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Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

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TED conversation conduct

Can we jointly define it? Beyond the obvious foul, hateful and distasteful language?
I shall propose a few thumb rules and request you to populate/edit the list. I think it can be of great help for all of us.
1. No personal attack.
2. Disagree with respect
3. Give humor a chance.
4. Don't loose an opportunity to complement a poster.
5. Let go the first chance to criticize.
6. Be succinct but expand when necessary.
7. Try to be on topic but if a thread developed a question more interesting than the original, continue it.
8. Make your stand clear, if you have one.
9. Don't withdraw a comment unless you are compelled by consideration. Please leave a hint why you did so.
10. Please leave a concluding message for a conversation that is closing.

Thanks to everybody.

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Closing Statement from Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

Based on inputs from TEDsters here in open discourse it appears that an unofficial TED conversation conduct guideline may be as below:
1. No personal attack.
2. Disagree respectfully.
3. Give humor a chance.
4. Don't lose an opportunity to compliment a poster.
5. Let go the first chance to criticize a post.
6. Be succinct but expand when necessary.
7. Try to be on topic. If a thread develops a new question open a new conversation.
8. Make your stand clear, if you have one.
9. Don't withdraw a comment unless you are compelled by consideration. Please explain why you did so.
10. Please leave a concluding message for a conversation that is closing.
11. Never edit your comment beyond spelling and grammatical mistakes after someone has replied to it. If it is felt absolutely necessary for an edit after a reply, keep the original comment and add correction clearly mentioning it is an edited version.
12. Try to back up your comment with references if you are forwarding a claim. Your arguments will be more convincing if you provide supporting evidence, such as references for any statistics you cite or for claims about what scientific research says or what scientists believe.
13. Please interact with the commenters as a host of a conversation you started.
14. Draw your line between intellectual sparring and hazing. No trolls, bullying, multiple profile ganging up either.
15. Uphold the right of free speech but with responsibility and modesty.
16. Use TED email when you need to contact a poster directly.

Thanks to all participants and the TED conversation moderation team. Cheers!!

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  • Apr 28 2013: Hi.
    A zero-tolerance policy is still dangerous.
    People who are genuine assholes, generally do not stick around.
    The more they are ignored, the less they wind up saying and the shorter they stay.

    To illustrate (maybe good, maybe not), I worked with African-American men for many years.
    They were newly out of prison and trying to put their lives together. A difficult task.
    They were always ready to see racism everywhere, in everything and though to a degree they were right, it also did not serve them well to do so.
    Why? Because every time they felt racism raised its ugly head, they felt they had to beat it back down in order to win, and when they did so, felt they were winning the fight.

    However, I pointed out how racism still owned them because every time it appeared, they reacted, as though there was a string attached to them.

    They got the point. There comes a time when ignoring it (using tolerance), is the most powerful tool and may open the door to helping others change their behavior and then their beliefs.
    What if we, or if someone, finds your comments so offending that they wish to have a zero-tolerance policy on you? Are you okay with that?
    There are people who seem to live at some extreme opposite of most others.
    An opposite end that is so far removed that they appear as a small dot on the horizon.
    What in the world do you think you look like to them? A small dot on the horizon, yet you expect and even demand they tolerate you!
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      Apr 28 2013: I tend to agree with you Random. I don't prefer to be in a community that has zero-tolerance. But I don't think TED is a zero-tolerance community either.
      However, I also think it is not in the best interest of us to silently ignore hateful, aggressive, racial or otherwise socially unacceptable attitude by way of comments.
      Thanks for your views :)
      • Apr 29 2013: Hi Pabitra.
        I hope you see this because in respect to your recent response to me,
        "However, I also think it is not in the best interest of us to silently ignore hateful, aggressive, racial or otherwise socially unacceptable attitude by way of comments. "

        I would like to ask you how would you respond to speech that is Fascist or Totalitarian, or how you would even grade such speech? Grade, so to speak. I couldn't think of the right word.
        Maybe appraise or discern. Hope you get my meaning.
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          Apr 29 2013: I'd grade such speech as politically incorrect. I am having difficulty imagining any attitude as fascist/totalitarian because normally such attitudes are derivatives of authoritarian behavior. Unless a commenter is consistently behaving in that manner, it may be difficult to be sure about a fascist agenda in a single comment.
          Identified, I shall denounce such attitude/speech/behavior strongly of course. It is tacitly assumed that this platform is founded on democratic ideals (barring few cases of censoring/deletions).

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