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Thread: Forum policies ...

  1. #1
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Forum policies ...

    I'm going to quote some the general Forum Moderation policy here, for reference:

    The NewTek Discussion Forums are a private venue provided as a service to NewTek customers at NewTek's discretion. As such, the NewTek Discussion Forums are not a free speech zone, they are for professional and civil discourse regarding NewTek products by NewTek users.

    The following items are not considered professional or civil discourse allowed on these forums:

    • Off-topic and controversial subjects such as Religion and Politics
    • Comments of an "off color" nature inappropriate for viewing by minors
    • Non-constructive criticism of a malicious nature
    • Personal attacks against NewTek customers or employees and their family members
    • Promotional messages and material for competing products

    Those who are unable to keep their posts on topic, unable to maintain responsible civil conversation with others or who have no purpose on the NewTek forums other than to promote competing products will have their accounts removed.

    Moderation decisions are not subject to public discussion. If you have comments, send an email or private message to the moderators.
    It's good to remember a few related things:

    These are discussion forums, and do not take the place of bug reporting channels. It's fine to discuss bugs here, but doing so does not normally bring them to the attention of the dev team. That's what Fogbugz is for. (When you do submit a proper bug report, you will receive a case number, which allows you to track progress of your report. It makes it a lot easier to follow up a bug report if you have this reference.)

    The item "Non-constructive criticism of a malicious nature" is a tricky one for moderators. At times, a member may post in a state of frustration, and that is common enough to humans that a measure of tolerance should be shown. Likewise, many feel passionately about a topic affecting a tool they have paid for and expect good service from. Again, some measure of tolerance is appropriate. Finally, what passes for 'civility' is not the same in all cultures - more tolerance. All of this, however, must be balanced - there are limits, beyond which the usefulness and friendliness of the forums can be severely diminished.

    Tolerance is a two-way street. Whether someone 'takes your side' on any given issue or disagrees or not, civility demands that we speak of issues, and refrain from attacking a person. The rule regarding "Personal attacks" is applicable to customers, as well as staff. Rudeness to individual members is skating on thin ice at best, from a moderation standpoint. (It is worth noting that someone's expressing disagreement regarding a point someone else makes is not, by itself, 'a personal attack'. Personal attacks usually involve overtly provocative and insulting language and statements. No-one can reasonably expect everyone to agree with their view, nor for those who disagree to refrain from exercising their own privilege to post a contrary statement.)

    Generally, while acknowledging that this is not a 'free speech zone', censorship is a last resort, and moderators are reluctant to impose it in any form. If simple efforts to calm things down and center a thread on useful discussion fail, a moderator may lock or even delete a thread, or in extreme cases, ban someone. Generally, moderation follows complaints from members. Moderators listen carefully to those who report a thread that they consider has exceeded proper bounds. That said, there are multiple moderators. One moderator might allow a thread to pass limits that would cause another to impose moderation. In the end - as stated - moderation decisions are not open to discussion.

    Ideally, moderation should rarely be required, and that will be the case if we endeavour to address specific issues clearly and with communication in mind (as opposed to merely 'venting'), and allow for the fact that others may have a different view (and are free to express it).
    Last edited by SBowie; 03-12-2010 at 11:39 AM.
    --
    Regards, Steve
    Forum Moderator
    ("You've got to ask yourself one question ... 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, spammer?")

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