How you can be part of this community
Stories for all people
At Eternity, we offer stories that inform, inspire and encourage all people. As we are a part of Bible Society Australia, we‚Äôre passionate about reporting these stories to everyone, no matter their denomination.
We‚Äôre also committed to creating spaces where Eternity readers can have great conversations about these stories¬†‚Äď exploring what it means to be people of faith in our world.
And we believe that all our conversations ‚Äď even robust disagreements ‚Äď can be conducted in a manner that is respectful of the image of God that is in all people, even in a group that is as broad and diverse as our Eternity readership! With almost 15,000 email subscribers and millions of online readers each year, we thought it worthwhile to provide some guidelines below for engaging well in an environment that will inevitably include disagreement.
We believe that online conversations are real life conversations, so we approach them by asking, ‚ÄúWould I say these things if I were sitting across from the person I am speaking to?‚ÄĚ
We want to create forums where online conversations add personal insight and fresh perspective to the news. So, we‚Äôre looking for comments that are:
- Relevant and on topic
- Well-informed and thoughtful
- Expressed respectfully
- Framed personally with ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ statements (that speak on behalf of the commenter, not others)
- Concerned with drawing out the implications of ideas discussed in our articles
- Constructively critique ideas (rather than people)
- Inclusive of all those who contribute their perspectives, particularly those people whose voices can be marginalised in public conversations.
In contrast, we are not interested in online conversations that are dominated by only a few individuals, so we‚Äôre not looking for comments that:
- Are unrelated to the article‚Äôs content and/or are instead merely express a response to the article‚Äôs subject matter, image or headline
- Are statements of opinion, expressed as if they are fact
- Deride or attack others who express different opinions (particularly by declaring that someone else is not a Christian)
- Reinforce stereotypes and generalisations (especially about people the commenter disagrees with)
- Are framed by ‚Äėhe, she or they‚Äô statements that appear to speak on behalf of others
Eternity guidelines for social media users
Eternity seeks to nurture a space where healthy online conversations can flourish.
So, we will not tolerate comments or users that:
- Intimidate others ‚Äď this includes expressing an attack or threat, or using otherwise intimidating language; expressing profanity, bigotry or incite violence; expressing negative stereotypes or generalisations about others; personally attacking individuals ‚Äď whether they are an article‚Äôs author or subject, or fellow commenters; and posting an excessive number of responses to other commenters.
- Promote unauthorised material ‚Äď this includes material in breach of copyright; material promoting commercial ventures; and links to articles or blogs that Eternity does not deem to be credible sources.
- Stifle healthy conversation ‚Äď this includes employing a tone that Eternity deems to be aggressive tone; posting an excessive number of responses; and engaging in behaviour that is deemed to be ‚Äėtrolling‚Äô (i.e. commenting merely so as to exact a response from others). After ten comments, or five particularly long comments, Eternity reserves the right to ban a commenter from engaging. Please note that when a social media user is banned, all their previous comments are automatically hidden from view and they will not be able to send a message to Eternity via the Direct Message.
- Are dangerous for Eternity as a publisher ‚Äď this includes publishing material that is in breach of copyright; comments that could be considered legally libellous or defamatory; comments that contravene the social media platform’s policies ‚Äď particularly groups that are considered a protected group; and comments that speak on behalf other people or groups (particularly when asserting their motivation).
How Eternity moderates our social media pages
In the event that a comment is deemed to breach our guidelines, Eternity will either hide or delete the comment. When time permits, this will include giving the commenter further information explaining how the comment contravenes our guidelines. Time will not always permit this and Eternity does not have the resources to enter into lengthy back-and-forths with commenters who wish to debate how guidelines are enforced.
Commenters will be given the opportunity to revise their comment so that it adheres to our guidelines and post it again.
Continual failures to adhere to Eternity‚Äôs Guidelines will result in users being banned for a period of time or blocked indefinitely. Users who are banned or blocked may not receive a warning, and are invited to email us through our website to learn more about the decision.
When Eternity chooses to end a disagreement between two commenters, asks a commenter not to comment further, or takes action to ban a user, commenters are asked not to further the matter by personally contacting other commenters (unless they are already friends) or the personal accounts of Eternity staff members. Eternity will ban or block commenters who send intimidating, abusive or inappropriate messages to other commenters or Eternity staff members.
Eternity will not pre-emptively block individuals whose profiles contravene our guidelines, but will judge individuals on the basis of their contributions to Eternity forums.
Corrections to Eternity articles
We appreciate when readers and people quoted in articles point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. These suggestions should be sent via email through our website here.
To avoid distracting online conversations, comments suggesting a correction will be redirected to our corrections process to be answered by the author, rather than with a quick response from a social media moderator.
This will ensure a speedier correction when required.
Retractions and announcements will be published here.
Thanks for making Eternity forums a safe environment for healthy discussions about good news.