Senate Guidelines These are the guidelines to help clarify some questions about what the standards are for Senate threads. In short, the Senate exists to provide a forum for in-depth and focused discussion on political, theological, scientific, historic or philosophical discussions. Senate Threads Senate threads are intended to be more than simply reaction threads to news. For those, the Community forum is more appropriate. However, using a news story to provide the context to frame a larger discussion can result in a suitable thread for the Senate. To start a Senate thread, the opening post should provide a framework that the discussion can build upon. A link, quote, question or rant is not enough. You want to get others to invest their time into the discussion, so do that a little bit in your introduction to the topic, too! You don't need to write an essay, but at least one or two paragraphs that give some of the basic background of the topic you'd like to discuss, and then some of the questions you'd like to have addressed or your take on that background you've just provided. This can also include choosing one part of a broader topic to focus on, to move on to another subtopic later. If you're not sure about how to do this first post, or if you've got a good topic, feel free to PM one of the Senate moderators for help. Senate Posting First and foremost, we want to hear what it is YOU think and WHY. As such, just posting links/videos on their own is discouraged. Links are great, but they should supplement your post, and any post should be primarily your own thoughts. If your post doesn't make sense or say anything when the links/quotes are removed, then add more of your own thoughts in. Additionally, simply stating what you think without explaining why doesn't leave much for other people to discuss, nor does it help other people understand your viewpoint. Your post doesn't have to be long, but it should be effective at conveying what you think about the discussion and why. Criticisms should always be directed at ideas, and not at people. Conversely, there are generally no ideas/beliefs that are protected from criticism in a discussion. The one noteworthy exception to this is we sometimes feature threads designed for understanding certain belief structures, where the focus is understanding beliefs, not evaluating their validity. So long as people have reasons to go with it, they should feel free to put forward any viewpoint, but evidence is a reasonable expectation. Any post made should be contributing to the discussion at hand. A sense of humor is fine, but just posting jokes and references without contributing to discussions as well is a form of spamming. When Posts Go Wrong If someone is violating these guidelines, please let a moderator know. Someone else posting in a way that doesn't fit with the Senate does not excuse or justify posting in a similar manner. This includes responding to personal attacks in kind, or if a thread spins into jokes or other spam. Individual posts, if deemed severe enough, can and will result in a ban, as well patterns of disruptive behavior in Senate threads. This includes spamming them. In short: Threads to promote in-depth discussion - no reaction threads Posts that don't attempt to contribute to discussion will be considered spam Criticise ideas, not other posters Someone else violating a rule does not justify following suit When you click the 'Post' button, you agree to comply with these rules. Welcome to the Senate!