When discussing astronomy, astronomers don’t generally want to be distracted by posts about manga culture, and vice versa. This holds true regardless of what communication protocol is used. As I see it, this forum was created and paid for as a place to discuss the development of a particular type of information technology, namely the Safe network. But mathematicians, programmers and engineers also have other hobbies. I’m sure some even like manga. This is where the Off-topic category comes in. It’s good for general chit-chat among respected peers, while not derailing more serious discussions in on-topic threads.
Some seem to confuse this forum with the protocols being discussed on it. The Safe code is open and will hopefully be available for everyone to use, but publishing anything anywhere on the Safe network will not be possible, just like it’s not possible to publish anything without restriction on this forum. On Safe, astronomers will have their own private discussion groups, biologists will have theirs, manga fans will have theirs, and practitioners of various schools of magic will have theirs. But they will not be mixed. Some will see their posts being hidden in certain contexts as censorship. Others will (rightly) see it as organizing and focusing.
I feel this forum reached a symbolic point when the first video claiming the Earth is flat was posted a couple of days ago. Previously, the forum has been used as a platform for voicing e.g. the following theories:
Bleach is a health potion.
Catholic monks conspire with Satanists to take over the world.
Vaccines contain invisible microchips.
I’m seriously worried that potential future contributors to the Safe project, and even current ones, are dissuaded from participating if the main forum is flooded with these “alternative” views.
Do we as a scientific community actually want this on our information technology forum? Are these theories those of respected peers? Or are most regular forum members just too polite or shy to say when enough is enough?