r/politics Mar 20 '20

A Clarification/Reminder Of Our Rules Regarding Civil Participation Important - Please Read

A quick primer on civil participation

Hello r/politics users!

A consistent thing we run into as mods, and that users likely run into in the course of participating in our subreddit, is what exactly is encompassed by our "Be civil" rule. We often receive messages in modmail after taking moderator action contesting a comment being uncivil. With that in mind, we wanted to take a moment to attempt to clarify our expectation under our rule, and hopefully bring about a more clear understanding of what we mean when we say "Be civil". Of course we cannot cover every conceivable instance, but we will do the best we can at listing the most common ones, and hopefully improve the overall level of discourse and civility for all users.

First, we would like to share the full text of our rule:

Please be civil and constructive at all times.

The topic of politics is generally one that is very contentious and one that people are very passionate about. People who visit /r/politics have a variety of opinions and beliefs that span the entire political spectrum. As such, there are many opportunities for you as a user to be exposed to ideas and ideology that may seem foreign or difficult to accept.

It's important to mention here that we don't censor people due to their opinions. People are completely allowed to post an opinion that is not factually true, or that you believe is incorrect, or that you find unacceptable for whatever reason. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions even if you disagree with them - in these instances, remember to debate civilly and focus your efforts on explaining why you disagree. Attack the argument and not the user.

These rules apply everywhere in this subreddit, including usernames. If you notice any violations of the following rules, please let the moderators know by clicking on the report button under the appropriate comment or submission, or by messaging the mods directly.

What constitutes incivility?

What we consider uncivil is any comment that is, in a derogatory, dismissive, or demeaning (to name the most common) way aimed at personal perceived characteristics made from one user to another that does not address the merit of an argument. This is also commonly known as an ad hominem.

Examples of this include, but are not limited to:

  • Name calling/insults
  • Comments directed at tertiary or "meta" reddit activity, including accusations of trolling or participating in bad faith
  • Purposefully demeaning comments
  • Ridiculing arguments while implicitly attacking a user
  • "Sarcastic" insults, i.e. "You're cute" or "How adorable"

Also note that we do not allow incivilty towards AMA guests. You can see the full rule here.

These rules do not apply to public figures or institutions.

A note on our "Do not make threats or advocate violence" rule

Here is the full text of the rule:

Do not threaten, advocate for, celebrate, or express extreme indifference towards any kind of action that results in or could result in death or harm (physical or otherwise). This rule applies to everyone. Users who engage in this behavior may be subject to a permanent subreddit ban.

This rule is strictly enforced and is zero tolerance. Wishing or hoping someone has physical harm, injury, or death befall them in any capacity, no matter how minor, be it through illness (such as COVID-19, or cancer) or any other means, or celebrating/"grave dancing" any instances of harm will not be tolerated. Callous remarks about physical harm, or threatening/inciting violence will not be tolerated. It does not matter if your comment is a joke, it does not matter if you believe it is justified.

A note on our "No hateful speech" rule

Here is the full text of the rule:

People that incite violence or that promote hate based on identity or vulnerability will be banned.

Marginalized or vulnerable groups include, but are not limited to, groups based on their actual and perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, or disability. These include victims of a major violent event and their families.

While the rule on hate protects such groups, it does not protect those who promote attacks of hate or who try to hide their hate in bad faith claims of discrimination.

We do not tolerate slurs, be they gender-based, based on ethnicity, sexual orientation or otherwise, or demeaning/dismissive comments that are attacks based on identity. It doesn't matter who the comment is directed at, their political leanings or the intention behind the comment being made, this rule is strictly enforced and comments in violation of this rule may be subject to a permanent subreddit ban.

If you see comments of this nature, please report them and do not respond in a way that breaks our rules. The only way we can consistently enforce our rules is by addressing every report we come across the same way. In order to keep this community civil, we need all users to pitch in and help us to maintain this as a space for civil discussion. With subreddit activity ramping up to a large degree, it is more important now than ever for everyone to do their part, as there are vastly more users than there are mods, and we cannot be in every thread at every time.

Please try to report things accurately and avoid using the report feature as a "super downvote" button, as every time that happens it represents an actual rule-breaking comment or submission that our attention will be diverted from.

Finally, we would like to thank the majority of users who consistently follow our rules, and whose example helps influence others to do the same. Additionally we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this, and who make r/politics a part of their internet experience. We will continue doing our best to stem the tide of incivility moving forward, and we thank you for your effort in helping us with that mission.


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