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Community Guidelines

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct and manner in which the Code is administered is subject to change without prior notice and that by continuing to use my.cgaux.org, the member is deemed to have read and understood the changes and agrees to be bound by them.

Preamble

In my.cgaux.org members from across the Auxiliary come together to promote our member and mission effectiveness.

This document offers guidance to ensure Auxiliarists can cooperate effectively in a positive and inspiring atmosphere, and to explain how together we can strengthen and support each other.

This Code of Conduct is shared by all participants in my.cgaux.org.

Overview

This Code of Conduct presents a summary of the shared values and “common sense” thinking in our community. The basic social ingredients that hold our project together include:

  • Be considerate
  • Be respectful
  • Be collaborative
  • Be pragmatic
  • Support others in the community
  • Get support from others in the community
  • Know when not to use the community

This Code of Conduct reflects the agreed standards of behavior for members of the Auxiliary on these communities. These standards reflect the Coast Guard Core values and our traditional standards for behavior when meeting together as shipmates. The standards recognize that communication online, without the benefit of verbal and nonverbal cues, can get more confrontational than the same communication in person.

The community acts according to the standards written down in this Code of Conduct and will defend these standards for the benefit of the community. Designated Subject Matter Experts of individual communities, the community management team, and our elected leadership will exercise the option to suspend or permanently suspend access to any member who persistently bends or breaks this Code of Conduct.

Be considerate

Your actions and work will affect and be used by other people and you in turn will depend on the work and actions of others. Any decision you take will affect other community members, and we expect you to take those consequences into account when making decisions.

Ensure that you give full credit for the work of others and bear in mind how your changes affect others. If you are frustrated your problems are more likely to be resolved if you can give accurate and well-mannered information to all concerned.

Be respectful

In order for the communities to stay healthy those who participate must feel comfortable and accepted. Treating one another with respect is absolutely necessary for this. In a disagreement, in the first instance assume that people mean well.

We will not tolerate personal attacks, racism, sexism or any other form of discrimination. Postings which constitute such behavior can result in disciplinary proceedings being commenced.  

These communities shall not be used for the purposes of sharing jokes, political satire, advertisements, or any other material that has no relevant relationship to official Auxiliary business.

Disagreement is inevitable, from time to time, but respect for the views of others will go a long way to winning respect for your own view. Respecting other people, their work, their contributions and assuming well-meaning motivation will make community members feel comfortable and safe and will result in motivation and productivity.

We expect members of our community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors, users and communities. Remember that Auxiliary Communities of Interest are National in scope and that you may be unaware of important aspects of practices in other Districts/Regions.

Be collaborative

The Auxiliary depends on collaboration: it helps limit duplication of effort while improving mission performance and the quality of the member experience. In order to avoid misunderstanding, try to be clear and concise when requesting help or giving it. Remember it is easy to misunderstand posts on electronic forums. Ask for clarifications if unsure how something is meant; remember the first rule — assume in the first instance that people mean well.

As a contributor, you should aim to collaborate with other Auxiliarists. It may not always be possible to reach consensus on a topic under discussion. Poorly thought out comments can cause pain and the demotivation of other community members, but considerate discussion of problems can bring positive results. An encouraging word works wonders.

Be pragmatic

The Auxiliary is a pragmatic community. We value tangible results over having the last word in a discussion. We defend our core values of honor respect, and devotion to duty. We don't let arguments about minor issues get in the way of achieving more important results. We are open to suggestions and welcome solutions regardless of their origin.

Support others in the community

Our community is made strong by mutual respect, collaboration and pragmatic, responsible behavior. Sometimes there are situations where this has to be defended and other community members need help.

If you witness others being attacked consider reaching out to the victim privately to ask if some form of official intervention is needed. You may also inform the community management team.

When problems do arise, consider asking the community management team to respectfully remind those involved of our shared Core Values as a first action. Leaders are defined by their actions, and can help set a good example by working to resolve issues in the spirit of Core Values before they escalate.

Get support from others in the community

Disagreements happen all the time. Our community is no exception to the rule. The goal is not to avoid disagreements or differing views but to resolve them constructively. You should turn to the community to seek advice and to resolve disagreements and where possible consult the team most directly involved.

The Auxiliary operates within a robust framework of Commandant policy. While these policies do not cover every situation, significant areas of dispute are often resolved by reference to that policy. Where possible refer to policy specifically rather than relying on memory or interpretation.

Think deeply before turning a disagreement into a public dispute. If necessary request mediation, trying to resolve differences in a less highly-emotional medium. If you do feel that you or your work is being attacked, take your time to breathe through before writing heated replies. Consider a 24-hour moratorium if emotional language is being used — a cooling off period is sometimes all that is needed.

