About the rules of the Facebook Official Discussion Group

Thank you for your comments regarding our The Atheist Experience Official Discussion Group on Facebook. The rules for the group are stated on the pinned post at the top of the group. Rule 2 states:

2. No disparaging comments against groups of people, i.e. no discrimination against genders, races, sexual/gender orientations, etc. This includes, but is not limited to, sexist, racist, ableist, and homophobic or transphobic language or slurs.

The one that trips up a lot of people is the prohibition against ableist language. This includes, but is not limited to, words that are slurs about mental disability (such as crazy, stupid, idiot, moron, retarded, dumb, insane, imbecile, maniac, nuts, psycho) and words that are slurs about physical disabilities (such as lame, crippled, invalid, blind, deaf, spastic). It makes no difference whether these words are being used to refer to a person or an idea, they are marginalizing words nonetheless. We realize that some of these words are in common use, just like racist words were in common use 60 years ago. Many of us have used these words in the past, even on the show. That doesn’t make it ok to use them in the discussion group.

Furthermore, rule 6 states:

6. No complaining about moderation on the page. If you feel a moderation error has been made, please PM an admin.

If you argued in the group about the rules, then you broke the rules. Breaking the rules is grounds for removal. Refusing to abide by an admin instruction (which is your warning) is also grounds for removal. The admins are just enforcing the rules that we have set up for them to enforce, they don’t make the rules.

The group rules are not up for negotiation or debate. We have heard every single objection about a hundred times already. Follow the rules, instead of trying to rationalize the use of marginalizing language, or find another group to participate in. If you have a party at your house and invite 20000 people, you are not going to have a 20 minute conversation with each guest who comes in about why it’s not permitted to kick the cat. Just don’t do it.