5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 21, 2012 2:05 PM by 7point62

    About our Terms of Use

    bluescreen

      Dear element14 Community,

       

      We’ve been watching this topic develop over the past few days, and felt it a good opportunity to explain our content policy as laid out in the Terms of Use for the Community.

       

      Nearly all of the discussion taking place on element14 is about new technology, solving technical challenges, and reflecting upon the many aspects of being an engineer. Our community includes many brilliant, funny, and generally amazing people, and it’s been our pleasure to get to know you all. You also know who we are-- including me, Christy, Nicole, Olu, Drew, and others—and we count ourselves lucky to be able to serve you. That includes everything from tracking down and solving forum bugs, to asking for your ideas on how we can make element14 even better, to figuring out what kind of content we can put on element14 that would make your work as engineers easier.

       

      Every now and then, someone posts something that other members of the community find offensive or abusive. It doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, our members are quick to address it by clicking on the Report abuse link which appears beneath every post and reply. Clicking that link removes the post from our forums so that we can then review it against our guidelines. This self-regulation approach works for many reasons—not least of which is that the more you enforce social norms among yourselves, the more you function as a real community. Also, those of us here on the community team do not want to police what  our members say-- you’re all here because you value the experience of being on element14, and our job is to continuously figure out how we can make that experience even better by our actions, not get in your way.

       

      Recently we have had some reports of abuse from our community members and  feel this is a good time to put out this reminder of how we apply our Terms of Use.

       

      Examples of what can get a post removed include any of the following—

       

      • Someone stating s/he is under the age of 13, which is our minimum age to become a member.

      • Spamming the community with links to external websites whose relevance to engineering is... suspect.

      • Making a large number of posts which have nothing to do with engineering.

      • Using inappropriate language, including epithets and other derogatory terms.

      • Posting any technical content which could create a credible security threat.

      • Cyberbullying and insulting others.

       

      As users of our community, you demand and are entitled to being treated with respect. We act to live up to that expectation by removing content that is reported to us as not meeting these standards. We do this to protect the integrity of the community and to ensure that it continues to be a place where all members feel they can express their opinions openly and professionally. In doing so we are not taking sides in any particular debate, but are simply enforcing the terms we've  had since the beginning of our community.

       

      We love what element14 has become, and are so grateful to all of you for making it what it is today! If you have any questions or comments about this, please post them as a reply and we will be sure to respond.

       

      Cheers,

      Sagar Jethani

      element14

        • Re: About our Terms of Use
          morgaine

          That's a very reassuring clarification, Sagar, thank you for making it after recent events.

           

          The characterisation of a huge number of forum comments as being something entirely imagined, which was only possible by the complete omission of the context in which they were made, was deeply worrying.  The fact that you have a clear list of standards which posts must meet on review was very good to hear.

           

          For our part, I think we have a duty to be as factual and accurate as facts and reason permit, and when in doubt, to err on the side of caution so that your reviewers do not have cause for concern.  It seems clear that when criticism is appropriate given the subject matter, and it is made with clear intentions of improvement and it is well researched and it conforms to reasonable standards of behavior in the technical professions, that it can be done perfectly well within those constraints.  Your requirements are reasonable and there is no need to step outside of them.

           

          I loved the repeated references to community.  That we are, indeed.

           

          Regards,

           

          Morgaine.

          • Re: About our Terms of Use

            Blue,

              Thanks for the clarification, and for all the work you guys and gals do

            in maintaining the forum, especially since most of it is thankless work

            behind the scenes.  There clearly is no better forum for discussing

            the RPi, either for beginners or experts.