Welcome to the Essential Baby (EB) and Essential Kids (EK) Forums. Essential Baby and Essential Kids are family-based parenting sites and as such we feel strongly about our forums being a safe, welcoming, supportive and friendly place for all members. If we all abide by the rules, offer each other support and respect difference in opinions, the Forums can be a well-managed and pleasant place for all EB and EK Members. Please be aware of 'Netiquette' and treat people as reasonable people would like to be treated in real life (IRL). The EB and EK forums are managed by a group of volunteer Moderators who generously donate their time to help the forums run smoothly. Please respect them. You can find a Moderator list here.
Please note you are also subject to the Essential Baby and Essential Kids Code of Conduct. View the Code of Conduct here.
By posting on the EB and EK forums, you hereby agree to abide by these rules. These rules apply to threads, posts, PMs, diaries, blogs, usernames, images, signatures and membership information. Please note that EB and EK reserve the right to lock, delete, split, move or edit any post, thread, image, signature, blog, membership info or diary. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to place any member on 'Post Approval (PA)’. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to suspend or delete a membership and associated ghost accounts. We reserve the right to co-operate with relevant law enforcement authorities.
This website is owned and operated by Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand Pty Limited (ACN 087 887 456) (Fairfax Digital), a subsidiary of Fairfax Media Limited, and forms part of the Fairfax network of sites. These rules apply in addition to the Fairfax general conditions of use (www.fairfax.com.au/conditions.ac) and any other terms, conditions, notices and disclaimers contained elsewhere on Essential Baby and Essential Kids. By submitting content to Essential Baby and Essential Kids, you grant to Fairfax an irrevocable, royalty-free, perpetual licence to use that content in its discretion in any media anywhere in the world.
The rules are in alphabetical order for ease of use. Breaches of forum rules may result in a warning being issued. Three warnings will result in Post Approval.
You must not post material for commercial purposes - including promotional material or advertising. You may not promote any self-owned business, businesses of friends or any home-based business such as party plans, which may or may not result in your own financial or material gain. You may not use business names as usernames, custom-titles or signatures. Please do not excessively promote a certain product you use, to the point it appears advertising. Please also see Buying & Selling and Businesses for related information.
You must not post financial, legal, medical, health or other professional advice that may result in detriment to users. You must not tell other members to avoid seeking professional advice. In all cases we ask you to seek medical, health and professional advice and never rely on advice given on the boards.
If you have been placed on PA three (3) times in three (3) months, and then have been placed on suspension and furthermore continue to disregard the EB and EK rules you will be banned indefinitely from the site.
Bumping is only allowed once by a member in any topic. Occasionally Moderators will bump a topic more than once for Administration purposes.
- Businesses, Commercial Entities & Employment
Businesses and commercial entities cannot advertise by posting in the forums (see advertising). Businesses and commercial entities cannot post their own ads on the forums seeking staff. If you wish to advertise a position in the 'pinned' section please contact email@example.com
The Employment Forum can be used by members to advertise positions at their own places of work but it cannot be used to advertise any home-based businesses. Home-based businesses are considered businesses and as such, must pay for advertising (see below).
Please do not excessively use capitals as it denotes shouting.
- Censorship & Freedom of Speech
In Australia the only protected form of speech is that of a political nature. Private entities cannot, by definition, be guilty of censorship. To better understand "Freedom of Speech" within Australia please click here. To help improve the quality of discussion, and in the interest of fairness and balance, there is a team of moderators who have the ability to remove posts and threads from the public eye.
- Competitor Sites
Forums and sites based on parenting themes are considered competitor sites. Links to relevant support sites are acceptable, but they will be assessed by Moderators. Do not start discussions on EB or EK relating to matters on other sites, as we do not wish EB and EK concerns to be discussed on other sites.
- Contempt of court
You must not knowingly discuss any events which are the subject of legal proceedings where there is any likelihood that a party or witness in those proceedings is a participant in the forum.
You must not reveal the background details of a person who has been charged to stand trial in a court case, nor assume any guilt or innocence until the court case has concluded.
- Dangerous and Illegal Behaviour
Discussion of dangerous or illegal activities is not tolerated, be it criminal or civil. This includes (among others) talking about evading police and fines. This also includes (among others) discussing downloading TV/music/games, for more see Privacy & Piracy below.
We have a legal obligation to remove any posts that may be defamatory. This basically means that if you say anything that might lower or damage an identifiable person's reputation, it will be removed (regardless of whether or not it is true). Even if you do not name the individual other information may achieve the same result.
