Wed, 04/12/2017 - 12:14

Terms of Service

Purpose: This is set of guidelines we use to manage this forum and the Shanghai Expat website. This site encourages debate, discussion, and the free flow of ideas. We do all we can to allow a range of opinions and viewpoints. However, we do not confuse the free flow of debates with the unrestricted right to say anything about anybody. This site does not support expressions that encourage racism, hate, violence, illegal activity, or harassment.

Sections 2 and 3, below, contain a non-exclusive list of activities that are against the guidelines of this forum.

Section 1: Definitions

The following are definitions of specific language of Shanghai Expat's Terms of Service (hereafter the "TOS").


  1. Banning. The deletion of a user's account and termination of that user's right of access to the site as a result of serious or repeated violations of the TOS.

  2. Flaming/Flame wars.

    1. The act of calling into question someone's thoughts and beliefs, simply because you don't agree with them;

    2. the act of posting confrontational, abusive, insulting, derogatory, abusive or inflammatory representations about another person, site member or poster; or

    3. the act of sending a confrontational or abusive message containing angry, and possibly insulting or vulgar, content. See also "Harassment."

  3. Harassment.

    1. Unsolicited words or conduct that tend to annoy, alarm or abuse another person;

    2. a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose;

    3. a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or

    4. the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism.

  4. Non-Public Person. Defined as any member, guest or participant in any activity attended by Shanghai Expat members or any other person, who is not a public figure and has a reasonable expectation of privacy or where a poster knows or should have known that the subject person would object to his/her depiction on a public domain. By contrast, a "public figure" is a person who, by employment (tv personality, professional entertainer, professional athlete, politician, etc.) or by other prior action or reputation has become known to the general public and his/her likeness already exists in the public domain.

  5. Spamming.

    1. Multiple, unauthorized advertising posts within one or more forum or classified sections or the posting of multiple off-topic messages within the forum sections; or

    2. the practice of sending copies of the same or materially similar post to more than one section of the forum or via the site's private messaging system.

Section 2: Restricted Conduct

The following activities, whether by forum post or via the site's private message system (hereafter "PM"), violate the TOS and will require action by site Moderators. This is a non-exclusive list that may be amended from time to time at the sole discretion of Shanghai Expat:

  1. Flaming or inciting or participating in a flame war.

  2. Posts that promote or encourage sexism, racism or racist stereotyping; or that attack an individual or group based on things such as religious belief or sexual orientation.

  3. Posts that encourage illegal activity.

  4. Posts that are blatantly offensive, violent or pornographic.

  5. Posts that include links to racist or pornographic websites or sites that promote any illegal activity.

  6. Spamming.

  7. Posting personal information (e.g., home or business address, phone number, mobile number, E-mail address, etc.) of any other Non-Public Person without such person's express written consent to do so.

  8. Posting identifiable photos or other likenesses of any Non-Public Person without the subject's express written consent to do so (see Section 4A for details).

  9. Improperly-placed commercial posts (see Section 3, below).

  10. Repeated improper placement of postings into the wrong section with what is deemed by the moderator as solely an intent to attract more readers .

  11. Harassment.

  12. Interference with site operations or the actions of a Moderator or other site staff including, but limited to, harassing site Moderators or other site staff for actions taken in the line of duty or inciting others to violate the TOS.

  13. Posting attachments or graphics files that significantly impede the operation of the site or slow down page loads unreasonably.

  14. The use of a screen-name that would generally be considered vulgar or offensive or is otherwise deemed inappropriate by Shanghai Expat.

  15. Use of similar screen names, avatars or file attachments within the body of a post to parody the identity of real people in a derogatory or defamatory manner.

  16. Any other conduct that, in the sole discretion of Shanghai Expat staff:

    1. Reflects negatively on the community impression of the site;

    2. creates a negative reaction among a significant number of other site members;

    3. tends to harm, damage or in any way adversely affect the reputation of Shanghai Expat;

    4. exposes or tends to expose Shanghai Expat to potential liability for violation of any governmental or official agency law, regulation, ruling, instruction, or known or reasonable ascertainable expectation of conduct; or

    5. does not conform with the norms of community behavior


Section 3: Rules Regarding Commercial Postings

We limit commercial posting on this board. If you want to promote your business, please refer to the advertising page: www.shanghaiexpat.com/advertising
Commercial posts are subject to the following rules:


  1. Commercial posts, generally: Posts of commercial nature (where you are selling a product or a service) must only go in the Buy-Sell Forum or the Doing Business Forum. Paid advertisers are allowed to contribute to the community by providing usable content within the forum or providing exclusive benefits to Shanghai Expat members, in order to promote their product or services, but excessive posting or blatant advertising is still subject to standard rules (see SPAMMING)

  2. Language/cultural instruction posts: Posts promoting a language or cultural instruction program or course must include an actual lesson in the Learning Language forum, not just an announcement of the program or course. A limited exception applies to posts made by advertisers with a current paid advertising contract in effect with Shanghai Expat.

