Forum Membership Policy
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91 posts in this topic

TERMS OF SERVICE

 

Welcome to the JWTalk - our pro-JW online community!

 

Here are a few guidelines that all our registered members must agree to observe…

 

JWTalk.net is a privately owned forum that is visible to the public yet is intended solely for use by registered members who are active Jehovah’s Witnesses with an approved JWTalk account. The site is strictly non-commercial and all work is done by a team of dedicated administrators, moderators, and community volunteers. These pages are not affiliated with JW.org nor are they sponsored by, nor authorized by the Governing Body nor by any legal entity used by the wordlwide organization known as ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. This forum reflects the opinions of the general public and we assume no liability based on information contained herein. All posts are considered the property of JWTalk Forums. Members must agree to, and abide by, our Forum Membership Policy in order to post on JWTalk Forums. We reserve the right to edit or delete posts, at our discretion, to meet with our code of conduct rules. By registering on this site you acknowledge you have read and agree with this Membership Policy.

 

A. Membership 

 

Who Can Be a Registered Member at JWTalk.net?

 

To post comments or create content on JWTalk, you must be an active publisher associated with Jehovah’s Witnesses, baptized or not. An active publisher has a share in the work of proclaiming Jehovah’s Kingdom every month and reports it, and is thus counted among us in the monthly and yearly reports. In other words, participation in this community is intended for Jehovah’s Witnesses only.

 

If an extenuating circumstance causes you to go temporarily inactive, this does not mean you have to abstain from participating in our community. However, should you become “no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses” via disassociation or disfellowshipping, it would be appropriate for you to privately contact the staff informing us that this is the case. Your account will be disabled, but not deleted. It can be reactivated at a later time when your circumstances have turned around and you have been reinstated.

 

We reserve the right of controlling membership at our discretion.

 

B. Registration

 

How Can I Become a Participant in the Community?

 

Registration is required to interact with others anywhere on JWTalk. All applicants must answer fill in the registration form completely and accurately. There are questions on the registration page that under normal circumstances, only active publishers would know the answers to. A valid email address is required, as you will have to respond to an email validation link that will get sent to you. An administrator must also approve your application. Once these two validations take place, you are able to make comments in the community. 

 

Please understand that when registering, there are required fields where you must provide identifying information such as your full real name, location, and congregation name, but these are only ever visible to the staff. There are other fields where you may enter less specific information relating to you that will be visible to other community members and the public. While you will be known by your choice of "display name", we are on a first name basis here.

 

C. Publicity, Content Ownership, & Copyright

 

By sending posts or submitting content to the community, you, the Sender, acknowledge and agree that your contribution automatically becomes the property of JWTalk.net without any obligation to you, and that you grant JWTalk.net the right to use, reproduce, display, perform, adapt, modify, distribute, have distributed, and promote the content in any form, anywhere and for any purpose; and warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content and that public posting and use of your content by JWTalk.net will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party. Site visitors/members cannot ask the submitted content to be removed or unpublished from the site later nor can they ask for the content ownership to be changed once the content has been submitted. 

 

While most areas of JWTalk are visible to the public, we are a private membership community. Whether you are a registered member or an unregistered guest, you agree that you will not copy and paste the contents of individual posts that you yourself did not author to another internet location outside of JWTalk.net, and that doing so will result in a copyright takedown notice initiated by the original content author or us as their agent.

 

We do NOT delete accounts, but we may deactivate your account.

 

D. Speech & Conduct

 

What is JWTalk’s Code of Conduct?

 

The same behavior expected of you in the congregation is expected here in our online community. Our forum is operated by and for true Christians. This is a site for real Jehovah's Witnesses to engage in peaceful discussion, and not a place for argumentative debates. Therefore, your goal in contributing to a topic should be to share something of interest that will build up your brothers and sisters.

 

We seek to maintain an upbuilding, entertaining, safe, open, and intellectually stimulating environment, where mature Christians can exercise their God-given "freeness of speech." (2 Corinthians 3:12) A few principles can help us to do that:

 

1) Matters of Conscience: If there are no clear indications on a subject in the Bible or in the publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, then we are obligated to show respectfulness towards the conscience decisions of others, both of those that are stricter than ours and those that are less strict. (Romans 14:3) Do not make rules where none exist.

