The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

N.B. The Code of Conduct is not applicable as written below, as it is currently being revised.

1. About This Document
This is version - version 2.2.1 of the Code of Conduct (COC).  It is a Protected Core Document (see below).  The COC contains Guidelines and Boundaries: 

  • A Guideline is something to follow, it is a general indication of how to behave nicely to help the community function well for all its members.  It may not be defined in strictly objective criteria.
  • A Boundary is a clear line that members should not cross.  It will be more strictly defined than a guideline.  A warning that a boundary has been violated may be either yellow or red.  A yellow warning is low level and indicates our wish that the member improves their behaviour.  A red warning is accumulated, and can lead to suspension of the member.

2 General Behaviour Guidelines
We are people in fellowship first, and activists second.  So, we have a general guideline that events should be enjoyable and our members pleasant to work with.  Where this isn't possible for some reason, you should at least treat people with respect.  This movement is all voluntary, so the least we can do is to make it a nice experience, where possible.  Involvement in this community should  not feel like 'work', it should feel like fun.

2.1 Transparency
Aim for maximum transparency.  This means that you should try to:
(a) Have discussions where possible in a public forum.  That way more people can benefit from them, and the material can be easily re-used. A forum is a write-once-read-many medium, whereas an email is a write-once-read-once medium.
(b) Try to maintain an audit trail or log of what happens.  For example, when this Code of Conduct is changed, a record is kept of the obsoleted version. That way, its possible to again learn lessons, and understand why certain decisions were taken sometime in the past.  (Although often this kind of tracking isn't possible, due to technical limitations of the website or tool).

2.2 Information Security
Conversely, where information cannot be made public, you must respect that confidentiality carefully.   Everyone should be careful about releasing personal information about a member, into public view.  All members of a private room should treat that information with the respect it deserves. 

2.3 Teamwork

2.3.1 Critical Feedback
Critical feedback should be given directly to the person it relates to, not given as a complaint to someone else. One way to enforce this is, whenever you speak or write about a 3rd person, imagine they are listening.  The only exception to this, is if you are trying to work out how to help them grow.

2.3.2 Protection of Allies
Whilst we encourage healthy debate, special consideration must be given to partners and allies, for which public discussion could be destructive or even re-used by opponents as propaganda.  If you think there's a chance of that happening, then please continue your discussion in a private room, or by email.

2.3.3 Failures
This is a tough fight, involving personal risk, with immense pressure on all our resources. people do need to let off steam from time to time.  when it happens, just pick up the threads and move on.

2.3.4 Time Management
Try to manage the communities time carefully.  Conversations which are purely concerned with internal personality clashes or minor doctrinal disputes can consume immense amounts of time but people do not realise it because they are so wound up in the emotional energy of the moment.  At times like that you can say:
"We shouldn't be having this conversation"
as a wake up call to all involved that you have become focussed on an internal matter which is not contributing to the cause nor helping any of the 14 Victim Groups.

2.3.5 Delegation
Shared and delegated power is increased power.  Do not be afraid to let go of power and hand on to someone else.

2.4 Demonstrations

  • no Nazi salutes in sarcasm to the police or UAF or whatever. We aren't Nazis, never have been, and never will be
  • do what the organiser says! he's got a lot more on his plate than you have
  • stay safe. We value every single one of our members, as an individual and as a political activist

2.5 Meetings

  • have an agenda
  • have a chairman who keeps the meeting to the agenda
  • try finish on time
     

3. Website Standards
It is extremely difficult to define good discussion, but nevertheless, members should try to be behave in a constructive manner in every website discussion.  Section 4 therefore tries to objectively quantify what discussion standards.

3.1 Legality

3.1.1 US Law is applicable
you must not make statements which breach the laws of the USA, where this site is hosted

3.1.2 Unlawful Killing
You must not endorse or encourage people to perform criminal executions.  However, you can endorse enforcement of execution by the state (capital punishment) after application of due judicial process. 

3.2 Free Speech
We try to preserve of freedom of speech, to the maximum extent possible.  This exposes us to rash language, so the COC will be under a constant process of improvement and refinement, as we learn to manage that.  Our policy is the opposite of that pursued by extremists of the political left and the religious right, who seek to suppress all dissenting opinion.

3.2 Accepted Languages
In the UK Room, the accepted language for discussion is English, but in the Hungarian Room both Hungarian and English are accepted.  However, quotes can be in Latin or Arabic or whatever.  What this means is that in the UK Room for example, English is used in its conventional meaning.  You are not allowed to go around defining words out of existence, or re-defining them to have some alternate meaning more suitable for your purposes - if a clear and objective one already exists.  In case of doubt, a dictionary can be used.  (The question of defined meanings for Arabic words and quotes is too complex to be defined right now).

3.3 Protection of Admin Team
There are many logistical and administrative demands on the admin team - but let's not confuse means and ends - their primary goal, as with all the members, is of fighting for freedom, not administering a website.

3.3.1 Admin Team Time
The Admin Team must be protected from unnecessary and excessive time consumption and stress. We have to protect Administrator time, as the latter is a very limited resource and 4F cannot afford to waste it on behaviour which does not help to build the community and support its goals. Stress is not imaginary, it is a real and measurable state, and it clearly degrades each individual's performance.  If it is clear that the Admin Team is losing a lot of time to any issue, or that an issue is subjecting them to undue stress, then decisive action will be taken.

3.3.2 Admin Team Communications
At times the admin team may need to contact you about your postings.  Communication from the admin team needs to be treated as a priority.  If a reply is not received after a reasonable time elapse, the admin team may conclude that your account has been compromised and may terminate your membership.

3.4 Protection of Core Documents
A small number of documents on 4F are designated as Protected Core Documents (PCD), inasmuch as they form a key part of the definition of the ideology, the community and the website. They are marked by the token "[PCD]" in the title.

Since the Core Documents are written in a forum, they are also open to comment by members.  Normally on 4F, we aim to only intervene in comment moderation when absolutely necessary.  When it comes to the PCD however, we cannot allow criticism to take place unchallenged, because then someone who is scrutinising our principles, could be lead to believe that the 4F community is not able to defend against that challenge.  Criticism enables us to refine and further codify our principles, so, even though criticism gives us an onerous task, when that criticism is careful and precise, it is beneficial. 

However, where criticism of the PCD is done in a slapdash, unthinking or even mischievous way, it casts an unnecessarily large burden on the site admin to respond appropriately.  For this reason, for all documents labelled [PCD], comments may be summarily deleted by the admin team, without explanation, i.e. without recourse to the full standard justification process of this Code of Conduct.

Please note that this exception is not for the removal of comments which the admin team disagree with; it is for the removal of comments which are both wasting their time by being poorly constructed, and attacking the foundational principles of 4F.

3.5 Regulation by Technical Control, not Human Intervention
On a technical level, if you can do it here, you are allowed to do it.  For example, you can create forums, add photo and add events to the calendar, but you cannot create new groups. There is a 'Sensitive Materials' room for images, photos etc which may cause offence to a casual browser. It is not fair on such a browser that they come across something offensive. However, after entering the Sensitive Materials room, they have a right to be shocked, but not to be offended, (because they chose it).

3.6 Respect for Other Members

3.6.1 Information Security:  
please do not release personal information which may be used to locate or damage any member of 4F.  This protection should also be given, where possible, to anyone who may be viewed as an 'ally', no matter how vitriolic a dispute they may be involved in.  The general rule of thumb is that if a member or one of our allies, has tried to keep some personal information out of public view, then that wish should be respected, unless there are other over-riding concerns, for example criminal behaviour or fraud.

