Forum House Rules

 

PURPOSE OF THE HOUSE RULES

 

The House Rules have been devised to help ensure that the Forum is a friendly and constructive place for discussion. 

 

You must comply with these House Rules below in relation to your conduct when using the Forum and in relation to the content of any Contributions you may post to the Forum or communicate via the Private Message facility.

 

The House Rules must be complied with in spirit as well as to the letter. We will determine, in our sole discretion, whether a Contribution breaches the House Rules.

 

These House Rules form part of the Terms and Condition of use of our site, including the Forum Conditions that govern your use of the Forum and our Acceptable Use Policy

 

All users should be aware that failure to comply with any of the House Rules will constitute a breach of the Forum Conditions and may result in your Contribution being removed, your account being suspended or cancelled and/or you facing legal action.

 

We reserve the right to revise the House Rules at any time. You are expected to check this page and our site from time to time to take notice of any changes we make, as they are legally binding on you.

 

GENERAL GUIDANCE

 

All Contributions made to the Forum or sent using the Private Message facility must:

 

· be accurate (where any facts are stated);

 

· be genuinely held (where any opinions are stated);

 

· comply with the law applicable in the UK and in any country from which it is posted; and

 

· be relevant to the topic under which the Contribution is posted.

 

SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

 

You must also ensure that the Contributions you make to the Forum or that you send using the Private Message facility, and that your conduct when using the Forum, complies with the guidance below.

 

Defamatory Statements

 

Contributions must not contain any statements that could be untrue or defamatory in relation to any other person or organisation.

 

In the UK, the law of defamation protects individuals and organisations from the publication of statements which may "tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally".  If a claimant is able to show that a statement is defamatory, the onus lies on the person making the statement to prove that the statement was in fact true. 

 

You should therefore ensure that any statement you include in a Contribution is factually accurate.  You should also avoid exaggerations, drawing unfair conclusions or making unfair implications in the text of your Contribution.  Please note that including the word "allegedly" does not protect you from being sued for defamation.

 

You should be aware that posting or sending an untrue or potentially defamatory Contribution exposes you to the same risk of being sued for defamation as if you had made the statement in a newspaper, magazine or other medium.

 

We will take a strict approach when moderating and/or dealing with complaints in relation to potentially defamatory statements included in Contributions, and you should be aware that we will generally err on the side of caution.

 

Offensive or Abusive Statements

 

Contributions must not contain any statements that are obscene, offensive, hateful, abusive or inflammatory or that could be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person.

 

In particular, Contributions must not:

 

· include any sexist, racist, bigoted, homophobic, disablist, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable statements or material;

 

· include any swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spelling);

 

· include any other language that is likely to offend any other person; and/or

 

· be "flaming" or "trolling", i.e. contain an angry and mean-spirited statement or a statement that is designed simply to provoke an argument;

 

Disruption of the Forum

 

You must not post Contributions or otherwise use the Forum in such a manner as to disrupt or prejudice any other persons use or enjoyment of the Forum.

 

In particular, you must not:

 

· make multiple Contributions or use multiple accounts for any purpose that is inconsistent with the spirit of the Forum, including to disrupt the Forum, irritate other users or avoid compliance with any of the Forum Conditions;

 

· make Contributions in any manner that causes technical difficulties for the Forum or otherwise disrupts the operation of the Forum;

 

· cause or permit "spamming" of the Forum, i.e. the submission of the same or very similar Contributions a number of times; and/or

 

· create or use your user name or any signature that is posted beneath your Contributions to promote any other website, services, products or campaigns, or in any other way that is inconsistent with the terms or spirit of the House Rules.

 

Discriminatory Statements

 

Contributions must not contain any statements that promote or condone any form of discrimination, including discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.

 

Personal Details

 

Contributions must not disclose any personal details in relation to you or any other person, for example any details of the name, address, telephone, mobile or fax number, e-mail address or any other personal data.

 

Infringement of Copyright or other Intellectual Property Rights

 

Contributions must not contain any text or materials that risk infringing the copyright or any other intellectual property rights owned by another person. 

 

The law of copyright protects the rights of the copyright owner against a third party who seeks to take the owner's work and pass it off as their own.  You should be aware if your Contribution infringes the copyright of a third party, that third party could take court action against you.

 

You will be solely responsible for ensuring that your Contributions do not infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of a third party, however some practical steps that you could take to minimise the risk of a Contribution infringing copyright include the following:

 

· you should not paste large sections of text from a third party document, website or other source;

 

· any quotes or text you paste into a Contribution should include attribution of that quote or statement to the relevant author; and

 

· if you wish to refer to an external source, you should generally include a link to the relevant website, subject to complying with the rules below in relation to links to external websites.

 

Breach of Laws or Legal Duties

 

You must ensure that the content of your Contributions do not breach, or risk being in breach of, any UK law or any other legal duty or obligation owed by you.

 

In particular, you must ensure that your Contributions do not:

 

· breach any contractual duty or a duty of confidence that you owe to another person or organisation;

 

· be in contempt of court;

 

· advocate, promote, incite any third party to commit, or assist any unlawful or criminal act;

 

· contain a statement which you know or believe, or have reasonable grounds for believing, that members of the public to whom the statement is, or is to be, published are likely to understand as a direct or indirect encouragement or other inducement to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism; and/or

 

· include any statements that could endanger any other users.

 

Impersonation

 

Contributions must not impersonate any person, or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person.  In particular, Contributions must not give the impression that the Contribution emanates from us if this is not the case.

 

Advertising

 

Contributions must not contain any form of marketing, advertising, sales or promotion of any products or services offered by you or any other person or organisation.

 

Unsuitable Website Links

 

You must ensure that your Contributions do not contain links to any websites or webpages (outside of our site) that are broken or that are inconsistent with the spirit and purpose of the Forum and/or the House Rules.

 

In particular, you must not include links to any websites or webpages that:

 

· market, advertise, sell or promote the products or services of you or any other person or organisation;

 

· breach or risk breaching any UK law;

 

· condone, encourage or describe how to commit any unlawful acts;

 

· breaches the copyright or other legal rights of any person (or encourages persons to do so);

 

· risks being in breach of defamation law, confidentiality or contempt of court;

 

· contain any offensive or immoral content, for example pornography or other sexually explicit material, depictions or descriptions of gratuitous violence, discriminatory material and other offensive materials; and/or

 

· present any security, safety or access issues, for example links to subscription sites, pages which initiate a download or launch cascading sites, which require obscure software or prior registration in order to access, are age-restricted and/or are in a foreign language with no English language version available.

 

You should be aware that the inclusion of a website or webpage link in any Contribution does not in any way imply endorsement by us of the relevant website or webpage.

 

Language

 

All Contributions must be in English, as this will allow all users to understand Contributions and also allow us to moderate Contributions and deal with any complaints.

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