Strict legality requires any web service to restrict terms so that legally-defined terms are not abused, and so that liability does not accrue to publishers or participants.

The open politics in force ruleset defines this as:
  • legal terms used only in their legal sense (C)
  • criminal accusations made formally, or not at all (R)
  • privacy protected well beyond legal requirements (C)
  • share-alike content at least to nonprofits (R)
  • transparent and responsive governance (C)

The GPNS moderator guidelines used in early 2006 were more explicit:

"The GPNS is a political party. The public must take
any and all claims by its officers and candidates and
those whom are deemed acceptable as potential officer
or candidate, seriously in a legal sense. Accordingly
plain false claims about what is civilly "actionable"
or "criminal" or just generally "illegal" will not be
treated casually, but challenged and investigated. A
failure to respond to such a challenge will result in
the person making such claims forced to explain their
logic to standards generally applicable in the law of
Nova Scotia and the precedents of other jurisdictions.

For instance, declaring someone to be a personal enemy
or an intent to exclude them from the GPNS or any other
group or make life in that group uncomfortable for them,
is unpleasant, but, it's not "actionable" or "criminal"
except insofar as it may speak to their intent or malice
in some other matter."

Sometimes legality problems can be extremely difficult. A conference on African needs made note of the need for a "repository of legal terminology in the 11 official languages of South Africa...courts are required to deal with all of the official languages and often rely on untrained interpreters who need a reference guide for dealing with unfamiliar terminology from any of the languages they were not native speakers of." This is the type of problem that tends to require a culturally neutral reference like living ontology.


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