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A New User Agreement

post #1 of 271
Thread Starter 
Greetings everyone,

We are reviewing several things here at MDC and at the top of the list is our User Agreement. Below is a copy of the text of our new UA draft. We invite you to read it and offer any suggestions or input you may have about it. We welcome your ideas and take your concerns seriously so please do share your thoughts.

This thread will remain open for a two week period for your input. After that time we'll review all comments and suggestions and take them into consideration as we finalize the new UA.

IMPORTANT: To simplify things for our review, please post only once to this thread. You may edit your post at any time during the two week period to change or add things to your post as you wish but please, only one post per member.
Quote:


MotheringDotCommune User Agreement
These are the terms of use that you as a member agree to uphold as a member of the MotheringDotCommune:

MotheringDotCommune.
MDC serves an online community of parents and parents-to-be considering, learning, practicing, and advocating attachment parenting and natural family living. Our discussions on the boards are about the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support and information. Mothering invites you to read and participate in the discussions. In doing so we ask that you agree to respect and uphold the integrity of this community. Through your direct or indirect participation here you agree to make a personal effort to maintain a comfortable and respectful atmosphere for our guests and members.

Membership
Membership to this forum is free. You are permitted only one registration and one identity. This must be applied for with an ISP-based email address. Multiple registrations and identities will be removed at the discretion of the administrator. By registering to become a member of our community, you agreed to abide by the policies herein.

Discussion Guidelines and Rules
We have formed specific discussion guidelines and rules for maintaining a reciprocal and welcoming atmosphere for all discussion board participants.

1. Do not post in a disrespectful, defamatory, adversarial, baiting, harassing, offensive, insultingly sarcastic or otherwise improper manner, toward a member or other individual, including casting of suspicion upon a person, invasion of privacy, humiliation, demeaning criticism, name-calling, personal attack, or in any way which violates the law.
2. Do not post profane or sexually explicit text. Discussions of a sexual nature should be within the realm of topics inherent to Mothering discussions such as sex after delivery, sex and the family bed, etc.
3. Do not post copyrighted material without permission. See copyright guidelines.
4. Do not post to advertise your product or business. Acceptable advertising is available on the boards. Information may be obtained by contacting advertising@mothering.com for banner ads. Advertising in signatures and in discussion board threads is strictly prohibited with the exception of those members who have paid the fee for the Signature Advertising Package. (Highlight). MDC sales and fundraising information may be posted by administrators, moderators, and designated members. Members may not use their business or product names as a username.
5. Do not use a Private Message (PM) or email to deliver advertisements or business/product information and offers to our members without first having been asked for such information by them. This would be regarded as spam and may result in suspension or being banned.
6. Do not post to invite MDC members to other boards for adversarial purposes or post inflammatory information about discussions at other boards.
7. Do not post to excessively debate or criticize the MDC User Agreement, or to otherwise discuss the moderators, administrators, or their actions. Constructive criticism and questions for purposes of clarification are best addressed directly to the moderator or administrator by private message or personal e-mail. If this is not successful, see Recourse (highlight).
8. Do not post to discuss the statements or behavior of a member or members on the board, or to criticize another discussion on the boards. Such issues should be directed to the member, moderator or administrator privately and not made a subject of potentially defaming discussion in a thread.
9. Follow the rules and guidelines specific to individual forums. These will be posted at the top of the forum.
10. Posts become the property of MotheringDotCommune as an integral part of discussion threads. Deletion of posts will not be permitted as a rule but exceptions may be made at the discretion of the administration. Please inquire.
11. Mothering reserves the right to change this User Agreement as necessary to meet any future needs that may arise. It is our customary procedure to submit revised rules and guidelines to the membership for a 14-day comment period prior to adoption.

Given these guidelines, we encourage friendly debate, socializing, and good humor. Thank you for becoming part of our online community.