  3. Real estate offers: Real estate offers are not permitted within the forum section buta re welcomed in the classified section as well as any specialized real estate listing section on the site (except as paid advertisements pursuant to a contract with Ringier China.

  4. Event postings: If you have an announcement about a specific event with a definite date and time, you can post it in the Events Announcements classified. General-purpose "We are open for business" announcements are not permitted in the forum.

  5. Spamming: Spamming the board with advertisements (posting the same or materially similar advertisements over in different forums or several times within one or more forum sections in a short period of time) will result in the deletion of all posts. General-purpose announcement posts about a business that are not part of a paid advertising agreement with Shanghai Expat will be deleted.


Section 4: Privacy and Intellectual Property

The world wide web ("www") allows information to be viewed, with few restrictions, to a worldwide audience that is not subject to the control or regulations of this site. Because of this characteristic of the internet, although Shanghai Expat will take reasonable measures to protect the privacy and intellectual property of its members, the site can assume no liability for third-party reproduction, misuse, or commercial use of any information posted by members on this site.


  1. Photos or Other Likenesses of Real Persons: It is a violation of the TOS for members to post a photo, video clip or any other likeness of a real person affiliated with Shanghai Expat as a member, guest or participant in an activity attended by Shanghai Expat members or any other Non-Public Person without the subject's express written consent. The burden of evidence of receiving such consent will be on the poster.

  2. Photos generally: Photos submitted to Shanghai Expat or posted on any of its forums become the property of the site unless otherwise specified by agreement made prior to such submission or posting.

  3. Member information: Screen-names of members are the property of Shanghai Expat and can be modified, deleted or used by the site without permission of the member and without notice should it become necessary. Member information collected at time of registration may be used only for the administration of this site and its activities, but will not be sold or otherwise distributed to third parties without the member’s prior written consent, except where required by law.

  4. Other site content: Members' forum posts, articles, blogs or any other text submissions to the site become the property of Shanghai Expat for the purposes of re-use, modification or disposal on the site or in connection with site community activities.

Section 5: Actions Taken in Response to TOS Violations

Shanghai Expat uses a team of moderators and other staff to monitor all activity on the forums. In response to a violation of the TOS, moderators may take, at the moderator's or site's discretion, one or more of the following actions:


  1. Delete the thread in question.

  2. Delete the post in question.

  3. Edit the post in question to remove content that violates the TOS.

  4. Move a thread to the appropriate section of the forum, if incorrectly placed, or, in the case of any other violation of the TOS, move the thread to the PIT section of the forum.

  5. Post a request, comment or warning on the thread in question to indicate that a violation of the TOS has occurred or that the trend of the thread is leading to a violation of the TOS.

  6. Send a PM to the poster of a post that violates the TOS.

  7. Ban a member.

Section 6: Procedures


  1. If a Moderator takes action to remedy a violation of the TOS, the Moderator may, at his/her discretion:

    1. Post the reason for the action within the post or thread itself (this action is required where the Moderator has acted under Section 5C). An example of this is: "<Content deleted for violation of Section 2B>"

    2. Send a PM to the poster advising of the reason that poster's post was deleted or moved.

    3. Post no explanation to the forum or via PM where the nature of the violation of the TOS is obvious.

  2. A member may always request a brief explanation for a Moderator's action via PM to the "moderator" in instances where no explanation has yet been given. Banned members have no recourse.

  3. Posters who are habitual or frequent violators of the TOS (under one or more usernames) and who have not ceased violations of the TOS after warnings from Moderators can and will be subject to banning without further notice.

  4. Posters of multiple offending posts may not be given any warning prior to banning should the violations be committed and/ or discovered at the same time.
    E. Moderators' actions with respect to violations of the TOS are FINAL and not subject to further review.