Guidelines and Rules for Using NATPA Forum

Approved by the Board of NATPA on April 30, 2012

Revision approved by the Board on August 9, 2013

Revision Approved by the Board on February 12, 2019

The NATPA Forum provides a community for NATPA members and friends to share and exchange ideas and opinions about issues and events of concerns. The forum is self-moderated by its users in the sense they can, on their own, choose to opt out or block unwanted messages from certain users. Such a lax approach allows its users great latitude of freedom of speech, but it can easily cause misunderstanding and unnecessary confrontation. To maintain a civil forum and enhance all users’ experience, the NATPA Board has established the following guidelines and rules.

Guidelines:

1. Be courteous and polite to each other.

2. Respect other members and their views, even if you strongly disagree with them. Please consider following these practices:

a. Focus on the discussant’s view itself, instead of the discussant him/herself.

b. If you disagree with a view, please use gentle and positive language and avoid sarcastic, emotional, or judgmental terms in your response. Constructive arguments go a much longer way.

c. Allow the possibility that a view might be misinterpreted especially when the discussant’s perspective is not explicitly articulated. Consider using an expression similar to this: “I am guessing you mean that … Please correct me if I am wrong.”

d. No personal attacks (in the broadest sense, including name calling, questioning the qualification of the participant with opposing views) nor profanities. It is fine to make fun of yourselves, but not of others.

3. Keep your message concise and precise. If you have a lot of information to share, ask participants to contact you if they are interested. Alternatively, consider using a blog or website as a means of presenting a large amount of info over a period of time and just sharing the link with a concise description with our members.

4. Public posts should be open and inviting to all members. Discussions among a select group of users should take place in a private message.

5. Think twice before responding to ALL. Personal messages (such as “Thank you!”, “Good post!” or clarification of personal views in response to a specific person) should be directed to the sender ONLY.

6. Don’t send the same message more than once.

7. Be sure to include your own comments when forwarding a link.

8. Be sure to include your name in any email sent to this forum. Additional identification info such as location or affiliation is also desirable, but not required.

9. Charm us occasionally with a sense of humor, such as a flash of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum…”

10. Refrain from defensive or emotionally charged expressions.

Rules:

We hate to come down this far, but we do need to lay down some ground rules:

When a participant repeatedly deviates from the guidelines and disrupts the civil dialog on the Forum, 15 or more active members may file a complaint against the offending individual with the NATPA Board, which shall then review the evidence and determine the merit of the complaint. If the Board determines that the complaint is warranted, it shall enforce the suspension of this person’s privilege to post on the Forum for a period depending on the number of complaints this person has had previously as follows:

1. No previous valid complaint: two months

2. One previous valid complaint: six months

3. Two previous valid complaints: permanent

 

Please note that the complaint must be initiated by fellow members. The Board can only serve to determine the merit of the complaint and adamantly wants to avoid the appearance of imposing censorship.

 

 


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