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SOTF Policy on Honesty Regarding Personal Information
Topic Started: Feb 4 2013, 03:50 PM (898 Views)
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Greetings, members of SOTF. A few troubling incidents in the last two years have led the staff team to believe that we are in need of a policy governing honesty about personal information. Thus, we are instating the following rules:

1. Nobody is ever required to share information. If someone asks for information and the request is denied, that's fine, and the person keeping private should not be harassed. If you want to make up a fake name for use on the site, that is fine as long as you let everyone know it's not your real name. That's a perfectly acceptable part of privacy, just let us known you're taking these precautions.

2. Any information you choose to share should be true. Should it come out that you have lied, that will be a bannable offense. We're being very hard-line on this because SOTF is a close-knit community. We've had members meet offline often. Relationships have started through the site. Dishonesty represents a serious problem, possibly even one that goes beyond a betrayal of trust to affect offline safety of our members. This is an area in which we cannot compromise.

3. SOTF respects that gender identity is not an easy or simple subject. This policy in no way obligates transgendered, gender-questioning, or genderqueer members to disclose that they are. It does, however, mean that masquerading as a gender you do not identify as will be treated like any other lying. (Note that this in no way obligates anyone to come out before they're comfortable doing so. We understand that this is a process, and staying closeted until you're comfortable is not a violation of this policy.)

4. Similarly, deception through misdirection or "guessing games" is also banned. If you wish to keep your personal information private, that is fine. Do not, however, use it to tease or entice other members. Do not attempt to convey incorrect impressions. Do not lie through omission or implication. All of these things, depending on the incident and context, may be treated like any other lying.

5. This policy does not mean you can't joke around in chat or be humorously dishonest. They key thing here is, everyone needs to quickly find out that you're joking. As an example, a well-established handler claiming to be the opposite of who they truly are in chat as a brief joke is okay because everyone knows the truth and it's easily verifiable. Running jokes are okay. Attempts at legitimate misdirection are not. If in doubt, ask the staff; we keep member confidentiality in all cases where it is not a matter of safety (individual or community).
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