+MissJenn Posted May 8, 2008 Share Posted May 8, 2008 At Groundspeak, we recognize that geocaching continues to grow and evolve. We look for opportunities to make site improvements and changes to benefit geocaching and the global geocaching community. Following a long reflection on certain Geocaching.com web site policies, we believe it is time to make a few changes. During this policy review, we actively sought out and listened to the opinions of a great many geocaching community members. We held internal discussions and read more than a few related messages within the Groundspeak Discussion Forums and elsewhere. As a result of this review and in the best interest of the geocaching community and geocaching in general, we have changed or clarified the following Geocaching.com policies. We believe it provides additional flexibility. 1. We have expanded and clarified what we mean by commercial cache listings: The old Cache Guidelines say: Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services. If the finder is required to go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, then the cache is presumed to be commercial. The new Cache Guidelines will read as follows: Commercial caches will not be published on geocaching.com without prior approval from Groundspeak. A commercial cache is a geocache listing or geocache which is perceived by Groundspeak, Groundspeak's employees, or the Volunteer Geocache Reviewers as having been submitted to geocaching.com with the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain. The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion. Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak. Business names should not be in geocache titles. In cases where business names must be mentioned (in some events, for example, it may make sense to do so), this can be done in the description. Entrance fees to nonprofit organizations like parks and other such locations are often given an exception. Other exceptions can sometimes be granted when appropriate. Requests for permission should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . Caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are still not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda. We believe that updating these guidelines will provide our Volunteer Geocache Reviewers the latitude and discretion to publish geocache listings containing references to surrounding businesses or other relevant information in instances where those references are not principally or substantially intended to generate commercial benefit for the establishment and in instances where it is appropriate for the geocache listing. Our general intention is to prevent geocache listings from becoming billboards for advertisers. It is not our intention to make people "jump through hoops" to avoid mentioning the name of or making reference to a movie, TV show, piece of music, sports team or other item of popular culture which is relevant to the region, state or country where the cache is located. 2. We have clarified what we mean by commercial forum posts and/or posts that solicit: The old Forum Guidelines say: Commercial Postings/Solicitations are not allowed. Commercial content as a direct or indirect (either intentional or non-intentional) attempt to solicit customers through a forum post will be edited or deleted. Notwithstanding the above, Groundspeak reserves the right to include limited commercial content in this Forum, in its sole discretion. The new Forum Guidelines will say: Commerciality and Postings With a Larger Agenda: It is Groundspeak's desire to maintain forums for the purpose of promoting the activity of geocaching and GPS usage. As a result, we intend to limit forum discussions that promote a commercial, social, political or charitable agenda insofar as the agenda does not reasonably relate to the activity of geocaching and GPS usage. Therefore, threads or posts perceived to have been made with the intent of promoting any of the above agendas will not be permitted. Please note that our Volunteer Forum Moderators are authorized to exercise their discretion in providing some reasonable latitude for forum discussion postings relating to local events and issues in local discussion forums. Notwithstanding the above, Groundspeak reserves the right to include or permit the inclusion of limited commercial content in this forum, in its sole discretion. We wish for the main Geocaching Topics forums to remain focused on geocaching. However we are willing to provide for more latitude in the regional and/or international forums for discussing topics that geocachers would find useful or interesting as a closer-knit community. The global geocaching community reaches across many countries and cultures. It continues to grow. We recognize that, occasionally, cache reviewers and forum moderators will need to use their discretion to determine the best course of action. Groundspeak has entrusted these volunteers to do what is best for the global community, including regional communities, when appropriate. When issues arise, Groundspeak will continue to approach them with a desire to best support the geocaching community and the activity of geocaching. It is our intent to provide these revised guidelines as a framework within which we can all continue to grow and address new topics on a case-by-case basis. As we move forward, we will continue to rely on the global community to help us contribute to the positive evolution of geocaching. Thank you for your ongoing feedback and consideration. It is greatly appreciated. Quote Link to comment
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