Discussion Forum Guidelines

The participants need to ensure that the information given in the messages is accurate. Please remember that most responses on discussion boards are opinions of lay people. When in doubt, ask for proper references. This forum is moderated upon reporting of any objectionable message to us. It is important that discussions on SikhNet remain constructive, positive and open. SikhNet Discussion was formed with the interests of the general community in mind, particularly our youth. The aim is to free individuals from the clutches of ignorance by bringing information on Sikhi and by encouraging open, friendly discussion. The discussion area of SikhNet is designed as a forum for constructive and inspiring discussion. In view of this goal, the following guidelines are established. - (Updated 6/15/08)

(1) Civility of language

Civility of language is required for all posts. Be tolerant. Treat this discussion area as a place where we can learn from each other, not a place to force our opinions on others. Cultivate a polite tone when suggesting a course of action. Excessive use of the words, "I said," or "You said," will be edited. No foul, offensive, vulgar, derogatory, sarcastic or abusive language will be allowed.  "ALL CAPITAL" text, which is akin to shouting, will be deleted. Write in a way that is simple and understandable. Avoid lengthy, rhetorical, circular, and/or unsubstantiated arguments.

The discussion Forum is not like a chat room. SMS style lingo will be deleted. Each post should be complete in itself. When responding to someone, please indicate what or who the response is referring to. Quote that message where necessary.

(2) Inspire and elevate others with your comments.

Address the comments instead of the person who authored the comments. Cultivate a polite tone when suggesting a course of action to others. Use conversational language. We do not shout slogans or "jaikara" in normal conversation. These should not be part of a discussion post.


As a moderated discussion area, SikhNet reserves the right to remove or EDIT any message that falls outside the guidelines and may also terminate discussion on any topic that appears to be causing unrest. Moderators may also occasionally write "Moderator Notes" on a post to clarify a point, facilitate discussion or steer the discussion back to the topic. They may also request that a submission be re-posted in a different discussion thread.

(3) Laws of Defamation

You are hereby advised that the laws of defamation exist to protect the reputation of the innocent. Each participant is responsible for his/her own statements either on this Forum or via "mass" or other e-mails, or other means of communication, to other members and non-members. If you make any allegations, you must be able to provide backup material in support of your allegations. You may be held liable under applicable federal or state laws for anything that you say. Slanderous statements that make false charges or misrepresentations, which damage another's reputation, are the sole responsibility of the participant who writes such statements.

(4) Discussions are to remain constructive

This is a Sikh Discussion Forum and we are here to enlighten each other, not to hurt each other. Making personal, judgmental attacks on others is not conducive to a healthy dialogue. Messages that are argumentative rather than constructive will be deleted. Moderators reserve the right to edit or delete any message or close any Discussion thread, which in their opinion is getting out of hand or is likely to cause unnecessary arguments or hurt feelings.
 

(5) Attacks on the Guru Granth Sahib and Sikh Panth:

The Guru Granth Sahib is the ultimate authority of the Sikhs. Its abuse or disrespect towards it in any form, direct or implied, will not be tolerated. Ridicule of the Sikh Religion, Sikh Scriptures, 5Ks or of the Khalsa will not be allowed.

(6) Criticism of other faiths

Comparative religious discussions can be educational, but ridiculing other faiths or excessive criticism of their beliefs is not constructive and it is not allowed on this Discussion Forum. We need to be tolerant of our differences and accept people for what they are instead of being critical of their beliefs. All allegations must be backed up by verifiable references from neutral sources.


(7) This forum is not a place for propaganda.

Posts that try to proselytize or look for converts to Deras, Sects, other faiths, religions, etc; posts that preach their philosophies, promote their URLs etc; and posts that push one-sided political agendas will be edited or deleted. Nationalistic propaganda with a jingoistic tone will not be allowed. This is a Sikh Discussion Forum. Messages affecting Sikhs in religious, cultural or other matters are welcome. Moderators reserve the right to disallow other types of messages. Do not propagate the views or arguments of any non-member or suspended member. Repeated forwarding of controversial views on the same subject will be viewed as a serious breach of SikhNet Guidelines.
 

(8) Undue Criticism of Others

When writing, members are advised to always keep in mind the sensitivities of all other members. Avoid undue criticism or labeling of any Sikh leader, religious organization or religious institution, Sikh literature, Sikh Rehat Maryada, Rehatnamas, and various Sikh Groups.
 

(9) References

To avoid criticism based on hearsay, it is suggested that all genuine criticism posted on SikhNet is supported by appropriate reference/s (e.g., a web site, book, magazine, journal etc.). If the views expressed in a post are not the autho's own views, then appropriate references must be provided when quoting someone else. Plagiarism is an offence. Always provide credits for material which is not your own.

