SPN Code of Forum Etiquette
Sometimes we all need a refresher on good forum etiquette. Good forum etiquette is essential for the health, happiness and safety of the SPN community, for fruitful learning of Sikhi, and even for maintaining one’s own reputation.
The Code is a supplement to the Terms of Service, can be changed at any time, can be enforced by forum leaders, mods and admins, and perceived breaches can be flagged to leaders and admins by members.
So here it is:
Discussions about religion, philosophy, faith, ways of life / lifestyles, and traditions are often held very close to the heart and differences of opinion will always exist. It’s best to disagree with the issue, and not the poster. Remember, there is a real person on the other side of the screen, who has an opinion due to their experiences, education and understanding. Be respectful of your fellow SPN’ers and treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Try to keep your posts on topic. The quickest way to have your posts deleted is to stray too far from the thread’s original topic. You can always start a new thread by referencing to the thread which prompted a thought but it may be off-topic to the ongoing discussion!
Check yourself for repetition. If you find yourself repeating the same point of view in many different threads, perhaps make a blog post summarising that point of view so it can be thoroughly discussed. It may enhance your own, and others’, understanding. If you find yourself repeatedly bringing up a point in someone else’s point of view, you might want to ask them privately for clarification, or start a separate thread to discuss that particular topic in depth.
For safety, personal information about yourself or others, including private email addresses, shouldn’t be shared in public forums. You can share your own email address with someone via private message (conversation), instead.
Plain English is SPN’s official language. However, in order to be understood by most people, use correct spelling and grammar, and avoid slangs and overly technical language unless you know the word or phrase will be easily understood by other members. Also, let us watch our sense of humor as posts may be read by people from a variety of backgrounds and ages.
Forum Leaders, Mods / Admins
Our leadership sets the tone for the forum. Leader/Mod/Admin status is a privilege, not a right. Make it positive and respectful wherever you can and wherever you can’t, involve another leader/mod/admin to have a look or discuss the situation in a private conversation. Avoid public spatting at any cost. All rules for members also apply to leaders/mods/admins (even more strictly).
Every leader/mod/admin is open to moderation from other leaders/mods/admins without any fear of a backlash. If you cannot take it, then you should reconsider your position. We’re a community for members first, leaders/mods/admins second.
As far as possible, put your own personal views and feelings aside when moderating or leading discussions. Remain unbiased and professional in your duties. Avoid moderating threads where you are actively participating - ask another leader/mod/admin to step in if required.
You may have more experience with online discussion forums than the person next to you. Give them a hand. Show them it’s not so hard. They’re really going to appreciate it!
Rest everything is already stated and applies to everybody.
Freedom of Speech
SPN prides itself on being one of the least moderated Sikh forums. However, freedom of speech comes with rights and responsibilities. Members have the right to express their views on topics about Sikhi, as long as the expression doesn’t contravene Terms of Service or this Code. Members also have the responsibility to ensure that their posts are within the boundaries of Terms of Service and this Code.