The Extended Discussion Forum of Gaia Online (often abbreviated as ED) is intended for involved discussion and debate between all Gaians. The actual subject matter is irrelevant, but what really defines a thread in the forum is the level of discussion and debate the thread topic generates. How "serious" a subject is (e.g. war, abortion, politics) does not affect a threads's status in Extended Disucssion.
If the subject is very broad, for example, "What do you think about abortion?", often the discussion and debate that arise from the thread are not very involved (e.g one line posts, unsupporting posts that do not contribute to discussions), and the thread is not suitable for the forum. There is no requirement that the subject needs to be weighty or intellectual, but in practice, most subjects in Extended Discussion are.
Threads should be made to maximize their potential for complex, multi-faceted discussion. When making a thread, please try and keep your topics as focused as possible to avoid generalized conversation and opinion swapping. For example, instead of "where do thoughts come from?" a thread discussing specific aspects of neurology or mental functioning would be more appropriate for Extended Discussion. Threads asking users simply to give personal hypotheses, with little basis in fact or knowledge of the subject area, are more approriate for General Discussion.
Users should refrain from using logical fallacies and poor debate methods, as these will frustrate other users and do not enhance the discussion.
When users are quoting a current news story, do not simply quote or link to the news article and than ask for a response. Instead, users should add one's own commnetary and thoughts to help spark a discussion.
"Read this article"
Users should not make threads that are only copy and pastes of articles, dictionary/encyclopedia articles, forum posts, or anything else where the basis of the thread is a large piece of text that is not a current news article and is not something that they originally wrote.
If one wishes to reference something, or use something as part of a thread, this is fine. However, references must be properly cited, or else the thread will be deleted for plagarism. You also must add one's own content to the thread, such as the reason for posting it, one's thoughts about it, and even some specific items from it that one would like to be discussed.
Main Article: Spoof Threads
Spoof threads, or threads that mislead a user by getting their attention to click and view a thread is not permitted in Extended Discussion. Such threads have been ruled by Noraboo that these title types are being excessively abused and cause problems such as false reports, flaming, and spamming.