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Community Agreement / Usage Policy

Community Agreement / Usage Policy

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TheWoodlandsTX.com is a local online, social gathering place for neighbors in the The Woodlands, Texas area.

This community welcomes and encourages:
  • Open and honest dialogue.
  • A friendly, safe and welcoming atmosphere.
  • People giving each other the benefit of the doubt, especially with controversial or emotional topics.

The TheWoodlandsTX.com forum is a privately owned online social group and you must follow the guidelines below as well as coexist in a friendly way with moderators and their requests in order to participate here.

A Couple Guidelines:

  • Don't be a jerk. No insults or name calling directed at other members. Avoid personal attacks or character attacks on other members.
  • If many people might interpret a message or picture as racist, bigoted, homophobic or sexist, don't post it. This is a quick way to get banned.
  • Any characterization of a group of people made up of predominantly one race or sexuality, as having a list of stereotypical negative characteristics associated with that group, or being worse than another group, is against forum rules and will be removed.
  • Repeated posts pointing out alleged or stereotype negative traits of a particular protected group (racial group, sexual orientation, religious group) will be removed because it gives the appearance of being racist or bigoted.
  • Insults or criticisms against people of a certain race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, country of origin, or religion is against the rules and will be removed.
  • Don't pretend to be someone else, or post under several usernames, with a couple exceptions: "Throw Away" Accounts: You can create a temporary "throw away" username to use in a single discussion thread to discuss a private/personal issue, but that account should be restricted to that single discussion only, and you should not post with both your accounts under the same discussion. Do not use throw away accounts to post inflammatory messages or messages that otherwise break forum rules. Classifieds Account: You can also create one separate account for use on the classifieds only.
  • Privacy / Anonymity: Never post personal information (real name, address, work place, physical description, email address, family status, etc.) that would betray the anonymity of another member without permission, either publicly or in private messages. We can only enforce your anonymity/privacy if you are careful about giving out your infochrmation publicly. If you think someone has violated your privacy / anonymity, please contact an Admin ASAP. Don't repost other members' private messages on the public forums. Forward PMs to an Admin if they are breaking rules.
  • "Doxxing" of private individuals (people who are not public figures) is strictly prohibited. This includes researching and publicly broadcasting personally identifying information about an individual to the forums such as: their real name, family member names, information about children, employer name, home or work address, car type or color, or any other personally identifying information (whether available publicly or not) especially if there is an intent to criticize, harm, harass, embarrass, shame, or coerce. Please note: TheWoodlandsTX.com may release member information if deemed appropriate to cooperate with reasonable law enforcement requests or comply with the law.
  • We do not allowing posting of peoples' faces and/or license plates of local people, or similar identifying info, without their permission in order to criticize them on the forums. Obfuscated photos (with face blurred, or license plate blurred) may be allowed, subject to moderators' judgment call.
  • Messages that are too crude may get deleted. Don't post sexually explicit or violent pictures or videos. Our detailed photo & video guidelines are available here.
  • Jokes or memes that insult or make fun of someone in a sexual way, or make allegations of sexual impropriety, will be removed unless that person has been convicted in court. Allegations of sexual impropriety can still be discussed in a civil and serious manner.
  • Any posts calling for or suggesting violence will be removed. This includes generic calls for the country to go into "civil war," "revolution," or "secession". This rule does not apply to calls for legal use of force by the US government (such as the police or military) to enforce the law or protect the country.
  • Advocating for or celebrating the death of another human being is grounds for being banned. Regardless of what you think about a person, this type of discourse is unwelcome on these forums.
  • No business solicitations, advertisements, spam or business self promotion on the forums. Honest reviews of local companies by independent third parties are welcome, although we will sometimes remove criticisms of our official website sponsors. New, unestablished accounts may have reviews removed if they appear suspicious or look like an advertisement.
  • Buying, selling, trading and giving things away for free should be limited to the Classifieds section or Private Messages and not on the forums. This is to prevent the forums from being overwhelmed with those kinds of posts.
  • The "Ignore" feature is meant to reduce conflict. If you have someone on ignore or that person has you on ignore, refrain from talking to or about that person.
  • Moderators typically delete the following types of threads: swan song posts, posts about missing members who were banned or quit the website, posts about ignoring or being ignored by someone, new threads dedicated to criticizing another member, posts advocating for dubious medical treatments, posts about being banned or quitting the site, posts about one race bad or being better/worse than average in some way, critiques of moderating (take it to PMs), posts mentioning other forums or community web sites or Facebook groups, any referral or affiliate links.
  • Moderators typically remove posts criticizing our official website sponsors.
  • "Bumping" threads without contributing to the conversation (in order to promote certain threads or keep them toward the top of the page) is considered spamming and will result in your account and the threads being locked.
  • If someone is breaking the rules, flag it and let a moderator step in. Avoid taking things "into your own hands".
  • No chronic unfriendly behavior allowed: members who habitually demean, criticize, or mock other members, or otherwise encourage a hostile environment on the forums will have their account closed.
  • If two members argue repeatedly with each other, an Admin may put them on "Forced Ignore".
  • Rules concerning racism, bigotry, sexism, anonymity, business solicitations also apply to private messages. Violations of these specific rules could get your account banned even if they are limited to occurring in private messages only.
  • If two members are fighting with each other repeatedly or engaging in escalating hostility toward each other, the entire discussion may be removed by a moderator, including posts that may or may not be directly breaking rules.
  • Some extreme or objectionable conspiracy theory posts will be removed, at the discretion of the moderators. Reposting viral posts from social media that are unattributed and include multiple clearly incorrect items stated as "facts" may be removed from the forums. Those posts may be better posted on Facebook or Twitter or other social media platforms instead.
  • Verifiable incorrect quotes or blatantly incorrect propaganda (i.e., graphs with clearly false and unsourced information) will be removed in the interest of reducing the spread of incorrect information on the forums. Repeated posting of this type of information may cause your Politics access to be removed.
  • Speculation related to Covid vaccines, treatments, or the virus itself is not allowed in General chat. Potentially dangerous misinformation about Covid-19 may be removed from the forums at moderators' discretion. Controversial, non-mainstream info about Covid or vaccinations may be removed from the forum at moderators' discretion.
  • You must be 13 years or older to have an account or participate on the forums.
  • Fastlane: Anything remotely related to politics, laws, politicians, or hot button social issues; must go in the "Fastlane" category. These discussions and comments must stay out of General Chat. Not everyone has access to the Fastlane. If you are interested in further details, please see our page about the Fastlane.
  • If you post an excerpt or screenshot of a news article, please include a link to the original article. If you post a link to a news article, please include a brief summary of the article. Do not post links that require a file download (e.g., PDFs) or that require a subscription to view.
  • The health and strength of this community, and the safety of its members overrides all other rules. Although the guidelines above cover most situations, it's difficult to write rules that cover all scenarios that may arise. Moderators will sometimes take further actions that aren't directly mentioned above when they are done in good faith in order to protect the health and strength of this online community, and to protect members' safety and privacy.

