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"Henry, I suggest you stick to two subjects: the weather and your health."
Mrs. Higgins, My Fair Lady
"There are three things I've learned never to discuss: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."[1]
Linus, Peanuts

If a forum is not specifically about political current events, then you are usually not allowed to talk about political current events there.

Many forums not dedicated to politics have an official or unofficial ban on discussing current politics. (Historical politics, as long as it doesn't involve Nazis[2], is usually okay if relevant to the matter at hand; 20 years seems to usually be the threshold for "current", with a few notable exceptions.)

The reasoning is quite simple: Any discussion of current politics is likely to lead to a Flame War. Unnecessary Flamewars are bad. Thus, any discussion of politics is likely to be trolling, although you will get the occassional Naive Newcomer who genuinely doesn't know any better. Thus, the Ban on Politics.

Politics is not the only subject that gets this treatment, but it is the most prominent; both sex and religion also get this treatment, but both are usually more prone to self censorship anyway. There is a long-standing belief that one should never discuss sex, politics or religion at dinner parties. Of course, in Real Life, dinner parties that do discuss these topics are always the fun ones. Regardless of that, the point is that some subjects can create fights, and thus many forums ban these subjects.

Around here, we call our version of this the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement. Some articles such as Complete Monster call for No Real Life Examples, Please for this reason.

The only exception is, obviously, articles about politicians, which we try to treat with all the delicacy and care typically reserved for land mines. Keyword being "try", since we usually have chronic edit wars anyway, but hey, we need the articles for completeness' sake.

A worldwide Ban on Politics has been adopted by a large number of Freemason lodges[3]. Their dinner parties are said to be the most pleasant and friendly ones on the planet.

Notes

  1. Wouldn't that last one fall under the category of religion?
  2. some forums even censor the word N*zi, if only to confound fulltext searches
  3. (it frequently extends to a ban on religious talk as well, to discourage arguments between members of different sects or religions)
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