[DRAFT] Terms of Service and Code of Conduct

The forum strives to be a civilized and public place of discussion

The forum is a shared community space- where knowledge, skills, aspirations, and plans can be shared through engaging in conversation. Please treat the forum as you would any public place that you respect- such as a public convenience store. These aren’t hard and fast rules but guidelines that have been deliberated and arrived at after much discussion in the community. The ultimate goal here is to keep the forum clean and well-organized.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Improve the Discussion

To begin, the best way to improve discussion is to discover those that are already occurring. Spend some time browsing through all the categories and topics before replying or starting your own. It is highly likely that you will find like-minded individuals who share your views and interests.

It is certainly your right to have your thoughts and express your opinion, however, they must be done in a respectful and civil manner if you want others to acknowledge and respond to you.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

It is perfectly acceptable to have differing opinions and seek to respond to them, which is in fact encouraged. But we must be mindful in criticizing the idea and not the person. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Let’s leave our community better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

When you witness questionable behavior, don’t reply- simply flag it. Choosing to respond to bad behaviour simply encourages it, consumes everyone’s time, and leaves you exhausted. Flagging it will alert a moderator- who has been granted special authority to deal with this as they are responsible for moderating the content on this forum. If enough flags accrue on that comment/post, then action will be taken automatically.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:

  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Avoid homophobic slurs and racist comments.
  • Respect one another. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
  • Avoid flaming or trolling as a way of decompressing. It is way more healthier to step back from the keyboard, take your bike out for a ride, and photosynthesize.
  • Don’t FUD. We all have days where we are frustrated with the pace of progress but attempting to channel that frustration into public panic isn’t the best course of action and will not be tolerated on the forum.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for your family and friends.

Consequences for the failure of the above

Repeated violations of the above guidelines will result in moderators executing the following procedure:-

  1. A direct PM will be sent to the concerned user nudging him towards the community guidelines and requesting that s/he follow them. This will be carried out in a way that is not belittling.
  2. A second warning will result in an official warning, where the negative behavior will be explained, and consequences for not changing their behavior will be mentioned.
  3. Failure to change will result in the warned user being silenced which means they are prevented from creating new topics, posts, flags, or PMs on the site. These privileges will be lost for a specific period of time (we can discuss the duration here).
  4. Suspension- the user will be prevented from accessing and participating in the forum. Note that this is an extreme and final step and we would very much rather avoid getting here altogether. We hope that everyone reading this will have the maturity to cooperate with the moderators and keep the forum civil.

Keep it Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Final Thoughts

If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the ‘site feedback’ category and let’s discuss! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a meta topic or flag, contact us via the ‘staff page’.