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Political Links

Postby The Master » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:19 pm

There is an old saying...never discuss religion or politics with your friends.

Beyond the normal stresses of such a discussion, on the Internet we have to deal with links to other websites that have opinions of their own. Some of the sites which have received exposure in recent discussions cause me great concern for various reasons. Rather than ask that political discussions end entirely I am going to ask that links to external sites be limited to:

    The candidate's own site.
    Reports that provide voting results.
    Reports that provide general campaign information (where the next primary is, debate schedules, etc.)
    News reports of the candidate's statements (this would include transcripts of speeches/debates)

I intentionally want to eliminate links to:
    Sites who's primary purpose is to bash/denigrate/insult a candidate.
    Sites that promote the views of groups that endorse intolerance, racism, etc. These are never really appropriate here for any reason.
    Articles which are essentially op-ed pieces rather than news reports.


Because I want to be as clear as possible, I will give you an example. You are welcome to link to Barrack's Obama's website where he outlines his economic proposal, and to reports of comments he has made about those proposals, then give your opinion on its merits. What you should not do is link to a "Barrack is an Idiot" website that rips his proposal apart so you can agree with them. The idea here is that YOUR opinion is valid discussion, third party opinions on some other website is political propaganda. I hope that makes as much sense written down as it does in my own mind!

In a similar vein I am going to be more carefully editing posts that I feel unnecessarily attack or insult the candidate or the poster making the comment. The courtesy expected of all posters here is expected for every thread including sensitive ones like political topics.

I realize this may make it a little more difficult to support arguments you wish to make, but lets be honest: That someone else thinks something is true is just their opinion, not proof.

I hope this all makes sense and that everyone will respect my wishes so that we can continue to have interesting discussions that avoid the common pitfalls so often tied to difficult subjects like politics.
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Postby fanuilh » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:59 pm

Hear, hear.

Thank you, Master, for the clear guidelines. Even I can understand them. :D

Politics is a dangerous topic to bring up, as we all know. I can't think of a single instance in which someone brought up a political topic here and there wasn't, at some point, a food fight.

I'm sure we can all abide by the rules here. They're not difficult to adhere to.
"Never look at the trombones, it only enourages them." -- Richard Strauss
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Postby Neurolanis » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:48 pm

The Master: Reports that provide general campaign information (where the next primary is, debate schedules, etc.)


Here is where I am confused. The Mainstream Media can be more biased than independent sources, sometimes much more so. They can slant things and bash political figures as well, so where is the line drawn? If CNN issues a ‘professional’ report on the ratings, but one paragraph at the bottom suggests a personal attack which has no merit is that ok? It's confusing to tell where the line is drawn. I'm not saying this in the spirit of protest but in the spirit of confusion. I just don't understand how it could work. Also, videos. I assume the first link of mine that you removed was removed because of the written content (which was not the reason why I posted it) and not for the video itself, which was a statement made by the politician in her own words. Just to clarify, if a politician says something in his/her words which make them look bad is that a problem?

With my comments written in the spirit of objection I'll PM you to be respectful.
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Postby The Master » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:16 am

I am going to answer your questions a little indirectly so bear with me.

In my experience politics is something best discussed among people who already generally agree with each other. Why? Well, if someone hates Joe Democrat and thinks Mike Republican is the only sensible choice their opinion doesn't change because you disagree, they just get louder about asserting it.

Lets face it, political discussions never end up being discussions in the true "open exchange of ideas" sense. On the Internet just as in our regular lives there is always someone eager to tell you what a lying crook your candidate is and what a sainted hero their candidate is just as there is always someone else that will get their righteous indignation riled up because you say it. It has always been this way and always will be this way. Its why politics is always so divisive of a topic to bring up and why the best idea is to avoid it entirely if you want to maintain a friendly discourse.

If I truly had my preference we wouldn't discuss it here at all. This isn't a political website. How about you have the political conversations on one of the thousands of political websites that are out there and we can have a nice discussion on the upcoming return of Battlestar Galactica? Or how the sudden death of Heath Ledger might affect the Batman sequel? That would be just peachy keen fine in my book.

Inasmuch as some of our members seem intent to have these discussions I am trying to be accommodating by laying out some ground rules. Primarily they deal with links because I have found many of the links used thus far to be grossly inappropriate for a variety of reasons and feel they have often been inflammatory rather than beneficial to the conversation.

So these are the rules for going forward. How about we see if people can follow them and what that means to the tone of the conversations had before deciding they are unreasonable?'

To answer your specific questions directly:

- Yes, the reason the link was removed is because the site hosting the content was inappropriate. Maybe you can find the same video on You Tube instead? In any event, your post's content was not affected in any way by the link's removal.

- Your personal mistrust of the media outlets is yours alone to reconcile and I will not engage in a discussion of same. Be that as it may, I do not have trouble determining when an article is a op-ed piece or when it is a news report. Therefore, if you or anyone else feels the rules I have posted are being skirted in some way by the content of a link you are welcome to send me a tell and I will be happy to check it out and make the call.
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Postby Dark Knight » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:03 pm

The Master wrote:
If I truly had my preference we wouldn't discuss it here at all. This isn't a political website. How about you have the political conversations on one of the thousands of political websites that are out there and we can have a nice discussion on the upcoming return of Battlestar Galactica?


True However I would think that some people here would not want to go to the "thousands of political websites", and have conversations with people they do not know, and once the elections are over never go to that site again. Also picking a site out of thousands, and one that you like, time consuming.

Instead they would want to converse with people that they know online, like here at SV.

Also they may want to know what SV members think, with out calling them to discuss at a political site.

People discussing SF may want to get the persons thoughts on another matter, without going elsewhere.
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Postby Neurolanis » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:29 pm

Actually I just heard and posted about Ledger's tragic death. Very sad.


I agree with your points, DK. We come to this site to discuss a wide variety of issues because we know each other and feel comfortable with it, plus because we know each other communication between us is easier.
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Re: Political Links

Postby who me » Wed May 04, 2011 6:50 am

:angel:
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Re: Political Links

Postby Ariel » Sat May 07, 2011 9:15 pm

Pim darling, are you running for president again?
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