Hello all,Partially in conjunction with the recent Olympics, /r/figureskating has recently enjoyed a spate of growth, and hopefully we can retain this energy, continuing to balance the interests of skaters and fans, casual and devoted. In the interest of a smoother-running ship, /u/infmja has come aboard as a moderator to work on the design of sub and graciously agreed to stay on as a moderator for the long term to help keep up with any issues that may arise. In the coming weeks, you will notice some fairly significant changes with respect to the appearance of the sub as a product of their efforts.While cosmetic changes can significantly affect the user experience, it is ultimately user-produced and -shared content that defines the subreddit. To that end, we have recently had some issues with commentary. While we have reason to believe that the issue of abuse toward other subreddit users is relatively isolated to a handful of accounts and, owing to that, more easily addressed, the happenstance has indirectly raised some delicate questions:For one thing, criticism of skating and skaters is different from most other sports in that we are almost always talking about young adults and adolescents, and often enough their physical and emotional development. Among different cultures there are obviously different attitudes as to what can be said and how it ought to be phrased, and in practice there is a continuum between simple gratuitous name-calling and reasoned critique of others’ actions and qualities. Some users have asked me to delete or ban what appear to me to be unpopular opinions stated in abrasive ways. While I appreciate the aim of deterring drama for its own sake and its purveyors, we also must hew to generalizable rules that do not verge on banning or crowding out dissent. To that end, let us operate for the foreseeable future with the understanding that commentary that leans more toward name-calling and less toward analysis or critique is uncivil and unfit for the sub. At the same time, users should choose for themselves whether unpopular opinions bluntly phrased deserve a response.Further, because we are dealing with a sport that is based at its highest levels around international competition, including loosely defined “schools” and “systems,” commentary is prone to veering into cultural criticism. Although this line of thinking can be insightful at times, this is not an anthropology sub and we cannot entertain attacks on entire cultures as a matter of course. Further, as an unfortunate and unsurprising product of the activities of the efforts of the Russian government in influencing online speech (themselves unfortunate and unsurprising), some users have occasionally attacked fans of Russian skaters or coaches as trolls, bots, and the like. Without substantial evidence related to a particular account, these will be interpreted as name-calling. Equating pro-government trolling with expressing pro-Russian [skating] sentiments oversimplifies how these now well-researched efforts operate and has the problematic effect of offhandedly dismissing a point of view that deserves to have its merits addressed even if one ultimately dismisses its underpinnings. Moreover, we all know what troll-brigades look like, and as far as I can tell we have not experienced any of these.As we have noted in our sidebar, this is a community for lovers of figure skating from all cultures and outlooks, and as mods we will do everything to keep it as welcoming and open-minded as feasible. Thank you again to /u/infmja for improving our design. Our next project will be developing a small wiki covering some figure skating basics. Over the next few weeks, we will be contacting a few of you who commented in the wiki thread to help us with content. If you would like to volunteer a portion, please comment in that thread.