Violations of Discussion Guidelines and Rules
o Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email or private message. We will make every effort to remove objectionable messages within a reasonable time frame, if we determine removal is necessary. If you feel another member is behaving in a manner that is in violation of these rules, do not take matters into your own hands. Let us try to resolve the situation. Simply alert the Board Administrator.

o The moderator, upon finding a post in violation of the Discussion Guidelines and Rules, will lock the thread as a preventative measure, posting a note of temporary closure - "This thread has been temporarily locked due to a user agreement violation and will be reopened shortly."

o The moderator will then alert the member who violated the Discussion Guidelines and Rules by PM and will encourage the member to reword the post

o Should the violation be a severe one or the member be unwilling to reword the post, the moderator may elect to remove the contents of the post.

o Once the thread has been changed or removed, the thread will be unlocked to allow continuation of the discussion. The moderator will warn the thread that further violations within the thread could result in closure.

o In the event of another violation, the moderator will PM the member, notify the thread of closure and close the thread.

o The moderator will inform the administrator of the incident.

o After 24 hours, the moderator will remove the thread to an administrative board where it will remain for review before being pruned as a matter of board maintenance.

o Based on the severity of the violation or the number of previous violations by a member, the Administrator may issue a warning, suspension or ban.

o We reserve the right to delete any message or to remove the registration and membership of any individual at any time for any or no reason whatsoever.

Recourse
If you object to a board policy, an alert, warning, ban or suspension:
o Email or discuss the situation with the moderator.
o Email or discuss the situation with the board administrator.
o Submit a request for review to The Kitchen Table. The Kitchen Table is a conflict resolution board comprised of a rotating membership of two moderators and three board members, usually the top board posters.
o If you do not receive a prompt reply from The Kitchen Table email the Web Editor.

Disclaimer

Considering the real time nature of the board, it is impossible for us to review all messages or confirm the validity of information posted. Please remember that we do not actively monitor the contents of all posted messages and are not responsible for any messages posted. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of the MotheringDotCommune or any entity associated with this bulletin board.

As a member you remain solely responsible for the content of your messages and behavior, and you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Mothering Magazine, Inc., MotheringDotCommune, vBulletin, Inc. and their agents with respect to any claim based upon messages. Please be cautious in posting information of a personal nature or anything that might create legal concerns for you or Mothering.
post #2 of 271
Wow, this is the first time I noticed that we aren't supposed to delete posts! I guess I need to read the original UA and see what the differences are...

So my suggestion is...could you highlight the differences between this and the original UA?
post #3 of 271
Thanks Cynthia! I'm adding as I think of things.


*when is it appropriate to post to questions and suggestions, and when is it appropriate to PM a mod/admin. instead?

*I do not have an ISP email. I will have to get one.
That's fine for me but will make MDC cost money for those who do not own a computer
and log on at work (if not permitted to use work email) or the library.
Could be a class issue.
Edited to add: Could also hurt moms MDC has helped in the past,
such as a homeschooling family on a tour of the country in a van without a house,
or a woman fleeing domestic violence who leaves her computer behind,
or a displaced Hurricane Katrina survivor whose computer was destroyed by flood water.

*I would love to see praising of spanking banned in the UA, board wide, not just at GD.

*If all posts become the property of MDC, then the writer's forum would stop, wouldn't it? No one would post what they are working on if they lose rights to it. (I've always been confused about the Writer's Forum, perhaps someone can clarify.)

*I understand why you want to limit people saying nasty things about MDC elsewhere. I really do. You want to protect and nurture MDC. And I stay out of MDC bashing on other websites because the mission of MDC is so important. But there is no way you can possibly be sure you are banning the same person! There is no way to prove that someone using an MDC username at another site is actually that same person. I've had two user names on the web that were used by other people at other sites!

*I feel Mothering should welcome anyone who is respectful of its mission of being a fiece advocate for the rights of children whether or not they are/plan to be parents, including child care providers, teachers etc.
post #4 of 271
I really like the recourse/kitchen table part.

Quick question--there are some topics that are obviously verboten here (advocating circumcision or debating abortion for example) and others that are explicitly forbidden some places (spanking in GD) but it's not spelled out that it's not allowed anywhere on MDC. Would it be possible to have these topics in the UA? There's a big long thead about the whole spanking thing in Q and A.

