To try to help those of you who are advocating a Conspiracy Theory (CT), the following are some suggestions on how to proceed. These are not as fundamental as the board rules linked to in # 1, but should be taken as serious guidelines. Following them is not required, but it will make your visit that much more pleasant.
1. Become familiar with the rules of CQ, most particularly with Rule 13, on Against the Mainstream (ATM) and Conspiracy Theories (CT).
2. Be prepared to defend your ideas. You are going to be challenged to defend them and you are expected to do so.
3. Questions put to you about your theory must be answered in a timely fashion. It is acceptable, however, to answer “I don’t know” or to ask for more time to come up with the information. If you do ask for more time, a moderator may temporarily close the thread until you are ready to answer.
4. Remember you will not convince everyone in one or two posts. Take your time to build your argument and be prepared for a long discussion.
5. It is sometimes tempting to present many different pieces of evidence at one time. However, you will then be expected to defend all those different ideas. To keep from getting overwhelmed with multiple discussions, it may be better to present one or two pieces of evidence at a time.
6. People will attack your theory with “glee and fervor”. However, all such discussions must be kept polite and respectful, by all parties. Do not confuse an attack on your idea as an attack on you. Likewise, you should only attack ideas, not people. If you believe someone is being disrespectful to you, do not return the attack; report the post with the black triangle Report Post button (lower left corner of the post).
7. Don’t accuse people of being close minded just because they disagree with you.
8. Links to on-line videos with no explanation are not evidence. Many members have restrictions on what video content they can view on-line, or are not willing to watch a two-hour video to try to figure out what point you were trying to make. You must summarize the content of the video (or other on-line content) and point out, in your own words, how it supports your theory.
9. The CT forum is mostly designed for advocates of a Conspiracy Theory to defend their ideas, and not a general forum for CT discussion. However, we do allow limited posting of other threads related to CTs. If you have a specific question related to a CT (example: “Why can’t I see stars in photos from the moon?”), it is probably best to ask that in the Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers forum.
10. If you are not advocating a CT, but are looking, for example, for help in answering questions about one (“I got this friend at work who thinks….”), you can post in the CT forum when looking for help or advice. You must make it very clear that you are not advocating the CT. If you use these exceptions to advocate your own belief in a CT, you will be suspended or banned.
11. The CT forum may also be used for the critical analysis of websites that advocate specific astronomy and space related conspiracies. Such discussions should be limited to the specific claims of those websites and the scientific arguments against those claims. Such discussions are not an excuse to bash the claimants of such conspiracies.