1. On one of the podcasts I listen to, there was a former teacher that talked about an online community she used to run. I don’t remember exactly how she worded it, but the core idea of her rules and moderation policy was basically this: Users on the forum will come from many different backgrounds and have a wide variety of opinions. You can argue and debate with each other, but do so civilly. If you have a problem with another user, you can contact a mod, but you have to show proof that you made a reasonable attempt to work the conflict out with the other person first.

    She said that policy worked pretty well for the years that community operated. This probably worked partially because she set the precedent that people were allowed to disagree and debate, but they were expected to handle arguments like reasonable mature adults. She set the right tone from the beginning and cut down on drama as a result.

    In my own life, there have been a couple of rules/methods that have been working pretty well the last couple years. One is that, if I am tempted to be angry or snarky at all, I make sure to avoid posting until I can communicate calmly. The other rule is basically ‘If you can’t say anything useful, don’t say anything at all.’ This sort of branches off the first rule, but I try not to say something unless it will contribute something constructive (or at least neutral) to the situation. Now and then I make rare exceptions, but most of the time I adhere to this rule and it’s made a huge difference.

What say you?