HotCopper Cyber Bully policy

No member should post on HotCopper with fear of being intimidated by any response.

Abstract

As social media has proliferated as a means of interpersonal communication, the sometimes devastating consequences of cyber bullying have become a hot topic of popular discussion. It is a phenomenon that has called for a proactive social response at every level. HotCopper takes its role in stamping out bullying practices very seriously and is looking to be a leader in this regard. As such we are implementing our own cyber bullying policy.

Defintions

Bullying will be defined as online harassment, either in overt attacks or through insinuations, by an individual poster or a group of posters that has reached a point where harm could be done to the health and/or safety of the poster who may be the focus of such attacks.

Harassment may take the form of insults, ridicule, threats or accusations aimed at another poster. It will also be considered as harassment if in the process of addressing other forum posters you make derogatory comments about a poster who is not being directly addressed by you in that post. Harm may extend to the physical and psychological well being of another poster as well as to their family, property, real life reputation or to their social good standing and acceptance on Hotcopper.

The Tipping Point.

As we are engaging in an anonymous environment none of us can be certain of the sensitivities, predispositions, current life circumstances or negative life experiences of any other poster. In essence we can not be sure at what point we are likely to tip someone else over the edge. Therefore it is best practice as a poster to never engage in bullying practices to any degree ever.

Our Expectations

HotCopper is looking to be a leader and so set the bar high in regards to best posting practice. Our expectation is for members to treat others as they expect to be treated themselves.

We do however acknowledge that the stock market is a rough and tumble game and we expect debate to be robust and at times passionate and colourful. This does not mean however that we believe it is necessary for you to insult the opinion of another in order for you to vehemently oppose it. We believe that raging debate can be carried on whilst still maintaining a high level of personal respect for those of opposing points of view. We will therefore only consider bullying has taken place once a poster rather than the topic under discussion becomes the target of attack. It therefore follows that you should not try to play the victim card as a means of using the mods to silence those who disagree with you but remember that the definition of bullying applies to an attack on the individual.

Roles and Responsibilities

We are each responsible for what we post and no one should ever engage in bullying tactics. We urge every forum member to be vigilant in watching out for bullies and bully groups. You should however not engage with the bullies online but rather report incidents to the moderators providing them with a level of detail that may assist them in their investigation. If you are being bullied we likewise expect you not to engage in retaliation on the forum but instead report the details to the moderators.

Consequences for Bullying

Depending on the history of the bully and the level of the attack moderators may opt to firstly educate, then warn bullies of future consequences. Repeated or particularly vicious or threatening attacks may be met with suspension either temporarily or permanently to be decided on a case by case basis.

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