References from Sri Guru Granth Sahib should include the Ang (Page Number). Anything attributed to our Gurus must be substantiated with appropriate reference from our Scriptures. In case of quotes from Nitnem Banees, Sukhmani Sahib or Asa Di Vaar, these Bani names may be used as reference without SGGS page number if the Shabad is quoted accurately.

All news items must be from credible well-established news agencies, newspapers, preferably from non-sectarian and bi-partisan sources. Only the original source should be provided not a website where something was repeated from somewhere else. Do not repeat hearsay. Personal websites or posts on other Forums are not adequate references.

(10) Keep the discussion focused on the topic

Keep discussion within the topics. All suggestions should be e-mailed directly to the Moderators. Sikhnet Forum has been in existence for a long time and a lot of discussion has already taken place on many topics. Therefore, before starting a new thread, use our SEARCH function particularly on the OLD FORUM to search our archives for prior posts on that subject. If you have something new to add, then please do so. Otherwise, avoid repeating what has already been said. As courtesy to the other participants, please include a link to the old discussion if you want to continue to discuss the same topic.

(11) Appeals for Donations, Solicitations, personal contacts etc

Sikhnet or its Moderators are not responsible for any financial or other dealings between participants or organizations. Participants need to evaluate the merits or the legitimacy of all transactions on their own. All posts that seek any material help must include the correct name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and other contact information for the benefit of our participants to assist them in verifying the legitimacy of any such requests.

This Discussion Forum is not the place for any advertisements of any kind.
 

(12) Complaints

All complaints should be e-mailed to the Moderators. Every effort will be made to resolve the issues amicably. It is possible that it may take a few days to resolve a complaint when all moderators are needed for input. Be patient. Moderators are volunteers with full time jobs, so are not always available to discuss the complaints right away. Any attempts to tarnish the reputation of this Forum, its Moderators, or Owners or management, will be considered grounds for suspension from the forum.


All e-mails to the Moderators must include the participant's real name and the User ID used on Sikhnet Discussion Forum, as well as the copy of prior e-mail or message in question..

(13) Privacy & Email

Respect the privacy of our discussion forum members. It is strictly prohibited for anyone to put a member of this forum on a commercial or private email list without first securing permission of that member in writing. Any member who violates this guideline will be subject to disciplinary action.

(14) Disclaimer

Unless expressly stated, the views expressed on SikhNet are not to be construed as the opinions or views of SikhNet or its owners or management, and are not to be taken as endorsed or adopted by SikhNet/its owners/management but are the views of the person making them.

(15) Changes

The goals, net etiquette and guidelines are subject to changes without notice, at the absolute discretion of the SikhNet Moderators.
 

(16) Registration

Registration is required to post messages in the SikhNet discussion area.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION AND PROCEDURE

1. In the event of non-compliance of any of the above net etiquette and guidelines, the Administrator reserves the right to remove the member from the Sikhnet Discussions, with or without any notice.
2. Decision to suspend a member will be made by those Sikhnet moderators that are available to act.
3. "Reinstatement of a suspended member will be at the discretion of the Sikhnet Moderators".
4. Disciplinary action shall be taken against any member deemed to have breached the Sikhnet Guidelines.
5. Complaint against a member should be made directly to the Administrator.
6. Complaints should be made within 2 weeks of the occurrence of the incident.
7. All deliberations of the Sikhnet Moderators will be strictly confidential.
8. The Sikhnet Moderators are required to relay its decision within a period of 14 days after receiving a complaint.
9. Users found guilty of breach of Sikhnet Guidelines could:
i) either be given a warning note, or
ii) a warning note plus four (4) weeks probation, or
iii) a two week suspension, or
iv) a termination of membership for a minimum 1 year period.
10. Only materials posted on Sikhnet shall be admitted as evidence. Personal e-mails are inadmissible.
11. Any user found posting personal mail on the Sikhnet with the intention of having it admitted as evidence shall be deemed to have breached the Sikhnet Guidelines and disciplinary action can be taken against him/her.
12. Disciplinary proceedings could be initiated by any Sikhnet Moderator.
13 A member under disciplinary consideration shall be informed by the Administrator as soon as the matter is referred to the Sikhnet Moderators. In the event of continued breach of the Guidelines by a member under consideration during the period of disciplinary proceedings, the administrator reserves the right to temporarily remove the member from Sikhnet
14. The Administrator is also expected, for expediency, to act alone and warn an erring member, and initiate the necessary actions. Copies of the letters to erring members should be sent to all Sikhnet Moderators.

APPEAL

1. All appeals against the decisions of the Sikhnet Moderators on disciplinary matters should be made to the Administrator by the disciplined member within 1 week of notification.
 
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