DRAFT Fintech Talk community guidelines

DRAFT Community guidelines.

These are posted for consultation with our community members. Please submit any comments, public or in private by Sunday, August 14th!

2019/07/08 - First draft; removed Starling reference; added placeholder no-spam rule.
2019/07/09 - Added to Rule 4.

Welcome to the community.

The Fintech Talk community was established with a broad remit to discuss all aspects of the emerging fintech sector, the world of finance and disruptive technologies and platforms.

For :ft: to work as a viable community we need our members to agree by a set of rules that ensure that everybody gets heard, nobody feels discriminated against and we can all respectfully co-exist together.

Please treat the site as though it was a public park or community centre – a shared resource, to share skills, knowledge and, above all, conversation.

Golden Rules

  1. Keep it legal

  2. Be agreeable, even when you disagree

  3. Don’t discriminate

  4. Mind your language

  5. Don’t be a bully, don’t harass

  6. Don’t suffer, speak up

  7. No stealing

  8. Be tidy

  9. No spam

Moderators and the community’s administrator will endeavour to ensure that community members adhere to these rules. It is their role to offer guidance to members to help them stay within these guidelines, they will also take action where members are unable or unwilling to do so.

1. Keep it legal

Fintech Talk is an online community that exists within the jurisdiction of the applicable laws and courts of England.

We have to abide by the law, our members have to abide by the law. This is not optional…. it’s the law.

The law takes precedent over any other rule that we would wish to impose.

If you should use the Fintech Talk community to break the law, or to suggest to others that they should break the law, you should expect the site’s proprietors to co-operate with law enforcement agencies in any legal investigations that may arise – subject to English law.

2. Be agreeable, even when you disagree

Freedom of expression is something Fintech Talk values and hopes its members will too, but understand that the freedom also comes with certain responsibilities.

Everybody has a different idea of the way things should be done, but nobody has a monopoly on a good idea.

What a good idea actually is is completely subjective. What you think is a no-brainer may look to others like you’ve lost your mind.

We will treat those who have a different view to our own with respect.

Just because somebody espouses an opinion that counters our own does not entitle us to attack anybody, call names, belittle or otherwise act with malice towards that person.

Just because we enjoy the relative anonymity of being behind a screen and keyboard does not give us the right to communicate with less respectfully than we would in person.

Please be reasonable and debate the topic at hand, and do so without resorting to ad hominem attacks.

Aim to improve the conversation, not lower the tone. If you have to resort to a personal attack, it’s likely that you have already lost the argument.

3. Don’t discriminate

Try to act without prejudice, while all the time being mindful of the unfortunate fact that we all come with our own prejudices baked-in.

If we try to be aware of our prejudices, we can begin to look past them and treat others with the respect they deserve, regardless of their own identity, who they love, their background, their ethnicity, physical appearance, religion or age.

Hate is a powerful emotion and that consumes a lot of energy. It’s also a complete waste of that energy - after all, most people go through life seeking the same things from it.

For some, the word ‘inclusivity’ is almost an ideology in itself, for others it’s about pandering to militant liberalism and that must be resited at all costs…

Here, it’s about showing respect to our fellow community members, regardless of who they are. Respect is an expectation of all community participants.

4. Mind your language

The nature of the topics discussed on Fintech Talk mean the site is probably unlikely to be patronised by those who are not at least of an age where they can legally purchase a lottery ticket.

That said, we are not at a Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown gig and therefore, as a rule, we ask members to keep their language ‘PG’.

As a rule of thumb, if you can’t say it on a free-to-air (UK) television channel before 9pm, you’re probably not going to get away with saying it here something you can say here.

Sometimes there is an editorial justification for making use of profane or offensive words or phrases (for example quoting a remark made by another to add context to a discussion) – the likelihood, however, is that in most cases there is unlikely to be proper justification.

Profanity in thread titles is not permitted.

A more comprehensive assessment of where boundaries lie in respect to language can be found in our Moderation Policy.

5. Don’t be a bully, don’t harass

We’ve already spoken about the community’s stance on civility – particularly in respect to not making personal attacks – discrimination and the language we use while in conversation.

Sadly, the relative anonymity of an internet browser does seem to give some individuals the impression that they have the freedom or right to target individuals for harassment or to be the subject of bullying.

Harassment and/or bullying can manifest itself in a number of ways from a compulsive need to write a ‘snarky’ comment each time a particular member posts, creating sock-puppet accounts in order to post abuse or even deliberately posting personal information to intimidate, cause upset or humiliate an individual.

