Community Rules

Our guidelines and rules in detail

Welcome to The Student Room. By using the site, you agree to follow our community guidelines and rules. We encourage open discussions however to enable all our users to enjoy the site you must follow our community guidelines and rules which are set out to ensure safety, diversity, inclusion, and authenticity of our thriving community.

Our community guidelines and rules define a set of norms and common code of conduct for The Student Room (TSR) which apply to everyone using the site; they provide guidance on conduct that is and isn’t allowed on site to ensure our community is a welcoming space for everyone. Our community guidelines and rules apply to everyone and to everything on TSR. We proactively enforce these guidelines and rules however we also encourage users to use the tools we provide on TSR to report any content you believe breaks our community guidelines and rules.

We may remove or edit any content that breaks our community guidelines and rules and card users accordingly. You will be notified of our decisions and can appeal this in our Ask the Community Staff forum, if you believe you have not broken our community guidelines and rules. Please be respectful when using this forum to speak to community staff. Any form of abusive language or rudeness will not be tolerated.

We may suspend or ban accounts that are involved in severe or repeated behaviour that breaks our community guidelines and rules. Ignoring requests from the community staff will also result in a ban. Please refrain from creating further accounts, these will be banned. If you would like to discuss your ban please email [email protected] If necessary, we will report accounts that are seen to be breaking the law to the relevant legal authorities.

TSR has a private messaging feature. Please ensure you do not break our community guidelines and rules whilst using this feature. If you receive private messages that break our community guidelines and rules, we encourage users to report these and our team will look into the report. If necessary, we will report accounts that are seen to be breaking the law to the relevant legal authorities.

In addition to posts on the public forum, our community guidelines and rules also apply to content included in avatars, signatures and personal reputation comments, private messages and visitor messages.

We will continue to update our community guidelines and rules from time to time to evolve alongside new behaviours and risks, and as part of our commitment to keeping TSR a safe space for our users. It is the responsibility of the user to be aware of current guidelines and rules.

Our Commitment to Safeguarding

At TSR we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of children and young people. We believe that it is unacceptable for a child or young person to experience abuse of any kind and we recognise our responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children and young people on TSR. We endeavour to provide a safe and welcoming environment by ensuring that arrangements are in place for preventing, detecting and reporting all safeguarding matters accordingly.

Treat other users with respect

TSR strives to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community for our users. We do not tolerate users of the community or any individuals being shamed, bullied, harassed or discriminated against. TSR will not allow content that attacks, denigrates, intimidates, dehumanises, incites or threatens hatred, violence, prejudicial or discriminatory action against individuals or groups because of their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, caste, gender, religious affiliation, or disability status. Do not use racial, religious, or other slurs that incite or promote hatred, or any other content intended to create division amongst the community. Abusive content or behaviour intended to cause psychological distress will be removed from the site and if necessary, users will be banned from the site and may be reported to the relevant authorities.

  1. Be friendly to other users and be mindful of the tone you use on site. There's no need to be hostile and aggressive just because you disagree with someone.
  2. Don’t insult people, don’t patronise or belittle them and don’t make personal attacks.
  3. We don’t allow bullying or harassment. This includes abusive language, revealing others’ personal or sensitive information or inciting or engaging others to do any of the same.
  4. We may remove expressions of abuse, including threats or degrading statements intended to mock, humiliate, embarrass, intimidate, or hurt an individual. TSR cannot condone content that insults or disparages an individual on the basis of attributes.
  5. Do not express discriminatory or otherwise offensive views. There is no place for racism, religious hatred, disablism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and hate for any marginalised groups here.
  6. When linking to other webpages, be mindful and do not incite discrimination or hateful behaviour which could lead to attacks on marginalised groups and divisions within the community.
  7. We have a 'swear filter' on the site that censors a list of words considered to be inappropriate. If you try really hard you can get around it: please don’t. You can self-censor if you wish, in which case the entire word must be starred out, otherwise, just type out all words in full and the filter will replace any censored words with asterisks. Please - no images or other media that include unfiltered swearing, and no links to any content that includes significant unfiltered swearing. Please do not use the swear filter to be abusive to others.
  8. Details of any off site groups, which includes and does not limit to such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Discord should not be shared on TSR. TSR cannot be held accountable for what goes on outside of the site so for the safety of yourself and others please do not share these groups on TSR.
  9. TSR will not condone accounts that are used to incite wilful harm or intimidation, such as cyberstalking or trolling. These accounts will be banned and if necessary, reported to the relevant legal authorities. If you suspect someone of being a troll, please do not reply to them in any way or accuse them on the site, just report them and we will look into this. Outcomes of your report will not be able to be discussed in detail with you.
  10. Do not debate outside of the debate and current affairs forum. Keep debates constructive and healthy. This forum is for discussing valid breaking news, please don't use the forum to create discussions or posts with the intention of provoking reactions of hatred. Do not engage in arguments or make inflammatory posts on any of our forums and keep posting friendly.

