MLTnews introduces two new policies: full name required and our Code of Conduct

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As of today, MLTnews is changing its policy on who can comment on stories. We are requiring that everyone use their real identity — first and last name. Anyone who doesn’t follow this requirement will have their comments removed.

In addition, we are introducing our Code of Conduct, which follows at the end of this post, aimed at ensuring that discussions on MLTnews are respectful and productive.

We are requiring full real names because it doesn’t seem fair that some people are able to say whatever they want and no one knows who they really are. Enforcing this policy is going to take work, but we believe it’s important to do so. We’ve been advised by other online publishers not to go into detail about how we research names that we suspect to be false, to ensure the integrity of the process. We also hope that our own readers will assist us in policing the real identities of those on the site. If you suspect someone is not a real person, please let us know.

In fairness, we are applying this policy to our longtime readers who have commented in the past. We ask that you re-register using your full name.

While we can never guarantee that we will be able to verify the identity of every person who comments here, we will do our best to enforce the policy. We believe the result will be a more trusting environment that promotes the value of sincere dialogue about what is best for our community, and reinforces our mission of providing a place for community news and discussion in Mountlake Terrace.

MLTnews Code of Conduct

By registering to post on MLTnews, you agree to abide by this Code of Conduct. While our code is in fact a set of guidelines, any deliberate violation of the following points – especially those that harm other members – will result in a loss of site privileges.

MLTnews users agree to not do the following:
– plagiarize the work of others, fail to acknowledge source material, or use images that belong to others without their permission;
– abuse, threaten or verbally attack other members, individuals, or MLTnews staff. We do not tolerate bullies, and we’ll do our best to spot them and get rid of them;
– post libelous, obscene or pornographic material or content that contains racist, sexist, homophobic and other slurs;
– deliberately post stories that are untrue, false or misleading or that make false representations about the poster him/herself;

MLTnews readers will:
– be accountable for stories they post and follow up by correcting known errors;
– resist attacks, insults and threats and instead remain civil and focused on the ideas being presented rather than the individuals expressing them;
– promote interactivity and dialogue that supports real community collaboration.

Our anti-flaming/baiting policy:
According to Wikipedia, “Flaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between Internet users. An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users.”

Flamers tend to end conversations by entering them; they create a hostile environment in which real discourse is quashed in favor of insults and abuse. Deciding who is or isn’t a flamer, and how that contributor will be handled, is at the final and sole discretion of MLTnews staff.

Once a user has been pinpointed as a flamer, (one or more instances of obvious flaming, and/or reported flaming from other site users), the following steps will be taken:

1. Send the user a warning indicating that they’re at risk of forfeiting their membership. Sometimes we may also or instead post a comment in response to the comment in question.
2. Observe the user for for signs of reform or response. Should the user reform or respond and apologize, they will be given another chance.
3. Should he or she ignore staff or continue the behavior, we will block him/her from posting to the site without further notice. All decisions will be at the sole discretion of the Editor.

The mission of MLTnews is to provide community news and a discussion forum for MLT residents. As such, there is no room for hate speech or abusive or inflammatory behavior to make your point. Remember the golden rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

This Code of Conduct is based on guidelines established at NowPublic.com

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