Community Guidelines

We promote the highest standards and best practices to maintain a healthy and respectful discussion space. To that end, we have a strict Code of Conduct (along with a separate set of general guidelines and advice).

Notes about flagging and getting flagged

Flagging is not about just serious offenses

Many different things can mess up productive discussion, and mistakes can come from normal, well-intended people. Flagging simply hides posts temporarily and sends a notice to the poster to edit and repost. So, it is the appropriate tool for many cases where a post should be fixed. It’s not necessarily a rebuke or anything to take personally or badly. Simply fix and repost and continue.

Flagging doesn’t produce any other real penalties. So, don’t hesitate to flag violations as appropriate, and don’t feel discouraged or unwelcome if your post is flagged.

Further punishment or limiting of community members will only happen for egregious and/or persistent violations.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct describes acceptable behavior within and around the community.

Our Conduct Enforcement wiki page describes the details further, but most violations here on the forum simply call for flagging.

The conduct rules:

Participate with honor and good will

Though not part of the Code of Conduct, see our extra discussion guidelines for further suggestions for positive participation and communication.

Respect our core mission and co-op values

Although we welcome reasonable critical opinions and questions, all community members should recognize and honor our core values.

Stay on topic (where appropriate)

In topical contexts (such as issue tickets, topical discussion threads, etc.), only post on-topic comments. Any tangents (including meta comments about the discussion itself) should be posted elsewhere with no more than a link at the original topic (consider using Discourse’s “Reply as a Linked Topic” and private-message features).

Assume good faith

Unless malice is overwhelmingly evident, assume good intentions from others.

Even when flagging others’ comments, assume that issues come from misunderstandings, error, ignorance, or carelessness rather than from bad faith.

Keep criticism constructive

When sharing criticism, keep it constructive and expressed in a helpful manner.

Instead of saying simply that something is bad or doesn’t work, provide details about the problem and offer suggestions if possible.

Take criticism constructively

Don’t take constructive criticism personally, and don’t be defensive.

If others criticize or reject your views in a respectful and logical manner, acknowledge and respond respectfully and constructively.

If others express real hostility or any other violation of this Code of Conduct, such comments should be flagged. Do not respond publicly to Code-of-Conduct violations.

If your comment is flagged or otherwise called out, edit your comment or otherwise aim to fix the problem on your end. If you need help or if you feel a flagging is wrong or malicious, alert a moderator.

Respect others’ privacy

No stalking, unwanted personal attention, or unwelcome revealing or speculating about personal details of others.

In cases of sincere, good-faith curiosity about someone’s experience or identity, ask politely in a manner such that they will feel free to decline the request.

No spamming

No posting of completely off-topic items or of repeated links or statements outside of appropriate context.

No sexual comments

While we welcome lighthearted and casual communication, sexual references can make people feel uncomfortable and have no place in anything relevant to

At most, meta discussions about sexual issues might be sometimes appropriate (e.g. in discussing sexism or in discussing this policy itself).

No hostile communication

No personal attacks

No insults, harassment, ad hominem, threats, or other intimidation.

No condescension

Condescension means treating others as inferior. Subtle condescension still violates the Code of Conduct even if not blatantly demeaning.

No bigotry

No stereotyping of or promoting prejudice or discrimination against particular groups or classes of people.

In cases where criticism of ideology or culture remains on-topic, respectfully discuss the ideas.

Flagging or otherwise addressing Conduct violations

Violations hurt the community overall. So, anyone who sees a violation of the Code of Conduct has the responsibility to address it, even if they do not feel personally offended.

When sharing feedback about problem posts, the feedback must itself respect the Code of Conduct.

If you recognize a problem with your own actions, work to correct it immediately.

Addressing concerns publicly or outside of flagging

Sometimes, a concern or question does not need to be flagged because it’s not a clear violation. Still, there may be ways to improve a post or other reasons to publicly discuss it or discuss the best ways to use the forum.

Ways to discuss the forum and specific posts aside from flagging:

Misc notes

The following notes are not part of the Code of Conduct.

Posting legally, under FLO copyright license

In posting your own work here, you automatically license the material under CC BY-SA 4.0 International, the same license we use for all writings. Of course, the attribution in your case will be to you, since you remain the author and copyright holder. If you prefer, you can specify in your profile that you put your posts under CC BY or CC0 (which are the two common and more-permissive licenses compatible with CC BY-SA).

You may not post anything where you do not hold the copyright, unless it is licensed freely for your use or the posting would clearly qualify as fair-use.

Terms of Service

Yes, legalese is boring, but we live in this awful bureaucratic legal world. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our Terms of Service describing your (and our) legal behavior, rights, and responsibilities.