Make sure the content you add is appropriate for all users

  1. Do not link to material on site that could incite discrimination or hateful behaviour towards marginalised groups.
  2. Please also avoid posting in languages other than English unless you also provide a translation (aside from in the Foreign Languages forums or the International Lounge).
  3. TSR does not allow content that is gratuitously shocking, graphic, sadistic, or gruesome or that promotes, normalises, or glorifies extreme violence or suffering on our site. When there is a threat to public safety, we will suspend or ban the account and, if necessary, we will report it to relevant legal authorities.
  4. Do not post anything that advocates illegal activity.
  5. Do not post about or link to any sexually explicit content on TSR, this includes sexually explicit images or text. It’s fine to discuss sex on TSR - but please remember this isn't the place for sex chat or tips and this content will be removed. If necessary content that breaks the law will be reported to the relevant authorities.
  6. You should not write anything which could prejudice pending or on-going court proceedings of which you are aware. For example, if you have any personal knowledge about someone who has been arrested or charged or being prosecuted for an offence, you must not mention it. If you do, you could be in contempt of court, which is an extremely serious matter.

Breach of Privacy

To ensure the safety of all users, don’t post any personal email addresses, social media handles or phone numbers on the public forums or via private messaging.

Misinformation

Misinformation is defined as content that is inaccurate or false. Whilst we encourage our users to engage in friendly and respectful conversations on the site, we do not permit misinformation that causes harm to individuals, our community, or the larger public regardless of intent. Do not state opinions as facts and please ensure reputable sources are used on TSR or content will be removed.

  1. Misinformation that incites hate or prejudice towards marginalised communities.
  2. Misinformation related to emergencies that induces panic amongst our community.
  3. Medical misinformation that can cause harm to an individual's physical or mental health.
  4. Do not attempt to diagnose specific medical conditions due to the potential dangers of inappropriate diagnosis so please ensure you give general advice instead.

No cheating!

TSR is not here to help anyone gain an unfair advantage over others in interviews, academic work or similar.

Some exams are taken in different locations worldwide at different times. For many of these, there are restrictions on when discussion of these can take place in The Student Room. Keep an eye on the site for announcements about these restrictions, which you should read before posting about an exam.

  1. Do not post any content that could constitute cheating.
  2. Do not request or share access to any locked exam papers.
  3. Do not share leaked papers.

Keep all your posts relevant and constructive.

  1. You can help keep the conversation flowing by posting in the correct forum, keeping to the topic of the thread and adding constructive posts. Threads will be moved to the relevant forum if necessary.
  2. Sometimes people want to 'bump' a thread (ie, post in it again so it returns to the top of the chronological thread list). That’s fine once, if your thread hasn’t had a response after a significant amount of time. But please don’t bump a thread multiple times or without allowing appropriate time for others to read the thread and reply. How much time you should wait for a reply depends on the forum - in busier forums, it becomes appropriate to bump a thread sooner than in quieter ones. As a rough guide, please give it 24 hours and don’t bump a thread while it’s still near the top of the most recently updated threads in its forum.
  3. Do not post the same content multiple times, within either a single or multiple threads. These will be removed.
  4. Please check before posting that the thread is still current. If you’re adding to a thread that’s been dormant for more than six months, you’re probably better off starting a new thread instead. We will close threads that are over 6 months old.

No spammers, please. That means no advertising or other promotional activity.