3.6.2 Personal abuse
Do not gratuitously insult other members - this includes deliberate distortion of other member's names.  You can insult the enemies of freedom though.  Its a form of cathartic release, but please don't do it at the expense of making critical analysis.

3.6.3 Excessive Swearing
we will be as tolerant as possible of people losing their cool, but bearing in mind that some members use this website as an educational tool for their children, we will take a dim view of repeated offences

3.6.4 Spamming
For example,
dating requests

3.7 Cooling Off Period
It sometimes happens that behaviour does not specifically breach the behaviour guidelines, but instead goes down a negative spiral of inter-member anger, or hostility to other counter-jihad organisations.  The hallmarks of this will be an excess of emotion, a negative viewpoint, and a lack of constructive suggestions. 

(a)  In these cases, the administrators may freeze the relevant forum for 2 weeks to allow some of the emotion to dissipate.  Then, when it is re-opened, people can endeavour to be more constructive and less emotive in their criticism.

(b)  When a forum is frozen, it is clearly a breach of good intent for a member to cut and paste parts of the suspended forum into a new one, so as to continue the discussion there. Such behaviour will be viewed as a breach of the guidelines.

4. Discussion Standards

Here we use the following symbols:
V: the COC Violator
R: respondent, the person you are discussing with

4.1 Discussion Style
A discussion may be cooperative or adversarial. Generally speaking, a cooperative discussion will be with an ally, and and adversarial discussion will be with an enemy or opponent.

These terms relate to the form of the discussion not the content. A cooperative discussion is one in which you both try to help each other to move forward and save time. An adversarial discussion is one in which you just want to win, and don't care how wasteful or destructive the process is.

These terms should not be confused with Agreement and Disagreement.  A cooperative discussion can still contain a lot of disagreement, but the disagreement will be managed in a more constructive manner, and the discussion will reach a satisfactory conclusion more quickly.

To say that you intend to participate in the discussion in a cooperative manner is an expression of intention, not of ideological position(i.e. agreement or disagreement).  If you have agreed that the discussion is cooperative, many of the COC violations below should not occur, so it will be easier to identify and highlight them.

If you ask your respondent, R, whether the discussion is cooperative or adversarial, they are required to answer the question.

4.2 Problematic Assertions and Allegations

4.2.1 Relocating Disputes from Other Websites
You must not relocate catfights and personal disputes from other websites into 4F. To borrow a phrase from Fight Club: "what starts in other websites, stays in other websites"

4.2.2 Relocating Disputes to Other Websites
Do not relocate disputes with 4F admin from here onto other websites.  Instead, you should deal with them here.  N.B. this is not the converse of (a) above, i.e. you can take personal disputes from 4F and continue them on other websites, if that website allows it.

4.2.3 Unsubstantiated Allegations
You should not make allegations that you cannot substantiate, particularly about other members, other people and about other organisations.  When challenged on an allegation you should provide some kind of warrant or validation of it, and if that is not possible, you should withdraw the allegation.  Anecdotal experience is not admissible as evidence for a generic assertion.  Admins will take a dim view of repeated infractions of this guideline.

4.2.4 Soapboxing

This is not an emotional psychotherapy service where we are required to listen to people who just want to rant against us.

4.3 Problematic Questions

4.3.1 Question Repetition
A question should only be repeated, if the respondent didn't answer it , or misunderstood it, or answered a different question by accident.
This is a very useful boundary to remember for media interviews, where it is a command and frequent tactic to repeat a question several times in an attempt to force you to use a different form of words, which is more incriminating or less politically correct.

4.3.2 Information Security
Please do not ask questions publicly, which could reveal personal information constituting a security risk for that person.

4.4 Substandard Responses and Refutations
This section describes the behaviour that we expect members to follow in their responses. This covers timeliness, coherence, and relevance.  The question-answer process should by like a game of tennis with the ball being passed back and forth.  It is not just a one-way single shot process.

4.4.1 Fobbing Off
Fobbing Off 
is making a flippant reply to a genuine or realistic question, or sometimes no reply.  If this is done to a 4F Admin it is a more serious matter.  

4.4.2 Ignoring
There is a balance between asking too many questions and ignoring or forgetting some questions.  But this violation consists in ignoring clear, direct and pertinent questions, either because they are too difficult, or because they are known to lead to a Lose situation for the answerer.  This is also releated to being a Greedy or Selfish Participant, in 4.4.3 below. 

4.4.3 Fogging and Disconnect
Fogging is replying to a point, by raising some unrelated issue as a diversion, and not responding to the original point at all. We all do this to some extent, but if it is done often, it becomes a tactic to distract and exhaust all opposition.  Another manifestation of this tactic would be to endlessly wander off topic, or just be generally incoherent, thus making it difficult for others to continue a sensible line of thought and discussion.

Disconnect is when it seems impossible to get the person to reply to a point, no matter how many times you refer to it.  Repeated fogging produces a disconnect.

4.4.4 Expert Quibling
We are all at different levels of expertise here.  If you know a lot more than your respondent in a particular area, then it behoves you at least try understand the intention behind his words, even if it is not technically totally correct.  For example, if someone says that Buddha said "Life is Suffering", and the expert knows that that is not strictly correct, rather than simply reject the whole phrase, he should give the correction and preferably a link to further explanation (like this, for example).

4.5 Faking

4.5.1 Playing Devil's Advocate 
It is sometimes useful to play Devil's Advocate, i.e. argue from a position you disagree with as a way of training a colleague or of clarifying an argument.  However when you play Devil's Advocate, you should make it clear you are deliberately adopting an opposing view, otherwise you potentially waste people's time for obvious reasons.

4.5.2 Cat & Mouse: Hiding or Disputing Common or Accessible Knowledge
Here the violator V takes part in a discussion with respondent R, involving an issue which in the end depends on and can be resolved or progressed by, a known fact or item of knowledge, K.  However, the resolution by K is generally to the detriment of V, and K is generally well known.

There are two forms of this violation:
  • V denies K, or demands clear cut proof from R, even though V knows K to be true
  • V allows R to meander along for a while in ignorance, till eventually K becomes known, then V shows that he knew K all along but never revealed it

This discussion will have the style of a 'cat and mouse'.  When reading it, you realise after a few exchanges that one of them is just playing games without any idea of working as a discussion partner, or of trying to save time.

4.5.3 False Personality
It is common and approved in political activism to have a fake identity, for example a name like Mickey Mouse.  This is for security reasons, but also helps to compartmentalise the workload and keep it separate from one's private and working lives.

However, it is not approved to have a fake personality.  For example, if you pretend to be a Benedictine Monk when in fact you are a former Roman Catholic student who converted to Islam and wishes to defend the latter and attack the former - that is disapproved.

Firstly, it is not necessary.  If anyone wishes to come here and defend Islam (or attack Christianity) they are welcome to do so in the correct room.

But secondly, this form of faking is not fair on other 4F members.  Fellow Catholics, seeing gaps in your knowledge, may kindly try to help you, and may be extra tolerant of your errors and personality failings, because they wish to help a fellow traveller.  Faking will not give an ideological problem to our community, as we are happy to contest against all well defined ideas, but there is a gray area that good manners and kindness creates, between correct behaviour and bad behaviour.  The Faker moves inside that area, and exploits it to waste the time and energy of his respondents.

Faking is a natural tactic for devout Muslims, who will not see anything wrong with it, because they do not have the Golden Rule.  Not having the Golden Rule, they do not expect society to be egalitarian, and not having that, they do not expect members of the same community to show each other kindness.  They only expect kindness to be shown to fellow members of the Umma.

