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PTO Community Purpose
The purpose of the Prison Talk Online community is Prisoner & Family Support, Information and Assistance. While we welcome people with other view points seeking to learn more, anything beyond friendly questions will NOT be tolerated. PTO is not a forum open to debating whether or not anyone should be in prison, should prisoners and their families have rights, etc. Anyone who is hostile to our purpose will be immediately blocked from the community and all of their posts will be deleted. This will be the ONLY WARNING and no notice will be given.

Why does PTO have rules?
When PTO first opened we had only a few simple rules, all revolving around respecting others and common sense. Over the years however it became apparent that not only did some people not grasp those simple concepts but PTO needed a solid foundation of guidelines to operate under that everyone can understand and that will allow us to function as smoothly as possible. Just about every country in the world has laws that they operate under. Without Rules or “laws”, you end up with anarchy, and Anarchy is certainly counterproductive to what we want to accomplish at PTO. The PTO rules & policies are not negotiable and they apply to everyone from the newest member all the way up to the site owner and the administration. Please check the site information area (here) on a regular basis to stay up to date on current policies, rules and other information.

"Freedom of Speech" at PTO
While we believe very much in the freedom of speech & expression, you DO NOT have an absolute right to say whatever you want in this community. Anything that goes against our core beliefs and the purpose for which this community was created may not be allowed and could very well get you banned from accessing this site. Posts and comments that are meant to incite conflicts between members or outside parties are strictly prohibited. PTO Administration has the absolute right to edit, modify, close or delete any content found in this community. While this rarely if ever happens, we will not tolerate individuals or groups creating problems with the overall membership.

Advertising & Promoting
PTO has a NO advertising policy with the exception of our community sponsors. This includes discussion forums, message boards, chat sites, commercial businesses & services, personal websites, charitable and other organizations, etc. (You may however post a direct link to an outside site given that the information is RELEVANT to a question someone else has requested, or you believe it will be helpful to others.) This also includes links in signatures which cause commercial popup windows to pop up in threads (sometimes found embedded in some counters, including ones from sitegadgets.com). Sneaky advertising will not be tolerated. If you have a business or service that you think will benefit the members of PTO, please e-mail advertising@ prisontalk dot com (in proper e-mail format) and a member of PTO Administration will contact you. For those of you who would like to post your site (commercial or not), we have a “Resource” (links) section located on all PTO top menus, where you are free to post most any prison related web link along with a full description. It can also be found at: www.PrisonLinks.com If you violate this policy you will be warned once and the posts will be deleted. Further abuse of this policy will most likely lead to you being permanently banned from the community.

Soliciting Financial Assistance
Soliciting financial assistance in the forums, chat or via PM is strictly prohibited. As much as we would like to assist in helping those who are in grave need of it, there is no way to easily and effectively determine the accuracy of someone’s financial situation. This policy also extends to charitable or other organizations seeking donations and assistance. Countless people have been scammed on the internet and message boards, perpetrated by people who come into a community with nefarious motives and preying upon others who are kind and want to help people in need. Any posts of this nature will be either edited or deleted and the member contacted. Repeated abuse of this rule may lead to loss of posting privileges.

Abuse / Flaming / Derogatory Comments
Abusive Comments, Flaming, or derogatory insults or comments are strictly against the rules. If you disagree with another member’s point of view, do so in a mature and civil manner. If someone posts to discuss their personal problems or seeks help from other forum members, please do not respond unless you have something positive or helpful to add. If you find yourself being flamed or insulted by another member, please do not dignify that person with a response. Notify a moderator and let us handle it. If you feel you must respond to a flame or insult directly, please do NOT do so on the board. Use Private Messaging, but make sure you do NOT threaten any member.

Inviting contact outside the forums
“Inviting” is termed as a post where you invite other members to contact you to find out more information, rather than post it in the forum. This is not allowed and any posts with emails or invitations to contact for more information will either be edited or deleted entirely. Repeated abuse of this may result in loss of posting privileges.

Promoting Other Online Communities on PTO
Do not promote other online communities, businesses, or websites on PTO by the following or any other means: (1) Putting the link or information in your signature file that appears below your posts; (2) Posting the information in the threads soliciting people to go there; (3) Sending a Private Message to PTO members soliciting them; or (4) Sending e-mail to PTO members soliciting them. The first two actions will result in a warning; the second two actions (sending PMs or e-mail to members soliciting them) will get you banned without notice.

