RULES Expectations for respect and constructiveness

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NamePros RulesEstablished Member
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At NamePros, we do our best to protect the opinions and freedom of all our members; however, it's also our job to ensure that opinions are expressed with respect toward peers. We strive to be a community that contributes to society positively, and this means upholding a professional attitude even when others falter. Communication of opinions is a delicate process that requires tactful wording ("it's not what you say but how you say it"), and some people are better at this than others.

Over time, reports and events have brought to light that some members have a tendency to present their opinions in a form that is rather offensive and unprofessional. Their content is rarely constructive or civil, and it's often aggressive in nature. There is a point at which we must draw the line, where feedback turns into attacks and insults.

We expect members to present their opinions maturely, without invoking hostility or aggression, and without antagonizing other members.

We expect negative feedback to be balanced with positive content: users who dedicate their presence in this community to criticizing others are not welcome here. Criticism and debate is certainly permitted--even encouraged--but we will not allow members to thrive purely on hatred and disdain.

We expect members to respect the feelings and opinions of others, even presenting criticism. Stating that an entity has lost your respect--or failed to earn it in the first place--will not excuse you from this expectation, nor will another member's disrespect toward you. Those who lack the self-discipline necessary to show respect for their opponents and attackers are not welcome here.

We expect members to maintain control over the words they write. It is normal to be angry or frustrated at times; when such emotions are flowing, we expect that our members will be mature enough to walk away from their keyboards, rather than losing their tempers. These forums are exposed to the eyes of the Internet: speak as though you are addressing a large crowd. Maintain a calm, cool attitude, and respond to offensive content with pure logic and reason. Members will be held accountable for their content, even if it is posted while under the influence of blinding emotions.

We suggest that members read each post unemotionally to determine if there is any valuable element or merit to them, and then integrate those parts into a respectful response that balances both opinions. By replying to a competing point-of-view in a thoughtful and constructive manner, it may de-escalate a high-tension disagreement and enable the possibility of learning from both sides, even if only to understand the reason for a different perspective and to be able to empathize with it.

From this point forward, we will be strictly enforcing these expectations, and they should be considered as significant as any other rules. What was formerly considered gray area is now definitively beyond the boundaries of permissible conduct. We will be offering very little tolerance for violations.

What you can do to help

Going forward, we encourage you to take action when you feel that a peer is being too disrespectful:
  • Dislike the post. We'll take note if a user receives too many dislikes and not enough likes.
  • Report the post. Even if we don't remove the content, this helps us keep a record of antagonizing content.
Do not:
  • Dislike a post because someone disliked your post. If this becomes an issue, we may limit your account to prevent dislikes entirely.
  • Respond with a post of your own. This starts a cycle of personal attacks, often mixed in with legitimate criticisms. It makes it difficult for us to weed out the destructive content.

Assessment criteria

These criteria are soft guidelines for moderators. Assessment is subjective, and discussion between staff members is encouraged. Users could be assessed based on criteria not listed here. We've published the criteria so that members will have a better idea of the factors we consider.

Content has been notably:
  • accusatory: repeatedly makes negative claims regarding the integrity of other entities
  • defensive: objects harshly to any criticism or counter-arguments; often accuses others of being hypocritical
  • destructive: lacking helpful information, such as a list of improvements that can be made
  • antagonizing: tends to initiate cycle of hostility
  • controversial: other members have objected to the presentation of content, rather than the views it expresses
  • offensive: worded so as to offend another entity where a less offensive approach could be taken
  • disrespectful: presented in a manner that lacks regard for the feelings and efforts of others; unnecessarily blunt
  • unprofessional: ignores standard rules of etiquette when communicating publicly
  • reported: repeatedly reported by other members
  • unforgiving: accusations often reference past incidents that have been largely forgotten or forgiven by the community
  • stubborn: establishes opinion as fact and regards differing views as offensive
  • aggressive: tends to increase the level of hostility in a debate
  • retaliative: continues cycles of attacks
  • attacks: personal attacks against someone, such as name calling with an intent to offend or to express a disagreeable opinion about someone rather than accurately and factually describe someone
  • condescending: talking down to other members as if they're beneath you
Content lacks:
  • usefulness: does not contribute to discussion in a positive way
  • understanding: disregards the differing views of others
  • tact: apparent lack of effort to word opinions respectfully
  • self-control: user loses temper easily or fails to remain calm when attacked

A brief video explaining why it's important

Viewer discretion is advised for the first 1:49, or skip to 1:50 (1 minute and 50 seconds)
Viewer discretion is advised for the first 1:49, or skip to 1:50 (1 minute and 50 seconds)

We need your help to maintain the integrity of NamePros, the professionals' community.

Together, online discourse can thrive again!

The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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