TERMS OF SERVICE (please read first)

(We will assume that the ToS has been read and understood by any member who posts.)
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David N. Snyder
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TERMS OF SERVICE (please read first)

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:47 pm


These are the Dhamma Wheel Terms of Service (TOS). Please ensure you are familiar with them.

Section 1: All members are responsible for their own Right Speech

    Members are expected to self-moderate, being mindful of the adage that 'behavior breeds behavior'. Mutual respect and friendliness should be the basis of all interactions. For the Buddha's teaching on this see the Sāleyyaka Sutta. The views presented by Dhamma Wheel members are not necessarily the views of the administrators or moderators. If you find anything objectionable, let the admin or mods know using the Report Post function and we'll look into it.

    Administrators, moderators, and owners of this site may not have the time or notice every questionable post. In the event a post does not go reported or taken out of view or someone still has an issue over it or the moderating decision, it is up to that person to take their concern to the individual poster outside of Dhamma Wheel (i.e., not on this board or the board PM system). The administrators, moderators, and owners are not responsible for the actions, views, and opinions of individual posters. Use of this forum is at no membership fee and voluntary.

    Dhamma Wheel and related sites of the site owner are owned and operated out of the U.S. As such it comes under the guidelines of 47 US Code Section 230(c)(1), including the Communications Decency Act, which provides owners, administrators, moderators, and posters immunity from any content in here posted by someone else. Each is responsible for their own post and the team has no liability even if administrators and/or moderators fail to remove an alleged offending post. Therefore, any poster who makes legal threats against anyone on this forum will be grounds for immediate banning.

    For more info related to this law see:
    citimedialaw.org Section 230
    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Section 2: Please do not be disruptive

    Dhamma Wheel is an environment for the discussion of Theravāda Buddhism. All are welcome but are required to abide by these Terms of Service. Special forums have been created for special areas of interest so please respect these boundaries. Dhamma Wheel administrators and moderators reserve the right to edit inappropriate content, and to remove or transfer any posts or threads that are not relevant to the sub-forum in which they are posted.

    a) Members may retrospectively edit posts that have already been responded to for the purposes of tidying up grammar, links, quote attributions, facts etc. However, instances of wholesale revision and deletion may result in the member's ability to edit posts being revoked.

    b) Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended only to cause disruption or harm to others may be removed without notice and appropriate sanctions implemented on member accounts. This includes, but is not limited to:

      . Trolling - Definition
      . Spam
      . Product or service advertisement
      . Meta-discussion (discussion about the discussion) - Definition
      . Unsubstantiated allegations against other members
      . Solicitation of funds
      . The advocating or promotion of illegal activity
      . Proselytizing - Definition
      . The unauthorized collection and/or release of personal information
      . Speaking ill of other Buddhist forums

    c) One of the aims of this Forum is to accumulate detailed discussions. These discussions may well occur over a long period of time. If a member wishes to discuss such an issue that has already been discussed, it is often preferable to continue the existing thread. This saves moderators having to merge similar threads. On the other hand, there are some threads that relate to personal circumstances, or are only relevant for a certain period of time. It is not appropriate to "revive" those threads.

    d) If you feel that a thread or a post is inappropriate, please do not try to "coach" the member by posting on the thread suggestions about the appropriateness of member's post. This is meta-discussion, and wastes moderator time, as we have to take action and then move or delete the off-topic posts. The correct procedure is to report the post by using the Report Post function: the exclamation point icon found next to each post. Please see: How to report a post

    e) Badmouthing or evangelizing other paths is not allowed; this includes arguing that some other path is superior to the Buddhist path.

    f) Respect each other’s approach to the Dhamma. The vilification of the Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna, any Theravāda lineage that is not one's own, or their teachers and practitioners is strictly forbidden. There are a broad spectrum of approaches to, and interpretations of the Dhamma. Please refrain from wholesale dismissal of a particular view, approach, or teaching style.

    g) [section removed]

    h) Since this is a Theravāda Buddhist forum, usernames which suggest the poster is either: a Buddha, a samma-sam-buddha, or Metteyya (Maitreya) will not be allowed.

    i) It is strongly recommended that posters do not make claims of higher attainments as it tends to cause disruption. If anyone feels that they have such attainments, they should use that wisdom to help guide the discourses, rather than to draw attention to oneself.

    j) Dhamma Wheel is not a blog site. Since you are not here alone, new topics should invite discussion via questions, suggestions, an introduction, or some other context - especially when the topic may be controversial, or when it does not have an obvious connection to Buddhism. In cases of resource oriented posts/threads, they must be identified as such and should be posted in relevant sections to avoid confusion. Related: How to get the most out of your new topic

    k) There are many different sections of the forum and each has an intended purpose. Please familiarize yourself with the section you wish to post in prior to posting. (Please note: certain sections have more specific guidelines for conduct, and those are to be adhered to along with these TOS: Discovering Theravāda, Classical and Abhidhamma sections, The Lounge)

    l) Be agreeable, especially when you disagree. You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine: the Buddha said we should praise what should be praised, and criticize what should be criticized. But remember the advice of the Araṇavibhaṅga Sutta: criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

