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What is a blog?

Blog – a shortened form of weblog (weblog). It is a ‘log’ of someone’s thoughts and opinions. They have in the past mostly been text-based but increasingly they display pictures, video, and sound.

Entries – Also called ‘blog posts’ or ‘posts’, they are written in a more conversational tone than normal articles. Entries are sometimes time-stamped at odd hours because bloggers often post when they are out and about, traveling, or even at night – in short, when they have something relevant to say, they make an entry.

Blogs are dynamic and change regularly. They may have new entries posted many times a day or only once a week. They also encourage readers to link to them, share their links with friends, and comment on entries.

What is a comment module?

A comment module enables you to comment on a blog or other Company webpage.

What is a messageboard?

Users can start their own discussions on a message board. Members of the Company staff may take part too.

What is RSS feeds?

Feeds let you subscribe to the blogs that you like so you know when they are updated. There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but the majority plump for ‘Really Simple Syndication’.

What are the Editors’ Picks?

On some comment modules, you will notice a tab for Editors’ picks. Editors’ picks are a selection of comments submitted which are well-expressed and add new perspective or insight but generally reflect the balance of opinion we receive. The selection might be updated as more comments are received. To read all the comments click the All Comments tab.

Registration

What is Smart City iD?

Smart City iD is the pan by Website Network Owner sign-in system and we’ve listed some common questions here.
If you have further questions about Smart City iD please contact the membership@the Company .

How do I register for a Smart City iD?

Create a Smart City iD on the Company registration page by filling the form, or login by Social Network account.
If you have further questions about Smart City iD please contact the membership@the Company .

How do I sign in to Smart City iD?

Once you have created or confirmed your Smart City iD you can use it to sign-in on the main page ofthe Company .
If you have further questions about Smart City iD please contact the membership@the Company .

Commenting

General Rule

We’ve established these House Rules for your safety and to keep the by Website Network Owner messageboards a healthy environment for discussion.

If your post has been removed or your account has been restricted and you do not agree that you have broken these rules, please visit our Appeals FAQ.

We’ve established the following House Rules so that everyone can get the most out of commenting on thethe Company website.

Please note that these also apply to rich media submissions such as images, video and audio clips, as well as content associated with you such as avatar images.

We’ve established these House Rules to protect you and the by Website Network Owner from legal and editorial risks. These are intended as a guide to how you should behave and post on the Company .

Breach of the by Website Network Owner terms of use will result in the removal of your comments. Repeated breaches will result in the restriction of your Smart City iD.

The by Website Network Owner welcomes feedback, both positive and negative, about our programs and services but please make sure your comments are in line with the House Rules. Repeatedly posting personal or offensive comments about individual members of the public or people who work for the by Website Network Owner may be considered harassment. We reserve the right to remove such comments and take action against those responsible.

All comments are subject to standard Company Terms Use.

Why has a display name been reset?

We reserve the right to reset display names that:

  • Contain website or email addresses
  • Contain contact information i.e. phone numbers, postcodes etc
  • Appear to impersonate someone else
  • Contain swear words or are otherwise objectionable

Where can I comment?

On the by Website Network Owner website you can comment on message boards, most blogs and anywhere you see the comment module.

What should I put in my comments?

Your comment may be an insight, opinion, idea or feedback that is relevant to the subject of discussion. Keeping your comments concise will increase the chances that other people will read them.

Why can’t I comment on webpages?

The Company editorial teams decide where to add comments after looking at editorial and moderation considerations.

Why are some blog entries and comment modules closed to comments?

All comment modules, whether on blog entries or other webpages, are automatically closed after a period of time to help reduce spamming and off-topic discussion. The default duration that modules are open to comments varies.
Some modules may also be closed early, for example, if the debate has changed, run its natural course, or is no longer topical.

The length of time modules are open to comments can likewise be extended, for example, if the debate remains topical for an unusually long time.

In very rare cases a blog entry may never be opened to comments, for example, if a story is so sensitive that commenting would put users or the by Website Network Owner at risk.

Why are some messageboard discussions closed?

Messageboard discussions are set to close automatically after a period of time. This is to help prevent spamming.
Discussions may be closed early if they have become off-topic, out of date, or if the number of messages is so high that the discussion has become unmanageable.

They may be closed if the discussion as a whole is found to break the House Rules. If the first message of a discussion is found to break the House Rules the discussion will automatically be closed to further messages.

Before you get started

You must first create Smart City ID and sing in to be able to post your own comments.

Don’t jump straight in

Imagine you are at a party and want to join in a conversation. If you just butt in, you could easily say the wrong thing and make a bad impression. If you listen to the conversation first, you get a better idea of how to take part. It’s the same with online conversations; take your time, read a few discussions, and get a feel for things.

Posting your first comment

The easiest way to do this is to join an existing conversation. First look for a discussion on a subject that interests you. Then find a message you want to reply to and click on the ‘Reply to this message’ link. Always double-check what you’ve written before you post, you can’t change or delete a message later.

Messages appearing on the board

Your first few messages may not appear immediately. This is because all messages by new users are pre-moderated, which means that they need to be checked by a moderator before they appear. This may take a while (because the moderators read thousands of comments a day), so please come back later to see your message on the board and check the responses. After you have used thethe Company messageboards for a while, you will become a trusted user and your messages will appear immediately – as long as they don’t break the House Rules.

Some basic tips on writing messages

Check that the board is open before trying to write a message. The messageboard has an opening and closing times and they are subject to change. Times will be displayed on the front page of the messageboard.

Stick with the main topic of the discussion.

You’re having a conversation, not making a speech, so don’t make your message too long. Use short sentences. It makes your messages easier to read.

Don’t type your messages in capital letters as it LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING!

You can include smileys to your messages to show how you are feeling. Use one when you are being cheeky or sarcastic to make sure you are not misunderstood. Double-check your message before you post it.

Including web links

Want to include a link to anon-the Company website in a message? To create a clickable link, copy the complete address into your message, like this: ‘http://www.youtube ‘. The link will then become clickable but its length is truncated upon display e.g. ‘www.youtube…’

Any website you link to must be suitable for all users.

Quoting messages

To quote on the messageboard copy or drag the text you want to quote into a new posting window.

For example:

Add your own comments and then post the message, the text you are quoting will appear in italics.
Please note, be careful when you copy the text of someone else’s message into your post, if you think their text may break the House Rules don’t quote it. If their message is subsequently removed, yours may also be removed if it contains a copy of their removed text.

Moderation

What is moderation?

User-generated content is checked by a team of trained moderators to make the community a safe and enjoyable place to be, and ensure that they meet the House Rules and the laws of Ethics Codex. Moderators do not post their own comments.

What do hosts do?

Hosts do post comments. Their display names appear differently so you can tell them apart from members of the public. Hosts do not usually moderate content, although it is their job to keep the discussion relevant to the topic and within the by Website Network Owner guidelines. They may close off-topic or other rule-breaking discussions, and sometimes make a decision on comments that have been referred to them by the moderators. They may also alert the moderators to rule-breaking comments that they see in the course of their work.

Why must we have moderation?

At the by Website Network Owner, we allow as much freedom as possible to have a relevant debate on our website. However, we are also responsible for making sure that these discussions stay polite, safe, and relevant and do not violate any laws or the by Website Network Owner Guidelines. This is why we have a set of House Rules that we ask everyone to follow. Moderators only remove comments that break these House Rules.

Moderation is necessary so all users can participate without fear of intimidation by other users or being subjected to offensive content. Also, people may intentionally or unintentionally post content that is unlawful, putting themselves as well as the Website Network Owner at risk of legal action. Moderation helps avoid expensive legal action that could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds of license-fee payers’ money.

Please take care when copying text from someone else’s comment into your own. If the text you have copied into your comment is seen to break the House Rules, your entire comment will be removed.

