I'll get right to the point: Politics and religion are two subjects that are no fit for our general forums.
We've often asked ourselves what to do with off-topic threads that deal with politics or religion. These frequently lead to heated debates, and detract from the lively, fun-loving atmosphere that MobileRead is intended to have.
Sometimes we'd like to think along the lines of Jack Bauer when he says "We don't have time for that!" We've been "soft-pedaling" on enforcing the MR guidelines somewhat, most noticeable in the main forums as well as in the lounge, to allow discussions that include a religious or political subject. With mixed results. We've received negative feedback from you who would rather not see such content regardless of the tenor of the discussion. After all, MobileRead is about e-books, right? Yet others have expressed a great interest in these discussions, as long as they remain civil and intellectually gratifying.
So what to do? Thanks to our collective hive mind we found a solution that should accommodate as many of your views as possible. From now on:
Discussions related to politics or religion are available on an opt-in and opt-out basis only (opt-out by default)
In our general forums we're reverting to our previous standards and restrict political and religious topics that have absolutely no connection to our site's theme (e-books, reading, publishing, etc.).
For anyone who is genuinely interested in discussing politics and religion, we've set in place a special usergroup ('Hardened Debaters').
Joining this usergroup means you wish to access our new Politics and Religion forum section and that you agree that you can handle the discussions that take place there in a mature and respectable manner. It goes without saying that our guidelines in terms of discussing things politely still apply.
So, if you're for these types of discussions, go to Group Memberships
in your control panel and click on "Join Group" to join the "Hardened Debaters" group. That's all there's to it, you should now be able to see the Politics and Religion discussion forum on the main forum index. Leave the group at any time if you want to opt out again.
Thanks everyone for your feedback, your patience, and all the fun you're bringing into this community and into our lives.
Alexander / moderation team