Terms of Service (Borrowed with Permission)
1. It will be assumed that community members will have read and agreed to these Terms of Service and, by occasional rereading of them, to be aware of changes and updates to the Terms of Service.
- It is your responsibility to periodically check the rules and make yourself aware of any changes.
2. Only members who have registered with full registration data including real name and a valid e-mail address are permitted in community areas. Failure to register, or registration with false information, especially misrepresentation of age, gender or email address, is grounds for immediate blocking of access. Additionally, it is the member's responsibility to update and maintain a valid email address with their membership.
- Use of multiple names is limited to no more than two usernames. Given the benefits of anonymity in discussing certain personal issues which may appropriately be discussed in some community settings, use of a different username to protect privacy may be appropriate. Community Volunteers may also wish to use different identities for monitoring and personal interaction. However, individuals who have been locked, barred, secured, or banned are not permitted to create a new account as a way to circumnavigate the consequences for violating the Terms of Service. The staff reserves the right to terminate any new accounts which have been established in this manner as well as remove any content posted.
3. Community members understand that, notwithstanding our commitment to providing the safest and most Christian values sensitive community environment possible, participating in the online community is done at one's own risk. Young children should never participate alone and we cannot be responsible for the safety of children in community areas.
- Users must be at least 13 years old to participate in our Community.
4. You will not use community areas for any unlawful purpose.
- If you are using the community to make drug deals or to plan other illegal activities you are in the wrong place.
5. Any language, text, data, information, graphics or videos that could be considered vulgar, pornographic, obscene, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, hateful, unlawful; that are racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable; or that violate any copyright or other intellectual property rights of any person will not be promoted or transmitted via community areas.
- Referring to someone as a Nazi or their statements as being fascist is in violation of this rule. It is expected that members can discuss topics without resorting to name calling or the use of such terminology. To be clear, referring to any person, group, or country as being Nazi other than those who actually are members of the Nazi party will be deemed inflammatory and a violation of our Terms of Service.
- Referring to particular vulgar terms or words in any manner that brings them to mind such as purposefully misspelling or using symbols to suggest bad language or referring to something by a letter that identifies the word is unacceptable.
- Creating a handle or making comments that are sexually suggestive is a violation of this rule.
- Linking to a site that contains information that violates this TOS is unacceptable.
- Some commonly used slang terms that are unacceptable include but not limited to are: c r a p, screwed, and screwing around
6. You will not harass, threaten, embarrass or distress members, either in the community itself or via personal email, phone, physical mail or in person. You will not engage in name-calling or personal attacks in the course of discussion or debate. You will not post inflammatory remarks simply for the purpose for evoking reaction or starting fights with other community members (Often referred to as "trolling"). Overall, promoting a spirit of divisiveness in the community areas will not be tolerated.
- Attacking the character or motives of someone who differs with your view or denying that he or she is a Christian is unacceptable.
- Sending unsolicited PMs to multiple people in the community area is a form of harassment. Members should be courteous and ask someone if they would be willing to accept the PM. Members who disregard this notice may be banned.
7. You will not ask members for the phone number, physical, email, instant message ID, other identifying information, or any other information considered to be private at our sole discretion of a third party that is not present, nor provide such information if asked. Both the one asking for such information and the one supplying it will be viewed as violating this rule.
- If User A asks you for User B's telephone number, home address, or email address and you provide it then both you and User A will be in violation of this rule. If User A asks you for your phone number that would not be a violation. Additionally, do not post or otherwise distribute someone's "private message" to you or an email sent by another user without first obtaining their consent.
8. You should always view the online community area as a public meeting place. To the extent possible, all conversations are the property of the forum. By participating you have granted our host the license to use them with acknowledgement for any purpose whatsoever. For this reason you may not upload any material for which you do not own the copyright.
Posting entire articles is prohibited, even if permission has been granted by the copyright holder. Instead please only post a portion of the article with a link to read the rest.
--Please note that we define "a portion" as no more than three paragraphs of long articles or books, and one paragraph of very short articles.
"Private Messages" may be recorded by logs as a matter of course and may be viewed by The Staff staff. "Private Messages" are not considered the private property of the sender or recipient of the messages. The "Private Message" system is a free service to Community members. If a member's account is disabled they will not be able to retrieve any saved "Private Messages."
9. You will not disrupt the normal flow of dialog in the community or act in a manner that negatively affects other members, including and perhaps especially in the defense of Christianity, in offering unwelcome spiritual counsel, or in debating doctrinal issues.
- Respect someone's request if they say they don't believe in Christ or are doubting their faith and express that they do not wish to discuss it, don't try to "cram" Jesus down their throat. If another Christian disagrees with you theologically do not immediately jump to the conclusion that they are not truly saved just because they disagree, as there are differences of opinion in translating Biblical doctrine.
10. You will not impersonate in the community any person, including forum staff. This includes, but is not limited to creating handles to convey the idea that you are another member or a member of the staff.
11. You will not post disruptive content, such as chain letters, all caps, unnecessarily long messages, or meaningless text.
- No posting long meaningless messages in the community. (Going round in round in circles in a long post and not really saying anything would be considered meaningless text as would someone posting gibberish.) When posting in Forums try condensing your message as this will help to ensure people will read it in its entirety. Be sure to post your topic in the appropriate forum.
12. You will not attempt to "spam", "crack," "hack," or "bomb" the community. You will not attempt to access moderator-only sections or features.
-Posting the same or similar message in more than one place in the community is considered spamming and is not permitted.
- Do not try to crash the site by cracking into the code or hacking the server or sending mass amounts of posts or bomb or in any way do anything that would cause the site to go down or access secure areas.