Spamming & Cross Posting
Spamming and Cross Posting is defined as posting the same information or content (full or partial) in two or more posts. We understand that some topics might fit into more than one forum or category but we ask that you please pick the best one and stick with it. Members found to be spamming will be warned the first time and additional posts will be removed. Repeat offenders may have their posting privileges suspended or revoked.

Hoaxes
Any member found perpetrating a hoax in order to gain sympathy and/or attention from the members of PTO will be banned and the hoax will be exposed publicly to all members. We will not tolerate fraudulent posting on PTO and take this matter quite seriously.

Language & Profanity
While we understand the majority of members are grown adults, we do occasionally have young adults and children that visit PTO to communicate with others in similar circumstances as their own. Further, many people are offended by vulgar language. Also, PTO is a public website and anyone on the Internet of any age can read the majority of forums on PTO. If you feel you must swear to get your point across, please censor your language appropriately so as to not be overly offensive. (e.g., “S***!”) Replacing one or two letters in an expletive by using ASCII characters (! For I, etc) is not an acceptable solution. Abuse of this rule will lead to your posting privileges being suspended.

Member Accounts
A maximum of ONE account is allowed per person. We have the ability to track and match IP addresses on accounts and other security measures in place to discourage duplicate accounts. If you are found to be using two or more accounts, one or more of them will be deleted and you may be banned from PTO altogether depending on the situation. The bottom line here is to register one account and stick with it. If you have account problems, contact a PTO Admin, send a ticket in to the PTO Helpdesk, or send an email to support@ prisontalk dot com (in proper email format) and state the problem you are having - do NOT register another account. One of the Administrators may recommend that you re-register if the problem cannot be solved but in most all cases a problem with an account can be corrected by an Administrator. Members of the same household (i.e., husband and wife, etc.) are allowed to have their own accounts, but we recommend you contact a member of PTO Administration (or send a ticket in to the Helpdesk or an email to Support as noted above) and discuss this BEFORE a second party in your household opens an account. This is available for legitimate accounts ONLY. The many security measures PTO has in place generally eventually expose those who open a second account for themselves pretending be someone else, and discovery will lead to a warning, suspension, or ban from PTO dependent on the situation. In short, if you are thinking about opening an additional account for yourself in order to post "anonymously", for nefarious purposes regarding other PTO members, to perpetuate a hoax (see PTO Policy on "Hoaxes"), or for any other reason - don't.

Closing Your PTO Account
PTO does not delete accounts, profiles, nor posts and threads (see "Deleting Posts and Closing Threads" section of PTO policy). We will, however, at your request, close your account and you will no longer appear on the active member list. If you wish to close your PTO account, please send a ticket in to the PTO Helpdesk or email support@ prisontalk dot com (in proper email format) with your request and include your PTO username. If you wish to remove comments, photos, or other items from your profile, please do so before contacting PTO staff with your request to close the account. If you decide later that you wish to return to PTO as an active member, contact the Helpdesk or email us again and we will be happy to reopen your account. As stated in the "User Accounts" section above, a maximum of ONE account on PTO is allowed per person. Per this policy, if you request to close your account, you may NOT open another account. Contact the Helpdesk, email us at support@ prisontalk dot com, or contact an Administrator or Super Moderator before you close your original account by PM if you feel you have an emergent situation which may warrant a new PTO account. Failure to do so, and opening another account without prior approval from PTO Administration after requesting your original account closed, will result in one or more accounts being deleted, and you may be banned from PTO altogether depending on the situation.

Impersonating Members & Accessing other Member's Accounts
You may not impersonate another board member or create an account for the purpose of provoking other users. This includes creating an account very similar to another member as to confuse others by the similarity in names. Accessing or using someone else’s account or attempting to access another member’s account is strictly prohibited and will lead to one or more members being banned.

Attempting to Circumvent a Ban, Block, or Suspension
If you log onto the PrisonTalk.com forums and receive a message that you have been banned, you may submit an un-ban request and wait for a PrisonTalk.com admin to get in touch with you. In the case of temporary suspensions from PTO (usually 7 to 30 days), we strongly suggest you wait out the suspension to avoid further consequences. You may NOT re-register under a new name if the software lets you. If you try to sign up again and we catch you, then the ban will become a permanent IP Ban; temporary suspensions will become a permanent ban. We rarely send out notices that you have been banned or suspended.

Posting Links, URL's & Email Addresses
While we prefer that all content be posted in the forums themselves (unless it is a copyright violation to do so) so our members will always be able to access it, we realize that some information must remain on remote sites as it may be too extensive to re-post. Posting links/URL’s in the PTO forums is allowed as long as they substantiate a post, or are summarized. Please don’t post links with a comment such as, “Check out this link”. Let members know what the link is about, rather than surprising them with it. We also do not permit the posting of personal email addresses in public forums due to privacy issues and the mining of personal email addresses by automated scripts. (This benefits you!) The posting of your personal email address in ANY public forum, guest book or site invites SPAM from people creating mass email listings. Believe it or not, there are people who get paid to spend all day searching newsgroups, message boards, discussion forums, and chats just to collect email addresses that are posted.

Posting of Personal Contact Information
Members may not post personal contact information such as home address, work address, home telephone number, work telephone number, etc., in the public forums. ANYONE, including guests to PTO, can read the public forums - this policy is in place for YOUR safety and protection.

Posting Harmful URL's
Any Member of PTO that posts malicious or harmful URL links that cause: - other Member’s PC’s to become locked or have to be rebooted in order for the PC to regain functionality; or - “screaming”, (cannot be viewed safely for content or sound at work) - commercial/advertising "popup" windows (sometimes found embedded in some counters used in signatures, including but not limited to ones from sitegadgets.com) ... may have their posting privileges suspended. A repeat offender may be permanently banned from the community. This includes signatures, which signatures also MAY NOT have links embedded which cause commercial popup windows to pop up in threads (found in some counters, including but not limited to ones from sitegadgets.com), play music videos or other things that will cause sound on another member's system while viewing, or directs one to another website. Please refer to the section of policy on "Signatures" below for more information.

Threats / Racism / Sexism
Threads, Posts, Signatures & User names promoting or expressing intolerant views, attacks directed towards other ethnic groups, religions, interracial couples, sexual preferences or political parties is strictly prohibited. **Consider this the only warning. Violators will be banned!**

Sexual Conduct
It is the policy of Prison Talk Online (PTO) that sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and harassment include: unwelcome sexual advances (verbal, written or implied), requests for sexual favors, suggestive talk, name calling, discriminatory or derogatory remarks, and other verbal, written or implied abuse of any sexual or other nature. Members who violate this policy will either we warned on the first offense or banned, depending on the nature of the incident. There will be no second warnings.

Trolling & Inciting Conflict
“Trolling” or making posts with the intention of creating problems in any area of this community is strictly prohibited. This includes registering an alternative ID for the sole purpose of creating problems on the forums. “Troll ID’s” will be locked immediately and permanently, and the primary account will be banned. Members that visit PTO only to participate in “conflict” threads may have their account temporarily or permanently closed. All trolls will be IP banned from our servers.

Police / Guard / Correctional Official Bashing
While we encourage full disclosure, investigation and the sharing of relevant information relating to abuses by Institutional staff (management, guards, jailers, CO’s,etc), blatant and unprovoked bashing of these people is not allowed. Please refrain from derogatory name calling as well. Further, it is a violation of PTO membership to go to any forum or site (ETC) where Correctional Officers are known to congregate and incite problems that may follow you back to the PTO website. If it is found that any member of PTO has gone to another website and created a problem that then follows them back to our community, that member will be banned immediately.

Attacking PTO Staff
Posting a thread or reply to comment on, question, or criticize moderator or administrator action is not appropriate in the public forums or chat.. Please utilize the board’s Private Message function, the PTO Helpdesk, or email to contact staff if you wish to discuss these issues. As long as you bring up your concerns maturely and civilly to the moderator or administrator in question, we will do our best to address your concerns fairly and promptly. Here are the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of addressing your concerns to moderators or administrators: “Do” be civil and polite. Bring up your concerns in a mature and respectful manner. If you are contacting staff because you violated forum guidelines, be adult enough to admit your mistake. If your ID has been locked for some reason, talking politely to us about it in private, via e-mail, Helpdesk, or private message, can get your ID reinstated in many cases. “Do not” be derogatory or insulting towards staff. You will not get what you want by name calling or bashing us. All we ask is that you treat staff the way you would want us to treat you. If you treat us with respect, we will do the same for you.

PTO Bashing & Flaming
Threads & Posts attacking Prison Talk Online Policies will not be allowed. Further, any member found to be badmouthing the Prison Talk Online community at an outside location will have their membership blocked. If you do not care for this community, you really have no business here anyway.

Adult Content, Nudity & Pornographic Material
Adult content is anything that is sexual in nature and should not be discussed in front of children. While PTO and prison in general is considered more of an "adult" topic, there are many times when younger children of prisoners access this site and therefore explicit sexually-related conversations are not permitted and may be pulled from the public site without notice should they become graphic. The general rule of thumb is not to talk about things you would not talk about in front of your neighbors' kids. Nudity and pornographic material is not acceptable anywhere in the Prison Talk Online community. Overly suggestive photographs/pictures will most likely be considered adult material and removed. Members posting pornographic images, or links to porn sites and images will have their accounts suspended and possibly banned.

Treatment of PTO Sponsors
Our paying sponsors deserve respect and restraint. PTO sponsors assist us in paying the over $800/month server bill and management fees, without which PTO would not exist for you today. Attacking a sponsor on the board is strictly prohibited. If you have a serious complaint with a sponsor, you may send the information directly to an Administrator and it will be reviewed prior to being sent to the Sponsor for action or resolution. If you do post on in the forums about a specific problem YOU are having involving a sponsor, please remain calm and state the facts. Do not let emotion cloud the issue at hand. When your thread is read by a moderator, the moderator will do the following: a) Lock the thread and place a copy of the thread in the Moderator Forum OR the Sponsor Forum for review. b) Reply to the locked thread that (A) has taken place c) The moderator or Administrator will update the locked thread with the response from the Sponsor OR the Sponsor will reply or contact you directly. We really hope situations can be resolved off-line but we will not prohibit a statement of fact but we will control the thread so as to stop the “Hate” or “Me too” replies these threads often generate.

Directing Contact Outside of the PTO Community
Directing members to contact you for more information at your Website, via Email or PM is not allowed, unless the information is sensitive or of a personal nature. One of the purposes of PTO is to provide our members with information on a variety of topics relating to Prison, Prisoner Support, etc. Promoting discussion outside of the forums will prevent this information from helping others in the future.

Legal Related Posts & Information
Prison Talk Online DOES NOT endorse any legal advice given anyplace within the Prison Talk Online community. We highly recommend that members and guests get the advice of an accredited legal expert whenever possible and never rely on just one source.

Professional Member Posts
PTO welcomes professional members (i.e. lawyers, paralegals, etc.). Your input could be of value to our members; however any member soliciting business for themselves will be banned. While we appreciate your professional input, we do not condone trolling this site in order to gain clients. Any member approaching other members offering paid services (either by posts in the public forum, by private messages, or by email) will be warned and/or banned.

Directing to other posts / threads
Making a post directing other people to another post on the PTO site, unless requested, and to check their PM box is not permitted. An example of this would be to create a new threads asking if everyone has voted on the poll you posted, or if they have viewed the other thread. Posts such as these will be deleted and the member will be warned. Continuing abuse of this policy will result in you losing your posting privileges.

Use of PTO's Name
NO PTO member is permitted to use the PTO name in any cause that is not specifically authorized in writing by Fed-X and PTO. It is sincerely appreciated when our members assist us in spreading the word about the Prison Talk Online community but to state to others that “PTO and I are fighting this issues” (ETC, ETC) is not permissible unless it has been officially sanctioned by PTO.

Illegal Activity Communications
Threads/replies encouraging illegal/unethical action (like “The best way to kill the neighbor’s dog”), or more importantly, anything relating to compromising the security of prisons and institutions (ETC) will not be allowed. Posts such as these will be deleted and may lead to you losing your posting privileges. This policy extends to profiles, avatars, etc., as well. PTO's policy on illegal activities also extends to references of gang activity, as gang activity is illegal (and especially in the prison systems). If you are affiliated with a gang and have a loved one in prison, you are certainly still welcome at PTO, but no reference to such affiliations in posts, profile, avatar, etc. is allowed.

