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FSA website communication rules and guidelines for members

If you have arrived here after receiving an email from the moderators, then please read this page carefully. After that, if you still feel that your post has been removed unreasonably then please contact


Sussex FSA members are able to communicate with each other using various functions on the Sussex FSA website. These may include internal messaging, the forums, whole website activity page, and personal activity page. The Sussex FSA committee have agreed the following guidelines and rules for members communicating using the Sussex FSA website.


1. Whilst humour is a welcomed part of the discourse on the website it has to be balanced with a professional attitude.

2. Remember your face doesn’t show. Words alone can convey sentiment, but without benefit of inflection or facial expression, they can be misconstrued. Use descriptive wording to ensure your meaning is clear. By the same token, don’t jump to conclusions about another person’s intent in posting an unclear comment. When in doubt, ask for clarification.

3. Say online exactly what you would say in person. In other words, if you wouldn’t say it to the person’s face in front of your Grandmother, you shouldn’t type it into a forum.

4. Where you have a concern about a member of Sussex FSA committee or Working Party member, or an individual acting on behalf of the Sussex FSA, it is not appropriate to express this publicly on the Sussex FSA website. Instead, the Sussex FSA Chair/s or Secretary should be contacted directly using, so that the matter can be brought to the committee's attention.

5. Third party individuals and organisations should not be discussed on the website. This amounts to gossip, which is not considered professional, and could lead to charges of defamation of character. We don’t want members getting themselves into trouble because of what they say on our website.

6. Contributors must use common sense when communicating on the website and are legally responsible for the content of their submissions, particularly if their submissions contain derogatory comments.

7. Personal relationship issues – This is a public forum and not the place for discussing specific personal relationship issues. We will not tolerate the practice of starting a thread under the pretext that it is a general relationship discussion, yet in reality it refers to a specific issue between two or more individuals.

8. Looking for a fight – Threads which set out to look for trouble, invariably create trouble. Don’t start them. We don’t want them on the forums.

9. Members need to respect that people may have different views from themselves and should be courteous when challenging these differences.

10. Off topic comments do not improve the clarity of the threads, website staff may move or edit off topic posts.

11. Comments that are intended for the Forum audience may not be intended for wider circulation. Postings to the Forum should not be forwarded to another party without the consent of the originator (or other participants in the case of a conversational ‘thread’).

12. Remember that email is not a secure medium and you should never send any confidential information. As a general rule (guidance), never send anything that you would not write on the back of a postcard.

13. Type in lowercase or standard case NOT IN CAPS. By the rules of netiquette, all caps equates to shouting. If you type with all caps, you will annoy and possibly offend other forum members.


1. Messages must not be abusive, obscene, defamatory or libellous, inflammatory, vulgar, sexually orientated, racial, political, hateful, threatening, in violation of any laws or good morals and practice.

2. Racial, ethnic, minority or gender based insults or any form of discrimination is prohibited.

3. Insulting (irony and sarcasm can be insulting), trolling, flaming, harassing or threatening anyone is prohibited.

4. Posting of material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, hateful, or invasive of a person’s privacy is prohibited.

5. Provocation for the sake of provocation is prohibited.

6. ‘Coded’ expletives in messages are not permitted (ie non-alphabetic characters disguising bad language).

7. Messages deemed to contain commercial advertising or unsolicited messages for the purpose of advertising a product or service, are not permitted. – No chain letters, spam or junk messages may be transmitted to other users.

8. Members may not post or distribute files, articles or other information subject to trademark, copyright, or other proprietary rights, except with the express consent of the owner of the rights.

9. The rules are not designed to anticipate any given situation, and consequently we reserve the right to take any actions we deem appropriate to ensure this community is not disrupted or abused in any way (see guidelines for applying the rules below).

Guidelines for applying the rules
If you feel someone has broken the website rules, please inform the website staff on

The website is managed by the Web Admins and /or moderators (’website staff’). The website staff deals with all requests. In the case that there are doubts, the website staff may ask the opinion/support of the  Sussex FSA Committee in order to take a decision.

1st offence:
The website staff will ask the user to comply with the rules. The suspect post will be replaced by a link to rules page & the original content of the post will be deleted.

2nd offence:
The user will be banned from the website (will not be able to log-in) for 1 month by the website staff.

3rd offense within an 18 month period/ major offence:
The user will be banned from the website permanently (the account will be deleted).

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