|I. Comment Policy
SouthFloridaSociety.com loves our readers, and loves our readers' comments. However, SouthFloridaSociety.com is a private website, and we reserve the right to delete any comments we find offensive. We strive to maintain an atmosphere of free and open conversation, but inevitably, some posts on the site, and some threads in the bulletin board, will spiral off into negative sniping and flame wars. When this happens, we close the posts to further comments. If a commenter repeatedly abuses our comment policy, we delete all of their comments on every post on the site, and ban their IP address. If you have questions about this policy, about comments on specific posts, or about comments that have been deleted, please email Jake.
Good comments respond to the content in the post, or to a comment left by another reader.
Good comments can disagree with the content in the post, but they never insult the writer of the post, other commenters, SouthFloridaSociety.com, other websites, etc.
Good comments are usually pretty short, have a positive/constructive tone, and are open to being contradicted by other readers.
Good comments are always on topic, and never contain spam or spam-like content.
Good comments are rarely anonymous, because good commenters stand behind their opinions.
Bad comments insult the writer of the post, other commenters, SouthFloridaSociety.com, other websites, etc.
Bad comments are often long, negative in tone, contain profanity, threats, or invective content.
Bad comments go off on tangents or go-off topic, and often contain spam or spam-like content.
Bad comments are almost always anonymous, and usually contain fake contact information, because negative commenters are almost always too cowardly to stand behind their opinions.
II. Image/Content Use Policy
SouthFloridaSociety.com respects the rights of photographers and other original rights holders. As such, we do not steal, borrow, or reuse protected images or other content (video, audio, etc) without permission in advance from the content creator or owner.
If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, or your intellectual property rights have been otherwise violated, please provide SouthFloridaSociety.com's copyright agent with the following information ("Notice"): (1) an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright or other intellectual property interest; (2) a description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed; (3) a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the site; (4) your address, telephone number, and email address; (5) a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and (6) a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your Notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the copyright or intellectual property owner's behalf. Any Notice of claims of copyright or other intellectual property infringement must be sent via email to SouthFloridaSociety.com at:
Subject: Copyright Notice
Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying SouthFloridaSociety.com and its affiliates that your copyrighted material has been infringed. Fair-use Policy: SouthFloridaSociety.com may occasionally excerpt content or use thumbnails of protected images for the purposes of comment, criticism, or parody. In these cases, we always provide a link back to the original content that is the subject of the post. We evaluate all fair-use situations on a case-by-case basis. We do not believe fair-use allows us to use full-size images, images for the simple purpose of illustration, or images without proper source identification.
Good Sources of Images: SouthFloridaSociety.com often relies on public domain images, such as those provided by many government sites, Creative Commons licensed photoblogs and photo sites, and GPL stock sites. SouthFloridaSociety.com also makes arrangements with photographers to allow us access to their work. If you would like to allow SouthFloridaSociety.com to use your images, please contact us.
III. Ethics and Other Policies
While concrete ethics standards are pretty new in the blogosphere, the SouthFloridaSociety.com aims to incorporate standard journalism practices into our coverage. This statement of practices is a work in progress: if you see something that should be added or changed, let us know.
Outside Ideas, and Meta-Content
Blogging is meant to fuse outside ideas with those of the individual blogger to create new ideas. While standard linking is the most effective way to back up a blogger’s ideas or recognize an outside source for an idea, SouthFloridaSociety.com bloggers, where at all possible, will cite the originator of the idea/meme/story. Recycling news is a useful function for meta-news sites like the SouthFloridaSociety.com, but such recycling must be appropriately cited. If an idea is original to a SouthFloridaSociety.com contributor(s), then that poster may note that in the editorial copy.
While individual posters are encouraged to develop their own editorial style, the editors of each of the SouthFloridaSociety.com sites have a responsibility to maintain stylistic consistency, both between posts and between our different sites. As a group blog, we strive for a unified voice. In this way, each site begins to take on the personality of the city in which it exists.
Confirming Facts and Issuing Corrections
Often in journalism, newsroom editors will require three sources in order to declare something as true fact. Blogging, however, is very much about citing pieces of information on the fly, as the facts are emerging. When we publish items based on anonymous sources, rumor, or “buzz”, we note that in the post. When a post is discovered to be erroneous, a new post is issued and a correction is placed in the previous items. We may also use the comment section, strike-through text or other methods to point out the correction.
Freebees and Conflicts of Interest
SouthFloridaSociety.com family editors and contributors cannot promise coverage to friends, real-life colleagues and other acquaintances, unless the content is objectively worthy of being covered. Conflicts of interest are settled on a case-by-case basis by the editor of each site. SouthFloridaSociety.com bloggers cannot accept gifts, free meals, tickets, or other consideration in return for running posts. These and all other manner of quid-pro-quo relationships are strictly forbidden. SouthFloridaSociety.com writers may review product samples or enter events on press passes as long as doing so does not bias their coverage.
All advertising on SouthFloridaSociety.com is clearly marked as advertising, and our advertising and editorial business is kept strictly separate. SouthFloridaSociety.com blogs may from time to time run promotional contests or enter into other collaborative relationships with our advertisers, but these relationships will always be clearly disclosed. Editorial content will never be influenced by any advertiser relationship.
Other conflicts of interest
Individual bloggers for the SouthFloridaSociety.com families are discouraged from writing about things related to their professional lives (e.g., writing about a new Virgin MegaStore offer if the blogger pulls in a pay check from Virgin), but sometimes editorial interest may cause occasional overlaps. If that becomes the case, the blogger has an obligation to disclose the professional relationship.
Statement on Poaching
Editors and contributors may not use the SouthFloridaSociety.com name to gain entrance to an event or gather research for a post and then give or sell that post to another blog or media site. This is intended to protect the SouthFloridaSociety.com brand. To prevent confusion and bad feelings, SouthFloridaSociety.com prefers that its editors and contributors notify SouthFloridaSociety.com when they are writing for another blog or media site, especially if the writing is related to the section/beat the writer covers for SouthFloridaSociety.com. This policy does not apply to personal blogs.
Our Link list
SouthFloridaSociety.com loves to read other sites, and we try to link to other websites frequently in our editorial. We often receive requests from other sites to be added to our right-column link list, and because space is limited in this list, we have established a list of criteria that sites must meet before we add them:
1. The site must be mainly about the city, because that is what we and our readers are most interested in.
2. The site must link to SouthFloridaSociety.com, on their front page, because reciprocity is the key to any relationship. Please do not ask for a link if you do not link to us.
3. The site must be well-written, frequently updated, and mostly-positive in tone. No one likes a meanie.
4. The site must not be personal in nature- we link to personal blogs from our private sites, but not from our city sites.
Statement on Authorship
SouthFloridaSociety.com is a group blog. The posts and the comments made on SouthFloridaSociety.com by its editors and contributors reflect only those views held by the author of the post and not by SouthFloridaSociety.com, or any other organization.