Board Guidelines: Must Read prior to posting
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Thread: Board Guidelines: Must Read prior to posting

  1. #1
    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Default Board Guidelines: Must Read prior to 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 past several months 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 parties as well as differences *within* both parties themselves. That said... it is a LONG road to November. 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 debate the issues... the candidates.. your thoughts on policies & 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.
    • You are asked NOT to cross post... for any reason unless you are undecided and truly seeking information and/or wish to participate on the *other* side.
    • 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.
    • You are asked to refrain from posting "jokes" etc. that would be considered in violation of our guides. Yes, we realize they are considered satire/funny -- but they tend to promote the very stereotypes *both sides* tend to state they are against.
    • 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. Examples: Everyone on the dems board is a complete godless, unpatriotic bunch of loons. Or... All the members of the Cons/Repub board are homophobic, religious fanatic, sheep that can't think for themselves. or... _____(insert membername) is a MORON!!!!!!!! Did you see her post???" Be civil. Be respectful. Avoid the sweeping generalizations.
    • 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 have 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, and even -- yes, *about* the other political party. Just be certain that you do so within the guidelines above.
    • 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 or 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. Since the beginning of the year, there have been approximately 9 (maybe 10?) temp. bans involving political board members. Out of these, only two chose to make it public knowledge. Granted, there have been things "missed" -- but again, those showed up on both sides.
    • Recognize that while we wish to continue to insure these boards remain available, politics is not the main priority of the site.
    • We recognize the need to allow members to work *together* across party lines.. and with *admin* -- in order to achieve all of the above. We have provided a private "Political Discussion" forum where members of all parties may gather together. Please read the next post for details on what this entails and how to join!!

    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)

  2. #2
    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    Default Political Discussion Board: Sign up now!

    Political Discussions Are you a political junkie looking for a place to discuss the issues surrounding the 2008 Election with members of other political parties? Are you seeking more information to help you determine who is the best candidate to become the next president of the United States? Perhaps you would simply like to learn where each side is coming from in hope of understanding your fellow Pregnancy.org members better? If so, then this board is for you!
    This board is intended for active members only. To be considered "active", members should have a joined date of at least three months and minimum of 300 posts. To receive access please send a private message to either Nytewind or MissyJ. You may also Email Us with your request.

    To sign up -- include your username, the board name, and a 1 - 3 word description of yourself politically. Examples: "Die Hard Dem!"; "Bleeding Heart Liberal"; "True" Conservative; Totally Undecided"; or simply Republican; Democrat; Independent; Libertarian -- your choice! This will be listed on the memberlist next to your username.

    Quote Originally Posted by MissyJ View Post
    NOTE: By posting on this forum, all members must read and agree to abide by the Political Discussion Board Guidelines. Please be aware that some of these rules are board specific and are different that the guidelines you have agreed to on the General Debate Board or the Political Lifestyles Boards. This rules are in addition and don’t take the place of the Community Guidelines for the site. Your hosts are Isis’Mum and Thrice~Blessed.


    Hi everyone!

    We appreciate your desire to participate in our Political Discussion Board. We welcome all sides presented but have laid out some guidelines in order to maintain an atmosphere of respect for one another. Please do understand that this board is being offered as a trial basis at this time. It's success will be dependent upon your cooperation!
    • Memberlist: A memberlist WILL be posted on the new board for ALL members that have access granted.
    • Posting Requirement: There will be a minimum posting requirement of at least one post within a two week period (preferably an actual contribution to a discussion vs. "I agree!". If you are concerned about wanting to know who may be reading your posts you will have to refer to the memberlist. Please do be aware that if we notice the majority are here to lurk vs. contribute that we will reserve the right to change this for the benefit of the board and its membership.
    • Signatures: Signatures are allowed on this board for the time being, but we ask that special attention be paid to any avatars and/or blinkies that could be seen as disrespectful to the opposing candidate/party. If you do feel the need to support your candidate by blinkies or avatars, each campaign has provided avatar’s for their supports to use:

      John McCain: http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/DownloadCenter.htm

      Barak Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/downloads/#

    • Harassment: Harassment of other members is forbidden. Examples include carrying demeaning remarks and discussions about another member on to other forums, and sending messages regarding the discussion through private messaging. We ask that if you want to provide information on a topic to a certain member, you do it on the board -- unless you are invited by the other member to do so privately.

    • How NOT to discuss a topic: Blanket statements are generally not constructive and don’t add much to a discussion. If you are in the habit of making blanket statements, you are not helping to promote constructive discussion. Support your candidate/party by using facts and specific examples, rather than using recycled rhetoric used in the media to distort the facts and provoke an emotional response.

