Folks, we have discussed the recent issues that have emerged about the relationship between politics and photography amongst the moderators and with QT. We've come to the conclusion that we should not have closed recent threads that were going political, but rather that we should have waited until the thread ventured into bitter disputes before deleting just those posts that did so. Many of you suggested as much and we listened and agreed.

Thus, we have revised the guidelines, in what is probably the most extensive revision of the clauses related to politics since they were first added. Some of you may have noticed that we have already been operating under these revised guidelines for the last week or two.

The main difference is that we are distinguishing between posts made with the sole or dominant intent of litigating partisan political or social issues, versus posts presenting and discussing photography, even photography made as part of advocating for those positions. It is a fuzzy line and we may miss one way or the other in any given case, as usual. But the closer the post content is to photography, the harder we will try to keep it. People who respectfully challenge our actions will get due consideration, as has happened in this case. Vitriol, less so. But the default is to let conversations run their course, not to act in anticipation of a train wreck that has not yet occurred, no matter how much our experience suggests that it is inevitable. These threads should continue to be posted in the appropriate image-sharing section (or, potentially in the On Photography sub-forum if discussing published work). We decided against starting a dedicated Photography and Politics sub-forum, as the desired focus in on the photography, not the politics or the socio-political ramifications.

We will continue to have one set of guidelines for decorum throughout the forum.

In the grand scheme of things, the new guidelines are little different from how they were, but we think they are organized more clearly, and we think they describe how the moderators will look at things more clearly.

In anticipation of monitoring (and enjoying) lively discussions, which we would rather be doing anyway as moderators, we would prefer to reduce the workload of managing the sales forums, which is less enjoyable. So, we are making a change in the three Buy-Sell sub-forums: Only the original poster (OP) may post in these sections. If you have a question, PM the OP. If you want to make an offer, PM the OP. If you want to suggest a correction to the listing, PM the OP. General discussions of, or questions about features and capabilities of equipment should be in the appropriate regular sub-forum (or in the Lounge if it is not large format). This makes the Buy-Sell sub-forums more like a classified-ad section in a newspaper, or something like Craigslist, which is what we intended it to be all along.

So, click on "Usage Guidelines" above, and read them. Do it now.


The Moderators (Oren, Rick, Ralph, QT)