 

2) Handling Disagreement: It can be very productive to discuss areas of disagreement, as long as this is done in a "spirit of mildness," avoiding mockery or belittlement. (Galatians 6:1) Keep in mind that this is a forum for discussion, and not a place for heated debate. Express yourself with love, and do not "pour fuel on the fire", as it were. While expressing disagreement, your goal should be to keep the conversation calm and cool, so "before the quarrel breaks out, take your leave.” (Proverbs 17:14) If you are seriously concerned about someone's motives in posting, please contact a moderator or administrator privately, and do not assault another user publicly within the topic.

 

3) Avoiding Offense: We all want to try to apply the counsel, "Do not be quick to take offense." (Ecclesiastes 7:9) However, it will be easier to do that if we watch for each other's areas of sensitivity, and avoid them. (Romans 14:15)

 

4) Acceptable Language: Jehovah's Witnesses on the web come from diverse social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds, which means that they will have different standards of acceptable language. Please endeavor be sensitive to these differences, both in your own word choice and in how you react to others. If you are seriously concerned about language that you feel is inappropriate, please contact a moderator or administrator privately. Do not engage the other user publicly within the topic.

 

5) Freedom of Speech: The above principles definitely do not mean that matters of conscience and speculative questions cannot be discussed. The Watchtower of May 1, 2000 gives the following balanced perspective: "It is normal to discuss Bible accounts or wonder about aspects of the promised new world that have not as yet been revealed. And there is nothing wrong with exchanging ideas on personal matters, such as dress and grooming or choice of entertainment. However, if we become dogmatic about our ideas and take offense when others do no agree with us, the congregation may end up becoming divided over minor issues." (page 11, paragraph 14 - we recommend reading this whole subheading).

 

6) Personal Problems: The scriptures urge us to settle personal problems in private. (Matthew 18:15) Personal or private details of ongoing situations, whether those of your own or those of others, should not be shared on the board. This is true even if the problem is with someone who is not a member of the forums. When dealing with past situations, discretion and good judgment are still needed.

 

7) Cooperation: The administrators and moderators are responsible to Jehovah and to their brothers for what occurs on the forums. Please cooperate with their directions. (1 Corinthians 16:14)

 

E. Commenting and Moderation

 

JWTalk has a thriving user community. We are dedicated to maintaining a respectful, engaging and informative conversation. Towards that end, we have basic ground rules for commenting to maintain a civil atmosphere. These are supported by a team of staff moderators. If you wish to participate in the community, we ask that you follow the ground rules below and the spirit of the community they seek to create.

 

Are Certain Things Not Permitted to be Posted on JWTalk?

 

We will not tolerate anything against Biblical standards, including apostasy and unclean or obscene speech. (Eph 5:3,4; 2 Tim 2:16-18) Links to apostate sites (anti-witness sites) will get you banned, as will hateful speech and obscene language. The following guidelines should help demonstrate the quality of the content we expect from you, as well as the moderation efforts that take place on JWTalk Forums.

 

1) No Spamming. Do not excessively communicate the same phrase, similar phrases, or pure gibberish, or make non-constructive posts. If a comment is solely promotional in nature, we will remove it from the site.

 

2) No Trolling. This would include creating threads or off-topic comments that cause unrest or disturbances in forum threads. This community does not tolerate direct or indirect attacks, nor does it tolerate intentional attempts to derail, hijack, troll or bait others into an emotional response. We reserve the right to remove these types of comments if warranted. Individuals who consistently or intentionally post these types of comments may lose their ability to comment permanently.

 

3) Limited Access and Moderation. To maintain a clean and civil community, we reserve the right to have our moderation team read comments before they are displayed on the site. Review time can vary depending on the availability of our moderators, who are all volunteers, as well as the current queue, so please be patient. Please, do not resubmit the same comment or complain to the moderators assuming it has been deleted. If we refuse to publish your comments, we will send you a private message explaining why. If we publish your comments, we reserve the right to edit them as necessary.

 

4) An Online Spiritual Paradise. We strongly believe that JWTalk Forums should be a safe space for brothers and sisters from all around the globe to express their ideas. As such, purposefully insulting and hostile language or personal threats are not welcome here. If you directly or indirectly threaten the physical or mental well-being of a member of this community, you may be removed immediately. If a credible threat is made against another member, publicly or privately, not only may it be removed but we reserve the right to report the matter to your congregation elders and/or law enforcement agencies.

