This is my second post in a series on site rules. Again, my hope is
that we can have a frank and open discussion about them.
The reason for this rule is to protect our members from harm. There is
simply no excuse to use this site as a vehicle for threats of
violence. I trust I don't need to waste time explaining this. It is
With this rule, we come to an over-arching reality of behavior and the
moderation of that behavior that must be understood. There are a
couple of key concepts that will be reoccurring in these discussions,
the exploration of which will hopefully lay to rest several
misunderstandings about the rules and how one is to comport oneself as
well as what one can expect from a moderator on this site.
The application of rules does not occur in a vacuum, and consequently,
the idea of a rigid enforcement of rules and consequences is not
practical. It doesn't work in western law and it is even less likely
to work here. Judges have a range of punishments they can hand down,
as well as some latitude in what it means to be "guilty." It is the
same with us.
A moderator must have integrity and must act in good faith. We must
try to gain an understanding of a situation, and then must resolve it
the best way we can under the letter and spirit of the rules.
If a person says that they are going to "kick billy's ass," but it
seems more like a case of bad judgment and unfortunate wording, a mod
may elect to issue a warning rather than a ban.
Conversely, if a person stalks another user with a creepy sort of intensity
and the mod gets the feeling that something not-right is happening--if
that mod becomes convinced, it is his or her duty to act on that
conviction. We do not need 100% proof to act, especially if we are
convinced someone may be hurt by our inaction. The purpose of this
rule is not to protect people from other people telling them that they
will "kick their ass." It is there to protect people from actual harm.