About Beliefnet | Rules of Conduct

About Beliefnet | Rules of Conduct



Welcome to Beliefnet! Beliefnet members represent a wide variety of religious and spiritual orientations - all welcome to participate in conversations on our message boards. When you participate in Beliefnet discussions, you may encounter persons whose beliefs differ from your own. We hope that you will approach these encounters in a spirit of tolerance, accepting the rights of others to follow freely their own religious beliefs, even if they seem false to you.

Beliefnet is committed to protecting a high level of freedom of expression, and to maintaining a welcoming and safe community in which that expression can flourish. We will not censor members for expressing an opinion, within the limits of these Rules of Conduct. We will take action against any behavior that disrupts conversations and community on the Site. Beliefnet has the right, but not the obligation, to remove or move any member-generated content for any reason, without notice. These Rules of Conduct reflect the standards of behavior our members find acceptable. By registering as a member of Beliefnet, you agree to the following:

Rules of Conduct

  1. Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false. When debating, express your opinion about a person's ideas, not about them personally. You agree to refrain from
    • ad hominem argument;
    • creating posts that insult, malign, defame, abuse, threaten, or harass others, including discussions intended to criticize or ridicule other members;
    • derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone satanic, demonic, evil, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons;
    • slurs relating to a person's age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation; and
    • characterizing as inferior any member's intelligence, character, appearance, health, or mental health.
  2. Hate Speech: You agree not to engage in hate speech on Beliefnet. Even if religiously motivated, you will not allege that a person or group is inferior, express a desire that harm should come to them, or engage in speech or behavior intended to victimize or degrade them, on the basis of age, disability, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.
  3. Violence: You agree not to advocate illegal violence against or harassment of groups or individuals, even if religiously motivated.
  4. Proselytizing: You agree not to make aggressive, repeated, or unwanted attempts to convert another member's religious beliefs. Please respect the rights of others to follow their own religious beliefs, even if you think those beliefs are false.
  5. Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions. Disruptive behavior may include creating a disproportionate number of posts or discussions; creating off-topic posts; making statements that are deliberately inflammatory; manipulating topic lists to disrupt conversation; posting in a language other than English without providing an accurate English translation; or any behavior that interferes with conversations or inhibits the ability of others to use and enjoy this website for its intended purposes.
  6. Local guidelines: You agree to observe the rules and guidelines posted for specific message boards. These guidelines appear at the top of each page in that board. Some message boards are protected for use only by practicing members of a particular faith group. Controversial and provocative comments are invited in specific message boards; to express criticism of a belief, please do so only in the message board that has been set aside for that purpose. The Teen message boards are protected for use by teens only. Please respect these boundaries.
  7. Solicitation: You agree not to use community functions to advertise or solicit on behalf of commercial, religious, charitable or other organizations or causes. Exceptions: (1) members may ask for contributions to the Friends of Beliefnet Community Fund; (2) members may recommend officially registered charities in appropriate posts on the Charity & Service boards; (3) if you are an author you may announce your own books in your profile and in no more than one post. To advertise on Beliefnet, contact the Sponsorship Department at advertising@staff.beliefnet.com.
  8. Spam: You agree not to repeat substantially the same text in more than one location on Beliefnet.
  9. URLS: You may share the URL of a web resource other members may find useful, but you agree not to post URLs repeatedly or for the purpose of promoting a website or service (see "Solicitation" above). You agree not to post a hyperlink to or URL of a site that violates these Rules of Conduct. You will not reproduce chain letters, pyramid schemes, mail fraud schemes, or any other unauthorized advertising.
  10. Copying posts: You agree not to post transcripts of private e-mail or other private communication without the author's express permission. You agree not to copy another member's words from one discussion to another, or link to them, with unfriendly intent. You agree not to expand disagreements from one board to another.
  11. Privacy: You will not collect or use information about users of the Site without their express permission. You agree not to reveal personal information about someone else. Beliefnet will remove any post containing a personal telephone number, address, or any information that would allow someone to locate a person without their permission. Cautionary Note: Because Beliefnet message boards are public, we advise members against revealing any personal information about themselves. If you choose to display your e-mail address to other members, please be aware that Beliefnet has no control over who uses your e-mail address or for what purpose. If you believe you are the target of a cyber-stalker, please refer to http://www.wiredpatrol.org/stalking for more information.
