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Communication Guidelines


A Summary of these Guidelines may be found here.

Participation in World Community Grid enables you to share insights, assist members and express opinions with a globally distributed group of volunteers, researchers and scientists. Welcome!

The social communication features on the World Community Grid Site are effective ways to interact with others and share such items as stories, motivation, project news, milestones, technical support and troubleshooting information. Remember that these tools are intended for individuals who wish to share and discuss their participation in World Community Grid. They are not intended for personal or non-World Community Grid related topics or agendas, for sharing confidential or restricted information, for aggregating lists of contacts for sale or distribution, for soliciting sales or employment, or for human resources related subjects.

It is your own decision whether you choose to participate in social communications on the World Community Grid site, such as through the forums, a wiki, online social network or any other form of online publishing or discussion on our website. When doing so, you agree to follow these guidelines.

In addition to the following guidelines, by using World Community Grid social communication features you are agreeing to the Terms of Use for our site, located here. Exercise personal responsibility in social communication activities. Each tool and medium has proper and improper uses. While individuals are encouraged to participate in our social communication environment, it is important for those who choose to do so to understand what is expected and required when they discuss World Community Grid-related topics, whether at work or on their own time. Individuals must exercise personal responsibility whenever they participate in social communication. This includes not violating the trust of other participants.

Be clear about who you are and protect your privacy and that of others. We believe in transparency and honesty. We encourage you to use your member name, be clear who you are. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out.

Be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be "public" in the social communications environment and will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be judicious in disclosing personal details about yourself. Do not disclose personal information of others unless you have their permission.

Be thoughtful about how you present yourself in online social networks. The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in social computing environments. Ensure your profile and content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself. If you identify yourself as employed by or associated with a particular company, make sure what you say and post is consistent with your company's social communication practices and guidelines.

Respect copyright and fair use laws. For your protection, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including your company's own copyrights and brands. Use appropriate symbols to mark the first occurrence of trademarked terms. Do not include images in your content unless you own the exclusive rights to display the images. Do not include another's materials unless you have the right to do so. And it is good practice to link to others' work. Keep in mind that laws will be different depending on where you live and work.

Protect confidential and proprietary information. Social communication blurs many of the traditional boundaries between internal and external communications. Be thoughtful about what you publish. Do not provide confidential or proprietary information of any person or company in any social communication environment. For example, ask permission before publishing in a forum a conversation that was meant to be private.

If an organization or individual hasn't given explicit permission for their name to be used, think carefully about the content you're going to publish and get the appropriate permission where necessary. It is acceptable to discuss non-confidential, general details about kinds of projects so long as the information provided does not violate any non-disclosure or intellectual property agreements that may be in place regarding that organization or individual.

Respect your audience. Participants in social communication platforms reflect a diverse set of customs, values and points of view. Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. Do not engage in offensive conduct. This includes not only the obvious (e.g. no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity), but also proper consideration of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion. Avoid these topics and focus on subjects that are World Community Grid-related and within the scope of World Community Grid’s social communication environment. Always use your best judgment.

Don't pick fights. If you see misrepresentations made you may certainly point that out. Always do so with respect, stick to the facts. Avoid unnecessary or unproductive arguments. Brawls may earn traffic, but nobody wins in the end. Don't try to settle scores or goad members or others into inflammatory debates. Make sure that what you are saying is factually correct.

Be the first to respond to your own mistakes. If you make a mistake, be up front about your mistake and correct it quickly. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so.

Use your best judgment. You are personally responsible for the content that you publish in any social communication environment. Remember that there are always consequences to what you publish. If you're about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, review the suggestions above and think about why that is. Search the forums for previous discussion on your questions or issues. If your question or issue has not been previously discussed, ensure you post in the appropriate forum. Obtain as much information about any issue you are experiencing, as this will result in quicker resolution. Do not include graphics which exceed 600 x 600 pixels. Ensure your discussion is relevant to the forum or thread in which you are posting. Only start one thread for recruiting for your team and highlighting your team’s accomplishments in the “Teams” forum.

Review Terms of Use on third party sites. Before accessing and using Web 2.0 technologies hosted by third parties (like YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook), you should review the Terms of Use applicable to those technologies and consider whether they are acceptable. Some Terms of Use provide broad license rights to the site host/site operator. If you plan to post information about, or materials belonging to any third party Web 2.0 technology, please confirm that you are authorized to do so and that you're not relinquishing rights to the materials to such third party.

Make sure your content is appropriate. Do not upload, post or otherwise transmit content that:

  • is inaccurate, harmful, threatening, obscene, pornographic, defamatory, discriminatory, racist, violent, offensive, harassing, or otherwise objectionable;
  • includes confidential or proprietary information of any party;
  • violates or infringes anyone's intellectual property rights (including trademark, copyright, privacy, publicity or other rights);
  • violates any contractual agreements you might have with another;
  • contains personal information of any other party or other participants, particularly contact information or personal information that is of a sensitive nature;
  • violates (or encourages violation of) any local, state, national or international law;
  • consists of marketing materials, advertising or solicitations or that constitutes Spam;
  • advocates violence or provides instruction, information or assistance in causing or carrying out violence;
  • contains any software code; or
  • contains software viruses, worms or other computer code or programs designed to harm, destroy or adversely affect the social computing media or the equipment on which it is run.

At the sole discretion of IBM, any offensive or inappropriate social media on our sites may be edited, locked or deleted. Members who demonstrate intolerance of other members or disrupt the forums will be banned. Any questions about these rules should be addressed to World Community Grid via the Contact Us feature.

Please remember our collective goal.

World Community Grid's mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. You have joined in order to donate your unused device power to accelerate the humanitarian research projects running on World Community Grid and in that way, help to improve human conditions. We encourage your participation and provide information on team development and progress to make it easier for individuals to participate, to recruit new members and generally increase the amount of computer power available for the research projects we run. This site is not a place to promote any other cause or issue.

IBM may change these guidelines at any time. IBM will give notice of material changes by posting a notice of such changes on this site for thirty days. Your continued use of World Community Grid after any changes constitutes your acceptance of the changes.


Communication Guidelines: Summary

We encourage you to participate in World Community Grid's forums, our social networks or any other form of online publishing or discussion on our website. When doing so, you agree to follow our Communication Guidelines and our Terms of Use. The full Guidelines are above, which include but are not limited to the following (the list below is for ease of reading and does not replace or supersede the Communication Guidelines or Terms of Use):

  • Our forum, social media channels, and other online publishing spaces are not intended for personal or non-World Community Grid related topics or agendas, for sharing confidential or restricted information, or soliciting sales or employment. This site is not a place to promote any non-World Community Grid cause or issue.
  • Be clear about who you are, and protect your privacy and that of others.
  • Respect copyright and fair use laws.
  • Protect confidential and proprietary information.
  • Respect your audience. This includes not only the obvious (e.g. no ethnic slurs, personal insults, obscenity), but also proper consideration of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory, such as politics and religion. Don't pick fights or try to settle scores.
  • Do not post any content that:
    • is inaccurate, harmful, threatening, obscene, pornographic, defamatory, discriminatory, racist, violent, offensive, harassing, or otherwise objectionable;
    • violates any contractual agreements you might have with another;
    • consists of marketing materials, advertising or solicitations or anything that constitutes spam.
    • advocates violence or provides instruction, information or assistance in causing or carrying out violence.
    • At the sole discretion of IBM, any offensive or inappropriate content on our sites may be edited, locked or deleted. Members who demonstrate intolerance of other members or disrupt the forums will be banned.

Please remember our collective goal, which is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity.