Comment sections on many websites are filled with venomous invective, aggressive one-upmanship, cruel insults, and disrespectful toxicity. Bucking this trend, IEET offers - exclusively - Non-Violent Dialogue. “Buddhist Right Speech” is our ethical guideline. Today - September 25, marks the 100th day since this policy has been instated.
…the first principle of ethical conduct in the Noble Eightfold Path…. Buddha explained Right Speech as follows:
1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully
2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others
3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others
4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.
IEET arrived at the necessity for Right Speech after a two-month battle between religious and irreligious commenters. Both sides have agreed that the 2,500 year old dictum by Siddhartha Gautama sublimely serves our futuristic organization.
Other belief systems mirror the position of Buddhist Right Speech.
Ephesians 4:29: “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Implementation of the new policy will be handled by three moderators: Alex McGilvery, aka “Pastor Alex”, Peter Wicks - our site’s most frequent commenter in the last two months, and Hank Pellissier - IEET Managing Director. The triumvirate represents a roughly equivalent cross-section of IEET readers: Alex is a Canadian Christian, Peter Wicks is European agnostic, Hank is a USA atheist. James Hughes, IEET’s Executive Director, is a former Buddhist monk.
Here’s the Right Speech rules: new members are advised to follow the four directives listed above. Initially, they will be moderated. After they’ve posted twenty comments, they can ask the three moderators for “Immediate Posting Privileges” by simultaneously emailing email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com, with their request.
If members - enraged in the heat of discussion - slip into false, slanderous, harsh, idle, etc. speech, the following steps will - unfortunately - be taken:
1st time: warning sent to the registration email, with the comment(s) removed
2nd time: comment(s) removed and reinstatement of moderated posting
3rd time: commenter banned from posting on IEET site.
Questions about moderation may be directed to either Peter or Alex. The moderators job is not to manage the conversation but to watch for comments that go over the line, and become unethical. You are welcome to ask about how to avoid moderation, but there will be no arguing with the moderators decisions.
IEET values the importance of “Free Speech” and we welcome all opinions, but we believe that all opinions can be communicated with an intention of kindness. We understand that this will be a difficult transition for many commenters, who are used to the rabid snarling in the average chat-box, but we believe, as a think tank that promotes ethics, that it is imperative to utilize ethics in our conversations with each other.
Additional information on Right Speech is available HERE
How, where and when do I currently lie?
What forms do the habits of falsification take in my external speech?
How and when do I speak badly about others?
How do I needlessly pour out negative speech, especially in key relationships?
How do I unload my negativity onto others and the spaces I inhabit through being unnecessarily harsh and critical?
Do I use sarcasm or cynicism as a form of suspicion to create distance?
How do I waste time, my vitality, and integrity by engaging in nonsense chatter?
An additional rule for commenters is that posting should be no more than 300 words in length.
IEET’s mission is to be a center for voices arguing for a responsible, constructive, ethical approach to the most powerful emerging technologies.