Friday, October 10, 2008

Guiding principles of abetterworldblog

I thought I should write a few words on the guiding principles of this site. These are the rules that we'll be following when posting, or soliciting articles, and also the rules for any visitors to the site who might be leaving comments.
  1. Be polite.
  2. Watch for ways individuals or organizations can make the world a better place. This necessarily subjective, so I welcome polite suggestions and other points of view.
  3. Be non-partisan. No one ever agrees in politics, and because of that, I am trying hard to address things that are near and dear to everyone, regardless of political persuasion. Because of this situation, I will only post articles about politics as long as they appear to be (at least to me) non-biased toward any one candidate. That doesn’t mean I won’t post things by someone who is specifically liberal or conservative, or that I won’t post something from a source normally considered leaning toward one party or the other. As long as the article or point in question is non-partisan, it’s fair game here. For what it's worth, I'm not a non-partisan person. I've voted for the same party nearly every time since the 1988 election. But personal politics have no place here. I might or might not post on other blogs about my political beliefs, but not here. However, I'll still try hard to observe the politeness tenet no matter where I post.
  4. Be polite.
  5. Avoid proselytizing any specific religion. Just as no one ever agrees on politics, no one agrees on religion, either. Matters of spiritual belief are private, and we should only share religious tenets, if they apply across the board. For example, "pray for them" is OK, but "pray to [insert holy name here]" is not, as it excludes followers of other religions.
  6. Be respectful of other people’s opinions. They aren’t stupid or deceived or evil for not agreeing.
  7. Be polite when you are leaving comments on an article. I will remove impolite comments without notice. This is non-negotiable. If I remove a post, and you want to know why, I’ll answer your questions as to how I felt it was rude, but it ends there. You are more than welcome to rewrite and then post a polite version of your removed comment. Now, I really hate being put in a position where I must censor and/or police a site. Please don’t put us in the position of having to remove a comment. It’s simple to not be censored: simply remain polite under all circumstances.
The rules can be boiled down to: be respectful, non-partisan, and look for ways anyone can make the world a better place. All the rest were details.

I also need to mention that we do have advertisements on the site, but aside from the decision to allow the ads, we don't control their content. Software looks at the articles and other content of the site, and then picks what it considers appropriate ads. At this point in time the software isn't always particularly intelligent, and the ads don't always make sense given what we are about. They also don't necessarily represent the ideology of the contributors, as on this site we strive for neutrality in politics and religion.

And on a final note, we will donate 25% of the revenue generated by the ads, to charitable organizations. We will try to notify readers when we make donations, and to whom.

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