Skip to main content


HomeAAS Forums Policy
Background Image URL


Moderation Rules & Etiquette Guidelines

AAS Forums has been created to facilitate discussions and communications about all things anthropology: from debating issues, to collaborating with colleagues on a project, to sharing news and other items of interest with Australian anthropologists and students.

AAS Forums is a platform that all anthropologists should feel encouraged and safe to participate in. The ethos we are aiming for is one of respect and diversity. By diversity we mean *all* the diversity!—of peoples and opinions as well as anthropological training, experience and application.

To that end, and because a vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend, we have set out the following moderation rules, sanctions and etiquette guidelines.

Moderators will be AAS staff, committee members or volunteers who are familiar with this moderation guide. We are not adopting a pre-moderation approach—meaning that we won’t be reading and pre-approving (or blocking) each post before it appears online or is sent via email to a forum’s participants. This will allow discussion forums to unfold in real-time, with no moderation delays. However, this also means that any moderation steps will be taken after the fact. To avoid the potential embarrassment this may cause, please do take heed of the moderation rules.

For more information refer to the FAQ page. Please direct any queries regarding moderation to

Moderation Rules

AAS Forums will be moderated to ensure that posts:
  1. Are respectful toward others and do not personally insult, bully or harass other participants.
  2. Focus on the logic of the argument rather than the individuals involved in the argument.
  3. Accept the fact that participants are entitled to choose not to enter into a debate.
  4. Don’t include content that could be considered intolerant of a person's ethnic identity, culture, politics, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, appearance, age, dis/ability, or health.
  5. Avoid using obscene language. Lots of people from different backgrounds participate in the forums. We want them to be able to continue to do so from home, work, school, university or wherever they may be.
  6. Don’t come from fraudulent accounts and don’t include information intended to defraud or deceive others.
  7. Don't contain or link to illegal material, spam, violations of copyright law, and/or advertisements unrelated to the professional activities of the society.
  8. Don’t promote violence or unethical behaviour.


Forums posts that are in breach of the moderation rules may be dealt with in the following ways:
  1. Removal of comment - any post that, in the view of the moderator, breaches the rules will be removed. The author will be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit the contribution.
  2. Temporary Suspension - a participant who repeatedly and flagrantly flouts the moderation rules may be suspended from access to AAS Forums for a period of up to one month.
  3. Permanent Blocking - a participant who continues to violate the moderation rules following reinstatement after a period of suspension may have their access to AAS Forums permanently blocked.
  4. Automatic Blocking - a participant in breach of rules 6 or 7 will be immediately blocked from AAS Forums.

Etiquette Guidelines

These are not rules, they are suggestions to help keep the website respectful and constructive:
  1. Be respectful of other participants, even if they don't agree with you.
  2. Always keep things civil. Keep discussion focused on the issues rather than letting it deteriorate into personal insults.
  3. Be constructive. It's okay to disagree with other forum participants and engage in lively debate; just keep the dialogue constructive.
  4. If you feel that someone has insulted you, report their comment to the moderator via Don't perpetuate the dispute. The moderator will take a look at the offending comment and decide whether it should be removed.
  5. Stay on topic. The threads in forums correspond to specific purposes or topics. Please stay within the boundaries of the subject matter for each thread. Start a new thread for a new topic OR start a new forum for a new group or particular purpose.
  6. Choose one place to post each of your unique comments. Duplicate posts may be removed.
  7. Don't be a "troll". Trolls intentionally incite annoyance or offence. They do not participate constructively in the discussion and do not add any value to the debate.
  8. Don't bully, harass or threaten other participants. If another participant proffers an opinion that you don't agree with, you have no right to demand that they support their position with a detailed argument. They do not have to respond to your questions. It is up to each individual to participate as much or as little as they wish.
  9. Please respect the moderators. Their job is to keep the forum safe and constructive so that everybody gets to have their fair say. It is not always an easy job.