First of all, we are only trying to keep this community at the level of quality contribution and member to member camaraderie we've experienced since we began.
With quite a number of members contacting me and other Administrators letting us know they are abandoning this community because of the rancor they perceive growing from political threads, it became clear that we should address the problem.
We know that this problem arises each presidential election year, this is our third since we started. Many communities disallow political threads altogether, some like www.advrider.com
create a forum where almost anything goes. Even there they had to create a sub-forum 'Church, State and Money' to contain threads of a political or religious nature.
While we have very few political posts lately, threads are being posted that simply link to an external website for video or text. When I get an email that says 'Look at this link' I consider it SPAM even if it comes from someone I know. We feel that the same is true of these forums. For now we will relax moderation of threads of this nature unless they are a clear violation of site guidelines. The nature of political and religious themed posts is such that determining if they are divisive or inflammatory is much more difficult to determine. So when I say we are relaxing moderation it is only as it relates to those criteria.
Even the Administrators and Moderators differ broadly in their opinions on these posts, just as we do on our political and religious opinions. While the focus of this community is motorcycling, we also realize like any other community, our members would like to discuss other topics. Our primary concern is that there are several topics that frequently, almost invariably devolve to antagonistic, confrontational and divisive posts. We have seen this vitriol, when left unchecked, infect entire communities.
I am creating a poll along with this post so that we can gauge how our members would like us to handle posts of this nature. We will let the poll run for the next week and use the results to help us determine a clear policy.
It is our goal to do our best to allow people to freely discuss most anything, but we don't want this community to lose its overall quality or primary focus.
In addition to participating in the poll, please post a reply if you want to present other thoughts on this topic.