Community Rules and Guidelines

This forum and all other related areas are under the Chatham House rule and all participants agree to participate under this guiding principle.

The rule originated at Chatham House with the aim of encouraging openness of discussion and facilitating the sharing of information.

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

We value thoughtful, constructive discussion, but comments that attack an author or smear an organisation are not acceptable. 

Contriving any of these guidelines may result in Ban, Mute and Termination and Exclusion from this community.

The following are general guidelines that influence whether or not a comment will be accepted:

No double posting

1. Personal attacks on authors, other users or any individual are not tolerated, and users who repeatedly post such comments may be banned.

2. Comments featuring swearing, name-calling or otherwise abusive language are unacceptable.

3. We value robust debate and understand that people often feel strongly about the topics debated on the site, but please show respect for the views and beliefs of other users. By being polite and civil, you ensure that the topic remains the focus of the debate and that our pages remain conducive to intelligent discussion.

4. Keep your posts relevant. If you post a comment that is not related to the topic being discussed, it may be deleted. Comments about moderation decisions or general comments will likely also be deleted.

5. Comments that are racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive will not be tolerated. There is a difference between criticizing a government, organisation or belief and attacking people because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

6. Comments that incite people to commit a crime will not be tolerated.

7. Comments must be in English. No other languages are accepted on the site.

8. Keep your comments coherent. If the moderator cannot understand your comment because of poor spelling, grammar or logic, it will be deleted.

9. Do not post content which you have copied from someone else and for which you do not have the copyright or any form of internal information.

10. DO NOT SHOUT. Writing in caps is considered shouting in web etiquette. 

11. No spamming or flooding. Do not repost the same message, or very similar messages, more than once.

12. No advertising, promotion of products or services, or posting of web links (URLs).

13. No impersonating. Impersonating anyone (including other members) is unacceptable.

14. No inappropriate usernames.

15. No personal information. It is not acceptable to publicise yours or anyone else’s contact details, including address, place of employment, telephone number, email address, etc. 

16. We will not accept defamatory comments capable of damaging the reputation of an organisation or individual in the eyes of right thinking members of the public.

17. We will not tolerate comments that are in contempt of court. This means anything that could prejudice on-going or forthcoming court proceedings.

18. We will delete comments that break a court injunction. This is when court orders prohibit the release of specific information, such as the names or whereabouts of people involved in a court case.

19. Spelling and grammar will not be corrected when comments are posted on blogs. However, we reserve the right to correct spelling and grammar when publishing comments elsewhere on our site.

20. Because of the volume of comments received, we cannot review individual moderation decisions or alter comments once they have been published.

21. No Politics or Religion, no political or religious differences.

22. Be respectful, no Trolling.

23. Discuss the topic, never a person.

Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct or indirect liability. You assign us with a license to use, reuse, delete or publish any comments without notice.

Violations of these guidelines may result in the removal of material, comments or other Member Content or termination of a member’s use of and registration in the Society Community:

Be civil. The forum encourages open and candid discussions and debates.  However, all communications should be respectful. Differences of opinion are okay; personal attacks are not. Comments or content that are violent, threatening, abusive, sexually explicit, obscene, offensive, hateful, derogatory, defamatory, or are racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable content will be removed.

Stay on topic. Comments, questions and contributions should be relevant to the topic being discussed. Keep in mind that this is not a place for unsolicited personal or commercial solicitation or advertising (e.g., “Win a free laptop”, etc.).

Don’t upload or post inappropriate content. If a user uploads inappropriate, pornographic or offensive, or otherwise objectionable content to the Sites, such user may be banned from the Community. Society may also edit or entirely remove such posts from any of the Services it controls.

No spam. No one likes seeing the same message posted to one or many articles, galleries or discussions.

Keep it legal. Participating in, suggesting, or encouraging any illegal activity is cause for immediate removal and termination of a member’s use of and registration in the Community.

Observe copyright and trademark law. The posting of copyrighted videos, photos, articles or other material beyond what is protected as fair use is prohibited, and Society may remove such posts from any of the Sites it controls. Do not pass off someone else’s trademark as your own.

Accuracy is important. Creating multiple accounts in the Community is discouraged.

Respect privacy. Do not post personal or any other information that you do not want made public and respect the privacy of other members or National Geographic employees.  