We provide explanations through email for all moderation decisions so that we can make the moderation process as transparent and as fair as possible. In some cases, the reasons for removal may not be apparent to other users of the board, but the person who posted it will receive an email explaining when the decision is made to remove it.

Unfortunately, we cannot give detailed individual explanations as to why a comment was removed, and can only consider appeals against the removal of comments if they concern a serious legal or editorial issue. If you need to contact us about a moderation decision, please write tofeedback@the Company providing a link to your comment or a copy of the moderation email you received.

Finally, it is important that you accept the by Website Network Owner Terms of Use before contributing to the Company. Please note that the terms clearly state that the by Website Network Owner reserves the right to delete any contribution, or take action against any Smart City iD account, at any time, for any reason.

How are comments moderated?

Comments are checked or ‘moderated’ in three different ways, depending on the subject of discussion and target age range of the site:

Pre-moderation

Every single comment is checked before it appears.

Post-moderation

All comments appear immediately and are checked shortly afterward.

Reactive Moderation

Comments are usually only checked if a complaint is made about them. This approach is only used in discussions intended for adults. If you see a comment that you think may break one of the House Rules, please alert a moderator by using the report link.

by Website Network Owner are currently trialing reactive moderation, using an intelligent filtering system to more quickly identify and remove comments that break the House Rules. This means that most comments will appear immediately rather than all comments being pre-moderated, improving the experience for our users. If you see a comment beneath a news story that you consider breaks the rules, please report this to the moderators, using the link that appears when your mouse cursor is over the comment.

When you click into the comment box it will state whether it is pre-moderated, post-moderated, or reactively moderated. The majority of comments on reactive sites will not be viewed by the moderators unless they are reported. However, individual comment modules, messageboard topics and discussions, user accounts, and particular words and phrases may all be set to post- or pre-moderation at the discretion of the by Website Network Owner.

Is moderation done by humans or computers?

All moderation is done by a team of trained human moderators. A comment is never removed without being read and reviewed by a human moderator. However, we have filters to prevent certain offensive words from being posted or to detect posts using words that may indicate a breach of the House Rules. These comments are then sent to the moderation queue to be reviewed. These filters are only additional tools to help improve the efficiency of human moderation.

What criteria do moderators use to make decisions?

Moderators are trained to work to a set of detailed guidelines when assessing user-generated content, which are in line with thethe Company Guidelines for all online services.

Moderators are trained to have a working understanding of defamation and other relevant laws and are briefed about breaking news stories. When in doubt, moderators refer comments to hosts, supervisors, or the Central Communities Team, who are responsible for moderation across the majority of the by Website Network Owner

The moderators work across many sites and view the comments out of context, so they will usually refer decisions about off-topic comments to the hosts who may be more familiar with the subject matter.

What happens to my comment when it is sent to the moderation queue?

On a post-moderated or pre-moderated site, all comments join the moderation queue and will be passed, removed or referred as soon as they are seen by a moderator. The time taken to review a comment may depend on the length of the queue but in most cases, should be within a few minutes.

On a reactive site, comments are usually only checked if they are reported. These comments are prioritized ahead of all others.

Why do some comments take longer to moderate than others?

Sometimes, a comment may be referred for further investigation to a supervisor, host, editor or the Central Communities Team, who are responsible for moderation across allthe Company services. Your comment will be hidden while a decision is pending and the time is taken to make this decision will depend on the investigation necessary.

How do I complain about another user’s behavior?

Alert the moderators with examples of the user’s behavior and a full explanation so that we can investigate your complaint. Please note that while we may allow the individual comment to remain we will still investigate your complaint. To make us aware of general moderation issues please use the feedback form. For more information about moderation please visit our Moderation FAQ page.

Why are my posts pre-moderated, even on reactive boards?

Each time you start commenting in a new part of the website your initial comments will be checked before appearing.
If you have been commenting there for a long time and your comments are still being pre-moderated, your account may have been set to pre-moderation. User accounts are pre-moderated when they repeatedly or seriously break the House Rules. In this case, while others may be able to post comments straight away, every comment a pre-moderated user submits will be checked by a moderator before it appears.