      . Name-calling.
      . Ad hominem attacks (attack directed at the person)
      . Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content.
      . Knee-jerk contradiction.
      . Passive-aggressive tactics.
      . Psycho-analysing other commenters.
      . Threatening people with kammic retribution

    (Subsection "l" borrowed from Ven. Sujato’s “Universal Rules of Dhamma Discourse”)

Section 3: Accounts

    Accounts will not be deleted upon request, but they can be deactivated. Please note: posts do not dissappear with account deactivation, nor will they be deleted upon request - this would disrupt the continuity of any threads in which they were involved, and cause inconvenience to other members.

    Members may only have one account. The following actions will result in an automatic permanent ban:

      . Creation of a second account commonly known as a "sock puppet" or "alias" *
      . Rapidly creating multiple accounts from a single IP
      . Accounts where the true (IP address) identity has been concealed in some fashion for the purpose of deceit
      . Attempt to register and impersonate someone else

      *Though it is usually a case of forgotten account information, an opportunity to explain the creation of an additional account/s may be granted to members in good standing who have made a significant contribution to the site.

      If you've forgotten your username/password or wish to change your username please contact the board administrators instead of creating a new account:
      .David: david@thedhamma.com
      .Paul: paulmarkdavy@gmail.com

Section 4: Mental Illness Policy

    While the aim of the Dhamma is to provide a path to the end of suffering, members of Dhamma Wheel are not qualified to deal with acute episodes of mental illness of another, as expressed on a discussion forum. The Administrators and Moderators of Dhamma Wheel request your compliance with regards to the following guidelines which is designed for the benefit of all:

      . Members who are suffering a serious mental illness should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional within their community. Members who are suffering from an acute phase of a mental illness, including intention to self-harm and/or suicidal should seek immediate assistance. befrienders.org
      . Members who are experiencing an acute phase of mental illness or suicidal ideation welcome to seek referral to medical and crisis services from administrators and moderators.
      . Members are asked not to use Dhamma Wheel as a platform to express intentions of self-harm or suicide, the experience of voices or other hallucinations or other artefacts of acute mental illness.
      . When encountering a member suffering an acute episode of a mental illness, we should treat that member with compassion and refer that member to medical/emergency services within that person's community and to Dhamma Wheel staff.
      . Even if you are qualified to do so, under no circumstances should ANY member give specific professional and/or medical-related treatment (solicited or unsolicited) to members claiming to suffer (or perceived to be suffering) from mental illness.

Section 5: Please take care of your personal information

    The Internet can be a dangerous place. If you are under 18 years old, in the interests of your safety please do not announce your age. For more information on keeping safe online, see Ikeepsafe.org

Section 6: Use of English and Pāli

    This is an English language forum, therefore posts must be in English or Pāli (i.e. the language of the Tipitaka and the ancient commentaries). As the majority of members are not fluent in Pāli, please consider the value of providing English translations for Pāli text where practicable. This particular section of the TOS does not apply to general greetings and salutations, nor to the Non-English Resources section.

Section 7: When quoting a text, audio or video please cite a source.

    We don't want to accidentally plagiarize other peoples' work. If information is taken from a website, please provide the address. When quoting a specific text (suttas, the Vinaya, the commentaries, ANY other text/article, audio or video) you must provide a citation. If the specific source is unknown please make a note of it in your post.

Section 8: Fair use and copyright

    You may use any text or images that are considered Fair Use or not copyrighted or if they are in the public domain, especially those items which are freely given, such as those at most Dhamma websites and are used here for non-commercial purposes as all information here is non-commercial and ad free.

    ***Please do not provide download links to copyrighted materials, where duplication of those materials violates the owner's copyright, i.e. the author/copyright holder does not allow redistribution of the intellectual property. Moderators may not notice every link that is posted, therefore, the individual poster is responsible for ensuring that no copyright laws are being violated and the sole responsibility is to the poster.***

Section 9: Discipline

    The staff encourages all members to abide by these Terms of Service. Behavior management for violating any of the above terms may include:

    . Private counselling via private message or via official board warnings
    . Temporary account suspensions and/or permanent ban

    Please note: the staff reserves the right to implement action appropriate to the situation, past precedents, and taking into account a member's past behavior.

Section 10: Like the Vinaya, the TOS may be added to over time

    The Sangha didn't need many rules to start with. More were created over time as issues arose within the community. We reserve the right to add, amend or delete rules as deemed necessary.


With metta,
Dhamma Wheel Staff
(Last update: August 11, 2016)

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