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time you add a web feature that is interactive, such as a guestbook,
bulletin board, or event posting calendar you should have an acceptable use
policy in place so these features do not become subject to abuse.
As a feature becomes more popular you always get to the point where you need to edit or remove submitted content.
Although a message or posting may be related to the topic or subject, you need to balance the concept of free speech with messages that can sometimes be inappropriate.
The idea of moderated or edited postings can be also less appealing in terms of encouraging users to post content so the application of a policy needs to be appropriate and not discourage legitimate postings and discussions.
You may also need to help users as they often post messages with incorrect spelling and grammar, and for certain content, such as a public events calendar, errors need to be corrected.
Posting features can also be enabled or disabled for specific users through passwords, but with public and higher volume sites can create additional work and you need the resources in place to manage the process.
The idea of editing submissions is also more difficult than reserving the right to remove submissions and for some web features you may need to do both.
You also need to consider the volume of submissions. If the volume is high, then editing is even more difficult compared to removal of inappropriate items.
Another strategy is to send an inappropriate posting back to the user before the item is posted and request them to resend, therefore allowing them the opportunity to make the appropriate changes.
Acceptable use of computers/technology policies exist on most campuses, but may need to be modified more specifically for web features.
|Specific Feature Strategies for Editing and Removal|
|Feature:||High volume:||Low volume:|
|Guestbook||Right to remove entries.||Right to remove and edit all posted entries.|
|Bulletin Boards||Right to remove entries. Specific disclaimer regarding nature of content.||Right to remove entries and edit all posted entries. Specific disclaimer regarding nature of content.|
|Class Notes Posting||Right to remove entries, and all entries should be edited. Consider password protected sites although password maintenance can be difficult with high volume.||Right to remove entries, and all entries should be edited. Consider password protected site.|
|Employment||All items need to be edited and verified for accuracy.||All items need to be edited and verified for accuracy.|
|Events Calendars||All items need to be edited and verified for accuracy.||All items need to be edited and verified for accuracy.|
|Some Key Elements to Reference
in an Acceptable Use Policy for Web Features
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