FAQs and Guidelines for Discussions
Helpful etiquette tips and guidelines for participating in Discussions in the Wisr network
This Is a Civilized Place for Discussion
Please treat discussion forums inside of communities with the same respect you would a public park. This is a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge, and interests through ongoing conversation.
These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our communities and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized discourse.
Improve the Discussion
Help us make communities a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your topic or post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.
The topics discussed here matter to the community, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.
One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics in communities before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of connecting with others who share your interests.
Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree
You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
- Ad hominem attacks
- Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
- Knee-jerk contradiction
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.
Your Participation Counts
The conversations in communities set the tone for every new member who joins. Help us influence the future of these communities by choosing to engage in discussions that make these communities an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.
Wisr provides a flagging tool that enables the community to collectively identify posts that are offensive, off-topic, misleading, spam, or in the wrong place. Use this tool to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.
Let’s leave the community forums better than you found them.
If You See a Problem, Flag It
Community leaders have special authority; they are responsible for community forums in your school or organization's Wisr network. But so are you. With your help, community leaders can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.
When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. A community leader or site admin will review the content and act accordingly.
In order to maintain discussion forums, community leaders and site admins reserve the right to remove any content and suspend any member account for any reason at any time. Community leaders do not preview new posts; the community leaders and site admins take no responsibility for any content posted by the community members.
Always Be Civil
Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:
- Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
- Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
- Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, or expose their private information.
- Respect the community forums. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forums.
These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.
Keep It Tidy
Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:
- Don’t start a topic in the wrong community
- Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics or communities.
- Don’t post no-content replies.
- Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
- Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.
Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, create a new topic and link to it so others can find it.
Powered by You
Your school or organization's Wisr network is operated by its admins, student and alumni volunteers, and you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in your community and let’s discuss! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a flag, email firstname.lastname@example.org.