6 March 2012
Please read these rules carefully. They outline what we consider is acceptable and unacceptable user generated content. We may update the rules from time to time, so please read them before posting your contribution.
Rule 1: We welcome your opinions
We welcome your opinions. We want our readers to see and understand different points of view. In the case of comments or discussions, try to contribute to the thread, rather than just stating if you agree or disagree. Unless you have a witty one-liner, please explain why you hold your opinion.
Rule 2: This is a public forum
Once your comment is online, everyone can read it. Please make your comment clear to ensure that it is not misunderstood. You can express a strong opinion but please do not go over the top. Don't forget that you are legally responsible for what you submit. Please consider how your comment could be received by others. Many different types of people of different ages may view your comment. This applies to any content you submit.
Rule 3: Language and relevance
Please be polite. Do not use swear words or crude or sexual language. Only English is allowed. Keep your submissions relevant to the story or topic. Do not insult other contributions or discuss the non-appearance or removal of any content on this site or the suspension or termination of any users. If you would like to discuss the operation of the site with us, please email us at email@example.com
Rule 4: Report abuse
We strongly support this site’s community in maintaining high standards of participation. If you consider that a comment, or any other type of content on the site, does not comply with these rules or our terms, please use the relevant Report link, located next to the content at issue. This facility should only be used for serious complaints, not simply because you disagree with something said.
We operate a system of pre-publication moderation for some user generated content before it is published on this site, where the content is contributed by non-trusted users.
We also operate a system of post-publication moderation for some user generated content after it is published on this site, where the content is contributed by regular and trusted users.
Whilst we operate a system of pre-publication and post-publication moderation, we are under no obligation to moderate any content on this site, and we expressly exclude our liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any interactive feature by a user in contravention of these rules, whether the service is moderated or not.
Rule 5: No libel or other abuse
You must not make or encourage comments which are:
• defamatory, false or misleading;
• insulting, threatening or abusive;
• obscene or of a sexual nature;
• offensive, racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory against any religions or other groups;
• promoting illegal activity; or
• intended to deceive.
Rule 6: Confidentiality, privacy and contempt
Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without their permission.
You should not write anything which could prejudice pending or ongoing court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or being prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it.
Rule 7: No advertising, solicitation or investigations
You must not use your contribution for:
• the promotion of any products, services or chain messages or for any other commercial purpose without our prior consent;
• comparative advertising;
• any fraudulent purpose;
• harming or attempting to harm minors;
• sending or procuring the sending of unsolicited emails ,unauthorised advertising or other communications;
• an investigation e.g. tracing the whereabouts of any person.
We retain the right to remove comments that refer to any sponsorship, petition, campaign or scheme, at our discretion.
If you wish to advertise please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Rule 8: No impersonation and proper disclosure
You must not pretend to be someone else (e.g. an expert, another user or a member of our team). You must not pretend that you are unconnected to a story or topic, when in fact you are. If you have a personal connection to a story or topic, you should disclose your connection or, where appropriate, not comment at all.
Rule 9: Copyright infringement
You must not infringe another person's copyright, for example by copying and pasting content from another site and using it as your own comment.
Rule 10: Respect the spirit as well as the letter of the House Rules
In deciding what is acceptable, please also respect the spirit and tone of these rules and the community.
Rule 11: Removal of content
As set out at rule 4 above, we may carry out some pre-publication and post-publication moderation. In addition to this, reader comments that violate the letter or spirit of these rules or our Terms may be removed (or, if checked in advance, not published in the first place). If we do remove something, we will generally remove whole posts, or where necessary, whole threads (not parts). This means that even if only one sentence is objectionable, the whole comment will usually be removed (or not published).
As set out at rule 4 above, we may carry out some pre-publication and post-publication moderation. In addition to this, reader comments that violate the letter, or spirit, of these rules or our Terms may be removed or not published in the first place. If we do remove something, we will generally remove whole posts, or where necessary, whole threads (not parts). This means that even if only one sentence is objectionable, the whole comment will usually be removed (or not published).
If your contribution or a thread is removed, this may be for any number of reasons. Usually, this will be because the contribution breaks these rules or our terms is the subject of an abuse report.
Sometimes, the contribution may be removed because it is connected to another contribution that is being removed. We hope that you will understand that, once properly notified of a complaint, we may have to remove a contribution for legal reasons (whatever the rights and wrongs).
If your content has been removed, we may email you to let you know or to inform you if you have been suspended or banned from submitting further comments to the site.
If you are aware that content has been removed, you must not deliberately resubmit the same content.
Rule 12: Suspension and termination
We reserve the right to suspend or ban your account and use of the site at our sole discretion. Here are some reasons why we might do so:
• Breaching these rules or our Terms;
• Serious failure to respect the spirit and tone of the community; or
• Conduct or comments that demand a disproportionate amount of our time or that abuse our staff.
The length of a suspension or whether we ban someone depends on all the circumstances. Allowing our users to contribute content is a privilege, not a right. If you abuse our rules, or our terms, you should expect to be barred from using the site.
If we suspend or ban your registration, you must not attempt to re-register or submit content (e.g. using someone else's account), without our permission.
We also reserve the right to take proceedings against you for breach of our terms these house rules and to report the matter to the police or other appropriate law enforcement agency. Failure to comply with the above content standards, and the other terms set out in these terms, constitutes a material breach and you agree to indemnify us for all liabilities, costs (including, but not limited to, reasonable administrative and legal costs), expenses, damages and losses suffered by us which result from the breach.