Besides all that jazz about forum regulating and the rep system, what can we ourselves do to make this forum a better place? I mean, the quality of a forum is a direct result of what we chose to write in it. The only force making this forum better or worse is ourselves.
It's exactly what I was wondering about. The first obvious answer is, of course, maintain the level of decency that are defined by forum rules (here and in general), but that is already instinctive to most of us. This means : not qualifying as subhuman trash or congenital criminals or freaks of nature the people of a certain nationality, broad religion, sexual orientation, skin colour, gender, salary, origin, etc. In practice, not advocating discrimination, hatred, contempt, disgust or general hostility to such categories. Should go without saying (doesn't).
But then, the thorny question is : how should we react to those who do.
So far we could :
- Ignore them. It's what the forum used to do, and I (naively) adored that. Turns out it only encouraged it, and let it settle as a little subcultural norm, hence all the issues that followed.
- Chastize them. It's what the forum was supposed to do, when it was relying on "self-moderation". But again, once the proponents of such discourse had a solid enough, legotimizing enough, foothold, it just made things worse, fracturing the forum along flamewar trenches.
- Report them. But to many people, allergic to whatever resembles denunciation no matter the cause, this feels terribly awkward, and goes quite against our reflexes. Heck, some of us were even refusing to aknowledge the "red minus" button (I must have hit it twice during my stay, spambots apart), so "reporting" may just feel prohibitively whiny.
But now, the configuration is different. With rules and moderation, the forum is given a second chance. And it would be nice to not ruin it again. Based on the idea of existing moderation, supposedly able to take care of these issues and to break its vicious circles, what becomes the best attitude ?
There are, right now, practical exemples going on, with a user ranting about homosexuality being a sick perversion akin to pedophilia. It's an interesting test of the new system. How are forumgoers supposed to react to it ?
I'd really like Fables22, who ultimately ends up having to deal with whatever disaster would ensue, to tell us what the most constructive -or least destructive- attitude would be.
[Edit: 22, not 32]