You must not comment on any individual doctor, midwife, medical practitioner, hospital, business, organisation or other individual. We also ask that negative comments about a business that may directly or indirectly affect their business not to be posted on the forums. If you post any type of defamatory comment on the site this could result in legal action. Fair comment is allowed but the Moderators may edit or delete posts and threads when they become a legal concern. Please understand we have laws to abide by and our decision is final.
- Deleting Memberships
EB and EK will not delete the post and/or thread history of any member or Moderator upon request. If you want to edit your posts to remove content you can do so. If you want your membership deleted you can request this from Admin but your threads and posts will remain on the site at the discretion of EB and EK. Any posts that are a legal or security concern need to be brought to our attention individually. We remind you to adhere to the rules. Although EB and EK can delete posts at our discretion we cannot control sites such as Google and Yahoo that "cache" information.
- Discrimination and Harassment
You must not discriminate or vilify any other person, including based on their race, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. This includes jokes. Intolerance and vilification extends to weight, hair colour, IQ, and whether a person breast/bottle feeds or is a working/stay-at-home parent.
- Explicit Discussions
EB and EK are family-based parenting site and we ask that members do not explicitly discuss topics relating to sex. These discussions will attract an inappropriate audience to the EB and EK sites and potentially make it an unsafe or unwelcoming place. We understand EB and EK members may want to talk about issues such as sex after birth, or rekindling their romance. We do however ask that you be discreet and keep the discussion non-offensive by avoiding the use of explicit terms, concepts and graphic discussions about sexual practices.
- False & Misleading statements
You must not make any statements that are false or misleading in any way.
Posting about fundraising for registered charities is permitted in the State forums. Some examples (among others) are Red Nose Day, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea and World's Greatest Shave. Posting about fundraising for private groups is not permitted. This includes (among others) schools, sports clubs and playgroups. This includes items (among others) such as chocolates and Entertainment Books. Responding to other members' posts will be permitted, within reason. However, any attempts to circumvent the rules by "planting" such posts will be edited and/or removed at the moderators' discretion.
- Ghost Accounts & Shared Accounts
We do not allow you to share an account with another person. Additional anonymous accounts are permitted, however we will not tolerate 'ghost' accounts where additional/alternative accounts are set up by the same person to use in the event of PA or suspension from the forums. If you are on PA or suspension you are not allowed to post under a Ghost ID. If you are given PA or suspension it will apply to you and all suspected accounts.
- Inciting Denial of Service
It is unacceptable to post a URL, IP address, email address or contact details for an individual, group or company with the intention of inciting others to abuse the entity in question, or attack the site through any means.
- Indecent, Obscene and Inappropriate Content
You must not post anything unlawful, obscene, defamatory, indecent, offensive or inappropriate. This includes but is not limited to images, or links to, pornographic or offensive images. We do not allow discussions about pornography or offensive subject matter on EB and EK.
- Individual Forum Rules
Some individual forums have additional rules (eg. Trading, Assisted Conception, TTC). These rules will be 'pinned' in the forums. Please familiarise yourself with them. The rules apply in addition to each of the rules published here.
- Journalists, Media, Authors
All journalists, authors and media personnel must contact the site Admin before posting for story subjects.
Fairfax Digital has no obligation to monitor any user's use of Fairfax Digital, however Fairfax Digital retains the right at all times to monitor, retain and disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request. You will indemnify Fairfax Digital if Fairfax Digital or its related bodies corporate suffer any loss or damage or incur any costs in connection with any breach of these conditions or any other legal obligation by you or your use of or conduct on Fairfax Digital.
Unfortunately, it is possible that other visitors to EB and EK may use the site in violation of these terms and conditions. For example, it is possible that another member may post or transmit content that is obscene, defamatory, offensive or otherwise illegal or unacceptable, or use EB and EK to harass you or others. You acknowledge that this is a risk inherent in the activity of participating in an online forum, and you release and hold harmless Fairfax Digital from any and all liability in connection with such conduct.
- Locked Threads
If a thread has been locked by Admin/Moderator do not start another thread relating to the same, or similar, topic, or it will also be locked and/or removed.
- Moderators/Admin Decisions
Please respect that our Moderators are volunteers (and real people!) who donate so much of their valuable time to the EB and EK forums. Reading and assessing high volumes of posts is not an easy task. Their decisions are final. We will not tolerate arguments or attacks on the Moderators who are providing a valuable service to all EB members. From time to time when you do not agree with a decision, take a break, come back to the forums and if it remains an unmitigated concern contact the Moderator or Admin via PM.
- Moderation Explanations (Why did my thread get removed?)
