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Community Agreement / Usage Policy

TheWoodlandsTX.com is a local gathering place for neighbors in the The Woodlands, TX area.
If you follow the goal of "Keeping TheWoodlandsTX.com Friendly," you should have no problem fitting in the with TheWoodlandsTX.com crowd!

Keep TheWoodlandsTX.com Friendly, Safe and Welcoming:
A Couple Guidelines:
  • A thick skin is required to participate.
  • No insults, name calling, or inflammatory comments intended to start a fight. Refrain from posting personal attacks or grievances publicly. Avoid broad negative generalizations about other TheWoodlandsTX.com members.
  • If many people might interpret a message or picture as racist, bigoted or sexist, please refrain from posting it.
  • Don't pretend to be someone else, or post under several usernames.
  • Privacy / Anonymity: Do not 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 information publicly. If you think someone has violated your privacy / anonymity, please contact an Admin ASAP.
  • No "stalking behavior," including: following a member from one discussion thread to another while criticizing him/her; following someone into another thread and trying to continue a disagreement that began elsewhere; disparaging an individual in a thread where that person is not participating.
  • Debate can be lively, but should remain civil and respectful, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like religion, politics, sexuality, and race.
  • Keep the forums clean: messages that are too crude may get deleted. Don't post sexually explicit or violent pictures.
  • No business solicitations, advertisements or spam on the forums, please.
  • Please follow our strict photo guidelines when posting photos to the forums, including profile pictures.
  • "Keep TheWoodlandsTX.com Friendly" applies to all participation on the site, including private messages.
Moderators have the final word on forum decisions. Any message that we feel doesn't keep the TheWoodlandsTX.com forums friendly and inviting for others, may be removed or locked by moderators. We are willing to discuss disputes in a calm manner, but publicly attacking a moderator, or intentionally undermining a moderator's actions, will get your account locked.

Hey, What About Free Speech?
TheWoodlandsTX.com is a privately owned web site, which means we can and do restrict certain conversations on the forums. We do this 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. This generally means making sure your messages are friendly and respectful of others. 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.

Moderating Stages:
There are escalating stages when it comes to how moderators handle someone causing a problem on the forums. They typically are:

Stage 1: Simple Warning -- Lots of people get warnings, no big deal. Everybody goofs up some times. Minor or rare infractions will often go without a warning. We'll only send a warning if we think it could become a bigger problem in the future if left unchecked.

Stage 2: Strong Warning -- Now you're on the moderator's "list." A person who has ignored a first warning is now going to be watched more carefully by moderators to make sure the 2nd warning is heeded.

Stage 3: Crystal Clear Warning -- If someone has ignored a moderator twice, they'll likely get a very clear warning, something like: "Don't fight on the forums, don't insult people on the forums, and don't talk to so-and-so, even in a veiled manner, or you'll be banned." At this point, the moderator is not happy, and will be scrutinizing this person's posts carefully for a while to enforce this final warning.

Stage 4: Ignore warnings a 3rd time, after a crystal clear warning, and a person will likely get booted from the site. After 3 warnings this person knows exactly what is expected and is refusing to follow guidelines or moderator requests.

"But So-and-So Was Doing The Same Thing!":
For people who complain about how it's unfair because so-and-so did the same thing: the other person is probably further down the ladder, when it comes to the Moderator Stages listed above. In other words, the moderator feels they've caused fewer moderating problems and headaches overall, and they deserve more slack than you do. If you get a warning from a moderator, your only obligation is to focus on reeling your own self in -- pointing at others' bad behavior is no excuse. This is especially important because of the "Echo Effect" described below.

Echo Effect:
People tend to dish out what they're served, so someone who fights a lot on the forums, may set in motion more fighting from other people who are pushing back against them. It's only human...people are echoing back the attitude of an instigator. For this reason, it's absolutely critical that if you're asked to stop fighting, that you stop immediately. Often, if one person stops fighting, a lot of other people may stop fighting too. And if it doesn't stop, we can further pinpoint where the true problem is on the forums. If you don't stop fighting when a moderator asks you to, we can't investigate further where the real problem is, and we're going to assume the real problem is with You.

UnBan Terms
If you've been banned, you might be able to be unbanned under probation, if you agree to stricter rules for the next couple of months.

You agree:
-- To not fight or stir up trouble with other members and to not insult others, and to not engage in name calling with other members.
-- To not mention the people you're fighting with, or any of their posts, not even in a passing or veiled or indirect way. For example, if the person you're fighting with posts a lot about puppies, and you criticize annoying puppy posts, you'll likely get banned for it, even though you didn't mention the person by name. This is what is meant by talking about someone in a veiled or indirect way.
-- If someone you're fighting with causes you (personally) trouble, you'll flag it and not engage them on the forums.
-- To put people you're fighting with on Ignore, to not read their posts, and to not log off or use any other method to get around the Ignore feature.
-- To treat Mods with respect, and take up any problems up with them in private
-- You agree to focus on your own behavior, and that other peoples' bad behavior does not justify your own.
-- You agree that you'll help make the forums a civil place, and that the Mods shouldn't have to constantly send warnings or reminders to keep it so.
-- You agree that if you appear to break any of the guidelines above in the next 3 months that you likely won't get a warning, but will be immediately and permanently banned.

If you agree to these terms, please contact the Admin and we'll review your case to see if we'll undo the ban.

Controversial Discussions:
Certain conversations that are particularly volatile might be marked as "Controversial" by a moderator. Controversial discussions are not seen by non-members, but are seen by all members by default. Members have the option of hiding controversial posts in their account settings. Please do not create multiple threads about the same topic, when that topic has been marked as "Controversial". Discussion around topics marked controversial must remain within the single thread marked as "Controversial" by the Moderator.

*YOUR* Help Is Needed:
Here's how you can help:
  • Click the gray flag icon at the bottom of a message if you think it breaks the spirit of "Keeping TheWoodlandsTX.com Friendly" -- this helps us a lot to keep tabs on potential problems on the forums.

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TheWoodlandsTX.com is a friendly and interactive online
gathering place for residents of The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball,
Magnolia, Conroe, and Shenandoah areas.
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