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Rules for Participation in AAVSO Forums, Chat Rooms and Discussion Groups

The AAVSO online forums, chat room and e-mail discussion groups are available to the public (except where otherwise noted). However, we ask all participants to adhere to the following rules:

Use appropriate languge. If it cannot be said on public TV or family environments, it can't be said here either.

No posting from a false or anonymous address or ID. You must be willing to accept private correspondence concerning your posts. Many times clarification can be made privately, or a person may feel insecure in posting a public question in response.

No personal attacks. It is ok to say "Henden's photometry has errors." That kind of personal opinion is likely to result in a post or two asking for clarification. To say instead: "Henden's photometry is garbage and useless," is insulting. Sometimes there is a fine line. The basic rule is that if you could not give the identical comment to a person face-to-face, then it should not be said here either.

These guidelines apply to personal respect as well. It's not enough to not directly insult someone. We ask that everyone treat each other with personal respect as well. Indirect insults can often be just as counterproductive as direct insults.

No commercial posts unless prior approval is given by the Director. This will usually be given after some editing of the post. This is also a grey area: a posting by someone on a scientific result from a commercial telescope service, for example, is an implicit ad for the service. We will handle each case on an individual basis.

No political topics. Policy discussions that are directly related to astronomy may be allowed, but must be approved by the Director before posting.

Do not consistently crosspost from other mailing lists. Do not routinely post summaries, newsletters, etc. that are available via other mailing lists/forums/web sites/etc. An occasional message reminding people of the other content or service is okay, as is reposting individual messages that are of interest to the greater community.

Do not post the same topic more than once. Please find the best forum for your topic and post it there only, so all discussion of that topic is kept in a single place. If you would like to post the same topic in multiple places, please contact the AAVSO for permission before doing so.

A variety of staff and members will act as moderators for the forums, chat rooms and e-mail discussion groups. If they find a questionable post, they will unpublish or block it (where applicable) and contact the author to discuss its appropriateness and make whatever changes are needed to adhere to these rules. The moderators reserve the right to reject a post completely when the two sides are unable to agree. The rejection can be appealed to the Director of the AAVSO. However, we plan to take a common sense approach to moderation and will make every attempt to satisfy both sides in such a situation.

To report inappropriate content e-mail


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