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Forum Rules - Please Read before posting

Rules and Terms of Service for use of the discussion forums

Welcome to the Broadlands Community Forums!

These forums are operated by the Broadlands Home Owners Association's (BHOA) Technology Committee as a service for the residents of the Broadlands community. These forums are maintained by the Broadlands Technology Committee, which is open to all residents of the Broadlands. We meet on the second Wednesday of every month at the Broadlands Nature Center at 7:30pm. We welcome all newcomers, please drop by and say hello!

The BHOA reserves the right to edit or remove any postings, or user accounts, for any reason. While the forums are primarily here for the residents of the Broadlands, we currently do not restrict non-residents from registering and posting in the forums - in fact we encourage those who are looking to relocate into our neighborhood to create an account and ask questions and participate. It is not considered a right to post or participate in the website or forum. The BHOA or the Technology Committee do not guarantee any information provided in our forums; we disclaim any liabilities for any information posted to the site.

Please recognize the forum is not an official way to contact the BHOA office or its committees. While members of the BHOA and committees may frequent the forum, they do so on their own merit and do not read all postings. Any official business involving the BHOA should be conducted using the contact information posted on the BHOA website Please follow our forum rules that follow below. Persons who do not follow the forum rules are subject to administrative action.

Forum Rules

1. No posting of contact information of minors.  We take the safety of our children here in Broadlands very seriously and will never put them at risk by posting their private information online. As such, if any contact information relating to a minor is posted here, we will remove that information as soon as it is noticed.

2. Only one account per person is allowed.  If for some reason you can not login to your account because you have forgotten your password or username, please do not create a new account. You can reset your password from the login page using the email address you registered with or if for some reason you can not access your account, please Contact Us and an administrator will assist you. If we notice you have registered multiple accounts, we will ask you to pick one and will merge the accounts together.

3. No Sock Puppet Accounts - Sock Puppeting is "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company." Essentially, creating fake accounts with the intent to deceive or mislead others.  Sock Puppet accounts will be deleted and members found creating sock puppet accounts will have administrative action taken against them.

4. A valid email address is required to be active at all times.  We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Your email address will only be used for purposes related to operating the website or forum.  If the forum administrators find that the email address for an member's account is no longer active, we will attempt to contact the member via Private Message to have the member update their profile. If the member does not respond within a reasonable amount of time, the administrators reserve the right to disable or delete the account.

5. Do not post personal information about yourself or others - Use caution when posting personal information anywhere on the Internet, including this forum. This forum is viewable by anyone and the information you post could be used in a malicious way by someone not even a part of our website or community. Recognize also that the forum is indexed by search engines, so anything posted here can be found by Google, Yahoo, etc. Use caution when posting things in public such as

  • personal email addresses
  • phone numbers
  • addresses
  • etc

The forum administrators will not remove personal information people post about themselves voluntarily or information that is publicly available, but we strongly discourage members from doing so. The forum has a messaging system called Conversations which allows you to exchange messages with other forum members in private. This should be your preferred method of sharing personal information with other users. You can start a private conversation by simply clicking on any underlined username and in the window that appears, click Start a conversation  

Example: You have an item for sale and would like to allow someone to call you if they are interested. You should include in your post that interested parties should send you a private message via the forum where you can then provide them your phone number without posting it on the public portion of the forum.

6. Please treat Private Messages as private - Please do not share or forward information sent using the conversation feature of the forum unless permission is explicitly granted by the original author. Information sent via the conversation system is not visible to other members but there is no way to prevent a user from forwarding or redistributing information they are sent once that information has been received. There should be no expectation of privacy of messages posted. As with all privately operated websites, members should have have no expectation of a right to privacy for messages sent or received over this website. The BHOA or its agents may disclose your Personal Information or messages if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of the BHOA; the BHOA web site, or the users of the BHOA web site; or, (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of the BHOA, the site or the public.

7. No spamming or duplication of posts - Do not post the same or similar thread in multiple forums. We know you want to get the word out about your particular issue/concern/question/comment/etc, but please take the time to pick the correct forum and place your message there. Threads may be moved by the administrators as deemed necessary. Also please refrain from posts of a "spam" nature, e.g. posts for free iPods requiring other users to sign-up. Such threads/posts will be closed (or deleted) and the poster may be subject to administrative action.

8. No For Sale, advertising, commercial soliciting or other commercial postings except in specified forums - There should be no advertising of personal or commercial interest in the forums except in forums created explicitly to host those types of posts. Forums created for these purposes will have forum-specific rules posted in the forum and must be reviewed before posting. Currently there are forums for For Sale postings by Broadlands Residents and for Advertising by Loudoun County businesses. We encourage local business owners and operators to participate in our forums as a way of communicating with their potential customer base but unsolicited advertising must be restricted as described above. Under no circumstances should any member mass-message (repeatedly send the same message) other members of the forum/website.

