Below are some guidelines for posting on this forum. This is neither an exhaustive list nor a final version, and these may be modified as the need arises.
The following Guidelines have been provided by GP.com
The goal of the Grandparent.com community moderator is to monitor user-generated content to ensure that the online community is maintained as a safe and fun environment. This role supports Grandparents.com’s mission of having a safe and legal community environment, promoting excellent online service and helping to cultivate a strong community around the grandparenting and parenting brand.
Please take a look at the Grandparents.com Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. These documents serve as your reference as to what is allowed in Community.
Community Guidelines: http://www.grandparents.com/community-guidelines
Terms of Service: http://www.grandparents.com/terms-of-service
Personal Attack Definition: http://community.grandparents.com/index.php/topic/9961-whats-considered-a-personal-attack/
There are several overarching rules the mods follow:
1. Grandparents.com members are not allowed to have more than one account. If they want to change their display name or email address associated with the account, refer them to the F.A.Q. on the community front page or to an admin (firstname.lastname@example.org). (Or see Guideline 5a below.) Members who have created second accounts should ALWAYS inform a mod about which account they will be using from now on..... . ETA: If a mod or mods have strong reason to suspect that a poster is using more than one ID in a given conversation, they may lock or hide the thread or hide the suspected member's posts, while investigating. (Same with any other kind of suspected troll activity.)
2. Solicitations from outside businesses are NEVER allowed and are deleted in full immediately. This includes accounts created for the sole purpose of driving Grandparents.com members to another forum or community or to an e-commerce website.
3. Accounts created as SPAM should be reported immediately to an admin.
4. Full threads are not to be deleted unless it's SPAM/unauthorized solicitation or the mod has received permission from an admin.
5. The following types of posts (including text, images, links, or video) should always be edited or deleted:
- a. private information (full name, address, phone number, names of cities, social security #, etc.).
One place where we mods do not have the physical ability to edit out private info is in your username. If yours includes your email address and/or first and last names, you might want to change it. To see how, check out this thread in MIL Anonymous:
(There are similar threads in one or two other forums.)
- b. slurs against any group of people, including racist, sexist, homophobic, ageist, religious, political, ethnic, sexual or other epithets (such as those against people with disabilities)
"It is not against any GP rule to mention God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Manitou , or any deities in their posts as long as it's not putting down that religion or any other religion and as long as it's a positive message. Users can accept it or not, as with any statement on any topic covered in a forum."
Blanket generalizations are also discouraged.
We may edit/delete negative generalizations. And often, no doubt, we will. Depending on context, etc. however, sometimes a mod may choose to deal with such a generalization by post and/or PM. Meanwhile, other generalizations that appear to be problematic will, most likely, be handled by post and/or PM.
- c. threat to physically harm someone
Other threats that may be edited/deleted are also listed in the personal attack thread.
- d. a personal attack as defined by the personal attack thread (see link above)
Suggesting a poster is fake is against the rules. This includes using code words such as 'troll' or 'duck woods' that have the meaning of 'a fake poster' in addition to their more accepted meanings. If you suspect a member is a fake, contact a mod - lilypond, SueSTx, PhalenMum rosered135, homeygfunk or Mame925 - and ignore the poster. To PM (private message) a mod, just click on their username, then Send a Message and go from there.
Please understand that an assault on the character, personality, maturity level or intelligence of more than one member - IOWS, directing a criticism at those members, instead of at their words or actions - also counts as an attack. For example, a post that says, "Please ignore the cruel/opinionated/immature/stupid/other-negative-description posters (plural and directed at said posters) in this thread" is not ok and may be edited or deleted.
- e. swearing or vulgar words, including the use of an asterisk or substitute letter (ex. "sh*t, shxt, an @ or $ or even a blank") and any variation of those words automatically edited out by Grandparents.com
- f. spam and unauthorized solicitations
Unauthorized surveys and petitions fall under the category of "unauthorized solicitations," according to GP.com.
Neither are links to unauthorized solicitations ok, nor links to similar sites, such as parent or GP ones or forums that are similar to forums here. If you wish to reference an article, on such a site, please feel free to give us the title and the name of the site, but do not provide the link. Also, in the interest of preventing "board wars," please do not discuss, in the forum, other such sites or any groups on them, by name
- g. copying and pasting a user's posts from one section of Grandparents.com to any other, and from any other blog or forum site online
- h. PMs posted in the forums or blogs (quotes from PMs cannot be posted in those two sections either)
The mods have an unspoken agreement that they will not moderate one another’s forums, but they can go in and interact as a general member.
GP.com has assured us mods that we can still delete duplicate and erased posts. Also that we can still edit/delete posts that quote or otherwise refer back to removed content.
Please note that, occasionally, a mod may ask a member to edit an offensive post that doesn't exactly violate the guidelines/is not on the list of offenses we mods may edit, ourselves.
If a post is such that it tends to incite or escalate unnecessary argument (trading insults, for example, rather than merely disagreeing about an issue), we mods are allowed to edit it, even if it doesn't technically violate any rules. We generally prefer to ask the poster to edit in that case, however.
Editing, Deleting, Etc - The bullet points under Guideline # 5 pull together all the infractions that GP.com generally expects to be edited or deleted. Other concerns will, most likely, be handled by post and/or PM and/or by the locking or hiding of a thread. For example, the bumping up old threads (See the Welcome thread, Post #4).
Notifying Posters - Most often, we mods will PM a member if their post has been deleted or edited and why. Most often, also, we will note an edit on a post and give the reason for it. And usually, we will post a note about hidden posts or a hidden thread. As per the TOS (terms of service), Section #9, we have the right to remove content "without notice" but we rarely use that right.
Warnings and Warning Points - GP.com has a system of warnings and warning points (WPs). Either a mod or an admin can give a warning for such offenses as Spamming, Inappropriate Language, Abusive Behavior, Signature Violation and (inappropriate) Topic Bumping
With a warning comes a WP. The number of WPs you have appears under your username, even if it's '0," though only you, the mods and the admins can see that. It actually says "warning points" next to the number so please don't confuse it with your number of posts. It also appears on your Profile Page but again, only you, the mods and admins can see it.
So far, such warnings and WPs have rarely been given for "1st offenses," except in the case of a serious violation.The current policy is that if a poster has been PMd twice about a type of violation, repeated (or, in some cases, ongoing) offenses are likely to result in a WP. Usually, an explanatory note is sent to the offending poster but it's not required. (I can't imagine not sending a note explaining, however.)
Example: Say a member posts an unauthorized ad, it's deleted and the user receives a PM from a mod or admin, telling them "unauthorized ads are not permitted." And say that same member posts another ad, subsequently, it's deleted and the user receives another PM about it from a mod or admin. That member is now in danger of receiving a more formal "warning" and a WP if they were to repeat the offense again.
Is the same true if a member commits 2 or more different types of offenses? Not sure, at this point - - will get back to you on that - but hopefully, few posters would be running around the boards committing all sorts of infractions!
Hopefully, also, if a poster, unfortunately, has received 1 WP, they will know enough not to repeat the transgression yet again and incur another one!
Further Consequences - can be given, if need be, but only by an administrator. These include such actions as suspending an offender's posting abilities for a brief/extended period of time or even disabling those abilities, permanently/banning the poster or removing their account. So far, such actions have only been done in the case of very serious or frequently repeated infractions.