Forum Code of Conduct (CoC)

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This is not an official Geni Code of Conduct, but a suggestion for the Geni Forum. Please feel free to improve or comment in the forum thread

General Rules

Language & Expressions used

  1. English is the official language. Do not post in other language than English. Quotes are permitted as long as they are not in violation of the Code of Conduct and a correct translation is included.
  2. Profanity and insults will not be tolerated.
  3. Do not use any derogatory terms in an offensive context against a person, race, culture, group or organization.
  4. Do not use terms referring to ethnic/national origin, ideological/religious beliefs, gender, or sexual preference in a demeaning context.
  5. Do not bait/troll users. Bait / Trolling is defined as posting with a clear intent to provoke anger, incendiary posts, and behavior that results in other users violating the CoC.
  6. Do not feed the troll by responding to baits.

If you have a problem with another member not following above rules, please report it to the respective moderator

Posting

  1. Check that your question has not been answered anywhere else on the site.
  2. Use the search function before posting. Chances are your question has already been answered.
  3. No cross posting. Post your message once, to the appropriate forum and nowhere else.
  4. Use a title that describes the content of your post. Don't use all caps or special characters to draw attention.
  5. Avoid political discussion not directly related to Geni, as any discussion on religion and religious matters.
  6. Do not post posts and discussions that are repeated over and over and over with no other purpose than to disrupt conversation. If you feel the need to say something, say it once and then move on. Do not disrupt multiple threads in order to get your view out.
  7. Do not post graphically-disturbing images (such that the images are displayed when users view your post). However, you can link to the images with a warning stating that the images are graphically disturbing
  8. Do not 'spam' in the forum.

Privacy

  1. Do not post any form of real life information of a user unless the user has first permitted it by express consent. Examples of real life information include name, address, IP addresses, and phone numbers.
  2. Do not distribute any form of real life information, email address, private/email Messages, and Instant Messenger messages (“Chatlogs”) with intent to harass or in any demeaning manner regardless of consent.
  3. Do not disclose a user's unpublicized email address unless the user has first permitted it, either by actual consent or previously releasing said information.

Rules explained

Official Language

English is the official language of the forum because it is the common language between moderator and users. Because we can not moderate conversations in a foreign language, you may not hold a conversation in the forum in language other than English. Foreign languages are allowed in forum signatures and quotes as long as it is not in violation of the Code of Conduct and a correct translation is included.

Flaming

Most often flames are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject.

Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users. Other times, a flamer is simply an individual who believes he/she carries the only valid opinion. This leads him/her to personally attack those who disagree. Occasionally, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they can be called "trolls".

Flaming is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. However, flaming should not necessarily be considered to be purely negative. Many times flame wars are caused by the conflicting norm sets of the different people/cultures. In any forum there will at times be multiple negotiation processes of realigning norms for appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. The process of establishing what is perceived as "flaming" and violating norms can be seen as the start of norm negotiation and evolution.

Reactions (or lack of reaction) to an intended/unintended "flame" provides information about the alignment of one norm set versus another. Violation provides information that can guide the community's assessment of appropriateness.

Flaming dominates the 2nd phase of the 4 phases of group development "Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing" The storming stage can be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of a community who are averse to conflict. Tolerance of each team member and their differences needs to be emphasized. Without tolerance and patience the team will stagnate. This phase can become destructive and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control.

Therefore it is crucial during storming periods that forum moderators displays professional behavior and are seen to enforce the rules in a transparent and fairly manner.

Dealing with flaming

Much of what looks like flaming can be the product of the direct, cut-through-the-bullshit communications style that is natural to people who are more concerned about solving problems than making others feel warm and fuzzy.

When you perceive rudeness, try to react calmly. If someone is really acting out, a forum moderator or another user should call him or her on it, preferably privately by using the PM (private message) in order to diffuse the escalated tension. If that doesn't happen and you lose your temper, you are likely to start an nonconstructive flame war.