No Business Promotions or Related Posts
If you run a business or work for one, please note that we don't allow self-promotion, advertisements, spam, promoting one's business, or offering deals or promos on the forums. If you offer a product or service to the public for money, we consider you to be operating a "business" for the purposes of these rules.

If you run a business, we also don't allow posts that are tangentially related to your business. For example, we don't allow a lawn mowing company to post a photo of a completed lawn. We don't allow pet sitters to post a picture of their latest client's puppy they are watching. We don't allow a real estate agent to post a photo of a house they just sold.

Even though these examples are not directly promotional or advertisements, we've found that too often businesses will make these kinds of posts in order to evade the "no business promotions" rule to gain new customers/clients. So, because this is a common occurrence, and to avoid any ambiguity, we've disallowed these kinds of posts entirely.

Official TheWoodlandsTX.com advertisers may occasionally post promotional materials on the forums. Honest reviews of local companies by independent third parties are welcome, although we will sometimes remove criticisms of our official website sponsors. New, unestablished accounts may have reviews removed if they appear suspicious or look like an advertisement.

Rules? What About Free Speech? This Is Censorship!
TheWoodlandsTX.com is a privately owned web site, and the forums are a private online social group. This means that, Yes, we can and do restrict certain conversations on the forums.

Certain controversial discussions, while perfectly valid to have, should take place on other websites better suited for those controversial topics.

Many of these rules are created with the goal of keeping TheWoodlandsTX.com a friendly and inviting place for most residents of The Woodlands. Just like you couldn't curse at church, or use racial slurs at Disney World without getting kicked out; we have set certain reasonable limits on TheWoodlandsTX.com members in order to participate here. The Internet is a big place, and there are many web sites where all types of controversial and inflammatory discussions are allowed, but TheWoodlandsTX.com is not one of them.

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