creating community guidelines

This week, I added some community guidelines to the blog. They were pretty easy to compile, and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t do them earlier. Overall, I only have five rules, which was a lot less than I expected that I would need. I started by taking a lot at what other websites have for their community guidelines. Then, I started brainstorming some of my own. My first guideline is one of the most basic of rules on the internet, which is to be civil online and not engage in insults, harassment, and hate speech.

Two of the guidelines referred to how comments will be treated. I asked for users not to spam in the comment, as that really detracts from having a meaningful conversation. The other guideline is directly related to that, wherein I have the power to remove (spam) comments if I wish. While some websites ask users not to deviate from the topic at question, I did not add this to my own community guidelines because I don’t think it’s terribly important. This rule is more commonly used for news sites and forums, I think.

After typing out all of these more basic guidelines, I then thought about what made sense for my blog specifically. For me, since I create my own original visual media and photographs, it was important for me to add in a clause about not stealing my photographs.

Even more specific was rule number five, which absolves me of any responsibility in students getting the wrong information in taking their tests. My fear is that one day, I’ll misinterpret what the professor says during their lecture, and a student will ‘learn’ from me that that’s what the answer is. If they then copy that information on a test and end up receiving a failing score, they could try and pin the blame on me. Of course, I doubt that would happen in reality, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

“Better safe than sorry” is the guiding principle of most community guidelines, I think!

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