This website is moderated by an expert global moderation team from The Equality Network
The Equality Network’s moderators provide multilingual moderation support to ensure participants, site administrators, and third-parties are safe from malicious, inflammatory and illegal materials.
The Equality Network’s role in moderation of this site is to ensure that contributions are reviewed and assessed in an impartial manner according to the rules outlined below.
This policy covers the following:
Usernames – which are submitted by participants during the registration process as a way to identify themselves in public facing activities, are approved in accordance with the username rules set out below:
- Usernames should not be defamatory, obscene or include language which could be deemed offensive. This includes the creative use of characters and symbols to hide explicit content.
- Users must not masquerade as other members of the public, elected officials, moderators or site administrators. If you are found to be impersonating someone else, you may face sanctions.
- Usernames must not be a URL or web address.
- Using your username for activism purposes is fine as long as it doesn’t breach any of the above – eg savethereef or trains-not-traffic
If you breach any of the above username rules upon registering for this site the following will occur:
- Username change – our moderation team reviews every username submitted to this site via registration. If they deem your username to be in breach of the above rules, they will change your username and inform you this has occurred. You can change your username later to something within the rules via your participant profile.
- Temporary suspension – a participant who repeatedly and flagrantly changes their username in breach of the above rules may be suspended from access to the website for a period of up to one week. The period will reflect both the severity and consistency of the breach.
- Permanent blocking – a participant who continues to violate the username rules following reinstatement after a period of suspension may have their access to the website blocked permanently.
All public facing contributions – that is, contributions that can be seen by other website users – are moderated in accordance with the moderation rules set out below.
- Never post personal information about yourself or another participant. This includes identifying any individual by their real name, if they have not already done so, or providing personal contact information.
- Don’t defame anyone or any organisation. A comment is defamatory if it lowers or harms the reputation of a person or organisation. If you wish to insult anyone, this is not the place to do it. If you wish to accuse anyone of wrongdoing or incompetence, this is not the place to do it.
- Don’t post anything that could be considered intolerant of a person’s sexuality, gender identity, race, culture, appearance, disability, religion or age.
- Don’t be obscene and don’t use foul language. Lots of people from different backgrounds participate on this website. We want them to be able to continue to do so safely from home, work, school, university or wherever they may be. Disguising swear words by deliberately misspelling them doesn’t make them any less offensive.
- Don’t personally insult or harass other participants. Always focus on the logic of the argument rather than the individuals involved in the argument. Participants are entitled to choose not to enter into debate with you.
- Don’t post or link to any inappropriate, offensive or illegal material. Don’t post any advertisements.
- Don’t promote or encourage self-harm, suicide, violence or criminal activity of any kind.
- The use of emoji or images to convey inappropriate meaning consistent with the rules outlined above will also be moderated.
- Ensure comments seek to address the topic or focus of the engagement activity at hand. Users who intentionally distract from or ignore the discussion topic may have their comments treated as off-topic and removed.
- Please don’t raise concerns about the moderation on the site as it disrupts the flow of any discussion. Please direct any queries regarding moderation directly to the moderation team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Breaches of the moderation rules will be dealt with as follows:
- Removal of inappropriate comment – any comment that, in the view of the moderator, breaches the rules will be removed.
- Temporary Suspension – a participant who repeatedly and flagrantly flouts the moderation rules may be suspended from access to the website for a period of up to one week. The period will reflect both the severity and consistency of the breach.
- Permanent Blocking – a participant who continues to violate the moderation rules following reinstatement after a period of suspension may have their access to the website permanently blocked.
- Inappropriate content – a participant who posts or links to inappropriate, offensive or illegal material will be immediately blocked from the site.
The following are not enforceable rules, rather they are suggestions about etiquette to help keep the website respectful and constructive.
- It’s a good idea to read through the information on the site and the other participant comments before getting involved in the discussion yourself.
- Always respect the views of other participants even if they don’t agree with you.
- Be constructive. It’s okay to disagree with other forum participants. In fact, we encourage discussion and debate; just keep the dialogue positive.
- Always keep things civil. We recognize that this can be difficult sometimes, especially when you are passionate about an issue, but it is important to keep the discussion focused on the issues rather than letting it deteriorate into personal insults.
- Once you’ve left your comment keep an eye on the discussion to see what other people have to say.
- If you feel that someone has insulted you, report their comment to the moderator by clicking the “Alert Moderator” button. Don’t perpetuate the dispute. The moderator will take a look at the offending comment and decide whether it should be removed.
- Stay on topic. The projects on this website have been created for a specific purpose. Please stay within the boundaries of the subject matter.
- Turn off the “CAPS LOCK”. Writing in ALL CAPS is the equivalent of SHOUTING and can cause offence.
- Choose one place to post each of your unique comments. Don’t cut and paste the same comment into lots of different places on the website. These may be considered duplicates and could be removed.
- Don’t be a “troll”. Trolls intentionally incite annoyance or offence. They do not participate constructively in the discussion and do not add any value to the debate.
- Don’t bully, harass or threaten other participants. If another participant proffers an opinion that you don’t agree with, you have no right to demand that they support their position with a detailed argument. They do not have to respond to your questions. It is up to each individual to participate as much or as little as they wish.
- Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and interphobia will not be tolerated – the same with racism, ableism, ageism, sexism, misogyny, etc.
- Please respect the moderators. Their job is to keep the forum safe and constructive so that everybody gets to have their fair say. It is not always an easy job.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if my comment is removed?
If you post something to this website, which is removed by our moderators, you will receive a notification via email, informing you of the decision. You will be informed as to which of the moderation rules you are in breach of and asked to review and resubmit your contribution.
What if I disagree with a moderation decision?
If you disagree with a moderation decision you are able to get in touch with support by contacting email@example.com While the final moderation decision lies with our moderators, you may indicate to us why you think your contribution should be accepted. In some instances, you will be referred to the owner of the website for a final decision.
Can a website owner remove my comment just because they don’t like it?
All comments moderated by our moderators are done so in accordance with the moderation rules outlined above. The owner of this website, however, reserves the right to request a contribution be moderated if they feel it is in breach of these moderation rules. In this instance, you will receive a notification via email.
Can I report a comment anonymously?
If you feel a username, comment or contribution on the site is in breach of the rules outlined on this page, please fill this form to reach out to Bronte, alerting him to this.
How will I know if I have been blocked from the site?
If you are repeatedly in breach of our moderation rules you may incur sanctions as outlined above. In the instance that you are blocked from the site, you will receive an email notification informing you of your sanctions and the conditions of those sanctions.
Is moderation independent of the website owner?
Yes. Moderation is independent of the owner of the website. There are only two places where on-site moderation occurs. The owner of this website can choose to moderate stories as well as questions asked by participants and answer if they so choose.
How does moderation deal with comments which suggest a person is at risk of harming themselves or others?
Our moderators are trained to identify comments that contain references to self-harm and or threats of violence and crime. Comments that mention or promote this behaviour will be removed and escalated for further review and further action. Any further action will be at the discretion of the website owner, including referrals to law enforcement, primary health or first responder services. The Equality Network believes it has sufficient processes in place to deal with these situations and highly encourages the use of verified participation for engagement activities. If you notice comments of this nature, please alert our moderators and the website owner immediately. Our team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
What personally identifiable information about me can the moderators access?