Updated policy on Current Events: PLEASE READ

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Now and hereafter, Threads and posts focused on contentious current events that appear to the Mod Team as potentially playing into the hands of those attempting to manipulate public opinion will be closed promptly. This is a clarification and extension of Historum’s policies against: partisan politics, calls to action, promotion of one belief set or group, and a violation of civility and respect that depends upon open-mindedness. Some may question this, and for those a longer explanation is provided below:
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
In light of the evident use of the Internet by governments, partisan parties and extra-national entities to manipulate the public, there will always be a suspicion that any news is “fake news”. It is not a Historum function to sort out the sheep from the goats, that can and should be done elsewhere.

Internet manipulation of public opinion goes further. Hot button issues, are used to divide, sow discord, and undermine whoever happens to be the target. In these two threads the hot-button issue is gun control and the two U.S. political parties are sharply divided on the matter. The gun control issue is not a simple clear-cut matter, though both parties insist that it is. This provides an opportunity for outside interference by increasing the divide and creating turmoil within the nation. Media coverage of mass shootings is fodder for both parties, and possible media manipulation has to be considered. Closely related divisive issues like immigration, abortion, and an Executive who seems unfazed or caring that virtually everything out of his mouth is either false or an exaggeration. These aren’t isolated, but so inter-related that rational discussion is impossible without becoming part of the problem.

For those who believe that these problems are unique to the U.S. partisan politics, think again. British politics are a quagmire that have implications far beyond that fair and pleasant land. The EU has its own contentious problems, not least of which is internet manipulation by Russia. It appears that most, if not all current governments are engaged in using the Internet for their own purposes. Iran and Saudi Arabia are both trying to dominate the Islamic World, a conflict that concerns the World. Both of these Islamic nations have produced such pan-national radical terror groups as Al Queda and ISIS. Long standing conflicts between India and Pakistan, and with the DPRK, motivates attempts to manipulate world opinion.

So the problem is the wave of sophisticated “fake news”, and intentional lies, and exaggerations make finding the actual facts difficult. Points of view and diverge and emotions rise. This is one way that the Internet is being abused. By reviewing threads that contain the seeds of contention and division into differing political, religious, et. Al. We hope to keep this site a rare haven from the chaos potential of hot-button issues.

Discussion of events in the more distant past where the general facts are more settled and emotions less intense probably won’t notice much change. The Current Events and Lounge Forums seem to attract more trolls with agendas, and those Forums will be watched more closely than in the past. Historum applauds sincere discussion and learning from interaction with others who love the gifts that history gives us.

This is a place where HISTORY is the central topic, arguments to promote any one person, political or religious superiority over others, gender, ethnic and cultural warfare (be it ever so disguised) has no place here. The discussion of History must inevitably draw "points" of fact in the world we all live in ... in the 21st century. Historum hosts debate, but its truest value to the world at large is as a quiet place where History is discussed in a civil and respectful manner. Close minded prejudices are an anathema to our goal of being a place where the curious or student of history can find respite from the turmoil of Media campaigns to manipulate. Many of our members are young and impressionable, and when two or more groups begin sniping at one another, it can looks as if this most neutral site condones such behavior. This thread will remain open for the nonce, but its future is probably going to be very short, so if you have anything useful, or productive to add to the HISTORICAL nature of the OP do it soon, and set a better example.

Our community has gone through some tough times over the past few years. The site has had to adjust to major systemic changes that still aren't quite right, but Staff constraints has slowed that effort to a crawl. Staff has gone from more than a dozen down to a period when only two were left to deal with the many problems associated with balancing justice and freedom of expression against conflicting chauvinists .... sometimes individual and sometimes as a whole prejudiced grouping of members. Thankfully, the staff has been largely re-built and this is an opportunity for us all, Staff and members to make the site all that it should be. We set an example before the world, what example we historians set for a world ignorant of the past?
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
I appreciate the time You guys took to sort out a solution, moreover, to explain it thoroughly to us all.

I would like to suggest You a couple of things that I believe it could help You, thus the site and the members too:

1. I saw extremely valuable members in their historical contributions finishing baned because their positions in current events. It's a bit of a waste, IMHO. I think that mods should have the possibility to impeach member "x" to post in the lounge or the current events in a first instance, before being banned from the site.

2. Although the forum is largely dominated by Anglophones (largely US and UK), there are plenty of members from elsewhere. The new staff has a new moderator from Europe (not British), which is good. I believe that coopting a moderator form Asia would be another good thing. It could help the forum (and maybe You guys too).
 
Mar 2019
1,801
Kansas
Are we able to discuss less contentious elements of possible hot button issues.

Example the recent terrible tragedy in El Paso. Obviously from your guidelines we would be very smart to steer away from any gun debate, any immigration debate, and probably any hate speech discussions.

However what has occurred (for the first time) The Mexican government is looking to extradite the alleged gunman, as well as pay all legal costs for any Mexican nationals caught up in the event. So assuming everyone plays fair and does not cross the aforementioned boundaries, are we okay to have a discussion about that element of the case?
 

Edratman

Forum Staff
Feb 2009
6,701
Eastern PA
Good questions.

Speaking as just a single moderator, I will suggest to the Mod team that we allow several days for questions to be posted. Afterwards the mod team will discuss and address them as an entirety.
 
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Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I appreciate the time You guys took to sort out a solution, moreover, to explain it thoroughly to us all.

I would like to suggest You a couple of things that I believe it could help You, thus the site and the members too:

1. I saw extremely valuable members in their historical contributions finishing baned because their positions in current events. It's a bit of a waste, IMHO. I think that mods should have the possibility to impeach member "x" to post in the lounge or the current events in a first instance, before being banned from the site.
Very few long standing members are banned without multiple warnings. The rules are clearly stated. If, after all that, a member still cannot control themselves, then there's only one person to blame.

2. Although the forum is largely dominated by Anglophones (largely US and UK), there are plenty of members from elsewhere. The new staff has a new moderator from Europe (not British), which is good. I believe that coopting a moderator form Asia would be another good thing. It could help the forum (and maybe You guys too).
What's AlpinLuke, cannelloni?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,205
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Are we able to discuss less contentious elements of possible hot button issues.

Example the recent terrible tragedy in El Paso. Obviously from your guidelines we would be very smart to steer away from any gun debate, any immigration debate, and probably any hate speech discussions.

However what has occurred (for the first time) The Mexican government is looking to extradite the alleged gunman, as well as pay all legal costs for any Mexican nationals caught up in the event. So assuming everyone plays fair and does not cross the aforementioned boundaries, are we okay to have a discussion about that element of the case?
My instinct is that members will not be able to stay clear of the hot button issues and get themselves into trouble.