Code of Conduct
NowPublic members will not:
- post stories or comments in which they have a financial interest or post content with an explicitly commercial purpose (including spam and link spam);
- plagiarize the work of others, fail to acknowledge source material, or use images that belong to others without their permission;
- abuse, threaten or verbally attack other members, individuals, or NowPublic staff. You know how bullies work. We'll do our best to spot them and get rid of them;
- post libelous, obscene or pornographic material or content that contains racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs;
- deliberately post stories that are untrue, false, or misleading, that impersonate someone else or that make false representations about the poster him/herself;
- or break the law in pursuit of, or during, the composition or capture of a story, photo or video.
NowPublic members will:
- be accountable for stories they post and follow up by correcting known errors;
- resist attacks, insults and threats and instead remain civil and focused on the ideas being presented rather than the individuals expressing them;
- promote interactivity and dialogue that supports real community collaboration.
NowPublic's Anti-Flaming/Baiting Policy:
“Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users.” - Wikipedia
It all comes down to Common Sense and Common Ground. Once a user has been pinpointed as a flamer, (one or more instances of obvious flaming, and/or reported flaming from other site users) we:
- send the user a warning indicating that they’re at risk of forfeiting their membership. Sometimes we may also or instead post a comment in the thread;
- observe the user for for signs of reform or response. Should the user reform or respond and apologize, they will be given another chance;
- Should he or she ignore staff or continue the behaviour, we will revoke his/herstatus or block the account.
NowPublic is a community that values intelligence and openness. Our users need not subscribe to hate speech, abusive or inflammatory behaviour in order to get a point across. You are a member of a community that is more than willing to support and elevate you and your work if you command respect. Remember the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
This code of conduct was created by consulting a wide range of material available online. Here are the main sources that inspired us:
- A Code of Blogging Ethics by Martin Kuhn from the University of North Carolina.
- The New York Times Code of Ethics. This is post-Jayson Blair; it is impressive.
- The Cyberjournalist's Code of Ethics by Jonathan Dube
- The Principles of Journalism by Kovach and Rosenstiel. This is a truly inspired, thought-provoking list, and the book is even better.
- The Ethics of Online Journalism by the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review
- NewsTrust Ratings - this is a list of criteria used by reviewers at NewsTrust
- The Principles of Citizen Journalism compiled by the Knight Citizen News Network.
- Draft Blogger's Code of Conduct by Tim O'Reilly.
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