AVC Community Code Of Conduct

I received a few suggestions yesterday that I outline the “rules” for participating in the AVC Community (the comments section).

So here they are:

1) We do not tolerate racism, sexism, and hate speech of any kind

2) We seek to encourage a wide diversity of opinions

3) Debate and discussion is expected

4) We respect each other and are careful to use polite and civil language

5) We avoid aggressive “in your face” language and trolling

6) We do not ban, mute, or delete comments unless they are spam, porn, or hate speech.

7) No ICO/token promotions and scams will be allowed.

I may add to this list if anyone comes up with additional good ones but this covers the basics.

I acknowledge that I have violated rule number five at times. I am not perfect but I believe the totality of my comments over the 13+ years is a pretty good record and is one of the reasons this community is a model of civility in an increasingly challenged medium.


Comments (Archived):

  1. WA

    #4. Owner’ License. Bravo on 13 years and growing.

    1. fredwilson

      i just changed the order so the number in your comment is now off. sorry about that Wayne

      1. WA

        I stand by my comment. Owner’s license. LOL.

  2. Elia Freedman

    You didn’t discuss punishments. I hope indiscretions will receive warnings first before banishment.

    1. fredwilson

      i have never banned anyone. i have asked a few people to leave of their own volition though

      1. CJ

        Kudos to them if they did. Shows a lot about a person’s character if they can take censor with dignity.

        1. LE

          Talking about perhaps two of the people that left, I am pretty sure it happened because they felt insulted. Not because they accepted the censor and/or took it in dignity. The reason they felt insulted was that they had put a great deal of effort into making comments and probably felt they were due a bit more than the public humiliation that they were given.

          1. Mario Cantin

            That being so, they were nonetheless self-sacrificing to a degree to save the community. I’m making an assumption, but I believe it.

          2. CJ

            Not sure exactly who we’re talking about, I skipped out on Trump week here because I know how this place gets around politics. But Ultimately, you’re only due the courtesy and respect that you give.

          3. SFG

            JLM should have not been told to leave. You may not agree with his point of view, but he was always a gentleman, fair, and pretty dang smart.

          4. Amar

            Hrmm.. historically JLM and Fred have typically had a pretty decent relationship. In fact reproduced below is the intro that Fred wrote for this guest post by JLM some oh 8 years back :)If JLM was indeed asked to leave, that is a shame. There is so much good history here, sad that an election cycle managed to undo almost a decade’s worth of camaraderie.Note: This is a first for the AVC blog. I did not write this post. It was written by Jeff Minch, known to this community as JLM. Jeff has been leaving comments on this blog for the past six to nine months and I’ve enjoyed reading them very much. Jeff has a very different view than I do about politics and about other areas as well. But you cannot read his opinions and not come away impressed and thinking differently. That’s the kind of voices we have here in our community and I am excited about sharing some of them with all of you every once in a while. I don’t plan to do this very often, but I do plan to do it from time to time.

          5. SFG

            It is sad. I hope that Fred sends him an email to invite him back. He helped a lot of our processes. The back and forth was excellent.

          6. Come back JLM

            I love JLM. Atleast please somebody pose as Fake JLM

        2. Mario Cantin

          I feel the same.

  3. Rick Bullotta

    …and please avoid product promotion or not-so-stealth advertising.

    1. fredwilson

      that is true but do i need to make that a core rule?

      1. awaldstein

        please do not Fred.We are all selling ourselves. How we do it is who we are.The community will tell us what they think without another code rule.Less is more with rules.

        1. fredwilson

          so true. i think 6 is a lot.

        2. PhilipSugar

          I agree. When you have a huge list of rules inevitably somebody will find a hole and go through it. When you have a broad rule it’s much harder. For instance not to get religious but “love your neighbor as yourself” That was one of two rules.

          1. LE

            And ambiguity actually gives you more leeway to be arbitrary. Take your rule on computer usage as an example “occasional personal use”.Generally with contracts depending on the side and the issue you either want to be exact or you want to be loose depending on how you calculate the future event you are trying to encourage or protect.For example take the airline picture rule. Much easier to say “can’t take pictures of airline equipment” than to list out every piece of ‘airline equipment’ that you don’t want photographed. Allows them to selectively object to anyone they want and/or ignore if they want.