    • Discuss Topics Respectfully: This is absolutely the key phrase here. Certainly, discussions are bound to become spirited, filled by passionate points of view, and yes, will have disagreements. If everyone agreed, then what would be the purpose of the forum? Still, you are required to respect those who are on the opposing side of the discussion.

    • Personal/general digs: It is not necessary to insult a person(s) based upon your perception of their physical or mental attributes, nor will it be tolerated. If you find you are unable to debate civilly, then our suggestion is to take a break until you can. If you find yourself responding to another member just because you dislike them, rather than to address specific topics that have been raised, then you are most likely not adding anything constructive to the debate. Either rephrase your response to address the specific points raised, or do not respond at all.

    • Discuss the topic, NOT the person. You are expected to refrain from comments that are attacking in nature. For example, stating that a person is unethical (immoral, etc.) for their decision is unacceptable.

    • Don't Assume: Don't always be assuming that a statement is a slam/attack upon you personally and retaliate in kind. Choose not to take everything as a personal offense (even if you strongly believe it was meant as one!) "You" can be a general "you" as well. Again, give someone the benefit of a doubt and discuss the TOPIC.. Refuse to be baited!

    • Allow for points of view outside of the majority: Often, the majority opinion tends to overwhelm or dominate a thread. Please remember that everyone is entitled to share their particular point of view without fear of attack. This is particularly important when discussions include personal belief systems. You are not required to agree necessarily but do not seek to silence those that offer a dissenting opinion through a mob mentality. If you are interested solely in discussions with like-minded individuals then you stick to the main political lifestyle boards instead. Again, keyword -- respect.

    • Refrain from use of target words: Words that are derogatory, offensive, or belittling in nature are off limits. We truly believe each of you is intelligent enough to be able to phrase your posts without demeaning one another. Note: This does include those generalized bashes, that have clearly the intent to be offensive and belittle another -- either by person or by group.

    • Deflection/redirection: Purposefully interrupting a discussion with something completely irrelevant is both rude and uncalled for. While discussions can drift into other related areas, we expect the relationship to be clear or moved into another thread.

    • Privacy of the forum! Under no uncertain terms does anything discussed here appear, leak, get talked about or referenced anywhere other than this board. What is said here, stays here. We do recognize that there are bound to be discussions on the main boards on the same/similar topics as may appear here. Still -- if you are found to be taking things said by the *opposition* over to your "support board" for discussion, venting, etc. you WILL BE REMOVED and have, at minimum, a 30 day ban from the site.
    This forum is expected to be a place that we can gather to discussion ideas, topics, and carry on exchanges in a respectful manner. We do encourage your to carry on a discussion with the understanding that the above guidelines are accepted. Those choosing to ignore or disregard these will understand that there are consequences for their choice.

    Effective immediately, those choosing to ignore these guidelines will receive ONE warning issued by a member of the Community Management team (i.e. Mollee, Jules, Missy, or Angelia). Upon a second offense, the member will be advised that they are no longer allowed to post on this forum and will have their access removed.

    We are sorry to have to be so strict about this but the guidelines are simply reiterating both our Community Guidelines and the Registration Agreement Terms that you each accepted when you signed up for your account.

    We believe that addressing these guidelines will enable for more thoughtful and true discussion to take place. We hope that you will be challenged to think, to grow, and to find greater understanding of one another!

    We realize that this is bound to be a work in progress, particularly in getting started. For that reason (and beyond!), we do retain the right to edit this policy as necessary for the benefit of our community and members. We do, however, pledge to maintain an open line of communication should that ever become necessary.

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Additionally, your hosts have a vested interest in this board's success as well and are available to receive your comments & suggestions via private message or on the board (please mark your post "For Hosts".) Also, our assistants, LauraT and Michelle are here to support this venture as needed and may also be reached via pm.

    Thanks everyone. We do hope that you will work together here to iron out any differences instead of attempting to drive one another off the board. My personal opinion is that we all want much of the same things for our country, our future, and that for our children. We just have differences in the paths to get there. My hope is that this board's group will accomplish something that those in Washington appear incapable of doing -- having open, respectful dialogue without refusing to see the other's pov... even if you don't necessarily agree with it!

    If only the moms (and moms to be!) ran the government!! We'd balance the budget, take care of our *family*, build one another UP to succeed, and handle those insisting on the "I'm not touching you" taunts, all the while insuring that everyone has clean undies!! HA!

    ~Missy (missyj@pregnancy.org)

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