Effective today, we are introducing a couple of changes to the Terms of Service, and we ask that members familiarise themselves with these changes. These changes are noted in red, below...
This new provision exists to prevent members from trying to railroad other members into conversations that they're not interested in having. No one can force anyone else to engage with them, and since we "respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy" (ToS4) we also respect your right to participate, or not participate in certain conversations, as you see fit. By putting this provision in the Terms Of Service, this right is extended, such that other members shall not hound you or attempt to violate your autonomy in such a way either. This new provision prohibits members from excessively pressuring one other to engage, but if you choose to engage, the responsibility remains yours to keep your responses in line with the Terms of Service.2. Speech
Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended to cause disruption or harm may be removed without notice. This includes, but is not restricted to:.
j. Pressuring members to engage, despite them having already explicitly declined such engagement in the current topic
As always, if you feel another member is breaching this or any other element of the Terms of Service, please use the Report Post function, rather than quarrel with them in-topic.
Following from the introduction of ToS2j, which applies on a topic-by-topic basis, we're making explicit reference to the pre-existing "Foe" function, and encouraging you to use this board feature if there is a member you do not wish to engage with at all. If you follow the link in the ToS, it will take you to the Foe section of the User Control Panel, which describes the Foe functionality by saying "Foes are users which will be ignored by default. Posts by these users will not be fully visible. Personal messages from foes are still permitted. Please note that you cannot ignore moderators or administrators." "Foes" may be added or removed at any time, at your discretion.4. Mindfulness
At Dhamma Wheel, we respect your intellectual and spiritual autonomy. As such, the staff here will not enforce reverence to anyone or anything, nor censor speech gratuitously. In keeping with this respect for your autonomy, we expect you to be personally responsible for your own emotions and responses. If there are forum members you do not wish to engage with, please apply restraint and/or register them in the system as foes - do not publicly complain about them.
Speech and actions are moderated strictly and impartially according to the standards defined in the Terms of Service - not to the standard of Sutta, Vinaya, personal preference, nor any other code and/or standard of conduct. If you believe acts of moderation are not aligned with the Terms of Service, please engage the Dhamma Wheel complaints procedure.
Since you are not here alone, new topics should invite discussion via questions, suggestions, an introduction, or provide appropriate context.
Furthermore, we've added a section to clarify that Speech and Actions will be assessed by moderators against the Terms of Service only. (This was already the case, but we explicitly mention it now in the Terms of Service to remove any ambiguity). Importantly, no other criteria will be used... so in keeping with this, please do not try to force any other codes or expectations upon others - whether those standards are Buddhist or secular in nature. We each bring our own unique perspectives, backgrounds and views to discussions, and it is not the role of moderators or other members to force their own private standards upon the public discourse.
I will leave this topic open for the time being in case anyone would like to seek clarification on any of the new provisions or their implications.