  12. Vulgarity: You agree not to display words, images, or information that is vulgar, obscene, graphically violent, graphically sexual, harms minors in any way, exploits images of children, or is otherwise objectionable. You agree not to post URLs of sites where such words, images or information is displayed. Permission for exceptions to this rule must be obtained from Beliefnet staff.
  13. Images, Text and HTML: You agree to refrain from using visually disruptive or excessively large font sizes and/or images. We suggest that images be no larger than 300 pixels in width or height, and that you not use font sizes larger than 18 points (size 5). You agree to use HTML and styles only for text effects (such as bold and italics), to post images, or to create hyperlinks. You agree not to upload to Beliefnet or link to any other code, scripts, audio, animations, file or program. You will not upload, post, link to, e-mail or otherwise transmit any harmful component to Beliefnet, or deface any portion of the site.
  14. Minors: You agree that you will not invite a minor on Beliefnet to contact you for any reason. Adults are asked not to post on the Teens boards. Online safety tips for teens
  15. Surveys: Researchers who wish to post a survey or ask for information from Beliefnet members must obtain Beliefnet's permission before doing so. To obtain permission, send a description of your project, along with full name and contact information for your school and supervising professor, to community@staff.beliefnet.com.
  16. Copyright: Beliefnet discussions are primarily intended for interactive conversation. You agree not to create posts that consist substantially of material copied from another source. You agree to respect intellectual property rights when posting on Beliefnet. You agree not to post copyrighted or trademarked images on Beliefnet. You agree not to post articles or other text from another publication (copyright or not) except as follows: you may quote a small sample of it, credit the source, post a hyperlink to the author's original, and include your own comments in your own words. You may quote sacred texts in the context of discussing them, but include your own comments in your own words. Permission for exceptions to this rule must be obtained from Beliefnet staff. You agree that you will not modify, adapt, sublicense, translate, sell, lease, reverse engineer, decompile, frame, mirror or disassemble any portion of this Site, or offer to do so.
  17. Illegal activities: You will not solicit or promote the use of an illegal substance, promote illegal activity, or discuss illegal activities with the intent to commit them.
  18. Impersonation: You agree not to impersonate or spoof Beliefnet members, employees, hosts or volunteers. You agree not to create more than one Beliefnet username with the intent to disrupt Beliefnet discussions or deceive Beliefnet members. You agree not to express or imply that any content or materials you make, submit or post are endorsed by Beliefnet or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  19. Contact information: You agree to provide a valid e-mail address in your Beliefnet registration. You may choose to conceal your e-mail address from other members, and you may manage your mail preferences. However Beliefnet staff must be able to contact you by e-mail if necessary to discuss your account. If the e-mail address in your profile is not valid, your posting privileges may be suspended; should this happen to you, please e-mail us for assistance. Community staff members will keep your e-mail address confidential. Please refer to Beliefnet's privacy policy for more information. To update your e-mail address, click "My Info" at the top of any page.
  20. Reporting Problems: You agree not to post problem reports and complaints publicly on the site. To report a violation of these Rules of Conduct, or to complain about another member or the action of a volunteer Community Host, click here to e-mail your complaint to Beliefnet staff.
In addition:
  • These Rules of Conduct apply to anything you upload to or create on Beliefnet, including posts, screen names, member profiles, discussion titles, or any other text or images.
  • We have the right to suspend or terminate your membership for violation of the above rules. (see: disciplinary process)
  • We have the right to reprint from Beliefnet discussions any post or portion of a post (along with the username of the Beliefnet member who posted it) somewhere else on the site or in any other medium (such as in a Beliefnet book, in a Beliefnet television commercial, etc.).
  • We neither endorse nor are responsible for any opinion, advice, information or statement made or displayed in these forums by third parties, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions in such postings, or for hyperlinks embedded in messages. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained in these forums. The opinions expressed in these forums are solely the opinions of the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Beliefnet.
Please check these guidelines periodically as they may be revised for the protection of our valued members.

If you come across any violations to this covenant, do not hesitate to let us know at community@staff.beliefnet.com. We'll be happy to address your concerns.