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What counts as a political comment?

Dwayne Brown

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I was recently browsing around the forum when I noticed the "guidelines" area, I didnt know this forum had any guidelines so I clicked and watched corys video and read the rules. Everything made sense exxcept for "we don't discuss politics..." What is the definition of politics on this forum? The literal definition is "the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.'' I ask this question to understand what is against the rules to post and not to start a revolt against the forum. I also want to ask this because recently I have been discussing historical topics. Now history could be considered very political historically speaking. If I was in a debate with another person on this forum over napoleon rise to power through a coup and spoke in historical favor of this would it be considered a political post? Or would it have to be about something newer like the history of communism and capitalism? Or something even newer such as american elected officials within the last decade? 


If there are any moderators that could explain it would be a big help. Thanks

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On 8/27/2021 at 9:29 AM, GameCzar said:

I think they are specifically trying to eliminate vitriol about current politics.    In the historical context it's generally a lot more peaceful.

@GameCzar Yeah that's is mostly it. Politics is a little hard to define, but I know it when I see it. Once, there was an oddly political argument about moss balls (pre Zebra Mussels) that turned ugly, with some name calling. Posts were edited and someone got banned before the thread was locked. There once was a nasty discussion of earthquake zoning codes resulting in cross words and hurt feelings.

People have very strong feelings about filtration methods, so it doesn't take much to push a discussion over the edge,and much less when you throw a little politics into it.

The primary guideline is to be kind and helpful. If everyone follows that, there aren't too many problems.

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I think it's easier to just not allow a specific topic which can cover a broad range of content rather than try to moderate every instance and decide whether it violates rules or not. It's probably mostly intended for current stuff that people fight on social media over but you could also have instances where one side idolizes a historical figure and the other thinks they were a villain.

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Here is the easiest example I can give from a real experience.


I go to Israel and film some cool fish farms. People fight about Israel vs Palestine. This sours the relationship of going back to see the other 9 farms this gentlemen owns, showing a commercial level breeding operation for amano shrimp etc. It only takes 1 or 2 comments to start a topic in a wildly different direction than the main topic, being aquariums and fish.


Politics in general are one of the categories that some individuals feel they should always be able to talk about, everyone has a right to speak about whatever they want, but on a privately owned forum we don't allow it as it is one of the main gateways of turning this into a facebook like experience full of strife, instead of the escape from social media without outside influence.

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Purely out of interest, what if the politics being discussed was fish related? Like different countries laws on environmental or habitat preservation, or certain plants/fish/medicines being banned etc?

I mean I assume as long as it was a practical discussion and not highly opinionated etc then it's unlikely to get heated or cause strife and is relevant to the hobby so would generally be ok but was just a thought, it is sort of political after all

For example, on another thread we were discussing a nitrate removing set up with live plants - one of the best plants for this would probably be water hyacinth, which whilst doing some reading I saw that apparently it used to be banned for sale or shipment in the US because of its potential to be invasive, but according to Wikipedia late last year the law was repealed so now presumably you guys in the US could sell/buy it now? 


Edited by KentFishFanUK
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I know I can buy it in washington state. And I agree @KentFishFanUK that in theory it would not be political but in america everything can get political. It is highly likely that if someone talked about the environment that it would start a political turf war because the two dominant political partied in America have opposing views when it comes to that. Not to mention that climate change would almost definantly get thrown around and that would probably spell the end of the thread.  

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On the forum for young people I manage, we also ban politics. In fact it’s the only discussion topic we’ve totally banned. (Others are limited to certain spaces or limited in scope, but politics is the only “no, never” one.) It would simply be impossible to moderate and people would constantly be upset.

This is how we put it in our rules:


We do not allow students to post political statements or calls to political action, including politically-themed debates, calls to vote for a certain individual or party, requests to sign a petition, requests to contact a representative on an issue, or prayers asking for a certain political outcome.

Basically if the statement is clearly “pro” or “anti” a certain party, political figure, law, or policy, it’s a no-no. The policy lets students say thinks like, “Please pray for the people stuck in Afghanistan” without things devolving into a foreign policy debate.

When it comes to fish and the CARE forum, I imagine we’d be fine pointing out a plant/fish collection policy, but we should avoid discussing whether that policy is good or bad. Or we could say “it’s so sad that this fish is endangered,” but we should avoid debating what kind of laws are needed to protect it.

For anyone skimming: this framework is not actually part of the CARE forum guidelines—it’s just an example of another forum’s politics rule.

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