The Southern Tech Packers have two message boards. One is free (Techsters) and one that costs a nominal fee (Packlands). The latter is better, in part simply because it costs money. That repels trolls and attracts a higher sort of fan. Also, since people around are members, there is more motivation to treat one another with a degree of consideration.
It also leads towards an informal, but socially enforced, ban on discussing politics. Because if you want to get along, talking politics on a sports board is a bad way of going about it.
Sometimes, this is difficult to avoid. For instance, Sotech is a state school and state budgets matter to the university and its athletics program. So we have to discuss the governor and his proposals without discussing whether we like the governor’s position on abortion and taxes. You can sort of tell who leans in what direction, but it’s sort of up to people not to say “This is why nobody should have voted for our spithead governor to begin with!!!” when we hear of potential budget cuts, or “Our governor is so great, and such a great Christian!” when they do something good for the school.
For the record, most of the folks on both Techsters and Packlands lean to the right. The former more in a Donald Trump way, the latter in more of a Mitt Romney way, which is kind of what you would expect.
In any event, there has recently been a flap at the school involving its Student Union Treasurer. You can google it if you know what school I went to, or you may have heard of it, but I do ask for discretion about mentioning it here. The long and short of it is that the SUT made a comment somewhat derogatory towards #BlackLivesMatter in favor of #AllLivesMatter. This lead to sanctions from the Student Union, which of course opened up a Free Speech discussion.
There is a threat about it on Packlands, but everyone is contorting themselves not to talk about BLM, police shootings, racism, or… anything other than free speech. There is a consensus that there should be no sanctions for saying #AllLivesMatter. Though some people are itching to argue further about why this is, and whether it’s because #AllLivesMatter is correct or because it’s a free speech issue. Also, #BlueLivesMatter has also come up. All the while, everyone *trying* to observe the community norms.
It’s actually kind of interesting to watch.
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