Good, Insightful and Timely | Year 18 | 01 July 2020
SOUTH PACIFIC INDEPENDENT NEWS NETWORK
THERE HAVE TO BE RULES
The rules and standards of etiquette for the Regional Message Board (RMB), set forth by the Local Council, are meant to keep the RMB clean and promote representation of the vibrant swathes of culture we seek to be a meeting place for. Whether they be teenage lesbians and their K-Pop obsessions, librarians of keen intellect from the American Midwest, or charmingly kind sharks from the UK, our RMB is meant to be open to them (and no, that does not mean these three exceedingly narrow categories of people are the only ones allowed). However, in order to create an environment conducive to stimulating discourse, there have to be rules.
I see far too often that there will be nations who see the RMB as nothing more than a dumping ground for their every stray thought or instant reaction to seeing a post, be it merely a quick action or fleeting emoticon, perhaps just a single 'lol'. They don't bother to elaborate. They don't seek to add something to their post that could lead to further interaction in a meaningful way. If they forget to add something to the post, do they take advantage of the convenient edit tool? Frequently, the answer is no. Instead they will make an entirely new post and do what is known as a double post, with two of their posts in a row on the RMB with no one else having spoken between them. This disregard and disrespect for the message board we all share is very inconsiderate. All it takes is a minute of self reflection and thought to make a half decent post, but even that is too much for some. Behaviours like these are how we end up with hundreds of posts every day, a flood of meaningless chatter that does nothing but turn away those who lack the time to wade through the rising waters of posts, not willing to risk drowning in the deluge.
The LC isn't here to punish you or take away your rights. It is here to ensure everyone is able to have a good time and have a bit of fun or even a nice conversation with a total stranger whose path you would never cross in your life. Personally, I have met so many people in the course of my time in this RMB that have helped change the way I see the world, broadening the variety of ethical and ideological lenses through which to view the events around me. Of course, not every day is going to hold a life-changing event, but even casual conversations deserve some modicum of effort. You owe it to the person you are conversing with and, more than that, you owe it to yourself. The rules are here to help guide nations young and old to treat each other with respect and compassion. Double posting isn't respectful when an edit will suffice. Posting one word or an image isn't respectful when your partner deserves more. We aren't asking for much of you all. We aren't here to be the quality police, suppressing anything that doesn't meet our exacting standards. We simply seek to create guidelines through which a community can grow strong and connected.
If you feel we are not accomplishing this task to your satisfaction, please, let us know. The only voice you have is the one you use, and I implore you to use it: ask questions when you are in doubt, make a case for change where you see a wrong, and most importantly, please vote. Use your power to change the RMB for the better, though please consider not only what is best for you, but what is best for those around you. The RMB is a wild, beautiful place with many different people, but they all deserve respect.
Auphelia is a Local Councillor and a first-time guest writer for the SPINN.
The South Pacific Independent News Network (SPINN) is an independent news organisation established in 2003 whose goal is to provide good news, insightful commentary and timely information for the citizens of the South Pacific. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board. Content is published anonymously, unless is the author requests otherwise. The SPINN is in no way, shape or form associated with the Government of the South Pacific.