Terms of Service or ... The Rules!
Dharma Wheel's staff team request your compliance with regards to the following points which form the "Terms of Service or ... The Rules" of this website and are designed for the benefit of all:
One account per person - failure to comply may result in a permanent ban.*
No Ad Hominem/Personal Attacks
No Discriminating Against Members on the Basis of their Gender, Sexual Preferences, Ethnic Group, Language, etc
No Badmouthing of other Buddhist Discussion Forums and this includes no active links and / or references to sites that permit gossip and negative views towards other Buddhist forums
No putting down of other traditions or elevating one above the other, except within the Forum of the tradition in which such teachings are taught. Alternatively Open Dharma is the place for inter-school debate. Further Academic Forum can be a place to discuss provenance of sutras and competing interpretations.
No meta-discussion (i.e. discussion about discussion), unsubstantiated allegations against members, solicitation of funds, proselytizing, and the advocating or promotion of illegal activity.
No Double Posting
No Disclosure of Internal Private Messages/Off-Site Emails or Any Type of Private Correspondence Without Prior Consent from the Sender
No Inappropriate Language
No Inappropriate Images/Audio/Video
No Advertising/Commercial Links in Signatures/Posts
No Discussions about Shugden/Dolgyal**
*Dharma Wheel operates a strict "One Account Per Person" system. Any problems with accounts for example forgetting a password, can be sorted out by contacting the owner or other member of staff. Creating an account with a different user ID after receiving a ban is a serious breach of the ToS and may lead to a permanent ban. Posts from duplicate accounts will be merged into one account. The creation of an account commonly known as a "sock puppet" account and/or also any attempt at impersonating someone else may also result in an automatic permanent ban. Any account where the true (IP address) identity has been concealed in some fashion for the purpose of deceit may also result in an immediate permanent ban. Accounts created only for the purpose of advertising or spamming will attract an immediate ban. All decisions about permanent or long-term bans will be taken by the Moderating Team on a case-by-case basis.
**Practices and material related to Shugden/Dolgyal are explicitly prohibited on Dharma Wheel since we follow the recommendation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The discussion of or linking to material from groups and individuals that promote them, such as Geshe Kelsang Gyato's New Kadampa Tradition or Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's Kechara are not welcome and will be removed.
Also critical topics against these cults, mentioning the name in the headline will be removed, because "bad publicity is also publicity" and Dharmawheel should be free of these discussions. If you have any relevant information, please don't start a topic but write a PM to our team.
All the heads of the Tibetan traditions condemn such practices due to its extremely divisive nature and the negative effects to a person's well-being. The common advice is to ignore them instead of nursing the bad energy by attention.
Further information can be found here: http://dalailama.com/messages/dolgyal-shugden or http://shugdeninfo.com
Further Important Points
Time limit for editing posts is set at one hour.
Be polite. Rudeness in any form will not be tolerated. As a Buddhist forum, we expect members to do their best to uphold the conduct of "Right Speech" as taught by the Buddha. Please read Right Speech and Enlightened Discussion for further information. Any member who is not attempting to abide by this conduct and is intentionally unpleasant to other members in public discussion on Dharma Wheel will initially be suspended to give the moderating team time to discuss if there is to be further action. Furthermore, any member who abuses any member of the moderating team via PM or email, especially in relation to a moderation decision, will similarly be suspended pending consideration of further action. Please think before you hit "Submit"!
Do not be disruptive. Dharma Wheel is an environment for the discussion of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. All are welcome but are required to abide by the Terms of Service (ToS). The staff team reserve the right to edit/remove inappropriate content, and to remove or transfer any posts or threads that are not relevant to the sub-forum in which they are posted. Any subject matter that may be off-topic or is intended only to cause disruption or harm to others may be removed without notice.
People are free to question the teachings and traditional interpretations in Open Dharma subforum. Questions about a practice, a teaching or belief are appropriate in the specific subforum where the practice belongs, but criticisms belong in Open Dharma only and should be done sensitively, where possible with reference to the appropriate teachings. For example, do not challenge the core Dharma concepts and principles of Pure Land Buddhism in the Pure Land subforum and the same goes with the other specific traditions as well.
Accounts are not deleted upon request though they can be deactivated. The posts associated with a deactivated account are not deleted as this would mess up the continuity of threads.
This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity. In support of this:
~ Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
~ Proselyting/evangelizing other paths which includes for example arguing some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.
When quoting other people's work please provide a link (when applicable). Do not copy and paste an entire article rather, select and copy a few sentences that are appropriate to the discussion and paste them. Please respect the wishes of teachers/authors. It is policy here not to permit quotes (or the publishing of) tracts from restricted texts or the reproduction of restricted images, audio/video including web/podcasts. Any text or images which are considered Fair Use or not copyrighted may be used including articles which are freely given, providing they are used here for non-commercial purposes as this is an ad-free non commercial website.
Members who are suffering a serious mental illness should seek diagnosis and treatment from a qualified medical professional within their community and those who are suffering from an acute phase of a mental illness, including intention to self harm and/or are suicidal should seek immediate assistance. http://www.befrienders.org/index.asp
~ Members are asked not to use Dharma Wheel as a platform to express intentions of self harm or suicide, the experience of voices or other hallucinations or other artefacts of acute mental illness.
~ When encountering a member suffering an acute episode of a mental illness, we should treat that member with compassion and refer that member to medical/emergency services within that person's community.
Psychoactive drugs raise similar concerns. They may have some relevance to spiritual practice but most experienced Buddhist teachers and practitioners advise against them because the benefits are small in relation to their risks. Additionally, of course, most of these drugs are illegal in most countries. Dharma Wheel does not recommend drug use but allows limited discussion of them in the Open Dharma forum.
Dharma Wheel administrators and moderators are first and foremost members of Dharma Wheel and as such are entitled to express their views and opinions in threads the same as all registered users. Staff expressing their personal views and opinions in threads should not be mistaken for acts of administration/moderation. The staff will make it clear when they are performing an act of administration/moderation. Please read the Terms of Service-Reporting Procedures to see how to proceed if you disagree with or wish to complain about an act of administration/moderation.
Dharma Wheel and related sites of the site owner are owned and operated out of U.S.A. and as such come under the guidelines of 47 US Code Section 230(c)(1), including the Communications Decency Act, which provides owners, administrators, moderators, and posters immunity from any content in here posted by someone else. Each is responsible for their own post and the team has no liability even if administrators and/or moderators fail to remove an alleged offending post. Therefore, any poster who makes legal threats against anyone on this forum will be grounds for immediate banning. The administrators, moderators, and owners are not responsible for the actions, views, and opinions of individual posters. Use of this forum is at no membership fee and voluntary.
For more info related to this law see:
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
Dharma Wheel's management reserve the right to add, amend or delete rules, as deemed necessary, to support the functioning of this online community.
PLEASE READ BEFORE STARTING TO POST. It will be assumed the ToS have been read and understood from when a member makes their first post.
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