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Created on: 05/11/09 05:26 PM Views: 993 Replies: 4
Monday, May 11, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I'm not sure if this subject has come up before, but is there a way to add a disclaimer or agreement that classmates should not use foul language or "bash" others in their profile and that it would be basis for removal from the site admin? Our site has been up and running for quite a while and we have over 180 classmates with profiles, but I finally had one that I didn't know what to do. I was wondering . . . if there was a disclaimer or agreement, that maybe the classmate wouldn't have used the language that they did in the first place? Any ideas?

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 5:34 PM - Response #1

We don't have such a stock disclaimer, but you could easily add such a disclaimer to any page of your site. Maybe another Admin out there has such a disclaimer and would be willing ot share it here.

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 5:45 PM - Response #2

I have a disclaimer on the bottom of my home page. I did not get specific about what would be cause for someone to be removed from the site on purpose. After having an incident, unrelated to language, I had to conclude that it was "my" site and I was going to determine what was appropriate. I was very sensitive to the site not appearing to be "my" site until I had to dismiss someone who threatened me that I had no right.

Anyways, the long and short of it is, I realized I had to be responsible for what I had set up and encouraged my classmates to participate in, and that meant making the hard desision to eliminate anyone who caused problems.

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 9:27 PM - Response #3

I had a classmate who I knew fairly well in high school, but did not run with, who put up a questionable picture of kids having fun in high school. The people in the picture are now lawyers, veternarians, and one is a high ranking appointee for Obama. I went in and deleted the picture and the "egg on" comments.

She is not an internet socializer and may not realize that something done in jest can escalate. To her question as to who asked that it be removed, this is what I said:

"No, no one had it removed or asked that it be removed. I made the decision alone. I hope you will understand my thinking. The only person I owe an explanation to is you. I have no intention of making this a big deal, would just as soon it be put behind us, and hope the whole discussion stops here.

Subjectively, it was a hard decision. I know when you put it up, you meant no harm. It was all in fun, and the responses indicated that it was being taken that way.

Objectively, the decision was easier. I have to have respect for all the people who will be joining the site. There were numerous people in the picture, and we have no guarantee that they would all see the humor in the misadventures of their youth being pictured in a semi-public forum. Although the site is private, a 'right click/save as' on the computer, and anyone can own a picture, sharing it wherever they want. In addition, as we collect more classmates, there might be some who would take offense. We cannot allow obscenities on the site. Let's face it: Raymond was being obscene. Granted it was minor, but that leads me to the most important reason: boundaries. We are trying very hard to make this a positive experience for everyone. People will be joining who we did not know well, and they may not be as nice as those of us who arrived first. The thought could easily be, "Well, if she put that up, then I will put this up." Every picture getting progressively worse until the site has taken on a new personality where many are uncomfortable, some are angry, and a great number leave. We don't want that to happen.

As I said, this was not really a big deal, but I had to look at the bigger picture, and my experiences on other social sites has lead me to be very cautious about public postings."

Within 15 minutes, I had an apology as did several of the classmates who had messaged her about it.

If she had continued or argued beyond a reaasonable amount, I would have sadly deleted her from the site after warning her.

You can post a disclamer. Will they read it or heed it? There are always those who want to see how far they can push the rules while most of the people on our sites are adults and professionals who know the rules of safe social interaction.

Actions speak louder than words.

Weslaco High School 67-68-69

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 7:56 PM - Response #4

Hi Felicity....

I have two disclaimers of sorts at the bottom of my home page, and if you like any of them, please feel free to use them.

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