Bella Hummingbird's Chat Room Rules (adapted from NPR)
Every website has its own rules, and these are our rules for participating in Bella's Chat Room. If you break them, don't be surprised if we block your comments.
First things first: If you can't be polite, don't say it. Of course, we don't want to stifle discussion. We're not always going to agree with each other. Nonetheless, please try to disagree without being disagreeable. Focus your remarks on positions, not personalities. No personal attacks, name calling, libel, defamation, comments about someone's mother, hate speech, comparisons to notorious dictators - you get the idea. And under no circumstances should you post anything that could be taken as threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, pornographic, sexist, homophobic or racist.
Don't use obscenities -- even if the word in question is often used in conversation. We're not going to list the words we object to; you know what they are. Remember, this is a public chat room and we want everyone to feel comfortable participating.
Please respect people's privacy. We love to learn about new and interesting individuals, but most people will not be happy to have their phone numbers or e-mail addresses published. Please do not share another's contact information through Bella's chat or social networking features.
This is not a place for advertising, promotion, recruiting, campaigning, lobbying, soliciting or proselytizing. We understand that there can be a fine line between discussing and campaigning; please use your best judgment -- and we will use ours.
Do not "feed" the trolls. We encourage community members to report abuse by trolls. But we also ask that you not engage with trolls in the comment threads. Reacting to their provocations is exactly what they want. If we see you feeding a troll, we will remove both the troll's comments and your responses.
Be yourself - and not someone else. Don't post anything on the site posing as someone else. Impostors, look elsewhere for kicks.
Please don't use the chat room for individual communications. If you click on a person's name, there is a link for sending private messages to that guest. Please, don't abuse this feature. If someone doesn't want a private chat then don't keep trying.
You are solely responsible for the content you post. Bella is not responsible for the content posted by its users.