Political Threads No Longer Hosted on Paizo.com

Off-Topic Discussions

Community & Digital Content Director

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As of today, Monday, June 12, 2017, real-world political threads are no longer going to be hosted on paizo.com. The increased attention and resources needed from the Paizo staff to address issues present in politically driven threads detracts from time that we'd would prefer to have pointed at other meaningful contributions to our community and the products we create and support. Our goal with the forums is to create a space that brings gamers together. After a trial of putting these topics on and off pause, our team has determined that these threads cause more friction and poor experience than should be allowed to continue, and runs counter to that overall goal.

For the community's reference, here is a list of potential examples of threads we will no longer host:

  • Politically charged current events, such as elections or ballot initiatives
  • Parody threads of political figures or current politically charged events
  • Threads where the sole topic is a specific political figure, party, or agenda

Additionally, we recognize that content included in Paizo's line of products may raise political discussion or questions. Discussions about in-game campaign setting politics, or the viewpoints of the company are treated separately from the restriction imposed in this post.

Going forward, political threads will be locked, and politically charged posts in otherwise non-political threads will be removed.

We will soon be updating our Community Guidelines to include this restriction regarding political threads/posts to apply site-wide. If you have questions regarding what constitutes a political thread, or are unsure whether your idea for a thread is appropriate, please post to Website Feedback or contact community@paizo.com.

Included below is the original post text regarding political threads from our original pause and provisional reopening below for your reference.

Political Threads on Hold, Originally Posted November 16, 2016:

Due to an increase in negatively charged posting surrounding the recent US election cycle, and the amount of time required of our staff to address these posts (as well as conflict between community members), we've made the decision to put political threads in the Off-Topic subforum on pause. While we regroup to consider how we handle political threads moving forward, active and new political threads will be locked. Our goal with our forums is to create a space that is both welcoming and productive for gamers to come together, and at this time, political threads are driving a wedge into that space. We do not have an ETA for when political threads will resume, but will make that information available once we've made decisions regarding their status.

Post from Website Feedback, RE: Reopening of Political Threads:
I'd like to extend my gratitude for your patience as this thread has gone without proper response this week. My tasks related to the Starfinder preorder launch (including responding to all of the social media queries about the announcement), ACG retail incentive launch, as well as getting paizo.com back in working order (while working relatively in the dark) have kept me away from being able to focus on community-related needs.

I would like to clarify that our temporary pause on political threads has been limited to the Off Topic subforum. We recognize that there are topics covered in our products which may lead to political discussion and debate, and those are discussions that have a definite place on our website. Should we decide in the future to impose a permanent restriction on political threads in Off-Topic, it would not effect the status of threads related to in-game content, but rather threads solely focused on real-world issues.

We do not consider "The LGBT Gamer Community Thread" to be political, and if there were a ban on political threads in the future, it would be allowed to continue. There are a wide variety of backgrounds that make up our pool of employees, freelance authors and artists, third-party publishers, as well as gamers within the paizo.com community, and it is important to us to acknowledge and respect their identities. We understand the decision(s) of community members who wish to hide these topics, omit content from their games, or for whom this stance on identity issues brings them to an impasse. However, within the context of threads on our website, it is not appropriate to disparage any individual on the basis of their gender identity or sexuality, and that guideline is not up for debate (you can find our full Community Guidelines here).

We have made the tentative decision to suspend our pause on political threads (and will be unlocking a couple). If discussing politics on paizo.com is of interest to you, there is a sticky thread of guidelines for these topics available (text of which is available in the following spoiler block). If you have feedback on these guidelines, feel free to start a new thread in Website Feedback.

Link to Original Post

Guidelines for Political Threads in Off-Topic, Originally Posted January 27, 2017:

Whether Paizo should continue to host political discussions within the Off-Topic forum has been debated amongst our community, as well as internally. The responsibility of moderation on paizo.com is a task that is additional to regular job duties by certain Paizo staff. If the volume of posts in need of moderation begins to eclipse the time that's needed to be spent on other community needs, customer service, making our games and all of our other cool projects, it may be necessary to put certain topics on pause, or to limit certain topics altogether.

We are tentatively taking political threads off pause. If these are threads that you participate in, enjoy reading, or find to be of value, we need your help to keep them in check and keep them around. What does this mean?

  • Ensure that you have read and understand the Community Guidelines.
  • Utilize the appropriate reporting channel for problematic posts. This can be: flagging a post, reporting a problem in Website Feedback, or emailing community@paizo.com.
  • Flag and move on. Refrain from responding to obviously inflammatory posts, and please do not gossip about the flagged posts in unrelated threads. This helps our team address issues while making as minimal an impact on discussion as possible.
  • Ensure that you have read and understand the Community Guidelines.

There are a few topics our team has identified which often become politically charged and are too volatile/unsuccessful at remaining civil. We will lock new threads that concern the following (this list is not comprehensive and is for illustrative purposes):

  • Abortion
  • Gun control
  • Sexual assault
  • Parody of an active political or otherwise contentious thread (including parody of non-Off-Topic threads)
  • Celebration/advocacy of the death of any real world human life

If you have questions about any of the above, post to Website Feedback or email community@paizo.com.

Don't want to see political threads in your view of the forums? You can hide threads on paizo.com by clicking the "∅" symbol on the right-hand side of any thread. Please refrain from posting simply to voice dislike that a thread exists, as this derails conversations and causes unnecessary friction.

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