          2. awaldstein

            Yup.Don’t be an asshole is also a good one.Unfortunately for some words like sexist and bigot are open to interpretation though for me not at all.

      2. Rick Bullotta

        Not at all. Just a “guideline”. Happy New Year, Fred. It’s going to be a good one.

      3. Mario Cantin

        If it’s not written it’s not true.

      4. Donna Brewington White


      5. ShanaC

        No. Sometimes you do find gems

    2. Aaron Klein

      I’d reply to tell you what I think of your comment, but that would violate Rule #5. 😉

      1. Rick Bullotta

        Bring it! I’m not suggesting that people don’t mention products or companies – it’s just when they inject blatant promotions into an otherwise substantive discussion that it seems douchey.

        1. Aaron Klein

          Mostly joking but I have long thought that the people who rag on Fred for talking about his portfolio companies are silly. He should talk his book; we all know what he does for a living and we want to know more about what he’s working on.

          1. Rick Bullotta

            Different animal. Fred gets to say whatever Fred wants to say. ;-)Happy new year. Have a kickass 2017!

    3. JaredMermey

      I do not mind when people share what they are working on, especially when it is on topic for the day’s post. To me, it lends credibility to the commenter as a subject matter expert.There is a fine line, however, on how to do it…which probably reverts back to the new rule #1 people are talking about in the comments.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Agreed, however, we all know there is a difference in sharing professional knowledge to illuminate a point and outright self-promotion.

  4. William Mougayar

    But your #4 “violations” were always in response to some comment that violated the other rules, and in most cases they were effective as a warning of sorts to the other person who subsequently realized they had crossed the line.

    1. fredwilson

      maybe that is true, but i am not proud of that behavior

      1. WA

        You are beating yourself up unnecessarily. Minimized optimization in this case = maximized humanness. And we all are – at the beginning and in the end. Happy New Year.

      2. William Mougayar

        Well, policing is necessary (and effective) sometimes (although rarely needed).

      3. Mario Cantin

        Like the guy you told, “Fuck off you miserable asshole” to? LOL! Rick he said he was called. It wasn’t as out of place as you may think. He had greatly insulted the Gotham Gal. It showed your love and passion — a good thing.

      4. Susan Rubinsky

        We are all human. We all have ungraceful moments. It’s how one acts after that moment that makes all the difference.

    2. fredwilson

      i just changed the order so the numbers in your comment are now off. sorry about that William

  5. awaldstein

    Funny how instances of #5 invariably come with #4 as the wrapper.

    1. fredwilson

      i just changed the order so the numbers in your comment are now off. sorry about that Arnold.

      1. awaldstein

        Truly not one of the world’s greatest problems today Fred!

        1. fredwilson

          yes, indeed 🙂

  6. G.


  7. JimHirshfield

    – “Be good or be gone”And my own credo:- levity & brevity

    1. fredwilson

      you are world class at those two things Jim!!!

      1. JimHirshfield

        You’re awfully kind, even if you’re at best right 50% of the time.

        1. Mario Cantin

          Ha ha ha!

    2. Girish Mehta

      Your comment is 90% funny, and the other half is brief. (with due apologies to Yogi B).

    3. Vasudev Ram

      >And my own credo:- levity & brevitySo, what’s the opposite of your credo? Just a fun challenge to see if you can come up with something as good as the above one. I tried (briefly) but couldn’t. Need to write a small script to find rhyming words faster than mentally enumerating them.

      1. JimHirshfield

        gravity & verbosity

        1. Vasudev Ram

          A reply with virtuosity (ah, finally)https://www.google.co.in/se…

  8. Joe Bryant

    Thanks Fred. Congrats on a fantastic community. I moderate another board and struggle with this. Can you offer any more specifics or details on the banning / deleting? The porn / spam stuff is easy and clear. But how about the gray and subjective area of people that continue to push the other rules like being in your face or semi unpleasant? Those are where we struggle. Thanks and best to you. Thoughts from Fred or others who’ve seen this done well? Thanks.

