This is an international community with thousands of participants, and we need to stick to some ground rules to make this chat a friendly environment for everyone:
- Stay on topic. Don’t interrupt discussions with off-topic talk or one-on-one discussions. We have Discord for that!
- Be kind and respect other humans.
- Include everyone.
- Listen to the moderator team and always follow their instructions. Do not argue with them in public.
- No bullying, sexism, racism, homophobia or other hate-based chat.
- No politics, religion or other controversial topics. (We talk about rescued marine mammal here.)
- Don’t spam words, characters, emojis.
- Use CAPS for emphasis only. Don’t write entire sentences in caps repeatedly. It’s considered SHOUTING and can be very irritating.
- Don’t argue with people — especially the moderators.
- Please speak English only so the majority can understand what you are saying and moderators can do their jobs. Many of us aren’t native speakers, but we speak English as a courtesy to everyone else.
- Absolutely no advertising, promotion or self-promotion of any kind. That includes fundraising; except for symbolic adoptions on mmrpatients.org.
- Do not impersonate another chat user or a moderator; do not pretend or suggest that you are acting on behalf of the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre or its parent organization, the Ocean Wise Conservation Association or in any kind of official role or capacity.
- Do not identify a staff member, volunteer or visitor by name or through links to their social media profiles, unless authorized by both the individual in question and a moderator on duty.
- Do not ask to be granted a status in the chat (mod, regular etc.) ─ especially not repeatedly so.
As we talk about animals in this community, some additional rules apply:
- Don’t be that “armchair expert”. When it comes to animal biology and behaviour, animal care & veterinary medicine, please leave interpretation of anything you see to our experts; let them answer any questions, or have our moderators provide verified answers. Remind yourself that you are viewing animals living at an accredited facility that employs professionals with relevant education and a lot of experience caring for marine mammals who are likely to understand the animals’ needs better than you. Defer to them when it comes to assessing animal care and health.
- Do not promote behaviour that can put animals at risk; e.g. exotic animals as pets, disturbance of wild animals, “rescue” by unqualified individuals etc.
- Do not discuss or joke about hunting or similar activities that harm animals of any species.
- When discussing predator-prey relationships, do so in a way a biology teacher would ─ and not merely to create controversy.
- At all times, you are required to follow a moderator’s request to cease discussing a topic if they deem it inappropriate for the community.
- Treat every chat participant with respect and answer questions patiently, if they have an answer. (However, they have no obligation to answer a question they do not wish to answer.)
- Remove offending messages without further warning and permanently remove users from the chat if their behaviour is deemed disruptive.
- Immediately respond to obvious trolling or repeated guidelines violations by removing offenders from the channel permanently, without warning, to avoid interruptions.
- Use their discretion to decide when and how a rule needs to be enforced. Their decisions are final.