List Rules, Netiquette, and Guidelines

We have adopted the following rules and policies to encourage congenial interaction on and uninterrupted operation of the list. Please review them prior to joining GANGINFO.

  1. Do not send attachments. Since attachments are capable of harboring computer viruses and worms, we do not post them. If you send a message to GANGINFO with an attachment, it will NOT be posted. If you wish to share information (e.g., a picture of a tattoo or gang sign) that you have stored in a file or on the Internet, you may:

    • Send it to individual members of the list by private e-mail, if those individuals do not object to receiving attachments.

    • Provide the URL of, or link to, the Web site on which the information is posted.

  2. Please write about the subject street gangs. Members of GANGINFO are inquisitive people who often have expertise in several criminal justice-related areas. However, GANGINFO was established to exchange information about street gangs, and no matter how interesting a message may be about other subjects, we will not post it. Information about motorcycle gangs; ideological groups, such as skinheads and neo-Nazis; and terrorist groups, such as militias, are not considered to be on topic.

    Partisan political announcements or forwarded e-mail alerts and notices are counterproductive to creating a cooperative atmosphere among professionals holding various viewpoints and will not be posted.

    Needless to say, online petitions and chain letters will be deleted.

    If you have any questions about the list topic, please write directly to the GANGINFO Moderator.

  3. Respect copyright.  According to Copyright Registration for Online Works:

    Copyright protects original authorship fixed in tangible form. For works transmitted online, the copyrightable authorship may consist of text, artwork, music, audiovisual material (including any sounds), sound recordings, etc.

    Under U.S. law, copyright protection subsists from the time the work is fixed. Copyright registration is not mandatory. (U.S. Copyright Office, 1999, p. 1.)

    Therefore, any article, story, editorial, essay, review, etc., sent to GANGINFO that is not the original work of the sender must identify the original author and the original author’s permission to publish.

    The author of a message holds a copyright on it, as with all works of original authorship, under U.S. and international law. The recipient of a message from GANGINFO may not distribute it off the list without obtaining explicit permission from the sender.

    For further information about U.S. copyright law, we recommend the following document from the U.S. Copyright Office:

  4. State concisely and clearly the specific topic of the comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. Remember that you are addressing a group of people. Think about the best and most succinct way to present your message. Be considerate of other people’s time.

  5. Please identify yourself at the end of every message that you send to the list. The GANGINFO list membership represents an unusually diverse number of occupational backgrounds, philosophical approaches, and regional locations. It can be difficult to remember personal information about individual members even if they post regularly. To help ensure the uninterrupted flow and accuracy of responses to your messages, we ask that you “sign” each message with your first and last names, agency or organization affiliation, and contact information (e-mail address and/or phone number). Messages without this information will NOT be posted, and you will be asked to resubmit the message.

  6. Do not flame—ever.

    • Please review the GANGINFO Terms and Conditions of Use Policy.

    • Discuss, debate, debunk, deliberate, dissemble, and dissect ideas, but not people. Personal attacks distract and stunt communication among all list members. The fastest way to de-escalate a personal dispute is to move it away from the list “audience” onto private e-mail.

    • Use humor generously, but sarcasm sparingly. It does not always translate as funny among a large group of people that you have never met.

    • Never assume malintent regarding a previous posting. Do ask questions to clarify meaning and then state your own opinion, if it is different. Qualify your opinion with research or information from your personal experience. Feel free to correct any erroneous factual information, but do so without rancor.

    • Do not make unsupported generalizations about groups of people.

    • Share freely any knowledge gained from personal experience, especially when you believe it to demonstrate universal findings. However, remain open to the possibility that some experiences may be unique.

  7. Respect for the GANGINFO moderator is a requirement for maintaining a subscription to GANGINFO. Protracted on-list or off-list arguments regarding the GANGINFO moderator’s decisions may result in your removal from the list.

  8. Other message guidelines:

    • Most people like to write about their interest and expertise areas, but not every message to the list will be about those subjects. Begin a new thread when you wish to discuss a new subject, and label each message in that thread with the same subject line. Do not begin a new subject by “piggybacking” your new message onto an unrelated posting. Most list members find this confusing, and some will take offense at the abrupt change, particularly if you use one of their postings.

    • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply, delete any header information, and put your response before the original posting.

    • Send a message to the entire list only when it contains information that everyone can benefit from. Send messages such as, “I’ll see you at the conference,” “thanks for the information,” or “me, too, I agree” to individuals—not to the entire list. Do this by using your e-mail application’s forwarding option and typing in or cutting and pasting the e-mail address of the individual(s) to whom you want to respond.

    • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list” through the mailing list. Instead, contact the GANGINFO moderator with your request or refer to the GANGINFO membership confirmation e-mail to change your settings (e.g., temporary stop of delivery, subscribing to a digest version of GANGINFO) or to remove yourself from the list. If you are changing e-mail addresses, please advise the GANGINFO moderator.

    • Do not type messages using the CAPS LOCK key. Capitalization of whole words that are not titles is considered SHOUTING! Capitalize words only to highlight an important point or to distinguish a title or heading.