Note: These are NOT rules to the forum or requirements to be here. These are simply suggestions on, as the title says, how not to look really stupid in front of everyone.
Use Good Grammar when Typing:
On sites like MySpace and Facebook, people like to use "net talk" all the time. But on this forum, it's best that everyone type complete, coherent sentences, especially when debating on a given subject.
Read the threads and posts thoroughly:
Pretty self-explanatory. When someone posts something, please read what they say and especially the articles, when they are posted.
Support your opinions:
In the debating forums, when you make a statement about something it's always a good idea to have something that backs up what you say and think. Not a good idea to say Bush sucks because he just does, have some proof and if you don't have anything to add, it's better to just leave that thread alone. Or as I would put it, "back it up or pack it up."
Have some prior knowledge about subjects:
Since this is a political debate forum, it is a good idea to know at least a little bit about politics before engaging in debates. Rushing into to subjects with no knowledge of them makes people look completely ignorant and uninformed of the world.
Don't Contradict Yourself:
Sometimes people contradict themselves, meaning they say and believe in one thing but then say and believe the exact opposite later on. This is similar to doublethink, which is holding two contradictory beliefs and accepting both of them. Flip-flopping is pretty much doing the same as above, so every poster should make sure they stand firm on a given subject. Contradicting yourself and flip-flopping is a good way to lose credibility, especially if it's done constantly.
Don't be a Hypocrite:
I'll keep this short, it's not a good idea to say that you don't like what someone does and then proceed to do exactly what you said you don't like. Let me give you an example....
Person A says they hate it when Person B talks bad about the Colts. Then Person A goes on to bad mouth the Colts later on, thus rendering themselves a hypocrite.
Again, this is another good way to lose credibility.
Don't Lie or Spread Lies:
We all know what lying is and on other boards people have been caught lying about a given subject or person. So for example, don't say that Person A is a racist when everyone else knows there is no proof of that nor have they done or said anything to suggest that.
In my opinion, the use of stereotypes to try and justify an argument tells that someone has a weak ability to debate. It's much better to have facts on your side.
Again, these are guidelines and suggestions, not rules. No one has to follow any of these, but if you want to be taken seriously as a poster you should read this carefully and take note of everything.