We do allow political discussions that are dog related.
WE had to ban the discussion on "pitbulls" and breeds of that description because every single discussion became a nasty mess with personal attacks. They were NOT discussions. The members' behavior made that a required rule. It was not something we just decided to enact. Maybe if members were able to have a civil debate we would not have had to make that decision, but time and time again the MEMBERS proved that would never be possible.
As far as changing board names. That also was a rule enacted because it was being abused by the MEMBERS.
The behavior of the MEMBERS time and time again make us have to enact rules. We get really tired of having to be mommies for adults. People are no longer able to be civil to one another and the art of debate has been lost. People get behind a key board and write things they would NEVER say in person.
We give people a lot of chances. There were even members we felt were an asset to the board that we allowed back. Unfortunately they proved that giving them a second chance did nothing to improve their behavior. I wish it was different. I too miss all of the great and sometimes heated (though civil) GSD discussions we used to have. It is a loss to the breed, IMO.
Well I have seen interesting threads shut down that were political, but about dogs.
I have seen conversations shut down that were debates, but not slug-fests.
And I think people should be curbed for breaking rules, rather than disallowing topics in general. Because that is protecting us from ourselves. It is a bad precedent. Those who cannot argue and debate within the bounds of common decency will just move on to other topics, like religion or guns, breeding or dog food and get them banned as well.
And folks that have their GSD attacked by a goblin should be allowed to talk about the attack and name the goblin and discuss the goblin. Because we are a community. For Lisa to be able to talk about her pup being attacked by a rottweiler and the aftermath, while Justin is not allowed to talk about how his dog was attacked by a goblin, because his dog was attacked by a goblin is not conducive to building a healthy community that serves a purpose.
And yes, the lack of healthy debates IS detrimental to the breed, and dog owners in general. There should be a way to work toward that vision of a place where GSD owners can find connection, support, education, and entertainment in an ever-changing, ever growing group of individuals.
It seems like no one else in interested though, or believe it isn't possible out of the gate. That's disappointing. The art of debate is not dead, but too many folks get too offended by too little, and the answer is not always to make them comfortable.
Ah well, we could make this a better place if people weren't so invested in believing it is perfect.
ETA: I know that about the board names, but maybe we could practice some flexibility with new members while they are getting their feet wet. Rules are not cast in stone. Sometimes, rules put in place to prevent or manage one issue becomes a catalyst for other concerning behavior. Maybe once a year the rules should be weeded and pruned. We certainly don't have to continue doing something a certain way, just because it has been that way for so long.