This notice covers all aspects of interaction and moderation on the School of Social and Political Sciences Blog, including posts, comments and advertising. It applies to graduates, enrolled students and staff of the Lincoln School of Social and Political Sciences and any other person submitting posts or comments for publication, or otherwise seeking to participate in the blog.
The SSPS Blog aims to provide opportunities for SSPS graduates, students and staff to publish stories and for readers to discuss content we publish, or debate issues which arise from it. We aim also to ensure this platform is inclusive and safe, and that this is a place on the net where you will find lively, entertaining and, above all, intelligent discussions.
We expect all participants in the SSPS Blog to abide by the following guidelines, all of which directly inform our approach to community moderation. These apply across the site, while moderation decisions are also informed by the context in which comments are made.
1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the SPSS Blog as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.
2. We acknowledge genuine criticism, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation to be published on our website. For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.
3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.
4. We reserve the right to redirect or curtail conversations which descend into flame-wars based on ingrained partisanship or generalisations. We don’t want to stop people discussing topics they are enthusiastic about, but we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others.
5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular person, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.
6. We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.
7. We will remove any posts, comments or links that are obviously commercially motivated, or otherwise spam-like. Our aim is that this site should provide a space for people to interact with our content and each other, and we actively discourage commercial entities passing themselves off as individuals, in order to post advertising material or links, or boost their search engine ratings. This may also apply to people or organisations who frequently post propaganda or external links without adding substantively to the quality of the discussion on the SPSS Blog.
8. Keep it relevant. We know that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something which is unrelated to the original topic (“off-topic”) then it may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. This also applies to queries or comments about moderation, which should not be posted as comments.
9. Be aware that you may be misunderstood, so try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may understand your contribution differently than you intended. Remember that text isn’t always a great medium for conversation: tone of voice (sarcasm, humour and so on) doesn’t always come across when using words on a screen. You can help to keep the SPSS Blog open to all viewpoints by maintaining a reasonable tone, even in unreasonable circumstances.
10. The platform is ours, but the conversation belongs to everybody. We want this to be a welcoming space for intelligent discussion, and we expect participants to help us achieve this by notifying us of potential problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and appropriate. If you spot something problematic on the SPSS Blog, please report it. When we all take responsibility for maintaining an appropriate and constructive environment, the debate itself is improved and everyone benefits.
– If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
– Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
– Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion.
We welcome advertising content from SPSS graduates and others, provided that it is compatible with the aims of the SPSS Blog, complies with the Blog Guidelines and is likely to be useful to other community members. If you wish to advertise here, contact the Editor.