Forum Rules

Although The Russia Debate is committed to freedom of political speech, that is contingent upon forum members agreeing to abide by a set of rules designed to promote civil discussion and keep it within the legal boundaries of EU and international laws. Though the list may at first appear intimidatingly lengthy, this is, in fact, a good thing, as it clears up many kinds of possible quandaries and hence reduces the potential for “arbitrary” judgments.

By using The Russia Debate you acknowledge that you agree to the following rules:
  1. Do not post any unlawful, harassing, or abusive materials.
    • This includes – but is not limited to, posting, or posting links to, pornography or “warez.”
    • What is “pornography”? For the purposes of moderation here, it is a combination of (i) genital exposure and (ii) sexual or overly explicit poses. None of the hardcore stuff is allowed here.
    • The body is sometimes political, so representations of partial nudity (boobs n' butts) are allowed in those cases where it is politically or socially relevant, e.g. when discussing Voina's or FEMEN's “artistic” actions.
    • You are prohibited from transmitting material that may infringe on any intellectual property rights, copyright or trademark or any other rights of any third party.
  2. Remain civil to other users of the forums at all times.
    • This in particular means no ad hominems. For instance, while it is okay to call someone's argument “idiotic,” it is not okay to call him an “idiot.”
    • For the sake of argument, this law defends ALL users. So, in the hypothetical case that Putin or Navalny were to join and start posting here today, you would no longer be allowed to insult either one.
    • Do not respond to rule violations with rule violations of your own. This is not a school playground, and the moderators have neither the time nor the wish to play the “But He Started It” game. If somebody insults you, or makes otherwise inappropriate remarks, click the “Report” button at the bottom of the offending message or create a thread about it in The Lubyanka. The only thing attacking him or her back will do is get you into hot water too.
    • Moderation decisions are not a topic for public discussion.
    • Swearing is allowed as we all sometimes need to make a strong point that can't quite be adequately conveyed within the boundaries of "conventional" language. That said, we do encourage you to rise to the challenge – and not to abuse this freedom.
  3. Do not post any hateful or racially, sexually, or ethnically objectionable material.
    • This is always a thicket of thorns to define. Let's start with a legalistic Ground Zero: No Holocaust denial. Besides its inherent stupidity and nastiness, the forum owners have no wish to be handed down arrest warrants in half the countries of the EU. There are other forums on the Internet for this.
    • Do not call for the genocide of particular racial or ethnic groups.
    • No racism or crude ethno-nationalist propaganda.
    • What is “racism”? It is perhaps easier to first identify what is NOT racism, at least as regards moderation on this site. Allowing for the possibility that there are biological or genetic differences between human groups - for instance, that one group might have a propensity to have bigger muscles or a higher IQ than another - is not "racism" as long as it is (i) backed up by statistical or scientific data and (ii) not couched in explicit, hateful, or offensive language. So as a rule of thumb, Arthur Jensen or The Bell Curve = not racist; Stormfront or Neo-Nazis = racist. Of course, there is a vast spectrum in between, which is where the judgment of the moderators comes into play. Our relatively "liberal" approach to race/ethnicity discussions does not mean anyone should think we will not sanction racist comments. We will, and stringently so.
    • Do not call for terrorist actions.
    • Do not seek to justify or promote pedophilia.
  4. Do not post the same thing repeatedly (“spamming”).
    • This includes posting the same thing in multiple forums (“cross-posting”).
    • Never, ever re-post something a moderator has deleted.
  5. Do not deliberately take conversations off-topic (“trolling”).
    • Extreme ideologues, wingnuts, and SIFs (Single Issue Fanatics) of whatever flavor - should they insist on clogging up every other thread with their ramblings - will not enjoy a long stay here. We do not apologize for this, as such characters have a flair for killing forums like few others. If you feel a burning desire to tell people about FEMA camps or how the Soviet Union fakes its own collapse, don’t wander off The Conspiracy Theories reservation.
  6. Do not use this forum to distribute junk mail or “spam,” or collect information on other users without their agreement.
  7. Do not use this forum to advertise commercial products, websites, or other discussion forums, or for the conduct of business, without the express permission of The Russia Debate’s administrators.
  8. Type properly and coherently, and follow forum etiquette.
    • Do not tYpE lIkE tHiS or L1K3 7h15. Do not type whole messages or topic titles in ALL CAPS. Do not use improper abbreviations such as “ur” (you’re) or “y” (why). This isn’t 4chan.
    • Do not type entire posts in bold, color or similarly formatted text.
    • With reasonable allowances for non-native English speakers, we expect posts to be well-spelled and grammatically coherent.
    • No one line responses (unless they are really, really succinct and witty).
    • Feel free to use emoticons, but do not make entire posts out of them.
    • When quoting, only (i) quote the specific part of the post that you are replying to and (ii) refrain from making “quote ladders” because they look horrid.
    • Try not to make "double posts." If you are replying to several people, address them one from within the same post.
    • Do not revive very old threads (“necropost”).
  9. Follow the rules on signatures and avatars.
    • Personal signatures may not be used to advertise commercial products or other forums, and may not be animated.
    • If you wish to quote another forum user in your signature, you must first get his or her express permission.
    • Personal avatars cannot be sexually explicit, cannot be animated, and must otherwise conform to the Forum Rules and Terms of Use.
  10. Follow the rules on registration and usernames.
    • Do not register user-names that are deliberately offensive. This is a mature community, so the accounts of usernames with swear words or racially/sexually loaded language will typically be deleted straight away as it is unlikely their owners would ever make positive contributions.
    • Double logins (multiple accounts) are prohibited.

For further information on how these Rules are to be enforced and appeals procedures, please acquaint yourself with the Moderation Policy.

Failure to comply with any of the above forum rules, especially if it is of a recidivist nature, puts you at risk of sanctions such as warnings, temporary bans, or permanent bans.

PS. The basic structure and most of the content of these rules were borrowed from or inspired by the PoliticsForum.

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