TL;DR: GRC's forums are heavily moderated by design. Posting here
is a privilege, not a right. If GRC or our moderators feel that a posting is
not in the general best interest of all, such postings may, and probably
will, be removed without apology. For more about why, see below...
In any open public forum, answering the question of what constitutes “acceptable content” is tricky and is often avoided. But because the topic is important, if not critical, to the facilitation of smoothly functioning and civil discourse, it needs to be addressed and made crystal clear.
All fans of Star Trek know Spock's famous dying statement regarding how
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”
The first potential misconception to resolve is any confusion regarding the applicability of the first amendment of the US Constitution. The first amendment applies to the restriction of “free speech” by the US government ONLY – not by ANY private institution such as Twitter, Facebook... or GRC. So please have no illusions about whether or not we – GRC and our appointed moderators – have the legal right to censor and delete anything that we deem to be counter to this community's goals and interests. As a private enterprise we do have the right, and we will exercise it, without apology.
The second potential misconception is the purpose of these forums. Unlike many other public forums on the Internet, these are corporate forums. The hardware, bandwidth, storage and management which supports these forums is provided at GRC's expense for the sole purpose of supporting its commercial customers and advancing GRC's commercial interests. GRC has no interest in hosting content which is counter to GRC's interests and such content will be removed.
GRC has operated somewhat related public NNTP-style newsgroups for decades. During that time we've weathered a number of upheavals when discussions became heated and boiled over. Our early attempts to formulate a regulating policy to prevent this failed, until we finally understood that what must be avoided are topics that arouse passion. We understand that passion is fun and engaging, and we, ourselves, are quite passionate about many subjects. But, without exception, this is not their place. In online forums such as these, passion too often and easily gets out of control. We've learned the hard way that there is no safe way to discuss “hot” and controversial topics. So, PLEASE check them at the door, and do not bring them with you, in here.
Generally speaking, in these technology-oriented forums, anything like that will be wildly off topic anyway. So it will likely be removed if only for that reason. But it also happens that members develop an affection for these groups and for the people here, and with the best of intentions they wish to share other things in their lives that they care about. Our response to that is that the Internet is a large place and there are many other places where content that's inappropriate here can be posted and shared. That's where it needs to go. While here, you must exercise judgment to keep all of your postings within bounds.
Secondarily, there's another famous and wise imperative that has developed in online communities: “Do Not Feed The Trolls”. It will help everyone if you resist being baited into replying to anything that you feel is inflammatory, whether or not you agree with its premise. The first link under every posting is “Report”. You will be helping everyone here if you exercise your feelings by clicking that link rather than being baited to reply.
Finally, aside from the danger of engaging overheated passions, we very much want these groups to remain focused and on topic. The test we continually use is imagining what a typical newcomer would see and think upon their first visit here. Will they see an orderly and civil community where people are getting along and engaging in worthwhile and interesting on-topic conversations? Or will they see a food fight and feel the need to duck and cover?
Anything appearing here that is not relevant to our topics, or which might develop into a skirmish, will be removed immediately upon being seen.
This may seem harsh and unappreciative. It's not meant to be. But we believe that an adherence to these guidelines will create a useful environment and knowledgebase for the benefit of all members and visitors.
Thank you for your understanding. Really.