Please do not start a new thread asking why a thread was moved, deleted or closed, or why a post was hidden. If you want to know why, PM a moderator, but please do not ask the community. We simply do not have time to enter into (often long and heated) discussions explaining our actions. Please be advised we are unable to discuss any member's PA status so do not start threads or post enquiring as to why a member is on PA.
- Personal Attacks, Offensive & Aggressive Behaviour, Inflammatory Remarks
o Do not antagonise, offend, insult, bully, humiliate or harass any other member.
o Do not antagonise, offend, insult, bully, humiliate or harass any group based on political or religious beliefs; sexual preference or age, weight, ethnicity or gender.
o If you must disagree with someone, criticise the idea not the person. Personal attacks and inflammatory remarks will not be tolerated. It is possible to have a healthy discussion without making personal comments. Do not start threads with the aim of attacking, criticizing or offending another member.
o Offensive behaviour will not be tolerated, saying things in an aggressive or hurtful manner can result in your post being censored by moderators.
o Do not post links to other threads in EB and EK with the intention of inciting arguments, attacks or inflammatory remarks.
o Do not dredge up old threads or posts for the purpose of denigrating another member. If you disagree with someone's comments, please refrain from making it personal in any way.
o Even if a comment or thread doesn't break the rules, if it is inflammatory, has the potential to hurt, offend or incite a backlash, moderators reserve the right to remove at their discretion.
- Personal Gossip
Please use the forums appropriately. They are a place for friendly chatting but in-depth discussions about your personal life are best conveyed outside EB and EK where it is not online for public display, particularly if you are referring to people in your life. Please note that any potentially defamatory content will be removed.
- Personal Information
Under no circumstances should you post personal information (yours or others) on the forums such as email addresses, home addresses, mobiles, your workplace etc. This includes Garage Sales. It is not acceptable to publish company contact details that are not available publicly. An example might be an employee's direct phone number. Printing personal information can bring unwanted danger to you and others, so please be aware as we care about your safety and we take this issue very seriously. Information cached by other sites such as Google and Yahoo are beyond our control and this information can be near impossible to remove from the internet, so once again, do not post any personal information.
We also advise against posting full names of your children and other identifiable information, such as the name of their school.
- Piracy and Hacking
Piracy: As piracy is illegal in Australia any links to sites, or discussion of sites, that allow people to illegally download movies, music, TV shows, etc, are not permitted on Essential Baby and Essential Kids. Any talk of software, hardware or how-to pertaining to piracy is not permitted.
Hacking: Any member caught hacking, or attempting to hack, into the site will be banned immediately and further action will be taken.
- Post Approval
Members who repeatedly skirt around the rules, continually argue with other members and engage in hostile, inflammatory, hurtful, controversial behaviour will be put on post approval. This means any posts you make will need to be approved by a Moderator. Repeat offenders will be banned.
Members will usually be given 3 warnings before PA is implemented. If you are on PA you are not allowed to register a new account or use a ghost account to post on EB and EK. The standard length of time for a PA is 48 hours. If you are placed on PA more than three (3) times in three (3) months you will be give a short-terrm Suspension. If you continue to breach the rules you will be suspended from the site indefinitely.
Please be advised we are unable to discuss any member's PA status so do not start threads or post inquiring as to why a member is on PA. Please respect that the decision may be the result of actions you are not privy to. Please also be aware that the member has been informed and it is a personal matter not open to public discussion.
- Privacy and Copyright
Refrain from posting the following as you may be violating copyright laws (among others):
- Private emails
- Personal letters/mail
- Messages from other forums
- Any part of a private messages (PMs)
- Any part of an instant chat (ie. MSN)
- Articles without permission to be reproduced (ie. News stories)
- Information from other websites
Aside from copyright concerns there is often no way to verify the validity of text copied from an email, PM or chat - therefore do not ever consider these a reliable source. If you want to discuss information on another website (eg. a SMH news story) provide a link to the content.
- Private Messages (PMs)
Do not reproduce any text from a private message. See Privacy.
No profanity is to be used anywhere on the site, including usernames. Any attempt to get around word filters will result in your post being edited and/or deleted. This includes using any profanity in another language, and using asterisks or other letters to obfuscate the word (eg. fsck).
- Reporting Offensive Posts
At EB and EK we feel strongly about making our forums a pleasant place for our members to socialise so when you see a post that is offensive or breaks the rules please use the 'Report Post' button. Please only report posts that Breach these Rules.
- Repetitive Debates
Where a thread has reached a point where there is no consensus and members have become increasingly frustrated and hostile with no new viewpoints being offered, moderators may choose to close the topic on the basis of repetitive debate.