    1. fredwilson

      i leave those comments up to shame the people who leave themand i have asked some people to leavebut i have not banned themthey leave at their own volition

      1. Joe Bryant

        Thanks Fred.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      I manage several social media pages in the public transit industry. As you can imagine, people can get fairly irate. We have a policy to leave all posts public unless they are blatantly racist, sexist or hate-themed. We also automatically delete profane posts. In most cases, we send a private message to the user asking that user to follow the code of rules (short, concise list similar to the one posted, above) and give the user a warning. Very few people tend to be repeat offenders but of the few who are, we send a second warning. After that, the person gets blocked. We have had to block only a handful of users in the last eight years.

      1. Joe Bryant

        Thanks Susan. My site is for Football. We have a lot of people (400,000 subscribers to the site – about 30,000 to the forums) with a fair bit of “i-tough guy” types. For the football channels we require they keep it focused on football but we have a “non football” forum that is most of the issue. The Presidential race was especially rough. Much like here, we have a “Be Excellent To One Another” over arching rule but there’s just so much gray area and general snarkiness that it can be discouraging.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Oh yes, this past political season was especially difficult. I also think there will be hangover effect due to the president-elect’s lack of grace and civility. People will be pointing to the president and saying, “If he can act that way, then I can too.” I suspect it will be important to have very simple, yet clear rules as well a policy for managing the rule-breakers. It’s definitely going to be more difficult.

  9. John Pepper

    As I scrolled through endless hate comments last night associated with any and all Tweets any major politicians or their family members put out there, I wonder what would happen if Twitter published rules #3, #4, and #5 and enforced them as you would if that kind of talk erupted on AVC. How is Twitter helping us if such negative, mean-spirited talk continues to spiral out of control on any Tweet of real substance? It feels like its getting worse and worse. … and good people seem to be getting pulled in to the fray too.

    1. fredwilson

      it’s a lot harder to manage at Twitter scale but i think they need to do something

      1. PhilipSugar

        I think it’s much harder for them because they really are a self publishing medium. There are going to be some disappointed people because threatening the POTUS if it’s serious enough can get you a visit with a warrant (as should be). I know of somebody that got that visit.

      2. ShanaC

        I really hope they don’t pull a Facebook. Segmenting people so you see who you are likely to agree with creates a great environment for fake news

  10. bfeld

    I’m glad you posted this. It’s excellent. More communities need this.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks Brad. i may done something similar in the past but since this blog is really just a rolling set of posts that are shown in chronological order, i felt like i needed to do it again.

  11. mikenolan99

    7. Fake news will be met with aggressive eye rolling.

    1. CJ

      7. Fake newsPropaganda will be met with aggressive eye rolling.Because that’s what it really is, no? Using lies to manipulate public opinion.

  12. LE

    Good, this should also be a link on the menu. Separately, while hate speech is usually pretty clear, sexism and even perhaps racism is open to a wide interpretation.

    1. jason wright

      Yes, a ‘Rules’. Or, perhaps a ‘Conduct’.

  13. John Francis Charles

    On rule #3 (and I offer this suggestion with all due respect to the relatively polite and civil use of the term) were “bonehead” a species of shark Donald Trump would be kicked out for his response. So, while I find it problematic, only time will tell to what extent markets have priced in this President’s miscommunications . . .

  14. jason wright

    AVC is a journey and not a destination.

  15. reece

    “always tip the bartender.”

    1. fredwilson

      spoken like a former bartender 🙂

      1. reece


  16. Ryan Frew

    There is an online community I’m a part of that’s a little rougher around the edges than AVC, due to the subject material (it’s basically a giant car blog), but features equally vibrant commentary. Rule #1 for posting there is “Don’t be an asshole”. Frankly, I have no idea whether there are more rules or not. Everyone knows Rule #1 and everyone knows if/when they’re violating it.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s fantastic. one rule. well done.

      1. PhilipSugar

        You should say that is the over-arching rule. I always do this. For instance my rule for use of company computers and network is:You should use your company computer almost exclusively for company business. An occasional personal use is fine, however, you should never access anything that would offend your mother or my mother.

    2. Mario Cantin

      The only rule #2 needed then is “Know when you’re being an asshole.”