9. No Inappropriate Content - This forum is viewable by residents of all ages and therefore posting of obscene, foul language, or adult-only, or otherwise unlawful content will not be tolerated. The forum includes an automatic language filter - it is implemented for a purpose, thus it should not be intentionally circumvented.

10. Excessive Punctuation/Sizing/Caps - Members should not post in all caps or try to use excessive punctuation or size formatting in their postings.

11. No Personal attacks - "What is an attack exactly? We have all heard the term before. On a message board, an attack is when another member posts a message that clearly & directly is to threaten, defame, insult or make a mockery of another for whatever reason that poster felt compelled to do so. This includes attacking forum members by group or label (Example: all you homeowners are idiots). Attack the post, not the poster is a motto to adhere to. These boards are for discussions. There will always be differing opinions. You can disagree & but be civil and do not spread hate around. Members who demonstrate continued instigational or confrontational behavior towards other members or show disregard for the rules or intentions of the rules will be subject to administrative action.

12. No Trolling - Trolling is when someone posts controversial or contrary messages solely with the intention of baiting users into an argumentative response. The troll's purpose is simply to disrupt or gain attention. Please do not 'feed the trolls' by responding to their baiting. Trolling is a game to the poster - they aim to pleasure at your expense - at your frustration, your efforts, etc. The best solution is always to simply ignore the poster which denies them the thing they are after - your response. Members who repeatedly demonstrate trolling behavior at the discretion of the forum administrators will be subject to administrative action.

13. Considering the real-time nature of these forums, it is impossible for us to review all messages or confirm the validity of information posted.  Please understand that we will respond to inappropriate content brought to our attention but that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of the BHOA or the Technology Committee or any entity associated with such.

Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable or inappropriate should contact the forum administrators by using the Report Post function by clicking the Report link shown directly below each post. Reported posts will be reviewed by administrators who will review the situation and take appropriate action if deemed necessary. This is a manual process, so please realize that we may not be able to remove or edit messages immediately.

14. Please do not play forum vigilante - Please leave the policing or administration of the forums to the assigned administrators and moderators. Rather then trying to correct the actions of another and further exaggerating the situation, please contact the forum administrators by using the Report Post function by clicking the Report link directly below each post. Reported posts will be reviewed by administrators who will review the situation and take appropriate action if deemed necessary.

15. No Discussions Regarding Administrative Actions on the Forums.  All discussions related to administrative actions (suspensions, bans, moderations, etc) are to be taken offline and not directly discussed on the forums. If you have a problem with or question about a moderator’s decision, submit a message through the contact system using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page. Posts or topics discussing moderator actions will be removed.  If a member is unsatisfied with the resolution or reasons given, they can then contact the HOA and ask to bring their issues up at a monthly BHOA meeting. 

Administrative Action

Members who violate the website's rules or policies will be subject to having administrative action taken against them. Our overall goal is correcting users and behaviors - not punishing them. Administrators or moderators may warn a specific member via private conversation. Administrators or moderators may also post in an active thread warning all thread participants that behavior is straying and administrative action may be pending if behavior does not improve. Members should respect these posts as gentle warnings to all thread participants. If a member does not correct their behavior or when a specific violation occurs, administrators or moderators may edit or delete posts to remove offending material. The offending member will be contacted via private conversation outlining their offense and any action taken.

Users may also receive an Warning notice. Warnings are a forum feature used by the administrators to track and log offenses. Our primary goal is correcting behavior, but if a member continues to violate the website's policies or rules further action may be taken against the member. First time offenses typically will result in a warning to the member. Repeat offenses may result in having the member's access to the forum (in part or whole) suspended for a fixed time period. Further offenses will lead to a member's access to the forum being permanently suspended. Punishments will be applied at the discretion of the Broadlands Technology Committee.

Acceptance of Forum Rules and Policies

All users of our forums agree to follow these terms of use and forum rules. If you do not agree to these terms of use and rules, do not use these forums. Users represent that they have read, understand, and agree to these rules. If you post material, you represent and warrant that the material you post is not defamatory, infringing on our rules, obscene or otherwise unlawful, that you have rights to post any material you supply and that you take full responsibility for your actions and will not hold the BHOA, it's officers, and/or the forum administrators for any liability or loss. Thank you for your cooperation. As always, these rules are subject to change so check back periodically.

Published:
Jul 7, 2013
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