Article 1: PURPOSE
The CDS forums are intended to promote the exchange of information and ideas about the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS) in Second Life® (SL). Specifically, the forums are used to:
- distribute the task of answering questions among many people;
- get to know each other in order to promote informed voting;
- discuss present and future CDS policies;
- answer questions and address concerns;
- provide a history of government announcements, events, meeting transcripts, discussion and debate on subjects of interest to the populace.
Article 2: PARTICIPATION
Any member of the forum is invited to participate, keeping in mind that the best posts on issues are constructive and concise.
New residents are encouraged to use the forum to introduce themselves to the rest of the community.
Article 3: FORUM ETIQUETTE
The guidelines for posting can be broadly summarized as follows:
3.1: Limit your post to discuss one subject or several issues that belong naturally together. If you want to raise several non-related issues, post them as separate topics.
3.2: Make sure that the topic of your post falls within the subject of the forum in question. Some forums are intended for announcements or questions only and thus have certain restrictions on who may post there.
3.3: When responding to a post, consider if the topic has drifted away from that of the original post and if so, consider posting your reply as a separate thread.
3.4: When disagreeing with another poster make sure that your response takes issue with the claims and arguments rather than with the person behind them. Spirited discussion and constructive disagreement are welcome; abusive, ad hominem and personal attacks are not.
3.5: Provide evidence of things you claim to be fact; when referring to or quoting Forum posts, transcripts etc. provide the URL to the original post so that readers can refer to them for further accuracy and context.
3.6: When giving personal opinions make it clear that they are personal opinions; however, that does not give you permission to post about events or people with total freedom under the guise of 'that is what I believe'. You must still be willing and able to identify why you hold these opinions about a person or event.
3.7: Do not involve other people in your posts unless they are relevant to the discussion by their involvement and are able and willing to participate in the discussion. This especially applies to avatars who are not citizens of CDS, other than public figures being referenced or quoted in current affairs or a historical context.
3.8: Consider a break between writing a post and posting it, especially during heated debate of issues. There is a Save Draft option in the Forums to assist with this.
While you may delete a post within 5 minutes of posting it, or edit a post for up to 8 hours, posting and then removing, or heavily editing a post to change the tone or context, is poor etiquette and damages your credibility; make sure your posts say what you intend before hitting Submit and then be accountable for what you have written. Limit editing to the correction of typos, grammar, or clarification and give a reason for editing in the space provided at the bottom of the post.
3.9: Do not post topics with the intent of provoking personal disputes and flaming.
Article 4: MODERATORS
The forums are monitored and moderated by the members of the CDS Scientific Council (SC). They are currently
Aliasi Stonebender, Callipygian Christensen, Delia Lake, Lilith Ivory, and Soro Dagostino
No one else is entitled to appear as a moderator or 'observer' in this forum.
Article 5: VIOLATIONS AND SANCTIONS
5.1: In case of a violation of the above-mentioned guidelines, a moderator may choose to issue a warning to the violator in question. In cases of extreme violation, a moderator may choose to impose a temporary ban from posting without warning.
5.2: More than two warnings may result in a temporary suspension from posting to the forum or in cases presenting severe circumstances of repeated, malicious breaches of the guidelines despite previous warnings, a moderator may issue a permanent ban of the violator from posting to the forum.
5.3: In applying sanctions a moderator is encouraged to use his or her own good judgement and to be guided by the principle of proportionality, CDS community standards, input from his or her fellow moderators and previous decisions of moderators.
5.4: Posts will not be edited or deleted by moderators in this forum, except where RL personal information is provided or where a transcript of a private conversation — held in private IM — is posted and the other participant registers a complaint. Moderators may also, at their discretion, perform minor edits for correction of dates, spelling, grammar etc. at the request of the original poster.
- Contributors with posts deemed to be in violation by a moderator will be asked to provide evidence of their claims, or to post a retraction of any statements deemed to be inaccurate or offensive. Should they fail to do so, sanctions will be issued. The post will not be modified, but a moderator will make note of the requested retraction within the post.
- While not encouraged, unedited logs of sections of public chat held within the regions of CDS are permitted [public chat means all "Nearby Chat" conversations held in CDS public spaces which are those owned by the Land Verwaltung (LV) Group], as long as they are posted by someone present and participating in the logged chat; logs made by recording devices are only permitted for the transcripts of meetings and must not include conversation recorded before the meeting is called to order or after the meeting is adjourned.
