Site Covenant - Terms of Agreement

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Site Covenant - Terms of Agreement

The Forums @ Behavioral Covenant - terms of agreement


A behavioral covenant is an agreement, between members of the community, on how they choose to relate to one another. While this is important to any community, it is especially important to an internet based community, as our ability to communicate is limited to the written word, and members rarely have true personal relationships with one another.

Some of you may be new to online discussion forums and not know what to expect. Others may be old-hands and have certain expectations based on past experience. Many online discussion forums exist for the purpose of intellectual debate, and as such the tone is adversarial and the ability to "tear down" one's "opponent" is highly regarded. However, within these forums @, we are seeking a different kind of discussion, one that fosters spiritual community and fellowship, where all feel welcome and safe to share their ideas and dreams. As our goals are different, so is what is deemed permissible behavior.

Within the spirit of fellowship, we, the members, moderators, and administrators of the Forums @ do hereby covenant and affirm the following agreements concerning our behavior in this online religious community.

As Members, we commit to:

Posting always from a perspective of Reason, Respect and Fellowship.

Support our fellow members, not seek to tear them down.

Look to see our commonalities, instead of focusing on the differences.

Try not to take offense, and to always seek clarification when we feel offense. Often, no offense is intended.

To give others the benefit of the doubt, until such time as our Reason no longer allows us to do so.

Agree that anyone who registers for this forum and agrees to this covenant has a right to participate here. If we have concerns about a member that cannot be resolved through private contact with that member, we will take the issue to a moderator or administrator.

Agree to seek arbitration from a moderator or administrator before leaving the forum. Mistakes are made by all humans, and we will have the patience for them to be addressed.

Not conduct personal attacks upon individuals, and will discuss issues in a positive, supportive manner. Criticism should always be constructive, not destructive.

Give moderators the necessary time to work through the moderation process with problem members.

Ask a moderator for clarification of why an action has been taken before contacting the administrator about that action.

Welcome new members, and to have patience with them as they learn to be a member of this new kind of internet community.

As Moderators, we commit to:

Address all concerns brought to us by members in a timely and complete manner, explaining what actions we take and the reasoning behind them.

Take what actions on the forum our Reason and Conscience call us to, and fully explain those actions to all parties concerned.

Conduct censure on those members who are members in good standing in a private fashion. Censure should only be made public when an individual has already been warned in private. Public censure of an individual should also be accompanied by an official report of misconduct to the administrator.

To use our Reason and Conscience in all cases of arbitration between members, seeking an equitable solution that maintains the supportive fellowship environment of the Forums.

Always inform an individual when their post has been modified for content (beyond mere formatting problems) and why that content was inappropriate. Posts should only be modified when their content consists of a personal attack, violates this covenant, is wholly inappropriate, or is blatantly disruptive. Posts can be modified for format concerns without notification.

Always strive to be positive in contacts with members due to moderation concerns. When you can no longer be positive, that is a sign that further action beyond moderation might be necessary.

When time is not essential, we agree to discuss concerns with other moderators in the "moderators only" section.

Use the color red for any moderator alterations of posts, in order to insure they are noticeable as such.

Support the actions of fellow moderators. When moderators disagree, we agree to take those concerns up in the "moderator's only" section or in Private Message.

If the issue can not be resolved between the moderators, we agree to seek arbitration from the forum Administrator. Admit our mistakes when they occur, and do our best to rectify them.

As the Forum Administrator(s), we commit to:

Abide by all the guidelines set forth for our moderators in this Forum Behavioral Covenant. Fully and completely back the actions of our moderators, and to address concerns about those actions in a positive way in the "moderators only" forum or in private messages.

Realize that when a moderator brings a concern to the Administrator, it is because they feel they can no longer handle the problem. As such, when a problem reaches the administrator, the individual will receive only one more warning before serious action (suspension, removal) is taken.

Conduct all requests for arbitration with Reason, Respect, and equity, seeking a solution that maintains the friendly fellowship nature of the Forums. Inform members and moderators of action taken that concerns them, and the reasons for that action. Protect the rights of all to freedom of ideas, while protecting the friendly atmosphere of the Forums. When a moderator calls for emergency action against a poster for grave violation of this covenant, act quickly to deal with that member.

Such action should only be taken in the case of serious disruption of the forum. Respond quickly to all requests and concerns of all members. Welcome all new members with an email discussing the forum, its purpose, vision, and this behavioral covenant. Admit when a mistake has been made, and apologize to those members the mistake affects.

Accept constructive criticism from Members and Moderators. When time is not essential, seek the input from members and moderators for all major decisions regarding this forum. Protect, at all times, the Spiritual, Friendly, Supportive, Respectful, Reasonable, and Equal nature of the Forums.

We, the members, moderators, and administrators of the Forums @ accept this covenant, and agree to do our best to abide by it, in order to help build the nurturing religious community that we envision.

(***Note: This behavioral covenant was blatantly plagiarized, with only minor modifications, from the behavioral covenant of Dynamic Deism discussion forums. Thanks David!***)

This requires a little detective work

This requires a little detective work in the form of tapping the wall with a hammer

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