  1. If you post a link, please make sure it’s useful. This isn’t the place for promotional activity, so please avoid posting about both commercial and non-commercial products/services, job adverts, Facebook groups, societies and forums other than TSR (unless you’re linking to a specific, relevant thread from another forum). One exception is in the Find a Flatmate and Student Accommodation forum, where private accommodation classifieds can be posted by fellow students (subject to the forum's guidelines and rules outlined).
  2. Apart from the student deals forum, do not post referral links, codes or similar which offer a benefit to you when another person uses the link/code to make use of a service in any other forum.
  3. Don’t campaign for votes or similar.
  4. We will remove content or ban accounts that involve spam or fake engagement, impersonation, misleading information that causes harm.
  5. Student surveys and research are actively encouraged, please refrain from posting surveys multiple times and ensure you post them in the correct forum.
  6. Please use the creative corner forum if you would like to promote your blogs or YouTube channel. If they are found outside this forum, they will be removed.
  7. Please do not advertise on TSR, any accounts found advertising without permission will be banned. If you would like to advertise, please get in contact here.
  8. Petitions are permitted on the the site but you need to ensure they meet the following criteria:

Your Petition must be from the Change or Gov websites only. It must have at least 100 signatures before posting and it must be in a new thread, in the relevant forum (such as Educational Debate or Society) and with a detailed opening post explaining how it is relevant to our Community.

 

Do not use TSR to assist with, condone or advocate illegal activity.

TSR does not condone illegal activity of any sort. We’re a UK-based site, so the laws of England and Wales are our guideline for determining illegality, although laws from other countries will be considered if appropriate to the context of the relevant post. Accounts found breaking the law will be reported to the relevant legal authorities.

Illegal topics would include and are not limited to:

  1. Discussion of joining terrorist groups or being involved in terrorist activity.
  2. Copyright infringement including torrents and unauthorised streams of copyrighted material.
  3. Fake IDs
  4. Discussions around condoning, encouraging and selling drugs, including new psychoactive substances that are either banned or (where not in a prescribed context) prescription-only will not be acceptable on TSR.
  5. Inciting any harm, violence or threats to individuals.
  6. Grooming of a minor.
  7. Sexual discussions with minors.

Do not misuse secondary/duplicate accounts.

  1. You are welcome to create and operate multiple accounts on The Student Room, as long as you continue to follow the guidelines and rules. You can not accrue cards on a secondary account nor use it to post in the same threads as your main account.
  2. If you have an account banned please refrain from creating further accounts, these will be banned. If you would like to discuss your ban please email [email protected]
  3. Do not use another account to impersonate other users.
  4. Do not use another account to abuse the reputation system, eg, by attempting to get around the usual restrictions on the frequency of leaving reputation/post ratings.

Specific forum guidelines and rules

Be aware of and follow any specific rules for each forum in which you post. Breaking specific forum rules could result in warnings. These will be flagged up by an announcement, 'sticky' thread, "useful resources" widget entry or similar

Anonymous posting

TSR has a function where you are able to post anonymously in specific forums. Do not misuse this function and please use the anonymous posting function if you feel that your posts contain sensitive or potentially embarrassing information. Please don't use the anonymous function to make offensive, unconstructive, inflammatory or otherwise rule-breaking posts. Repeat misuse of the anonymous function will result in warnings and/or a ban from the site.

Deleting your own threads and your account

We don't generally delete whole threads, it can be disheartening for users who have taken the time to respond to threads to see their responses removed. If you would like a thread deleted, please come to Ask the Community Staff and we will look into your request. If we’re unable to remove the whole thread we can remove you as the thread owner so that you are no longer associated with it.

If you would like to delete posts, make sure you do this first before deleting your account. You are able to delete your own posts by clicking edit>delete on your posts.

If you want to delete your account, you are able to anonymise your account yourself. Any posts you have not deleted will remain on the site as will quoted content, but your username showing next to these posts will change and your account details will be removed. To do this, hover over your username in the top bar. Then select 'Customise my TSR' > 'Edit my login settings' where you will see the option to do this. Once you do this you will not be able to get your account back, so please decide carefully!

If you want to fully delete your account and all your data please let us know and we can put you in touch with our Data Protection Officer.

