Code of Conduct

Discussion in 'Site News' started by brian, Jun 16, 2003.

  1. brian

    brian Administrator

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    I'm playing with a Code of Conduct as follows, and have already uploaded it into the registration agreement.

    I freely invite all and any comment on the matter. I'm happy to take constructive criticisms on any aspect of it.

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    IMPORTANT – please read

    The comparative-religion.com forum welcomes all people of all faiths and perceptions. It is a forum that promotes respectful dialogue between a very diverse membership. Therefore for the smooth general running of the comparative-religion forum, a Code of Conduct is therefore enforced for the benefit of members, moderators, and administrators alike.

    CODE OF CONDUCT

    1 – POSTING CONTENT

    We ask that members respect the diverse nature of people and opinions represented in the forum. However, due to the fact that this is a place for all faiths, paths, and ultimately opinions, it is inevitable that disagreement may result. We therefore ask that you consider against posting in the heat of the moment. And if you cannot say something constructive to someone you disagree with then it's best not to say anything at all.

    Please note that posts of the following nature are likely to be edited or deleted at the discretion of forum staff:

    a) Posts which seek to offend directly or purposefully disrespect individual members of this community, especially through flaming, baiting, or personal abuse,

    b) Posts which use excessive profanity,

    c) Posts that contain illegal matieral

    d) Posts that contain pornographic imagery or literature

    e) Posts that seek to promote discrimination, hate, or violence either within or outside of the comparative-religion.com forum,

    f) Posts which seek to attack the legal rights of any individual member, such as but not limited to defamation, harassment, and/or the issuing of threats,

    g) Posts made by a member using multiple aliases

    h) Posts which seek to disrupt the functioning of the community itself, such as attacks against the comparative-religon.com forum itself.

    2 – LANGUAGE

    Please also note that swearing is not permitted - this is not an adult site. If you really feel the need to swear then censor the f****** words yourself. Use st*rs or bl_nks to censor the words. Lesser slang words are acceptable, but vocabulary general not deemed acceptable for family viewing should not be used. If you don’t censor yourself, then the forum software and or the site staff may do this for you.

    3 – DISCIPLINARIES

    a) Informal Disciplinaries

    Everyone gets a little heated sometimes, and we all make mistakes. Allowance is made for such eventualities. Generally forum staff will seek to defuse disagreements through constructive comment and criticism of posts. Every effort will be made to deal with issues calmly and sensibly on the forums itself. However, repeated offensive or disruptive behaviours may result in a Formal Disciplinary Procedure.

    b) Formal Disciplinary Procedure

    Re-occurring offences will result in a warning by e-mail, stating clearly the nature of the offense and indicating the involved post or postings. If the referred to behaviour continues then that member may be suspended, or more likely, banned from the comparative-religion.com forum. Please note that individual user IPs are logged with each post. Therefore particularly disruptive members can be completely excluded from even accessing the site via blocking of their IP address.


    ADDITIONAL NOTES:

    (i) Please note that you will not be censored even for disagreeing with any member of the management, so long as it is not done so in a manner that is seen as generally disruptive.

    (ii)If you have any particular complaints about a member of the forums staff, whether moderator or administrator, then please e-mail brian@comparative-religion.com with your complaint.

    (iii) Complaints received about any post not necessarily covered by the above comments will be duly adjudicated.


    FINALLY

    This Code of Conduct is for the good of both individual members and the good of the comparative-religion site in general. If the site staff ever fail to take action in either of the above categories then our hosting provider may wish to initiate its own censorship policy by suspending or even closing this site.

    All things considered, you have not only the potential but the opportunity to be constructive here. You may even learn something. Please try to bear that in mind.

    And have fun. :)

    brian

    (the big bad boss)
     
  2. Polycarp

    Polycarp New Member

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    Nice job on outlining your policies, Brian. I'd suggest that you add a set of standards on how and how not to stand firmly for what you believe when in dispute with another person -- that's been a major problem on other boards (as I'm sure you're aware).
     
  3. Paul3c

    Paul3c New Member

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    I just wonder if you've worked on this as a reaction to a problem, or to try and prevent one arising.

    The only problem I see with such a stringent "Code of Conduct" is that there is little room for interpretation. Every eventuality needs to be covered.
     
  4. brian

    brian Administrator

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    I used to be quite involved with religious debate communities on the MicroSoft Network, so I'm very aware of the potential problems faced by communities dealing with theological issues. ::)

    I've seen some extremely disruptive confrontations between "fundamentalists" of the Christian, Atheist, and Pagan persuasions (Muslims I meet online tend to just copy-paste arguments from other sites) - and sometimes this has actually led to communities being ripped apart.

    I didn't actually think to set up a COC here at first - I would have preferred to play it by ear. However, a recent post by "Down" in the Christianity section here made me realise I have to prepare for the issue.

    Essentially, most communities have an informal COC at work anyway. Those dealing directly with theological issues commonly have a public COC in place.

    I'm looking for something open and referrable that seeks to protect the rights of users to have opinions - as well of that of the forum in general to function without members who would abuse that privilege.

    My personal hope is that I shouldn't even have to act on having a COC. But the possibility for future issues overwhelmingly presents itself.

    Therefore I want to ensure that any possible future action is done transparently. This is for the protection of members, as well as to protect the future of this forum.
     
  5. Polycarp

    Polycarp New Member

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    Here's a line:

    "Members of the Comparative Religion forums are free to state their own beliefs and their disagreements with the beliefs of others respectfully. Direct attacks on other members, their beliefs, and their faith systems (denominations, religions, etc.) are prohibited.