Drug Posts and Conversations
Conversations relating to manufacturing and “hyping” (promoting or sensationalizing) of drugs are not welcome in PTO. Conversations relating to the Drug War, addiction and recovery, as well as other issues (prisoner & family) related are welcome in their appropriate forums.

Signatures AKA "Siggys"
Signatures are currently allowed at PTO, but are a privilege that may be revoked if abused. Signatures may not contain links (e-mail, web, embedded or otherwise), with the exception of a counter. Signatures may not contain advertisements. Signatures may not contain any type of sexual or risqué content (completely up to Admin discretion.) Graphics used may not have embedded links or files. This includes e-mail and web addresses, as well as pop-up windows and music videos. Anything that causes the forum load time to be substantially lower for dial-up members. Counters are limited to one (1) and may not include an additional graphic (clip art, photo, etc.) Users may have up to three (3) graphics, provided the total HEIGHT of the graphics do not exceed 500 pixels when stacked, and all graphics are optimized for the web (i.e. 72 dpi). The width of ANY graphic may never exceed 500 pixels. (For example, if you have three graphics in your signature, total up the height of each. If the number is less than 500 pixels, you are within bounds. If it exceeds 500 you must resize your graphics to fit within policy.) Graphics include, but are not limited to: counters, photographs, clip art, blinkies, dolls, sparkling names, or any file that must be hosted elsewhere to be used in a signature. Text may be used and is not considered a graphic. However, text used in addition to one or more graphics must be size 1, 2 or 3. Text that is size 4, 5, 6 or 7 [U]will be considered a graphic[/U], and therefore part of the three (3) graphics allowed. - Admin reserves the right to remove or edit any member’s signature at any time to have it comply with PTO policy without notification.

Use of Counters
You may have a maximum of one (1) Count Down timer in your signature. The counter MAY NOT have links embedded which cause commercial popup windows to pop up in threads (including but not limited to ones from sitegadgets.com). Most counters are either an active link or have the name of the originating site in the counter (such as tickerfactory.com). For the purposes of a counter only, this is allowed. Counters are the ONLY exception to the rule of having no links/site names within a signature. If this policy is abused, then all members will be required to remove counters from their signatures.

PTO Calendar
We understand that you are excited that your loved one will come home from prison two or three years from now, but please understand that PTO's other thousand-odd members that refer to the PTO Calendar daily regarding events won't be so interested to see that announcement day after day for the next two or three (or more years). We ask that you limit listing events on the Calendar to those occurring within 90 (ninety) days, and until that time is near, we would encourage you to make use of a countdown ticker in your signature, or some other sort of countdown, instead. You may also wish to participate in The Countdown subforum, located in the Coming Home forum, as well.

Soliciting Member Feedback
Soliciting feedback about products, services and commercial websites in the forums is not allowed, with the exception of the Services & Product Info forum located in the Break Time forums section of PTO. Active members are welcome to post inquiries about PERSONAL web sites/pages in the PTO Lounge.

Junk Posting
“Free” or “Junk” posts are (repeated) posts that do not add to the overall positive content in threads, or are postings solely for the purpose of boosting your post count. A good example of this can be found in threads asking for information on a topic for which you have no answer and does not inquire directly (by name) of you to answer. If you were to reply to this thread by saying, “Nope, I have no information”(ETC), this is a junk post. There is no reason to comment because your silence is as good as saying you do not have any information to contribute. If they are asking you personally (by name) though, please do feel free to reply regardless of whether you have the answer or not. Many people judge member’s credibility based on post count, so we ask that you obtain your post count legitimately. Furthermore, free/junk posts add up over time and waste server space and ISP bandwidth unnecessarily. Threads announcing your post count are considered free posting. Free/Junk post repeat abusers may have their post count severely reduced by PTO administration.

Bumping Threads
“Bumping” a thread is when you make a post for the purpose of making the thread appear on the “View New Posts” option, or light up as forums with new posts do. While there are some circumstances when doing this is reasonable, it should be kept to rare use. If a moderator or admin feels there is no reason for this, there is a good chance your post will be deleted and you may be warned. Repeated abusers may have their posting privileges suspended.