If you think restrictions have been placed on your account, please check you are signed in and that the comment module or messageboard discussion is not closed or pre-moderated before contacting us about the status of your account.

Why hasn’t my comment appeared?

Your comment may be awaiting moderation. Some sites are entirely pre-moderated, which means that all comments are checked by a moderator before they appear. Most Lanast Co. ltd. sites are reactively-moderated, but if you are a new user to that particular part of the website, your initial comments will be checked before appearing. If your comment does not appear, it may have been rejected by the moderators. If so, you will be sent an automated email telling you why.

Why has my comment disappeared?

It is likely that your comment has broken one of our House Rules. Please write another comment that is acceptable. If you would like to query this decision please follow the Appeals process.

Why has my comment been removed when other comments that break the House Rules in a similar way are allowed to remain?

On a reactive site, a comment is usually only checked if it is reported. As a result, the moderators see some comments but may not be alerted to other comments that also break the House Rules. This helps them to remain neutral in their judgment by assessing each comment individually. However, this may mean that one comment is removed while other equally questionable comments are allowed to remain.

If you see a comment that you think may break the House Rules, please alert a moderator by using the report link.
Another reason this may happen is because there will always be some grey areas when making moderation decisions. When deciding whether to pass or fail a comment, a moderator is required to assess the level of potential risk, especially in cases of libel, contempt of court etc. and may remove a comment to be on the safer side. Though there are guidelines that moderators follow, a breach may sometimes be debatable leading to differences in interpretation. One moderator may remove a particular comment while another moderator might allow a similar comment to remain. While we take a lot of care to ensure fairness, occasional inconsistencies are inevitable in the moderation process – if you have comments or complaints about the moderation service please contact us using our feedback form.

Malicious or excessive use of the reporting facility will lead to the restriction of your ability to report comments and in some cases the restriction of your Smart City iD from commenting.

Are comments more likely to be removed if a complaint is made about them several times?

No, a comment is removed as soon as a moderator finds that it has broken a House Rule. However, there can be times when initial complaints don’t have enough information to tell a moderator why or how it breaks the House Rules.
There will also always be some grey areas when making moderation decisions. In some cases, the breach may be debatable resulting in one moderator passing the comment while another moderator may remove it or refer it to a supervisor. Moderators’ decisions are regularly reviewed by the Central Communities Team who will overturn them in the event of a significant error.

Why was my comment removed without any explanation?

The by Website Network Owner always explains moderation decisions via email to make the process as fair and transparent as possible. In fact, the moderation system is set up in such a way that it is not possible for a moderator to remove a comment without automatically generating an email with a brief explanation of the reason for failing the comment. If you have had a comment removed and you haven’t received an email explaining why there could be several explanations:

The comment is still awaiting a decision – if it is removed by the moderator you will be informed.

The email has been filtered by your spam settings. Please check your spam or junk email folder or change your email settings to allow emails from the Company .

The email address you have entered in your Smart City iD account details is incorrect or no longer in use. You can check or update your email details by signing into your Smart City iD and clicking on ‘Settings’.

Very, very rarely, technical issues may result in an email failing to send from the Company servers. If you think this has happened, let us know through our Feedback form.

What happens if you break the rules?

You will be sent an email informing you why your comment has been failed. Users who seriously or repeatedly break the House Rules may be restricted from commenting on some or all Lanast Co. ltd. powered sites. The by Website Network Owner reserves the right to edit, move or delete any message, or terminate membership, at any time, for any reason.

Why have all of a user’s comments vanished?

If the user is a spammer or a user who has been banned many times before all of their comments are removed when their Smart City iD is restricted.

We reserve the right to fail comments which:

Risk breaching copyright law

Copyright law exists to stop someone from taking another person’s work and passing it off as their own. It applies to the internet in the same way as it does to TV, books, and the press. Breaking copyright law can result in being taken to court.

For more information, see our Guide to Copyrights.

