You touch many lives! Many of those are grateful, and all of them grow, as do you. Looking at screens is frequently exhausting and takes. I’m really hoping this is a place you can give and get.

So if you have that idea, that opinion, that joke, share it!

That said, remember the humanity of everyone around you!

It’s impossible to create an environment that welcomes everybody. If you open your platform to, for example, homophobes, you’re creating an environment that excludes queer people. Similarly, if you embrace the queer community, homophobes will claim you’re excluding them.

My hope is to keep this space pointed at equality, decolonization, and liberation. You can help!

  • When I mess up, let me know!
  • Be proactive: when posting, ask yourself who gets minimized and how.
  • Invite criticism to your own ideas.

I’m a fan of the Contributor’s Covenant for open source projects, for all intents and purposes consider it adopted here too.

Have fun! This is a canvas!

Not Pablos heavily encourages gifs, emoji, and song links. Just… throw’em around whenever you can.

Remember: what people say vs. what they are

Remember to criticize ideas, not people. Whether or not the people truly deserve to be criticized for who they are is irrelevant: it’s not going to get anywhere, for either side. Jay Smooth explains it beautifully in 3 minutes:

Again, participate! Have fun! Be you! And that might involve ample clowning! But if you want to really have a conversation, make it clear that you mean what they said, not who they are.

Lastly: remember that everyone is a work-in-progress, always. If someone said something a few years ago, confirm they still believe it, or better, ask them what has changed. Give them the space for when, not if, you get called out for something you’ve still got to learn.

Culture is everyone’s responsibility

Keeping default Discourse language:

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Again, here, “bad” doesn’t mean “uses profanity” or “is mean to people with billions of dollars who escape taxes and call us ungrateful.” But if something sucks, please don’t suffer silently: let us know.

Make fun messes

The default Discourse FAQ\Guidelines puts a section here on “keeping it tidy.” I’ll advise you to do the opposite: make fun messes! Dry, clean hamburgers are the saddest hamburgers, we don’t need things to be neat here.

So, as long as you’re not intentionally harming, have a bit of fun. Add gifs to threads that need them. Propose new emoji. Recreate forum signatures. Play!

That said, make the messes fun. The original thread had “Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.” Those are not bad things to do. But again, don’t stress too much, just participate.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

I’m keeping the title from the original guidelines, and its original description:

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

I mean, also though: it’s the internet. Use your judgement.

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Terms of Service

I imagine nobody will ever read them, but they’re here. I trust the Discourse friends included a good one.