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Comments Policy

There’s no such thing as a safe space. Or maybe there is, but this isn’t one.

That’s not to say that we want people to feel unsafe here. But rather, our first priority is not to kick out people who say things which make other people feel uncomfortable or with which we disagree. Obviously, someone shouldn’t be posting here is if they keep making posts insulting other commenters or contributors, or expressing that they hate groups of people. But there is a lot of gray area, uncertainty, and wiggle-room in the world, and we’d rather live in an uncomfortable limbo than resort to black-and-white rules which shut down discussion and discovery.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • If a word currently is used, or has been used in the past few decades, to describe a minority group, then don’t use to mean “bad.” Actually, don’t use it to mean anything that it doesn’t mean. For example: spastic/spaz, r*tarded (many people consider this to be a slur, please treat it as such), and psychotic.
  • Check your privilege before declaring that a certain experience or opinion is universal.
  • No personal attacks will be tolerated.
  • Assume positive intent.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Allow other people their own interpretations of their own lived experiences.

I know it seems like we’re going really in-depth and overexplaining instead of just banning a list of words, but the thing is that this is a pretty small comments policy and that’s for a reason. The examples listed above are either things that are very obviously offensive or simple ways to encourage productive conversation. There are a lot of other words, usages, views, and approaches that people disagree about the offensiveness of; and there are words and usages that are unfortunate ways of putting things, but aren’t actually insulting. We feel like these more ambiguous terms are ones that contributors and commenters can discuss and come to individual conclusions about.

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