Acceptable Use Policy
Occasionally controversy can arise over the comments of an individual or the publication of an article. At this point, the web site administrators will need to think about what should be on the web site, and it is much easier to arbitrate between opinions if you have already done the thinking before controversy arises.
You can define an Acceptable Use Policy for your site that defines your organisation's editorial policy. A link to this is given when posting a message to the forums or when submitting an article for publication.
You should write this policy to define what is acceptable content, so that editors and forum moderators have a set of guidelines to work by. The policy should be:
Clear and understandable to all users of the site, including children.
Not subjective, try and define content in terms of fact not opinion to avoid disputes.
Simple, consistent and easy to apply in practice.
The Acceptable Use Policy for your site can be written by Site Administrators, using the link under the Settings section.
As a starting point for adaptation, your web site will be created with the following policy wording:
The following guidelines are to help all the users of the web site to share opinions in a constructive manner. Document editors and forum moderators will use these guidelines when deciding what content should feature on our site.
Default Acceptable Use Policy
Articles published on the web site should be consistent with the vision and values of the organisation.
The author should ensure to the best of their ability that information is accurate, truthful and appropriate for the intended readership.
The author should ensure that they are not infringing any copyright restrictions (on text or images) when writing articles for this web site.
Forums are provided as a facility for site members and visitors to exchange views and messages. All users should recognise that comments made in the forums reflect not only on themselves but also on the organisation as a whole. Forum messages must not be used to bring the organisation into disrepute.
Forums are social environments and the normal rules of social interaction apply. The remoteness of the recipients must not be used as an excuse to communicate in an anti-social manner.
Examples of unacceptable behaviour are:
Inappropriate, offensive or obscene language
Personal criticism, sarcasm or belittling of other users
Harassment, intimidation or aggression
Lying or giving deliberately misleading information
Deviation from the spirit of a conversation
Users should not contribute to a forum topic unless their contribution is intended to further the aims of the topic.
Forum messages reflect the views of the individual, not the views of the organisation. However the spirit of a discussion topic should be consistent with the values and vision of the organisation, and discussions that are considered inappropriate for this environment may be removed.
Personal exchanges should take place directly (i.e. using e-mail), not by posting to a forum.
Copying or forwarding of private information to a forum posting (without the original author's explicit permission) is a breach of privacy and should not take place.
Forum moderators are able to remove any messages that do not meet the above guidelines.