Possible Model for Guidelines re: Social Networking

heye all

we all be trying to figure out how to “get it right” re: civil discourse via digital technology

Sheri F. left a comment in the previous “People of the Eye” thread with a link to the NAACP’s guidelines, which are great – so i’ve copied and pasted them here for us to consider. Please do share your thoughts, ideas, possible modifications of these guidelines for our online Deaf commUNITY.

I’ve added some of me thoughts in PURPLE


The NAACP Facebook community is a great opportunity to share and exchange thoughts, ideas, theories and other content in a respectful and unifying manner.

We seek to foster a community that allows NAACP members and supporters, activists, concerned citizens, and the general public the opportunity to discuss, analyze, critique and present solutions to issues pertinent to the NAACP’s agenda. Our community will be constructive and will ultimately seek to generate solutions-based conversation. We’ll agree to disagree when necessary but will always convey respect and reflect our common thread of humanity. We invite all to participate with the hopes that their collective insight will advance the NAACP’s mission of ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. We encourage all of you to join us and aid our efforts in social action and creating a better America for us all.

As we are a community comprised of Americans of all backgrounds, we expect all of our community participants to maintain a high level of sensitivity, particularly as it relates to:

  • race/ethnicity
  • gender
  • sexual orientation
  • religion
  • political beliefs
  • education
  • socioeconomic status
  • disability (added by P)
  • culture (added by P)
  • language (added by P)
  • age (added by P)

Guidelines for Commenting

Comments that violate the following guidelines may be deleted.

1. Comments that address people using slurs or negatively reference one’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc. are unacceptable and are subject to immediate removal from the group.

2. Personal attacks are not conducive to fostering healthy dialogue and will be dealt with accordingly. We want to foster an environment when folks can come together to discussion issues pertinent to their community. At times, there will be a need to agree to disagree, but we ask that you remain respectful at all times and NEVER attack an individual.

3. Violent threats or suggested violence will result in immediate removal from the group.

4. Many comment threads are infested with trolls – put simply, people who post comments to specifically start a fight, defame, divide, distract or otherwise detract from the overall function of the community. In instances of trolling, we ask that the community just ignore them. Trolls will be subject to immediate removal from our Facebook community.

5. We discourage long, point-by-point arguments. These types of conversations tend to alienate the rest of the community and often stray from the initial purpose of the disagreement.

6. Stereotypes have the potential to be divisive and offensive, and any comment that does so will be monitored closely. We encourage intelligent, enlightened conversation and careful articulation of one’s thoughts before posting (again, sensitivity is key).

7. Another key aspect of sensitivity is to avoid minimizing the comments/posts of others. We all have our individual priorities and beliefs – it is important to respect this fact and react accordingly. Disagreement can occur without making another feel their stance is less than important. Any instances of minimizing will be dealt with accordingly, first with a warning, though subsequent occurrences will be subject to removal from the community.

8. If all or most of your comments are repetitive and off-topic, we reserve the right to ban you from the community. Comments that are blatantly off-topic will be deleted. We will be strictly monitoring those who we feel may try to “hijack” the forum to advance their own agenda. Repeat posts will be deleted, while the poster is subject to permanent removal from the community.

We always encourage thought-provoking posts & commentary, but ask that you please take a moment to read and reflect on the post or comment before you insert your related commentary. Repeated transgressions will result in permanent removal from the community.

9. Disagreement with comments is natural and encouraged. However, if you happen to take offense to a comment, please address the commenter clearly and respectfully.

10. Please do not use the comment section to air complaints, whether it be about a post, a particular comment or the moderation of our page. Please address all such concerns to newmedia@naacpnet.org.

Should you have a comment or thought that is unrelated to an existing thread and meets our community guidelines, please feel free to begin a discussion on the NAACP’s discussion page, or to post it on the Facebook page’s wall.

Again, we are a solutions-oriented community and welcome disagreement, but want to take every opportunity to extend the conversation. Dissent with no proposed solution does no good for any of us.

11. Do not use this Facebook community for self-promotion. There are exceptions where post may simultaneously advance the conversation while also promoting; the assessment of such instances and its appropriateness is left to the discretion of the page moderator.

12. Last but not least, we want to remind you that this is YOUR community. We welcome your participation & contribution to all threads. We ask that you do your part to adhere to the guidelines we’ve set before you and encourage others to do the same. Should you have additional questions, please e-mail newmedia@naacpnet.org.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen Mayes
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 12:19:10

    That’s a good start… learning about online civility etiquette….

  2. Sheri A Farinha
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 17:17:00

    Way to go Patti! I’m gonna share this with others, FB, etc, to hopefully collect more feedback.

