As moderator, or as chief pirate in these parts these days, recent events are compelling me to speak out on the subject of profanity, and it's use on this forum. That's right, it's nagging away at me, and has been for a few days.
Since I'm supposed to be in charge, here goes!
So firstly: This is a public place. Your Mum, your Granny, your baby brother, nuns, the President, students, criminals, brain surgeons, Trip Hawkins, your boss etc., etc., can all visit here. It's not a private forum. It's like public room off of the high street.
Best to imagine it as a bus, going to a destination we all have a common interest in, and there is no limit, and no price on who can ride the bus.
Two facts of life:
1) People will be offended by profanity
2) People will use profanity to grab other peoples attention
This is not the middle-ages. I will not stone people to death for the use of profanity.
I am an Englishman, from England, and it is my firm belief that the use of strong language and profanity is a valid form of communication. That's right: Valid. Not least of all it adds emphasis but also its use defines who you are, and helps people, in a down to Earth, none pretentious way, to express feelings and genuine emotions. And in my honest opinion it works.
They are, at the end of the day, just words.
However, I am acutely aware (my parents are strict Christians) that this does not apply to everyone and I don't swear in front of them because it offends.
To people who swear: (Includes me) Be aware you will offend folk, and that's simply not nice. I leave it to your judgement to take the best cause of action. However, signs of lack of sensitivity, or gratuitous swearing, will result in deletes, edits and banning. I hope that is clear.
To people who don't like swearing: Be aware that people don't like to be told what they can and cannot do. Being chastised by a peer in public is humiliating and creates negative feeling. (However a recent event was probably down to lousy moderation by me -- there is no guide book!)
Ultimately, what I care about most, and read the following carefully.
I will not tolerate insensitive posts
. And will edit or delete posts from now on that I feel are insensitive. If people have grievance about a post: The first action is to PM me.
Finally, just because it's the Internet folks, doesn't mean the people aren't real. and you happiness while on this forum is more important to me.
I love you all.
PS: I'll leave this unlocked, so we can debate, but it won't change my point of view, and so I can clarify this early morning ramble. The forum will continue to operate the same as it always has.[/b]