Let us know. Our Community team does monitor posts, but we may miss something. We encourage members to flag content which they feel violates any of the above Community Rules so we can review and take the appropriate action.

It’s your content. The views and opinions expressed in educator and explorer profiles as well as educator and explorer discussion posts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Society or its partners. Please remember that any comments or content you share on this site are your sole responsibility.

Don’t send unsolicited DMs or random pings.

Don’t send the same thing on multiple channels.

Don’t post NSFW, or have a NSFW name/avatar.

Channel descriptions are channel rules.

Remember: disturbing the community without breaking any rules can still have consequences.

Why have house rules?

All communities retain its cohesion through a set of accepted behaviours. These may be viewed as common sense, but with online communities many normal visual and auditory clues are missing. As such we need to be more aware of how our written words might be understood by others. Our House Rules are here to support us and remind us of the most appropriate ways to engage with our fellow members. The aim is to protect anyone who reads or contributes to the community and to help everyone have a rewarding experience.

The rules

Please read this to understand what defines acceptable behaviour within the community.


  1. Not shout at other members by posting in all capital letters
  2. Take care with humour that might work verbally but seems censorious and mean when translated to words on a screen
  3. Present opinions and positions in a tactful and moderate fashion
  4. Consider your use-of-language for those whose first language is not English.


  1. Exchange ideas in a civil and measured manner and to avoid flames (angry, mean-spirited posts)
  2. Assume goodwill and hold fire on the assumption that most misunderstandings arise from the limitations of the media rather than from negative intent on the part of others
  3. Practice good posting manners and refrain from dominating conversations with endless sequential posts and self-gratifying boasting
  4. Learn to listen to written words and the person behind those words.


  1. Do not post anything that could be interpreted as self-publicity (including spamming, i.e. posting the same or similar message in many discussions), advertising (including pyramid selling and chain letters), selling or soliciting
  2. Do not post anything unlawful for example, sending or posting material that is indecent, racist or defamatory, or harassing and threatening
  3. Do not post anything intended to disrupt or vandalise the service
  4. Do not post any personal details of others, known both in and outside the community
  5. Do not post any material that infringes any third party legal rights for example, copyright or other proprietary rights
  6. Do not post any third party material without permission
  7. Do not post private email anywhere in the community
  8. Find out who else is commenting on the topic and cite them – be generous.


  1. Accept responsibility for all material that you publish in the community
  2. Accept responsibility for a discussion you have started to keep it on topic and to freeze it when it has run its course
  3. Always acknowledge the name of the source of any third-party material legitimately quoted or referred to
  4. Do not quote any member who specifically requests not to be quoted
  5. Do not intentionally misquote another member or a representative of The Community
  6. Do not falsely misrepresent yourself
  7. Do not abuse the facility to send an individual member a personal message
  8. Use the log-out button, especially on a public machine, to minimise intruder access.


  1. Report any transgressions to the
  2. Report any misuse of the personal messaging facility to the
  3. Do not misuse the channels for complaint. Persistence may result in action by representatives of The Community against your account
  4. Representatives of The Community reserve the right to delete any contribution, or take action against any account, at any time, for any reason.

Email rules

1) Please check the archives prior to posting as your question may
already have been answered:

2) No invite requests and no invite available postings.  A small
signature indicating that you have Gmail invites available is
acceptable.  Free invites may be obtained at
http://groups/ [gmailinvites-subscribe @ ] or at
[ giveandtake-subscribe @ ]

3) No inappropriate or foul language permitted.  This list is
accessible by all ages.

4) Meta-Discussions on list are not acceptable (meta-discussions are
discussions related to the operation of the list) .. these questions or
comments may be directed to the owners/moderators at:
[email protected]

5) No postings of competing lists or groups.  Again a small signature
indicating such lists is acceptable.

6) Keep signatures to a small size.  Excessive signature size will
result in the messages being rejected.

7) Please keep quoting to a minimum but quote necessary text so that
your reply makes sense.  Refrain from single word replies and “me

8) Stay on topic.  This list is to discuss Gmail and Gmail issues and
issues directly related to Gmail.  Browser and email program
discussions (when directly related to Gmail) are acceptable, but
discussing the merits (or lack of) of browsers and email programs is
off topic and therefore unacceptable.

9) Owner and/or Moderator has the final say on all issues.  If a topic
is closed by the moderator then please respect that decision and do not
post further.  All further comments on that thread will be deleted.