Republic Underground’s Social Media Etiquette Code of Conduct

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Republic Underground’s Code of Ethics for Social Media 


June 14, 2021 

As Republic Underground prepares its rebranding process, the journal seeks to establish a clear social media ethics code. These are the standards of Republic Underground in addition to those that are listed as rules of the platforms on which our content appears. We believe in the freedom of speech and the right to discuss our reportage in the newly participatory climate of news consumption. That said, we have observed issues of escalation on our social channels in the past that we intend to curb to have the highest quality engagement standards. 

Be respectful 

We reserve the right to moderate heated escalations and personal attacks against respondents to our platform discussions. This includes our staff and our audience. We are not responsible for the discussion of our work that does not appear directly in threads of our social handles or sites. 

To engage in discussions with Republic Underground, one need not cater to a specific narrative. However, you must show respect for all those in the discussions even those of an opposing viewpoint. 

Respectful behavior is identified by Republic Underground moderators in terms of what it does not do as well as in terms of what it does:  

Does not: use pejoratives, racial slurs, political slurs, or remarks that are derogatory to ethnicity, creed, religion, or nationality against another respondent to platform discussions. We will likewise consider those cases when political jargon is used pejoratively when monitoring our social channels. For example, respondents to our posts who use terms such as “Trumptard,” “Libtard,” or “deplorable” as direct pejoratives against a fellow in the discussion will be monitored by a designated moderator of our social media team.  

Our social media team will use discretion to deescalate social media discussion conflicts, and if the respondent is found to encroach upon our ethics and etiquette standards we reserve the right to ask them to excuse themselves from our discussions. The social media moderator is required by our editorial to provide you with a copy of these ethics and etiquette standards to inform a moderative decision. 

Does: Reply courteously to a fellow respondent. Keeps arguments on the topic, keep disagreements topical, without resulting in personal attacks of the second or third parties. 

To maintain objectivity, Republic Underground reserves the rights to: 

Use captions to label hashtags and political movements that are referenced in social media posts as part of a third party’s campaign and not associated with the editorial at Republic Underground. 

To refrain from using political jargon and/or slang. Terms such as “woketivist,” “Trumptard,” “deplorable” or “Rhino” are political terms that are considered by some parties to be pejoratives. Republic Underground reserves the right to refer to political ideologies by their American English standard terminology or nearest language standard sans current politicization. For example, “Trump supporter,” “progressive,” and “Republican” are some of the terms you may see in place of common political jargon and slang, and we will refrain from using or resharing hashtags that incorporate politicized jargon except in cases where it is necessary such as within direct quotations of speech or writing.

To refrain from politically correct language. To maintain objectivity, Republic Underground will not use terms that are politically correct to a common narrative, but will rather use terminology as defined by the nearest non-partisan Standard American English term. Terms such as “birthing person” or “CCP virus” are examples of language corrections that are associated with political ideologies. For the standards of Republic Underground’s social media and editorial, we will use the American English standard words “mother” or “parent” in place of “birthing person” and “coronavirus” or “COVID-19” in place of “CCP virus,” for some examples. 

To establish, based on research, style guides of terms drawn from English standard rules. Republic Underground reserves the right to make transparent our style guides and terminology based on English standardization research of non-politicized terms. Our research will be based on the laws of linguistics and the best mechanical function of the English language, primarily in the U.S. American standard dialect, as we are a United States-based publication. 

We define these laws based on factual analysis, syntax, efficiency as a part of speech, coherence to a general audience’s understanding, and accuracy as a descriptor. Our research will consult etymologies of American dialect to find the best term based on the standards of our language. A history of the terms used in our standard style guides will be posted in the style guides if there are questions of terminology’s origins. 

 We will publish these style guides periodically and the background of our terminology research to explain why we are using a specific standard, or outdated standard, if it deviates from the modern politically common speech. If there is confusion due to a lack of common generation, we will use the editorial-standard correct term as well as quote the politicized term in common use. The politically common term will be referenced in “,” marks and will be attributed to the party which elects to use the term as a descriptor. 

By establishing this code of ethics and etiquette in our social media engagement and editorial, we believe that we will be providing the most objectivity that we are capable of in news generation. These standards are arbitrary of those who choose to participate as an audience of Republic Underground. By forming these standards for ourselves, we do not seek to impose any violation of First Amendment rights upon the participant. Rather, our purpose is to improve the quality control of our publication endeavors including social media publications for which we are responsible and that will reflect upon the journal itself, and to do so we reserve our own First Amendment rights to exercise control over our editorial and all associated pages, posts, and multimedia content. 

Thank you for your investment in our publication and social engagement. 

With sincere intent to improve our platform for the reader, 

Rachel Brooks, Editor, Republic Underground