    For example:

    Good" "I believe that all prayer should be directed to God alone, and that therefore the Catholic practice of invoking saints is incorrect and a violation of the Second Commandment."

    Bad: "You Catholics pray to saints, which God has forbidden, and He will punish you for that."

    Or something of that sort.
     
  6. Paul3c

    Paul3c New Member

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    I can certainly see what you're saying Brian. And I guess, on a site like this, there is huge potential for problems, as people debate strongly held beliefs. I hope, too, that you never have to use the COC.
     
  7. brian

    brian Administrator

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    I actually like Polycarp's suggestion - of a Code of Conduct that would actually refer specifically to conduct.

    I would certainly prefer to see if implemented gently - through friendly encouragement rather than brute force.

    Anyway, general comments on this topic are certainly welcome from anybody who wishes to offer them.
     
  8. brian

    brian Administrator

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    It's a busy day today, but I'll try and get the COC updated and see how that rides out.
     
  9. brian

    brian Administrator

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    Okay - this is how it looks at the moment. Think it may need a little tidying, but it should get the point across. Once that's done I'll let this thread drop and then sticky a copy of this thread on at least one board - maybe more:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    IMPORTANT – please read

    The comparative-religion.com forum welcomes all people of all faiths and perceptions. It is a forum that promotes respectful dialogue between a very diverse membership. Therefore for the protection and benefit of all members, a Code of Conduct is enforced.

    CODE OF CONDUCT - WE EXIST THROUGH MUTUAL RESPECT

    1 – POSTING CONTENT

    We ask that members respect the diverse nature of people and opinions represented in the forum. However, due to the fact that this is a place for all faiths, paths, and ultimately opinions, it is inevitable that disagreement may result.

    We firstly strongly recommend you couch your objections respectfully. Direct attacks on other members, their beliefs, and their faith systems (denominations, religions, etc.) are not acceptable.

    For example:

    Good: "I believe that all prayer should be directed to God alone, and that therefore the Catholic practice of invoking saints is incorrect and a violation of the Second Commandment."

    Bad: "You Catholics pray to saints, which God has forbidden, and He will punish you with Hellfire for that."

    If you feel a post is offensive then simply report it using the report button on each message.

    Please *do* allow administrator and moderators only to deal with disruptive members.

    Also note that where you feel to disagree strongly we recommend you consider against posting in the heat of the moment. Instead take a break from it - sleep on it - and come back to the issue calm and refreshed.

    And if you cannot say something constructive to someone you disagree with then it's best not to say anything at all.


    Please note, as a general summary, that posts of the following nature are likely to be either edited or deleted immediately at the discretion of forum staff, without notice or warning:

    a) Posts which seek to offend directly or purposefully disrespect individual members of this community, especially through flaming, baiting, or personal abuse,

    b) Posts which use excessive profanity,

    c) Posts that contain illegal matieral

    d) Posts that contain pornographic imagery or literature

    e) Posts that seek to promote discrimination, hate, or violence either within or outside of the comparative-religion.com forum,

    f) Posts which seek to attack the legal rights of any individual member, such as but not limited to defamation, harassment, and/or the issuing of threats,

    g) Posts made by a member using multiple aliases

    h) Posts which seek to disrupt the functioning of the community itself, such as attacks against the comparative-religon.com forum itself.


    2 – LANGUAGE

    Please also note that swearing is not permitted - this is not an adult site. If you really feel the need to swear then censor the f****** words yourself. Use st*rs or bl_nks to censor the words. Lesser slang words are acceptable, but vocabulary general not deemed acceptable for family viewing should not be used. If you don’t censor yourself, then the forum software and or the site staff may do this for you.


    3 – DISCIPLINARIES

    a) Informal Disciplinaries

    Everyone gets a little heated sometimes, and we all make mistakes. Allowance is made for such eventualities. Generally forum staff will seek to defuse disagreements through constructive comment on posts. Every effort will be made to deal with issues calmly and sensibly on the forums itself, and this inclcudes through use of Instant Messages, where deemed necessary. Do note that repeated offensive or disruptive behaviours may result in a Formal Disciplinary Procedure.

    b) Formal Disciplinary Procedure

    Re-occurring offences will result in a warning by e-mail, stating clearly the nature of the offense and indicating the involved post or postings. If the referred to behaviour continues then that member may be suspended, or more likely, banned from the comparative-religion.com forum. Please note that individual user IPs are logged with each post. Therefore particularly disruptive members can be completely excluded from even accessing the site via blocking of their IP address.


    ADDITIONAL NOTES:

    (i) Please note that you will not be censored even for disagreeing with any member of the management, so long as it is not done so in a manner that is seen as generally disruptive.

    (ii)If you have any particular complaints about a member of the forums staff, whether moderator or administrator, then please e-mail brian@comparative-religion.com with your complaint.

    (iii) Complaints received about any post not necessarily covered by the above comments will be duly adjudicated.


    FINALLY

    This Code of Conduct is for the good of both individual members and the good of the comparative-religion site in general. If the site staff ever fail to take action in either of the above categories then our hosting provider may wish to initiate its own censorship policy by suspending or even closing this site.

    All things considered, you have not only the potential but the opportunity to be constructive here. You may even learn something. Please try to bear that in mind.

    We'll try to make sure you can enjoy your stay here. :)

    Peace, Love, and Harmony -

    brian

    (the big bad boss)
     

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