Gentlepeople – One of the greatest benefits of the Cat is that we have a very diverse group of people who trust that they can speak freely and enjoy a robust exchange of views.

To maintain this community it is necessary to observe some norms of behaviour. I am loathe to say ‘rules’ so let’s say ‘community standards’. So we all know that the c-bomb is not used around here and the word appears very seldom. I also disapprove of the very nasty habit that people have of accusing others of sexually related criminal behaviour. If you have evidence of a crime having been committed tell the police, not me.

I want to emphasise the social norm of privacy and anonymity. Many Cats are now meeting up offline and I often pass on email addresses and the like. But we do need to maintain a very strict separation between private information and public information. Pseudonyms preserve our ability to conduct frank and fearless public discussion – they allow Chatham House rules to apply to public discussion. Private information as to the public identities of Cats needs to remain private.

Outing your fellow Cat is a dog thing to do, so please don’t do it.

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