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Moderation guidelines

Started April 2017 by
Modified October 2017 by

Hi! We're here to try to help make tax and super easier. You can ask us questions on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or join the conversation over at Let's Talk. We believe in being open, transparent and accountable, so please take a moment to read our guidelines – we hold everyone, including ourselves, to the same standards.

Play nice!

We live in a diverse world, and our differences are what make our community stronger. We ask you to take those different views into account when you interact with us and each other in our digital communities.

We reserve the right to remove comments that are:

  • Offensive, abusive or profane
  • Targeting race/ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality or political beliefs
  • Fraudulent, deceptive, misleading or unlawful
  • Not related to our business, products or services
  • Political in nature
  • Found to contain personal information of individuals or entities

English, plain and simple.

You know TFW* you can't understand what someone is saying? Help us avoid misunderstandings by writing your questions and comments:

  • In plain English
  • In normal sentences and paragraphs
  • Without using textspeak and technical jargon

Everyone makes spelling errors (especially when you're on your phone!), but if we think pretty much anyone could understand what you're saying, we'll leave your post alone. However, if we don't understand you, or where there's a really obvious error, we'll either edit your post to correct it or remove your post and ask you to re-submit.

*TFW = That Feeling When. It took us a while to work it out too.

Parlez-vous Anglais?

Explaining tax and super can be tricky enough as it is, so we ask our followers to use English when they post. Using one common language can help us make the most of everyone's knowledge and experience.

You can find tax and superannuation info in multiple languages over at https://ato.gov.au/otherlanguages. If you need to discuss your personal tax information, speak to us in your preferred language by phoning Translating and Interpreting Services on +61 3 9268 8332 between 8:00am and 5:00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday and ask for the ATO.

ID Withheld

Personal identification details – like your tax file number or phone number – are extremely valuable. In the wrong hands, your personal details could be used to commit identity fraud in your name.

Do not disclose your personal information or share this information with others in the Community (including us!)

Spam I am

What do you do if you receive a spam email? Delete it unopened and unread? We reserve the right to do the same thing if you post spam on our platforms.

Spam is annoying, distracting and in some cases illegal. Spam includes any unsolicited or unauthorised advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, chain letters, pyramid schemes, unauthorised surveys, contests or any other kind of solicitation. It can also include multiples of the same post – either to get our attention or 'make your point'.

The ‘Do Not Post' register

We try to take care of our Community and we ask you to do the same. The following kinds of posts will be deleted upon detection:

  • Abusive, threatening or trolling. If you're not sure whether someone might take offense to something you've written, we suggest walking away from your keyboard for 10 minutes and reconsider.
  • Vandalism. Offensive or pornographic text, images or gifs have nothing to do with tax or super, so they aren't allowed on our platforms.
  • Malicious software. This refers to but is not limited to software viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots, or any other computer code, files or programs that are designed to attack our software, hardware or telecommunications equipment.

It's worth pointing out that most of the activities above have legal repercussions. If you break the law on our platforms, we are required to report them to the appropriate authorities.

CTRL+C and CTRL+V free™

The temptation to “borrow” someone else's idea can be very strong. Some people have a knack for writing an excellent explanation – they can explain a complex concept in two sentences that just make perfect sense.

Ideas, written and art works, inventions, names and images are all covered by intellectual property (IP) laws – including copyright. We're required to remove any material found to be in breach of IP law, and may also be required to provide law enforcement with your details.

Feel free to share your own ideas and content – but if you do reference someone else's work, make sure you credit them.

Information is power

Our Community is agreat place to share information and personal experiences with tax and super. You can ask questions, talk to others in similar situations and crowd-source information. We encourage you to share information such as quotes from reputable sources, links to our website, and anecdotes about what you've experienced.

However, please be aware that sharing information and providing advice are different. Sharing information is usually of a general nature, whereas providing advice must consider individual circumstances and may differ from person-to-person. Under Australian law, you must be registered with a professional industry body (such as the Tax Practitioners Board, Australian Securities and Investments Commission or the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) to provide financial advice.

If you're giving someone a list of instructions or steps to take to build wealth or avoid paying tax, we reserve the right to remove these posts to protect our members.

 

Commercial-in-confidential

Do you hate ads and clickbait? We do too. That's why we ask our members and visitors not to advertise their products and services or seek new clients on our platforms.

 

If you see something, say something

We do our best to read new posts and questions, but sometimes things slip through the cracks.

That's where you come in. Report behaviour you think breaches our guidelines using our ‘Report inappropriate content' button. We'll review the content against our rules and our terms of service, and will take appropriate action.

We'll get in touch to let you know if one of your posts has been flagged for review and explain what action needs to be taken. We promise to tell you if we've edited your post or why it's been deleted. In serious cases, we may suspend your account for a period of time to help you ‘cool off'. We'll explain why and let you know when you can re-join us.

If you're a repeat offender, our Community isn't for you, and we'll block your account permanently.

Armchair moderation

We're here to help and to make sure our Community runs smoothly. Part of our job means that we'll have to make some tough decisions sometimes, and that some people won't agree with us. We're okay with that.

If you've reported a particular post or behaviour, we promise to look into it. We might not agree, or our rules might not cover that particular issue, so we might decide not to take any (visible) action.

If you don't see a response from us, or see the expected change on a post or user, you don't need to flag it again or take it up with the other person. We will not comment on actions we've taken while acting as moderators, especially where they impact other users.

Negative comments or threads about our moderation practices or posts criticising our moderators are likely to be locked or blocked and may result in temporary suspension.

Artificial inflation

If you contribute in our Community, adding value by answering questions, sharing ideas and supporting others – you're already a superhero! As you interact more with the Community, you'll move up the ranks over time, and your rank doesn't define your skills and knowledge.

Trying to cheat our Community by boosting or bumping your posts artificially (by creating alternate accounts or repeatedly posting the same thing over and over again) doesn't help us. Or our Community. Or you. We will lock threads, delete posts and/or ban you if you repeatedly try to beat the system.

So long, and thanks for all the tax info!

Communities are fun places to visit, but you might decide that you've learned all you can or don't have the time to contribute anymore. Email us at atocommunity@ato.gov.au to let us know you're leaving, and we'll take care of everything else.

From the bottom of our collective heart, thank you for being involved. We hope you found our Community helpful! Thanks for taking the time to read through these guidelines. We hope you enjoy your time with us! - Community team

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