ETA:
I've thought about this some more.

1. When people are banned/suspended, could "banned" or "suspended" be placed under their name? I think this would help on several levels. It would eliminate the feeling that people have just poof! disappeared and would also probably take some pressure off admins and mods because the infamous "What every happened to ***" could be avoided.

2. I definitely think "upholding the integrity of the community" could be expanded on. Maybe link to the web statement of purpose?

3. Maybe add something to the mutiple identity clause about PMing an admin if an anonymous handle is needed for safety reasons?

4. Discussion rule 1 really is not universally enforced, perhaps because it is so open to interpretation. I don't know how this would be cleared up (can I call a doc who tells me breastmilk is poison an idiot? Can I call his ideas idiotic? Can I call my husband an idiot? Myself?)

5. While I totally get the intent of discussion rule no. 2 (don't post pornish stuff) it seems to get a little overzealously interpreted at times (no innuendo, ever). It gets a little silly on a message board of adults.

6. It would be nice to get a response from mods or admins when we email them, even if it's just a "taking care of it" or "got your email." It would also be nice to know when posts disappear. For example, I accidentally posted more than once on this thread and just spent 10 minutes searching for my post so I could edit it. I can only assume my post was whisked away, which is fine, but it would just be nice to be told.

Thanks!
post #5 of 271
Would you consider adding the topics which may not be advocated at MDC to the UA, so they are very clearly outlined from the moment new members join us? (ie spanking, circumcision...) As it is, the rules about those are on their specific boards, but the fact that many are a board-wide policy is not specifically outlined upfront.

sjkmaurice had a great post with links that folks could follow for more info here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...0&postcount=38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjkmaurice
Again, this is a place where discussion about crying it out, encouraging formula feeding by choice of the mother, blindly vaccinating and proud of it, circumcision for aesthetic reasons, religious discrimination and hurting children on purpose are not supported. Here's the Statement of Purpose. Also, the user agreement requests that we all "uphold the integrity of the community" which has chosen to not include advocating for spanking children.
Thanks!


eta: Crossposted with AnnetteMarie!
post #6 of 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by PajamaMama
So my suggestion is...could you highlight the differences between this and the original UA?
:

So ... technically, are we not supposed to edit our own posts with the intention of deleting everything in the post? I'm not real clear on that - I see ppl doing this sort of thing all the time.

Quote:
The ISP e-mail addy in my basic comprehension is an e-mail address from a specific internet provider. I use a yahoo account like I'm sure other's do.

Does this new UA mean that I will be either asked to change my e-mail to an ISP e-mail and if I can not do so, I'll be banned? If that is the case, that does not seem fare.
ITA, and would appreciate confirmation/clarification on the above.

And this

Quote:
o We reserve the right to delete any message or to remove the registration and membership of any individual at any time for any or no reason whatsoever.
Is just insane and totally dictatorial IMO. Please describe in what instance(s) would you find it necessary to remove a membership for no reason whatsoever?
post #7 of 271
I'm wondering exactly what an ISP linked email is. For the longest time I had to use Yahoomail or excitemail as my husband used the one that come with our internet for business. We were only allowed one email address at that time. That could diminish the capacity of some members or perspective members who wish to join if it has to be an email address that comes from your internet provider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy post 22
Can we have something in there where if you don't post in X time (a month, a year, something consistent), that your membership will be deleted. This will clean up the member list and also free up unused usernames for people.
FABULOUS idea. There are SOOOO many good user names that haven't been used in AT LEAST 2 years.
--------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC post#34
1. Posting derogatory comments about MDC on other (public) boards should be prohibited if you are a member here.
2. Posting on other (public) boards with the sole intent of attacking a member who you have a beef with here and naming the MDC site in said postings, should be prohibited.

The above could be integrated into item 6 of the user agreement.

Thanks Cynthia.

DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I think it's more logical for the rules of MDC to be restricted to MDC. How would your proposal be enforced?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I am strongly opposed to this idea. The internet is public. We should all be allowed to say what we want where we want according to the rules of the particular boards we frequent. MDC is open to the public. If it was a private board with a privacy policy, this rule would make sense. Proof is impossible to come by. Someone may be posting somewhere under the name mamajama and it may not be me yk? Spying is creepy.
I too thought it would be far fetched for our admin to be policing other boards. I was hesitant in bringing it up. But I have seen enough examples lately that I think it warrants a mention. Enforcement would depend on if someone reports it. Punishment would be determined by MDC admin if it can be proven.

DC
As has been stated by TPTB numerous times. MDC can not be everything to everybody. Asking TPTB to police the online activities of members on other spaces is either always OK, or NEVER ok. There is no middle ground. Do YOU want something you rant about in a blog taken out of context and given as the reason you are banned or the "no reason at all clause"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AM
I agree. I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask that someone not link to a blog criticizing MDC in their MDC signature (which I believe is actually already policy).
And I'm cool with that AM, but to say that ANYTHING I post on ANY internet venue about MDC (if I'm in a tizzy about something) subjects my membership for banning well. I'm not down with that. I need to vent about things that happen here sometimes just like I vent about my husband or my IL's here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC
Oh come on now. Don't get yourselves into such a tizzy over my suggestion. Or read into it. I wasn't talking about blogs (which you can password protect). I wasn't talking about private off shoot boards. Let's let the people in charge determine if my suggestion warrants merit. And FTR, this isn't a PUBLIC board. It's private. Membership is approved. And can be denied. Any member can read what is posted here. Not every person is allowed membership. This is funny. And so predictable.

DC
Even with off shoot boards (which there are plenty of) why should the long arm of the UA extend past it's URL? Does the UA extend to myspace? or Xanga? Or Blogger? Or other boards like Sybermoms, or Mamadrama, or HyenaCart, or the Woolly Wonders forum, or APU? Shouldn't what those boards host be left to, well, those boards?

I'm not CURRENTLY in a tizzy with MDC, but I have been at other times and publically blogged about my displeasure. Just like, I'm not CURRENTLY in a tizzy with my DH, but I have in the past posted about my displeasure with him here.

ETA (Again)
From post 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle
I think we need less censorship, not more, and that the UA needs to be shortened to say "We are a pro-AP, pro-NFL, anti-circ, anti-vax site. If you have something to say that goes against any of this, please go somewhere else, as debate on these topics is not allowed. Other than that, have at it."
MDC is NOT an anti-vax site it is a PRO informed decision site as is Mothering Magazine. The Vaccine forum is not "The Case against Vaccination" like the circ board is "The case against Circumcision". Mothing is DEFINATELY anti-RIC site. The vax forum is simply "Vaccinations" with subforums for "selective and delayed vaccinations". That is not anti-vax, but pro informed parent. There is a difference.
post #8 of 271
Combining my thoughts into this one post per the new one post per member request!

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
I really like the recourse/kitchen table part.
- Me too, that's great! I would love to see some more information on how the members of the table work though - is it always the top posters? Is that current top posters or those with the highest post count? Will this be on a rotated basis? (I just wouldn't want to always have the same people doing this work all the time.)

- The ISP requirement I really do not like - I don't use an ISP address for a number of reasons and I'm not even sure I know how to access that e-mail system! I know there are a lot of members that don't have home access and get on here at the libary or wherever, it would be horrible if they could not participate.

- Would love to see what can not be advocated accross the board (CIO, spanking, circ, etc.)

- Would request the "right to delete for no reason whatsoever" be removed. It really doesn't make sense. I would rather see that upon banning that person WILL be told the reason(s) for the banning so that should that person seek recourse (through the methods mentioned) s/he will know how to argue his/her point.

- Would love to see member accounts purged after a period of inactivity (six months to a year?) maybe in combination with minimum number of posts or something? Say if someone has less than 100 posts and 6 months of no activity then purge?


Thanks for providing a chance to review and comment CM!
post #9 of 271
Quote:
o We reserve the right to delete any message or to remove the registration and membership of any individual at any time for any or no reason whatsoever.
Ok, so if a person's membership is removed for "no reason whatsoever", can a member try to re-gain access by pm'ing with a mod or administrator. And, who makes this decision?