Suicide and self harm

TSR wants to ensure that the health and well-being of the users that make up our community are a priority and users should not feel afraid to speak openly about topics of mental health. We work in partnership with relevant charities to ensure we are providing the best support to the community.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or self-harming, know that there is help and you're not alone. Many people turn to suicidal ideation and self-harm as a way to cope. Talking to relevant services can help you identify healthy, effective coping strategies and develop skills to manage difficult feelings.

Posts containing self-harm or suicidal content will be flagged and removed from the public site. This is to both protect the original poster (OP) from unpleasant trolling or unsupportive content but to also support those who may find the content triggering. The OP will receive a PM explaining what has happened to their post and signposting them to relevant services.

The post may be moved back either with a little bit of editing or in its entirety. If your post cannot be made safe for the forum then it will be removed from the public forums.

If you come across any content that you feel is harmful please report it under 'mentions self-harm/suicide' the way you would normally. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to result in any sort of punishment for the OP.

We do not allow content depicting, promoting or glorifying activities that could lead to suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders. We also do not permit users to share content depicting them partaking in, or encouraging others to partake in, dangerous activities that may lead to serious injury or death.

Child Protection

At TSR we are committed to ensuring the safety of children that are on our site. Users must meet the minimum age requirement of thirteen to use TSR. If underage users are identified, we will ban those accounts immediately. TSR considers anyone under the age of eighteen to be a child.

Suspected grooming, sexual abuse and threats to the safety of a child on our site will be fully investigated and if necessary reported to the relevant legal authorities. Grooming behaviours are those in which an adult builds an emotional relationship with a minor in order to gain the minor's trust for the purposes of future or ongoing sexual contact, sexual abuse, trafficking, radicalisation and criminal exploitation.

TSR will take action and report any content or accounts to the relevant legal authorities involving sexual interactions and advances between an adult and a child or children of a significant age difference.

Moderation

In order to safeguard the community we have a combined moderation system which involves the use of technology and human moderation. We spend a lot of time trying to make TSR’s community guidelines and rules fair and we’re always happy to discuss the way moderation works in relation to you. If you have any questions about any moderation action taken towards you, please post in the Ask the Community Staff forum, where we aim to reply to questions within 48 hours wherever possible. Please do not discuss any specific moderation actions taken by the community staff to any extent on the public forums or through visitor messages, private messages or similar. We can only discuss warnings with the user receiving them, so please do not ask about other users’ community records. If there are any unconstructive discussions from users regarding the capacity of staff, staff in general, or their actions on the forums, this could result in warnings or a ban.

Sometimes community staff may edit, delete or move any material that is posted on the site. For example we might edit or remove posts, or close individual threads. Threads may be closed if there is persistent rule breaking or if the thread is going off topic. If a whole thread or post is removed, please don't start a new one repeating or rehashing content that has been removed as this will result in a warning or ban.

You may receive something called a posting tip. These are designed to help our users who may be unaware of these guidelines and rules. These will help you make the most of TSR as well as introducing you to our specific guidelines and rules that you might not have been aware of yet. If you are using The Student Room in an inappropriate or unacceptable manner, including through breaking any of the forum rules, we may suspend or terminate your membership, either by banning you from the site or by using the warning system.

If you break any of the community guidelines and rules, a reminder or warning may be issued to you by a member of the Community Staff.

Our carding explained:

A blue reminder is used for minor issues and will let you know that one of your posts (or other contributions) has broken a TSR rule. When you get one of these, please familiarise yourself with the community guidelines and rules. It isn't intended as a punishment and isn't a warning card, though repeated reminders and breaking of the guidelines and rules will escalate to a warning card. Four blue reminders will automatically escalate to a yellow card.

A yellow card is used when either the issue is more serious or you have been alerted over a minor issue and it happens again. If three of these yellow card warnings are collected then the card will escalate to a red warning card which will result in a 7 day temporary ban. We may escalate cards ourselves and enforce bans if there is significant rule breaking on site. After this the next escalation is a black card which leads to a permanent ban from the site.

We reserve the right to suspend or ban an account at our sole discretion. A ban may be applied in response to severe rule-breaking, ignoring the requests of community staff, unauthorised commercial advertising or the misuse of duplicate accounts.

If your account has been banned, please refrain from creating a new one. If you would like to discuss this please email [email protected]

These rules, in addition to our current Terms & Conditions constitute the understanding between you and us as to your use of The Student Room, and supersede all prior agreements and understandings.