Guidelines for chat room participants and moderators on GlobalRevolution Livestream [and any other OWS channel that wishes to use them]
The GlobalRevolution.tv livestream chat room is an open forum for discussion. Anyone, anywhere in the world has a right to participate. While participants can express their opinions, these guidelines exist to ensure the functionality of the chat room as a place to build discourse and provide information on and around OWS and the Global Direct Democracy Movement.
We have created chat rooms on Indymedia IRC server for various topics and functions. The IRC can be reached either by web at chat.indymedia.org or via an IRC app such as mIRC at irc.indymedia.org.
If you have an issue with a moderator, email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your username, the name of the moderator, a detailed reason for complaint, and quote the chat transcript if possible.
Global Revolution serves individuals speaking every language on earth. We recommend partially accurate machine translation via http://translate.google.com/# as a stopgap measure to understand languages you don’t speak, and new technical solutions are in the works.
The United States is a country which does not permit Prior Restraint in online forum communications as has been recently reaffirmed in federal courts. Prior Restraint is the idea that, for example, the government cannot send tanks to the New York Times to stop printing presses, and likewise collectives of live stream video teams cannot be held responsible for improper statements in any language on their live feeds or in their chat channels.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.
– Global Revolution livestream team, NYC
Guidelines for Global Revolution Livestream chat-room participants and moderators
We ask that forum participants share questions, discussions and information relevant to the direct democracy and Occupy movements, especially immediately important information and links, in a respectful and non-repetitive fashion.
Contact email@example.com for any issues involving chat room moderators.
Participants MAY NOT:
- Post fake donation or malicious virus links.
- Make racist, sexist, or prejudiced. remarks, or post links to sources of that nature.
Messages which violate mutual respect would include >>
- Directly insult or threaten other chat room participants or moderators, or producers.
We ask that chat participants please direct concerns about these guidelines to firstname.lastname@example.org , rather than discussing extensively in the chat room. While no forum guidelines can be perfect, we ask that participants address these difficult issues in a spirit of mutual respect and equality.·
Under the goals of mutual respect, equality, and unity, we ask that chat participants:
- Do not Request that other chat room participants be banned.
- Do not attempt to disrupt or monopolize the chat room conversation.
Do not flood or spam the chat with repetitive messages or unlabeled repetitive links.
If possible, please keep chat participant messages in plain text style (not bold, italics or ALL CAPS). This is not a rule but helps the livestream team and participants understand more clearly what is going on. Please reserve the bold/italic combination for moderators and producers). This is not a ban-triggering violation, but a request made in the spirit of mutual respect. Unfortunately the technical platform does not allow us to determine text styling rules.
HOW LIVESTREAM CHAT BANS WORK
If, after a warning from a moderator or producer, someone continues to violate the movement principles of mutual respect, equality, and unity, a moderator may trigger a 5 minute time-out ‘ban’ on their Livestream user account. After 2 five-minute time-outs, a moderator may issue a 24 hour time out.
However, to maintain accountability between chat community, the Occupy/direct democracy movements, and the producers of GlobalRevolution.tv or the chat moderators may issue 5-minute bans without reaching a consensus among the channel’s active moderators, but they need to post supporting information on the moderator IRC channel including if possible direct quotes. The usage of clearing users previous messages needs to be minimized mainly to malicious links and other technically dangerous content, because clearing individual messages reduces the moderators’ accountability.
Continued abuse of the rules and guidelines derived from mutual respect, unity and equality will result in either a 2 week or permanent ban depending on the extent of the participant’s disruptive behavior.
Guidelines for GlobalRevolution.TV Livestream chat-room participants and moderators
Moderators should abide by the principles of the General Assembly, including mutual respect, non-hierarchical organizing, solidarity, unity and equality.
- Use bold and/or italic lettering to help their identification in the chat room.
- Ban participants that are neglecting to follow the chat room guidelines, in accordance with the rules and accountability laid out above.
- Use the “clear previous chat messages” for an individual user sparingly.
- Use the “Mod-only chat” option sparingly, to make announcements, repost the guidelines and links to this document on a fairly regular basis when necessary.
- Express their independent opinions, but not while chat is in mod-only mode.
- Respectfully enforce participant guidelines in the chat room.
- Follow the same guidelines of mutual respect, equality and unity as participants.
- Warn a chat participant at least once, preferably twice before employing a ban or time-out, and inform the participant as to why and for how long they may be banned.
- Act independently in deciding to ban participants, i.e. – not in response to the requests of other participants.
- Must be logged into the IRC moderator channel when using moderator tools.
Moderators MAY NOT:
- Claim that their opinions, statements or the information they choose to give is representative of the entire Occupy/direct democracy movements.
- Permanently ban any participant unless they post fake donation or malicious virus links, advocate violence/illegal activities or racism.
- Ban chat participants for 24 hours or more without documenting on the IRC channel the incidents triggering the ban, preferably with direct quotes.
- Abuse the “mod-only chat” option, or employ it for an extended period of time. The goal is to have the chat in “normal” mode as much as possible.
- Exclude, insult or ban any participant based on their attitude or opinions.
Further suggestions and goals:
- There should always be more than one moderator in the chat room.
- Moderators, like participants, are subject to chat room removal if they repeatedly fail to respect the guidelines.
- If possible everyone involved (including producers) should be well-rested. Preferably moderators should not have been awake more than 12+ hours when they are moderating. Moderators should be training for more moderators to ensure that they are not moderating for extended periods of time. (We deal with extreme levels of pressure on both the production and moderation sides — and it’s vital to recruit more moderators and producers while avoiding burnout and extreme stress in all respects)
- During mod-only pauses, moderators should briefly remind participants of the rules, and follow with a focusing statement ex: “This chat is a chat on and around [ Occupy Wall Street / Occupy movement / Direct democracy movements] . Please respect its purpose as well as the guidelines.”
Suggested response to questions by participants, i.e.:
Participant: “Moderator, what does OWS think of xyz?”
Moderator: “I am not a spokesperson for OWS, but I personally think that abc…”/or/ “I don’t know, I do not represent the collective sentiments of OWS”