Please do not post large chunks of text copied from other sources as this may be an infringement of copyright. Short quotes to illustrate a point may be permissible, although this is at our discretion.

If you wish to refer to external sources of information, it’s better to include a link to an appropriate external website. However, make sure that all external links included in comments meet our editorial guidelines.

Are not in English

Comments which are not in English are not allowed except on designated blogs. This is because we have to ensure comments can be checked and to ensure that all readers of the blogs understand the comment.
In addition to this, comments with heavy text speak or unintelligible language such as codes are also not allowed as this may disrupt the natural flow of conversation.

Risk breaking Law

Contributing material to the Company community with the intention to commit a crime, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity is prohibited.

In addition, we may remove comments which we consider could endanger other users – for example, offering medical and health advice, or encouraging drug or alcohol abuse or self-harm.

Contain potentially defamatory statements

Defamation laws exist to protect individuals or organizations from unwarranted, mistaken or untruthful attacks on their reputation. Posting a defamatory statement on a blog is the same as publishing it in a newspaper or magazine and can result in a court case if a formal complaint is made.

To avoid breaking defamation laws in your comments, please ensure that you verify the information in your comment, especially when presenting negative statements as facts. Also avoid jumping to conclusions, exaggerating, or making subtle implications. Remember that adding the word ‘allegedly’ to a statement does not stop it from being defamation.
Both you and the by Website Network Owner can be held liable if you make a defamatory statement on the by Website Network Owner website, so we will remove comments where we have insufficient evidence to defend the publication of your statement. This means the by Website Network Owner moderators may err on the side of caution when considering some comments.

Are abusive or disruptive

Abusive or disruptive behavior is not allowed on the by Website Network Owner website. This includes:

  • Using swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend
  • Harassing, threatening or causing distress or inconvenience to any person or people
  • Flaming: This means posting something that’s angry and mean-spirited
  • Trolling: This means saying deliberately provocative things just to stir up trouble
  • Infringing the rights of, restrict or inhibit anyone else’s use and enjoyment of the Company
  • Attempting to impersonate somebody
  • Using multiple accounts to disrupt boards, annoy users, or to avoid pre-moderation
  • Bumping or creating duplicate threads, posting in such a way as to cause technical errors, or any other attempts to disrupt the normal flow of conversation
  • Users who seriously or repeatedly demonstrate such behavior may have their accounts pre-moderated or permanently restricted and will not be allowed to return.

Are offensive

Comments that contain offensive content are not allowed on the by Website Network Owner website. Racist, sexist, homophobic, disablist, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable material will be removed and if extreme will result in immediate and permanent restriction of your account.

Are off-topic

Comments that are unrelated to the subject of discussion are considered ‘off-topic’.
Please do not contribute off-topic material, except where a blog has a designated open post or a messageboard has a designated off-topic discussion. If your comment has been removed for being off-topic, you may be able to resubmit your comment somewhere more relevant. You can find examples of some places to comment on the right-hand side of this page.

Discussion of moderation and moderation decisions are off-topic unless otherwise stated. To comment or complain about moderation please use our Feedback Form To appeal against a moderation decision please visit our Appeals FAQ.

Contain personal details

Including contact or identification details in comments such as phone numbers, postal or email addresses is not allowed on most services. Please do not reveal any personal information about yourself or others as it might inadvertently put you or someone else at risk.

Contempt of court

Once a suspect is arrested for an offence or offenses, legal restrictions apply. The 1981 Contempt of Court Act makes it a serious criminal offense, once someone’s been arrested, to publish anything which could prejudice their trial. Being arrested doesn’t in itself indicate guilt, so comments posted to the by Website Network Owner website which presume a suspect is guilty also risk defaming the suspect.

Please use caution when discussing reports of an arrest or court proceedings. Even linking to archived news stories, blog entries and comments may be unlawful as contempt law would usually prohibit any reference to the previous conviction(s) of someone facing new court proceedings.

In addition, courts sometimes impose restrictions that prohibit the publication of specific information such as names and addresses of defendants.

