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 administrators and a dedicated group of community volunteers. These pages are not affiliated with JW.org nor are they sponsored by, or authorized by the Governing Body nor by any legal entity used by the 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.
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 expulsion, 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.
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
While most areas of JWTalk are visible to the public, we are a private membership community. Whether you are a registered member or a 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.
D. Speech & Content
Is There a Code of Conduct? Are Certain Things Not Permitted to be Posted on JWTalk?
Of course there is a code of conduct. The same behavior expected of you in the congregation is expected here in our online community. This website is operated by and for true Christians. Hence, 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. 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. 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 District 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 to 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.
If you would like to bring a copyright issue to our attention, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page.
A few more points...
* 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.
* Do not post publicly identifiable information, such as your email address, phone number, street address, etc, on any public posting. 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.
* 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 and honest, sincere, prayerful effort to comment at your congregation meetings as well.
In all instances, we retain the right to trim, edit or remove content that violate the policies above.