- Researchers (Including high school, Uni, TAFE students etc)
Any kind of post containing any kind of formal research questions must be approved by Admin first. This includes, but is not limited to, Community groups, high school, TAFE and University students researching for assignments/essays/projects.
- Signatures, Images and Tickers
When posting any images please remember this is a public site and anyone can access, copy, and reproduce your image without your knowledge. We strongly encourage members not to post personal images for this reason. If you do post an image they must not be explicit or offensive. They must be 470 (high) x 160 (wide) pixels and no larger than 30kb. No more than 1 image (or ticker) per signature. For safety reasons no nude photos of your babies or children are allowed. Flash signatures are not permitted as they cause some members' computers to freeze. This includes 'photobucket' slide shows. We reserve the right to request you to remove or edit your image.
Additional rule relating to images: If you post in the following forums - Assisted Conception, Assisted Conception Buddy Group, TTC+12, TTC after Loss, Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Loss of Loved One - we ask you to remove all image signatures and tickers as a sign of respect to those seeking support in these threads. This is a very sensitive and personal matter and we hope all members can understand and respect this rule.
Freckles is the Signature & Image Moderator. If you have any queries please contact her via PM.
- Spamming, Flooding and Cross-posting
No flooding, spamming or cross-posting on the forums - ie. making the same post in multiple areas. If you receive any Spam from another site, business or other member without asking for it please contact a Moderator or Administration as it contravenes the Anti-Spamming Legislation (2003).
- Stay On-Topic and Post in the Correct Forum
Please try to keep the discussion centered on the subject, where it is clear most members are trying to do so. If threads are made in the wrong forum Moderators will assist by moving them to the correct forum. Where possible you will be notified.
If you have been placed on PA three (3) times in three (3) months and you continue to breach the rules you will be given a Suspension. A standard suspension lasts for seven (7) days and is designed to give you a break from participating in the EB and EK forums and carefully consider whether or not you would like to return, and if you can abide by the rules. If you return and continue to break the rules you will be indefinitely banned from the forums. Length of suspension is at discretion of the moderating team.
Please be advised we are unable to discuss any member's status so do not start threads or post enquiring as to why a member is on suspension. Please respect that the decision may be the result of actions you are not privy to. Please also be aware that the member has been informed and it is a personal matter not open to public discussion.
- Thread Titles
Please be certain that your topics and posts are clear as to their meaning, as this will help you get the response you are looking for. Uncertain thread titles such as "Please read this!" make it difficult for people to discern your purpose. Moderators may rename your thread title if they find it unclear or unspecific.
If your thread contains content that may be distressing (eg. discussing death of a child) please put *Warning may be distressing* in your title, and respect that members may be sensitive to your post. The content must not breach our rules.
- Third Party Rights
You must not make any comments or post any content that infringes any third party rights, including copyright or trade marks.
You are allowed one (1) ticker or image in your signature only. Please adhere to this as multiple images/tickers cause the site to run very slowly for some members.
- Trading, Buying & Selling
There is to be NO trading outside the trade forum. The Trading Area of EB and EK has its own set of rules and is open to members with more than four months history on EB and EK. This is due to an issue we've had with fraud in the past. When applying for access to the Trading Room you will be supplied with the rules.
- Trolls and Flame wars
Making intentionally inflammatory remarks to incite conflict, offense, controversy or annoyance is considered 'trolling' and will not be tolerated. If people are abusing this rule - simply report them - and ignore them. Trolls aim is to get attention, disrupt threads and cause trouble, so do not give them what they want!
- Links to competitor sites, businesses or commercial sites are not permitted in posts, threads, PMs or signatures. This also includes mention of, or links to home-based businesses such as party plan or an Ebay shop.
- Links to external forums are not permitted in posts, threads, signatures or PMs. This includes links to websites where the subject matter/intention of the site is not clear and links to sites that insult/offend EB and EK members.
- Do not post a link to a site that asks you not to - this is theft.
- Do not post a link to another EB or EK thread with the intention of inciting arguments.
- Do not post links to misleading, incorrect or unsubstantiated information to support your argument.
- Links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the moderating team.
When joining please select an appropriate name (eg. 'Babyontheway' will only be suitable for so long!). No profanities. No business names. No names impersonating, stirring or mocking current members.
- Votes & Referrals
You may not ask members to vote for a child. Asking members to participate in any competition requiring votes is not permitted. The same applies to competitions or sites that work on a referral system. Asking members to refer you, or join from your referral, is not permitted. These rules also apply to EB and EK-hosted Member Blogs.
If you have any comments or queries about the rules please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a Moderator. You can find a list of Moderators here.
Thank you from the
Essential Baby and Essential Kids Admin & Moderation Team
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