Group Chat Specific Rules
GROUP CHAT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINT RESOLUTION
1. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide clarification to the DNM (Dreams ‘N Motion, LLC) Terms & Conditions, and this memorandum hereby constitutes the rules and guidelines for the DNM Group Chat Services, whenever and wherever hosted, whether on Skype or otherwise.
2. The overall goal of DNM Group Chat Services is to provide opportunities for learning, including the exchange of cultural information, the practice of English, and the consideration of a variety of interesting topics in a friendly, amiable and encouraging tone, and in a safe environment.
3. It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that any communication is conducted in a responsible, respectful and safe manner. Because of the diversity of our group, we must be particularly vigilant to ensure that we exercise good judgement in our chats, whether written or audio. For that reason, DNM has identified some examples of acceptable and unacceptable conduct:
- General conversation, questions regarding daily life (how was work today, how was school etc.),
- Questions tied to any of the four (4) categories identified in the DNM website (Education, Career, Wellness and Travel)
- Questions or conversation related to someone’s culture. In the situation where a “religious” greeting is used as part of the culture, it IS acceptable, or if someone has a general question or well-wishes about a holiday, even if religious holiday, in a certain country (i.e. if someone asked me why we celebrate Easter in my country, and wished me a happy Easter), this is acceptable as well.
- General encouragement of each other if someone expresses they are going through a tough time (maybe at home, maybe at school), including offers of encouragement, poetry, or prayer.
- Any verbal abuse and/or disrespectful comments generally
- Sexual Harassment which is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive online environment.
- Any verbal abuse of a sexual nature, sexual pranks, repeated sexual teasing, jokes or innuendo or disrespectful comments made to anyone, based on gender (i.e. someone contacts a person in the group and makes unsolicited comments/harasses them)
- Any disrespectful comments made to anyone based on culture, religion, belief, point of view, etc.
- Actively soliciting people in the group to convert to any religious belief, or non-belief, or point of view, except to the extent that, as a member of a debate team, a person expresses a point of view related to the debate in progress
- Providing negative remarks towards another person, for any reason that creates an uncomfortable environment. All critiques or “constructive criticism” should be positive in tone and presented in a friendly manner.
- Any threat of violence towards another, or use of profanity
4. The process for addressing these issues will be as follows:
a. In the case of a grievance made or to be made from any member (“complainant”) against another (“offending member”), such complainant will submit his or her grievance to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or contact one of the DNM management team identified as contacts on homepage of the website, under “Contacts”. The process for resolving these grievances will be as follows:
b. Depending on the nature of the offense, the offending member may be subject to an immediate suspension of membership, pending resolution of the complaint.
c. Whether or not the offending member suffers a suspension of service, he or she will be issued a warning by private, Skype message with a copy by e-mail, and the complaint will be filed in a log maintained by the Group Chat Team lead (example of warning statement is provided in the box below, at Table 1). Such warnings will indicate that there is an opportunity to be heard, accompanied by an explanation of procedures.
d. The complainant will be issued a reply to his or her complaint, in order to confirm receipt and assure the complainant that the complaint is or has been carefully considered.
e. In the event of a second complaint against an offending member and after review by the management team at DNM, a second, stronger warning may be issued to the offending member advising that any further incidents risk being barred from the Group Chat Service and Website Membership
f. A reply will again be sent to the complainant.
g. In all events, the management team may recommend the suspension or removal of an offending member to the DNM Leadership who will consider dismissing that member.
Hot-button Topics we highly recommend avoiding either in our group calls or in the official group chat:
- RELIGION (it may not be avoidable that members expose others to a diversity of views, but members may not impose, discourage, or encourage any particular view. Members may not promote or denigrate any religion on any of the message boards belonging to DNM. Members may inform others about various beliefs [quotations, or no?], but should not seek to conform them to any particular belief.)
- POLITICS (similarly, it may not be avoidable that members expose others to a diversity of views, and stories, about life in their respective countries, but members may not impose, discourage, or encourage any particular political view. Members may not denigrate, disparage or vilify a government, political party, or political candidate based upon factors including but not limited to a leader or candidate’s nationality, age, race, sexual orientation, gender or religion. For example, some political debates have fueled discussions of gay rights, abortion and birth control; and others have fueled discussions centered on the blame or lack of blame for various governments or countries for conditions existing in the world today. These, along with other contentious political issues, can easily generate inappropriate discussions and are therefore not allowed either in our group calls or in the official group chat.)
- SEX (talks about explicit sexual activity, including but not limited to sexual intercourse.)
Three deeply contentious issues that often result in disrespect, indecency, verbal aggression or discrimination are therefore recommended to be avoided.