(RFC: "Request for comment" for peer review in Internet terms, and how we'll be developing our policies. We'll post things to dw_biz
tagged "request for comment", leave the commenting open for a period, and then integrate your comments and feedback into whatever policy we're developing. Most policies will go through several rounds of RFC.)
So, part of what I want to do is make sure that we have a very clear commenting policy for Dreamwidth "official journals" (anything that starts with dw_*) and that we enforce it from the beginning, in order to be consistent in our moderation. We'd like for our official journals to be places where people can feel comfortable bringing issues to our attention, providing feedback, and asking questions, without having to worry that they'll be attacked or derided by someone else. At the same time, we want to be as clear as possible about what we will and won't moderate, so people who are commenting know what we expect of them.
We want the comments to our official journals to be useful, on-topic, and relevant, whether ultimately positive or negative towards the project. In particular, we want to make it very clear that disagreeing with other people, raising objections, criticizing mark
and me, or pointing out problems is perfectly okay, while at the same time making it clear that ad hominem
attacks, treating others with hostility or malice, telling other people that their comments aren't productive/contributing to the discussion, telling others things like "cry moar", and comments that derail the discussion without contributing anything of substance (so, like, pages and pages of cat macros) will be screened and may result in the commenter being banned.
What sort of things do you guys think a commenting policy like that would require to be spelled out, and what can be taken as understood? I want to avoid saying things like "treat others with civility", because "civility" is a term that varies from culture to culture, but I also want to get this sort of commenting policy into place as early as possible, while our "early adopters" are people who come to the project with good faith and a desire to build a productive community, so that things are ingrained in the culture from moment one.
I have a vision about the sort of thing I'd like for the policy to contain, but I'd like to get feedback and suggestions from you guys first, before I attempt a draft of it. (Once I do, I'll post it here for people to go over and suggest improvements.)