Note: This is a work-in-progress that does not yet reflect the current rules of the site. Feedback is welcome and encouraged.
As per the pinned "disallowed topics" thread and the discussion which followed, we're looking to implement some new rules and guidelines so that we can allow discussion of controversial topics to occur in a productive way and without fostering a toxic atmosphere or becoming a platform for hate-speech.
The following is a draft of some new guidelines intended to be posted and enforced, and we would love the community's feedback before making anything official:
Welcome to GameDev.net, one of the largest and most active online communities for video game developers! We have a diverse community and recognise that this can sometimes result in misunderstanding and conflict, especially when controversial topics such as politics, discrimination, and similar are discussed.
We want to foster a welcoming and inclusive community where such matters can be discussed productively, and ask that the following guidelines be kept in mind when discussing such topics on our site.
Note that these guidelines are intended for use in controversial topics and do not necessarily apply to purely technical discussions. Most people know a topic is controversial when they post, and we expect you to use reasonable judgement.
This is a welcoming community, and discrimination will not be tolerated.
Our industry has traditionally been dominated by white males, and expanding that demographic can only help to enrich the experiences offered to players.
We welcome members of different backgrounds and believe that a more diverse community will provide different views and experiences to therefore offer a better overall knowledge-base that can better serve the wider community. Personal details such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. should not be used to judge the value of a person's contribution, and insults based upon the above are not to be tolerated.
A diverse conversation is more interesting and productive. Do not encourage one-sided discussions.
Please ensure you're making a real contribution and adding something new to the conversation. We can only have an enlightening discussion when different points of view are allowed, and this can't happen if the majority of posts represent a single point of view. If, after writing your post you find that you are just posting to agree with others and have not added anything significant to the conversation, please considering revising or cancelling your post.
If too many posts espousing a single point of view are posted without waiting for alternative views to be represented some posts may be edited or removed to improve the balance of the conversation.
Unverified claims are unproductive and should be avoided. Check and cite sources for any statistics.
Meaningful conversation can be disrupted when made-up or poorly estimated data is introduced. If you're posting a statistic or comparison do a quick search to verify that you're really correct and consider citing reliable sources in your post so that the information can easily be verified. Remember to also share any relevant context for your information, as something that is true in a limited environment may not necessarily match the experiences of other members.
Text lacks tone and context.
Remember that written text does not always convey the tone and intended mood of the writer.
Try to make your own writing as clear as possible and avoid potentially problematic devices such as sarcasm. When reading comments from other members, try to assume the best rather than the worst; if your default reaction is to take offence and otherwise productive conversation is more likely to go off-track.