There are other rules in this proposal, though, which give me progressively more sense of unease as I read them.
Take venting or ranting. I saw a movie recently where one of the characters said something along the lines of "Never present a problem without presenting a solution along with it." He was talking, in the context of working in an office, about how to get along with a very demanding boss, but it struck me as sound advice for a wide variety of situations. It's too easy to get into a negative attitude and whine about something I don't like without doing or suggesting anything that might make the situation better. I might feel better (at least temporarily) for getting it off my chest, but only at the cost of dumping all that negativity on other people who don't deserve it, and, at the same time, I haven't done anything to improve the situation. So it's good advice and everything, but do we really need to make it a rule? Venting may be unpleasant to endure, but is it going to kill WikiTree? It seems to me that, with any proposed rule, we have to ask ourselves, not just whether it's reasonable, but whether it's necessary.
(And, yes, I recognise that I have been guilty of ranting about things like the lousy handwriting of census enumerators, which we can't do anything about. In fact, if all of these suggested rules were enforced, I'd be run out of WikiTree on a rail in no time1.)
I'm even more concerned with the "No Rapid Response" rule. Sometimes, the answer to a question really is as simple as "Read this help page." You don't need to spend 15 minutes ruminating all the permutations and ramifications. Just point them to the help page, and move on. (Although I can say that I would like to encourage people to put in links to the relevant help pages. I think saying something like "This help page can help you understand how to do that." is far more useful than simply saying, "Do this.", because it helps people to understand that WikiTree has a ton of useful information in the help pages, and they can find a lot of answers for themselves if they check them out. But, again, I would hesitate to make it a rule.)
One suggested rule that would get me in big trouble, should it become an official rule, is the one about "No Off-Topic Discussion".
I was born off-topic. I love just following a conversation wherever it leads. I even have a term for it: chasing rabbits. It's not like it's impossible for me to stay on topic, but I equate being strictly on-topic with work or otherwise no-fun situations, and to be honest, I'm not on WikiTree because I'm obsessed with knowing everything there is to know about my family, but because it's fun. So being in a "fun" environment but having to stick to a "no-fun" mode of discourse would be... dissonant.
(I am reminded of one poor guy who posted a question in G2G a couple of years ago. Apparently, I wasn't the only one in a silly mood that day, because a bunch of us piled into the thread, shamelessly highjacked it, and got very silly with it. The thread went on like that for a few days. The guy might well have gotten frustrated [although his question did get answered], although I hope he could recognise that we were all just having some fun, and not actually making fun of him. That's one of my favourite memories from being here, actually.)
I don't think I'm alone in this. Virtually every online forum that I've ever been on (at least, those which even had a topic) has had an "off topic" section. It seems to me that it's a pretty strongly and widely felt need. So perhaps a better solution would be to add an "Off Topic" category, and steer off-topic discussion (such as the weekend chat) in that direction, rather than banning off-topic posts entirely.
I also feel compelled to say that, as much as I hate/loathe/despise political, um, "debates", I don't really think that we could do genealogy on politicians without ever once mentioning that those people were, you know, political. I'm much more open to discussing religion (as long as it's not at the level of "you're stupid for believing that!"), but I do recognise that there are those who don't even want to hear the faintest mention of it. But unless we're going to change our focus from including everybody in one big family tree to including everybody except politicians and religious figures, I question whether an outright ban on those topics is really going to help us in our quest.
- I heard you, in the back, muttering, "And that would be a good thing, too."