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Rules and Policiesas of 4 September 2005

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#1 Helene



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Posted 04 September 2005 - 12:24 PM

We've found that things usually run smoothly, and the vast majority of our members follow our rules without an explicit list. However, it's important to be clear about policy up front, because Ballet Alert!'s policies may differ in content and emphasis than other discussion boards. The rules and policies are in place to further the mission of the board. We can't make anyone read any of this, but we will moderate the board as if you have.

Some topics, such as copyright and special forum, require more detail, which can be found here. Rules for registration are located here and for new posters are located here. To learn which site functions you may use, click here. To learn about how the site is moderated, click this link. Any exceptions for Moderators, Editorial Advisors, and Foreign Correspondents are noted in the threads devoted to them.

Ballet Alert's Golden Rules

* Language: We welcome and value our posters from all over the world, but as an English site, all posts must be in English. If you give us a summary or translation of a short excerpt of a non-English article, you're welcome to link to the original. Links to official news from non-English sources are fine.

* Courtesy: Everyone must be treated courteously, and ad hominem, racist or sexist remarks and attacks, including those critical of sexual orientation, however casual or meant in jest, are not acceptable and will be removed. If you keep in mind the following phrases -- "Golden Rule," "respectfully disagree," and "Miss Manners" -- you should be fine. (For acceptable ways to say something stronger, please see Mr. Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.)

* News: Only official news may be posted to the board, and the source must be noted.

Official news is from an official source, either in print or in a lecture, Q&A, cast substitution slip or announcement, press conference, promoter's notice, or public-facing discussion. This covers topics about promotions, injuries, contracts, casting, hiring and firing, rehab, relationships, and conjectures about personal and institutional motivations, stability, etc. It can be in a language other than English, as long as you summarize (or translate) the pertinent info.

Social media clarification:
  • Official news is also news posted on a personal, public blog of a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, or designer about himself/herself, or on an official public company blog. It includes posts about him/herself on group blogs or websites like "The Winger". Public is defined as available to the general public, even if it requires registration that is open to all. If there are private sections of the blog or website, then information found there is not official news.
  • Official news is also what is tweeted by that dancer or company about himself or the company, or that is on the person's Facebook "Like" (formerly "fan") page. It does not include personal Facebook pages. This also goes for the equivalent on other social media sites and the upcoming Google equivalent(s) that will blitz us soon.

"I heard" or "I talked to XYZ" or "I overheard" is not an official source.

Posts from other discussion boards and Everyman blogs are not official sources.

Please do not try to sneak in unofficial news by stating it in your question, a la "Can anyone confirm whether La Sublima really kicked her dog in rehearsal the other day?," and surely anyone who can spell, punctuate, and use the phrase "anorexic-looking" properly can think of a few non-diagnostic and equally descriptive synonyms. Please note: Personal discussions with dancers or people who know them are not official news. If you post, "I know this dancer and ..." or "Dance X told me...," or "He's my student and...," "XYZ tweeted about dancer ABC", or especially "I'm a parent, and I know" you've just told us why we should delete it, regardless of whether the source is Frederick Franklin or the dancer's barrista's brother-in-law.

Please note that the rules for discussion here are a bit different from our sister board, Ballet Talk for Dancers.
* Criticism: While we ask you to keep in mind that the objects of your criticism and their fans may very well read the site, as long as the post follows our Courtesy Policy, your opinions may be expressed on the board. No one need apologize for or justify courteous, well-reasoned criticism. You may disagree with the content, but please don't criticize the act of criticism.

* Politics and Religion: Politics and religion may be discussed only in the context of classical ballet, i.e., religious symbolism in Ashton's "Dante Sonata," political content in the piece, or how presidential candidates will treat the arts. Please do not argue that everything is political and, therefore, should be discussed here, because we disagree with the latter, and, as a result, won't comment on the former.

* On Stage: Unless there is an official news account or video of backstage, rehearsal, or class, please keep discussion and anecdotes to the stage, to public rehearsals (or those offered to low-level donors) and public classes (not including "open" classes); for class, comments are limited to the work. The only exception is for those ballet professionals who are posting under their real, full names; they can post about personal or personally observed professional experiences backstage, as long as the posts don't air a grudge or disclose something potentially harmful or embarrassing about a colleague or company.

* Privacy: If a poster is not posting under his/her name, please do not "out" the poster on the board. When discussing "where are they now," unless the person's information and location can be found publicly (Google search, website, phone book, etc.), please be general, such as "raising a family" or "working as a physician's assistant."

* Copyright: Respect copyright for text, videos, music, photographs, and cross-posting. Details can be found here.

* Disclosure: You need not put your name in the post, but you must disclose your connection to the Company, performer, or event if you are posting on a topic with which you are affiliated.

* Site Resources: Personal Messenger (PM), board email, Member Search, and posts may not be used for mass mailings or to harass members, to solicit, or to recruit members to another board (directly or indirectly). We reserve the right to retract these privileges if abused, up to an outright ban.

* Mission: Stick to the mission, the key words being "classical ballet" and "discussion." We will block discussion stoppers. This includes discussing the discussion, obvious attempts to shill or sell, blatant self-promotion with no other contribution to the board, using the board as a single issue pulpit, and posting to get back at a person or institution, as well as "Talk to the Hand" statements that can lead only to "No, you're wrong," or "Whatever." There are many places on the Internet where this is standard and part of the banter, but we've made a different choice.

* Topics: Topics should follow the mission and foster discussion. It may be seen as a double-standard to leave a light-hearted topic like, "Which Dancer Has the Loveliest Back?," and remove a thread on "Who's the Ugliest Aurora/Desire," or "Please Criticize Your Favorite Dancers," but we think there is a key difference: laundry lists of flaws that are out-of-context don't further the discussion.

Where Did the Gossip Policy Go?

It's still there; it's now called "news." The board has always defined gossip as "unofficial news." We thought if we called it "gossip," no one would want to be one and wouldn't post any. Unfortunately, we found that people interpreted the term as it is generally used, and we had too many of the following conversations:Ballet Alert!: We've deleted/edited your post because it violated the gossip policy.
Poster: I would never gossip!!!! Stop calling me a liar!!!! She told me herself at Safeway!!!!
Our point was never to doubt the accuracy of the post or the good intentions of the poster. It was always whether the news was official, even if everyone, including the theater cat, knew it before it made the press. We've decided to use the term "news" to avoid contentiousness over the term "gossip."

Why Is There a News Policy in The First Place, When We All Want to Know "The Real Story?"

The news (formerly "gossip") policy is to protect everyone involved. Ballet professionals are people: they conduct careers, change their minds, and adjust to change at their own pace, and the reasons for their decisions don't always condense into convenient 10-second sound bites. They have good and bad days, like to spend time with their family and friends without being interrupted, and, generally prefer to drink their morning mocha latte without finding a five-page discussion on the Internet about whether they should have left off the whipped cream.

But, you may ask, doesn't it mean that the bad guys get away with murder? Don't I, as a donor/subscriber/volunteer/fan have the right to know if the Artistic Director locks up her husband in the basement? The answer is, maybe you do, but not from here.

Edited by Helene, 27 December 2010 - 10:46 AM.
To add social media clarification

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