To keep each discussion on topic, the moderator should use the following rules:
Only 3 types of posts are allowed in response to any lead post:
- You can disagree, but only with facts of support, or it may be summarily removed.
- You can agree
- You can request more supporting data for a lead post claim.
Participants will be required to answer questions about any “disagreement” or “off topic” claims with frank and gracious dialogue. Often this is needed just for clarity, not for suspicion of false claims or intentions. Evasive replies will be considered evasion of honesty.
Opinion and contradiction are hereby contraband, subject to summary removal.
- Rule of Apology
If false claims, opinion, or contradiction are exposed, the contributor will be required to apologize before further posting is allowed. This keeps people humble, and usually the disruptor quits at this point.
- Suggest a New Thread
When someone is passionate about what is considered an off-topic post, I sometimes offer them to start a new thread. “If it’s so important start a new thread.” They rarely do, which exposes the tactics was meant for disruption, not clarity.
- Source of Rules
The rules above were derived from Ben Franklin’s Junto Club rule:
“Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute or desire of victory; and to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.”