About the rules of the Facebook Official Discussion Group


The rules for the The Atheist Experience Official Discussion Group on Facebook are replicated below. 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 argued about the rules on the thread, you were also breaking the rules.

Imagine this from our side: we have a house party where we have invited you personally, along with thousands of other house guests. While you might be familiar with us outside of our house, when we invite you in, we expect for you to be respectful of our house and our rules. We don’t have time for multiple 20 minute conversations about why it’s not permissible to kick the cat. Just respect our house rules and don’t do it, so we can all be comfortable together. Here are those rules again, as a reminder:

Post Requirements:

  • All posts must have a description that is meant to start a discussion about the topic.
  • All posts must pertain to atheists / atheism.
  • Any satirical post must be identified as satire.

Do this:

  • Report to Admin any post that violate the rules (even spam).
  • Tag admins in any conversation threads that violate the rules.

Not this:

  • Argue in a thread about the rules (you can message an admin or email in with concerns.)
  • Argue with a detractor about the rules (tag a moderator instead.)
  • Post memes, articles, or pictures without a discussion-starting comment.
  • Preach / proselytize (even as a joke.)
  • Use language that is racist, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc. (Ableism examples: retard, lame, idiot, stupid.)
  • Threaten violence.
  • Personally attack others on this page.
  • Post lewd or pornographic content.
  • Send romantic advances to the cast, crew, or guests.
  • Impersonate the cast, crew, or basically anyone.
  • Share other peoples’ personal information (doxxing, private conversations, etc)
  • Post satire without any mention that it is satire.
  • Post topics unrelated to the Atheist Experience or atheists / atheism.
  • Solicit donations (only official Atheist Community of Austin fundraisers or charity events will be permitted).
  • Post spam.
  • Block any moderator (If you think you need an exception, please request one from an administrator.)
  • Add your friends to this group (join requests made by friends will be deleted. They can join themselves, if they want.)

A post or comment found in violation of the rules will either be: (A) removed outright or (B) asked to be edited or (C) asked to be removed. Refusal to follow the rules will result in being expelled and blocked from the group. Intentionally skirting close to the edge of the rules, or intentionally provoking moderators, will be treated as if they were violations.

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 the exact same way that calling an idea “gay” or “retarded” is still marginalizing. 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 okay to use them in the discussion group.

Below, we’ve reprinted an appendix of ableist language examples, pulled from (and expanded upon) the list written by Lydia X. Z. Brown of Autistic Hoya. This list isn’t necessarily exhaustive (we will continue to expand if we find new terms to add). It’s also worth mentioning that Lydia’s original article has more resources worth reading, including lists of replacement words.

Barren

Refers to people who are infertile, carries sexist connotations as well as ableist ones.

Blind to ____ / turn a blind eye to ____ / blinded by ignorance/bigotry/etc.

Refers to Blind, low-vision, or sight-limited people.

Bound to a wheelchair (wheelchair bound)

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities.

Confined to a wheelchair

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities.

Crazy

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Cretin

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Cripple/Crippled (by ____)

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities.

Daft

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Deaf-Mute

Refers to Deaf or hard of hearing people.

Deaf to ____ / turn a deaf ear to ____ / etc.

Refers to Deaf or hard of hearing people.

Derp (also herp-derp and variations)

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Diffability

Can refer to any person with a disability, and is usually a euphemistic phrase to avoid saying “disability” or “disabled.”

Differently abled or different abilities

Can refer to any person with a disability, and is usually a euphemistic phrase to avoid saying “disability” or “disabled.”

Dumb

Refers to d/Deaf or hard of hearing people, people with speech-related disabilities, or people with linguistic or communication disorders or disabilities.

Feeble-Minded

Refers to people with mental, psychiatric, intellectual, or developmental disabilities.

Handicap(ped)

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities, and is usually a euphemistic phrase to avoid saying “disability” or “disabled.”

Handicapable

Usually refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities, but can also mean any person with a disability.

Harelip

Refers to people with cleft-lip palate or similar facial deformities/cosmetic disabilities.

Hearing-Impaired

Refers to d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Hermaphrodite

Refers to people with intersex conditions, whether or not they were coercively assigned to a particular sex/gender, and whether or not they currently identify with a binary gender.

Idiot(ic)

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Imbecile

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Insane or Insanity

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Invalid (as a noun, as in “my neighbor is an invalid and never goes outside”)

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities or chronic health conditions.

Lame

Refers to people with physical or mobility disabilities.

Loony/Loony Bin

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Lunatic

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Madhouse/Mad/Madman

Refers to an institution housing people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Manic

Refers to someone with bipolar (used to be called manic depression).

Maniac

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Mental/Mental Case

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Mental Defective

Refers to people with mental, psychiatric, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities.

Midget

Refers to little people or people with small stature or a form of dwarfism.

Mongoloid

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities and specifically Down Syndrome. Derives from a double-whammy of racism AND ableism, from the belief that people with Down Syndrome look like people from Mongolia.

Morbidly obese (or just obese)

Refers to fat people/people of size. It’s okay to use the word “fat.”

Moron(ic)

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Nuts

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Potato (referring to a person)

Refers to people with mental disabilities.

Psycho

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Psychopath(ic)

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Psycho(tic)

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.

Retard(ed)/[anything]-tard (examples: libtard, fucktard, etc.)

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

[you belong on the] Short-bus/ that’s short-bus material/etc.

Refers to people with intellectual, learning, or other mental disabilities.

Simpleton

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Slow

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities.

Spaz(zed)

Refers to people with cerebral palsy or similar neurological disabilities.

Specially Abled

Can refer to any person with a disability.

Special Needs

Usually refers to people with learning, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, but can mean any person with a disability. Usually a euphemistic phrase to avoid saying “disability” or “disabled.”

Stupid

Refers to people with intellectual disabilities (i.e. “in a stupor”).

Suffers from ____

Can refer to any person with a disability.

Wacko/Whacko

Refers to people with mental or psychiatric disabilities.