Rules for Comments and Forum

Last Updated: 8 March 2020

Proto-Indo-European Forum

Its root is at indo-european.eu/proto-indo-european/.

You can also use the following shortcuts:

More than a forum, I conceived it as a sort of microblogging platform that enables open discussion.

It uses bbPress plugin, which basically turns WordPress pages, posts, comments, and tags as bbPress forums, threads, posts, and, well, tags.

User registration

The main difference with a microbloggin platform is that others can also comfortably share news and host meaningful discussions. New posts become part of this blog, so that makes me wary of what it can become. Therefore, you’d need to register first.

For the moment I’ll allow automatic registration through email confirmation (i.e. without my approval). This is my preference for allowed users, though (and this is the reason why you can enter your real name and some background of online activity, if you want to):

  1. Real name: you can still use a public pseudonym.
  2. Pseudonym with presence online: I’d like to be able to see at least a long-term background on social media, forums, or the like.
  3. Pseudonym with no presence online: allowed for the moment, let’s see how this works out.

This preference is very relevant for how strict I will be in enforcing the rules and eventually banning the specific user. The readiness to expose one’s real name tells me how much an individual really cares about being associated publicly with his or her ideas, and how much weird comments are genuine or just attempts to troll the forum.

Background check will also be used to judge if there is some red flag regarding the principles and rules below.

In short, users would be writing posts for Indo-European.eu, which will be indexed as part of this website, and I can’t use the same flexible rules as in the comment section.

Principles and Rules

The basics

It is first and foremost a place for:

  1. me to share updates of files hosted in the web and discuss their errors and shortcomings,
  2. everyone to share news and research relevant for the different homeland questions,
  3. on point discussion of these topics above.

Research

It should be ideal for those interested in sharing and commenting on the latest formal research about:

  • Population genomics: genetic evolution and movements of ancient cultural communities potentially associated with languages.
  • Archaeology: ancient cultures potentially related to the homelands of researched ancient languages.
  • Linguistics: comparative grammar and language contact, helping locate ancestral communities and their dialectal divisions.

As you can see, the order of relevance in the forum is reversed relative to the actual importance of each field to track ancient speakers. This is because this blog is centered on peoples, while Academia Prisca and the Modern Indo-European Facebook Group are already focused on the linguistic aspect.

Forbidden

What is NOT allowed, and will be immediately banned (posts, threads, and users alike):

  • Nativism: it is the cancer of Indo-European studies, and I am increasingly convinced that it makes up more than 90% of the interest in Indo-European studies, among hobbyists and professionals alike, of any discipline involved.
  • Racism: ethnic-driven (i.e. phenotype-, ancestry- and/or haplogroup-based) discussions are the latest infection of the field, and a blow to the apparent integrity that some covert supremacists had when approaching the different homeland questions.
  • Pseudoscience: the usual icing on the cake, where we all might occasionally walk the line between genuine interest in a healthy discussion and hidden trolling. I will have to make a decision to allow or delete posts with this kind of content one by one.
    • General: Arguments based on tradition, authority; religion; politics; etc.
    • Population Genomics: Ancestry magic; “calculators”; p-value obsession; data manipulation; etc.
    • Archaeology: Cultural “continuity”; anti-migrationist views; simplistic and superficial comparisons; etc.
    • Linguistics: Glottochronology; phylogenetic trees; other “statistical” or “computational” approaches to linguistics; etc.

These rules apply to everyone who wishes to write threads or posts. When in doubt, to understand what the site is and isn’t, take a look at this blog’s About section, at my early 2019 summary of ancestry magic, and look for related topics in the archives.

The Internet does not need another site constantly spammed by angry anonymous users with all kinds of outdated and falsified theories, racist and supremacist views, stupid and trolling comments, ad hominems and harassment, etc.

History

I have been trying to write longer or more concentrated posts in 2019, whenever I could find time for that, with more emphasis on improving my files and resources with every new publication, because it has become clear to me that this is what really matters in the long term.

The problem is, I don’t have a good way of sharing short news, new files or resources, or modifications (corrections, improvements) of old ones. I don’t like Facebook and similar social media platforms, my Twitter account doesn’t seem to be the best suited for this task, and there is only so much this blog’s sidebar can cope with.

I was also looking for a way to replace the phpBB forum from DNGHU (later Teuta), which could never be fully recovered from being massively spammed some years ago, with malfunctioning search and latest activity sections, the core of any active online group. The Facebook group Indo-European, linked to the Modern Indo-European Page, which I created years ago, seems to be not well fit for organized discussions, either.

Comments

I removed the Disqus system because of its annoying ads and malfunctions in notifications, in allowing or deleting comments without my permission, constant comment modifications by certain users who become impossible to follow, etc.

This makes the comment system now another load to my already overloaded server. I don’t plan on being more restrictive on comments, but you might have noticed that I am banning people and deleting comments more easily than before, so just try to keep on topic.

Practice with the forum will hopefully help me keep blog post discussions even more on point. There have always been comments out of place, with people just throwing in ideas unrelated to the posts, or old, now completely outdated posts being answered months or years later, with the relevance you’d expect from such activity…

I am also limiting the discussions to the most recent posts, and older ones will be now closed. I am setting the time frame to 2 months for each post, but I might adjust it in the future depending on how frequently I write new ones.