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The FTDNA Forums

Family Tree DNA provides to all genetic genealogy community members a vBulletin forum on our website. Some parts of the forum may be viewed by the public and other parts are private. Private sections may only be viewed by registered users.


Note that while Family Tree DNA expects positive communication that reflects our position as industry thought leaders and the DNA testing company of choice, we do understand the need for vigorous discussion. While bickering will not be tolerated, strong science based argument and discourse is encouraged.


The Forums Team

Family Tree DNA’s forums are supported by the efforts of Family Tree DNA staff, members of the community in the rolls of junior moderators and group project leaders, and community forums.


Community Members

Community Members are all with an interest in personal genetics testing for ancestry and genealogy.


Junior Moderators

Junior moderators are community members selected by Family Tree DNA staff to support the forums by monitoring tone and stimulating dialog.


Group Project Leaders

Group Project Leaders are community members who are also either administrators or co-administrators of one or more group projects at Family Tree DNA. They are the leaders and moderators of forums for their group project’s or projects’ corresponding forum.


Communication

Communication is a critical element of a community membership, and Family Tree DNA expects good communication from all. One objective of these guidelines is to avoid or minimize common misunderstandings ensuring that the forums are a source of enjoyment for all involved. As a community member, you are assuming the responsibility to positively interact with others in the community and to assist them when possible.


It is your responsibility to:

  • Treat each community member fairly and equally.

  • Adhere to scientific findings for genealogy, population genetics, anthropology, and archaeology.

  • Remain focused on the topics of genealogy, population genetics, anthropology, and archaeology.

  • In forum threads, keep topics relevant to the original post.

  • Refer community members to Family Tree DNA staff to answer questions if you do not know the answer.

  • Ask Family Tree DNA staff when you have any questions about your role or responsibilities.

  • Promptly and professionally contact Family Tree DNA staff about problems without attempting to confront wrong doers yourself.

Community members shall not:

  • Disclose the personal information of others, such as name and or e-mail addresses of your matches, without their written consent. Names, e-mail addresses, or other contact information of genetic or genealogical researchers or professionals is fine as this information would be publicly available.

  • Use the forums to advocate a personal or political agenda.

  • Use the forums to promote a business or commercial interest outside of Family Tree DNA and our affiliates. Further do not post links to outside DNA company websites.

  • Use profanity in the forums.

  • Insult, belittle, bully, or otherwise disrespect another community member or Family Tree DNA staff.

Please note that at this time we only allow signatures for forum administrators in order to show their job titles.


Dealing with Difficult Users

Can I block posts, e-mails and messages from specific users?


If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Private Messages and E-mails from them, then you can add these members to your Ignore List. There are several ways to do this:


Through your User Control Panel: User CP, Settings & Options, Edit Ignore List. Then, type their name into the empty text box and click 'Okay'.


What if I see something offensive?


You will find Report links in many places throughout the board. These links allow you to alert the board staff to anything that violates the FTDNA Forums Guidelines.


Security

Part of responsible community membership is helping to keep both your account and the website secure.

Community Members Shall Not:

  • Share their login ID and Password.

  • Reverse engineer, hack, or otherwise attempt to exploit real or potential security flaws in the forum or wider Family Tree DNA website.

It is the responsibility of all to report promptly website and security problems to Family Tree DNA staff.


Moderation and Banning

It is always our hope that through clear positive communication conflict can be avoided and with it the need for action to restrain community member behavior. However, with a pragmatic view of human nature in mind, the following policies outline the steps that Family Tree DNA staff, junior moderators, and group project leaders will take to address violations of FTDNA Forum Guidelines.

  1. When a staff member, junior moderator, or group project leader finds a post in violation of the guidelines they will immediately write privately to the community member who posted it and explain the problem. Junior moderators and group project leaders will contact staff to have them edit or remove the post. Violations will be documented through screenshots stored in a private online file system and through e-mail correspondence.

  2. The first offense by a community member will result in a warning. The second offense by a community member will result in a one month Probation Period where their posts to the forum will be approved by a staff member before they are posted. The third offense by a community member will result in their being banned from the Family Tree DNA forums and possibly other social media channels at Family Tree DNA.

Noted exceptions to the above rules are SPAM and website security violations. Those who post SPAM to the Family Tree DNA forums will be immediately banned. Depending on the circumstances, individual website security violations will be addressed by senior Family Tree DNA staff.



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