Community Rules

November 2015 | Version 1.0

Introduction

Welcome to our community rules. We operate various communities and are glad to have you as a community member. We encourage you to publish content and interact with us and other community members through our communities. But, engaging on our communities can become a negative experience if we don’t have a few rules to ensure a positive experience for everyone. Please take a moment to read these rules and keep them in mind whenever you publish content to or do anything else on our communities.

These are our official community rules. Please familiarise yourself with them because they apply to you as a member of one of our communities.

Purpose

Please feel free to express yourself through our communities. We encourage you to engage with us and other community members any way that you can. But, we also need to make sure that any conversations through our communities stay respectful, do not cause harm, are appropriate, don’t break any laws, and are consistent with our policies. This is why we have community rules. The purpose of these rules is to ensure that you and our other community members have a friendly and rewarding experience interacting with us and each other through our communities.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure that engaging with us and other community members on our communities is a positive experience for you and other community members.

Communities

These rules apply to your conduct on any of our communities. Communities is a broad term that covers any existing or future digital tool or other kind of technology that allows one person to publish the same message to many people in a public or semi-public forum at the same time using the Internet or a similar communications network. It includes:

  • our website;
  • social networking services – like Facebook;
  • micro-blogging services – like Twitter or Tumblr;
  • professional networking services – like Linkedin;
  • video and photo sharing services – like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, or Flickr;
  • blogs – like corporate or personal blogs;
  • forums and discussion boards – like Reddit;
  • wiki websites – like Wikipedia;
  • instant messaging applications – like Whatsapp, WeChat, or iMessage when used to send group messages; and
  • any other electronic communications – like email or SMS when used to send the same message to multiple recipients.

These rules apply to you as a member of our communities – such as our website, Facebook pages or groups, Twitter interactions using our (???) and hashtags commonly associated with us, our other places online where we engage with community members.

Relevance

Our communities are spaces for you to discuss topics relevant to our purposes, for us to communicate with you about our services, and for us to connect you to curated content. You should only publish content that is relevant. Anything contrary to our community purpose will be irrelevant, including:

  • links to external websites not related to us or our services;
  • adverts for goods or services other than ours – like your goods or services;
  • promotional competitions other than ours – like your promotional competitions;
  • spam or anything else published more than once or in more than one place;
  • donation requests, unless we have authorised you to publish them in writing;
  • acknowledgement requests – like asking for ‘votes’, ‘likes’, or ‘retweets’;
  • your personal contact information because it puts your privacy at risk – like your email address or phone number; or
  • anything else that is not relevant to the purpose or conversations on the community in question.

Our communities exist for certain purposes and you should not publish anything to them outside of those purposes because it will be irrelevant.

Network rules

It is important that you understand the rules of each community network. This includes the written rules like their terms of service and the unwritten rules like the manners and etiquette of that community network that its members generally subscribe to.

You must comply with the written terms of service and unwritten rules of etiquette for each community network.

Network terms

You must comply with the terms of service of the relevant community network. Terms of service for the most prominent community networks include:

Network etiquette

A good rule of thumb is to generally behave on a community network as you would behave in real life. This means being polite, courteous, and using common sense. Each community network may have additional rules of etiquette that you are responsible for learning and practising as a member of that community.

Not our views

We’re always glad to hear from you and encourage you to engage through our communities, but what you and other community members publish on our communities do not necessarily reflect our views. In fact, the views you and other community members express are yours or theirs alone and not ours.

What you and other members publish on our communities are not our views.

Response times

We will do our best to reply to anything that you publish to our communities or send directly to us within a reasonable time, but there may be times when we take longer to reply to you. We generally moderate our communities on weekdays other than public holidays. We also generally have reduced hours for replying to to anything published after hours, on the weekend, or on public holidays. We may also sometimes only reply to these on the next available working day. However, we are not liable for responding within an unreasonable time or failing to respond to you at all.

We will do our best to respond to anything you publish to our communities timeously, but are not liable for failing to do so.

No endorsement

We appreciate it when you post content to our communities and we may acknowledge it with a ‘like’, ‘retweet’, ‘favourite’, or other way of acknowledging it depending on the particular community network you published it on. But, the mere fact that we acknowledge something you publish does not mean that we endorse it in any way. We only endorse something if we explicitly say that we do in writing.

We do not endorse anything you publish to our communities merely by acknowledging it in any way.

