Most of you who watch The Atheist Experience live are aware that there is a live chat room that runs on Ustream. It has, as of recently, been regularly moderated by some combination of Jen, Lynnea, John and me. The purpose of this post is to try to establish some guidelines that will clarify the moderation policy. This list was written primarily by Lynnea, but has been presented to and accepted by the rest of the TV crew.
(Update: These rules now have a permanent web home at http://atheist-experience.org/
Chat room rules
This area is intended to be a safe place to discuss the current show topic, and as such there are rules that allow for civil discourse.
1. No proselytizing or preaching. Pretending to preach is also against the rules.
2. No disparaging comments against groups of people, i.e. no discrimination against genders, races, sexual/gender orientations, etc.
3. No lewd content or suggestions, especially in reference to the hosts or crew.
4. No spamming: posting unrelated links, posting one link repeatedly or posting a line of text repeatedly. Keep in mind that the chat client automatically kicks people who make several quick posts in a row.
5. No obnoxious writing: all-caps, bold colors, odd fonts, ascii art, etc.
6. No calling for the hosts to hang up, to move on, or take any specific action. The hosts do not have access to the chat during the show, but you are welcome to email in with suggestions.
7. No complaining about moderation kicks in group chat. Disagreements, suggestions or suspected mistakes may be communicated via a private IRC, or via the show email.
Transgressions MAY, at the moderator’s discretion, receive a verbal warning before being kicked once. Serious and/or repeat offenses will receive a kick and a ban. Attempts to dance up to the edge of the rules or provoke the moderators will be considered identical to a regular transgression.
This post is a declaration of the rules, not an invitation to complain about them. You can send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish, but excessive argumentation in the comments of this post will be deleted. Appeals to rescind bans can also be sent to this address.