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Perhaps a New Notation for Requiring On-Topic Posts? (!)


Guest 7034872

DISCLAIMER: I have no special investment in any of this--it's just something that occurred to me while perusing the threads.

In the forums there's been a small kerfuffle lately over (+) threads and what they are and are not for. While strategically marking both of those threads "read" so that I won't feel tempted to go read them in my <New Posts> list, one thing that might be helpful occurred to me: could the forums benefit from a notation that indicates "on-topic posts only?" The idea is that posts supportive or critical of the OP's positions on something are fine, but stuff about politics, social theory, and what you had for breakfast are politely but firmly discouraged in the same way that critical posts are discouraged in (+) threads. If that's useful, perhaps we could introduce a simple notation like (!), implying, "Stay on topic!"

Or has this been tried already and proven a spectacular failure because the internet does not allow such niceties?

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The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Animated GIF

I think this is largely a rule for all threads, but especially for those where it's really important. Straying tends to get those shut down.


Another forum I frequent uses XenForo and lets you ignore threads. That might be one solution for those who just don’t want to see certain threads. I think it’s an add-on though, so it would take work to install and configure (presumably). I also don’t know how it would play with the blocking add-on used here since that site only has the standard ignore.


Mod Squad
Staff member
, but stuff about politics, social theory, and what you had for breakfast are politely but firmly discouraged

Politics and religion are already supposed to be out of bounds. Some social theory is, effectively, political.

And, we do actually already have a "keep it on topic" rule, which we occasionally enforce when we think it is called for.

Overall, I don't really want the job of determining in detail what is, and is not, on topic, and then enforcing that.

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