Prohibited conduct

We believe in freedom of speech and we encourage you to conduct yourself as you please (within reason) on our communities, provided that it doesn’t amount to abuse. You’re allowed to respectfully disagree with someone, but you’re not allowed to attack them personally. You may not engage in any of the following prohibited conduct:

  • discrimination, which means treating someone in a certain way based on prejudice – like racism, homophobia, bigotry, or other kinds of prejudice.
  • hate speech, which means attacking someone based on their attributes – like their gender, ethnicity, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation;
  • harassment, which means harming someone or threatening to harm them – like bullying, intimidation, or stalking; or
  • trolling, which means a specific way of harassing someone online by intentionally sowing discord, starting arguments, or publishing objectionable content.

You may speak freely on our communities, provided that it is not abuse – which includes any discrimination, hate speech, harassment, or trolling.

Prohibited content

We look forward to having your content on our communities and want you to feel empowered to publish anything within reason. But, you may not publish any prohibited content including:

  • illegal content that is prohibited by law – like child pornography, pirated content, or content that otherwise infringes someone else’s copyright or other rights;
  • harmful content that could cause harm to someone – like defamatory comments, fraudulent claims, or untrue statements;
  • offensive content that could reasonably offend someone – like pornography, obscenities, or anything intended to shock someone; or
  • impermissible content – contrary to any codes or standards that we subscribe to and make you aware of.

You may publish anything to our communities except for prohibited content that is illegal, harmful, offensive, or impermissible.

Report

Unfortunately, other community members may not abide by these rules and you may have to report them to us. You should not feel bad about reporting your fellow community members if you have a legitimate reason to think that they have breached these rules, particularly if they have done something to negatively affect you. However, you should not report anyone lightly. Any use of our reporting facility to censor discussion may itself be regarded as a breach of these rules.

Please report any legitimate breaches of these rules by other community members to us.

Moderation

Each community has features that allow us to edit or completely remove published content under certain circumstances. We value your contributions to our communities and will never use these features to edit or remove content you publish unnecessarily. But, as the moderator of our communities we are responsible for overseeing their content. We have complete discretion to edit or remove anything you publish on our communities that we think is inconsistent with these rules without notice to you. We may also impose filters on our communities depending on the features of the relevant community network that prevent you and other community members from posting content containing certain keywords in the first place. We may moderate any of the following things as described above among others:

  • anything that is not relevant to a community or the conversation in question;
  • anything that results from prohibited conduct, including discrimination, hate speech, harassment, or trolling; or
  • prohibited content, including content that is illegal, harmful, offensive, or impermissible.

We may edit or remove anything that you publish to our communities that is inconsistent with these rules, including anything irrelevant and any conduct or content that is prohibited by these rules.

Queries and reinstatement

If we have removed anything that you have published, you may ask us for reasons why it was removed. We will do our best to inform you of the reason for removal, but are not required to do so. We also need not tell any other community members why we have decided to remove your content. Unfortunately, there may be times when we cannot give detailed legal reasons for why we have decided to remove anything you publish. We will only reinstate your removed content if we have a compelling reasons to do so.

You may ask us why we have moderated your content and to reinstate it, but we are not obliged to tell you or to reinstate it unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

Recourse

We are proud of the fact that you and other members of our communities are people of integrity. As people of integrity, we trust you to abide by these rules. However, there may come a time when you or another community member breaches these rules in a way that calls for action from our side. We have absolute discretion to take action if we deem you to have breached these rules and may take recourse against you in the from of a suspension or a ban.

We may take recourse against you for breaching these rules by suspending or banning you from any of our communities.

Suspension

We may suspend your right to participate in any of our communities if you do not comply with these rules, which means that you will not be able to access it for a period of time. Some community networks do not allow the temporary suspension of community members, in which case we may ban you instead.

Bans

We may ban you from any of our communities outright under extreme circumstances, which means that you will not be able to access it for the foreseeable future.

Other accounts

We may also ban or suspend any other accounts that we suspect you to be operating through after we have taken recourse against you through your initial account.

Appeals

If we have suspended or banned you, you may appeal to us to reinstate your access to a community. We will provide you with steps to take to ask to be reinstated by email if we decide to suspend or ban you so that the process is as just and equitable as possible.

Links on our communities may lead you to third-party websites. Third-parties other than us control these websites. We are not responsible for the content on those sites.

We are not responsible for any content on third-party websites linked to from our communities.

Other terms

There are various other sets of terms that also apply to your use of our communities, including our:

You are also bound by these other terms.

You are bound by our other terms that apply to your use of our communities.

Questions

We want you to understand these rules as best as you can so that you can comply with them easily. If there is any aspect of these rules that you don’t understand or if you have any questions about these rules, please contact us.

Please contact us if you have any questions about these rules.