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FamilySearch Community Code of Conduct

FamilySearch Purpose and Quality Standards 

We create inspiring experiences that bring joy to all people as they discover, gather and connect their family – past, present, and future. We strive for inspiration, trust, kindness, effectiveness, and simplicity, in that order of priority.  

Using the site 

  1. Personal and noncommercial use: You may view, download, and print materials from this site for your personal, noncommercial use.  
  2. Selling or promotion: You may not use this site or information found at this site (including the names and addresses of those who have submitted information) to sell or promote products or services, to solicit clients, or for any other commercial purpose. 
  3. Copying or distributing content: You may not post, transmit or distribute content from this site on another website or on a computer network without our permission.  
  4. Media use: Materials from this site may be reproduced by media personnel for use in traditional public news forums unless otherwise indicated.  
  5. Professional genealogists: Professional genealogists may use this site to research information for a client’s personal, non-commercial use. However, professional genealogists may not solicit or arrange business, promote themselves, or receive payments here. 

Connecting with others  

  1. Kindness: Please be kind. Treat others the way you like to be treated. Define disagreements in clear terms based on the facts, citing sources where possible. Abstain from abrupt, insulting, abusive, threatening, or unkind language, comments, or images. Focus comments on ideas rather than people. Avoid speculation about others’ motives.  Do not mine, collect, or use any information from this site with the intent to harm, discredit, harass, or prejudice any person or entity. 
  2. Honesty: Please be honest. You may not post false, inaccurate or libelous information or images, or impersonate others.  
  3. Patience: When in doubt, please don't post it. Take a deep breath, check your facts, and give the issue a day to rest in your mind. It's better to wait than to spread hasty words like feathers in the wind.  
  4. Inappropriate content: You may not post inappropriate, offensive, or indecent language, images or content. Do not try to get around this policy by replacing letters with symbols: We k*** what you’re trying to s**.  
  5. Political or legal debate: Please limit discussions regarding politics or legal issues to those that directly relate to family history. Do not use indications of your political preference in your username, avatar, or signature.  
  6. Famous people: Do not use names or images of famous or infamous people or indications of your political preference in your username, avatar, or signature. 
  7. Linking: When linking to websites, choose first-party sites over third-party ones. For example, when you want to show people how to reset a FamilySearch account password, link to a FamilySearch Help Center document rather than a third-party PowerPoint. Do not use links, in any form, in your signature.   
  8. FamilySearch, its personnel & policies: Conjecture, gossip, or debate about the priorities, motives, processes, policies, or competence of this organization or its personnel fall outside the scope and spirit of this site.  
  9. Petitions, boycotts, and repeated thread bumping: Please refrain from these activities which detract from the spirit we seek here. 
  10. Format shouting: Avoid using repeated characters, caps, boldface or other formatting designed to shout your key points. If you have a long post, it’s okay to set off section headings in caps or boldface, but DON’T USE FORMATTING TO SHOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!   
  11. Relevance: Please do not start a new topic within an existing thread; instead start a new thread.   
  12. Religion: FamilySearch sites are produced to bring joy to all people. To prevent our community groups from being overpowered with a single-sided religious tone that repels people we want to welcome here, we ask that community members reserve spiritual discussions for those groups whose titles and descriptions specifically invite them. Please also refrain from religious debate.  
  13. Privacy: Community posts can show up in search engine results, and any items you submit may be viewable by anyone able to access this site. Be selective in the information you include in your online discussions and other contributed content, communicating instead through e-mail or other means where personal contact information or other personal or sensitive information is being provided. Do not post actual membership, financial, statistical, or other data from Church records.  
  14. Others’ rights: You may not submit anything to this site that violates any third party’s rights (including but not limited to copyrights, privacy rights, publicity rights, contract rights, or other proprietary rights). 

Enforcement 

Site leaders who discover offenses will act to protect the desired spirit of the community. Possible responses may include, but are not limited to:   

  1. Reminders of the code of conduct.
  2. Editing, closure, or removal of offending posts or discussions.
  3. Temporary or permanent suspension of group membership.
  4. Temporary or permanent suspension of community membership.
  5. Temporary or permanent suspension of FamilySearch.org membership.


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