Author Topic: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?  (Read 681 times)

Zikoris

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Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« on: January 31, 2019, 12:08:07 PM »
Do you guys think it would make sense to try to eliminate politics from the forums outside of say, people's journals and the off topic section? Toxic political commentary (from both sides) seems to be just permeating everything these days, including threads that are completely non-political. R/financialindependence implemented a policy like this awhile back and it really seemed to clean the place up.

Curious what other people think.

Boofinator

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 01:07:45 PM »
I haven't seen any nakedly partisan politics on this site, which is when things would start getting unbearable. All of the conversations about politics have been logical and in good-faith.

The problem I would have about restricting "politics" is that most conversations are political to some degree or another. Should people bike more? Should there be a carbon tax? Should there be more or less wealth inequality? Is the ACA a good thing? All of these affect our lives and are political in nature.

So in my opinion, no, we should not have a blanket ban on politics. If I find topics of conversation (or particular posters) to be annoying, I just ignore them and move on.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 01:49:57 PM by Boofinator »

scantee

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 01:49:15 PM »
Quote
Do you guys think it would make sense to try to eliminate politics from the forums outside of say, people's journals and the off topic section?

No.

It is much more realistic for you, as an individual, to change your behavior to avoid political threads than to expect an entire message board to cater to your preferences by disallowing discussions of what is clearly a popular topic.

diapasoun

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 01:56:20 PM »
I don't know if I'd want a blanket ban on politics. I'm totally fine for a blanket ban on markedly partisan politics (it's annoying at best), but I do agree with Boofinator that there are some real difficulties with excising general political discussion from a lot of the topics here. For example, for USians, the future of the ACA or SSA will affect retirement planning, and that's a discussion that requires mentioning politics. The same will go for UK folks with Brexit planning, or Canadians discussing provincial healthcare systems, or all sorts of related topics. A lot of our discussions around things like charity allocation, or designing a good life, or how to run a business, can be construed as having political elements too.

That being said, I think I have some guesses as to which thread sparked this post, Zikoris, and I share your frustration. I'd personally like to see a lot more respect for OP topics generally -- especially in being thoughtful about whether a tangent is needed or useful. There are broad topics that I'm really interested in but just plain avoid on these forums, because I know exactly what an interesting, unique thread is going to devolve into and I don't need to experience that again and again.

Zikoris

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 02:08:37 PM »
Quote
Do you guys think it would make sense to try to eliminate politics from the forums outside of say, people's journals and the off topic section?

No.

It is much more realistic for you, as an individual, to change your behavior to avoid political threads than to expect an entire message board to cater to your preferences by disallowing discussions of what is clearly a popular topic.

I absolutely 100% avoid political threads that are labeled as such. Unfortunately, certain people choose to bring politics into threads that are 100% not about politics at all, and ruin it for everyone else. That's what I wish there was a way to avoid.

scantee

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 02:19:44 PM »
Quote
Do you guys think it would make sense to try to eliminate politics from the forums outside of say, people's journals and the off topic section?

No.

It is much more realistic for you, as an individual, to change your behavior to avoid political threads than to expect an entire message board to cater to your preferences by disallowing discussions of what is clearly a popular topic.


I absolutely 100% avoid political threads that are labeled as such. Unfortunately, certain people choose to bring politics into threads that are 100% not about politics at all, and ruin it for everyone else. That's what I wish there was a way to avoid.

I don’t read political threads on this site because I don’t find the discussion of that topic here interesting or illuminating, even though I am very interested in politics generally. When apolitical threads turn towards politics, I stop reading. I feel that there is enough other content this site to make sticking around worthwhile. Were that to change I would decamp to some other forum. Until then, I just avoid any threads that devolve into pissing contests as the politics threads frequently do.

use2betrix

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 04:03:52 PM »
How about creating an actual politics section instead of filling the “off topic” section with like 50% political threads?

MMM is an advocate of the low information diet, as am I, and I don’t really care to wade through the constant political garbage in “off topic” every time I feel like reading something non-MMM related.

Dee18

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 06:45:28 PM »
No.  I like that people can say what they want as long as they are civil.  I think the mods do a great job.  I personally find people’s comments about politics interesting, often even when I disagree.

FIFoFum

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 07:04:51 PM »
The issue isn't politics. It's posters who take threads "off topic" from what the original post and discussion is about or who otherwise violate forum rules.

It's impossible to discuss topics like tax policy and planning, health care, investment, transit, housing and many more relevant topics without talking about politics in some form.

Instead of a rule against politics, we just need people to follow the existing ones. And to help the moderators - who are doing a great job & best they can - by reporting and not engaging in toxic discussions that are derailing a thread where-ever they occur.

sol

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 08:15:15 PM »
It's impossible to discuss topics like tax policy and planning, health care, investment, transit, housing and many more relevant topics without talking about politics in some form.

Right.  This is a fundamentally political website we're visiting.  It's about money, the most political thing imaginable to me, and the impact money has on one's life.  It's about the way we as a society interact with each other and our environment.  I don't see any way to have those conversations in an apolitical fashion.

