Did you know that a website that allows comments is no different than a town hall? Or a dinner party? Or a club?
See, we tend to see the internet as this place where we get to go nuts, do whatever we want, and just overall make a mess of things if we feel like it.
Hevria was founded on one principle: we want people to be as respectful here as they were if they were discussing things at a dinner party. Because if people aren’t being respectful at dinner parties, then, man, all the cool people will leave.
Welcome to our dinner party 🙂 And here are the rules:
Rule 1: Focus on the substance, not the person
So, it comes down to that, doesn’t it? You can hate a piece with all your guts, but you don’t need to bash the person who wrote it. If you hate a piece, write about the piece. Write about why it bothered you, use specifics, and try and speak like you were speaking to someone who you respect and don’t want to hurt.
In other words, let’s not be personal. Let’s be thoughtful.
Rule 2: Your tone needs to be respectful too
Now, lots of sites, for some reason, draw the line only at being mean to the person. But we take it a step further: we wouldn’t want someone at our dinner party saying, “What you said is so stupid.” Sure, that focuses on the content (kind of), but it doesn’t have much substance and the tone is angry and mean.
An example of a better way to put it would be, “I disagree with you. Here’s why…”
Wow! You’re a nice guy or gal! I want you over at my dinner party because now we can have substantive discussions without feeling like things are getting all whacky! Yay!
Rule 3: No trolls
Hey trolls! Guess what? You troll here, you get the boot. That means if you are racist, misogynistic, make threats, say vile, horrible things, and are generally just the worst, we will permanently ban you right away.
You’re the drunk at the party, Mr. or Ms. Troll, and, look, it’s nothing personal, but your belligerence isn’t welcome.
A message from the editor
Hoo boy, that got intense, right? It’s okay. Just know that we put these rules in place because of one reason: we deeply want the good people, the calm, respectful people, maybe even the shy people, to come out and speak with us. We want to have real discussions. We want to get deep, to disagree, to agree, and to do it all in the spirit of respect and harmony.
And so, we have some rules. But really, it’s not about the rules. It’s about having boundaries so that we can all have a great party.
Thank you so much for joining. Have a seat. Unless you’re a troll.
Your friend the Hevrian,