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Welcome to Speaker's Corner! This forum is intended for discussions outside skydiving, and was created after certain types of discussions in the Bonfire area (primarily concerning politics, guns and religion) became overly contentious and began driving people away from Bonfire. We recognize that some people want to discuss some of these more-contentious issues, and thus Speaker's Corner was created. 

It is important to realize that the rules still apply here as they do anywhere else on Dropzone.com. The primary rules here are: 

1. No personal attacks. 
2. No jokes about pedophilia. 
3. No advertising in the forums. 

Personal attacks are any variation on the theme of "you're an idiot." For a discussion of what constitutes a personal attack, see here. 

Jokes about pedophilia are never tolerated. The only time it is permissible to discuss it is in reference to a factual issue, such as a public trial where someone is accused of pedophilia. 

Note that these are not the only rules. For a more comprehensive list, see the list of rules. Also see here for further clarifications. 

Also note that while we will not tolerate hate posts, there is no rule prohibiting attacks against groups or non-DZ.commers. (See here for details on what constitutes a hate post.) Organized religions, political parties, celebrities, presidents, and countries are all fair game. If such posts will upset you, do not read or post to this forum. 

Posting here means you accept these rules. If you do not follow them, you may get a warning, be banned from the forum for some period of time, be banned permanently from the forum, or be banned permanently from DZ.com. There is no guarantee of a 'second chance' or of a certain type of banning. 

While moderators attempt to monitor all the posts here, it is not practical to read all of them, and we would appreciate your assistance in PMing us when you see posts that you believe violates the above rules. If you see a questionable post and do NOT PM a moderator about it, then we will consider you OK with the content of the post.
Some more details on personal attacks:

It is important to realize that a personal attack is any attack (slurs, insults, denigrations, implications about their mothers, etc) or threat against another poster. Any such attack is not permitted here. This is true even if you are absolutely, 100% sure that the poster is stupid, or ignorant, or childish, or an ass. It doesn't matter if you think it is true or not, or even if you can prove they are an ass. You can't post such messages here. If you feel it is important to post such things, unmoderated forums like rec.skydiving do not have any such restrictions. 

Clever insults that attempt to get around the above (i.e. "I like rabbits" "anyone who likes rabbits and posts here is an idiot") will result in the same sort of bans/locks/thread deletions that a personal attack will. 

Also note that personal attacks do NOT include attacks against political groups, prominent people who are not DZ.com posters, ideas, religions or theories. Since this board is intended for political discussions, more leeway is given to posters who (for example) attack the democratic party, or creationism. However, the prohibition against hate posts still applies (see here for a discussion of hate posts.) 


Warnings are intended to warn someone that they are getting close to being banned, getting threads locked etc. They are NOT intended to let you "get your one slam in." Therefore, any borderline posts (like constant, repetitive flaming on one topic or constant sniping at another poster) _may_ get a warning before stronger action is taken. Obvious personal attacks like "go fuck yourself" or "you are immature and ignorant" will generally get you banned immediately and/or get your threads locked. When this happens, you may or may not get a PM explaining why. 


The moderators make an effort to keep track of the threads in the various forums. But with over 2000 posts a day on Dropzone.com, it's just not possible to read every post. If someone posts a personal attack and it is not deleted, there are two possibilities: 

1. It wasn't really a personal attack in the view of the moderators 

2. A moderator hasn't seen it yet 

In such cases an email/PM to the moderators of that section can help us keep tabs on the threads that are getting rambunctious.
Notes on threads specifically about another poster: 

If you find yourself starting a thread specifically about another poster, I strongly urge you to reconsider. Personal threads are silly, usually pointless, and mostly devolve into flame fests. Such threads are viewed with the utmost skepticism by the moderators, so be prepared for them to be removed without notice. 

Also, trying to dress your attacks up as a poll (poll: is Joe an idiot? poll: should Jack admit he's wrong?, etc) is a not very clever way to disguise a personal attack, and will not be tolerated. 

When discussing in this (or any) forum, a good rule of thumb is the one we learned in 2nd grade soccer--play the ball, not the player. If you find yourself directing things at a person rather than at what they say, chances are you are out of line.
Notes on anonymous posting:

While it has always been the policy of this web site to allow a lot of leeway with the creation of anonymous accounts and there are some good reasons to have them for the purposes of whistle blowing, we have an extremely low tolerance for people that create anonymous accounts simply to stir up shit and attempt to get around bans. 

If you feel the need to make an anonymous account for the purposes of making a jackass out of yourself, don't be surprised when the moderators cut off your posting privileges.  In general, sock puppet accounts will be banned immediately and without warning.
On Topic threads:

If anyone wants to discuss a topic that is NOT one of the standard themes here then post a thread with a subject like: 

"Child care costs [on topic]" 

That [on topic] will indicate that the poster wants the thread to remain on topic and will warn people that off topic posts will be deleted. Note that this does NOT mean that deleted posts contain PA's or anything, and if anyone feels they simply must post how Obama has destroyed health care in America they are free to start another thread on that topic. 

We'll see how it goes. Note that moderators do not do anything to a specific schedule so a thread may go a few days with thread drift happening. This is important to note because if you reply to a post that has drifted it will likely disappear along with the original drifted post - even if your post is on topic. 
External text from other sources:

Copying and pasting the words of somebody else is not a conversation. 

At the very least, the person should make a comment in relation to the wall of text they've copied and posted so we know where the poster himself stands in relationship to it. Give it some context so you aren't simply acting as a copy and paste meat robot on behalf for some PR firm, lobbying group, or news site.

It doesn't have to be much, but at least it gives us somebody we can converse with. We can't converse with the author of the wall of copy and pasted text, because that person simply isn't here.

In addition, giving an attribution (author/website/organization etc) is a very good idea.

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