Today, I sent the following email to George.
As you requested, I have developed a new set of forum rules which I have enclosed below and which I am proposing for general use on the Uechi-ryu Forum in my position as arbitrator and VSD forum moderator.
New Uechi-ryu Forum Rules
Section I. Uechi-ryu Forum Code of Conduct (CC1-CC14)
CC1. Remain courteous at all times.
CC2. Keep in mind that truth is relative, depending on perspective.
CC3. Maintain an open mind.
CC4. Choose words carefully. Regrets should be offered when warranted.
CC5. Do not belittle anyone for any reason.
CC6. Do not criticize another style/art.
CC7. When disagreeing with an issue, substantiate the disagreement with scholarly evidence or information based on rational reasoning based on personal experience.
CC8. When expressing an opinion, offer information in support of that opinion.
CC9. Members will make all efforts to keep this forum "flame-proof."
CC10. If you would like to have a personal discussion, please do so without posting it to the group.
CC11. When an individual feels offended, send a message back to the offender only. Maintain courtesy. It may have been just a misunderstanding.
CC12. When anyone detects that a posting may have been offensive, send a message to the poster. The person may not have realized that the post was offensive.
CC13. Carefully follow the paramount rule of Jeffersonian Debate: Grant your opponent respect and give him/her the benefit of the doubt. This means you must allow that he or she can examine the facts and come to a different conclusion from you. This is harder than it sounds, particularly for those who view disagreement as a personal affront. Persons who hold such views cannot engage in fruitful debate. Remember it's a debate, not a war. Absolutely avoid escalating to a higher level of unfriendly conflict.
CC14. Avoid online uncooperative and disrespectful behavior directed at a moderator or the site owner (e.g. in debate or possibly regarding a previous judgment of a moderator or the site owner).
Section II. Uechi-ryu Forum Disciplinary Guidelines for Posters (GP1-GP7)
GP1. If a forum moderator determines that a poster has violated one or more of CC1-CC14 in Section I, he/she may give the poster a warning or delete the post or ban the poster depending on the severity of the violation, and this judgment is completely up to the discretion of the moderator of the forum.
GP2. A poster may be asked to edit a post or it may be determined that the post is a severe enough violation that it must be (and is) deleted immediately.
GP3. A request to edit a post may or may not constitute a warning depending on the nature of the post.
GP4. The deletion of a post will constitute an automatic warning.
GP5. Generally, a poster will receive two warnings before being banned, and the third warning will constitute an automatic banning from the forum. However, it is possible that the violation is so severe that it constitutes an automatic banning.
GP6. Generally, the length of the first banning will be two weeks, the length of the second banning will be one month, and the third banning will be for life. However, it is possible that the violation is so severe that it constitutes an automatic banning for life.
GP7. These rules and guidelines will be applied and enforced by each forum moderator (possibly in consultation with the site arbitrator or the site owner) according to his/her good judgment, which will be final in all cases. This means that a violator that receives a disciplinary action (e.g. a warning, request to edit, deletion of a post, or banning) should not attempt to debate his/her disciplinary status. Since it is not possible to specify in advance the exact consequences of every type of violation, the judgments of the moderators and the site owner will constitute the precise definition of the standards of conduct for this site. So, please pay close attention to the leadership, their requests, and advice on what constitutes acceptable conduct.
Section III. Uechi-ryu Forum Disciplinary Guidelines for Site Administrators (GA1-GA7)
GA1. All forum members, including moderators and the site owner, are responsible to personally model and uphold the forum code of conduct in Section I. (CC1-CC14) according to the disciplinary guidelines in this section and in Section II (GP1-GP7).
GA2. On each individual forum the disciplinary guidelines in Section II will be applied according to the discretion and good judgment of the forum moderator.
GA3. If any forum member has a question regarding a possible violation on a given forum by another poster (not a moderator of any forum), this question should be directed to the forum moderator in a private message, who will then (possibly in consultation with the arbitrator) make a judgment regarding whether or not there is a violation and/or what disciplinary action should be taken, if any.
GA4. If a forum member has a question regarding a possible violation on a given forum by a forum moderator (either within his/her own forum or when posting on another forum) or the site owner, this question should be directed to the site arbitrator in a private message, who will then (possibly in consultation with the site owner, if the question concerns a moderator) make a judgment whether or not there is a violation and/or what disciplinary action should be taken, if any.
GA5. In the event that a thread on a given forum becomes too volatile, it is the responsibility of the forum moderator and the site arbitrator to close the thread and re-post it on the Verbal Self-Defense (VSD) forum. Once on the VSD forum, if the site arbitrator determines at some point that the thread is irretrievably in violation of the code of conduct or has run its course in terms of productive contribution, the thread will be permanently closed.
GA6. Any other circumstance that may occur will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and any other questions that may arise should be directed to the site arbitrator in a private message. In addition, these guidelines are a work in progress, and will be subject to appropriate change at anytime.
GA7. The site owner reserves the right to terminate and replace any moderator (including the site arbitrator), if he determines that this moderator is not executing his/her forum responsibilities in an effective and appropriate manner.