Contain spam

Spamming or flooding is not allowed on the by Website Network Owner website. Spamming means submitting the same or very similar comment many times across the site. Flooding means re-submitting your contribution to the same blog entry or messageboard thread multiple times.

Please do not use a signature beneath your comment to promote websites, services, products or campaigns. This will cause your comments to be removed as spam.

Contain unsuitable links

When posting links, please make sure they adhere to our Guidelines. For example, you should not link to

  • Unlawful, unsuitable or sexually explicit content.
  • Websites that require payment to access
  • Foreign language content
  • Websites that initiate a file download or require additional software in order to view them. This includes .mp3 files.
  • Websites that advertise or promote products

In some cases, the moderator will edit out the link/s leaving the rest of the comment visible on the board. If so the link will be replaced by [Unsuitable/ broken URL removed by moderator].

Appeals

Can I appeal against a moderation decision?

The Website Network Owner has a system of handling complaints and appeals about the moderation and management of our social media sites such as blogs and messageboards. This is handled separately from complaints about the Lanast’s Co. ltd. editorial output.

If your comment is removed you will be sent an automatically generated email telling you which House Rule the comment was considered to have broken. This will include a link to more information about the House Rules.
On very rare occasions, you may be sent a personalized response telling you why your comment was removed, but we can’t do this as a matter of course.

If you have read the email you were sent and these FAQs and disagree that your comment broke the rules, then you can appeal against the decision.

Similarly, if you reported comments to the moderators and they rejected it, you may also appeal.

How should I make my appeal?

If you want us to consider an appeal against a moderation decision, your appeal must satisfy the following conditions:
You must make your appeal within 30 days of the moderation decision. An initial response will be provided within 10 working days of the complaint being made.

Complaints about specific moderation decisions will only be accepted from the user who is subject to that moderation decision and not from third parties unless it can be demonstrated that they have been appointed by the user themselves as their representative.

Complainants must include post numbers or moderation reference numbers, or include a link to the relevant content, to enable the original content and moderation history of the item to be traced. Complaints that do not include these details will not be considered.

Complaints should be clear and concise and not exceed more than 1000 words. Complaints must concern a matter of substance, not be vexatious or trivial, and there must be sufficient evidence to suggest that an appeal against a moderation decision has a reasonable prospect of success.

How does the appeal process work?

If the Website Network Owner finds that a mistake has been made, the content will be reinstated and you will be informed, with an apology where appropriate.

If your complaint is not upheld, we will reply and tell you why. If you still feel your complaint has not been dealt with fairly, you can ask that it is considered again by the Company complaints group.

If the Social Media Complaints Group rejects your appeal and you are still unhappy, you can make an appeal to the Lanast Co. ltd. onwww.lanast .

Can I appeal against the banning, restriction, or pre-moderation of my account?

If your Smart City iD has been restricted from commenting and you disagree with the decision, then you can appeal. The process will be as above, and you should include the email address that your account was registered to. Please explain clearly why you don’t think that you have broken the terms of the site. Creating more accounts or engaging in any other disruptive behavior may result in the permanent restriction of all your accounts and harm your chances of a successful appeal.

Can I make a general complaint about the standard of moderation service?

Please help us by making your complaint specific and providing examples to support your complaint – the moderation service works across a wide range of Lanast Co. ltd. websites and different kinds of audiences, so the more detailed the information you can give us the easier it will be to provide a response.

What is the expedited complaints process?

Unfortunately in some cases complainants, because of the frequency or nature of their contact with the by Website Network Owner, hinder consideration of their, or other peoples’, complaints and disrupt the smooth running of the moderation process. When this happens, appeals will no longer be considered from this complainant with the procedure outlined above.

In addition, you may be asked to put your complaint in writing and send it by posted letter. There is a useful list of the type of actions that might characterize vexatious complaining put together by the Local Government Ombudsman in the LGO guidance notes on actions against unreasonably persistent complaints.

If your Smart City iD has been restricted because of abuse of the moderation reporting facility we may move you immediately to the vexatious complaints process.

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