Yesterday, a bit of an argument formed in The Bridge after a moderator moved a set of posts mentioning a fidget spinner to This Is Fine, citing the "Horrific news belongs in This is Fine" rule. During this argument, A user voiced the complaint that they "haven't been thrilled with the way it feels like we're not even allowed to mention news in this room anymore." and that they miss the older days of casually discussing news events in the Bridge. The discussion can be found in the transcript at https://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/40071267#40071267

What I suggested during that discussion, and officially propose in this meta post as a general rule (with exceptions possible), is that we amend the rules of news in The Bridge from "all news and discussion of news belongs in This is Fine" to "some minor discussion of news is fine in The Bridge, but once it gets deeper and more involved, it is moved to This Is Fine", similar to how extended discussion in comments is frequently moved to a chat room on the main site.

Since we need to have an objective definition of "deeper discussion", I suggest we use the number of posts made in relation to the news item. I am not sure when the suggestion to move a discussion to chat is triggered on comments, but I think it's after 6 or so comments, or 7 including the question or answer that triggered the comments. This seems like a reasonable limit: 7 chat posts including the news item itself, after which chat is encouraged to continue the discussion in This is Fine (possibly through a moderator moving the chat messages as a gentle reminder to continue the discussion in This Is Fine.)

TL;DR: allow limited discussion of news items in The Bridge, but move the discussion to This Is Fine after 7 posts about the news item.

  • 3
    -1, hard numbers. I'm strongly against any sort of hard policy that can be internet lawyered around. People should feel comfortable to ask people to take it to TIF immediately, and conversely the room should be able to decide that they are okay with an extended political conversation taking place in the Bridge.
    – badp
    Sep 19 '17 at 12:20
  • @badp That is a nice sentiment and would be ideal except it doesn't always work. I also don't think this particular hard and fast rule is suitable, but I don't think it's a good idea to assume people will just always be adults about it without any rules in place at all
    – GnomeSlice
    Sep 24 '17 at 15:47

I don't like this proposal. I agree that what happened yesterday was an issue, but not for the reasons you outline.

The messages that were moved were not news related. Why a store page for a fidget spinner would be moved to TIF is beyond me. From context, it appears to be for a joke, but in my opinion the enforcement of policy, especially in the formative time, is not the right time or place to make jokes like this.

News discussions should begin and end in TIF. Non-news discussion should stay in the Bridge without being moved to TIF, for jokes or any other reasons.

Moderators should be trusted with the power to subjectively understand context and guide discussion to the correct location without specific hard guidelines. In this case, I believe the moderator simply made a mistake.

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