Off-Topic Posting
Off-Topic Post are posts that do not relate to the original post/topic, or is placed in the wrong category. While we realize threads often expand into different topics, we encourage members to do their best to stick with the original topic, or start another thread. Off-Topic posts are subject to editing or removal at administrative discretion, and without notification. Members that continuously post off topic may have their posting privileges suspended.

Posting in inappropriate areas
Please post your topics in the most appropriate forum (i.e., death penalty related topics in the death penalty categories). If you post a thread that would be more appropriate in another forum, a moderator will move it for you. However, please do not make the moderators do this for you. Use your judgment to determine which forum best suits your topic. If you are dealing with a topic that could appropriately fit in more than one forum, please pick the one you feel is closest to your topic.

Thread Subject Titling Requirements
As PTO grows, it becomes increasingly important to properly title the subject of new threads. People find the threads that they are interested in mostly by scanning the titles, even when searching with our site search engine. Titles/Subjects that are leading are not allowed. PTO Moderators may change the title of any thread to assist in describing the content of the thread without notifying the member who started the thread. In some cases, a moderator may also contact the member if it is evident the member is having a problem with titling to give tips.

Posting Referrals / Commissions / Affiliate Links
Members are NOT allowed to post links that lead to any type of affiliate program where points are given or any type of credit, prize or monetary value is awarded. Members found to be posting links such as these will have their posting privileges suspended. Repeated violations will result in banning.

"I am leaving PTO" Threads & Posts
It is the internal policy of PTO to disallow threads that are purely to announce that you are 'leaving the site' for any reason. Posts of this nature will result in the following action: 1) The post will be removed from general view. 2) Your membership will be suspended without notice. 3) If you wish to have your membership reinstated then you may contact an Administrator or Moderator to request this. If you find it necessary to 'leave' PTO for any reason - or just take a break from the site - then you are welcome to notify your PTO friends via personal Private Message.

Sex with C.O. s and Sex in the Visiting Room Threads
Certain general subjects seem to persistently show up on PTO. Two such examples are “Sex with C.O.’s” and “Sex in the Visiting Room.” Before posting a question on PTO, we strongly encourage members to utilize the “search” function to see if the question has already been answered. If a member posts a question that has already been answered several times, the PTO staff reserves the right to post links to previous threads - where the question has been answered - and close the thread.

Private Messaging (PM) System Rules
ALL of the general rules listed in this forum apply to the Private Messaging system, especially soliciting, advertising and sexually related PM’s. Violating any of these rules in the PM system will result in immediate removal from the community.

PTO Card Program
Participation in the PTO card programs is completely voluntary. By participating in the card programs, you agree to abide by the rules and policies set forth by the staff in charge of those programs. Abuses of the program (i.e. inappropriate contact with a prisoner whose information was obtained in that program) will lead to the banning of any member(s) involved. Anything sent to a prisoner associated with one of these programs that is of an abusive, sexual, or harassing nature will not be tolerated.

PTO Chat Room
PTO has a live chat system available to members that meet our minimum activity requirements (two weeks of membership and 25 valid posts on the PTO discussion board minimum). ALL PTO Policies are in force in the chat room regardless of whether or not a staff member is in the room. Our chat systems logs all communications that take place in the PTO chat rooms and should there be a report of abuse or policy violations, site administrators have the ability to review the transcripts. Abuse or PTO policy violations in the chat room may result in a loss of posting privileges and/or banning. We have a zero tolerance policy relating to sexual activity in the chat room as well as abuses, and though we may not catch it when it happens or even the following days or weeks, when we do the people involved will be banned. Our chat room is about prisoner support and most of our members have a loved one in prison. If you are looking for love, you should seek it elsewhere. Please understand that the PTO chat room is considered an "extra" to PTO. We encourage users to use the discussion forum, PTO's main purpose, for most of their communication on PTO.

Staff Moving Posts & Threads
PTO Staff will move threads & posts to the most appropriate forum often without notice to the member who started a thread. Please spend a little extra time making sure where you start a thread is the best place for it, and don’t rely on moderators to do this for you. Members found to blatantly post threads “wherever” may lose their posting privileges.

