WSPA Code of Conduct

Hey folks! Welcome to Will Someone Please Address. If you’re on this page, it may mean you’ve been invited to join in one or more of our Branch discussions (featured at the bottom of most articles).

Here are the rules we play by. If you agree to them, please say so on the Branch below. Then you’ll be added to a discussion.

WSPA Code of Conduct


  1. Chill. I like a certain style of conversation. It’s not the only style, but it’s one I like. There are lots of ways to express yourself on the internet and all of them have their place. This venue is about showcasing this one: smart, thoughtful, calm, honest, playful, respectful conversation between people who don’t already agree.
  2. People are smart, so listen. People who listen, then learn, are smartest.

As it evolves:

  1. If somebody needs a smackdown on a discussion branch, that’s my job. Nobody said talking about big topics would be easy, but on this blog, it’ll be respectful. If you’re having a problem with somebody’s tone, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask for another approach. If that doesn’t sound possible or appropriate, email me offline and I’ll tackle it myself. Nobody’s getting their head ripped off on my watch. (1/9/2014)
  2. It is strongly suggested that all long-term members use a pseudonym. More below. (1/9/2014)
  3. Sometimes, we’ll have guests who use their real names, and some of them will be digeratiOn WSPA, famous people’s ideas weigh the same as everybody else’s. For all you know, some of the pseudonymous contributors are famous, too. 🙂 (1/9/2014)
  4. M0d has a life. I’m not online all the time to moderate. When I’m gone, I’ll say so. During that time, I advise, either play light, or don’t play.

I, Pseudonymous?

I have often suspected that congressional meetings are stupid mostly because they’re televised. I do believe most politicians are intelligent, but the camera forces them to perform for the world, rather than communicate with the smart people in front of them. Personally, I can rarely achieve (a) a quality public performance, (b) thinking through the long term consequences of what I’m saying, or (c) speaking my mind clearly about something that winds me up, taken one at a time. Never all at once.

Also, going on the internet with your name and not performing, is usually a bad idea. Consider: we’ll discuss things like the death penalty, mental illness, politics & race relations. How do you really feel about it? Next time you have a boss you don’t trust, would you want that person knowing you feel this way? A first date? Your 13 year old kid?

I recommend using a pseudonym. I find pseudonyms way better than anonymity, because there are still consequences to acting like a jerk. You get attached to pseudonyms and don’t want to burn bridges. I like bridges. Also, persistent pseudonyms help readers build a vision of how you approach problems.

If this all sounds sensible to you, welcome to WSPA. Sign in below and say “hi” to the internet.


Footnote: Sorry to make you sign up for a new tool, but apparently, the internet hasn’t largely heard of “only have a conversation with some people” yet.