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Rules of Discussion


1.   Introduction

These Rules are intended to help create an atmosphere in which freedom of speech is balanced by self discipline and a mature attitude to discussion. We have also compiled a Guidance section of useful tips for those who are new to the etiquette of online discussion. Also, Discussion Moderators are available to help you to get the most out of participating in online discussions and to ensure that these rules are observed.
By virtue of your participation in Newham Online, you are deemed to have agreed to abide by the Rules from time to time subsisting. Although Newham Online cannot take responsibility for monitoring every message that is distributed via its mailing lists, it reserves the right to remove access from anyone who repeatedly ignores these Rules.

2.  Personal Identification

All messages sent to a discussion must include your name and eMail address. Do not represent yourself as another person. Anonymous contributions will not be accepted.

3.  Use of Language

  1. All contributions to discussions must be in English except where the introduction to a list specifically states that another language may be used.
  2. Messages should not be malicious or designed to offend. In particular, the use of swear words or undue profanity is discouraged. By participating in any discussion, you undertake to indemnify Computer Access, Newham Online and any employees and sub-contractors thereof against any liability arising from any obscene, defamatory, seditious, blasphemous or other actionable statement published by you on through a Newham Online mailing list and against all damages, losses, claims and costs (including without limitation fines and expenses arising out of or incurred in conducting or defending any proceedings) arising from any such actionable statements.

4.  Discussion Moderators

The overall conduct of each Discussion Group is the responsibility of its Discussion Moderator who is appointed by Newham Online and who acts within an agreed set of rules and guidelines. The name and contact details of the Discussion Moderator of a particular Group are provided in the introduction that you receive when first joining a particular Group. The Discussion Moderator is expected to ensure that the rules of the service are complied with and to encourage users to follow Newham Online's guidelines of good conduct. Participants are expected to comply with reasonable guidance and instructions given by a Discussion Moderator and persistent and unreasonable refusal to do this in itself amounts to a breach of the rules.

5.  Conduct of Discussion

  1. Your message should be within the scope of the subject under discussion. If you make a contribution that is inappropriate to the subject under discussion, you may be directed by the Discussion Moderator not to raise the matter further or to raise it within a separate discussion group.
  2. No reference should be made to the personality of other participants in a discussion nor should attacks be made on an individual's character unless the person concerned has already chosen to bring his or her personality into the issue under discussion.
  3. One to one arguments, disagreements and disputes of a personal nature must be conducted through private eMail and not through public discussion.
  4. You should remember that you are legally responsible for what you write. By participating in a discussion, you undertake to indemnify Computer Access and Newham Online and our employees and sub-contractors against any liability arising from any breach of confidentiality, copyright or other intellectual property right published by you on this site and against all damages, losses, claims and costs (including without limitation all expenses incurred in conducting or defending any proceedings) arising from any such publication. You must not make statements that are libellous, obscene, seek to incite racial hatred or otherwise break the laws of the United Kingdom.

6.  Private eMail

If a person has sent you a private eMail you may not forward it to a public discussion group without the prior consent of the person who sent it. This does not prevent you forwarding private eMail to the Discussion Moderator should you consider this appropriate.

7.   Advertising and Research

  1. No advertising is allowed except where it is for an event, publication or similar item that has direct relevance to the subject of discussion.
  2. No questionnaires of any kind may be circulated without the specific agreement of the Discussion Moderator.
  3. Information about, and requests for help with, research projects related to relevant topics are welcomed but must be eMailed to the Discussion Moderator in the first instance and not sent directly to the mailing list.

8.  Complaints about a Breach of these Rules

  1. Complaints about a breach of these Rules should ONLY be made by private eMail to the Discussion Moderator. The only exception to this rule is if you believe that the Rules have been broken by the Discussion Moderator, in which case complaint should be made by private eMail to
  2. The Discussion Moderator will take timely and appropriate action with regard to the complaint in accordance with the agreed rules and guidance for Discussion Moderators. You will be notified of the action taken.
  3. If you wish to appeal against the decision made by the Discussion Moderator you should do so by private eMail to within 7 days of the eMail notifying you of the decision being made.

9.   Changing the Rules

If you wish to suggest changes to the rules you should eMail . The Rules are agreed by Newham Online's Steering Committee and may be changed from time to time and without notice to existing participants or to those who have used the service in the past.

10.  Disclaimer

Newham Online does not endorse the accuracy, truthfulness or reliability of any information (including statements of opinion or advice) published by its users and is not responsible in any manner for any of the content in users' messages, or for any subsequent actions taken as a result of these messages. All statements made in discussions reflect only the views of their authors who remain solely responsible for their content.
If you are new to online discussion, please now read our guidance for new users.

last updated: 29th. November 1998