Online communities and social networks can be an incredible force for good, whether by connecting distant friends, empowering a community to work for a common cause, or helping a message to find its audience. Beliefnet's community platform has been created to foster these types of positive activities so that people online can link together, encourage one another, and help transform the world.

Some community sites have allowed inappropriate behavior or illicit activity, but Beliefnet is dedicated to making its network a safe, reliable place for spiritual connections. Beliefnet already has an 8-year track record of running successful discussion forums, study groups, and prayer circles with hundreds of thousands of members. Through the careful work of our staff and a team of dedicated volunteers, we have created safe and reliable online environments.

We'll continue to provide online safety through a variety of unique tools crafted to ensure protection for all of our users: 

Control for Individuals
Control Who Can See Your Material – For your journal, profile page, photos, audio, video, your inbox and guestbook, you can determine how much access to give friends and strangers. For most tools you can choose between: 
  • Completely Private – No one can view, no one can post
  • Semi-Private – Anyone can view, but only “friends” can post
  • Public – Anyone can view, anyone can post
 Manage Your Friends – You can limit many activities to just your “friends,” and you control who they are. For someone to be a friend, you need to invite them (and they need to accept the invitation). If someone is not a friend, you can block them from sending you email or posting on your guestbook or comments areas.
Faith Filters – If you prefer to interact with people of your own faith only, you can do that. During the profile process, check off the box enable this feature. Then, whenever you do searches or click on interest “tags” or keywords, you will only see people with the same faith. Note: for now, some public areas will still be displaying people of all faiths, though future versions of the service will apply the faith filter even more broadly.
Control for Groups
Control Membership  -- The group leader, the person who set up the group, decides who is allowed to be members. He or she can make the group open to all, limit it to a few selected friends, or choose to screen potential new members.
Control Rights Within the Group --  The group leader can appoint other leaders to have administrative powers, or remove members from the group if necessary. The leader can delete posts he or she finds inappropriate.
Public or Private – The group leader can decide whether to make the group:
  • Completely Private – No one can view, no one can post
  • Semi-Private – Anyone can view, but only “friends” can post
  • Public – Anyone can view, anyone can post
 Name and Address – The group can post its own logo and name and create a unique web address (www.beliefnet.com/groups/yourname) as long as that name is not taken.
Safety & Policing
Rules of Conduct – By joining the Beliefnet community, you are agreeing to the Rules of Conduct, which prohibit:
  • Pornography
  • Advocacy of violence
  • Harassment
  • Endangering Minors
  • Revealing personal information 
You can alert Beliefnet to any inappropriate content: You can help keep the community safe and clean. Every piece of content – photos, videos, blog posts, comments -- will come with a "Report as objectionable" button just beneath it. If you find something offensive, simply click that button, and our network monitors will be alerted immediately and will take appropriate action.

Group leaders have additional measures of control: Group leaders have more control over the content of the group page than individual members. Leaders can remove inappropriate posts, photos, or videos with a few simple clicks. Leaders can also select other group members to help with online safety by providing them with access to more administrative controls. Leaders can also publicize whether or not their group is looking for new members in order to help ensure control over who joins the online group.

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