St. Paul Identity Policy
St. Paul E-Democracy Identity Verification Policy
Approved – April 17, 2006
As this page contained official policy of St. Paul E-Democracy (voted on by the St. Paul E-Democracy Steering Committee), this page is LOCKED to prevent any edits. This policy only applies to the St. Paul Issues Forum.
Note: these definitions are specifically related to this policy and do not in any way supersede or replace any other definitions contained in the St. Paul E-Democracy By-Laws or Constitution Documents. They are intended to augment those definitions for the purpose of interpreting this document.
- “Assistant Forum Manager” – The Assistant Forum Manager is appointed by the Forum Manager to assist with duties related to enforcing forum rules and standards of decorum. The Forum Manager may delegate specific responsibilities to the Assistant Forum Manager as necessary. The Assistant Forum Manager is a volunteer position.
- “Forum Manager” – The Forum Manager is the individual designated by the St. Paul E-Democracy Executive Committee as the person who interprets and enforces the rules of St. Paul E-Democracy. In addition, the forum manager encourages participation and stimulates discussion. The Forum Manager is a volunteer position.
- “Forum Management” – the Forum Management Team consists of the Forum Manager, the Assistant Forum Manager, and the Technical Advisors.
- “Executive Committee” – the governing body for St. Paul E-Democracy. The Forum Management team reports to this committee. This committee has the authority to hear appeals related to the identity verification process referenced in this policy.
- “Forum Member” or “Poster” – individuals who have registered with the St. Paul Issues Forum or any other St. Paul E-Democracy Forum and has provided sufficient information to have posting privileges.
- “Rules” – the formally adopted rules of E-Democracy.Org forums, found at http://www.e-democracy.org/rules
- “St. Paul Issues Forum” – the online discussion list project operated by St. Paul E-Democracy
- “Technical Advisors” – the individual(s) appointed by the Forum Manager to provide technical support regarding the workings of the St. Paul E-Democracy Web site.
- The St. Paul Issues Forum is founded on the principle that all members must post using their real identities. Posts must be signed with a person’s name and neighborhood or city if the poster lives outside the city of St. Paul.
- Three methods of participation in the St. Paul Issues Forum will be available to members.
- Anyone may view and read posts on the Web without providing any information
- To receive e-mail or digest delivery, members must provide a full name, neighborhood (or city if a non-St. Paul resident) and e-mail address (which shall remain private) on the St. Paul E-Democracy site.
- To post messages to the St. Paul Issues Forum, members must also provide an address and phone number that shall remain private and not available to visitors of the Web site. The Forum Manager shall have the discretion to use other means to verify the identity of individuals in the event they cannot provide an address and phone number. Not having an address or phone number should not preclude participation in the St. Paul Issues Forum if other means of identification are available.
- The Forum Manager will collect the address and phone number information (or other verifying information) and will only share it with the forum management team for purposes of managing the St. Paul Issues Forum. This information shall not be shared with any other member of the St. Paul Issues Forum or any individuals not associated with the forum for any purposes whatsoever without the consent of the affected party. This information may be used as the basis of verifying the identity of the poster.
- When such technology is available, St. Paul E-Democracy shall provide a place in each member’s online profile where he or she may enter phone number, neighborhood and address information, and that information will be sent directly to the Forum Manager and stored in his or her profile, but shall not be visible to the general forum membership or the public. Instructions will be provided for individuals who wish to provide other means of identification.
- The Forum Manager has no obligation to further verify the information supplied unless a complaint is made regarding an individual’s identity. The Forum Manager may choose to periodically verify information provided as time allows.
- The Forum Manager shall have the discretion to use other means to validate an individual’s identity, if he or she determines that providing address and phone number information creates undue hardship or potentially endangers the member in question.
- The Forum Manager must evaluate any instance where an individual’s identity is called into question. The Forum Manager may require additional verification information, including some kind of photo identification (such as a government-issued identification card or passport). If the Forum Manager decides to investigate the complaint further, the Forum Manager shall communicate with the parties involved (including both the individual suspected of using a false identity and the individual registering a complaint) regarding the status of the investigation.
- Any forum member may forward a complaint regarding identity to the Forum Manager. However, all allegations of false identity must be accompanied by reasonable information to corroborate the suspicion. It is up to the discretion of the Forum Manager to determine whether the information is credible and warrants full investigation as part of his or her evaluation of the complaint.
- When a member’s identity is the subject of an investigation, that individual’s account shall be immediately placed on suspended status, which means he or she will not be allowed to post messages to the St. Paul Issues Forum. The individual shall have 15 days to provide additional verification information to forum management. If at any time during the 15-day period the individual provides the requested information, his or her privileges shall be reinstated. At the close of the 15-day period, if the question has not been closed to the satisfaction of the Forum Manager, that individual’s account will be deleted from St. Paul E-Democracy Forums. The Forum Manager may extend the suspension period if necessary. The individual may petition the forum management to have his or her privileges reinstated, provided he or she supplies the information requested.
- When technologically feasible, St. Paul E-Democracy will provide a notation on an individual’s profile to note whether he or she has provided identifying information. Furthermore, if an individual is under investigation for using a false identity, that shall also be noted on his or her profile, as soon as the technology exists to accommodate that.
- If a member is found to be using a false identity, he or she will immediately lose posting privileges and be banned from all St. Paul E-Democracy Forums indefinitely. The matter will then be forwarded to the E-Democracy.Org board for its own investigation. He or she may petition the St. Paul E-Democracy Executive Committee to have St. Paul Issues Forum privileges reinstated.
- The Forum Management shall identify any member that has been removed from a St. Paul E-Democracy Forum for using or for suspicion of using a false identity in the St. Paul Issues Forum.