4.6 Other Time Wasting Tactics
These are activities used to exhaust other member's energy, and especially waste the Administrators time.

4.6.1 Excessive Use of Cut & Paste
The use of 'cut&paste', to copy large blocks of comment from some other place to here on 4F, should only be used to start a new forum.  In this case, it is advantageous, as it allows 4F members to read the text without getting distracted by journeying to another site, and allows us to have here our own special style of comments on that text.  However, cut&paste should not be used as an easy and lazy way of replying to a point in a forum.  To reply to a point made by another member in a forum, you should use your own words.  If you do paste quoted blocks from other websites, it should only be to add further depth, or give proof, of the points you are making.

4.6.2 Trolling: Bear Baiting

Trolling consists in hanging around in an area, mischievously 'bear baiting' or insulting people.  After some time it becomes obvious that that person will never make play any constructive part in the movement.

4.6.3 Dropping the Ball
A greedy or selfish person simply ignores all difficult questions, points or suggestion, or ones which don't give them easy wins. Instead they focus on only those issues that interest them.  This is a kind of greed for self-righteousness.  It is difficult to spot because it is often combined with 4.3.3 Fogging and Disconnect above, so that in the welter of issues being covered, we do not notice that they never responded to major constructive ideas which have been raised.  It is also similar to 4.4.2, Ignoring Questions,

Dropping the Ball is often done by someone with a fake personality.  Suppose you are having a discussion with V, and you have formed a certain image of them and their beliefs, but when you review the conversation, but at several points it seems that they "drop the ball", i.e. you raise issues and they neither reject them nor answer them, they just gloss over them.  The difference here though, is that your image of them consequently does not make sense.

For example, suppose you are discussing the dangers of violence in pornography, and just happen to be discussing with a gay man, then you say "Pornography showing violence against women should be banned.  And of course, all gay porn should be banned", then you would expect the gay man to dispute the latter.  For him to accept that statement, which seems to imply that there is something bad about all gay porn, but not about all straight porn - does not jell with the idea of him being gay.

So this violation consists in glossing over or ignoring major statements and issues which should clearly be of concern to them, thereby failing to fulfil the expectations of their personality, and giving the community natural suspicions of them being fake.

4.6.4 Shoddy Evidence and Research
This violation is similar to 4.6.1 - Excessive Cut and Paste.  It is a method the violator uses to wear out his opponent by throwing duff information at him, so that he wastes time filtering thru it.  Then, when the hapless respondent has gone thru the information and points out the inadequacies, it is often followed by 4.4.2 - Ignoring and 4.4.3- Fogging and Disconnect, or simply by 4.6.3 - Dropping the Ball.  Yes, there are some very evil people out there.

We do not tolerate this kind of devious behaviour on 4F.  If you point to evidence, it has to be relevant evidence, it has to be applicable, and it has to at least have initial plausibility for a rebuttal.

4.7 Members with Personal Issues
In some very rare cases, a violator will manifest a varied mix of many of the above problems, which are symptomatic of deeper personal issues.  Unfortunately, t
he 4F Community is not here to perform Care-in-the-Community for people with these kinds of problems.

By the same token, we are not qualified to adjudicate on mental health, so we will not.  However, what we can judge is:

  • Cost-Benfit Analysis:  if a member has consumed a lot of time (both member and admin) for no recognisable benefit, we can hold that against them
  • Intelligibility and Sense:  if a member's posts are unintelligible, or they only make sense after a long and tedious course of investigation and explanation, then we can hold that against them

This category is not as easily quantifiable as all the other violations in section 4, so it is only to be used in rare cases.

4.7.1 Missing Background Information or Education
We do our best to help everyone who is acting in good faith.  But if someone is not trying to understand, or is acting in an uncooperative way, AND showing deficiencies in education or understanding, it is not our job to teach and correct them.

There is a phrase in business:  "Your inability to plan ahead does not make your next deadline my new urgent priority".

So we have a similar phrase in this context:  "Your inability to understand what we are saying, or to read the background material, does not oblige me to spend more time explaining it".

This particularly applies in the case of a COC violation.  So its not necessary that the violator understands the violation, its only necessary that most of the community does.  In fact, it would be impossible to distinguish between a violator who was being disingenuous, and one who genuinely didn't understand the violation.

4.7.2 Emotional Problems
Whilst we sympathise with members suffering emotional disorders, we are not equipped here to handle them, and if their comments become disruptive to our core activities, they will have to stop.

4.7.3 Strange Use of Language
This violation can be quite difficult to pin down, but will be manifested by discussions which don't make sense if we go back to make a summary.  For an example of this, see here.

Another indication will be that some posts are quite incomprehensible, in linguistic terms.  However, after dedicated analysis it will transpire that the violator does make sense, but only by a very restricted or non-normal interpretation of the sentences used, almost as if they are using a private language, but one which other English speakers can think they understand.  For example, if we read Old English, we can make out a lot of recognisable words that we have in common, but we don't really understand the whole sense of the text.  In the same way, we can read this members words and they look the same as ours, but he is taking a completely different sense from those words.  For an example of this, see this comment.

4.7.4 Strange Mental Models
None of us come to these discussions with an empty mind, we come with sets of predefined concepts and and structures in which to frame the issues.  Obviously if a Fundamentalist Muslim joins us for discussion, we don't expect him to agree with us on Secular Democracy being the best system of government.  We may even have to struggle for a while to arrive at a definition of Secular Democracy which we are both prepared to work with.  But we should be able to agree from the outset that gravity is what holds us to the Earth, and that there is a need for a shared definition of our terms.

For example, most of us have the concept of 'Other Minds'.  This concept occurs in Philosophy (Theory of Mind), Animal Anthropology, and Paediatrics, and you can conduct experiments on apes and children to detect its presence. 

Suppose I see a book behind the door.  I am aware that the book exists and that is my view of it.  Now if you come into the doorway and say "there is no book", I know you are not lying, but that in your view of the world, you cannot see the book.  There are two realities, corresponding to two different minds.  Some people seem to have difficulty thinking in terms of 'Other Minds'.  

For example, the use of "purport" only makes sense if you have a model where each person has their own reality, and both their realities are seen as valid.  So if I think you've insulted me, I can say "that was a cheap insult" (or a failed cheap insult, it doesn't matter).  But if you and other people would not think of it as an insult, you can say "Not so, I never purported it to be so, and certainly didn't intend it".  Someone who doesn't have the Other Minds model, will not understand the meaning of "purport" in that sentence.  There is a tortuous example here.

Where it becomes apparent that a member has radically differing  (or missing) common mental models, and is unable or unwilling to work cooperatively and constructively to deal with those differences (or absences), then that member will be asked to pursue their discussions elsewhere, where they can find others who think in a similar way, and can easily understand what they are saying.

Tags: Behaviour:, Code, Conduct, Guidelines, Standards, of

Views: 1002

Replies to This Discussion

Archive Copy of COC 1.1 as at 22 Apr 2012

This copy is useful when reading old comments about use of the COC, where the numbers don't match up with the revised version above.

1. General Behaviour Guidelines

We are people in fellowship first, and activists second.  So, we have a general guideline that events should be enjoyable and our members pleasant to work with.  Where this isn't possible for some reason, you should at least treat people with respect.  This movement is all voluntary, so the least we can do is to make it a nice experience, where possible.  Involvement in this community should  not feel like 'work', it should feel like fun.

