Here are our five guiding principles:
I. The FEC welcomes all registered and authenticated* users to join our community and to comment and treats all members of the community equally. We do not discriminate based on the person who is posting, and we never censor comments for political or ideological reasons. We never delete an appropriate comment because we disagree with its viewpoint or ideology, and we never publish an inappropriate comment because we agree with or support its viewpoint or ideology.
II. We want the FEC website to be home to open, transparent conversations in which people connect, discuss, share ideas, and debate the issues. This can sometimes lead to frustration, anger, hyperbole, or the use of biting humor. Courtesy can vanish, manners abandoned. As a community dedicated to being open and transparent and committed to fostering a vibrant discussion of the issues of the day, we can tolerate this. We also allow a reasonable level of profanity. But our commitment to a basically civil tone means we do not allow extravagant or superfluous profanity or speech that is otherwise vile. We use our common-sense judgment to discern between the two and err on the side of openness and transparency. In this area especially, we defer to the flags left by our users in the context of our growing community reputation system.
III. We are also committed to maintaining a non-toxic atmosphere. As such, we do not allow hate speech, nor do we allow speech that advocates or supports hatred or unlawful violence. We do not allow racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, or other intolerance. Likewise, threats of violence or threats to anyone or any group's personal safety are not acceptable. We also do not allow false claims or misleading implications that any individual or group perpetuates hate or unlawful violence. We do not allow comments that criticize others based on physical appearances or mental characteristics. We do not allow comments that celebrate the death, illness, or personal loss of any person. We also do not allow the promotion and propagation of conspiracy theories.
IV. In order to preserve a functional and civil conversation, we do not allow trolls, trollish behavior, or stalking. We do not allow speech that is solely intended to provoke other users, to cause disorder or confusion, or to inhibit regular, on-topic conversation. In this area especially, we defer to the flags left by our users in the context of our growing community reputation system. We also do not tolerate stalking. This includes posting personal information about another community member, pursuing another member from thread to thread in an attempt to harass, deliberately misquoting or lying about another member, copying a username in order to embarrass or harass another member, or unwelcome sexual advances toward another member. In addition, we do not tolerate lying about being a staff moderator or about communications with a staff moderator.
V. Members of the FEC community deserve to be free from spam, and we do not allow posting the same comment multiple times within one thread or on multiple threads. We also flag and delete all comments containing business solicitations or other advertising of personal interests, blogs, or websites. (A link to a personal blog is fine.) Spam includes comments that are off-topic. If off-topic conversation inhibits or prevents on-topic conversation, we consider it comment hijacking, and do not allow it. That said, we understand that FEC's comment threads aren't just about content. They're also about conversation. And in natural conversation, people exchange pleasantries, greetings, congratulations, praise, and other social gestures. So we err on the side of facilitating an open conversation, even when that means permitting limited off-topic comments and conversation. Also in this area especially, we defer to the flags left by our users in the context of our growing community reputation system.
* In order to post comments on the FEC website, users must first create a free account/profile which is reviewed by a FEC member.
The FEC is a volunteer organization. We have no paid staff who are dedicated to reviewing comment posts. Please be patient and enjoy the conversation.