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 Forum FAQs
Minimise

OK folks, here be the operating guidelines of this forum!

The Short Version

  1. Be nice. If you can't be nice, be fair.
  2. Don't diss anyone (more detail below)
  3. Slanging matches will not be tolerated
  4. Disclose your interests
  5. Use the Alert link to stop the train

That is all

The Long Version

  1. Positive recommendations are welcome for people or companies. Negatives *must* be from first hand experience  (meaning that you were the primary client, recipient or participant) and be able to be backed up by evidence if the person or company challenges it. Users may promote themselves, but only in response to a question on a thread or by starting a specific thread in the Goods & Services forum. No user may start a thread in any other forum or hi-jack a thread for self-promotion.
  2. Rumor, hearsay and secondhand information are not allowed. If you post something that is challenged you must be prepared to back up your post offline with evidence. *You*, not the forum owner are responsible for what is posted under your user account name, and if you post something defamatory, slanderous or otherwise unacceptable, you will bear the consequences. Please see http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0105/latest/DLM280687.html for the legal treatment of defamation. This is not the place to comment on the condition of horses in photos or videos, or make accusations of mistreatment. If you have concerns about the welfare of any horse, you should report it to the relevant authority rather than post to this forum.
  3. Any arguments considered to be non-constructive or not containing informative material will be closed down and the thread locked, edited or removed, at the Admin's discretion.
  4. Any user who is in business in a horse-related field (no matter how large or small) is required to disclose this on their profiles and in any relevant posts.
  5. Any user may (anonymously) use the 'Alert' link on any post to inform the Admin of content they do not like. The Admin will investigate all alerts sent, and their decision on what, if anything needs to be done is final.

The Process & Definitions

The Admin, when alerted to an issue, will ensure that any mis-information is addressed and disputes are taken offline. The Admin will maintain the right and opportunity for anyone who feels their personal or business reputation has been unfairly represented to have the right of reply and access to a means to resolve the issue. In the main this will mean addressing the issue offline with the user/users concerned, and until it is resolved, the Admin will ensure the disputed content is not visible.

Any person making a specific claim, promotion or comment about another person or company may at any time be asked to provide evidence of its veracity.

Defamation

The civil law cause of action of defamation may be brought against any one who publishes (either through written or spoken word) a defamatory statement about a person. A statement is published if it is conveyed to a third person. A plaintiff must prove that the statement refers to them (although they do not have to be specifically named). A person will generally be identified if someone who knows them thinks the statement refers to them. Secondly, a plaintiff must prove that the statement was in fact defamatory. A statement will be defamatory if it tends to lower the plaintiff in the opinion of right thinking members of society. A statement may also be defamatory if it exposes a plaintiff to hatred, ridicule or contempt, or if it tends to make people shun or avoid the plaintiff. A plaintiff does not need actual evidence that the statement in fact caused people to think less of them or that it was believed by those to whom it was published.

A defendant is unlikely to be liable for publishing a defamatory statement that lowers the plaintiff in the eyes of right thinking members of society if it is provably true. If an untrue defamatory statement is published as the expression an honestly held opinion which those to whom it was published understand to be an opinion, the fact of it being an honest opinion may be a defence to defamation. However, the commentator must have in the publication indicated the facts (which must be true) on which they based their opinion. Consent is another defence to a cause of action in defamation, that is, a defendant will not be liable for publishing a defamatory statement about the plaintiff if the defendant had their consent to do so. It is not a defence to defamation that the defendant did not intend the statement to be defamatory.

Discplinary Action

There is a two step process in place for any user found to be

  • intentionally or accidentally damaging the reputation of another party
  • deemed by the Admin to be harassing other forum members
  • repeatedly or vexaiously impeding the smooth running of the forum
  • not disclosing a relevant interest or affiliation

The action will be that the user is warned and fully informed of the nature of their specific breach, a period of post moderation & monitoring will be imposed on that user, and any second attempted or actual infringement will result in a permanent ban for that user. However the Admin may, at their sole discretion, choose to ban the user immediately.