    3. Joe Bryant

      Thanks Ryan. Can you elaborate on how the rule is enforced? I think the “how to enforce the rules” thing is more where I’m struggling. Thanks.

    4. creative group

      RYAN FREW:The MATI story with Founder Tatiana Birgisson was great. Her attending Duke didn’t hurt.We enjoy seeing women succeed.

  17. Mario Cantin

    What about a rule about the political high jacking that resulted, not long ago, in one famous long-time commenter having to go on exhile? That set you on fire that day, but I don’t see a rule to prevent it in the future.

  18. jason wright

    # no gratuitous displays of personal wealth.

    1. Ryan Frew

      I have been coming to AVC for 7 years now, since I was 19, and I’ve actually been shocked to never see that become an issue, especially as someone who would’ve been sensitive to noticing it, as a poor college student. Maybe I’m missing something ha

      1. jason wright

        it can begin to head in that direction from time to time.- the price of everything, the value of nothing….

      2. LE

        Poor college student? Ask any of the older people here. Most of them would trade any and all material goods to be younger I know I would.

        1. Ryan Frew

          The grass is always greener, right? Finances are no longer the issue that they were a couple of years ago, yet, low and behold, money has failed to impact my happiness to the extent that I expected or hoped. The trick, though, is that I don’t think anyone believes that until they experience it.

          1. LE

            Wrote a reply to this but disqus erred out. Second time this happened today.

          2. LE

            Not my original comment but I would say that money is like sex.The reality is not as good as the fantasy but it’s still pretty good.

      3. ShanaC

        Similar. I noticed it more around political posts

      1. jason wright

        Nothing wrong with Lambo. Tractor DNA.

        1. Twain Twain

          Thanks, didn’t know that!

  19. DJL

    While in good spirit, one of the challenges is the definition of “polite and civil language”. Everyone has a different style. And what seems like a reasonable comment to one person (or even a joke) is “uncivil” to another. Then there is tolerance – how tolerant is one person of another person’s views? (I just saw the word “political hijacking?” What does that mean?) Some AVC members with more conservative views did not feel like their opinions were tolerated, and they were berated and called names. Is that “civil” discourse?I never intentionally violated any of these rules – and yet was the only person (I am aware of) that was threatened with blocking in the history of AVC. I have a lot of respect for Fred and AVC, and the last thing I would want is to damage relationships over politics. Sadly, it’s too late in some cases. So the best thing to do is just get out of the discussion. It really is a no-win situation when opinions diverge so much. I learned my lesson the hard way.Happy New Year to everyone. (back on “mute”)

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Curious what comment(s) lead to this … if anyone knows and if they weren’t deleted yet (why I think outright deleting is bad because then no easy record to view so we can make up our own minds if something was hateful or whatnot).

      1. DJL

        Complex story with a simple narrative: Conservative political views are not really welcome on AVC unless they follow some undefined pattern of “niceness”. Comments that seemed reasonable to some were met with name calling, ridicule and threats to block by others. So some people decided it was best to leave the discussion altogether.

  20. Vendita Auto

    “I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely”

  21. Dorian Benkoil

    Like the brevity, straightforwardness. Should there be something requiring that we post as ourselves, identifiable human beings?

      1. Joe Bryant

        I have wondered about this too. Reading the post, i found the line interesting “The desire to clean up the web, civilize it, and sterlize it pisses me off. I hate it. The Zuckerbergs can run a sterile community on the web if they want.” I think we all DO want to civilize a forum like this. Right? I’ve found left to it’s own with no moderation, a forum sprials downward quickly and the good posters leave as they don’t want to deal with the mess. Thoughts?

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          AVC is one of the last places left where civility, for the most part, reigns.

    1. Anne Libby

      I’ve seen horrible behavior in private groups on Linked in and FB, where people are using their real names. And when I say horrible behavior, I spent the first part of my business career in the securities industry, where people habitually used pretty colorful language.The Linked in group was a business school alumni group! I can’t think of a more obvious place to want to appear to be civil — if you want to have a career. So I’m not sure that real names are any kind of insurance policy.

