from mod to smod to admin. So if you have a problem with how moderation was handled follow that chain (or just send them directly to Ellie ;) )

You also have to know that as a standard rule of thumb, we are not very lenient in this section. We just aren't lenient sort of people. A policy that I really liked from the last rule thread was that we're skipping flaming infractions and going straight for "posting with the intent to annoy others" infraction. Any continued instance of anything that goes against the rules will meet the "continuing to disobey the rules of a specific subforum" infraction as well.

Now that the paperwork is out of the way, happy debating :)
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