1.  Posting Material

We want you to be as free as possible to post what you choose, but we must operate legally and we want to operate morally.  These principles seem to be the least restrictive limits we can set.

As always, these principles can be reviewed and improved at any time: if you have any questions or suggested improvements, please let us know. 

  • You must not post anything which you do not have the right to post.  You must either own the content you post, or have the owner's permission.  See section 2, Content Ownership below.
  • You must not post anything which you do not wish to share with others.  The reason for posting here is to enable other people to read and comment on it.
  • You must not post anything which is deliberately offensive.  Say what you believe, but do your best to say it with sensitivity to other people's beliefs and feelings.  See section 3, Offensive Material below.
  • You must not post anything which is illegal.  Everything you post must be legal - which means both legal in the United Kingdom (where we are based) and legal in your own country if you live elsewhere.
  • You must not send other people unwanted messages.  Please interact with people in the public areas before sending them private messages.  See section 4, Contacting People below.

2.  Content Ownership

When you post your own material on this site, you retain complete freedom to use your material anywhere and in any way you like.

Copyright law in the UK allows for 'fair dealing' use of existing (other people's) works: in the context of this site, we expect this will be primarily for comment or criticism.  Similar provisions exist in other legal systems, such as 'fair use' in the USA.

It is our intention that all the content posted on this site will be subject to a Creative Commons license and available for other people to read and modify if they attribute the source.

3.  Offensive Material

One of the primary aims of this community is to provide a space where we can talk about difficult subjects which people care deeply about.  So it is almost inevitable that at some point someone on the site will take offence to something which has been said.  There are two important perspectives to bear in mind when thinking about offensive material on this site.

3a.  Perspective One: we seek to avoid offence

The first perspective is that we will do what we can to avoid causing offence; but if this happens, we will deal with it with integrity and compassion. 

We recognize that it is almost impossible to say anything of substance which someone, somewhere will not find offensive.  However, as far as possible, you must not deliberately give offence: try to find ways to say what you believe which other people will not find offensive.

If something has been posted on this site which you find offensive, please let us know.  We will review it and then, probably, ask for it to be revised.  If it appears to be deliberately offensive, and the author is not willing to change it, we are able, as a last resort, to remove it.  If there is anything else we can reasonably do, again, please let us know.

However, questions about intention and offence are inevitably subjective, and any attempt to resolve such situations is likely to be unsatisfactory for one of the parties, and perhaps both.  In which case, we apologize.

There is (there will be, by the time it is needed!) an appeal system.  We seek to operate in a transparent way, so a summary of any such conflict, our response to it, and the reasoning behind the response, will be published on the site, but we recognize that it may not always be possible to provide a satisfactory resolution.  At this point, all we can say is that we are trying to do our best in an imperfect world, and we will seek to acknowledge and learn from our failures.

(Please also see Conflict)

3b.  Perspective Two: we seek to move beyond offence

The second perspective is that we recognize honest and sincere people hold beliefs and perform actions which we believe to be wrong and find offensive.  And, similarly, other honest and sincere people will find some of the things we believe and do to be offensive.

We never seek to give offence, and we always seek to find gentle and sensitive ways of acting and communicating what we believe, but we never avoid doing what we believe to be right or speaking what we believe to be true just because someone will find it offensive. 

If we are to make real progress, as individuals and as a society, we must learn how to engage in a sensitive and compassionate way with those who we disagree with, and with those who believe and do things we find offensive.

If we treat the giving of offence as justified grounds for breaking off contact, then we have already given up on the possibility of finding common ground and moving beyond the conflict.  Conflict can be resolved in various ways, but it will never be resolved if we ignore and refuse to engage with one another.

You may deeply believe that something is wrong: we ask you, while you hate the wrongdoing, to love the person who does it.

We recognize that this is not always possible (and, in some specific situations, it may take some time to reach this way of behaving) but, when it is not currently possible, we choose to hold onto this as a goal to work towards.  Even if you cannot talk about something right now, we ask you to believe this is only a temporary situation, and we trust that you are willing, in principle at least, to work towards changing it.

4.  Contacting People

Contacting other members is a normal part of the community activity, but these contacts need to be appropriate: as far as you know, they must be welcomed by the recipients - generally on the basis of previous interactions through the material you post, and comments on that material.

This is not a dating site, or a vehicle for you to sell your products or services.  If such interactions grow organically from the ordinary activity on the site, that is fine, but contacting members with the intention of forming a relationship or selling to them - or using the site from some other purpose unrelated to our aims - is generally frowned upon.  If you are not clear about what is appropriate, please ask one of the site administrators.  Thank you.