  22. Tom Labus

    Civility will be under fire the next four years. I hope that AVC be the example that others follow. When did discourse get a bad rep?

    1. Susan Rubinsky


  23. William Mougayar

    I think there’s another basic rule that is implied in your list, but needs singling out because it is an essential tenet that, if well practiced, helps to avoid most other pitfalls:** Criticize ideas, not people **Disqus has a good post describing basic community guidelines (including this above one), especially see the section under: “Keep it civil, aka don’t be a jerk”.https://help.disqus.com/cus

    1. thinkdisruptive

      A good rule of thumb that is at times exceedingly difficult. It’s hard not to make strong emotions personal.

      1. William Mougayar

        Well, then you need to be able to cope with the consequences. Not everybody responds nicely to personal attacks. Which reminds me of 2 corollaries:- have a thick skin for handling criticism- don’t take each disagreement personally

        1. thinkdisruptive

          Well, if we could all do this, most failed marriages wouldn’t, people would never tell off a boss or co-worker or yell at a child, police would stop using bullying as a tactic and shooting innocent people, all wars would end with happy handshakes and a visit to the pub (actually, they’d never start), …..Recognizing that we are people, however, and not machines, we also need to understand that those we disagree with are also people, probably having bad days, and be willing to forgive and forget when the easy rules fail.Which is to say, the short and simple “don’t be a jerk. criticize ideas, not people.” is enough. The measure of being a jerk is persistence though, and rarely a one-time uncontrolled moment.

      2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        That a good rule of thumb is exceedingly difficult is indeed a good rule of thumb !And since this is a generalization all generalizations cannot have exceptions !

    2. awaldstein

      jerk is not strong enough.in a room full of bigots being a jerk is not the same as it is in a room full of human beings.

      1. William Mougayar

        Well, jerks are on their way to being assholes, typically. So, it’s like the first warning sign

        1. awaldstein

          More complex than that when you are putting a kibash on acts of bigotry and more.I find that Disqus actually knows very little about community as almost none of the original team were bloggers as you know.

          1. obscurelyfamous

            Most of the team (and original team) were not publishers/bloggers and we picked up a lot from talking to early users. But I think we live/breath community deeply, and our original mission scope thought about community with the lens of discussion forums.

          2. awaldstein

            No offense meant in any way. I knew many of the original team and have been a supporter of Disqus since day one.But I never think of you as the community experts.Maybe I should.

          3. obscurelyfamous

            I’m not offended at all. Just wanted to share.Who do you think are community experts today — as a company?

          4. awaldstein

            as a company that considers that community and groups platforms are what they sell–good question.maybe no one.possible slack.

          5. sobhan Mousazadeh

            Hi sir i am one of many of your company users I have very important question of you how can send pv msg or personal msg ?

    3. Joe Bryant

      Thanks for Disqus link. That’s excellent.

      1. ShanaC

        I love Eleanor

        1. Twain Twain

          Yes, she’s one of many smart, kickass folks our species has been lucky enough to learn from!

  24. Chimpwithcans

    This is a great reference for a diverse community.I know I have felt under pressure in the past from members regarding perceived racism. Judgement can be lightening quick and I believe context is hard to convey. White African Male is a small porion of the community demographic and experience I’d be willing to bet.Sensitivity is another tricky factor to account for. One man’s fear is another man’s joke. Not sure of an antidote but I’ve seen it raise issues here.Regardless, these rules are excellent.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      You inadvertently raise another important point which is that we are an international community which further creates room for misunderstanding and misperception — especially in terms of *tone* and nuance which are less culturally translatable.For some reason I have several white African-American friends from South Africa. What part of the continent are you on? (I know you shared this a few years back but I’m getting old.)

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        I know several white Africans as well. Also, a lot of people whose first language is not English. Idioms and nuance are sometimes lost on these friends in written conversation.

