Please note that we do not
wish to censor posts. In fact, it's just the opposite. As long as we keep things civil, there should be no need to close topics or delete posts. We don't want to limit subject matter either. We have the benefit of being outside the official umbrella, and can therefore discuss a wider array of topics, if we take certain precautions. It's not content so much as delivery that is usually the problem.
Army.ca is an Unofficial Site
Army.ca is in no way connected to DND or the CF. Army.ca does not represent policy of the Canadian Forces in any way, and does not claim to do so. Opinions expressed on these pages are the sole responsibility of the individual
posters, who may or may not be members of the Canadian Forces or other military or civilian organizations.
Protecting the CF Image
First and foremost, we're all representatives of the CF. We may not want to be, but ultimately, we don't have the luxury of choice. The truth is when you post a message even on an unofficial site like this, your comments reflect upon the CF. That's not to say we can't bemoan the current state of affairs - it's a soldier's age old right to complain. But let's keep it clean and dignified.
There's no way for a casual visitor to tell that you're "not in uniform, so these comments are mine." To a visitor, we are all a cross section of what the CF has to offer, which in many ways is a correct assumption. If all they see is a horde of posts rife with profanity and personal attacks, the CF gets a bad reputation. As we've witnessed many times in the past, the public relations fallout from problems with the CF can have consequences well beyond those involved. With so many hard working professionals in the CF, it would be a shame to have the name tarnished here.
Expectation of Respect between Users
All visitors, regardless of age, rank or experience are to be treated as equal unless their conduct dictates otherwise. That means the veteran servicemember and the green private are to assume that they have as much to benefit from the other as they have to offer the other until a reason to contrary is made known. Age, nor number of years excuses anyone from behaving in a manner that isn't civil and polite.
Army.ca has a zero tolerance policy for personal attacks, whether against another Army.ca member or a public figure. Posts that contain a personal attack should be summarily deleted, and the user should normally receive a warning. Personal attacks detract from the professionalism of the site and can sometimes cause serious problems for Army.ca as a whole.
Profanity is strongly discouraged.
Generally, there is a better way to express yourself than through the use of profanity, especially on the Internet where it can be hard to determine the intended tone. However, we recognize that Army.ca attracts a certain type of visitor, and that not all discussion topics are "family friendly" here by their nature. Still, profanity should not be "overused." There may be occasions where profanity is appropriate to underline your point or reinforce your emotion, however these should be few and far between. Please keep it within the bounds of civil society. There is an automatic censor system in effect by default, so those who are not concerned with profanity can simply disable it in their profile, while others can leave it enabled. In an effort to preserve civility, don't swear:
- for the sake of swearing
- at someone else or as part of a personal attack
- to be obscene or extremely vulgar
- in the Cadet Forum (this is for young visitors, and has a zero tolerance policy)
If you break the rule in one of these ways, your post will be edited by the staff. If you have had profanity edited out of one of your posts, please don't argue why it didn't exactly fit one of the above criteria: if it was removed, it was inappropriate. If you habitually misuse profanity, you may receive a warning as per the warning system.
I strongly encourage you to fill out all the sections of your public profile that you're comfortable with. We respect your privacy and won't force you to fill out your profile if you don't want to. Bear in mind though, that the amount of identifiable info in your profile will increase your general credibility here. Those with empty profiles are much harder to verify and will have to put a lot more effort into building a credible presence here.
Unfortunately, we've had some cases where a visitor tries to exaggerate or invent stellar military experience. ("I was a special forces sniper, but I can't tell you about that as my file is sealed...") Please. Don't insult us with this drivel. It is always
painfully obvious what your real experience is, and we're impressed with quiet professionalism, not open bragging. These guys inevitably get forced out in the open and eventually leave the forums in disgrace.
For continuity's sake, we ask that if you change your display name, you post a short note in the User Name Changes
board. Please include your old name in the thread title.
Cooperation with Directing Staff (Moderators)
In order to keep things running smoothly, the Directing Staff take an active role in day to day operations. We've found that some users are surprised by this "hands on" approach, especially those who are used to sites where moderators are not heavily involved. It is expected that everyone using this site will respect the authority given to the Staff. They volunteer their time and have been selected based on a proven track record at this site. They are charged with the policing of this site. Diplomatic criticism and debate of their role is accepted and encouraged. However, any hostile challenges to their authority will not be tolerated. If you feel you have been treated inappropriately, please send me a Private Message (PM)
including details on the incident.
Professional Authors, Journalists, Retailers, Defence Contractors and Public Personalities
While authors, journalists, retailers, etc are encouraged to participate in the Forums, posts made for the purpose of self-promotion will be removed unless prior permission from the site owner has been granted. Interested parties should review the advertising options offered by Army.ca
for more information.
Employees of defence contractors or consultants who are or have been employed by a defence contractor are required to disclose their employment in their profile before posting in a thread related, in any way, to their business/product.
Posting to the Boards
You are responsible for everything that you post and the tone in which it is posted.
The forums are completely public, meaning anyone can come here at any time and review the comments we make. Among the over 10,000 visitors we get every day are members of the press, senior DND officials and a slew of civilians. Visitors to this site range in age, but it is not at all uncommon for 14 year olds to visit, looking for information on a possible career choice. Bear in mind that messages here are never pruned. What you say now will be available on-line for years to come, easily found via search engines all over the Internet.
So before you post, imagine you're in uniform, talking to a room full of the press, 14 year old kids, your CO, and your grandmother.
In a nutshell, the hard and fast rules are as follows:
- You will not post sensitive or non-public information.
- You will not post any information that is offensive, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.
- You will not post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this site.
- You will not post any material which is knowingly false.
- You will not post advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, or solicitations.
- You will not post links to sites whose content is in violation of the above rules.
- You will not attempt to bypass or subvert any of site controls or functions.
- You will not spam the boards. This is usually described as making the same post over and over, or the same post to multiple forums or threads. Accounts that are believed to be registered by bots or spammers will be immediately banned.
- You will not become an administrative burden to the Staff by intentionally or unintentionally creating significant work for them through your actions.
- Postings which are deemed inappropriate may be modified or removed.
- Accounts may not have inappropriate usernames, signatures or other account information.
- You will not troll the boards or feed the trolls. A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages.1
- You will not have multiple forum accounts without prior permission.
- You will not use excessive webspeak, or other shorthand styles of typing. Please use English or French to the best of your ability; this makes it easier for those who are not posting in their native language.
- You will properly attribute any quotes to the appropriate author or speaker.
- Users that ignore these rules or otherwise act inappropriately may be placed on warning or banned.
- A user may be banned if the Staff feel it is in the best interest of protecting our members.
You should report any post that is in violation of any of these guidelines or common sense
to the moderators. We occasionally miss things, and it can be vigilant site members that allow us to keep the site moving smoothly and even remove content that is not legally appropriate.
Terms and Conditions
All users and visitors are required to read and agree with the Army.ca Terms and Conditions
The above rules apply to all communications and interactions involving Army.ca, public or private. This includes posts, private messages, contributions, uploads etc.
To sum up:
Use your common sense when posting.
Thanks for your cooperation,
1. Wikipedia, Troll (Internet), 2010