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 Post subject: Interchange Guidelines
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:18 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Henderson Nevada
Interchange Guidelines
Revised 3 19 09

Mission Statement

Focus: The INTERCHANGE is a moderated discussion board for exchanging relevant, fact-based, information about railroad history, the crafts of research and authorship, the operation of railroad museums, railroad history groups, tourist railroads, and other related organizations.

All kinds of inquiries are welcome here from "how do I change the oil in a diesel locomotive?" to "what can my organization do to build its membership?" Who knows, maybe somebody shares your interest, or has that key bit of information that will fit your research together. Students are encouraged to ask questions relating to their research for class projects.

Railroad history and historic preservation offers a number of interesting challenges and great rewards, and our purpose here is to use the power of the Internet to open new channels of communication between railroad heritage organizations of all sizes from all across North America to help further "the cause."


• The INTERCHANGE'S primary purpose is to facilitate the exchange of information, advice, and suggestions, not to serve as a forum for debate.

• The INTERCHANGE requires all posters to adhere to a high standard of courtesy and civility. Polite, constructive criticisms, and polite responses to same, are acceptable. Insulting or inflammatory language; argument and debate for their own sake, challenging posters to “put up or shut up” attempts to chill discussions; and personal, ad hominem, attacks on other posters ("flaming") are all prohibited. Please note that this standard is inherently subjective, and is considerably more restrictive than the standards on many other railfan and railroad forums. Some people may not find it possible to express their full views and stay within this guideline. Other people may have legitimate philosophical objections to posting under inherently subjective moderation. In either case, we must respectfully ask them to express their views in other forums than this one.

• Defining what constitutes uncourteous, uncivil, or unconstructive speech, and deciding when continued discussion of a subject is no longer constructive, shall be within the sole discretion of the moderators. They may choose to issue a back-channel warning, may delete posts without warning, or may close threads to new posts.

• If an individual disagrees with the content of another’s post, and is unsure on how to best respond, he/she is encouraged to contact a moderator for advice on how to respond constructively.

• We strongly encourage the use of real names as opposed to screen names, and would prefer not to have anonymous posts. The purpose of this guideline is to try to keep information posted on the INTERCHANGE as accurate as possible by asking people to stand behind their posts. Although posting with a screen name will not of itself result in removal of a post, posts by anonymous parties are will receive increased scrutiny from the moderators.

• We strongly prefer that you give a valid e-mail address with your post. However, this does create the potential for being picked up by a "Spam Spider." If this is a concern for you, may we suggest obtaining a separate e-mail account for use on the INTERCHANGE only. Free e-mail accounts are available from numerous sources on the Internet such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. The purpose of this guideline is to give parties with conflicting opinions the opportunity to resolve differences off-line. Although posting without a working e-mail address will not of itself result in removal of a post, posts by unreachable parties will receive increased scrutiny from the moderators.

• No profanity. There will be zero tolerance for this, and posts containing profanity will be deleted on sight.

• While historical discussions and questions are welcome, endless banter about "what might have been" and "how things should have been" is discouraged because of its circular nature.

• RyPN has the final say. RyPN reserves the right to limit and/or permanently revoke the posting capability of any user of the website.
To post announcements, employment opportunities offered or sought, events and/or merchandise for sell, to buy, swap, etc., please see the RYPN Classifieds.

Moderating Guidelines

Moderators may engage in the following actions in moderating the board:

A - Direct contact with the poster

B - Locking a thread permanently or for a defined period of time

C - Removing a post or thread. Removed posts shall be stored for no less than 1 week to facilitate review. Moderators that lock or remove posts/threads shall provide an explanation to the poster via a private message or e-mail within a time period deemed appropriate by the moderator.

D - Removing the offensive portion of the message if by doing so the message still makes sense. The moderator will never add to a post, only delete portions. The moderator will include a note saying that the post was moderated. The poster will be notified, and will be offered the chance to delete the post if they disagree with the moderators changes.

If a moderator feels that a poster is not abiding by his/her guidance, said moderator may request that the RYPN Board of Directors review the status of an individual poster.

Controversial Topics

From time to time, topics will inspire controversy among INTERCHANGE participants. In moderating such discussions, moderators will focus primarily on facilitating the continued polite exchange of fact-based information within the focus defined in the mission statement. Posts that moderators believe may incite further discussion and/or debate away from the stated focus shall be subject to immediate moderation. Controversial posts and discussions on topics identified in the focus shall be allowed if they comply with the terms set forth in the INTERCHANGE guidelines.

Appeals Process

Posters are welcome to inquire further about the reasoning behind a moderating action. However, the following course of action MUST be followed: The poster must contact the moderator who made the decision. If the poser remains unsatisfied, he may request the moderator to refer the case to the RYPN Board of Directors for review. A board member will be assigned to review the case. The poster must abide by the guidelines set forth by the board member for handling the review. The decision of the board member reviewing the case will be final.

Under no circumstances may a poster contest the moderators’ decision of a specific case using the INTERCHANGE, or otherwise attempt to “arouse the masses.” Such posts will constitute a violation of INTERCHANGE policy. Under no circumstances will the moderators or the Board of Directors tolerate threatening or other abusive communications.

We encourage our visitors to help maintain the INTERCHANGE as a unique place for the sharing of information and knowledge, as well discussion of news and issues, in the preservation community. If you have any questions of suggestions, or to report problems and/or abuses, please contact the INTERCHANGE Moderators.

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