  3. Sheri A Farinha
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 08:27:13

    Patti, I really like the guidelines’ ground rules. I also like your additions to the areas you added above.
    I wonder, when all feedback is collected and done, if you would be open to sending this to aggregator sites like DeafRead, ASLRocks, (who else?) to ask that they encourage their own community of blogs and vlogs to follow these guidelines? I also would like for them to set up an advisory committee, composed of 5 people to be whom reviews complaints and make recommendation to the aggregator administration to remove or keep the blog or vlog in question. Such 5 people can be decided on by “the people” so that there is ownership over who sits on this advisory committee. I just feel it is too much to ask one person to be making decisions when people have complaints. One person may not have the time, and more importantly, one person may not have a well rounded up to date knowledge on laws, cyber stalking, harassment. I’ve no idea if the aggregator sites I have mentioned are interested in an advisory committee, but it doesnt hurt to ask. Your thoughts?

    Thanks again and again for spearheading this geniune effort to cease cyber attacks, and bridge the divide.
    You rock!

  4. Sheri A Farinha
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 08:46:14

    I forgot to add…these guidelines clearly say it all. Right now, we have nothing like this, except features to block someone if we so wish.

    Everyone has been complaining about this that and the other. And these guidelines really are the answer. If people do not follow them, then its grounds for being removed. Especially if its the blog or vlog owner themselves who are in violation and not respecting the rules, it empowers the committee to recomend the blog or vlog to be removed from the aggregator site, period.

    I love how it says, we are a solutions-oriented community – darn right…that is exactly what I would like to see more of, discussions aiming for SOLUTIONS.

    Thanks again!

  5. PopeMistress
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 11:38:32

    Wondering if the NAACP know about scientist medical are playing political games on Deaf to get CI?? I had seen some CI users bully on some CI users that have different other kinds of disability. I do really have heart felt bad for some CI users that have other disability who felt down which could not focus on their education becuz of social peers problems + also have some problems with thier parents. Some CI users do feel give up focusing on education due to headaches, fed up with too much pressures and too much emotions. Well I don’t have CI myself. Thank you!

  6. deafa
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 13:41:51

    yeah, about CI users, you should see them comparing brand names of their CI.. as if their “performance” (such as speech and hearing) is due to better brand.

  7. finlake
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 15:31:30

    I figured I’d drop a link for you guys, if you so desire to check out the compilation of the bullying I’ve seen/learned about within the last 6 months. Unbelievable. No wonder I’ve been evasive with v/blogsphere for quite some time before I decided to take a dive.

    Anyhow, as for the NAACP guideline, it actually is a -VERY- good idea. I wonder how Philatino would take this guideline for ASLrocks.net. I’m kinda jaded with the bullying going on out there. :-/ However, the bullying isn’t exclusive to that site, anyways. I find it interesting it was originally a safe haven for vloggers to flock to without suffering the bullying which has been going on over at a particular site.

  8. Linda Slovick
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 02:13:53

    Finally had the time to read it more closely.

    #4 about trolls would be especially nice, but depends UTTERLY on the moderators closely policing for such. Somebody like Mike McConnell might not always be allowed to post under the “people who post comments to specifically start a fight, defame, divide, distract or otherwise detract from the overall function of the community” definition of “Troll” seems to me.

    I’m pretty sure McConnell would consider himself not having done anything wrong at all, that he would be merely a test case for free speech every time he wound up banned for his intentional “epistemic violence” upon Deaf culture (forcing the outsider’s point of view that it doesn’t really exist in the manner that members believe, for example).

    Implementation of this structure STILL relies on how well we are able to enforce an expectation that “all of our community participants to maintain a high level of sensitivity” to a list of values they may or may not themselves actually hold.

    It seems to me, however, that we are talking about the sort of COURTESY that any group of people MUST extend one another in order to change mere griping and non-fact-checked opinion into the “solutions-based conversation” that we also need!

    Anybody want to point the aggregators at Patti’s post, so that they see what they NEED to learn, or would that violate the boycott?

    – Linda

  9. patti
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 03:31:17

    heye karen – thanks for ur comment

    sheri – some abuse agencies i think r trying to organize something re: a more civil online Deaf community – they might be the best ones to approach the various aggregators me think

    what do ya think?

    re: solutions – theyd be mighty nice me think

    Popmister and deafa – hmmm really sorry to learn of that

    finlake – saw ur vlog – there r alot of references im not familiar with but oy – it certainly is messy eh?

    linda – im sure mcconnell aint the only culprit and the 1st amendment says congress shall not abridge folks freedom of speech – it still allows aggregators to exercise discrention and decide what kinda stuff it wants to run – yellow journalism or the good stuff

    we all got choices and options

    re: me post – any one can submit the link to the NAACP guidelines directly but since it is not Deaf specific – it would probably do into Extras? really i have no idea how things work there but if ur aim is to get the guidelines out and about – plenty of ways to do that without having “People of the Eye” listed on DeafRead etc

    again thanks all

    we can be the change we want to see in the world – yes we can



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