I personally haven't done anything warrenting any type or "punishment", but what if I was removed for no reason? Would you lose you name and all previous posts?


ETA:HelloKitty - Thanks, you're right!
post #10 of 271
Melanie - I think that's addressed under the "recourse" part as to what you could do given that situation.
post #11 of 271
Sounds reasonable. A bit more clarification on the deletion of posts, tho' - when I make a post, but realize later I need to delete some and edit...is that okay?

A lot of discussion has come up lately about those posting opinions completely contrary to a forum. I know it is difficult to tread the fine line between allowing folks to express and opinion, being open to all versus people posting obviously diametrically opposed posts. I believe this UA sufficiently covers the expectations.
post #12 of 271
*
post #13 of 271
The ISP e-mail addy in my basic comprehension is an e-mail address from a specific internet provider. I use a yahoo account like I'm sure other's do. I access MDC through a public internet connection and do not have an e-mail with a specific provider other than my job which personal e-mail is not permitted.

Does this new UA mean that I will be either asked to change my e-mail to an ISP e-mail and if I can not do so, I'll be banned? If that is the case, that does not seem fare.

If the Administration is so caught up on having so much control over the members here at MDC, then make it a pay for membership with the requirement of name, address, telephone number, credit card or paypal information. Then if you ban someone, it's a real named person with a real address connected to a credit card of the same name for verification purposes which could not be used again together. And the e-mail used won't matter.

Of course if that were the case, I'd leave simply because there are topics I post about here that I simply do not want my identity to be connected to in that way, such as in the vaccine forums or homebirthing forums. And I believe other posters in those areas feel the same way, we've talked about keeping our identities as aloof as possible in the past as a matter of safety to our families.

I have to say, the RULES here are a bit excessive. What ever happened to JUST BE NICE and everyone is happy? Have major violations of just be nice really occured in this community to the point that the administators of the sight have deemed it necessary to have so many RULES about posting, signatures, and common curtisy?

And I hope this was a thread where I could say this without getting into TROUBLE! Cause that is the last thing I want.
post #14 of 271
Quote:
o We reserve the right to delete any message or to remove the registration and membership of any individual at any time for any or no reason whatsoever.
What is the reasoning behind this. I am sure that there is one, but *without* knowing what it is, it sounds a little dictatorial.
post #15 of 271
* There are two numbers dedicated to no advertising without paying MDC first, but nothing said about racism or spanking which were two hot UA topics. (Thanks Fullofgrace for the reference!)

* The ISP thing I also think is unfair. I know several mothers who have access through the public library or school or a friend's house and now they can't participate because they don't or can't pay for internet at home? This does sound classist.

* I think the mention of banning someone with no reason is tacky. Of course there should be a reason and if someone is banned, they should have the right to know that reason. I agree that the recourse addition is good. OK, I CHANGED MY MIND: I don't think anyone should be banned for any reason, other than spammers.

ETA: I understand why we can only make one post, but it makes "discussion" kind of hard.

As for Boongirl's comment about the individual forums having their rules, on the other thread there were several comments about spanking being advocated in forums other than GD and I'm sure CIO and circumcision have their slips in other forums, too, so that's why it's been suggested to have those rules board-wide.
post #16 of 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjkmaurice
* There are two numbers dedicated to no advertising without paying MDC first, but nothing said about racism or spanking which were two hot UA topics. (Thanks Fullofgrace for the reference!)

* The ISP thing I also think is unfair. I know several mothers who have access through the public library or school or a friend's house and now they can't participate because they don't or can't pay for internet at home? This does sound classist.

* I think the mention of banning someone with no reason is tacky. Of course there should be a reason and if someone is banned, they should have the right to know that reason. I agree that the recourse addition is good.
I"m going to ditto this.
post #17 of 271
Kitchen Table=fabulous.
post #18 of 271
I'd like to hear more about The Kitchen Table.
post #19 of 271

....


Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 1:24am
post #20 of 271
*
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