I’m just one person, but I think these guidelines are spot on. One important aspect is that they are guidelines and not rules. We all need to be respectful of the limits when we post and know when we might be pushing the limits with an off-topic post or an on-topic, but environmentally or politically charged, post. Awareness and respect will be very important going forward.
A big well done to the OBA Board for getting this done so quickly and so well.
From: Sarah Swanson
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 1:47 PM
Subject: [obol] Updated OBOL Guidelines
Greetings fellow birders!
Last month, the Oregon Birding Association board shared a statement to OBOL, which sparked much discussion. Some was productive and informative, while some was hurtful. We apologize to anyone who was negatively impacted by the harmful language used. This conversation underscored the importance of, and added urgency to, an updated set of Community Guidelines for OBOL that the Board had started working on in December. These are listed below and will also be found on the OBA website.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the many constructive suggestions, messages of support, and feedback offered up by this community! You helped guide this process, and we are heartened by the desire of so many to be involved. We also appreciate the dedicated work that Teresa Hertzel puts into moderating OBOL. We are excited to learn that both the OBA and OBOL have their highest membership ever, representing more and more people becoming interested birds, and wanting to be a part of this community. With that comes the important work of creating spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to all, being mindful that in groups of this size we will not agree on all issues (a challenge by no means unique to OBOL). The goal of our guidelines is to create a framework that encourages positive discussion, with no tolerance for bullying and abuse.
The OBA board of directors looks forward to continuing to engage with our members and the wider OBOL and Oregon birding communities, and we welcome your messages here: https://oregonbirding.org/contact-oba/
While we will post occasionally on OBOL, if you are interested in staying up to date with opportunities and wider OBA business, we would invite you to join the Oregon Birding Association. You can do so here: https://oregonbirding.org/join/
Ospreys and Rufous Hummingbirds have started to trickle into our area - a sure sign that spring migration and an exciting new part of the year is ahead.
Oregon Birding Association Board of Directors
Updated OBOL Guidelines
OBOL (Oregon Birders Online) is an online mailing list dedicated to birding in Oregon. The goal of OBOL is to share knowledge and curiosity about birds and birding experiences, and to build relationships and inclusivity across the birding community.
OBOL desires to be welcoming and inclusive to all, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) folks and women who have long been marginalized in the historically white and male-dominated landscape of birding. Bird lovers from across the spectrum of experience are welcome here. Please do your part to be encouraging and helpful, and refrain from dismissive or patronizing comments.
Scope of posts
Postings should be related to wild birds and birding experiences in the field in Oregon. Birders are invited to share bird sightings and reports, rare bird alerts, reports of interesting or unusual bird behavior, status and distribution, identification questions and discussions, and information about upcoming birding events in Oregon. Please sign your post and include your location.
If a notable bird is on private property, do not post the location unless you have explicit consent from the occupant, and are confident the occupant is aware of the interest that the sighting may draw.
OBOL does not allow posts or URLs or taglines about commercial offerings. An occasional post about resale of your personal birding equipment is allowed.
Be sensitive to the reality that birding and bird conservation often intersect with topics of considerable disagreement among our members, and discussion of these topics can lead to extensive and sometimes vitriolic debate. Please avoid posts about controversial issues including cats, guns, electoral politics and religion. Posts related to wild bird conservation issues in Oregon are allowed, but please consider that this forum is not the best place for a protracted discussion.
Offensive or hate speech
OBOL does not tolerate any content that promotes discrimination, hatred, or violence. Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, invasive of another's privacy, racist or otherwise objectionable is prohibited. The use of sexualized language or imagery, trolling, insulting/derogatory comments, public or private harassment, including offensive or degrading language is also prohibited. Violators will be banned from the forum.
For real-time bird alerts, many birders are choosing the convenience of messaging app groups. For photo sharing, Birding Oregon is a good resource, and for identification questions, “What’s This Bird?” may be helpful.