Every Web site has its own rules, and these are our rules for participating in MichaelBurns.net social networking features, including discussions and comments. If you break them, don't be surprised if we delete or block your comments.
First thing's first: If you can't be polite, don't say it. Of course, we don't want to stifle discussion of controversial issues. Some topics require blunt talk, and we're not always going to agree with each other. Nonetheless, please try to disagree without being disagreeable. Focus your remarks on positions, not personalities. No personal attacks, name calling, libel, defamation, comments about someone's mother, hate speech, comparisons to notorious dictators — you get the idea. And under no circumstances should you post anything that could be taken as threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, pornographic, sexist or racist.
Don't use obscenities — even if the word in question is often used in conversation. We're not going to list the words we object to; you know what they are. Remember, this is a public forum and we want everyone to feel comfortable participating.
Anything you post should be your own work. You're welcome to link to relevant content and to quote limited amounts from other people's work with attribution and any associated copyright notice and consistent with "fair use" principles of copyright law. But that doesn't mean you can copy and paste wholesale.
Please stay on topic. Think of it this way: If you hosted a book club meeting at your home, you wouldn't want someone to show up and insist on discussing reality TV shows.
Rambling is the kiss of death. Keep your comments to 400 words or fewer. Generally, anything beyond a few paragraphs had better be very, very interesting to the larger community. MichaelBurns.net will never edit your comment, but we do reserve the right to delete it.
Please respect people's privacy. We love to learn about new and interesting individuals, but most people will not be happy to have their phone numbers or e-mail addresses published. Please do not share another's contact information through MichaelBurns.net's discussion threads or social networking features.
Feel free to share your ideas and experiences about religion, politics and relevant products or services you've discovered. But this is not a place for advertising, promotion, recruiting, campaigning, lobbying, soliciting or proselytizing. We understand that there can be a fine line between discussing and campaigning; please use your best judgment — and we will use ours.
Do not "feed" the trolls. We encourage community members to report abuse by trolls. But we also ask that you not engage with trolls in the comment threads. Reacting to their provocations is exactly what they want. If we see you feeding a troll, we will remove both the troll's comments and your responses.
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