Posting the same or similar message in more than one place is considered spam.
13. You will not post or transmit either in the Community, or via PM ("Private" message) any unsolicited advertising of websites, products or promotional materials or any other forms of solicitation. (Even if the site is not selling anything.)
- No posting telling everyone to come buy your new homemade honey. No posting asking everyone to send you a dollar or other pyramid schemes. No posting or advocating participation in any pyramid schemes or surveys. No attempts to recruit people for Amway or some other similar service. No asking people to send you money, gifts, or donations of any kind (even in the form of a "prayer request").
- No posting or sending people unsolicited PMs ("Private" Messages) telling them to come check out your new website or community, or any other sort of advertisement (even if the website is not for profit) as this is considered harassment. Solicited discussions about other sites is acceptable, but only as long as the other site (Christian or not) is not run down, insulted, or in any way harassed.
14. Discussion of sexual issues in any other than a serious and responsible manner is prohibited including "flirtatious" consensual conversation of an intimate nature.
- This is not your personal pick up joint. Check your hormones at the door.
15. You will not promote by repeated statements, by provision of URLs to other Web sites, by recommendation to engage in non-community activities such as watching programs, reading books, or attending events, or by any other means, beliefs or teachings contrary to those of Christianity as articulated by the historic creeds, as understood by Evangelicalism, and as interpreted by The Staff in its sole discretion.
- Refrain from making statements or URLs which promote the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle, adult entertainment, sexual immorality or pagan and false religions. No repeated posting of URLs to sites which have content that would violate the Terms of Service, the Nicene Creed or other majorly accepted scopes of Christian beliefs as interpreted by The Staff at their sole discretion. If you are unsure about a site or content please direct your question to the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. This rule also applies to any material whether it be on the web, in print, on video, or on audio.
16. The forum reserves the right to determine what forms of Christian "ministry" can be safely practiced within the community and to prohibit at its sole discretion any form of ministry that it deems unsafe.
The practice of and some forms of advocacy of otherwise biblical and legitimate supernatural spiritual gifts can be dangerous apart from supervision by duly appointed spiritual leaders such as pastors and the accountability that comes from being known within a local church.
The exercise of prophecy, dream interpretation, "words of knowledge," speaking in tongues and praying for or coaching others in the receipt of speaking in tongues, and various forms of deliverance ministry within the online community is prohibited. This is not, however, reflective in any way of the views of the staff on the legitimacy of such practices in a local church setting.
- No coming into the community and typing in a bunch of non-sense words and claiming to be speaking in tongues. No coming into the community and proclaiming that God told you that everyone should send the Community Manager massive amounts of cash. You may say to someone that you felt led to share a portion of scripture in order to encourage and lift up a brother in Christ or lead someone to a saving knowledge of the Lord as long as you are not in violation of rule number 9.
17. Please do not use community areas to air your grievances against other fellow members. If you have observed a violation of the Terms of Service please use the Offender Report Form instead. (This includes violations or allegations of inappropriate actions by the volunteer staff and administration.)
-We want this Community to be a fun place to learn and interact with others from a Christian world view. If you have a problem with someone either take it up with them privately or report the violation. If the grievance is with a volunteer or other staff member please report it using the Offender Report Form in community areas.
18. Certain members in the community areas, commonly called Moderators, have been designated to moderate the discussions. All members are required to immediately comply with any moderator directive. Failure to do so may result in loss of access to the site. If you believe a moderator directive is incorrect you should not discuss it in the community. Instead send an email to the Community Manager [email@example.com ] who will review the problem and make final judgment.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding our Terms of Service.
To report a possible violation of the Terms of Service in forums please use the report link located at the bottom of every post.
These Terms of Service may be revised at any time, without prior notice; therefore, please refer to this page from time to time.
Welcome to the community. We hope you enjoy it here and come back often.
Handling TOS Offenders
Ignore | Report
Keep our neighborhood safe. Use the following steps to police misbehaving members.
Ignore: To stop seeing messages from an offender in chat, highlight the user's name in the name list and click on the image above it with an ear and a red line through it. In forums click on the block icon located at the bottom left of the offenders post.
Report: Report offenders.
- Forums: Click on the report link at the top right of the post in forums.
The forums staff will review and reprimand offenders accordingly.
Moderators have the ability to do the following functions.
1. Close Thread. Prevents further replies to a topic or thread. This is done if the thread is a duplicate, if there is nothing constructive to be said on the current subject, or if a thread has been moved to another forum. As an example, threads that are trolling for people to respond will most likely be closed.
2. Move Thread. Moves a thread to another forum more suitable for the current discussion. This may happen in the middle of a thread if the discussion has ventured off-topic.
3. Delete Thread. Done in the most extreme case, this function completely removes the thread or post from the message board.
4. Disable Account. Disables a user's account so they are unable to access all Community services including Forums and PMs.
General Guidelines for Moderating
Moderators have their own guidelines too, in addition to the rules above.
1. Commit to participating at least 5 hours a week.
2. Take part! Just because you are a moderator doesn't mean you can't take part in a discussion. Try to facilitate a discussion.
3. Report violations and action taken. Report anytime you take action for a violation of the Terms of Service including the following information: Offender handle, Title and URL of discussion or name of chat room where offense occurred, offensive statement, action taken, and any additional comments.
4. Be an active part of your local church. The accountability and fellowship that comes with being involved with a local body of believers is important, don't forsake the gathering together of believers.
5. Be above reproach both on and off the community. As a moderator you will be held to a higher standard. Refrain from participating in behavior that is considered scripturally immoral and/or illegal.
6. Agree to keep confidential and private all information regarding offenders or other content, email or ideas considered to be company confidential.