      2. Twain Twain

        The “tone” point is spot on, Donna.In one of the posts which seemed to have caused some members to withdraw, @le_on_avc:disqus apologized to me about the tone of some of his comments and I accepted his apologies.Luckily, I’m with @wmoug:disqus ‘s two corollaries:- have a thick skin for handling criticism- don’t take each disagreement personallyIn the same post, there was an exchange involving JLM, Kirsten and others where the tone went haywire.All of the people involved are people I like and whose views I appreciate — even when I disagree with them (or they’re being disagreeable).JLM has a maxim I agree with: “When good ideas wrestle, better ideas result.”He also once wrote this in a comment: “There is nothing wrong with fear. In the game of flight vs fight, it is good to have a bit of fear for fuel.It is only when we fail to act on our fears that they are destructive.Fear = fuel.Start a fire and come into the light and warmth.”JLM expressed a fear that @fredwilson:disqus ‘s community will become an echo chamber.I, for one, hope that if that ever happens, JLM will start a fire and stop that from happening.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Well, Twainx2, only time will tell whether this will become an echo chamber. That fire you mention will have to be started by someone else because from my information JLM is gone.A long time ago, we had badges within the AVC community assigned by Fred. One of those badges was “instigator.” Oh I loved those instigators — many of them are rarely here anymore if at all.The election related events awakened a tone and content that went to a new level. There is already an irreverence in the tech community which for the most part I enjoy. I especially enjoyed it here at AVC because it was mixed with civility (even if snarky at times) and a sense of community. There were some wonderful fights (aka “beefs”) from which I learned and grew.What happened during the election should not have set a precedent for AVC’s future because the tensions and conflict really were beyond the bounds of what this community could handle. We talk about being a community and maybe we place undeserved emphasis on this. We do not have the constructs and commitments in place for this level of conflict. The election tested deep friendships, families, and even marriages; it was expecting waaayyy too much for this community to come away unscathed.Perhaps, we should have taken this into account going in. But how could we? This was new for all of us. And the election result was a shock for many regardless of political allegiance. Except some of the ousted members called it in advance. And people with that type of prescience are often the ones who come across as most arrogant and have the least ability to package themselves for public consumption. We see this among some of the great visionaries in the tech community. I fear we have thrown out the baby with the bath water.This election scenario has issued an invitation for a new level of maturity — maybe even growing up. I am heeding this invitation. As we lick our wounds, our enemies lie in wait, scheming.I wish we could have a do-over. A clean slate.Oh Twainx2, you did not ask for all this, but I started typing without realizing how much pain is still locked in there. I have deleted twice as much as what still remains.

          1. PhilipSugar

            Once the primaries were done it was locked in it wasn’t going well. I think both “sides” could not believe the “other side” even could think the way they did.You know they say the best networkers are not those that have deep relationships with everybody in their “circle”. It is one’s that have deep relationships in many different circles. I humbly (well I guess that is not too humble) think I am probably one of the top ones there are.Remember that picture I had when I was with Biden on election day? I saw that cleaning lady the other day who knows me. I told her that was such a great picture!! She said I don’t have it. I showed her and she glowed, and said I don’t have any. I said let me send it to you. “I don’t have a computer”. How about your phone? “My phone doesn’t get pictures” How about your kids? “They are gone all I have is my Grandson”I went to Walgreens and printed a bunch of those out. Nice 8×10’s and wallet size. Put them under her “office” door which is the sprinkler room in that mall.I went in last Friday and she came up and said: I want a huuug. I want a big hug! I was with other execs going to a holiday lunch and when she realized she apologized and I laughed and said she was the most important person in my life at that moment of time and we had a big hug. She said I made her New Year’s, I said she made mine.Everybody asked what was that about? I showed the picture and people just shook their heads.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Phil, you are a gem.

          3. PhilipSugar

            This is where phones and electronics can be a huge issue. They really have hurt civility. People asked me how do you know her? Who is she? I said she’s been here well over a decade is a fixture and I always say hi. They must have walked past her 200 times but didn’t even see her.