 

5) Personally Identifiable Information. For the privacy and protection of all members, we insist that you do not post publicly identifiable information, such as your email address, phone number, street address, etc, on any content that is visible to the public or even the community at large. Any comments that contain this information may be deleted. Your email address is kept private and we encourage communication using the forum and the private messaging system only. If you give out your contact information for other services, you are doing so at your own risk.

 

 

F. Forum File Uploads

 

1) Material for Meeting Preparation: The November 1999 Our Kingdom Ministry states "Using another person’s research for a talk or [as a substitute for] meeting preparation really defeats the purpose of personal study." Posts on spiritual matters should therefore contain the results of your own personal meditation, first-hand accounts of what you heard at meetings, and brief quotes from the publications of Jehovah's Witnesses, along with appropriate references. If you want to share a meeting part that you worked hard on, please do not post transcripts or audio recordings of your assignment prior to their being delivered in congregations all over the world.

 

2) Audio Recordings of Talks: The Question Box in the April 2010 Our Kingdom Ministry discourages the circulation of recorded talks. Remember that JWTalk is about discussion, and is not for trading recordings of talks. With that said, we will not prohibit a user from occasionally sharing a recorded talk. However, we will not permit a user to make a habitual practice of this. Uploading a Circuit Assembly or Regional Convention program is strictly prohibited in accordance with the announcements we receive at each of these events.

 

F. Unverified Experiences & Sensational Stories

 

The October 1999 Our Kingdom Ministry says: “What if the experience you pass on is not accurate? Would this not be sharing in perpetuating an untruth?” - (Proverbs. 12:19; 21:28; 30:8; Colossians 3:9)

 

Be mindful of sensational stories or experiences that you cannot verify. This becomes a problem from time to time. It’s a chore for moderators to read extremely long ones, and likely someone will point out what they feel is ridiculously sensational and unrealistic and publicly state why they find it too difficult to believe some facet of this incredulous story. It's important to protect the gullible for believing everything he or she reads. If the story or experience is legitimate, OR truly encouraging yet not overly far-fetched, we’ll probably let it go. Just remember that spamming us with such tall tales, email forwards, or similar content circulating social networks is not the purpose of our community.

 

Generally speaking, links to experiences about our brothers should not be posted unless they are first-hand accounts and we personally know the writer or we can testify to the veracity of the account/writer.

 

G: Ads and Posting Secondary Links

 

Before linking to any page, please make sure that it does not have ads for pornography, comments by apostates or opposers, or prominent ads/links to apostate or other inappropriate sites. We would not want to be responsible for exposing our brothers to temptation or facilitate the efforts of those who want to draw our brothers away. (Matthew 18:6)

 

H: Copyright Violation

 

Caution must be taken to respect the copyrights of others. All sites, whether public, commercial, social, personal or private--contain elements that are protected under copyright laws. We reserve the right to edit or remove any post, image or other media that, in their opinion, constitutes a violation of the copyrights of any other individual or enterprise. 

Do not post entire articles or large portions of them from our publications or upload them as attachments to the forums or our Files Library. 

 

If you would like to bring a copyright issue to our attention, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page.

 

I. Disclaimer

 

All comments posted to this community reflects the views and opinions expressed by the individual member and are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of JWTalk.net, our Staff, nor that of the organization known as "Jehovah's Witnesses", the Governing Body, or any of its legal corporations. Your local congregation and its elders are part of Jehovah's channel for your spiritual care, not any member of JWTalk Forums regardless of what their appointment may be in their own congregations. Any medical advice of any sort posted in the forums should be discussed with your local healthcare provider. Each member must come to their own conclusions, "carry their own load”, and "render an account for himself to God.” - Galatians 6:5, Romans 14:12

 

J. A few more points...

 

* Remember, while every effort is made to ensure that only active publishers associated with Jehovah's people are granted membership here at JWTalk, there is no real way to verify the identity and congregational status of each registered account. The faithful slave cautions against associating with people whom you do not know over the internet, even when they claim to be your fellow brothers and sisters. Those cautionary statements are valid and apply to this JWTalk as well. 

 

* Do not use the forums or your status updates to sound off on what you think the organization should do differently. It is discouraging, and quite frankly not up to you anyhow.

 

* Do not bring issues to the community and post content about things that you ought to be speaking to your elders about first.

 

* Since all members of this community are supposed to be active publishers of the good news and counted as Jehovah’s Witnesses in our monthly and annual reports, you must NOT count the time you spend participating on this forum in your monthly field service reports.