2. Website Standards

A major consideration is consumption of Administrator time, as the latter is a very limited resource and we cannot afford to waste it on behaviour which is not constructive for building the community and helping its goals.  So, the following behaviours are deprecated and may cause the user's account to be terminated:

  • 2.1 Illegalty: making statements which breach the laws of the USA, where this site is hosted
  • 2.2 Personal abuse: this includes deliberate distortion of other member's names.  You can insult the enemies of freedom though.  Its a form of cathartic release, but please don't do it at the expense of making critical analysis.
  • 2.3 Trolling: hanging around in an area, mischievously baiting & insulting people for entertainment
  • 2.4 Incoherence = Fogging, Disconnect and Fobbing-Off: Saying someone is incoherent may be seen as a subjective judgement, so we break it down explicitly into Fogging, Disconnect and Fobbing-off.  Fogging is replying to a point, by raising some unrelated issue as a diversion, and not responding to the original point at all. We all do this to some extent, but if it is done often, it becomes a tactic to distract and exhaust all opposition.  Another manifestation of this tactic would be to endlessly wander off topic, or just be generally incoherent, thus making it difficult for others to continue a sensible line of thought and discussion.  Disconnect is when it seems impossible to get the person to reply to a point, no matter how many times you refer to it.  Fobbing-off is making a flippant reply to a genuine or realistic question, or sometimes no reply.  If this is done to an Admin (Alan Lake or Kinana or Netcon) it is a particularly serious matter.  
  • 2.5 Soapboxing and Classroom Demands: this is not an emotional psychotherapy service where we are required to listen to people who just want to rant and let off steam.  Nor is this a free classroom where we are required to give education to people who are weak in some areas.  Of course, we will do our best to help everyone who is acting in good faith.  But if someone is acting in a hostile manner, AND showing educational deficiencies, it is not our job to remedy them.
  • 2.6 Accepted Languages: in the UK Room, the accepted language for discussion is English, in the Hungarian Room both Hungarian and English are accepted.  However, quotes can be in Latin or Arabic or whatever.  What this means is that in the UK Room for example, English is used in its conventional meaning.  You are not allowed to go around defining words out of existence, or re-defining them to have some alternate meaning more suitable for your purposes - if a clear and objective one already exists.  In case of doubt, a dictionary can be used.  (The question of defined meanings for Arabic words and quotes is too complex to be defined right now).
  • 2.7 Time Wasting: used to exhaust other member's energy, and especially wasting the Administrators time
  • 2.8 Spamming:  e.g. with dating requests
  • 2.9 Relocating Catfights:  you must not relocate catfights and personal disputes from other websites into 4F. To borrow a phrase from Fight Club: "what starts in other websites, stays in other websites"
  • 2.10 Admin Disputes: do not relocate disputes with 4F admin from here onto other websites.  Instead, you should deal with them here.  N.B. this is not the converse of 2.9, i.e. you can take personal disputes from 4F and continue them on other websites, if that website allows it.
  • 2.11 Excessive Swearing:  we will be as tolerant as possible of people losing their cool, but bearing in mind that some members use this website as an educational tool for their children, we will take a dim view of repeated offences
  • 2.12 Admin Communications:  at times the admin team may need to contact you about your postings.  Communication from the admin team needs to be treated as a priority.  If a reply is not received after a reasonable time elapse, the admin team may conclude that your account has been compromised and may terminate your membership.
  • 2.13 Information Security:  please do not release personal information which may be used to locate or damage any member of 4F.  This protection should also be given, where possible, to anyone who may be viewed as an 'ally', no matter how vitriolic a dispute they may be involved in.  The general rule of thumb is that if a member or one of our allies, has tried to keep some personal information out of public view, then that wish should be respected, unless there are other over-riding concerns, for example criminal behaviour or fraud.
  • 2.14 Cut&Paste: the use of 'cut&paste' to copy large blocks of comment from some other place to here on 4F, should only be used to start a new forum.  In this case, it is advantageous, as it allows 4F members to read the text without getting distracted by journeying to another site, and allows us to have here our own special style of comments on that text.  However, cut&paste should not be used as an easy and lazy way of replying to a point in a forum.  To reply to a point made by another member in a forum, you should use your own words.  If you do paste quoted blocks from other websites, it should only be to add further depth, or give proof, of the points you are making.
  • 2.15 Unsubstantiated Allegations:  you should not make allegations that you cannot substantiate, particularly about other members, other people and about other organisations.  When challenged on an allegation you should provide some kind of warrant or validation of it, and if that is not possible, you should withdraw the allegation.  Anecdotal experience is not admissible as evidence for a generic assertion.  Admins will take a dim view of repeated infractions of this guideline. 

On a technical level, if you can do it here, you are allowed to do it.  For example, you can create forums, add photo and add events to the calendar, but you cannot create new groups. There is a 'Sensitive Materials' room for images, photos etc which may cause offence to a casual browser. It is not fair on such a browser that they come across something offensive. However, after entering the Sensitive Materials room, they have a right to be shocked, but not to be offended, (because they chose it).

3. Cooling Off Period

It sometimes happens that behaviour does not specifically breach the behaviour guidelines, but instead goes down a negative spiral of inter-member anger, or hostility to other counter-jihad organisations.  The hallmarks of this will be an excess of emotion, a negative viewpoint, and a lack of constructive suggestions. 

  • 3.1 In these cases, the administrators may freeze the relevant forum for 2 weeks to allow some of the emotion to dissipate.  Then, when it is re-opened, people can endeavour to be more constructive and less emotive in their criticism.
  • 3.2 When a forum is frozen, it is clearly a breach of good intent for a member to cut and paste parts of the suspended forum into a new one, so as to continue the discussion there. Such behaviour will be viewed as a breach of the guidelines.

4. Demonstration Standards

  • no Nazi salutes in sarcasm to the police or UAF or whatever. We aren't Nazis, never have been, and never will be
  • do what the organiser says! he's got a lot more on his plate than you have
  • stay safe. We value every single one of our members, as an individual and as a political activist

5. Meeting Standards

  • have an agenda
  • have a chairman who keeps the meeting to the agenda
  • try finish on time

6. Teamwork Standards

  • 6.1 aim for maximum transparency
  • 6.2 when you speak or write about a 3rd person, imagine they are listening.  the only exception to this, is if you are trying to work out how to help them grow
  • 6.3 whilst we encourage healthy debate, special consideration must be given to partners and allies, for which public discussion could be destructive or even re-used by opponents as propaganda.  If you think there's a chance of that happening, then please continue your discussion in a private room, or by email.
  • 6.4 shared and delegated power is increased power.  do not be afraid to let go.
  • 6.5 this is a tough fight, involving personal risk, with immense pressure on all our resources. people do need to let off steam from time to time.  when it happens, just pick up the threads and move on.
  • 6.6 the management team have access to confidential information, as do those in a private room. it behoves everyone to treat that information with the respect it deserves.  In fact, everyone should be careful about releasing personal information about a member, into public view.

Hi Dave, 

Please go ahead!  

All the text that doesn't have an author - i.e. is in a text box on a page somewhere, or is written by Netcon, can be copied by anyone anytime.  That is generic text of the website.  You would not believe how many hours of work have gone into hand crafting those condensed expressions to get just the right meaning across.  So, if you are able to get more value out of them by re-using them elsewhere, all the better.  So, the following items should be freely re-used:

  • the elevator pitch, on the RHS of every page, together with its 4 Freedoms, the 8 Characteristics, the 10 Reasons and the 12 Point Plan
  • anything in the Admin Room (i.e. this room)

Apart from those, anything else can be copied, but please put a link back to the original, so that the writer retains copyright in what they wrote, and can use it in a future book.

