When we started CaucusRoom, we wrestled mightily with how to navigate the choppy waters of political disagreements within our new community. I predicted that we would not see much disagreement or negativity, and so far, so good! Because CaucusRoom is organized locally, most conservatives are going to agree on the vast majority of issues confronting their community. 

But, despite our expectation (and our experience) that most CaucusRoom posts will focus on encouragement and action, political disagreements are inevitable. Sometimes disagreements are appropriate and important- and other times they are clouded and petty. Heading into the political primary season, we might see a little more of both. 

In theory, developing a comment policy should be easy. I think we all know what we want: constructive dialogue. However, in practice, it is hard to expect thousands of people to agree on what that means, exactly. Here’s a chart that I find helpful to consider when I gear up to weigh in on a debate:

(Credit to forum.trainerroad.com

If we try to stay in the top three sections of this pyramid, this will be an incredible community. Exercising self-discipline in our debates should also help us practice the discussion tactics we need to move the needle with our non-conservative friends. 

Our CaucusRoom team is asked often about features such as post-reactions, “likes,” for example.We do plan to develop systems that reward constructive comments and thought leaders, but we are exercising extreme caution on this front to make sure we get the balance right. We are also looking at features to allow some discussions to “self-destruct” after a short period of time- because not everything on the internet should last forever. If you have thoughts or suggestions on how to calibrate such features, please send them to [email protected].  

In the meantime, the basic rule is: be constructive. Violating this rule can lead to penalties ranging from the self-inflicted sort (such as looking like a jerk), to the CaucusRoom-inflicted sort (such as being muted or suspended until a review by the CaucusRoom Member Council). I encourage you to read the CaucusRoom Constitution to learn more.

As a conservative social network, our critics are no doubt waiting for a chance to pounce. Instead, let’s show them how the Right can do it right.