The !salt Rules Discussion Thread

Hello Boobies, Webmaster here (yes, my "can post as myself" kingdom is expanding).

As you might have heard, now that we can have sidebars (and now that our user base is growing), it's time to start discussing both which "official categories" every board should have, and also get more specific about rules and stuff.

I wanted to begin with !salt because... well, it's The Most Dangerous board we have. From great salt comes great responsibility, and so (without calling anyone out, because this is not what we're here for and also, no one knows who you are anyway), I wanted to start proposing and discussing guidelines.

More inside!

»I know I know we survived without rules for so long
»and I don't want to be overly prescriptive, ofc
»but I think !salt most of all has the potential to really hurt people and feelings and we should strive to set some boundaries to maintain the culture here one that doesn't make people feel alienated
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  1. Personally I’ve had a pretty good time with !salt, even when I’m reading stuff I don’t agree with.

    There are a couple things I consider gauche or faux-pas that haven’t seemed to happen much here (in some cases, haven’t happened at all), and those are:

    • Directly naming people
    • Directing people to bother people’s accounts outside of Bobaboard
    • Intracommunity Boba drama (like that one thread someone made to directly complain about another user on Bobaboard)
    • Posting other people’s personal information

    Personally I’m fine with having links/embeds/whatever to stuff we dislike as long as there’s the expectation for people to be decent and not brigade others over it. If it turns out people are misusing that then maybe that should be reëvaluated but I have hope for Bobaboard as a community to be better than that.

    1. @The Webmaster: “One thing to note, is that as BobaBoard becomes more public, you might have onlookers not part of the community reaching out to harass people on other socials, even if no one here would be the type of person to do that.”

      I’ve been thinking about this, and what troubles there might be in providing people a public space to complain vs. preventing bystanders from taking advantage of those complaints... It’s a very human impulse to complain about stuff you don’t like, and also a very human impulse to rubberneck at drama you’re not involved in. Complaining about people and trends is a strong force for bringing people together. (Case in point: all the gossip sites that exist on the internet, “discourse” channels on discord.) I’ve seen some really interesting and productive conversions come from shit someone brought to the table to complain about. But the problem comes when people start to bully others based on that gossip.

      One starting point I can think of is “What policies did KF use and what culture did they foster that led them to become such a horrible cesspool, and how can we try to act against that sort of culture?”

      Part of that is the immensely right wing pool that was recruited from which I think was attracted to the encouragement and culture of casual bigoted language, but many people from all over the political spectrum use that site so it’s not just the rw userbase.

      I think one thing we can do on here at least is not cultivating “receipts” or anything else that would commonly go in a callout post against someone in these threads. Preventing people from gathering mass amounts of “damning evidence” against a specific individual’s character can really reduce the potential harm of someone with an axe to grind coming across a thread about that person’s action.

      In general I think making threads about a specific person’s character should obviously be discouraged too.

      »Sorry this is so long and jumbled!
  2. OP

    So, here's some things that we had discussed in the past:

    1. Unless someone is a reasonably-known figure, avoid discussing people by name and putting their posts/tweets on blasts. This is the one board where screenshotting (with blocked out names) rather than embedding is preferable. If you're using a tweet to illustrate a generic situation/behavior rather than discussing a specific person, use your best judgement.
    2. When a post is discussing a situation that happened within the community, you have two options:
      • Let enough time pass that other community-members won't feel "vagued" about, and then discuss the behavior more generally.

    Explicitly acknowledge what happened, and word your comment carefully, with the full expectation that the person might see it and react. While it might not be in the spirit of !salt, the Situation/Behavior/Impact framework above can be useful to discuss the topic in terms of the impact the discussion had on you, as opposed to associating ill intent to the person doing the behavior.

    »Please remind me if we had come up with other guidelines
    »and as always feel free to disagree
    »or expand
    »or improve
    »don't forget we're building culture together here
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      Speaking of point 2, and acknowledging things that happen within the community, part of what prompted Finally Doing This was someone reaching out to me about this thread explicitly linking to a fanfic being described as "mediocre".

      The Anonymous Anon felt that, while discussing mediocre fics is time-tested tradition and something we have all done, explicitly linking to the story and putting it on blast in a public forum (even a semi-public one like Boba) creates an environment where people fear their fanfic might be the next one to be publicly lambasted. And, of course, there's always the possibility that OP themselves might with time end up stumbling upon the thread.

      Because of this, I'd also like to propose a rule about not discussing specific instances of fanworks. Of course, before setting this in stone (though nothing ever is), I'd like to crowdsource better heuristic and guidelines for it: are there situation/cases where you feel a public discussion is warranted? What should the guidelines on discussing a specific work be like?

      »person doing the linking/blogging, please don't feel like you've done anything wrong
      »there was no rule against this, and it's something most of us have done one way or the other
      »it's just that the culture in an anonymous space is a very delicate thing, and we must be careful in setting good boundaries to keep it one that feels safe
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