*** Read this Community Membership Policy, and indicate your acceptance of these terms by clicking the button at the bottom of the page ***
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Welcome to the JWTalk - the pro-JW online community!
Here are a few guidelines that all our registered members and visitors must agree to observe…
JWTalk.net is a privately operated online community 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. None of the content in the community is affiliated with JW.org nor is sponsored by, nor authorized by the Governing Body nor by any legal entity used by the worldwide organization known as ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’. This discussion board reflects the opinions of the general public and we assume no liability based on information contained herein. Members must agree to, and abide by, our Community Membership Policy in order to post on JWTalk. 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 disfellowshipping, then you no longer qualify for membership and it would be appropriate for you to privately contact the staff to inform 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
All posts are considered the property of JWTalk Community. By sending posts or submitting content to the community, you, the Sender, acknowledge and agree that your contribution automatically becomes an intrinsic and permanent part of the JWTalk.net Community without any further 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 you submit and that the public posting and use of your content by JWTalk.net will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party. You acknowledge that your submitted content may not be removed, unpublished or changed once the content has been posted.
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. However, you may request that we "deactivate" your account. You will no longer be able to log in to view members only content nor read or reply to Private Messages. You can reactivate your account at a later time by using the Contact Us form at the bottom of every page to send a message to the Administrators.
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 site 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) 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 community. When dealing with past situations, discretion and good judgment are still needed.
4) 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)
5) 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.
6) 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).
7) Avoiding Spoilers: It's unloving to post spoilers about information that others would rather hear 'at the proper time' at their own meeting. Therefore exercise caution and use the built in "spoiler" tag/function to hide such details when appropriate. Since Regional Conventions are typically held around the world spanning several months, we have one dedicated topic for discussing each years Regional Convention. Only those who have attended their convention should view the topic, which is clearly marked that the discussion may contain spoilers for those who haven't attended yet. Do not post about a current year's Regional Convention in any other topic than this designated one. Do not read the topic if you haven't attended your convention and don't wish to have it "spoiled" for you.
8 ) Cooperation with the Staff: The administrators and moderators are responsible to Jehovah and to their brothers for what occurs in the community. 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.
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 among members or within discussions. 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.
4) No 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 discussion board and the private messaging system only. If you give out your contact information for other services, you are doing so at your own risk.
5) 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.
6) An Online Spiritual Paradise. We strongly believe that JWTalk Community 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.
F. 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.
G. 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.
H: 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)
I: Copyrighted Content
1) Ownership: 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, whether they are original works, fixed works, works made for hire, commissioned works, or works that have been assigned. We reserve the right to edit or remove any post, image or other media that, in our opinion, constitutes a violation of the copyrights of any other individual or enterprise.
2) Fair Use: You agree to become familiar with typical "Fair Use" laws and to use good judgment when submitting content to the JWTalk community. It is usually both reasonable and acceptable to include a quotation from an article or other literary work, or to reference a single image or photograph, in order to start a topic or that is pertinent or necessary to further a current discussion in the community. However, do not post entire articles or large portions of them from our publications or upload them as attachments to the discussions or to our Files Library. Likewise, do not upload content containing multiple image attachments that you do not have copyright ownership or rights to.
3) DCMA Takedown: It is our policy to respond to all notices of alleged copyright infringement. If you would like to bring a copyright issue to our attention, please use the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page.
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 Community regardless of what their appointment may be in their own congregations. Any medical advice of any sort posted in the community 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
K. 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 topics, replies, 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 in this community in your monthly field service reports, and you must NOT count links you post in this community as placements, etc.
* 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 Community 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.