I agree that there have been some ugly political discussions here, but I think that's a temporary side effect of current political realities, and will subside in the future.  If the country ever gets back to fact-based discussions of how to improve the general welfare, much of the current partisan bickering will naturally die down.

Zikoris

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 10:38:39 PM »
It's impossible to discuss topics like tax policy and planning, health care, investment, transit, housing and many more relevant topics without talking about politics in some form.

Right.  This is a fundamentally political website we're visiting.  It's about money, the most political thing imaginable to me, and the impact money has on one's life.  It's about the way we as a society interact with each other and our environment.  I don't see any way to have those conversations in an apolitical fashion.

I agree that there have been some ugly political discussions here, but I think that's a temporary side effect of current political realities, and will subside in the future.  If the country ever gets back to fact-based discussions of how to improve the general welfare, much of the current partisan bickering will naturally die down.

See, I don't think that's necessarily the case. I talk about taxes, health, investment, housing, transit, etc plenty in real life and on other forums/subreddits, and it does not turn into the political bullshit that seems to keep coming up here. Banning politics discussion completely on the financial independence subreddit seems to have cleaned up the place tremendously. A number of the Mustachian and FIRE-oriented Facebook groups have also implemented "No politics" rules, and it not only doesn't seem to impede discussion, it greatly improves the quality of the spaces in general.

It seems pretty easy to me to discuss something like a tax policy by just focusing on the facts and how it's applicable to FIRE or FIRE-oriented people, without bashing the individual politicians, political parties, or voters involved.

sol

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 10:58:18 PM »
It seems pretty easy to me to discuss something like a tax policy by just focusing on the facts and how it's applicable to FIRE or FIRE-oriented people, without bashing the individual politicians, political parties, or voters involved.

Without bashing individual politicians, sure, but it's hard to do without bashing policy positions embraced by those politicians or their parties.

These days, I'm feeling like the key attribute of US politics is exploitation of rural working class people by wealthy (mostly white) capitalists, and the cunning ability of those wealthy capitalists to convince rural working class people to support their own exploitation by convincing them that it's immigrants or brown people who are the problem, instead of vastly wealthy supercorporations.  I don't need to name names for everyone present to know which politicians in power today fall on which side of that debate. 

All subsequent debates about minimum wage, or tax law changes, or immigration, or even seemingly benign topics like the unemployment rate are in some way tied up in this exploitation, and lots of people (from both parties) are justifiably upset about it.  I'm not sure you would help matters any by telling all of those folks to sit down and shut up.  That's the kind of thing a wealthy capitalist would try to do.

Zikoris

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2019, 12:00:36 AM »
It seems pretty easy to me to discuss something like a tax policy by just focusing on the facts and how it's applicable to FIRE or FIRE-oriented people, without bashing the individual politicians, political parties, or voters involved.

Without bashing individual politicians, sure, but it's hard to do without bashing policy positions embraced by those politicians or their parties.

These days, I'm feeling like the key attribute of US politics is exploitation of rural working class people by wealthy (mostly white) capitalists, and the cunning ability of those wealthy capitalists to convince rural working class people to support their own exploitation by convincing them that it's immigrants or brown people who are the problem, instead of vastly wealthy supercorporations.  I don't need to name names for everyone present to know which politicians in power today fall on which side of that debate. 

All subsequent debates about minimum wage, or tax law changes, or immigration, or even seemingly benign topics like the unemployment rate are in some way tied up in this exploitation, and lots of people (from both parties) are justifiably upset about it.  I'm not sure you would help matters any by telling all of those folks to sit down and shut up.  That's the kind of thing a wealthy capitalist would try to do.

I'm not saying anyone has to sit down and shut up, I'm saying this might not be the place for those discussions. Maybe other people agree, and find those discussions toxic like I do. Maybe people disagree, and find some benefit in dragging every second post down the political rabbit hole, whether it's about tax policy or knitting. I have noticed that FIRE-ish online discussion places that are not this one seem to have had great success in reducing toxic discourse and making their platforms more welcoming by banning politics. I'm not saying there's a right or wrong answer, but "no politics" does seem to work well in other places.

Abe

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2019, 07:45:11 AM »
How would we define discussing politics? Is it the act of mentioning a politician? Or mentioning a political party? Would discussion of an associated topic need to be policed to ensure no one mentions any government policy action? Would discussion of a policy position of a non-profit with a political agenda also count? My point with these questions is that what is and isn’t politics are not clear cut, and censorship rarely fixes the problem of uncivil (or undesired by some, which is what we’re really talking about here) discourse.

libertarian4321

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Re: Does anyone else think there should be a "No Politics" rule?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2019, 08:00:50 AM »
It's impossible to discuss topics like tax policy and planning, health care, investment, transit, housing and many more relevant topics without talking about politics in some form.

Right.  This is a fundamentally political website we're visiting.  It's about money, the most political thing imaginable to me, and the impact money has on one's life.  It's about the way we as a society interact with each other and our environment.  I don't see any way to have those conversations in an apolitical fashion.

I agree.  And unfortunately, the actions of politicians can have a huge effect on our financial lives.  It would be awfully hard to eliminate it from the discussion.