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. Please ensure you are familiar with them.

1. All members are responsible for their own Right Speech

Members are expected to self-moderate, being mindful of the adage that 'behaviour breeds behaviour'. Mutual respect and friendliness should be the basis of all interactions. For the Buddha's teaching on this see the Saleyyaka 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

2. Do not be disruptive

Dhamma Wheel is an environment for the discussion of the Theravada. All are welcome but are required to abide by the TOS. 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.

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.

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 the badmouthing of other Buddhist discussion forums and this includes no active links to sites that permit gossip and negative views towards other Buddhist forums, trolling, meta-discussion (i.e. discussion about discussion), unsubstantiated allegations against members, solicitation of funds, proselytizing, the advocating or promotion of illegal activity and the unauthorised collection and release of personal information.

One of the aim of this Forum is to accumulate detailed discussions of difficult points of Dhamma, meditation approaches, and so on. 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.

A reminder: 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 button.

- This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity.
- In support of this:

* Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
* Proselyting / evangelizing other paths, which includes, for example, arguing that some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.

2a. Respect other approach to the Dhamma. The vilification of the Mahayana, Vajrayana, any Theravada lineage that is not one's own, 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. This is particularly important in replying to requests asking for help with a specific problem.

Topics whose intention is contentious debate that challenges fundamental Theravada teachings (such as rebirth), or Dhamma-related topics that are not specifically Theravada, should be started in Fringe Theravada discussion section. Moderators may move contentious topics from elsewhere

2b. Since this is a Theravada Buddhist forum, usernames which suggest the poster is either: a Buddha, a samma-sam-buddha, or Metteyya (Maitreya) will not be allowed. According to the Dhamma of Theravada, another Buddha is not due for several thousands of years (at least 2,500 years by some Commentaries, possibly longer by the Suttas). Similar to this, it is strongly recommended that posters do not make much of any claims they may have to higher attainments as it tends to cause disruption and subsequent posts presented to the subject of the poster, rather than the discussion. If anyone feels that they have such attainments, they should use that wisdom to help guide the discourses here, rather than to draw attention to oneself.

2c. 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.
    . 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!
Instead, consider first the things that should be reflected on before criticizing another (from MN 21 Kakacūpama Sutta, and Vinaya Kd 19.5.2):
I will speak at a right time, not at a wrong time; I will speak about what is true, not about what is not true; I will speak with gentleness, not with harshness; I will speak about what is meaningful, not about what is not meaningful; I will speak with a mind of loving-kindness, not with inner hatred.

(2c. from Ven. Sujato's universal rules of dhamma discourse)

3. Accounts will not be deleted upon request / One account per member. The establishment of more than one account without discussion with and consent of the administrator/s is strictly forbidden and can incur the permanent withdrawal of membership.

Sometimes if people are not happy with their experience at a forum and wish to leave, they ask to have their account deleted, along with all their posts. Member accounts will not be deleted upon request, but they can be deactivated. The member's posts will not be deleted upon request because this would mess up the continuity of any threads in which they were involved in, and therefore cause inconvenience to other members. Members may only have one account. Additionally the creation of an account commonly known as a "sock puppet" account and/or also any attempt at impersonating someone else will result in an automatic permanent ban. Any account where the true (IP address) identity has been concealed in some fashion for the purpose of deceit will result in an immediate permanent ban.

4. Members who are suffering from mental illnesses.

Dhamma Wheel is for the exploration and discussion of the Dhamma. 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.

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

6. Use of English and Pali
This is an English language forum, therefore posts must be in English with the exception of the very common and mostly well-known Pali terms. Posting in other languages other than English and Pali is not allowed, except for some common greetings, for example in the Introductions forum or in the resources for non-English languages sub-forums. When using less common Pali terms, the English translation must be included in all sub-forums here. The only exception will be in some instances in the Pali sub-forum where a translation may not be readily available or known but for the most part, English translations should be provided.

7. When quoting authors or texts please cite a source.
We don't want to accidentally plagiarize other peoples' work. Please provide a website address when applicable if your information is taken from a website. Do not simply copy and paste an entire article. It is best to copy and paste only a few sentences that are appropriate and then discuss how it is important and cite the source. 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.***

8. Please don't come here just to peddle your wares
Links to commercial sites via member signatures are prohibited. Links to commercial sites are permissible only via the Website field in your user profile. Signature links, commercial or otherwise, may be reviewed for suitability by staff. If your username looks like random-generated gibberish, spawned only for the promotion of pharmaceuticals and knock-off merchandise, your account may be deleted without notice.

9. 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: Jan 21, 2016)
2c. borrowed from Ven. Sujato's Sutta Central

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