Community participation guidelines
Note about community content
The views expressed in community areas
of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of the IPA, its
staff or contributors.
There are 10 simple guidelines which we
expect all participants in the community areas of the IPA website to abide by.
- We welcome debate and dissent, but
personal attacks (on authors or any other individual), persistent inflammatory,
extraneous, or off-topic messages will not be tolerated. The key to
maintaining the IPA website as an inviting space is to focus on
intelligent discussion of topics.
- We welcome constructive criticism
of the IPA, but we cannot allow misrepresentation of the IPA nor our
documents to be published on our website.
For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive,
focused argument and smear tactics.
- We understand that people often
feel strongly about issues, but we will consider removing any content that
others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please
respect other people's views and beliefs and consider your impact on
others when making your contribution.
- We reserve the right to redirect or
curtail conversations which descend into hostile and insulting interaction
based on partisanship or generalisations. We don't
want to stop people discussing topics they are enthusiastic about, but we
do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel
divisive, threatening or toxic to others.
- We will not tolerate racism,
sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that
could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference
between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or
belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex,
gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.
- We will remove any content that may
put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or
defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright. We will also remove case material that constitutes a breach of patient confidentiality.
- We will remove any posts that are
obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like. Our aim is
that this site should actively discourage commercial entities passing themselves
off as individuals and people or organisations who seek to post
advertising material or links without adding substantively to the quality
of the discussion on the IPA website.
- Keep it relevant. We know
that some conversations can be wide-ranging, but if you post something
which is unrelated to the original topic ("off-topic") then it
may be removed, in order to keep the thread on track. Queries or comments
about moderation should not be posted as comments.
- Be aware that you may be
so try to be clear about what you are saying, and expect that people may
understand your contribution differently than you intended. Remember that
text isn't always a great medium for conversation: tone of voice (sarcasm,
humour and so on) doesn't always come across when using words on a screen.
You can help to keep the community areas open to all viewpoints by
maintaining a reasonable tone, even in unreasonable circumstances.
- The platform is the IPA’s, but the
conversation belongs to everybody who is participating.
We hope our website will be a welcoming and inclusive space, and we hope
that everybody will help us achieve this by notifying us of potential
problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and
appropriate. If you spot something problematic, please report it.
The IPA website will provide a growing
number of opportunities for readers who wish to discuss content we publish, or
debate issues more generally. Our aim is to ensure this platform is inclusive
and safe, and that the IPA website is the place on the net where you will find
lively, intelligent discussions.
Participants who seriously, persistently
or wilfully ignore the community standards or participation guidelines will
have their posting access for all the community areas withdrawn.
This is not an action that we take lightly or arbitrarily. However, we are
aiming to create and maintain an online experience consistent with IPA values,
and we reserve the right to make decisions which we feel support that. Please
be aware that moderators may contact you by email in relation to your
participation, especially where an issue comes up in relation to these
community standards. Any advice they give/request they make should be adhered
to, as our moderators are employed to enforce these community standards and
create a constructive environment for everyone who contributes to our site.
We will, when necessary, remove user
postings or comments from our articles, and blog posts.
If a contribution to the IPA website is perceived as breaching the community
guidelines set out above, then it will be removed by the community team, in the
interests of keeping community areas of the site appropriate for the vast
majority of the people who visit.
We will not edit user posts to change
the meaning, spelling, or anything else intended by the user. Even if only part
of a comment or posting is perceived as breaching the community guidelines, the
whole thing may be removed. Also, when a comment or post is removed for any of
the reasons above, it is sometimes necessary to delete subsequent messages
which refer to explicitly or quote from the original (removed) comment, in
order to preserve some notion of conversational thread. This may also happen
because a later comment quotes directly the problematic bits of the original
comment, which just perpetuates the problem. In such cases not every deletion
will be marked individually.
We reserve the right to take steps or
implement measures which we hope will benefit the whole community of the IPA
Because we are ultimately responsible for everything which appears on this
site, all actions and decisions taken by our moderators are final.
Unfortunately, the growing quantity of user content on the IPA website means
that we can't enter into correspondence regarding specific moderation activity,
although all correspondence will be read.
If you have suggestions or questions
about any aspect of community participation on the IPA website, you can write
Please mark all queries clearly in the subject line (e.g. Question about
moderation decision on [community name])
For queries about your user account, you
should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember that by registering for
the IPA website you have also agreed to our privacy