Posting Guidelines and Code of Conduct

By participating in the Open Astronomy discourse forums, it is implied that all users agree to follow the code of conduct (CoC) described here, in addition to the CoC governing project categories (e.g., the CoC for Astropy or SunPy).

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would treat a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

We expect cooperation from all participants in this forum to help ensure a safe environment for everyone. We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of race, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, appearance, religion (or lack thereof), nationality, and politics. Harassment of any form will not be tolerated. Details regarding harassment policies and consequences are at the end of this document.

Beyond issues of overt harassment, we also provide the set of following guidelines to aid in keeping community conversation positive, respectful, and helpful.

General Guidelines for Posting

  • Spend time browsing the topics before replying or starting your own.
  • Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said. (See “Always be Respectful”)
  • Stay on topic. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not. (See “Keep it Tidy”)
  • Learn how to use the tools provided by Discourse that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too. (“If You See a Problem, Flag It”)
  • You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

Always Be Respectful

  • Don’t post anything offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or grief anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
  • Do not resort to name calling, ad hominem attacks, or contradicting people for the sake of playing “devil’s advocate” for an opinion that you do not hold yourself.

Avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. Just flag it. Even if a post has already been flagged, you can amplify it by submitting your own flag. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Anti-Harassment Policies

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination
  • Sexual imagery or language
  • Racially charged language or jokes
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome attention, including photography and recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks (e.g. interrupting or talking over another person to an unnecessary degree)
  • Advocating for or encouraging any of the above

For minor incidents, forum users that are found to violate the anti-harassment policies can have their account temporarily suspended until an appropriate resolution is found, such as a formal apology. Forum users that are in gross violation of the anti-harassment policies will be banned permanently.

Please use the flag system to report incidents or contact the moderators.

Feedback and Terms of Service

If you have any further questions about how things should work here, open a new topic in the site feedback category and let’s discuss! If there’s a critical or urgent issue that can’t be handled by a meta topic or flag, contact us via the staff page.

We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.