Forum Content and Removal Policy

Adopted May 2008 by the E-Democracy Board of Directors. For further context, see our Rules.

E-Democracy seeks to create the freest possible online exchange that is both effective and civil. We believe in self-regulation based on the accountability based on the use of real names with facilitation by volunteers over labor intensive "post-moderation" or removal of materials. We uniquely enforce our rules by sanctioning the future participation of individuals and seek to leave an accurate record of what has been shared via e-mail and the web. Ultimately, we limit our own power such that participants are truly accountable for what they say and our own ability to remove criticism of our efforts is limited.

E-Democracy does not allow the removal or editing of postings on Issues Forums hosted by E-Democracy be that by staff, contractors, local forum managers, steering committees, or chapters as a general rule. Content may be removed, edited, or annotated only under the following limited circumstance by the E-Democracy Board or its specified designee(s):

1. When private or personal information is posted unintentionally and if the disclosure of the personal information (street address, telephone number, government ID number) is viewed as threatening the safety of that person. Because e-mail addresses may be changed, self publishing of an e-mail address is not considered private contact information. Participant disclosed e-mail addresses of a third party who is not a public official may be removed only upon receipt of a complaint by the third party in question.

2. If copyrighted material has been posted without the permission of the copyright owner and the owner sends a verifiable written request for the content's removal, E-Democracy shall determine to what extent the content should be removed or excerpted under fair use and linked to at an external website.

3. If a court has ruled that information or views expressed are libelous, the offending post shall be removed. All edits, annotations and/or removals (including inserted links to corrections, apologies, etc.) shall be clearly labeled. Post may be annotated with links to corrections prior to a court ruling at the discretion of E-Democracy.

NOTE: As of May 2008, the following section 4 of this policy applies only to the United Kingdom

4. If legal counsel or the Board determine that the libel laws associated with a local forum's legally defined place of coverage presents a legal liability for E-Democracy, its staff, contractors, Board members, or volunteers, the process below will be used:

A participant claiming libel must demonstrate that they are taking legal action against or seeking a retraction/apology by the responsible author of the post(s). The responsible posting author may request that E-Democracy remove content they now know is false and potentially libelous only if they can prove receipt of a complaint of libel by an individual or organisation. Upon receipt of such an official notice of libel, E-Democracy shall promptly prevent access to the content pending review by E-Democracy. If likely libelous material is found, the full post content shall be removed and the removal publicly documented in its place. An offending participant, not under forum suspension, may at their discretion post an updated version of their post with what they view an non-libelous fair comment. Participants with a documented record of making false/libelous claims on E-Democracy forums may be prevented from posting indefinitely by the Board or its designee.