Takimag has taken a completely different approach to the problem of defining a Code of Conduct for members.  Rather than pin down the letter of the law as we have done here, they've tried to define the spirit of the law - and I think they've done a pretty good job of it.  Take a look and see for yourself:

http://takimag.com/article/how_to_comment_without_getting_killed#ax...

Archive Copy of COC 1.2.2 as at 6 Jun 2012

This copy is useful when reading old comments about use of the COC, where the numbers don't match up with the revised version above.

1. General Behaviour Guidelines
We are people in fellowship first, and activists second.  So, we have a general guideline that events should be enjoyable and our members pleasant to work with.  Where this isn't possible for some reason, you should at least treat people with respect.  This movement is all voluntary, so the least we can do is to make it a nice experience, where possible.  Involvement in this community should  not feel like 'work', it should feel like fun.

1.1 Transparency
Aim for maximum transparency.  This means that you should try to:
(a) Have discussions where possible in a public forum.  That way more people can benefit from them, and the material can be easily re-used. A forum is a write-once-read-many medium, whereas an email is a write-once-read-once medium.
(b) Try to maintain an audit trail or log of what happens.  For example, when this Code of Conduct is changed, a record is kept of the obsoleted version. That way, its possible to again learn lessons, and understand why certain decisions were taken sometime in the past.  (Although often this kind of tracking isn't possible, due to technical limitations of the website or tool).

1.2 Information Security
Conversely, where information cannot be made public, you must respect that confidentiality carefully.   Everyone should be careful about releasing personal information about a member, into public view.  All members of a private room should treat that information with the respect it deserves. 

1.3 Teamwork
(a) Critical Feedback
Critical feedback should be given directly to the person it relates to, not given as a complaint to someone else. One way to enforce this is, whenever you speak or write about a 3rd person, imagine they are listening.  The only exception to this, is if you are trying to work out how to help them grow.

(b) Protection of Allies
Whilst we encourage healthy debate, special consideration must be given to partners and allies, for which public discussion could be destructive or even re-used by opponents as propaganda.  If you think there's a chance of that happening, then please continue your discussion in a private room, or by email.

(c) Failures
This is a tough fight, involving personal risk, with immense pressure on all our resources. people do need to let off steam from time to time.  when it happens, just pick up the threads and move on.

(d) Time Management
Try to manage the communities time carefully.  Conversations which are purely concerned with internal personality clashes or minor doctrinal disputes can consume immense amounts of time but people do not realise it because they are so wound up in the emotional energy of the moment.  At times like that you can say:
"We shouldn't be having this conversation"
as a wake up call to all involved that you have become focussed on an internal matter which is not contributing to the cause nor helping any of the 14 Victim Groups.

1.4 Growth and Power
Shared and delegated power is increased power.  Do not be afraid to let go of power and hand on to someone else.

2. Website Standards
We have 3 general guidelines.

(a) Free Speech
We try to preserve of freedom of speech, to the maximum extent possible.  This exposes us to rash language, so the COC will be under a constant process of improvement and refinement, as we learn to manage that.  Our policy is the opposite of that pursued by extremists of the political left and the religious right, who seek to suppress all dissenting opinion.

(b) Protection of Admin Team
There are many logistical and administrative demands on the admin team - but let's not confuse means and ends - their primary goal, as with all the members, is of fighting for freedom, not administering a website.

The Admin Team must be protected from unnecessary and excessive time consumption and stress. We have to protect Administrator time, as the latter is a very limited resource and 4F cannot afford to waste it on behaviour which does not help to build the community and support its goals. Stress is not imaginary, it is a real and measurable state, and it clearly degrades each individual's performance.  If it is clear that the Admin Team is losing a lot of time to any issue, or that an issue is subjecting them to undue stress, then decisive action will be taken.

(c) Regulation by Technical Control, not Human Intervention
On a technical level, if you can do it here, you are allowed to do it.  For example, you can create forums, add photo and add events to the calendar, but you cannot create new groups. There is a 'Sensitive Materials' room for images, photos etc which may cause offence to a casual browser. It is not fair on such a browser that they come across something offensive. However, after entering the Sensitive Materials room, they have a right to be shocked, but not to be offended, (because they chose it).

So, the following behaviours are deprecated and may cause the user's account to be terminated:

2.1 Legality
(a) US Law is applicable
you must not make statements which breach the laws of the USA, where this site is hosted

(b) Unlawful Killing
You must not endorse or encourage people to perform criminal executions.  However, you can endorse enforcement of execution by the state (capital punishment) after application of due judicial process. 

2.2 Respect for Other Members
(a) Information Security:  
please do not release personal information which may be used to locate or damage any member of 4F.  This protection should also be given, where possible, to anyone who may be viewed as an 'ally', no matter how vitriolic a dispute they may be involved in.  The general rule of thumb is that if a member or one of our allies, has tried to keep some personal information out of public view, then that wish should be respected, unless there are other over-riding concerns, for example criminal behaviour or fraud.
(b) Personal abuse: 
Do not gratuitously insult other members - this includes deliberate distortion of other member's names.  You can insult the enemies of freedom though.  Its a form of cathartic release, but please don't do it at the expense of making critical analysis.
(c) Excessive Swearing:  
we will be as tolerant as possible of people losing their cool, but bearing in mind that some members use this website as an educational tool for their children, we will take a dim view of repeated offences
(d) Playing Devil's Advocate 
It is sometimes useful to play Devil's Advocate, i.e. argue from a position you disagree with as a way of training a colleague or of clarifying an argument.  However when you play Devil's Advocate, you should make it clear you are deliberately adopting an opposing view, othe
rwise you potentially waste people's time for obvious reasons.

2.3 Responding
This section describes the behaviour that we expect members to follow in their responses. This covers timeliness, coherence, and relevance.

(a) Admin Communications:  at times the admin team may need to contact you about your postings.  Communication from the admin team needs to be treated as a priority.  If a reply is not received after a reasonable time elapse, the admin team may conclude that your account has been compromised and may terminate your membership.

(b) Unsubstantiated Allegations:  you should not make allegations that you cannot substantiate, particularly about other members, other people and about other organisations.  When challenged on an allegation you should provide some kind of warrant or validation of it, and if that is not possible, you should withdraw the allegation.  Anecdotal experience is not admissible as evidence for a generic assertion.  Admins will take a dim view of repeated infractions of this guideline. 

(c) Coherence
Saying someone is incoherent may be seen as a subjective judgement, so we break it down explicitly into Fogging, Disconnect and Fobbing-off:

Fogging is replying to a point, by raising some unrelated issue as a diversion, and not responding to the original point at all. We all do this to some extent, but if it is done often, it becomes a tactic to distract and exhaust all opposition.  Another manifestation of this tactic would be to endlessly wander off topic, or just be generally incoherent, thus making it difficult for others to continue a sensible line of thought and discussion.
Disconnect is when it seems impossible to get the person to reply to a point, no matter how many times you refer to it.
Fobbing-off is making a flippant reply to a genuine or realistic question, or sometimes no reply.  If this is done to a 4F Admin it is a particularly serious matter.  

