Recently there has been some questions and concerns about the moderation of these forums, and confusion about what exactly our forum moderation policy is. So let me clarify.
We have never and will never censor or edit intellectual content in these forums. We encourage open and pointed debate, we understand that the nature of scientific skepticism is to be critical and would never ask or expect anyone to pull their punches.
However it is our intention also to foster a friendly, collegial, and open environment. We have done this primarily through example (and so far have had to do very little moderation), and we are all very proud of the online community that has developed here.
Part of this is to expect that the members of this community will use reasonable judgment in following the basic rules of decency, politeness, and respect that should accompany any public forum. As is clearly stated in the forum rules, when we feel these basic rules are violated we reserve the right to take whatever action we feel is appropriate in order to maintain the environment in these forums that we desire.
Recently we created an unmoderated forum (labeled as explicit) for those forum members who feel they need a completely unfettered forum for their expression. But at the same time we put our forum members on notice that we will be moderating the other forums more closely. We feel this compromise is more than fair.
Some have complained that the moderation rules are fuzzy, but that is the nature of the beast. No one has created razor sharp rules for such moderation. There are extensive guidelines in the forum rules, this combined with a modicum of common sense and social awareness should be enough. If someone accidentally steps over this fuzzy line, we will gently point out where it is, and they will learn by experience.
This is all an outgrowth of a very good thing - that these forums are growing as the SGU is growing. We appreciate everyone, both new and established forum members, riding through these growing pains. Please continue to give us your frank feedback, and we will continue to make adjustments as necessary.