          4. Twain Twain

            Thanks, Donna. As you know, I can be quite verbose (lol) so had you written 10 times as much, I’d still have appreciated every word and punctuation.In Kik post, Fred said how video helps us to be more empathetic and there is something about that. Visuals help us to guage another person’s tones and nuances differently (and better than) text.Here, we each read another person’s text and we parse it through the prisms of our own perceptions and in our own voice — when, oftentimes, we should literally and laterally “try to put ourselves in the shoes of others and see it from their perspectives.”I always find it really useful when someone articulates a view that’s starkly different. It makes me wonder, “Now, why and how did they arrive at that view? What had they read or seen or experienced — which I’m ignorant about, but that informed them in that way?”So I see conflicts of opinion as part of sparking curiosity and new avenues of exploration.Jeff shared a lot of helpful insights about election processes, why policies of previous nominees worked/didn’t work and how bankruptcy procedures in Donald Trump’s cases meant he hadn’t done anything illegal — even if it did mean his subcontractors hadn’t been paid (which is morally questionable to some).For some folks in the community, Trump is so personally abhorrent that all Trump supporters were “tarred with the same brush”. I think what Jeff tried to do was to open up our eyes to the fact that it wasn’t simply about unemployed, uneducated, racist, sexist rednecks in the Rustbelt who think it’s okay to publicly assault women and not to be PC (and all of those stereotypes).Educated, diversely-minded and successful people also wanted “anyone but another Clinton.”He was trying to bellwether that change was afoot at the grassroots from what he was seeing, away from the media punditry.For me, he helped me see more of the picture and I appreciate that — just as I appreciate anyone in the community who does that.

          5. Chimpwithcans


        2. Chimpwithcans

          Great comments. Your thick skin comment reminds me of a Ricky Gervais phrase – “nobody has the right to never be offended”. It’s useful to keep in mind when dealing with a diverse community.

      3. Chimpwithcans

        Spot on re. International complications. I’m a Kenyan (East African) living in South Africa and still trying to make sense of it here in Cape Town.

  25. Mac

    If we all just be respectful of, and grateful for, all the things we have in common that bond us and bring us here, it will be a wonderful New Year. All the best to the AVC community and everyone important in your life. Thank you, Fred.

  26. Jonathan

    Fred. Perhaps our friends at FB and others should literary adopt your Community Code of Conduct. Ad dollars notwithstanding, of course.

  27. jason wright

    This will work if they are our rules and not those of the neo liberal mob. Conduct with consensus please.

  28. bsoist

    Thanks, Fred! Good list, though I would have added “get your own blog.”and I wish I had seen the original order of the comments before you moved them around. 🙂

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Ha! I keep reading “get your own blog” as “get a room” and maybe these are similar. But some of us are more gifted at responding than initiating — and so many other reasons (whether right or not) to bring the discussion here.One thing I have been guilty of has been continuing a side conversation that might be more appropriate continued in another venue such as email. (Intentionally used “venue” rather than “medium.”)

      1. LE

        Can you email me? The reason is I sent an email to d***@bw***.com and never got a reply. I think you should still have my email address. This is to address offline your comment ‘unclear as to why’.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I will check my old email address to find your message and will respond from my current email address.

      2. Susan Rubinsky

        Maybe there are multiple connotations, but the intuitive leap you took to “get a room,” is delightful.I am guilty of beginning conversations on here and leaving them hanging, mainly because I then get busy with life. Too busy at the moment to start a blog. Maybe others are too busy as well.

      3. bsoist

        venue :)I wasn’t implying that long comments are inappropriate. My point is that each of us can publish our own blog, and if we choose, allow others to comment, but it’s not our responsibility to give a platform for others to hijack the conversation. There is a point at which conversations need to move elsewhere.

      4. PhilipSugar

        I think many people like us view this an extension of our blog. I was sorry to see either disqus or Fred got rid of comments more than a month old.

    2. LE

      I would have added “get your own blog.”This is actually something that would be an idea for disqus to do. That is make it easy for a person who makes comments to link to a longer form address where the following can happen:a) They can expand on what they are sayingb) People can reply (with disqus of course) to things they have said.Easy means essentially one click.

      1. bsoist

        I’ve thought for a long time that some kind of publishing platform the brings the simplicity of tumblr but using open platforms instead would be a good idea. Since Disqus has a stronghold on comments across platforms, it would be an interesting play for them, I think.

