SFFWRTCHT has always been a community thing and always an open forum. Unfortunately, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences in the past six months and been beaten up over moderation decisions I felt were necessary, so I feel a need to post a policy. I put in 20 hours a week or more unpaid to host and run and organize chat. I love doing it. But I don’t appreciate being disrespected. You don’t have to agree with me. But if you treat me like a bad guy for making decisions I need to make in best the interests of SFFWRTCHT, make no mistake about it, I am not going to tolerate it.
1) All SFFWRTCHT guests will be treated like honored guests in a personal home. You may express contrary opinions respectfully but if it turns into an argument or seems to be headed that way, I will feel free to ask you to cease and desist. I will nip it in the bud. If a guest misbehaves, I will also deal with that. They will probably not be invited back, but it is my place to deal with it.
2) SFFWRTCHT is for discussion of any and all interesting topics which are not going to involve bashing other people inside or outside the SFF community. This is NOT a forum for accusing people of racism, bigotry or other forms of stupidity. I will reserve the right to edit out objectionable material from transcripts, comments, etc. I will not apologize for this. As host, I have potential legal liability for anything you say and, more importantly, I will be held into account by others who may refuse to come on as guests or send me books, etc. in the future. They always have a right to say no but I don’t want to create an environment which encourages it.
3) SFFWRTCHT is a positive place. We can discuss tough issues but we are about encouraging and helping one another, not tearing one another down. Everything we do will be done with this goal in mind and I will deliberately push things in that direction as needed. Being guest-friendly is a big part of our success. There are plenty of other forums for the negative stuff. This isn’t one of them.
4) SFFWRTCHT will be family friendly. If cursing slips out, I won’t jump down your throat. I may edit the transcript or pull it from the culled interview when doing a Column. I reserve this right. Family friendliness also limits how we talk about certain topics. Sorry, but I have a broad audience of friends, followers and others who want to participate. I don’t want to chase them off. This doesn’t mean we can’t discuss difficult things but it does mean we need some policies for it.
5) SFFWRTCHT is not a democracy. But I welcome your input. As long as you respect that I founded this, I own the brand and I have the right to make ultimate decisions, fire away.
6) When SFFWRTCHT is live, it moves very quickly. I don’t always catch everything until I go back over transcripts. I miss nuances. If I feel things are getting out of hand, I reserve the right to ask people to tone it down or stop without explanation. I do not want to argue and I do not want to be beaten up. Understand that I may get it wrong or misread things sometimes but I am doing the best I can and I have listed the reasons for it here, so please respect that.
If we can all respect these policies (and each other), we should be able to get along swimmingly. Most of my regulars will recognize that I bend over backwards to make chat fun. This includes implementing a monthly round table at their request. It also includes organizing and even buying items for giveaways, finding interesting guests, etc. It also includes playing parent when I need to. I shouldn’t need to. We’re all adults. But I will if I have to. I don’t enjoy it.
Thanks for taking time to read. I hope articulating all of this helps you better understand my expectations and decisions and will help us avoid uncomfortable situations in the future.