We were talking about updating responses for the forum guidelines, and I was thinking about branching out onto this. The Universal Rules of Civilized Discourse in the FAQ were made to be the baseline for internet civility.
I know walls of text have a reputation of not being read, it is there to affirm when you look. I just quoted the relevant highlights:
Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.
Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small.
The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.
Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree. You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people.
The conversations we have here set the tone for everyone. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not. Let’s try to leave our park better than we found it.
If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.
I mainly wanted to set this as the baseline against which we weigh things (it is meant to be universal).