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Minnesota Chiropractic Association Listserv Policies
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The primary purpose of the MCA discussion list is to enhance communication of information between MCA members. Secondarily it provides opportunity for the members to share information relative to issues and other topics of interest to MCA members.

The purpose of this policy is to assure a high quality of communication and discussion on the discussion list as well as protecting MCA and its members from incurring legal liability. The following rules apply to every discussion list member.

  1. Use and participation on the MCA e-mail discussion list is a privilege granted to members of MCA, each of whom signifies his/her agreement to the terms of this policy by utilizing the discussion list.
  2. Discussion list members must provide a "signature" that identifies, at the very least their true first and last name. Additional information is optional.
  3. Discussion list members shall not post any of the following:
    1. Chain letters.
    2. Virus alerts, hoaxes, and urban legends. For more information please check http://securityresponse.symantec.com or http://www.vmyths.com
    3. Promotional materials to solicit business or engage in buying and selling of goods or services, except for materials announcing or soliciting participation in programs, activities or membership of MCA.
    4. Content which may be actionable under antitrust laws. This includes but is not limited to: sharing of fee information, any activities that may be construed as "price fixing," and calls to boycott.
    5. Content that is threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, hateful, derogatory against any person based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity or any other identifiable characteristic, or illegal in any way, whether such content is intended to be humorous or not.
    6. Content that you do not have a legal right to post.
    7. Content that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs that interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software, hardware or telecommunications equipment.
    8. Content that detracts from an environment of fair, reasonable, honest discussion.
  4. Jokes or other posts which are primarily comprised of humorous content shall include in the subject line some identification of the post as
    "humor" or "joke" or something similar. In no case shall a member post any content, whether humorous or otherwise, that is profane, obscene or derogatory to any person or group based on their race, religion, ethnicity or gender.
  5. Members who fail to abide by these rules may be removed from the discussion list.
    1. The member will receive one warning from the MCA. If the member violates these rules after having received one warning within three months, the member will be removed from the discussion list for a period of 30 days.
    2. If a member persists after having been removed from the discussion list and re-subscribed, the member may be removed from the discussion list indefinitely.
    3. The member may appeal the warnings or the removal by requesting an appeal hearing with the MCA Executive Committee or an appeals committee that is appointed by the Executive Committee. Appeals may be handled via telephone, e-mail, fax, or in person.
    4. Final appeal may be made to the Board of Directors. Appeals may be handled via telephone, e-mail, fax or in person. Decisions by the Board of Directors are final.

Netiquette (from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shaw)

Rule 1: Remember the Human.

When you communicate electronically, all you see is a computer screen. You don't have the opportunity to use facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice to communicate your meaning; words -- lonely written words -- are all you've got. And that goes for your correspondent as well.

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life.

In real life, most people are fairly law-abiding, either by disposition or because we're afraid of getting caught. In cyberspace, the chances of getting caught sometimes seem slim. And, perhaps because people sometimes forget that there's a human being on the other side of the computer, some people think that a lower standard of ethics or personal behavior is acceptable in cyberspace. The confusion may be understandable, but these people are mistaken. Standards of behavior may be different in some areas of cyberspace, but they are not lower than in real life.

Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace.

What's perfectly acceptable in one area may be dreadfully rude in another. For example, in most TV discussion groups, passing on idle gossip is perfectly permissible. But throwing around unsubstantiated rumors in a journalists' mailing list will make you very unpopular there. And because Netiquette is different in different places, it's important to know where you are. Thus the next corollary:

Rule 4: Respect other people's time and bandwidth.

It's a cliche that people today seem to have less time than ever before, even though (or perhaps because) we sleep less and have more labor-saving devices than our grandparents did. When you send email or post to a discussion group, you're taking up other people's time (or hoping to). It's your responsibility to ensure that the time they spend reading your posting isn't wasted.

The word "bandwidth" is sometimes used synonymously with time, but it's really a different thing. Bandwidth is the information-carrying capacity of the wires and channels that connect everyone in cyberspace. There's a limit to the amount of data that any piece of wiring can carry at any given moment -- even a state-of-the-art fiber-optic cable. The word "bandwidth" is also sometimes used to refer to the storage capacity of a host system. When you accidentally post the same note to the same newsgroup five times, you are wasting both time (of the people who check all five copies of the posting) and bandwidth (by sending repetitive information over the wires and requiring it to be stored somewhere).

Rule 5: Make yourself look good online

I don't want to give the impression that the net is a cold, cruel place full of people who just can't wait to insult each other. As in the world at large, most people who communicate online just want to be liked. Networks -- particularly discussion groups -- let you reach out to people you'd otherwise never meet. And none of them can see you. You won't be judged by the color of your skin, eyes, or hair, your weight, your age, or your clothing. You will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing. For most people who choose to communicate online, this is an advantage; if they didn't enjoy using the written word, they wouldn't be there. So spelling and grammar do count.

Rule 6: Share expert knowledge

The strength of cyberspace is in its numbers. The reason asking questions online works is that a lot of knowledgeable people are reading the questions. And if even a few of them offer intelligent answers, the sum total of world knowledge increases. The Internet itself was founded and grew because scientists wanted to share information. Gradually, the rest of us got in on the act.

Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control

"Flaming" is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion. It's the kind of message that makes people respond, "Oh come on, tell us how you really feel." Tact is not its objective.

Does Netiquette forbid flaming? Not at all. Flaming is a long-standing network tradition (and Netiquette never messes with tradition). Flames can be lots of fun, both to write and to read. And the recipients of flames sometimes deserve the heat. But Netiquette does forbid the perpetuation of flame wars — series of angry letters, most of them from two or three people directed toward each other, that can dominate the tone and destroy the camaraderie of a discussion group. It's unfair to the other members of the group. And while flame wars can initially be amusing, they get boring very quickly to people who aren't involved in them. They're an unfair monopolization of bandwidth.

Rule 8: Respect other people's privacy

Of course, you'd never dream of going through your colleagues desk drawers. So naturally you wouldn't read their email either.

Rule 9: Don't abuse your power

Some people in cyberspace have more power than others. There are wizards in MUDs (multi-user dungeons), experts in every office, and system administrators in every system. Knowing more than others, or having more power than they do, does not give you the right to take advantage of them. For example, sysadmins should never read private email.

Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people's mistakes

If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Just as it's a law of nature that spelling flames always contain spelling errors, notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette.


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