- Unedited logs of sections of CDS group chat are permitted; group chat, by its nature, is intended to reach all group members that are logged in and therefore has no expectation of privacy.
Only logs or transcripts as described above, occurring after publication of these guidelines on July 12, 2014, are permitted. This revision does not allow posting of Nearby Chat or Group Chat transcripts, logs, or excerpts of them, saved before that date.
5.5: A moderator may decide to lock a thread if it has drifted from its original topic, contains posts that are in violation of these guidelines or are in other ways deemed to be detrimental to the purpose of the forums. The moderator will post a message in the thread giving justification for locking the thread.
Article 6: MODERATION POLICY
It is in the interest of the community of the CDS to give citizens very wide-ranging freedom of expression to ensure that the relative merits and drawbacks of differing opinions are exposed. These Forums were also started with the intention that members would be accountable for their words; thus the decision not to have moderators remove or edit posts and the limited time for members to edit or remove posts.
Moderators will generally strive to avoid handing out sanctions against citizens for expressing their opinions, even when these take place under heated circumstances. However, contributors are asked to conduct themselves with maturity and civility, remembering that words can cause damage and that a real live person is behind each keyboard. Moderators will therefore not hesitate to sanction posters using the forums to cause harm or grief, which includes but is not limited to:
6.1: Posting of sexually explicit or threatening material, or any material that attacks a person or group on the basis of a shared set of characteristics or beliefs, including but not limited to: race, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation
6.2: Abusing the forums by addressing issues that are a simple dispute between two parties.
6.3: Making libellous statements intended to defame a person or group or to appeal to the sympathy of the forum in an ongoing dispute; libel is the publication of falsehoods with the intention of causing damage to the subject's reputation.
6.4: Abusing the forum by posting:
- hostile or disruptive posts, or messages intended to incite an angry response;
- messages containing nonsense or no content relevant to the topic;
- messages purely advertising commercial services irrelevant to any ongoing discussion.
6.6: Physical threats against or harassment of another member; while challenging an avatar's current or past actions and posts is part of discussion and debate, raising the same issue in multiple and/or unrelated topics is not.
6.7: Contributors who are not citizens of the CDS and who have no prior history of posting to this forum should be prepared to back up controversial or provocative postings with argumentation showing a thorough understanding and/or willingness to learn about the history and workings of the CDS.
6.8: Non-citizen contributors posting repeated instances of provocative statements, without showing the will to engage in a dialogue aimed at mutual understanding, may be banned by the moderators without previous warning. Trolling is not welcome in this forum.
6.9 Abuse of Moderation or Moderators: moderation is in place to provide you with a productive environment for conversations about CDS.
Please respect and assist in the process by:
- Self-moderation; be civil and mature in your posting habits
- Using the report feature (the red exclamation mark in a triangle, top right of each post) to report posts that you feel contravene the rules and guidelines of these forums; however, be aware that
frivolous or malicious use of the abuse report feature may result in warnings or suspensions from use of this feature
- Not discussing or re-posting material that has been removed or locked by a moderator
- Not posting questioning a moderator’s decision; there is a process to appeal moderation decisions
7.1: The decision of a moderator is subject to peer review if so desired and the citizen affected by a sanction may, therefore, lodge an appeal by notecard to any of the listed moderators.
7.2: A non-citizen personally affected by the verdict of a moderator may lodge an appeal by private message within the Forums or by notecard in-world as in the above.
7.3: Any citizen observing irregularities in the handling of the appeal procedure may ask that the matter be brought before the SC sitting in ordinary session, by written request to the Dean.
The inspiration for the above stems in part from an earlier document of informal guidelines for the forum ("The Stand") and the CDS FORUM MODERATION GUIDELINES REVISION 1.3c, which have been revised and updated to reflect the current community standards of the CDS.
Reference to Linden Lab Terms of Service (LL ToS) and Community Standards (LL CS) has been removed; moderators of these Forums do not have access to the information that Linden Lab uses to address ToS violations and these should be directed to Linden Lab through the abuse report process. In addition, Linden Lab clearly states within the ToS that external websites and forums are not subject to ToS violations or sanctions. Reference to Linden Lab Community Participation Guidelines (CPG) has also been removed; the guidelines for the CDS Forums should reflect the community standards of CDS. The intent of the CPG has been included by listing many of its guidelines individually in this document. This allows future revision based on the needs and standards of the CDS, not arbitrary change whenever Linden Lab chooses to do so.
REVISED AND POSTED July 12 2014
Small revision made by Gwyneth Llewelyn June 14 2020