2. 4 Time Wasting
These are activities used to exhaust other member's energy, and especially waste the Administrators time.
(a) Spamming:  e.g. with dating requests
(b) Trolling: hanging around in an area, mischievously baiting & insulting people
(c) Excessive Cut&Paste: 
the use of 'cut&paste' to copy large blocks of comment from some other place to here on 4F, should only be used to start a new forum.  In this case, it is advantageous, as it allows 4F members to read the text without getting distracted by journeying to another site, and allows us to have here our own special style of comments on that text.  However, cut&paste should not be used as an easy and lazy way of replying to a point in a forum.  To reply to a point made by another member in a forum, you should use your own words.  If you do paste quoted blocks from other websites, it should only be to add further depth, or give proof, of the points you are making.
(d) Soapboxing

This is not an emotional psychotherapy service where we are required to listen to people who just want to rant and let off steam.
(e) Education Demands: 
This is not a free classroom where we are required to give education to people who are weak in some areas.  Of course, we will do our best to help everyone who is acting in good faith.  But if someone is not trying to understand or is acting in an uncooperative way, AND showing deficiencies in education or understanding, it is not our job to teach and correct them.
(f) Question Repetition
A question should only be repeated, if it is clear that the respondent didn't understand it, or answered a different question by accident.  Furthermore, the question-answer process should by like a game of tennis with the ball being passed back and forth.  It is not just a one-way single shot process.

2.5 Relocating Disputes

(a) Catfights:  you must not relocate catfights and personal disputes from other websites into 4F. To borrow a phrase from Fight Club: "what starts in other websites, stays in other websites"

(b) Admin Issues: do not relocate disputes with 4F admin from here onto other websites.  Instead, you should deal with them here.  N.B. this is not the converse of (a) above, i.e. you can take personal disputes from 4F and continue them on other websites, if that website allows it.

2.6 Cooling Off Period
It sometimes happens that behaviour does not specifically breach the behaviour guidelines, but instead goes down a negative spiral of inter-member anger, or hostility to other counter-jihad organisations.  The hallmarks of this will be an excess of emotion, a negative viewpoint, and a lack of constructive suggestions. 

(a)  In these cases, the administrators may freeze the relevant forum for 2 weeks to allow some of the emotion to dissipate.  Then, when it is re-opened, people can endeavour to be more constructive and less emotive in their criticism.

(b)  When a forum is frozen, it is clearly a breach of good intent for a member to cut and paste parts of the suspended forum into a new one, so as to continue the discussion there. Such behaviour will be viewed as a breach of the guidelines.

2.7 Accepted Languages
In the UK Room, the accepted language for discussion is English, but in the Hungarian Room both Hungarian and English are accepted.  However, quotes can be in Latin or Arabic or whatever.  What this means is that in the UK Room for example, English is used in its conventional meaning.  You are not allowed to go around defining words out of existence, or re-defining them to have some alternate meaning more suitable for your purposes - if a clear and objective one already exists.  In case of doubt, a dictionary can be used.  (The question of defined meanings for Arabic words and quotes is too complex to be defined right now).

2.8 Protected Core Documents (PCD)
A small number of documents on 4F are designated as Protected Core Documents, inasmuch as they form a key part of the definition of the ideology, the community and the website. They are marked by the token "[PCD]" in the title.

Since the Core Documents are written in a forum, they are also open to comment by members.  Normally on 4F, we aim to only intervene in comment moderation when absolutely necessary.  When it comes to the PCD however, we cannot allow criticism to take place unchallenged, because then someone who is scrutinising our principles, could be lead to believe that the 4F community is not able to defend against that challenge.  Criticism enables us to refine and further codify our principles, so, even though criticism gives us an onerous task, when that criticism is careful and precise, it is beneficial. 

However, where criticism of the PCD is done in a slapdash, unthinking or even mischievous way, it casts an unnecessarily large burden on the site admin to respond appropriately.  For this reason, for all documents labelled [PCD], comments may be summarily deleted by the admin team, without explanation, i.e. without recourse to the full standard justification process of this Code of Conduct.

Please note that this exception is not for the removal of comments which the admin team disagree with; it is for the removal of comments which are both wasting their time by being poorly constructed, and attacking the foundational principles of 4F.

 

3. Demonstration Standards

  • no Nazi salutes in sarcasm to the police or UAF or whatever. We aren't Nazis, never have been, and never will be
  • do what the organiser says! he's got a lot more on his plate than you have
  • stay safe. We value every single one of our members, as an individual and as a political activist

4. Meeting Standards

  • have an agenda
  • have a chairman who keeps the meeting to the agenda
  • try finish on time

1. About This Document
This is version - version 2.1 of the Code of Conduct (COC).  It is a Protected Core Document (see below).  

The COC contains Guidelines and Boundaries: 

  • A Guideline is something to follow, it is a general indication of how to behave nicely to help the community function well for all its members.  It may not be defined in strictly objective criteria.
  • A Boundary is a clear line that members should not cross.  It will be more strictly defined than a guideline.  A warning that a boundary has been violated may be either yellow or red.  A yellow warning is low level and indicates our wish that the member improves their behaviour.  A red warning is accumulated, and can lead to suspension of the member.

2 General Behaviour Guidelines
We are people in fellowship first, and activists second.  So, we have a general guideline that events should be enjoyable and our members pleasant to work with.  Where this isn't possible for some reason, you should at least treat people with respect.  This movement is all voluntary, so the least we can do is to make it a nice experience, where possible.  Involvement in this community should  not feel like 'work', it should feel like fun.

2.1 Transparency
Aim for maximum transparency.  This means that you should try to:
(a) Have discussions where possible in a public forum.  That way more people can benefit from them, and the material can be easily re-used. A forum is a write-once-read-many medium, whereas an email is a write-once-read-once medium.
(b) Try to maintain an audit trail or log of what happens.  For example, when this Code of Conduct is changed, a record is kept of the obsoleted version. That way, its possible to again learn lessons, and understand why certain decisions were taken sometime in the past.  (Although often this kind of tracking isn't possible, due to technical limitations of the website or tool).

2.2 Information Security
Conversely, where information cannot be made public, you must respect that confidentiality carefully.   Everyone should be careful about releasing personal information about a member, into public view.  All members of a private room should treat that information with the respect it deserves. 

2.3 Teamwork

2.3.1 Critical Feedback
Critical feedback should be given directly to the person it relates to, not given as a complaint to someone else. One way to enforce this is, whenever you speak or write about a 3rd person, imagine they are listening.  The only exception to this, is if you are trying to work out how to help them grow.

2.3.2 Protection of Allies
Whilst we encourage healthy debate, special consideration must be given to partners and allies, for which public discussion could be destructive or even re-used by opponents as propaganda.  If you think there's a chance of that happening, then please continue your discussion in a private room, or by email.

2.3.3 Failures
This is a tough fight, involving personal risk, with immense pressure on all our resources. people do need to let off steam from time to time.  when it happens, just pick up the threads and move on.

2.3.4 Time Management
Try to manage the communities time carefully.  Conversations which are purely concerned with internal personality clashes or minor doctrinal disputes can consume immense amounts of time but people do not realise it because they are so wound up in the emotional energy of the moment.  At times like that you can say:
"We shouldn't be having this conversation"
as a wake up call to all involved that you have become focussed on an internal matter which is not contributing to the cause nor helping any of the 14 Victim Groups.

2.3.5 Delegation
Shared and delegated power is increased power.  Do not be afraid to let go of power and hand on to someone else.

2.4 Demonstrations

  • no Nazi salutes in sarcasm to the police or UAF or whatever. We aren't Nazis, never have been, and never will be
  • do what the organiser says! he's got a lot more on his plate than you have
  • stay safe. We value every single one of our members, as an individual and as a political activist

2.5 Meetings

  • have an agenda
  • have a chairman who keeps the meeting to the agenda
  • try finish on time
     

3. Website Standards
It is extremely difficult to define good discussion, but nevertheless, members should try to be behave in a constructive manner in every website discussion.  Section 4 therefore tries to objectively quantify what discussion standards.

