Board Guidelines: MUST READ BEFORE POSTING!!
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    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Default Board Guidelines: MUST READ BEFORE POSTING!!

    Hi everyone,

    Please be certain that you read through the following guidelines below prior to posting on this (or another) political lifestyle board here at Pregnancy.org. By posting on these forums, you are stating that you are willing to abide by these terms and the consequences for violations that may follow. These issues have been addressed over the years but are being summarized for your convenience as well as those newer members that may be joining the boards as the election season continues to heat up.

    Obviously there are differences between the various parties and political "leanings" as well as differences *within* each party themselves. That said... we have a long road ahead of us. Politically, we are certain that we can find a great deal that can divide us on the boards... and as a nation. At the end of the day, however, we are called to unite --> even while we may *continue* to disagree on some very important stances. We still are parents (or parents to be)... & we KNOW we all want a better future for our families.

    With that in mind, we welcome you to discuss the issues... your thoughts on policies (and policy makers!), & much more. What we *hope* we are able to avoid is what our IRL counterparts often seem incapable of -- avoiding the more personal attacks on the beliefs of one another. We attempted to address this within our community guidelines. If you visit an *opposing* board you are bound to find things that will annoy, upset, or possibly even anger. Certainly, there are going to be issues and topics that are discussed on BOTH (or *all* we should say!) political boards. We do believe that it will help ALL of us however if we work to avoid dragging comments made from one board to another... or posting on the *opposition's* board.

    Additionally, we think this reminder from our guidelines would prove helpful to members both of this board and all those lurking from elsewhere:

    Quote:

    Please do practice common sense. Within our community we cover a wide range of topics ranging from fertility methods, birthing/pregnancy matters, feeding, parenting, education, discipline, spirituality, political, lifestyle options, and more. If you visit a forum that is in opposition to your own point of view, you can expect to be *offended.* Our advice is to recognize this in advance and elect not to visit those areas. At all times, our support
    boards should be respected for the topic they represent. Those wishing to debate, may do so in our Debate Arenas.

    The following guidelines are accepted by those posting on this forum:

