Last Updated: 9/16/2016
The goal of Youth Debates is to create a friendly environment where users share their views with the intent to engage in debates without fear of harassment or insults. Respect, curiosity, thirst for knowledge and an open mind to different views, regardless of if agreed with or not, are keys to having an enjoyable experience in our community. The moderators will work hard to make our community a welcoming and knowledgeable place for young people to learn and debate. We expect to achieve this by implementing the guidelines outlined below.
We hold the right to add, delete or revise any of the guidelines below at any time.
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 and debate.
These are not strict rules, merely aids to guide you along our community. Use these guidelines to keep this a clean, well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.
Use of any kind of offensive, discriminatory or otherwise inappropriate material is not allowed. Personal attacks, and hostile or insulting messages aimed at other users for any reason is forbidden. You can disagree with someone's views and still be polite about it. If it is abundantly clear that a user has no intention of positively contributing to discussions, their posts will be removed and any necessary actions regarding account status will be taken.
Derogatory or discriminatory terms are prohibited. Such terms include, but are not limited to, “niggers,” “faggots,” “towel heads,” etc. Use common sense when posting. Moderators hold the right to delete or edit any post, as well as suspend or ban any users using these terms.
Do not post provocative, outrageous, or pointless messages only to get a response, i.e. "trolling." Repeat offenders will be suspended or banned. Spam is not tolerated here under any circumstance. You are not permitted to post links to sites you run or are in any way affiliated with in your posts. Users posting spam will be warned and their post will be removed. Repeat offenders will be suspended or banned.
Please do not "hijack" a forum thread by changing the subject. If you want to change the subject, please start a new message thread.
Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, even if it's a small improvement. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.
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.
One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Please spend some time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.
You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine, we encourage debate and discussion, we have many members with a variety of opposing viewpoints. But, remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
- Ad hominem / Direct attacks.
- Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
- Knee-jerk contradiction.
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation. You won't convince anyone that you are right simply by insulting them. It works far better for all those involved when you add something to the conversation or debate rather than going on a tirade. Those that just rant and debase themselves by launching personal attacks are usually seen as foolish and will make your argument lose validity.
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.
Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: favorites, bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.
Let’s try to leave our park better than we found it.
Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum, but so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.
When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.
In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts in any way; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.
Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:
- Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
- Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit, if you must link to something graphic, please mention that it's Not Safe For Work (NSFW) so others aren't surprised by the content.
- Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
- Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. We don't want to have to police content, we love free and open discussions and debates. We will try our best to not take action unless our hand is forced, we welcome all sorts of ideologies and beliefs, but outright harassment isn't something we wish to tolerate here. If you’re unsure about a post, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times or if someone you respected, such as a close family member, would react if they read it.
This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.
Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:
- Don’t start a topic in the wrong category. If you do by accident please change it or ask a staff member for help.
- Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics. Try to keep the same discussion in one place.
- Don’t post no-content replies. Try to add something to the discussion.
- Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream. Try to stay on-topic, start a new topic if needed.
- Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.
Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic, which will branch off the topic and create a new one that cites/quotes the old one as the source material.
You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.
Your purpose in joining Youth Debates or engaging should not be to promote, advertise, or otherwise call attention to your site, blog, product, or business. Forum posts should be free of ads and promotions that benefit the poster. Legitimate recommendations and requests for help are permitted, but in ambiguous circumstances users without a previous forum track record will not be given the benefit of the doubt.
Advertising. Using the forums for advertising, site or product promotion, or for business deals and offers. You may not make posts to promote commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites, products, or services. Threads will be deleted if their purpose is to advertise, announce, or promote products, services, or organizations, build traffic at other websites, carry out business activities, or for similar purposes that do not benefit our forum community.
Forums. Self-promotion to your own forum or another similar forum is prohibited.
Self-promotion. Self-promotional links to your blog, social media, or video channel are limited to your signature, your Personal Details, and the off-topic ‘Entertainment’ section.
Memberships created solely for these purposes will be banned.
This site is operated by your friendly local staff and you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the site feedback category and let's discuss! If there's a critical or urgent issue that can't be handled by a feedback topic or flag, contact us directly via the staff page.
Forums members must not post confidential or other information that may infringe upon the privacy, proprietary or personal rights of others or Youth Debates. This includes, but is not restricted to, personal telephone numbers, email, financial information and postal addresses.
Similarly, Private Messages or emails received via these forums are to be considered private and are not to be posted publicly unless the sender of the message agrees. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that it owns the copyright with respect to such material, has received permission from the copyright owner, or that the material is in the public domain.
Members are free to report any posts they deem spam, trolling or offensive. Staff also reserve the right to immediately deal with of these posts without user reports.
First time offenders will get a warning. Second time offenders receive a second warning. Third time offenders will be suspended for 3 days. Fourth time offenders will be banned from the forum.
Death threats will carry an instant ban.
Members that have had posts removed, or have received suspensions or bans may file an appeal directly to one or more of the moderators and discuss the proper steps needed to lift the ban or deletion. Do not make another account to circumvent a ban. Do not spam threads or posts in an effort to appeal. Do not complain about other users being banned, in the forums or on profile pages of other users.
Since the founding of Youth Debates, the site has prided itself on its dedication to offering a free speech platform for young people to voice their opinions and discuss topics which interest them.
Our new guidelines will not impose on whatever beliefs you may have.
Yes, legalese is boring, but we must protect ourselves – and by extension, you and your data – against unfriendly folks. We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.