Community Guidelines

Bayside Women’s Shelter community standards, participation guidelines and moderation aims

The aim of this page is to help you, our valued guests, to understand our goals for lively and considered discussion in the community and our social media pages, and the steps we take to create an inclusive and safe environment.

We operate on one guiding principle: although we welcome passionate opinion and discussion, we have taken a ‘zero tolerance’ view of any comments which we feel could be considered harmful.

We understand there are differing views of what constitutes offensive or insulting comments. We understand there are concerns that society has become too focused on political correctness. Likewise, we stamp out insensitive or hateful comments.

We urge participants to flag (via the menu next to the offending comment) or email us (via our contact page) about a potentially inappropriate comment for review, whether out of concern for others or as a result of personal offence.

We gauge the merits of an observed or reported comment at our discretion, by our own internal standards, often through internal discussion. Any decision is both final and non-negotiable. However, where appropriate, and as time and circumstance allows, we will discuss a decision with the affected parties – for so long as the exchange remains reasonable, balanced and calm.

Community Standards

Tone and Attitude

We do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such.

Our goal is to ensure an inviting space for discussion. For this reason, we will at our own discretion distinguish between intelligent – be it calm or heated – and abusive, provocative discussion.

We understand that among passionate individuals, strong feelings can lead to arguments that extend beyond the original topic or purpose of the content to which a discussion thread belongs.

There is a distinct line between criticising a brand, company or product, and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age – whether a fellow participant or as a general comment.

We ask that you respect the rights of others to their own views, beliefs and preferences, and keep discussion ‘on topic’.

Moderation: We reserve the right to caution participants openly so that all can see the intent to redirect the flow of discussion, and we likewise reserve the right to remove offending comments and the posting privileges of any participants involved.

This may occur without warning or discussion, however we will make contact with involved participants where we deem it appropriate and worthy.

Clarity and Intent

Be mindful that you may be misunderstood if you are not clear in your meaning. Review the content of your comment before posting, to best ensure your message will be taken as intended.

Remember that text is not always an ideal medium for discussion. The tone of your comment – be it serious, sarcastic or light-hearted – will not always be obvious. (Replying to an offended participant with “clearly you can’t take a joke” or “you obviously don’t understand sarcasm” is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.)


If a comment critical of our work has been deleted, there will have been other factors involved, such as unnecessarily abusive or hurtful words. We will always take action against such a comment, in defence of our guests and of our writers alike.

If a comment is removed, related comments may also be removed – whether offensive or not – so as to avoid a series of ‘leftover’ comments.

As noted, we will not always enter into discussion with every user affected by moderation, be it a deleted comment or a banned user.

Shadow Profiles

Users are asked to maintain one profile only. If we determine that one user is maintaining multiple profiles – that is, more than one username in the comments section – the user will be warned openly in the discussion. If the user continues to maintain multiple profiles, their posting privileges will be removed.

If you feel you have been affected unjustly by this rule and wish to dispute the decision, you may contact Bayside Womens Shelter and we will respond in a timely manner.

Who moderates discussion?

The monitoring and moderation of discussion on Bayside Women’s is a responsibility shared by our volunteers, along with a small group of trusted community members who help to moderate comments, in consultation with our specialist case carers.

Each works on an ‘as time allows’ basis, and each is unpaid for their time and effort.

Automated moderation – Word filter, links

A portion of our moderation occurs through automation, by two factors: word filtering, and links.

Filter: We use a word filter to automatically hold any offending or potentially offending comment in ‘pending’, where it waits for review. If a post contains a prohibited word or term, even if not with malicious intent, the post will not appear until approved by a member of our team.

It should also be noted that some words contain prohibited words within them. If that word is picked up by a ‘wildcard’ in our filter, it too will be held. We endeavour to approve these comments, where appropriate, as quickly as possible.

Links: To protect our site and visitors against spam and malware, links to external sites are not allowed and any post containing a link will be held in pending for review.

What can i do to help maintain an inviting forum for discussion?

As above, we ask that all participants maintain a respectful and considered attitude in discussion with each other.

If you spot a comment that may be a problem, please flag it via the menu next to the offending comment. We ask that you do not engage in ‘vigilantism’ by attacking an offending commenter in kind.

Note: These guidelines may be revised or updated at any time, without notice.

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