Puget Sound Off User Policies
Version as of August 25, 2008
Rights & Rules
These are the rights and rules for you and for us as providers of this service. By reading them, you’re taking control of your rights and responsibilities ….and yeah, if you don’t follow the rules, you can lose your membership and right to contribute to Puget Sound Off. Following these rules protects you, protects us and keeps the site alive.
What’s here? Three kinds of rules...
- Content (Code of Conduct): What we hope you’ll add, what we allow and don’t, and how to speak up when you find something that violates the rules or is inappropriate content.
- Liability & general rules: Who’s responsible…and who’s not responsible for what’s posted.
- Privacy: How to protect yourself and what we do to protect you when you use this site.
Confused? We’ve tried to make these simple, but they can pretty thick, especially the ones that have to do with law. If you’ve read these rights and rules and you’re confused by something, use our contact form to ask questions or have us contact you. You may find a legal dictionary helpful in understanding certain words. In most cases, "Law Dictionary" by Steven Gifis, provides information that is accurate and easy to understand.
What does Puget Sound Off mean in these rules?
When these policies refer to Puget Sound Off, we are using it a couple different ways. Puget Sound Off is this web site and it’s also a larger project that includes the web site and training in digital media skills intended to help people use this web site and engage in electronic civic engagement.
For the rules, when we refer to the organization of Puget Sound Off, we are referring to the management entities, which is first the youth council that helps manage the site and the Metrocenter YMCA which is currently the management organizations responsible for the site, along with sponsoring partners the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology and the University of Washington Center for Communications and Civic Engagement.
Who is Puget Sound Off for?
This site is intended primarily for those ages 13 through 21, though users should understand that not all users on the site are under 21.
Puget Sound Off (PSO) is designed to provide youth with a stronger voice through discussion, artistic expression, and action. Together, we also hope to build community involvement. We encourage dialogue, diversity, creativity and respect.
We want you to:
- Discuss causes you care about;
- Have open honest debates;
- Post Opinions, information, and news relevant to improving our communities;
- Provide us with feedback about how to make the site better; and
- Report content that violate our rules. One way to do this is by using the “flag as offensive” link to mark content you believe violates our rules.
In keeping with our philosophy you must agree to not post content that is:
- obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit;
- abusive, violent, harassing, threatening, or violates the legal rights of others;
- grossly offensive to the online community, including but not limited to, blatant expressions of bigotry, prejudice, racism, hatred and profanity;
- illegal or promotes illegal activities;
- exposing the private information of other people or soliciting personal information from anyone under the age of 18;
- a graphic image or video of cruelty to animals;
- engaging in any predatory behavior;
- providing an illegal or unauthorized copy of another person’s copyrighted work;
- facilitating the violation of law;
- intended to upload or otherwise transmit any material that contains software viruses, adware, or other computer code or programs designed to damage the operation of Puget Sound Off or another user’s computer;
- intended to distribute any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letter,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other unauthorized commercial advertising or solicitation for financial gain.
We recognize that misuse may result from misunderstanding. Depending upon the nature and seriousness, users may be told to stop the misuse, may have content removed, or have their privileges revoked.
We reserve the right to remove content that violates Puget Sound Off’s rules or are inconsistent with Puget Sound Off’s mission. While the managers will attempt to remove or edit violating material as quickly as possible, it is impossible to review every message and we may not be able to respond immediately. To assist in monitoring content, we provide ways for users to flag content that is offensive and/or violates our rules. We also provide a contact form enabling more detail to be provided.
LIABILITY & GENERAL RULES
- Puget Sound Off provides a vehicle for youth to exchange ideas and content. Puget Sound Off managers and sponsors are not responsible for the opinions, links and other content posted on this site, with the exception of information posted by the mangers of the site.
- There is no guarantee that access to the site will be uninterrupted or error free. The site is provided on an “as available” basis without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. We are not responsible if specific content is improperly displayed, not posted or not available.
- Neither Puget Sound Off managers nor its sponsors are liable for any legal damages based on any claim of the user, his or her parents, or any of the user's heirs, assignees, appointees or successors-in-interest, and arising out of or as a result of the user's use of this service.
- You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Puget Sound Off managers and sponsors from any claim, lawsuit, liability, loss, damage, cost or attorney's fees arising out of or relating to any actions initiated or caused by you while using this site.
- The Puget Sound Off managers reserve the right to determine how long content remains on this site.
- We reserve the right to change the rules at any time without notice, though we will try to provide notice and want user feedback on the rules.
We take your privacy seriously. We will not sell or give away your name, address, and email to other organizations and businesses unless you have authorized us to do this.
Puget Sound Off collects an assortment of information when you create a user account; some of this is personally identifiable information. Personally identifiable information collected may include, but is not limited to the following information. This information is accessible only by the user who entered it and Puget Sound Off:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Zip code
Puget Sound Off also automatically collects certain non-identifying information from every visitor. These include but are not limited to:
- IP address
- Internet service provider used to access the site
- Pages viewed
- Web browser used
Use of information collected
Puget Sound Off will not release personally identifiable information unless required to do so by law. Personally identifiable information may be subject to public disclosure pursuant to the requirements of RCW Chapter 42.56.
Puget Sound Off needs to evaluate user data and create aggregate reports that describe in general terms who is using the site and the impact it has. We may do this to measure interest, improve the site, and solicit support to keep Puget Sound Off operating. These aggregate reports will not contain personally identifiable information.
Puget Sound Off may set and access cookies on your computer, used to identify your member account and to allow for the proper functioning of the web site and services.
You Help Protect Your Personal Information
Your Profile is password-protected. This means that you have control over who can access your identifying information. When you create your username and password, avoid using personally identifiable information such as your real name. Do not give your password to anyone.
If you are using a shared or public computer, we suggest that you sign out of the site and sign off from the computer when you are finished. This will help protect your information.
Leaving Puget Sound Off and Correcting Information
You have a right to correct or to end your registration for Puget Sound Off and have your profile removed. However, your contributions may remain as part of the collective Puget Sound Off content. Please notify us if you see any information about you that is not correct or if you see any other posting about others that is incorrect.
Remember, you are participating in PSO at your own risk.
Puget Sound Off may amend this policy. If we make any substantial changes in the way we use your personal information, we will notify you by posting an announcement as a rotating spotlight and/or similar method on our home page.