This document forms part of the Terms & Conditions of Use and terms used herein are consistent with those used therein unless otherwise specified herein.
When it comes to communications between friends and strangers, an online social community has many similarities with the real word, which can be complex enough as it is … but it also has a few differences that even the forum-fanatics among us may forget from time and time.
It is really really important to us at Thelma and Louise that our community is a happy one … one where people communicate with respect for each others' boundaries (like you would in the real world), encourage each other and help everyone to get as much out of the site as possible … we want people to discover travel ideas, take part in discussions, write their own travel guides, share their travel expertise and connect with friends, travel buddies and like-minded women.
Although we think you, our community, are fantastic and for the almost all interactions there seems to be no problems at all, please read the following guidelines about how you should conduct your communications and add your content to the site.
Why do we have a code of conduct?
The site contains areas that are not pre-moderated (e.g. forum, travel guides, events, trip ideas plus many other areas) and so it is down to you to post your content and interact with members in a style and manner that is acceptable and keeps a happy and positive “vibe” across our entire community. Our aim is to keep any intervention to a minimum and let the conversation flow and so by having a code of conduct, we can all see how we should and should not act on the site without interfering with the openness, personality and trust we strive to build and maintain.
To ensure we all stand by these principles, everyone using this site must abide by the rules and guidelines described below which supplement, and are subject to, our terms and conditions.
Your content and activities on the site
We have summarized below a few guidelines, which apply to all your content and activities on the site.
You must not initiate or participate in:
- personal (cyber) attacks or bullying;
- trolling or goading;
- posting content that is offensive, defamatory, hateful, inflammatory, culturally insensitive, blasphemous, obscene, libelous, racist, sexist, homophobic, disablist or generally causes unnecessary tension;
- posting private information about yourself (as a rule, unless it is a private message to a personal friend you have met in person, never post any information about yourself on the site that you don't want this or any other members to see);
- posting private information about others
We do rely on you to let us know about any content or activities that do not conform with our guidelines and the quickest way to let us know is by sending an email to email@example.com
General guidelines for communication:
As a general rule you should apply the same judgment and courtesy when posting on the site as you would when speaking to someone face to face (and as you would expect from someone speaking to you). That said, please do bear in mind how easily written communications can escalate into unintended misunderstanding and sometimes cause offense or annoyance. These guidelines should help us all get along:
If you ask for opinions, don't be annoyed if others actually offer an opinion you don't agree with. Don’t take it personally.
If you see you are not getting along with someone or a group on the site, for whatever reason, politely leave the conversation sooner rather than later and move on. Chances are you can have a happier, more productive conversation somewhere else on the site or with the same people on another topic.
Sometimes you may post content you would like to take back, change or clarify. If this happens to you, it is perfectly acceptable to let others know that you have changed your mind, clarified your posting, or apologise for any confusion that was caused. People change their minds and opinions all the time and can easily happen when posting a quick response.
Written communications can come across in the wrong way and can be is easily misunderstood. It is good to use “expressional words” (like we use emoticons) when trying to convey your message, for example:
Someone may take this the wrong way:
“I don’t like this”
This is better …
“I’m not sure I like this (“smiley face”) – keep the suggestions coming”
Most fundamentally, sometimes people just don’t get on. If this is happening to you (whether you believe it’s your fault or the other persons), it’s often better to stop all communication with that person and avoid related content.
We are all for freedom of speech. That said, we will remove posts or content which we consider to be inconsistent with these guidelines.
If you want to bring any content to our attention, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Screen names and changes
You are free to change your screen name (although we recommend you try not to as it can be confusing for members to keep track of you) but please note that we do not allow screen names that are malicious or inflammatory. All changes should be done using your one site registration; please do not re-register in order to change your screen name.
Posting links and spamming
Although the odd link may be posted as it is useful for other members, we do not allow and will delete anyone's attempts to spam the site with links, as a way of promoting something … whether another website, product, blog, survey or e-petition.
If you would like to know more about promoting your merchandise, goods, services or events on thelmandlouise.com, please contact email@example.com.
Deleting your content
We allow you to delete most of your content on the site that you have started or created. That said, we don't generally recommend you delete your content (especially when part of a discussion thread) as it can be annoying for all those who have taken part in the discussion or continue to find your content useful.
We will not to delete your content unless we feel it is absolutely necessary. If we identify content that does not abide by these guidelines and the terms and conditions, or for any other reason we feel necessary, we may remove it without notice or warning.
Trolls and troublemakers
The vast majority of content and interaction on the site is genuinely informative, supportive and friendly (even when we disagree with each other!). However, from time to time, we are visited by “trolls”. For those who don't know, a troll is someone who poses as someone else in order to stir up trouble, deceive and mislead, or just to fulfill their own troublesome or promotional agenda.
If you think the person is not “real”, you don't have to post or engage with them. Of course, be aware that not everyone on the internet is who they say they are, and that, although it’s fantastic to see our community share so much about themselves and have such close friendships (keep that up), we'd always caution anyone never to give more of themselves to another member, emotionally or financially, than they can afford to spare.
All this said, if you suspect someone of being a troll, please don't accuse them publicly on the site. If you're wrong, you could cause untold hurt; if you're right, you'll merely be giving them just the kind of attention they're after. Please bear in mind that someone may be doing this unintentionally. Instead, please report your suspicions to us and we'll check them out.
If you suspect the person is false and they are trying to deliberately offend, pursue, aggressively promote sell products or services (or anything else for that matter) or get money from you, tell us by reporting abuse or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Version date: 31 October 2014
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