So, I realize this has been a long time coming, but I wanted to lay down what I see for the vision of what SN comes, with when we're incorporated, this being in the basis of the bylaws, and an actual constitution for the site. Until that happens, this document should serve as a basis for both the staff and the community to know what to expect.
As we grow as a community, a pressing question is who are we, and what will become. A site lives or dies by the community that forms around it, and with all communities, there is a social contract that exists between a site and its community. The staff of any site exists to serve its community, and to meet the needs of their userbase; if we fail to do this, we will die and wither away. We need a framework in which in which problems can be identified and course corrections made before the inevitable happens. We were born out of a revolution, and now is the time to institute the social contract that prevents us from going down the same route. To that end, here are what the guiding principles that will help define what we are
Freedom of Expression
Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to have and voice their own free will, and thoughts. The moment you silence someone on their beliefs is the moment you create a precedent. Removing information may be with the best of intentions, but once you have a precedent, it becomes easier to justify. The moment you decide to censor people, you take a step down a slippery road. This is a road we will not travel. To put simply, except to as required by law, we will not remove or ban users based on their posts. Any opinion has the right be posted, discussed and moderated.
That being said, this is a two way street; users are expected to not to abuse their rights. The staff reserve the right to ban a user or IPID for disruptive behaviour. A ban is a last resort, only when the moderation system is overwhelmed, and all other anti-spam provisions have failed. I hope we never get to the point where this is necessary and that we can refine moderation and spam prevent to the point that such comments will get down to -1 without staff intervention, but I'm not naive enough to believe we never have to ban someone from the site.
Right Of Representation
It has been stated before and again, but this site and staff exist to serve the community, not via versus.
Concept Of No Ivory Towers
There's one great secret about any website, the folks running it are human too, and we have the ability to get something wrong. None of the staff (including myself) are immune from criticism, and if we screw up, we need to correct it. There shall be no ivory tower where something is immune to the community feedback; if something has to change, it will change. Moderation, staffing, commenting, if something is broken, we will fix it. If we get something wrong, we will take steps to address it.
Right Of Reversion