  29. Donna Brewington White

    As I read this (thanks btw) I am still unclear as to why certain members were bounced from the bar or perceived that they had been.I can think of some rules that they may have not adhered to, but are not listed here.For instance some community members can become much more prolific when a topic of great interest is introduced.Of course I did not read every comment so could’ve missed something. I read a lot of them though. Sometimes cringed, but often learned or had my thinking tested in a good way.I do see that sensitivity for some of us is heightened by certain topics and this affects perception.Fake Grimlock’s Minimal Viable Personality post often comes to mind. Personally I could stand to let my inner badass have more voice. I don’t see any rule against that, thankfully.

    1. ShanaC

      Officially we haven’t bounced them. They can come back.We had a sensitivity to certain ideas and certain backgrounds problem that caused a lot of yelling, thereby intimidating other people and turning them off



      1. Donna Brewington White

        YOU! :)))))

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  30. Pete Griffiths


  31. Anne Libby


  32. Rick Bullotta

    Maybe “Fred’s Six Rules” should form the foundation of AI bots – kind like Asimov’s three laws of robotics…

  33. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:Leave it to Progressive or Progressive leaning contributors to set guidelines after the most egregious conduct that promoted everything number 4 on the list could combat and address the promotion by a few contributors support of racism, bigotry and xenophobic rhetoric for an entire two years leading up to Nov 8, 2016. (Reviewed three main Contributors posts that we could recall with only push back from us). We continue to highlight you Progressive thought influencers don’t have the stomach for confronting all the fake news and talk radio brainwashing.The AVC message today is hey guys let’s all get along and be nice. The problem is the Progressives have been nice for eight years and have been content with just holding on to the Presidency and been getting their butt kicked in losing the Congress.The push back if any hey we want to get along now and they are not inviting the conduct or posts recently. (Rodney King fools) Their true objective was fulfilled. There is no real need for them to continue with participation. Will not even acknowledge one main character disappeared all together. There were a few nuts begging for the characters return. We were elated that thought pattern left. A progressive will be the first to address it. Just simply nuts.The reason the country will be set back socially for one hundred years. But at least we can make money as a consolation.https://youtu.be/1sONfxPCTU0

  34. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:OFF TOPIC ALERT!CES 2017 this week. Wonder what consumer electronics we can incorporate now verses years away?

  35. ShanaC

    I have to ask: what do we do when you violate your own rules.

  36. Frank W. Miller

    Well, just so you know, its my intent to provide those entrepreneurs that follow a different point of view that you likely don’t agree with or like but within these guidelines. I’ll try to not be so fiveish either.

  37. pointsnfigures

    sounds like great rules for general human discourse.

  38. jason wright

    On reflection it might work to have a Menu tab labeled Conduct that simply links to this post and comments, and can this post remain open for comment indefinitely to allow for further suggestions to be made on possible additional rules?Just a dry list of rules is a bit out of context to the debate that affirmed them.

  39. Emil Sotirov

    Hi Fred,Related to “We do not… delete comments…” – it seems you’ve decided to hide comment feeds from posts older than 30 days.What were the reasons? True – these comment feeds are still accessible as “discussions” on Disqus. But still… removed from their original context on avc.com.I’m asking as someone who has managed a large online community for over 10 years. I would absolutely understand if you don’t think you have to explain your reasons. It’s your blog. Participants should have been mindful of that fact.

  40. Tony Hue

    Great addition to the community. I think both current and future readers benefit greatly from being on the same page in regards to expectations for participation in this community. Perhaps add it to the About page or somewhere on article pages so this doesn’t get buried? @wmoug:disqus @fredwilson:disqus

  41. sobhan Mousazadeh

    Why disqus no set minr.bz in scams list after 48 hours scamming? Why?

  42. PhilipSugar

    https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Here is the picture. You can see I am well past security and in front of everyone else, but I wanted to make sure she got a good picture with her grandson on November 8th. I shook his hand but did not get a picture.It was a good camera op. His photographer is the one that jumped in front of me, and the mean looking guy to his left is head of security. There are a ton of big boys right behind me.

  43. LE

    Thích Quảng Đức

  44. Lawrence Brass

    You love him or hate him but you never ignore him. He is an inspiration and a model for me and those of my generation who learned how to read him and not an easy cliché.

  45. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    I suggest no recursively self-breaching rules !