THE HOTWIRE XCHANGE STANDARDS AND EDITORIAL POLICY
The Hotwire XChange exists to share content, ideas and perspectives from Africa’s most insightful writers, thinkers, storytellers, businesses and brands. We welcome thoughtful and civil discussion and ideas from a broad spectrum of viewpoints and perspectives. Nevertheless, to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for a wide range of people to engage in meaningful conversations, we prohibit certain conduct to protect the rights of our subscribers and the integrity of our platform. Each participant (content creator, author, guest contributor, employee) in our community is responsible for maintaining these standards.
In deciding whether someone has violated the rules, we will take into account things such as the context and nature of the content, the likelihood and severity of actual or potential harms, reasonable likelihood, breadth, and intensity of foreseeable social harm, and applicable laws. Violations of these may result in consequences such as account restrictions, rescinded posts, limited distribution of posts, suspension of account/subscription, and/or choosing not to publish the relevant content entirely. This is especially as regards to controversial or extreme content, which includes but is not limited to potentially harmful misinformation and intentionally deceptive disinformation.
The Hotwire XChange does not permit:
Threats of violence and incitement:
• Content or actions that threaten, encourage, or incite violence against anyone, directly or indirectly.
• Content that promotes violence or hatred against people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, political preferences, disability, illness, age, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity;
• Content that glorifies, celebrates, downplays, or trivialises violence, suffering, abuse, or death. This includes the use of scientific or pseudoscientific claims to pathologise, dehumanise, or disempower others;
• Calls for intolerance, exclusion, or segregation based on protected characteristics, nor do we permit the glorification of groups which do any of the above; and
• Hateful text, images, symbols, or other content in one’s username, profile, or bio, including that of guest contributors.
Harassment and/or bullying:
• Bullying, threatening, or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so;
• Using The Hotwire XChange features like responses or comments, may not in any way be used with the intention to annoy or harass someone; and
• The platform cannot be used to review businesses or products in a gratuitously harmful or abusive manner.
Privacy and Reputation violation:
• Posting copies of private communications between private individuals without the explicit consent of all parties to the communication;
• Doxing, which includes not only private or obscure personal information but also the aggregation of publicly available information to target, shame, blackmail, harass, intimidate, threaten, or endanger;
• Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent; and
• Content that violates others’ privacy, including sensitive or confidential information such as credit card numbers, National Identity or passport numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other non-public information.
• Promotion of harmful conspiracies, i.e. conspiracy theories which have an associated history of harassing, hateful, or violent incidents among its adherents or theories which may foreseeably incite or cause harassment, physical harm, or reputational harm;
• Facilitation of gambling or betting;
• Discussions or content relating to religion within the “Columns” and other editorial;
• Facilitation of buying or selling social media interactions, including off-platform;
• Discussions or content relating to politics (local, regional, national, or international) within the “Columns” and other editorial;
• Facilitation of illegal sexual services; and
• Facilitation of copyright violation or Intellectual Property (IP) theft of infringement. Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Unless you are authorised to use someone else’s copyrighted work or trademark (either expressly or by legal exceptions and limitations like fair use). We will respond to notices of alleged infringement accordingly in line with the laws of the Republic of Botswana.
• The Hotwire XChange does not permit spam on the platform. All spam will be immediately removed from The Hotwire XChange, without notification. While it is hard to define this content with precision or completeness, here are some representative behaviours we look for that are characteristics of spam:
• Posting content primarily to drive traffic to, or increase the search rankings of, an external site, product, or service;
• Scraping and reposting content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains;
• Stories where the content is clipped with the sole purpose of linking to the rest of the article on a different website without the consent or permission of The Hotwire XChange;
• Performing a disproportionately large number of interactions, particularly by automated means. This includes bulk, indiscriminate interactions, such as the following of other accounts (follow spam) clapping, highlighting, or leaving notes;
• Repeatedly using responses or other interactions as a method of promotion; and
• Participating in bounty campaigns or brigades to artificially inflate rankings for posts, accounts, businesses, or products.
For each of these behaviours, when we talk about “content,” we mean not only posts but also any other feature that allows you to add your own text or media. When we talk about “interactions,” we mean any feature that allows one user to interact with another, or with a post.
• Posting content or impersonating a person or organisation in a way likely to deceive people. Parody and satire are acceptable, but the user must make clear that is what they are doing;
• Phishing or fraud. Do not use tags, links, titles, or other metadata in a misleading way. Do not link to or embed malicious or harmful code or software in your posts;
• Deception to generate revenue or traffic; and
• If you have received compensation, free goods/services or anything of value in connection with the topic of a post, you must make this clear.
• Pornographic images or videos, and gratuitously graphic or disturbing media even if it is not pornographic.
Exploitation of minors:
• Content promoting the sexual or violent exploitation of minors, including the sexualisation of fictional minors.
• Promotion and glorification of self-harm:
• Content and/or activities that encourage, promote or glorify acts of self-harm, such as cutting, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, and suicide. If you encounter users, guest contributors and/or authors contemplating or threatening self-harm, please report it to us via the email address below.
How to report a violation
If you find a post or account on The Hotwire XChange that violates these rules, report this to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hotwire XChange strives to be fair, but we reserve the right to suspend accounts or remove content, without notice, for any reason, particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, and community.