These are the guiding principles that will govern what constitutes acceptable 'speech' on Yard.chat.
- This is not a place of accusation or bullying. Individuals are exempt from criticism here as they can be dealt with, well, individually. Institutional problems, on the other hand, require a forum for collective discussion.
- You cannot reference anyone by name or by position (eg. the undergraduate dean or the president to the Spee).
- Profanity is acceptable, slurs are not.
I may update these rules or add new ones, if necessary.
How can I post?
Go to yard.chat/add and make sure you are connected to the Harvard wifi (either "Harvard University" or "Harvard Secure" should work).
Your post may be rejected automatically if you submit it via cellular data or another wifi network. Only Harvard affiliates are allowed to post and this is the easiest way to check that anonymously.
Do I have to post serious stuff?
Not at all. You can post about anything. Doesn't need to be controversial or negative. Even Zuck loves Harvard-specific memes!
How will moderation work?
If a post gets 10 downvotes, it will be removed automatically. Please do the community a service by down voting off topic or inappropriate posts. I may revive posts if I feel like they have been unfairly downvoted.
When will you take stuff down?
Anything that directly violates one of the stated rules will be taken down as soon as I am aware of it. As for jokes and less serious content, I will defer to the community's verdict (determined by vote tally).
If you think there is a post I need to be made aware of right away, email the link to [email protected].
Why is this anonymous?
Because people are more willing to post their opinions when their reputations will remain intact, even if a majority disagree. I will do my best to moderate away the more unsavory effects of anonymity.
Is this a free speech platform?
Nope. Ultimately, I will determine what is good and what is bad. I'm your Hobbesian sovereign as far as Yard.chat is concerned.
I want to write a long form post!
Send an email (via your @college address) to [email protected] with a draft of your editorial.
I know Harvard students have diverse and well-articulated opinions on controversial topics, like the #sanctions on final clubs, the #lawsuit that alleges discimination against Asian-American applicants, and the administration's decision to end #shopping week. But, beyond anodyne Crimson op-eds, rarely are these opinions heard and even more infrequently are they discussed publicly. We don't allow ourselves to apply pressure to our ideas.
Instead we stumble over them, sentences die on our lips, or are mumbled and go unheard. Harvard is a place where it is difficult to be vulnerable or controversial.
Yard.chat, beyond inside jokes and Harvard memes, is intended as a place to air opinions that normally are kept private and to share the personal stories which have no other outlet.
I'm certain I won't be able to moderate Yard.chat perfectly and, if in the end, the community that develops fails to live up to my expectations, I'll shut it down. I hope Yard.chat can play a role in facilitating conversation on campus.