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New rules and guidelines

Discussion in 'SJ Site News & Suggestions' started by Lucas Wiseman, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Lucas Wiseman

    Lucas Wiseman Active Member

    As this board continues to grow and attract more attention, it becomes increasingly important to have a specific set of rules and guidelines for users to adhere to while visiting and posting to this site.

    After many hours and consultation with several members of this site as well as with other administrators who have suffered the same growing pains as we have at other sites, I have developed a detailed set of rules and guidelines. These are posted following this message. You can also refer to them on the navigation bar at the top of the page by clicking on RULES.

    Now, I understand some of these things may cause some controversy and not everyone will be happy. If you have concerns or questions regarding this, contact me directly. Do not start threads regarding these rules, simply follow them.

    It may take some time for folks who have been here awhile to adjust to things. Therefore there will be some slack given as we work our way into following these rules.

    The bottom line is this... this is a professional site for people in our industry and it should be treated as such.

    Should you absolutely oppose these rules and wish to delete your account, you may do so, though I hope it will not come to that.


    Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, one of the Internet's most popular gathering places for journalists. It is our intention to facilitate healthy and informational discussions on everything from journalism to jobs to sports and news. We appreciate you visiting the site and hope you enjoy your stay here.

    By registering and maintaining an account on SportsJournalists.com, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines and rules. If you do you not agree with these guidelines and rules, you are welcome to delete your account (or ask an administrator to delete it for you) and visit the site as a guest.

    PLEASE REMEMBER: Posting to SportsJournalists.com is a privilege, not a right.

    Personal Attacks

    We encourage a healthy exchange of opinions. If you disagree with another member, challenge the opinion or idea - not the person. Personal attacks, insults and "flaming" will not be tolerated and will be removed, and the violator will be subject to disciplinary action. You may challenge others' points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully.

    Do not retaliate or respond to a personal attack. Too often, when an initial attack is made, others join the fray and, instead of becoming part of the solution, become part of the problem. Do not accuse others of being trolls. Should there be members whose posts you don't care to read, you can put them on your ignore list. It's really that easy.

    If you feel that you are being attacked or harassed, contact a moderator. The moderators shall have sole discretion in determining what constitutes a personal attack and what actions are necessary.

    Posting messages and creating threads

    Please take the time to put some thought and substance into your posts/replies. SportsJournalists.com is a place for professionals and wants to maintain a favorable reputation in the industry. Take some pride in what you're writing and you'll help to solidify that reputation.

    “Lazy” posts will not be tolerated and may results in warnings/suspensions. Examples of these posts include, but are not limited to: Starting a thread where the body is just a link (offer your opinion, some substance, etc., not just a link); Copying and pasting stories without some form of analysis or comment (make sure you have something to offer if you are going to start a thread).

    If one liners, habitual antagonism toward others, stream of thought garbage, unsupportable conjecture, etc. are your bread and butter -- this is not the site for you.

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    Posting Private Emails and Messages Without the Author's Permission

    This is an invasion of privacy, possibly unlawful, and members who violate this will be subject to the disciplinary process.

    Discussing Specific Moderator Actions

    On-board discussion of moderator decisions - including post deletions and member discipline - is not allowed and will be removed. Members will also be subject to disciplinary action. If you have a question about a moderator action, contact the moderator directly.

    Obscene or Offensive Language/Material

    Any posts containing communications or hyperlinks that are knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, obscene, threatening, harassing, offensive, vulgar, abusive, hateful or bashing will not be tolerated and will be removed. Individuals who post offensive material or links to such will be subject to disciplinary action.

    There is no public list of prohibited words; if you believe a word is questionable, don't use it. If you find a questionable message in any of the forums, contact a moderator who will determine whether the message meets our objective of offering a flame-free community.

    Deliberately Misquoting Other Posters

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    Furthering Illegal Activity

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    Invasion of Privacy

    Members posting another user's private information, including but not limited to name, phone number, e-mail address or address, will be subject to disciplinary action.

    Posting Copyrighted Material

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    Post Stalking

    A few members have in the past followed others around the board and posted sarcastic or hurtful comments in response to many of their posts. We consider this harassment, and will delete such posts. Anyone engaging in this activity will be subject to disciplinary action. If you suspect you're being stalked in this way, contact a moderator.

    Repeated Posting of Disruptive Posts

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    Abuse of Private Messaging and E-mails

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    Communications of SportsJournalists.com members to SportsJournalists.com moderators are subject to review by other moderators and SportsJournalists.com administrators at the discretion of the moderator recipient when deemed necessary for consultative purposes. Moderators reserve the right to share such private messages with other moderators and/or the staff, administrators and owners of SportsJournalists.com at any time.

    Discipline Purposes

    The purpose of discipline for violating the rules is not to punish members, but to protect SportsJournalists.com users and to facilitate effective discussion in SportsJournalists.com forums. Moderators and administrators may consider all relevant facts before imposing discipline, including the likely effect of the member's conduct on the forum, the experience of the member, the nature of the violation and the history of discussion in the forum. Discipline may be imposed even if the member did not intend to violate the rules or even if similar conduct was tolerated earlier in the same or other forums.

    Types of Discipline - Progressive Discipline

    If a moderator or administrator deems it effective, progressive discipline may be imposed for a rules violation. In general, progressive discipline has the following levels and each level need not be used if the moderator or administrator deems the violation to call for a different progression:

    1. Warning. The moderator or administrator identifies the member's improper conduct and notifies the member that future violations of that or other rules will result in suspension or revocation of membership.

    2. Suspension for one week. The moderator or administrator suspends a member violating the rules for one week and notifies the member that future violations of that or other rules will result in suspension for one month or revocation of membership.

    3. Suspension for one month. The moderator or administrator suspends a member violating the rules for one month and notifies the member that future violations of that or other rules will result in revocation of membership.

    4. Revocation of membership. The moderator or administrator revokes membership privileges for repeated or serious violations of the rules.

    NOTE: If while suspended a user attempts to use the site under a different user name and is caught, they will be permanently banned from the site and their Internet service provider, which in some instances may be the poster's place of business, may be contacted regarding this activity.

    Types of Discipline - Summary Revocation

    A moderator or administrator may revoke membership privileges as a first discipline if deemed reasonably necessary to prevent immediate and serious disruption in one or more forums. Examples of rules violations which may result in summary revocation are: posts from members which constitute "spam" or unbridled commercial posting.

    SportsJournalists.com Rights

    SportsJournalists.com reserves the right to remove a post which does not relate to the topic being discussed on specific thread or on a specific forum. In addition, SportsJournalists.com reserves the right to organize topical forums in order to best serve the majority of our visitors and members.

    SportsJournalists.com also reserves the right to prohibit or delete messages that violate applicable laws or that may be harmful to others. That said, SportsJournalists.com does not have the practical ability to restrict conduct or communications that might violate our guidelines prior to transmission on the Internet, nor can we ensure prompt removal of offending forum posts.

    The content of messages does not constitute approval or necessarily reflect the views of SportsJournalists.com. You participate at your own risk on the forums. You take responsibility for postings under your identification and use the information provided here at your own risk. SportsJournalists.com takes no responsibility for the content or opinions posted here.

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