This page contains:
1. Rules for Communication in SFWA Spaces
2. Guidelines for Professional Courtesy
3. How to Report Breaches of Professional Courtesy
4. Moderation Procedure
Rules for Communication in SFWA Spaces
1. Keep the Tone Professionally Courteous
Posts and replies must be professionally courteous. These SFWA spaces are for the exchange of information, discussion of ideas, and civil conversation. Discussion is encouraged, and polite disagreement is natural and acceptable.
Personal attacks, harassment, prolonged argumentativeness, and trolling will not be tolerated. Moderators will deal with these situations according to SFWA’s Harassment Policy and the Moderation Rules below.
2. Do Not Abuse Private Message Functions
Private messages must not be used for harassment or to continue an argument. Abuse of private messages will not be tolerated.
3. Respect Copyright
Copyright laws must be respected. Do not post text of which you do not have legal or ethical ownership. Quoted text must be fair use, or have the approval of the copyright owner.
4. Respect Privacy
Discussion Boards, Discord channels, and chat room content is for Nebula Conference attendees only. Do not repeat conversations. Do not take screen captures, copy documents, or cut and paste text outside of the Discussion Boards, Discord channels, and chat rooms. Anyone caught violating these rules will be subject to action by SFWA.
Guidelines for Professional Courtesy
To be very clear, this is what we mean by professional courtesy.
Tone is difficult to convey in text. When possible, approach posts and threads from the point of view that participants are expressing themselves in good faith, and are not intending to annoy, provoke, or attack.
Respect all cultures and communities. Do not make derogatory or offensive statements even as a joke.
When openly disagreeing, address the position or information, not the person, and be courteous. Trolling is not acceptable.
Think twice before posting while angry.
Don’t insist on getting the last word. Allow contentious discussions to end when they have run their course.
If you offend someone, apologize—even if you didn’t mean to offend them.
If you lose your temper, take a break.
How to Report Breaches of Professional Courtesy
If someone is making a personal attack, harassing, engaging in prolonged argumentativeness, deliberately provoking conflict, making derogatory or offensive statements, or otherwise breaching SFWA’s Harassment Policy, please use the following workflow:
- Notify the MOD (Moderator on Duty) in Slack. In the Hopkinson Suite (Zoom), use the Request Help button or return to the lobby to speak with one of the Door Dragons.
- Alternatively, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to escalate a complaint. Such report should include the substance of the complaint, date(s), a list of witnesses if applicable, and/or, when appropriate, reference URLs or screenshots.
Our goal is to promote an environment of professionally courteous communication. Conduct that Nebula Conference attendees complain about will be reviewed by the moderator, and the moderator will enforce SFWA’s Harassment Policy and Rules for Participants.
A moderator may be a member of the SFWA Board of Directors, SFWA staff, or someone appointed to the position of moderator. The moderator’s primary goals are to enforce the moderation rules and ensure SFWA communication spaces remain professional and welcoming. The moderator does not guide discussion or keep posts on topic.
When participants complain about a post, the moderator may contact the offender, edit the post, post a warning, delete the post, lock the discussion, or monitor the discussion for further developments according to their own judgement.
This is how moderators will deal with breaches of professional courtesy.
1. Personal attacks, harassment, and trolling will not be tolerated.
2. Abuse of Private Messages will not be tolerated.
3. Prolonged argumentativeness and nuisance posts will not be tolerated.
At the discretion of the moderator, and depending on circumstances and persistence, the participants will lose access to the SFWA space for a period of time while the situation is being addressed. Depending on outcome of the investigation, the moderator may permanently remove a participant from the space entirely.
4. Moderator decisions are final.
Moderator decisions are final and non-negotiable. If you feel someone is being censured unfairly and have new information to add, please navigate to the Nebula Conference Online website, and on the bottom, right-hand corner of your screen, please select the “Request Help” button.
We encourage you to use your own photo as your avatar, because using a real photo promotes connection and courtesy. However, if you have privacy concerns, this is not mandatory.
Animated gifs or flashing graphics can be a health hazard for people with certain disabilities or health conditions, so the moderator may remove these at their discretion and without notice.
- Do not take screenshots without permission
- Do not record without permission