Know when not to use the community

my.cgaux.org exists to foster conversation, fellowship, and member effectiveness. Some items are not appropriate for discussion on the communities and are better managed via the chain of leadership and management (COL) (see Chapter 1, Section C.1 a-d of the Auxiliary Manual, COMDTINST M16790.1(series)). Specific examples of matters that should referred to the COL include, for example:

  • Requests for investigation
  • Complaints about specific Auxiliarists or other individuals
  • Clarification of your own membership, training, or qualification status

If you believe an issue may be sensitive please utilize the chain of leadership and management.

Sources:Adapted from https://www.kde.org/code-of-conduct/(creative commons)
 

Community Management of my.cgaux

By participating in my.cgaux you consent to the community management practices. The my.cgaux community is actively managed and moderated. Posts to the Auxiliary Communities of Interest and other segments of the site may be removed without notice.

Subject Matter Experts: Each Auxiliary Community of Interest has one or more assigned Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). These SMEs have been selected by the relevant National leadership to guide the discussion within a particular community. They are charged with leading the community and providing authoritative information related to the community topic.

Community Managers: my.cgaux as a whole is supervised by a number of Community Managers (CMs). These CMs are members of the U-Directorate and are charged with maintaining the health of the my.cgaux experience and Auxiliary Communities of Interest through active monitoring and management.

Monitoring and management: Monitoring and management may, at the discretion of a community manager, be manifested in several ways, including, for example:

  • Closing of a discussion topic which has become rancorous.
  • Modifying the order of discussion topics in a community.
  • Moving a post to another community.
  • Sending a reminder message to a member who has posted something that violates the code of conduct or community guidelines.
  • Removing a post from public view if it violates the code of conduct or community guidelines.
  • Temporarily suspending a member’s posting privileges and/or the visibility of that member’s posts for three days.
  • Removing any other user contributed content on the site beyond the Auxiliary Communities of Interest.

Should additional action be required, the lead Community Manager, the Director or Deputy Director, IT User Support & Services, the ANACO-IT, or the DNACO-ITP may:

  • Extend a temporary suspension beyond a three day period or permanently suspend a member.
  • Refer a member for a single post or pattern of posting behavior to the ANACO-CC or designee for review and consideration of referral to the member’s chain of leadership and management for disciplinary action per Chapter 3 of the Auxiliary Manual, COMDTINST M16790.1(series).

Any of the above actions may also be directed by any Director, the Chief Director of Auxiliary, a member of NEXCOM, or the ANACO-CC pursuant to the Auxiliary Manual, COMDTINST M16790.1(series).

Actions taken by Community Managers are logged for future reference. In most cases the members impacted will be notified. Any member who disagrees with a decision of a Community Manager may contact the Community Manager or the Lead Community Manager to share your concern.
 

Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to help members participate within the standards of the code of conduct and address issues that often arise in online communities.

010: This material is intended as guidance and is designed to be consistent with the Auxiliary Manual COMDTINST M16790.1(series)

020: Be respectful to all Coast Guard members of the Coast Guard family when posting to the communities. Uphold the Code of Conduct when you post or reply to a post. You are responsible for the content of your post irrespective of any perceived or actual adverse posting by another member.

030: Complaints, requests for investigation, and any personal matters dealing with recognition or administrative discipline are not appropriate on the Communities of Interest. Such matters must be submitted to and handled through the appropriate Auxiliary chain of leadership and management as described in the Auxiliary Manual COMDTINST M16790.1(series).

040: Do not change your name or identifying information as provided when you join the Auxiliary Communities of Interest except to include a nickname, added to your legal name, or reflect a legal name change. Attempts to obscure your identity or assume the identity of another member will result in suspension and potentially a request for investigation.

050: You are encouraged to add a thumbnail photo to your profile in the Auxiliary Communities of Interest. These photos should be in an approved, current Auxiliary uniform and must be in good taste. Please do not post alternative thumbnail photos like logos, photos of pets, other hobbies, your facility, etc.

060: Posts should belong to the relevant community. Repeated posts in the wrong community will result in deletion of the topic or result in a warning to the poster. Members are asked to search for similar topics before posting a query. If there is not a currently relevant community you may recommend an addition using the Help Desk. NOTE: During the pilot period the number of communities, and therefore the appropriate topics are intentionally limited.

070: The post text should be consistent with regard to "normal writing". It should not contain excessive UPPERCASE letters, as it seems like shouting. It should also not have excessive punctuation marks (????) or emoticons, large or small colored text, etc.

080: Topics should have appropriate titles that gives a vague idea of the post. Do not use titles like "Help!!", "Problems...." or "Getting an error".

090: Cross posting is not allowed and will result in the removal of one or more posts. Cross posting is defined as posting the same information in two or more locations. When posting your topic, please try to post it in the most appropriate place within the organizational structure of our community. Identical topics posted in the same or different community will be removed.

100: Please resist the urge to use a sensationalist, extreme, and flame-baiting titles.

110: Advertisements and any other commercial activity are not allowed. Posts made for the promotion of a commercial website, product or service are considered advertising and are prohibited. Links to Auxiliary Association sites are permitted.

120: You are not allowed to post an affiliate URL that leads to you earning cash, banner impressions, credits, points, etc.

