A. Core principles
Every eTwinner and their events, messages, posts, projects’ materials and everything published on the eTwinning platform must adhere to, and comply with, the following core principles, in line with the European Union’s Fundamental Values and general principles.
- Be inclusive. Everyone’s opinions and views are always welcomed and allowed within the boundaries set in this Code of Conduct. eTwinners are encouraged to look beyond their own perspective, relate to different cultures and show sensitivity when including other eTwinners in their events, projects, groups, and networking activities – both online and on-site. eTwinning fosters understanding, empathy and openness towards one another with the aim of making the community a safe, harassment-free space.
- Be respectful. Members of the eTwinning community must be respectful when dealing with their peers and interacting with one another. Respecting other people, and their activities on this platform, and assuming that their actions are motivated by good intentions will make eTwinners not only feel comfortable and safe, but also motivated and productive. eTwinners cannot insult or put down others, or incite violence against people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender, and/or as a member of a country, group, or minority.
- Be tolerant. Disagreement is inevitable, from time to time. Tolerance for the views of others drives the pragmatic approach encouraged in this community. What is important is to seek constructive solutions to disagreements and differing views, always within the limits as described and defined in this Code of Conduct, and accept that some cases may result to “agree to disagree”.
- Be polite and friendly in all forms of communication – especially remote communication, where opportunities for misunderstanding are greater. Being polite means being aware and respecting the feelings of other people and showing it. As home of all eTwinners, eTwinning is the online space where they can express freely, exchange easily and elaborate considerately their ideas and thoughts and treat equally the ones of other eTwinners. This means doing our best to carefully choose words and content in events, projects’ materials, online and onsite meetings descriptions, posts, and messages.
B. Some rules all eTwinners must adhere to
To facilitate the understanding of what is allowed and what is not allowed on the eTwinning platform, eTwinning has drawn some rules which must be respected by all eTwinners.
1. No use of eTwinning for commercial purposes
It’s strictly prohibited to use the platform for commercial purposes. Any company, initiative, event or software with a commercial intent will be removed, as will their access to the platform itself.
2. No direct threats, bullying nor harassment
eTwinning does not tolerate bullying or harassment. If you are victim of cyberbullying or someone is threatening you while using any of the eTwinning spaces (public and private ones), please report the message or contact your Support Organisation. Be aware that anyone caught bullying or harassing other members of the platform may be permanently banned from eTwinning.
3. Intellectual property
Ensure that the content you upload to the platform does not infringe any copyright. Before sharing pictures, videos, documents or any other resources, please make sure you have the right to do so. The eTwinning platform cannot host videos - you will need to upload your video to YouTube, DailyMotion or Vimeo first and then paste the link in eTwinning. Do not forget to have a look at their copyright policies too.
eTwinners cannot impersonate other individuals or groups/organisations they do not represent in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others.
5. Students (minors)
eTwinning takes students’ privacy and safety seriously. Avoid posting pictures of pupils on your eTwinning Live profile, TwinSpace, Groups, etc. In case you do, make sure you have parents’ consent or that pupils are not recognisable.
6. Private information and Sensitive data
Be thoughtful about content you post that relates to others. You should not share your or other eTwinners' private information - such as personal phone numbers and addresses, credit card details or other private information - or intimate pictures and videos. Always think before you post!
eTwinners should conduct their online interactions professionally, politely, and respectfully as they would do in their real-life interactions. Below are some examples of what users should and should not do.
1. Careful and responsible use of the internal message system
Refrain from sending too many messages to teachers with whom you are not working. Before contacting a user: check their profile; check if they are available for projects; make sure your message is relevant. Do not send the exact same message to more eTwinners.
2. Avoid spamming in forums
The eTwinning Live partner forums generate thousands of messages. Make sure that your message considers the subject of the thread. Before publishing a new post, check to see if there are other relevant messages on the subject and reply to them. Help us keep the forums relevant to improve collaboration!
3. Only post relevant and appropriate comments on people’s posts
When posting a comment on somebody else’s profile, make sure it is relevant to the user. Comments must be for individuals and related to the user’s post. Do not write the same comment to more users.
4. Avoid random contact requests and project invitations
Avoid asking eTwinners to be part of your contacts or to join your project without any previous communication. Make sure you have a reasonable and manageable number of contacts in your list. Do you want to keep track of someone’s updates? Follow them instead.
5. Targeted events invitation
Avoid inviting your contacts to events you are organising, unless you are certain that these colleagues can participate. Random invitation to events organised in your school will be considered spam.
D. Violation of the Code of Conduct
What can you do if you feel that an eTwinner is not respecting the Code of Conduct?
In the Support Community, we do our utmost to protect people from abuse in eTwinning, but as an active and pluralistic community, we count on each and every eTwinner to help us maintain the positive attitude and reduce unwelcome incidents. Therefore, we encourage eTwinners to report when necessary.
In case you encounter posts, events or comments in Journals and Forums, receive a private message, or see content that is offensive, infringes copyright or data protection, or you simply find inappropriate, you can use the “report” button – if available, otherwise you can contact your Support Organisation - and share your reasons for reporting. Your message will be handled by the Support Organisations.
What happens if somebody is not respecting the Code of Conduct?
Failure to comply with the rules included in this Code of Conduct constitutes a violation of its terms and may result in temporary or permanent removal of any posting or material uploaded by eTwinners, at any time, without prior notice. In such cases, the authors of the materials and their Support Organisation will be informed and reasons for the removal will be provided. Users who do not comply with the Code of Conduct may also be banned, temporarily or permanently, from eTwinning.
In case of controversies, a final decision will be taken by the European Commission, on behalf of which eTwinning is operated.