We hope that all members of Beliefnet come to our site intending to have positive interactions with other members and will share in the mutual responsibility to keep this a welcoming, safe community for all. Fortunately, we have very few incidents involving people who do not have good intentions, or who cannot control their behavior. But even on Beliefnet we must occasionally take action to prevent a disruptive member from interfering with the enjoyment of other community participants.
Our disciplinary process is based on these principles:
- We will never censor you because of what you believe, or for expressing an opinion, no matter how unpopular, as long as you adhere to the Rules of Conduct. The Rules of Conduct permit you to say provocative things, but only if you say them courteously, and treat other members with respect.
- If Beliefnet's community is not helping to meet your spiritual needs, please tell us. We will do our best to fix the problem, if possible.
- We know that people sometimes make mistakes unintentionally.
- We believe in giving people a chance to change their behavior.
- If, in spite of our efforts to help you, you continue to engage in behavior that disrupts the Beliefnet community, and it becomes clear that you have no intention of changing, you will be removed from Beliefnet.
Our disciplinary process is flexible and may be adjusted as needed to fit a specific situation, but in general, this is what you may expect.
- Education: If you create a post that violates the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct, it will be removed. You may receive an e-mail from one of our volunteer Community Hosts, explaining why; especially if the infraction is serious.
- Warning: If you continue to violate the Rules of Conduct, the matter will be referred to a Beliefnet community staff member. You will receive one e-mail warning from the staff member, describing the behavior that you need to change, and explaining the consequences if you do not cooperate.
- Suspension: If, in spite of this warning, you continue to violate the Rules of Conduct, your Beliefnet membership and posting privileges will be suspended, typically for 24 hours to 30 days, at the discretion of the staff.
- Termination: If, after suspension, you continue to violate the Rules of Conduct, Beliefnet may terminate your Beliefnet membership and posting privileges.
There are a few notable exceptions to the process outlined above:
- Your membership may be terminated without warning for illegal acts, or for a credible threat of harm to others or to Beliefnet.
- If you create a username for disruptive purposes, it will be terminated immediately without warning.
- If the e-mail address in your Beliefnet account is not valid, your account will be suspended immediately, until you provide a valid e-mail address. Should this happen to you, e-mail email@example.com.
To avoid the possibility of losing your Beliefnet membership privileges, please follow these steps:
- Read the Rules of Conduct and abide by them. Ask Beliefnet staff or hosts for help or clarification if needed.
- Do not make negative comments about other Beliefnet members. Discuss ideas, not other members.
- Do not post complaints on the boards. E-mail all complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keep your account information up to date with a valid e-mail address. Log in, then click on "My Info" to update your account.
- If you have a strong opinion to express, find a way to say it that is within the limits of the Rules of Conduct. If you are very upset, you may find it helpful to wait until you calm down before writing.
Please note that according to the Terms of Service to which you agreed when you registered as a Beliefnet member, Beliefnet has the legal right (but not the obligation) to remove or move any member-generated content for any reason, without notice, and to terminate any member account at our discretion, for any reason, without notice. The staff prefers to follow the disciplinary process outlined above, however we are under no obligation to do so.
If your Beliefnet membership and posting privileges are temporarily suspended, any attempt to circumvent the suspension (for instance by creating another Beliefnet username) will result in more serious consequences, which may include the permanent loss of your posting privileges. Suspensions apply to all Beliefnet access from your computer(s), whether by you or by other individuals.
Go Back to the Rules of Conduct