Atheists And The Internet

As a leader of a student atheist club, I’ve been enjoying the job of facebook page moderator. Or, trying to enjoy it, more accurately. There are quite a few atheists I know who are prone to speak with the same angry and stubborn tongue that they accuse the religious of having (They would respond “But I’m right!” and I would respond “But you’re being an asshole!”). As much as I will complain about any commenters though, I am always extremely hesitant to completely ban them. Unfortunately, bannings are necessary when the commenters fail to understand the purpose of the group (it is to foster a community for freethinkers, not to endlessly debate others, by the way). Here are my own beliefs on the AHA facebook page:

What I Love

  • Conciseness
  • Humor
  • Asking a blanket personal question to members of the group (i.e. “My mom still makes me go to church. Is anyone else coerced into participating in religion still?”)
  • Discussion on interesting topics (i.e. “Should atheists take to heart Phil Plait’s speech on not being a dick?”)
  • Posting an article/photo/video/comic/quote that involves religion/atheism/freethought
  • Posting about AHA events or complimenting the wonderful leadership

What I Hate

  • Longwinded posts which take forever to wrap up and don’t seem to quite ever to get to the point (or just verbosity)
  • Challenging the veracity of beliefs of atheists (i.e. evolution or the existence of god or truth of the bible). This is not to say that those discussions shouldn’t happen (they should happen!), but those discussions are redundant and boring and fail to foster the atheist community of Madison. Do it elsewhere please
  • Anything regarding politics which isn’t directly related to religion (but abortion, stem cell research, women’s rights, and gay rights are usually acceptable topics for me if religion appears to be a motivator for opinions)
  • People being rude to each other
  • Commenters not listening when they are told to stop discussion in a thread because they are off topic
  • Posting multiple comments in a row because it means they’re just writing stream of consciousness style and aren’t constructing a cohesive point
  • Overposting. If I see your face a lot on the page, I imagine that I should see your actual face at a lot of AHA meetings too
  • Plugging your blog/book/band
  • Spamming the page with big dick porn
  • Anything hateful about any group
  • Spelling or grammatical mistakes. I don’t actually care about the mistakes, but these are signs that you aren’t proofreading your content and I want to make sure you’ve fully thought out anything before you post
  • Anything about sports
  • Posts asking if theres a meeting on a Wednesday during the school year (N.B. The answer if always “Yes, sorry that I forgot to send out the email yet because I’m an idiot”)(Also, I’m only upset at this question because it’s my own damn fault)

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