“Shutting off” a discussion BEFORE is goes “off the rails” simply because
someone, anyone, moderator administrator or “whomever” THINKS the
discussion is “heading that way”, being brutally honest, it is often double-speak for:
“I believe I am entering an argument against people who are more articulate and better informed than I am and therefore It is an argument I’m going to lose, THUS I will use my position of authority to cut off the discussion before it looks like I’m cutting it off for that reason”
FAIL! either for cutting off the discussion without hurt feelings or preserving anyone’s dignity
You can argue that this is not the case but everyone except the person arguing that justification knows they are being “disingenuous” (worst of all to themselves)
The ONLY solutions that work are having a dedicated "political discussion forum"
or not allowing political discussions at all.
And frankly in my opinion giving people “somewhere to vent” with the people they know and share common interests with are better than banning those discussions entirely.
Create a forum that is only open to well established members.
Require them to specifically log into that specific forum.
NO RULES WHATSOEVER, but whenever topics get “political” you
COPY the topic to that forum and delete the political posts from
the edited topic left in the main forum.
Political discussion outside that one area is expressly forbidden.
No need to “Warn”, “Ban” or chastise members, simply exercise a methodical and ruthless policy of moving any political topic or post to that one “Dungeon”
I even have a name for you to use for it: “The Oubilette”
French noun, in context it means “Dungeon”, but has been used for
"Sewer" (both are appropriate here)
Literally translated it means “place of forgetting”
In short the perfect name for a place for political discussion on a technical forum.
Private messages and e-mail only work between two people but when you have three or more people interested in a discussion… FAIL!