 

* We understand that people are shy. If you comment here at JWTalk, please be making an honest, sincere, prayerful effort to comment at your congregation meetings as well.

 

* We reserve the right to update these Forum Membership Policies and Terms of Service at any time, and it is your responsibility to check periodically for changes. When changes are made, a post will be created in the Announcements forum.

 

* In all instances, we retain the right to trim, edit or remove content that violate the policies above

 

* Failure to comply with the above membership policy may cause your account to be "Banned" - at the moderator’s discretion.

trottigy, Vido, betlee and 18 others like this

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Appreciate the guidelines, and I thankyou for posting them. Love that I can enjoy conversations between brothers and sisters, for the encouragement and fellowship it brings.

betlee likes this

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I thought that was excellent....really well balanced....I cannot think of anything to add or take away... thanks

betlee likes this

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Can't wait till the new system when we will not need all these rules and guidelines.

I am with you on that one!!

Ironically, people WANT rules, for whatever reason. So now we got them :-)

happysheep49 and betlee like this

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Can't wait till the new system when we will not need all these rules and guidelines.

I am with you on that one!!

Ironically, people WANT rules, for whatever reason. So now we got them :-)

Yes :) Though your rules are nice, we will not miss them later ;)

betlee likes this

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Before even reading the guidelines, I felt very grateful for being part of a safe site.

Thank you for this.

Umm..... one problem for me - I don't know anyone personally on this site who can refer me.

Is this problem?

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The links in the masthead between your avatar and the JWTalk logo now point the Forum Membership Policy as seen in the first post in this topic, which has been renamed to "Forum Membership Policy (plus discussion and Q&A)" , and to another in the FAQ forum about reporting offensive posts.

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It's going to take me awhile to figure out how to maneuver on this forum. I'm basically computer illiterate.....only know the basics, like "idiot" basics! LOL. If it's more work for you, Dismal, you can put a stop to my emails every time someone posts something. My mailbox is becoming unreal! And I wonder how to post a new thought.

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It's going to take me awhile to figure out how to maneuver on this forum.  I'm basically computer illiterate.....only know the basics, like "idiot" basics!  LOL.  If it's more work for you, Dismal, you can put a stop to my emails every time someone posts something.  My mailbox is becoming unreal!  And I wonder how to post a new thought.

.

Everything is automated so it's okay. If it is too much email for you, there is an unsubscribed link at the bottom of each message you get in your email. You can also visit a google group page and select the daily digest version.

Roselyn likes this

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This is an excellent time to review the Forum Policy if you haven't recently.

I like this part about the code of conduct -

Of course there is a code of conduct. The same behavior expected of you in the congregation is expected here in the forum. This discussion board is operated by and for true Christians. ..... Therefore, your goal in contributing to a topic should be to build up your brothers and sisters, or share something of interest that may consist of news or wholesome entertainment.

Everyone does a good job at following this. Please keep it up (<img src=)'>

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I know how you feel Pamela. I learned to type on a manual typewriter at school in the 1970's - still have one but you can't buy ribbons for them any more so it's a historical doorstop now.Computers are great when they work and scarey aweful when they don't.My husband and I went to night classes to get the hang of them 5 years ago - had a Bible study for a while with our tutor. The forum is all new stuff for me, so I'm just getting around it. I've just found out how to use PM for private messages, before that PM was just clocktime or the British Prime Minister!:huh:. Now what's 'buddy' for? Does it mean that if you tag a buddy you get all their posts and they get notified of all yours? Must find out how to get some pictures I have resized so I can share them. Just found the free download part of the site too - useful. It's like treasure hunting here. As our town has remains right back to the Romans, we used to go metal detecting in the 1980's on wasteland near beaches, but after excitedly digging up our hundredth 'can ring-pull' (alloy gives a signal like gold with old metal detectors) the fun factor started to wear off!!Hasn't worn off here though;)

cerebral ecstasy likes this

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Now what's 'buddy' for?

Your buddy list would be like a quick Contacts list for people you message frequently here at JWTalk, instead of having to navigate through the Member Directory.

This is especially useful for new users who are in Limited Account Access mode, as they cannot see the member directory, cannot mass PM, cannot see PM links in profiles, and must manually type usernames when sending a message.

Someday I might replace the Buddy list with a Friend Request feature instead.

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