Flaming should be edited out by the moderators in the interest of the rest of the community. When edited, the text with the flaming content should be replaced with text stating the reason for why it was edited out.

Nobody wants to live in a traditional-Japanese-management world where criticism and the word “No” are out of bounds. When important issues are under discussion, sometimes strong words are called for and appropriate. Forum users must be ready to cut some slack when someone occasionally loses their cool, especially if they later acknowledge that they maybe shouldn't have,

Ad Hominem

ad hominem (ad hominems)
  1. a logical fallacy, arguing that an idea or concept is wrong because its proponent (advocate or spokesman) is flawed
  2. an attempt to argue against an opponent's idea by discrediting the opponent himself
  3. a personal attack

"Ad Hominem" is any derogatory comment made against another person, as opposed to comments against the argument they present. Do not confuse Ad Hominem with simply name-calling.(which also shouldn't be allowed) Thus, claiming that another member is "arrogant" is an ad hominem, because it is a personal comment directed at them. Note that in this example, the person making the accusation may believe it to be a factual and accurate assessment of their opponent, and therefore exempt from the Ad Hominem rule because it is *the truth*. However it is still Ad Hominem and it should not be allowed.

Derogatory Terms

Do not use any terms in an offensive context against a person, race, culture, group or organization.

Please note that words carry different meanings in different cultures, and that while a word may be acceptable use in one part of the world, it may not be in another. In addition, any one can invent their own derogatory terms, unfortunately. Because of those factors, forum moderators should evaluate the context in which the term was used to determine whether a violation has occurred.

Harassment

Do not use terms referring to ethnic/national origin, ideological/religious beliefs, gender, or sexual preference in a demeaning context.

You are in violation of this rule if the nature of your post discriminates, promotes hate, promotes violence or advocates hatred or discrimation against individuals, groups, races, cultures or organizations because of their ethnic/national origin, skin color or culture.

Spamming

Spam includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Excessive off-topic threads
  • Posting nonsensical messages
  • “Flooding” the forum with similar meaning messages
  • Inciting a forum war or riot
  • Outwar-style links
  • Blatant advertising
  • Messages without content

Any forumer who seems to have created their account solely to promote another site will be permanently banned.

Reporting offensive behaviour

If you see something getting out of hand or a member you believe to be breaking the general rules of the CoC, please contact a Geni Team member via PM or email misconduct@geni.com. By all means bring any issues to their attention, but do not contact the forum moderators to ban members you don't like. Certain behaviour is banned, not certain people.

Sanctions - if you don't stick to the forum rules

Following sanctions is a suggestion to manage people who keep infringing the rules:

Any forum user can report anyone for violating a forum rule. Such a report contains a timestamp, the forum rule violated and the post in question. Such a report will result in the poster getting a "strike". The report will point out the number of strikes left until poster will be suspended. As in baseball "3 strikes and you're out", though in this case the 3 strikes have to occur within a month's time or they should be forgotten.

A suspension involves the following:

   * No access to user profiles
   * Modification of the user profile is disabled
   * Posting is disabled
   * Private messaging is disabled

After 1 week of suspension posters account should be reinstated. The strike list will start from zero again. A 2nd suspensions should double to the suspension period to 2 weeks. A 3rd suspension should double the suspension period to 4 weeks, etc etc

If the poster wish to contest a strike he/she should send a PM to the moderator with a reference to the post in question and an explanation why he/she think the strike is not justified. In case of a suspension he/she can send a complaint to misconduct@geni.com. The email is only to be used in case of a suspension and the user forfeits his/hers right to an appeal if he/she use it to contest a regular strike not leading to a suspension. By publicly complaining about a strike in any way (starting with pointing out "I've been striked for this and that"), or go badmouthing this forum and its members user also forfeit his/hers rights to an appeal and the strike will be permanent without exception.

Banned/deactivated members

If a banned member is found to use an alternative account (shills/puppet accounts) during a suspension period, this should double the suspension period and the alternate account should be be terminated immediatly.

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