Until we can get something better (new page in footer) up I would like to use this post to articulate content and moderation policy. This is just a first draft and it will be edited as our rules evolve.
EDIT: The first draft you can see below was revised, and the full set of current A2K rules can be viewed at http://able2know.org/rules/
See also this blog post: Talking rules
Infractions of the following policies may result in having the post removed and the user suspended. We generally prefer short (i.e. one week) suspensions as we prefer to have an inclusive community and despite our content standards most of the people who run afoul of the rules are people who are valuable to the community.
We currently have no mechanism to let people know why they were suspended (other than a cryptic "spam" or "inappropriate" message that doesn't help much). If you are suspended and would like to know more information please contact us (see link in footer). Please do not circumvent the suspension with a new account or demand to know who else is being suspended, we won't disclose to you who else has been suspended just like we won't disclose to them if you have been.
1) No illegal content. This includes anything from copyright infringements to child pornography etc. This does not necessarily mean discussion about illegal activities (e.g. discussing drug use, or drunk driving or crime stories) but content that is illegal for us to host.
2) No spam. Some moderate (and useful to the community) self-promotion is tolerated but signing up just to post spam/links is not.
3) No pornography, gratuitous nudity, gore or inordinately graphic content. Certain exceptions exist in cases of newsworthiness, artistic merit etc.
4) No volume-spam. For example starting post after post about a conspiracy theory or religious proselytization. Basically any signal to noise ratio problem, if you aren't providing value to the community while posting in volume you might be suspended. Nonsensical or incoherent posts will be removed at any volume.
5) No hate speech. Slurs or epithets on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation etc are not allowed.
6) No personal attacks on other members. Including in response to attacks, please report instead.
7) No personal arguments ad nauseum. If a personal dispute between members drags on and on and gets in the way of others being able to discuss a topic (or crosses from topic to topic) members may be suspended.
8) No begging for votes or downvotes or coordinating votes with others or fake accounts.
9) No "doxing" or sharing of personal information about any member or private person (i.e. posting someone's phone number, real name etc).
10) No other toxic or disruptive behaviors to the community. This is a catch-all rule that will be applied on a case by case basis and includes any mass down voting (or even mass complaining about voting), brigading, or any behavior that is deemed inordinately disruptive to our community.
1) We are not overlords. We are more like janitors. Our biggest job is to clean up spam and not be seen and heard. We should try to be light handed not heavy handed, and suspensions etc should almost always be temporary and short. This is not a role for people who fancy authority it is a thankless job of cleaning things up to keep the community viable.
2) Moderators and administrators must be able to make objective decisions and check their egos at the door. There is no room for playing favorites and we must enforce the rules objectively and without our personal biases. This will sometimes mean taking action that favors someone you do not like or that does not favor someone that you do like. It is not easy but we must not make anything about moderation personal, we are acting on behalf of the community and not any particular members or ourselves.
3) Suspensions or post removals other than obvious spam should be done by administrators or with a moderator consensus, not by a single moderator.
4) Moderators should not be seen and not be heard as much as possible. They should not disclose their moderator status or announce their actions or give warnings. This is in order to a) avoid being heavy handed and wielding an authoritarian stick b) save time from endless debate over each decision, which will invariably have its detractors and c) to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment of members. The few exceptions to this rule to announce changes to policy etc must be approved by site admins. The best moderation is when the community doesn't notice it at all and runs smoothly.
5) Any legal matters should be directed to the people who will be legally responsible, the site owners (i.e. MadLab personnel). Please direct any legal threats to us and do not respond to them on our behalf.
6) Moderators must not disclose any private information they have access to, including moderator discussions or member IP addresses seen from reports.