Deleting Posts & Closing Threads
PTO Administration has the right to close or remove any post or thread we deem inappropriate. The decision to Close or Delete a Post/Thread is solely ours. We have a strict policy of keeping the posts in this community constructive. Posts that create an unnecessary amount of conflict and serve no further purpose may be closed at the moderator’s discretion. It is the policy of this community NOT to delete posts unless the information in a post may put someone in jeopardy. It is the member's responsibility to think of the potential consequences of the post they are about to make prior to doing so. This is the Internet and anyone in the world can read what you post on PTO - it is the member's responsibility to be careful regarding what personal/identifying/etc. information they post on PTO. Removing a post will often destroy readability of the thread by making it unreadable. Deleting the first post in a thread will cause the deletion of the entire thread. Members do not appreciate spending their time responding to posts only to have the post they make disappear, so we make it a point not to delete posts just because people change their mind after making a post. The process of removing posts from the board and reviewing threads that need post(s) deleted is also extremely time consuming for staff members and removing even a few posts takes a great deal of time and effort. For that reason also, it is the policy of this community not to delete posts except in very extreme, emergency circumstances.

Media Reps, Journalist, & Student/Researcher Info
When a journalist or member of the media posts on the site - or students/researchers post on the site for research purposes - they are expected to explain the purpose of the request to the members and to encourage members to post their stories in the thread. Considering the fact that this is a prisoner-oriented site, any media stories evolving from PTO communication should be that of a positive nature. Requests with the intent of provoking derogatory comments about prisoners or corrections officers will not be tolerated. Inviting outside contact of PTO members is also not allowed. Persons in the media and students/researchers are also not allowed to send unsolicited emails and/or private messages to members of PTO. Posting a personal email address within the thread is also not allowed. It is not the responsibility of the PTO Administration or Staff to authenticate or verify any statement or facts purported by members of PTO. At the discretion of PTO Administration, any media-related post/request or research-related post/request may be removed from the site. This may be done without warning or prior notification. PTO does not endorse any media outlet, journalist, member of the media or media story/report, or any students/researchers or involved educational/research institution. However, any information obtained from this site must be credited to Prisontalk.com and its members. Failure to follow these rules and policies will result in the request being immediately removed from the site and permanent banning of the media member(s) or students/researchers involved.

Copyright Issues - News Articles, Magazine Articles, & Other Articles
As PTO is a repository for information related to the prison system, our members often desire to post newspaper, magazine, and other articles related to prison and other issues. This is understandable; however, PTO must remain in legal compliance with all applicable copyright laws under the concept of "fair use" as outlined in United States law. Please refer to the thread in the PTO Policies/Rules subforum titled "Copying & Pasting complete News Articles - Policy & Copyright Violation" for more information and guidelines on how to post references to articles on PTO.

Copyright Issues - Song Lyrics in Posts
Regretfully, due to the large number of legal threats and lawsuits by various factions of the recording industry in recent years against websites that publish lyrics and alternate (karaoke) versions of songs on the Internet, PTO has had to make the decision (as of 14 September 2008) to limit song lyrics in posts to a very minimal amount. Posting a line or two, or a verse, or a chorus of a song is acceptable; posting more than that or the entire song lyrics is not, and will result in removal or editing of your post. It is also preferred that you credit the artist or songwriter as well when posting the lyric snippet, if known.

Copyright Issues - Poems, Art, & All Other Copyrighted Works
For PTO to remain in legal compliance with all applicable copyright laws in the United States and most other countries, we ask that you do not post poems, art, or any other work subject to copyright laws unless you have the express stated permission of the copyright holder or the work is your own. We are frequently contacted by copyright holders (of especially works of poetry) and asked to remove the work from the PTO site. In short, if it's a poem or artwork that you or your incarcerated loved one did not write or draw - then you probably should not post it on PTO. This policy does not not apply to graphics and avatars posted on websites and available for use by the public on social networks and discussion forums.

Dispute Resolution
If you are having a problem on PTO that you feel you cannot solve by any other means available to you, we invite you to contact one of the PTO administrators via PM, email, or the PTO Helpdesk. Administrators have the final say regarding anything in this community.

Keep your Contact Info up to Date
Please be sure that if you change your personal email address that you do so here at Prison Talk Online as well. If you lose your password in the future, you will need to have a current and valid email address in your profile to receive the lost password, and verify any changes with the admin.


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