Regardless of its form, this is something that our community will not stand for and measures will be taken to prevent access to it for those who show a sustained motivation to cause harm to others in this way.

6. Don’t suffer, speak up

We want fintech talk to be a vibrant community with a broad range of views expressed. We want everyone to consider this to be a safe environment for that propose.

From time to time, however, we recognise that lines will get crossed, tempers will flare and members may need time to cool off.

If you see a post that you feel goes against the principles set out in these guidelines, please resist any urge to respond in kind. Rather, bring it to the attention to the community moderators.

Moderators will endeavour to assess each flag with care and on its own merit.

Please don’t abuse the flag system though. Where there is a pattern of use of the flag button for purposes of revenge, bullying or simply to cause trouble. This will likely backfire.

7. No stealing

In the offline world, you can’t produce counterfeit copies of books, DVDs or other works for distribution without the risk of getting into legal hot water.

It follows therefore, that members may not post anything to the community that belongs to somebody else - without the owners’ express permission.

In particular, if you wish to add to a particular topic by referencing a piece of journalism, please do not post the whole article – rather use selective quotes and provide a link to the full article at the parent publication’s own website.

Don’t post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images).

Everybody deserves to get paid for their work.

8. Be tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:

  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.

Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

9. No Spam

Please do not use this community to post unsolicited promotional material. Posting of referral links is permissible, so long as they are posted in dedicated threads, in dedicated sub-forums. You need to be an existing forum member in order to post in those threads.


Sounds pretty good to me. Right now I only have two comments:

  1. I like the “no stealing” rule.
  2. I don’t like the reference to starling. I think we should do our best to shake off the “ex starling forum” legacy.

Good start, and I agree. Amended.


I think you need something about no referral links just for the sake of it. Yes I get that sometimes a referral link is relevant, but sometimes people just post them for the sake of it that adds no relevance to the topic, considering a referral link may have already been given to someone in a reply days or weeks ago.


I’ll see what I can come up with.

I don’t mind referral links per se - I’d just rather they were in dedicated threads that are easily findable/ignorable (delete as appropriate).

It does annoy the hell out of me when somebody signs up for the sole purpose of posting their link, just to sod off back into the ether.

Will add something on this tomorrow, I think.


Maybe give a few of the more active people a role that lets them delete posts and flag users for moderation should they do this? Might want to pick people on weird time zones for moderation though - we’ve had a few times when you’re off and the Gurus are off. Things can stay spicy for hours.

I’d also like to inquire as to what exactly we do that could be constituted as illegal - dodgiest thing that goes on here is abusing switching bonuses :joy;

To be honest, I am trying to create the place where posts don’t get deleted - rather edits can be made, with an explanation. Obviously, there’ll be the odd extreme example where things might have to be shunted to the hidden forum, but like I say… rare!

That’s simple - anything that puts you on the wrong side of criminal law. Breaking the terms of a contract is between you and the other party.

In the case of a person signing up to contribute nothing but a referral link I think just removing their post and topic, preventing them from posting for a while until they’ve been spoken to is pretty reasonable a response.


I knew I was too lenient in relaxing the minimum character requirement.

Edit - though I do admire that you found a way around it.



Above seems ok to me as I don’t do any of it :smiley:

All looks good to me @Liam :+1:t2:

Very sensible and agree with the rules Liam.

“A safe enviroment”?
Summary: Let’s protect the snowflakes from the real world.

Don’t confuse what I have termed a ‘safe environment’ with what some universities, etc call a ‘safe space’ - a way of non-platfirmi g and denying free speech.

It’s disappointing you would selectively lift three words from that entire post and seek to represent the proposed guidelines as somehow shutting down debate to protect those who are somehow too delicate to exist without being wrapped in cotton wool.

For the avoidance of doubt: in the context of this place, a safe environment (not safe space) means people should be able to share their views without abuse, without nastiness and without harassment.

For what it’s worth, I think that those who feel the need to diride or shut down others by calling names, ‘snowflakes’ for example, are often the first to get upset when the conversation leads in directions they don’t like.


Don’t get me wrong Liam. Most of what is being proposed is sensible; theft, legality, language, tidiness, spam.

The other suggestions will simply stifle “robust debate” IMHO.

Ah for the days when you could have a good online argument and use swear words. I rue the day PC madness came to the forefront and ruined it for all.

1 Like

Please don’t make this place like it is elsewhere where everyone panders to the softies.


From past experience with Liam and the others on this forum, I can hardly see that happening.

But on the other hand, being considerate and kind - particularly to newcomers who may not get my sense of humour - should surely be a no brainer.


I hope not

@Liam - agree with the rules :+1: