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Hot Topics "HT"

Definition: "HT" stands for "Hot Topic". It is a tag added to the title of threads that are polarizing and/or intensely emotional nature and have potential to be divisive to the community.

Guidelines: The following are general guidelines for approaching an emotional topic. We hope they will provide the foundation we need to avoid dissention and allow for healthy discussion. If we work together to respect these guidelines and each other, we should be able to continue to talk through the challenging topics in a more productive manner.

    • Be Mindful When Opening Topics – If it has potential to be divisive, label it as "HT". If what starts out as a mild topic evolves into something heated, please re-label it or reach out to the moderators to do so. 

      Example: "HT – Corruption in Adoption"

    • Be Clear Which Way the Wind is Blowing – Make apparent in the opening post the intent of the topic and indicate where you are coming from. Avoid open ended lead offs such as, "so, what do you all think?" Be clear with the intended direction of the thread.

    • Follow the Wind – We understand that there will be natural progression and evolution within a heated topic, but please be respectful of the original poster and the participants on the thread by avoiding a hard shift midstream. If you have an offshoot you would like to discuss, please start a new topic.

    • Mind Your Expressions - Try to avoid words like "always, never, everyone, no one" as rarely is it actually the case that everyone or no one always or never feels a certain way. "You" is another one with a history of sending conversations off the rails. Please address people directly to avoid any confusion as who is being referenced. Avoid excessive exclamation points, ALL CAPS, etc., as they can, and on often are, interpreted as shouting.

    • Leave the Boxing Gloves at Home - A HT tag on a thread is not an invitation to a clash within. There is a burden of responsibility to be more cautious with tone and content, rather than less because of the intensity of the topic. Conversely, we need to be more careful with our interpretation of the discussion rather than less. Listen and speak with cognizance and care and do not take swings at people.
    • Be Aware and Advised - When entering into a HT thread there is the potential for heightened emotions and opinions. Enter with care. Respect the intent of the opening post. If someone is asking for support, find a way to be supportive or recuse yourself. If someone indicates that the dialogue is going to be strongly critical, prepare yourself and your feelings before entering. Do not enter if you do not feel equipped to process the conversation.

    • Commit To The Conversation – Focus on the topic. Take the sidebars and the spats to PM. Please refrain from putting the gloves on when the conversation goes offline.
    • Don’t Take It Personally – Do not assume that any comment or post is about any particular person, including yourself, unless that person is expressly identified. The topics are emotional, but to effectively discuss them, we must take the emotions out of the conversation. Please strive to not to interpret general comments and personal attacks.
    • Don’t Argue With Mom (or the Moderators) – We agreed that a different level of moderation was necessary for impassioned topics. It is not the role of the moderator to guide conversations, but the moderators will step in when self-moderation within the thread has failed. Reminders will be added by the moderators as necessary to prompt people to address tone or topic. After three reminders, the topic is closed and the thread will be locked. Reopening the thread at a later time is at the sole discretion of the moderators. Understand that moderation on HT threads will be subjective. The moderators pledge to work with diligence and due care and we pledge to accept the moderations and move forward without protest.
    • Read Twice, Post Once - Take extra care with your message and delivery. An HT topic is not one in which to take short cuts when you post. Please reread your post prior to posting. Do not post on the fly. The topic will wait. Come back later when you have the necessary time to dedicate to the topic.
    • Accept and Respect. Be Patient of Others – Be open to the possibility that there might be another perspective. Be cognizant that with great passion comes great vulnerability. Avoid posting when it becomes apparent that the repetitive, adamant stance is going to be seen as dogma rather than a contribution to a dialogue. Be mindful that not everyone has walked the same path in the same shoes. Even if you do not agree, listen. We owe it to each other.     

Betselot home 12/2006 @ 7 months
Ambike home 9/2008 @ 4 months
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