I will just quote my message in the childcare thread if people haven’t seen it.
EDIT, August 2022
The initiative with the [Coffee] tags mentioned below did not work out. Here are the new moderation policies:
New forum moderation policy:
Be civil. All conversation on this forum is expected to be civil. Rudeness, personal attacks, condescension, shaming, and provoking are just some of the multitude of examples of behaviors that are not acceptable. Any behavior, comment or post that does not meet the requirement of being civil will be removed. Repeated failure to follow this rule will result in a ban.
This forum is about personal finances, early retirement, financial independance and quality of life improvement (“life hacks”). Topics should drive discussion. All top level posts are expected to be about these topics, with discussion being the main goal of this forum. Posts that do not help drive discussion will be removed. If you are wondering what kind of discussion fits in the “quality of life” category, threads like this one are actively encouraged.
No gender or politics. This is not the place to discuss or debate anything regarding gender or politics. There is a distinction between politics and policy. Any discussion that is, turns, or becomes partisan or political will be removed. Discussion of serious legislation or proposals is allowed if the topic stays on policy, not politics. For example - “Ramifications of this new tax plan and new brackets on FIRE” is ok (mainly because it should result in actionnable advices). “Why my candidate and/or my political views are the best” is not. These topics are all off limits due to the forum as a whole not being able to discuss them in a civil way. Repeated violations will result in a ban.
Sounds good to me! The only thing I would like to suggest: if someone creates a thread explicitly dedicated to one of these “banned topics”, then then discussion is contained within that thread and others can just mute/ignore it, while others can argue all night. What do you think?
Politics / social policies is an igniting topic, so if one person (which often happens to be you ) speaks in this context, someone will surely reply and then it sidetracks the original discussion. It’s a PITA to select posts and figure out the name of the new thread (from the perspective of a mod). It’s better if users show self-discipline.
So in my opinion, if you want to discuss some hot topic regarding personal freedom or whatever, start a new thread, put someone’s post as a quote and discuss it there. Unless @Julianek thinks we should really restrict this forum to advice on “how to deal with how things are” instead of debating “what should the things be like”.
Regards whether to allow political discussions under dedicated threads: don’t have a strong opinion just to point out the Coronavirus thread is by far the most viewed and replied: 62.3k and 4.3k respectively. Whether that is good traffic or not is another question
Personally I think, if you do allow separate threads for such discussions, they shouldn‘t „pollute“ the sub-forums but be moved to a dedicated sub-forum (a „playground“ for such discussions, if you will).
That’s a good idea, let’s try this. If you want to discuss a topic that is not directly linked to personal finance, create it in the coffee section. We should also add the tag [COFFEE] in the topic name to make it obvious that it is a general discussion topic.
The Coronavirus thread is the poster-child of what I am talking about: Among the 4.3k posts, most of them are people battling about pro or con vaccines, lockdown policies and mask mandates variants. If there was ever any qualititative information in the thread, it is lost in a see of endless debates (and debate is a nice word for what I am describing).
If you encounter a message where you think the author is advancing his political agenda without any benefit for the topic being discussed (and without any link to personal finance), the correct action is to report this message to moderation. The wrong action is to advance your own political agenda by throwing fuel on the (already derailing) discussion. When someone posts bullshit, we should clean it, not put horseshit on top of it.
I tried the “Let’s be very liberal and let everybody be responsible and post whatever they wish to talk about” moderation policy over the last five years. I am less and less satisfied with the results, because the signal to noise ratio on the forum is becoming weaker and weaker. Take a look at the recent childcare in Zürich topic. Out of 50 messages, maybe 5 or 6 are directly relevant to the original question. Everything else is endless debate about dad-or-mom-should-stay-at-home-wait-can-we-also-talk-about-taxes, and that does not go anywhere. If I were a newcomer in the forum I would find the amount of useful information very low, and that’s not what I want. The objective is to make relevant financial information more accessible on the forum.
I thought that would be the solution for some time, but unfortunately very few people use it, and you don’t need many users to continue to throw fuel on the fire. The “ignore” feature is inefficient on this forum.
I like both the discussions and the financial info we can find in this forum. I like reading all your opinions but I don’t like when they are mixed up in the financial topics. There are many threads I read in the forum which had an interesting title but the discussions derailed into other things and no answer was really yield to the original question. “Other things” can be interesting too (they are for me) but they make it really hard to find the relevant posts for a specific topic.
In practice, how does splitting topics work? Taking the example of the child care thread, how can the discussions about raising children be moved? Does it require always a moderator to move all the posts? Or can participants just agree on that and move? Which messages should be moved? Should OP be consulted and agree with moving?
It would be great to not only agree on the guidelines but describe the required steps to adhere to it.
Thanks for proposing this change and looking after the forum @Julianek.
My opinion is still that we should not restrict freedom of speech but to apply self-discipline and organize our discussions better. If you see that you digress, don’t hesitate about starting a new thread. I understand that this is a personal finance forum, but over the years, relationships between forum members were formed. So if I know there are some smart guys here who think differently than I do, why shouldn’t I ask their opinion on some controversial topic? Just put in “Coffee” and don’t derail investing threads.