130: Never post any personal information about yourself or another member including information defined as “personally identifiable information” by section 5.E (page 5-23) of the Auxiliary Manual (COMDTINST M16790.1(series). Do not post home addresses or home phone numbers for yourself or for other members. Members seeking this information may use the AuxDirectory.

140: Protect operational security (OPSEC). DO NOT POST time, location, or other details of upcoming operational missions in my.cgaux. DO NOT POST information on the movement of Coast Guard assets or personnel, particularly Flag officers in my.cgaux. While major portions of my.cgaux are restricted to Auxiliary members and other members of Coast Guard forces, prudence requires we restrict details that would benefit our adversaries. Please use the operational planning tools provided in AOM for mission planning and related discussions.

150: Vulgar language and inappropriate material is not allowed and will be removed. Abbreviations, self censoring, and attempts to circumvent the word censoring feature of the community software also violate this guideline. If your post contains a word that is censored by the software, you must remove that word or the post will be removed. If you feel that the Community Manager is acting in error, please contact us.

160: When linking to outside websites, you must ensure that the content of the link is appropriate for our community and in line with these guidelines. This includes mentioning or referencing a site, even if the mention is not hyperlinked. If you post a link and that link is automatically censored, it is considered to be an inappropriate link and you should remove it from your post immediately.

170: Political and religious discussions are not allowed on these communities. If it is believed that the end result of a discussion will be political or religious, the post may be removed. Likewise, strong political and religious sentiments should be kept out of profiles, signatures, and other content.

180: Do not post copyrighted materials (articles, videos, audio, etc.) that you do not have permission to reproduce or distribute. For text articles, most of the time you may quote a small portion of the article (usually no more than 1/5 or 1/6) and you must link to the source (if online) or provide citation to the source (if offline). Posting the entire article, even with the source, constitutes copyright infringement.

190: When posting and linking to images, videos, files, etc., please refrain from hotlinking. This is the direct linking to images (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, etc.), video (.avi, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .wmv, etc.), audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.), archives (.zip, .rar, etc.) or otherwise downloadable or streamable files, on servers that you do not have permission to link to, instead of linking to the page where the item can be found. This includes providing a direct link to the file, even if that file is not embedded into your post.

200: You must respect your fellow members. Please refrain from inflammatory and defamatory comments as well as flaming, taunting, and general disrespect. Do not simply put down the opinion or advice given by others. If you don't agree with it, say why - respectfully. Don't just tell them they're wrong. Do not make uninvited remarks about typos, duplicate posts, posting styles, etc.

210: When an opinion-based discussion is being had, do not state things like "there is no argument" as if your opinion is the only one or the only one that matters. When someone has clearly stated their opinion, do not say things like "Are you serious?" and "Are you kidding me?" Remember, this is not a debate club. This is a friendly discussion community. Allow people to have their opinion. No one is to act as some sort of opinion judge, responding to each one to say whether they agree with it or not or whether or not it is a valid, well thought out opinion.

220: We do not allow threads to be started to discuss who or what is the most overrated, who or what is your least favorite, etc.

230: Signatures are limited to three lines of text to maintain readability of within discussions. This includes blank lines. No images. It is recommended that you stick with readable fonts and colors and that the size is not too large. You may mention Auxiliary or Auxiliary Association websites. Focus on things that you like, not things that you don't in your signatures.

240: Each member is allowed to create one account. If you would like to change your username, please contact us and, most likely, we can do it for you while you can keep all of your profile data, posts, and other content.

250: Automated account creation, participation, and content scraping is not permitted.

260: We know that people will have to leave our community (of their own free will or otherwise) from time to time and to that end, we do not delete accounts, posts, or other content posted on our community. All content is granted to us with perpetual electronic publishing rights because any content posted on this community becomes a part of the community, even if you no longer are. You may request an item to be removed at any time, but we will decide when and if to remove content from our community

270: If you have a problem, you may make a complaint to the Community Management team directly and not publicly on the website. Creating threads or posts that question or reference administrative decisions or potential administrative decisions, such as post removals and thread closures, is not permitted. We are not perfect and if you feel that we have made a mistake, please privately contact a staff member and we will review the situation. If you would like a copy of your removed post so that you can adjust it and repost, please contact us. As long as we wouldn't prefer you to simply start over, we'll be glad to send you a copy.

280: Because of the live nature of the discussions on this community, it is not possible for us to review and/or confirm the accuracy or validity of a message before it is posted. If you believe that someone has violated Commandant Policy, Core Values, Auxiliary Communities of Interest Code of Conduct, or you have spotted content that may otherwise require attention, please send a private message to one of our community managers staff with a link to the content and a brief description of what you believe is wrong. Notification is voluntary, but in no case should a user respond to a situation personally, thereby aggravating the situation further. Responding to a violation in an inflammatory manner is a violation in itself and will result in appropriate action.

290: Whenever you are participating in this community, please keep in mind that we strive to create a fun, friendly and inviting atmosphere. So, please have fun and enjoy the communities!