3.1 Legality

3.1.1 US Law is applicable
you must not make statements which breach the laws of the USA, where this site is hosted

3.1.2 Unlawful Killing
You must not endorse or encourage people to perform criminal executions.  However, you can endorse enforcement of execution by the state (capital punishment) after application of due judicial process. 

3.2 Free Speech
We try to preserve of freedom of speech, to the maximum extent possible.  This exposes us to rash language, so the COC will be under a constant process of improvement and refinement, as we learn to manage that.  Our policy is the opposite of that pursued by extremists of the political left and the religious right, who seek to suppress all dissenting opinion.

3.2 Accepted Languages
In the UK Room, the accepted language for discussion is English, but in the Hungarian Room both Hungarian and English are accepted.  However, quotes can be in Latin or Arabic or whatever.  What this means is that in the UK Room for example, English is used in its conventional meaning.  You are not allowed to go around defining words out of existence, or re-defining them to have some alternate meaning more suitable for your purposes - if a clear and objective one already exists.  In case of doubt, a dictionary can be used.  (The question of defined meanings for Arabic words and quotes is too complex to be defined right now).

3.3 Protection of Admin Team
There are many logistical and administrative demands on the admin team - but let's not confuse means and ends - their primary goal, as with all the members, is of fighting for freedom, not administering a website.

3.3.1 Admin Team Time
The Admin Team must be protected from unnecessary and excessive time consumption and stress. We have to protect Administrator time, as the latter is a very limited resource and 4F cannot afford to waste it on behaviour which does not help to build the community and support its goals. Stress is not imaginary, it is a real and measurable state, and it clearly degrades each individual's performance.  If it is clear that the Admin Team is losing a lot of time to any issue, or that an issue is subjecting them to undue stress, then decisive action will be taken.

3.3.2 Admin Team Communications
At times the admin team may need to contact you about your postings.  Communication from the admin team needs to be treated as a priority.  If a reply is not received after a reasonable time elapse, the admin team may conclude that your account has been compromised and may terminate your membership.

3.4 Protection of Core Documents
A small number of documents on 4F are designated as Protected Core Documents (PCD), inasmuch as they form a key part of the definition of the ideology, the community and the website. They are marked by the token "[PCD]" in the title.

Since the Core Documents are written in a forum, they are also open to comment by members.  Normally on 4F, we aim to only intervene in comment moderation when absolutely necessary.  When it comes to the PCD however, we cannot allow criticism to take place unchallenged, because then someone who is scrutinising our principles, could be lead to believe that the 4F community is not able to defend against that challenge.  Criticism enables us to refine and further codify our principles, so, even though criticism gives us an onerous task, when that criticism is careful and precise, it is beneficial. 

However, where criticism of the PCD is done in a slapdash, unthinking or even mischievous way, it casts an unnecessarily large burden on the site admin to respond appropriately.  For this reason, for all documents labelled [PCD], comments may be summarily deleted by the admin team, without explanation, i.e. without recourse to the full standard justification process of this Code of Conduct.

Please note that this exception is not for the removal of comments which the admin team disagree with; it is for the removal of comments which are both wasting their time by being poorly constructed, and attacking the foundational principles of 4F.

3.5 Regulation by Technical Control, not Human Intervention
On a technical level, if you can do it here, you are allowed to do it.  For example, you can create forums, add photo and add events to the calendar, but you cannot create new groups. There is a 'Sensitive Materials' room for images, photos etc which may cause offence to a casual browser. It is not fair on such a browser that they come across something offensive. However, after entering the Sensitive Materials room, they have a right to be shocked, but not to be offended, (because they chose it).

3.6 Respect for Other Members

3.6.1 Information Security:  
please do not release personal information which may be used to locate or damage any member of 4F.  This protection should also be given, where possible, to anyone who may be viewed as an 'ally', no matter how vitriolic a dispute they may be involved in.  The general rule of thumb is that if a member or one of our allies, has tried to keep some personal information out of public view, then that wish should be respected, unless there are other over-riding concerns, for example criminal behaviour or fraud.

3.6.2 Personal abuse
Do not gratuitously insult other members - this includes deliberate distortion of other member's names.  You can insult the enemies of freedom though.  Its a form of cathartic release, but please don't do it at the expense of making critical analysis.

3.6.3 Excessive Swearing
we will be as tolerant as possible of people losing their cool, but bearing in mind that some members use this website as an educational tool for their children, we will take a dim view of repeated offences

3.6.4 Spamming
For example,
 dating requests

3.7 Cooling Off Period
It sometimes happens that behaviour does not specifically breach the behaviour guidelines, but instead goes down a negative spiral of inter-member anger, or hostility to other counter-jihad organisations.  The hallmarks of this will be an excess of emotion, a negative viewpoint, and a lack of constructive suggestions. 

(a)  In these cases, the administrators may freeze the relevant forum for 2 weeks to allow some of the emotion to dissipate.  Then, when it is re-opened, people can endeavour to be more constructive and less emotive in their criticism.

(b)  When a forum is frozen, it is clearly a breach of good intent for a member to cut and paste parts of the suspended forum into a new one, so as to continue the discussion there. Such behaviour will be viewed as a breach of the guidelines.

 

4. Discussion Standards

Here we use the following symbols:
V: the COC Violator
R: respondent, the person you are discussing with

4.1 Discussion Style
A discussion may be cooperative or adversarial. Generally speaking, a cooperative discussion will be with an ally, and and adversarial discussion will be with an enemy or opponent.

These terms relate to the form of the discussion not the content. A cooperative discussion is one in which you both try to help each other to move forward and save time. An adversarial discussion is one in which you just want to win, and don't care how wasteful or destructive the process is.

These terms should not be confused with Agreement and Disagreement.  A cooperative discussion can still contain a lot of disagreement, but the disagreement will be managed in a more constructive manner, and the discussion will reach a satisfactory conclusion more quickly.

To say that you intend to participate in the discussion in a cooperative manner is an expression of intention, not of ideological position(i.e. agreement or disagreement).  If you have agreed that the discussion is cooperative, many of the COC violations below should not occur, so it will be easier to identify and highlight them.

If you ask your respondent, R, whether the discussion is cooperative or adversarial, they are required to answer the question.

4.2 Assertions and Allegations

4.2.1 Relocating Disputes from Other Websites
You must not relocate catfights and personal disputes from other websites into 4F. To borrow a phrase from Fight Club: "what starts in other websites, stays in other websites"

4.2.2 Relocating Disputes to Other Websites
Do not relocate disputes with 4F admin from here onto other websites.  Instead, you should deal with them here.  N.B. this is not the converse of (a) above, i.e. you can take personal disputes from 4F and continue them on other websites, if that website allows it.

4.2.3 Unsubstantiated Allegations
You should not make allegations that you cannot substantiate, particularly about other members, other people and about other organisations.  When challenged on an allegation you should provide some kind of warrant or validation of it, and if that is not possible, you should withdraw the allegation.  Anecdotal experience is not admissible as evidence for a generic assertion.  Admins will take a dim view of repeated infractions of this guideline.

4.2.4 Soapboxing

This is not an emotional psychotherapy service where we are required to listen to people who just want to rant against us.