    • These terms are in addition to our Community Guidelines. Be certain that you are familiar with these and that you take time to read any future announcements regarding any changes that may be made.
    • All members must post FIRST on the introduction thread provided as a sticky on each board. Within that thread you can post a short intro for yourself (with as much or little detail as you prefer) along with a statement acknowledging you have read and agree to abide by these guidelines. Hosts will be monitoring to insure that this is done. Those failing to do so may find their future access to the board is blocked. The reason for this addition is to insure that everyone is aware of these guidelines before they post on these boards.
    • You are asked NOT to cross post... for any reason with the exception of posting a note of "off topic" personal support for a member. For example, to post a congrats on a new pregnancy or birth; adding your positive thoughts or prayers for someone dealing with difficulty, etc.
    • This is a support board. Please do not post or send via private message your opposing political advice, corrections, or proselytization as they are not welcomed nor appreciated. Thank you for your respect.
    • Harassment: Harassment of other members is forbidden. Examples include carrying demeaning remarks and discussions about another member(s) from other forums, and sending messages regarding the discussion through private messaging.
    • You are asked to refrain from posting "jokes" etc. that would be considered in violation of our guidelines -- i.e. those that are targeting a specific party or group as regardless of "side" obviously some are bound to include our members. While surely none of *you* would use those as a means to slam other members, unfortunately we have had this happen in the past and must prohibit these type of *jokes* now. That said, we do want to lighten things up and understand that humor is needed. We DO want to allow some freedom in regards to jokes, cartoons, etc. that are for/against political policy, figures, etc. -- but do prohibit those slamming opposing groups *such as* (but not limited to) Repub. vs. Dem.; Conservative vs. Liberal; Atheist vs. Christians (or vice versa) as all proved extremely problematic in the past. We are offering a differentiation for political figures, news media outlets, and *celebrity* pundits vs. parties/groups which are bound to fit members on both sides of an issue. For example, jokes, cartoons, etc. against (or in support!) Bush, Obama, Palin, Hillary Clinton, Fox News, CNN, stance on public policy, -- will be allowed. Some we have removed in the past incl. those indicating "All Democrats are mindless sheep" or "Lobotomies for Republicans - It's the law"; one suggesting to be patient - liberals will abort themselves out of existence (UGH!!); "conservative - what liberals become when senility sets in." Those type of things were and will be removed and are considered against our guidelines (both community and board specific.) Reminder - if you are lurking on an opposing board you WILL most likely be offended if you choose to read these threads. Please do not complain if it does conform to the restrictions listed above as EACH side has expressed a desire to allow these options for *their* point of view.
    • Don't go out of your way to offend -- even lurkers. On the main support boards -- all agree that flagrant bashing of a specific member or the opposing view board is not to be tolerated. We recognize that our members are educated, intelligent men and women. It is not necessary to insult a person(s) based upon your perception of their physical or mental attributes, nor will it be tolerated - whether directed towards members of your own board or elsewhere onsite. Examples: "Everyone on the dems board is a complete godless, unpatriotic bunch of loons." Or... The Conservatives onsite are homophobic, religious fanatic, sheep that can't think for themselves. or... _____(insert membername) is a MORON!!!!!!!! Did you see her post???" We also ask Be civil. Be respectful. Avoid the sweeping generalizations as well as the not so veiled slams against members/posts "elsewhere".
    • The only way that these boards are going to work is if EACH side focuses on the issues on *their* board. Seriously, that guideline recommendation quoted above IS important. If you visit a board that you know is a polar opposite of what you believe in -- you're going to get offended. Expect it. Obviously, regardless of what is said on the opposing party's board, you may find things that you'll take offense over. Either don't visit or don't let it bother you. Because someone else has an opinion -- even one that is a misconstrued stereotype -- doesn't make it become YOUR personal truth. We need to get past one side justifying their own remarks yet taking the opposition's as a personal attack. This goes BOTH ways.
    • On the main support boards we do wish to allow member to have some freedom to express their passions regarding *their* opinion on topics, authors, political figures, policies, and even -- yes, *about* the other political party. Just be certain that you do so within the guidelines above and not address towards specific members/posts.
    • Members giving feedback agreed to start stepping up to "self police" their own instead of being so focused on what the "other side" is doing wrong. This includes posting (or dropping the member a private message if preferred); or if needed, dropping a member of admin a note regarding their OWN board. This suggestion alone will TREMENDOUSLY reduce our workload and to remove a lot of the animosity between the board groups. Opposing board members are then able to see that not "ALL" Dems/Libs or Cons/Reps believe a certain way.
    • Accept responsibility for your own words.. and any consequences thereof. Allow others to do the same.
    • Find a way to stress things that we all do agree upon. It likely is far more than expected.
    • One misconception is that we have not been "fair" in dealing with the problems and any necessary bans equally. We had an opportunity to explain our policy re: bans. First and foremost, it is not a "one person" decision. We all work together to determine if a member's actions have warranted a ban and the consequences under the specific guideline parameters the member is operating within. Unless the ban is permanent - and even then -- a "community needs to know" basis, we do not publicly hang members. From *our* standpoint, we wish to have temporary bans serve more as a "cooling off" period. We understand -- particularly with political issues, that passions run high and people are human. It is not our intention to try to embarrass or publicly humiliate members as that would defeat our purpose not to mention furthers discord between groups. We also recognize the impact that it has when the members do want to come back. For this reason, we do not publicize and leave it up to the individual member whether or not they wish to draw attention to their absence and/or reasons surrounding it.
    • Recognize that while we wish to continue to insure these boards remain available, politics is not the main priority of the site. The fingerpointing and cries of "unfair" from BOTH sides is exhausting. Trust that neither side believes that the other is treated equally.
    • We recognize the need to allow members to work *together* across party lines.. and with *admin* -- in order to achieve all of the above.

    Ultimately our success (or failure) will be determined by your (the members') actions. We MUST have your cooperation on these boards.

    Try and accept that we are trying to do the best we can -- even when we don't necessarily like our options. We are admittedly not perfect -- but we do believe we are as fair as possible to the community. Borrowing a line from our agreements: "Finally -- remember that we do truly believe that we are doing this with your best interest AND the entire community at heart." We do want for you to be able to find Pregnancy.org a source of support, encouragement, and inspiration... vs. something that is nonstop drama-filled or that causes stress instead of enjoyment. We are still open to more comments, questions, and suggestions. Just drop us a note!

    Thanks in advance & we look forward to witnessing the improvements and success of these forums!

    ~Missy (missyj@pregnancy.org), Angelia (nytewind@pregnancy.org), and Julie (jules@pregnancy.org)
    Last edited by MissyJ; 09-24-2009 at 04:13 PM.

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