Do you allow political and religious debate in your forum? A lot of people I know don't, but in my two forums it seems to get members really excited and causes lots of new posts/threads/ and perhaps even members. Sure it makes some members offended, but it also keeps most of them coming back to debate.

I have always kept off this. I have forums about webdesign, martial arts, women issues, music and movies, so I really don't use politics and religion since they have nothign to do.

I believe it's usually healthy for a forum to stear clear of political/religious debate, or atleast move it off to a separate forum. I myself am in the process of designing a political forum, and will of course keep it heavily moderated.

I try to keep it off of my site, since it's a technical forum, and visitors are from all over the world. While we have an off-topic forum, it's really not a issue and sort of naturally is avoided.

This is also a good argument. My communities catter to people all over the world too. I am from Romania, I got members from China, USA, Canada, India, I doubt we could have a consensus as politics are concerned. Not to mention my views on the USA politics as a person who's living in the Europe won't be too relevant or even close to reality.

I started long time ago, which I don't own anymore, but dealing with these topics are easy if you have the members that all have a common goal of "discussing" the topic rather than argueing about it.

Which is a very hard to get.. :)

Having a site devoted to religion or politics is one thing, because people go to the site for stimulating conversation about those topics. Additionally, you're prepared for anything that could go wrong so you set up forum rules to encourage stimulating discussion over no bashing or flame wars. It's similar to how our moderation team works hard for are there are established rules for not giving homework help to students who don't show effort in the C++ forum. The problem comes in when you're dealing with unanticipated off-topic discussion that could get out of hand ... and it isn't something your site, your forum rules, or your mod team is equipped with the ability to effectively and seamlessly control.

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