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Online Community Participation Rules

ESA values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among ESA members and the broader ecology community, and is committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants of ESA meetings, events and communities. ESA’s community platform, Ecologists Collaborating Online (ECO), and ESA’s various other venues for virtual meetings, trainings, and collaboration, can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate science-relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful and fair manner. These online community and engagement rules, based on ESA’s Code of Conduct for Events, promote diversity and aim to create an inclusive, supportive and collaborative environment for all people.

Acceptable Topics for Posting and Discussion

  1. News items or commentary connected to the science of ecology.
  2. Advertisement of awards, fellowships, post-doctorate opportunities or academic programs.
  3. Invitations to submit to journals or other publications.
  4. While ESA encourages job postings on the ESA Job Board, job postings in any ECO group, including ECOLOG-L, will be permitted.

Unacceptable Topics

  1. News items or commentary that do not directly connect to the science of ecology.
  2. Deliberately misleading announcements.
  3. Self-promotion or advertisement of one’s services for payment.
  4. Promotion of events by ESA competitors, or membership or services in those organizations.

Expected Behavior

All participants in any virtual community or exchange hosted by ESA, and whether member or staff of ESA or otherwise involved in the practice, promotion or education of science, are expected to abide by these rules and the ESA Code of Ethics.

  1. Treat all participants with kindness, respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).
  2. Communicate openly, with respect for other participants, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  3. Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other participants.
  4. Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert ESA staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  5. Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, ESA-contracted facility, or any other venue.
  6. Members of the press are expected to identify themselves as press when posting.

Unacceptable Behavior

  1. Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is not welcome or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion to be certain respect is communicated. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.
  2. Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:
    1. Physical or verbal abuse of any participant
    2. Unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or exclusionary behavior related to age, appearance or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion
    3. Unwanted sexual attention
    4. Use of sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces or in presentations
    5. Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following, including doxxing
    6. Harassing photography or recording, including taking photographs or recording of another individual’s oral presentation or poster without the explicit permission of that individual and of ESA
    7. Bullying behavior of any type
    8. Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior
    9. Hoax behavior intended to lead to harm on another person, regardless of that person’s presence in the group or knowledge of the activity

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  1. To report incidents you can file a report online, call the incident hotline at (844)-641-4133 or email gro.ase@tcudnocfoedoc
  2. If you feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, especially in the event of doxxing attacks, or have witnessed any such behavior or have other such concerns, please notify the group moderator or event host, and gro.asenull@tcudnocfoedoc, as soon as possible. All reports will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.
  3. The default assumption of a moderator or ESA staff is to give the individual registering the complaint benefit of the doubt. Complaints that are fraudulently lodged, however, can result in consequences described below.
  4. Once ESA is notified, staff will discuss the details first with the individual filing the complaint, then any witnesses who have been identified, and then the alleged offender before determining an appropriate course of action. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent that it does not compromise the rights of others.


Participation in ESA’s virtual communities and platforms, including those designated for members, is a privilege extended to ecologists and other scientists and enthusiasts as a means of facilitating networking and outreach, and can be revoked at any time due to violation of these rules, at the discretion of group moderators and ESA staff.

  1. Unacceptable posts and behavior on ECO will be deleted; moderators and staff reserve the right to remove the offending individual from the community for egregious or repeated violations.
  2. Anyone requested to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  3. ESA staff and group moderators may take any immediate action deemed necessary and appropriate, including deletion of offending messages and removal of the offending individual from the community, including a maximum penalty of permanent ban and, in the case of ESA members, revocation of benefits.
  4. The matter may be referred to the ESA Professional Ethics and Appeals Committee for consideration of further consequences, which may include prohibition from attending future meetings and events.
  5. For any questions about this policy, please contact ESA at gro.asenull@tcudnocfoedoc or 844-641-4133.