Since 2001 the FSFE has been enhancing users' rights by abolishing barriers for software freedom. For 20 years we have been helping individuals and organisations to understand how Free Software contributes to freedom, transparency, and self-determination.

For the next two decades we need your help. We want everyone to be able to control their technology. Free Software and its freedoms to use, study, share, and improve are the key to that goal.

The Legal Network

Legal Network Etiquette and Moderation Policy

All public facing contributions on the mailing list are moderated by the FSFE to keep the discussion flowing and to maintain community and focus.

We wish to build an online space for community building and working towards solutions. Accordingly, we want to discourage communications that can have a chilling effect on participation on the list.

General points of etiquette

Please respect the views of other participants on the list even if you don’t agree with them.

Be constructive. It is okay to disagree, and debate is encouraged. However, please keep the dialogue positive and respectful.

Always keep the discussions civil, even if this can be difficult in situations where you feel provoked and/or are passionate about a topic. It is important to keep the discussion focused on the issues.

Do not bully, harass, or threaten other participants, whether on- or off-list. It is up to each person on this list to participate in the discussions as much or as little as they wish. You therefore do not have the right to demand that another user supports their position with a detailed argument or respond to your questions (for example).

Avoid frequent and rapid posting

As we are aware that many members of the Legal Network sign up to the mailing list using their work email, moderation is therefore employed in an attempt to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. If an individual on the mailing list posts frequently on a single topic within a short period of time, the moderators can decide to place them on moderation (a process explained below), in order to control the volume of mail that the Legal Network mailing list pushes on to its members.

This has been adopted as there is a concern that a topic that gets dominated by multiple postings by a few leaves no room for others to productively participate; that a large volume of incoming mail can cause established members to disengage from the discussion and/or mailing list, and discourage newcomers from participating as they may feel excluded or uninterested.

Avoid advertising and self-promotion, or promoting causes or commercial interests

Please refrain from advertising and/or self-promotion, soliciting for commercial activity, as well as pressuring your fellow list members into joining your pet causes. Do note that the mere mention of a cause, interest, and/or commercial activity is not in itself a reason for moderation, if it is relevant to a discussion.

Sanctions

In certain cases, a moderator may step in to place a particular user under moderation for a period of time. This means that the particular user’s emails are withheld for review by a moderator before they are approved to go through to the mailing list.

Members placed under moderation will still be able to participate in Network discussions. Being under moderation does not mean your messages are blocked, nor that you are forbidden from participating in the discussions.

When someone is placed on moderation, the fact of this and the reasons for doing so are communicated to them offlist, to avoid causing embarrassment or singling any particular person out.

If you have concerns about moderation, please direct your queries and concerns to the FSFE.