4.3 Asking Questions

4.3.1 Question Repetition
A question should only be repeated, if the respondent didn't answer it , or misunderstood it, or answered a different question by accident.
This is a very useful boundary to remember for media interviews, where it is a command and frequent tactic to repeat a question several times in an attempt to force you to use a different form of words, which is more incriminating or less politically correct.

4.3.2 Information Security
Please do not ask questions publicly, which could reveal personal information constituting a security risk for that person.


4.4 Tennis: Responses and Refutations
This section describes the behaviour that we expect members to follow in their responses. This covers timeliness, coherence, and relevance.  The question-answer process should by like a game of tennis with the ball being passed back and forth.  It is not just a one-way single shot process.

4.4.1 Fobbing Off
Fobbing Off is making a flippant reply to a genuine or realistic question, or sometimes no reply.  If this is done to a 4F Admin it is a more serious matter.  

4.4.2 Ignoring
There is a balance between asking too many questions and ignoring or forgetting some questions.  But this violation consists in ignoring clear, direct and pertinent questions, either because they are too difficult, or because they are known to lead to a Lose situation for the answerer.  This is also releated to being a Greedy or Selfish Participant, in 4.4.3 below. 

4.4.3 Fogging and Disconnect
Fogging is replying to a point, by raising some unrelated issue as a diversion, and not responding to the original point at all. We all do this to some extent, but if it is done often, it becomes a tactic to distract and exhaust all opposition.  Another manifestation of this tactic would be to endlessly wander off topic, or just be generally incoherent, thus making it difficult for others to continue a sensible line of thought and discussion.

Disconnect is when it seems impossible to get the person to reply to a point, no matter how many times you refer to it.  Repeated fogging produces a disconnect.

4.4.4 Expert Quibling
We are all at different levels of expertise here.  If you know a lot more than your respondent in a particular area, then it behoves you at least try understand the intention behind his words, even if it is not technically totally correct.  For example, if someone says that Buddha said "Life is Suffering", and the expert knows that that is not strictly correct, rather than simply reject the whole phrase, he should give the correction and preferably a link to further explanation (like this, for example).

4.5 Faking

4.5.1 Playing Devil's Advocate 
It is sometimes useful to play Devil's Advocate, i.e. argue from a position you disagree with as a way of training a colleague or of clarifying an argument.  However when you play Devil's Advocate, you should make it clear you are deliberately adopting an opposing view, otherwise you potentially waste people's time for obvious reasons.

4.5.2 Cat & Mouse: Hiding or Disputing Common or Accessible Knowledge
Here the violator V takes part in a discussion with respondent R, involving an issue which in the end depends on and can be resolved or progressed by, a known fact or item of knowledge, K.  However, the resolution by K is generally to the detriment of V, and K is generally well known.

There are two forms of this violation:
  • V denies K, or demands clear cut proof from R, even though V knows K to be true
  • V allows R to meander along for a while in ignorance, till eventually K becomes known, then V shows that he knew K all along but never revealed it

This discussion will have the style of a 'cat and mouse'.  When reading it, you realise after a few exchanges that one of them is just playing games without any idea of working as a discussion partner, or of trying to save time.

4.5.3 False Personality
It is common and approved in political activism to have a fake identity, for example a name like Mickey Mouse.  This is for security reasons, but also helps to compartmentalise the workload and keep it separate from one's private and working lives.

However, it is not approved to have a fake personality.  For example, if you pretend to be a Benedictine Monk when in fact you are a former Roman Catholic student who converted to Islam and wishes to defend the latter and attack the former - that is disapproved.

Firstly, it is not necessary.  If anyone wishes to come here and defend Islam (or attack Christianity) they are welcome to do so in the correct room.

But secondly, this form of faking is not fair on other 4F members.  Fellow Catholics, seeing gaps in your knowledge, may kindly try to help you, and may be extra tolerant of your errors and personality failings, because they wish to help a fellow traveller.  Faking will not give an ideological problem to our community, as we are happy to contest against all well defined ideas, but there is a gray area that good manners and kindness creates, between correct behaviour and bad behaviour.  The Faker moves inside that area, and exploits it to waste the time and energy of his respondents.

Faking is a natural tactic for devout Muslims, who will not see anything wrong with it, because they do not have the Golden Rule.  Not having the Golden Rule, they do not expect society to be egalitarian, and not having that, they do not expect members of the same community to show each other kindness.  They only expect kindness to be shown to fellow members of the Umma.

4.6 Other Time Wasting Tactics
These are activities used to exhaust other member's energy, and especially waste the Administrators time.
 

4.6.1 Understanding and Education
We do our best to help everyone who is acting in good faith.  But if someone is not trying to understand, or is acting in an uncooperative way, AND showing deficiencies in education or understanding, it is not our job to teach and correct them.

There is a phrase in business:
"Your inability to plan ahead does not make your next deadline my new urgent priority".
So we have a similar phrase in this context:
"Your inability to understand what we are saying, or to read the background material, does not oblige me to spend more time explaining it".

This particularly applies in the case of a COC violation.  So its not necessary that the violator understands the violation, its only necessary that most of the community does.  In fact, it would be impossible to distinguish between a violator who was being disingenuous, and one who genuinely didn't understand the violation.

4.6.2 Excessive Use of Cut & Paste
the use of 'cut&paste' to copy large blocks of comment from some other place to here on 4F, should only be used to start a new forum.  In this case, it is advantageous, as it allows 4F members to read the text without getting distracted by journeying to another site, and allows us to have here our own special style of comments on that text.  However, cut&paste should not be used as an easy and lazy way of replying to a point in a forum.  To reply to a point made by another member in a forum, you should use your own words.  If you do paste quoted blocks from other websites, it should only be to add further depth, or give proof, of the points you are making.
 
4.6.3 Trolling: Bear Baiting

Trolling consists in hanging around in an area, mischievously 'bear baiting' or insulting people.  After some time it becomes obvious that that person will never make play any constructive part in the movement.

4.6.4 Dropping the Ball
A greedy or selfish person simply ignores all difficult questions, points or suggestion, or ones which don't give them easy wins. Instead they focus on only those issues that interest them.  This is a kind of greed for self-righteousness.  It is difficult to spot because it is often combined with 4.3.3 Fogging and Disconnect above, so that in the welter of issues being covered, we do not notice that they never responded to major constructive ideas which have been raised.  It is also similar to 4.4.2, Ignoring Questions,

Dropping the Ball is often done by someone with a fake personality.  Suppose you are having a discussion with V, and you have formed a certain image of them and their beliefs, but when you review the conversation, but at several points it seems that they "drop the ball", i.e. you raise issues and they neither reject them nor answer them, they just gloss over them.  The difference here though, is that your image of them consequently does not make sense.

For example, suppose you are discussing the dangers of violence in pornography, and just happen to be discussing with a gay man, then you say "Pornography showing violence against women should be banned.  And of course, all gay porn should be banned", then you would expect the gay man to dispute the latter.  For him to accept that statement, which seems to imply that there is something bad about all gay porn, but not about all straight porn - does not jell with the idea of him being gay.

So this violation consists in glossing over or ignoring major statements and issues which should clearly be of concern to them, thereby failing to fulfil the expectations of their personality, and giving the community natural suspicions of them being fake.

RSS

Muslim Terrorism Count

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom of Movement
The government can import new voters - except where that changes the political demographics (i.e. electoral fraud by means of immigration)
4. SP Freedom from Over-spending
People should not be charged for government systems which they reject, and which give them no benefit. For example, the government cannot pass a debt burden across generations (25 years).
An additional Freedom from Religion is be deducible by equal application of law: "Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight - except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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