Policies and Disclosures

Welcome to my blog and thank you for considering commenting on what I write. I greatly appreciate your input!

This is not a public space

I pay for hosting this website just like I pay rent for my house. Therefore, I consider it to be my virtual living room where anyone is invited to join in the fun. Just like when people visit my house in real life, I expect people to behave when they visit my virtual quarters. On this page I explain what that means.

An inclusive environment

In order to nurture community, an inclusive environment is very important to me. I want everyone to feel welcome and safe, no matter what background people are from. Hospitality goes hand-in-hand with safety and accessibility and transparency. I will make an effort to work on making this site a safe place for everyone.

Privacy Policy

My blog runs WordPress using a free theme called Matata created by Valerio. You can find it WordPress’ online theme repository. The website is hosted at TransIP on servers that are in the European Union.

I value my readers’ privacy. In Europe, privacy is considered to be a basic human right. This means that you own the data that is being collected about you and that websites are limited in what they can collect about you.

This is why I’m not collecting more information about you than is strictly necessary. This means among other things no social share buttons on this site. They come with code that put cookies on your computer which then track your browsing habits. Since I can’t see what they exactly do with your data, I won’t allow them on my site. If you like what you read and want to share, copy and paste the URL into the social media platform of your choice. Thank you!

JetPack
Speaking about cookies. As every website, this website does store some cookies on your computer. I have enabled some WordPress.com functionality through the JetPack Plugin. WordPress explains what kind of cookies they put on your computer.

I also get site statistics via WordPress.com via JetPack, which means that your browsing data is shared with WordPress.com. WordPress provides documentation on how their statistics work.

This plugin also powers my contact form. This form is just a means to allow you to send me emails without exposing my personal address to the world-wide web, creating a boatload of spam on my end. It emails me your messages and stores a copy of them in this site’s database. To make sure your data stays protected, I periodically do database maintenance where I delete this kind of information. I use a security plugin to harden the database’s security, making sure your data stays safe.

GDPR Compliance
In accordance with EU guidelines, I use a widget by Jetpack to ask permission for cookies. Find more information about the EU Cookie law and how to change the cookie settings in your browser by clicking on the links.

Email and IP addresses collected via any form on my site are solely used for moderation purposes. I am the only person who can see them and I won’t use them to send you email or share them with third parties.

Under EU law, you have the right to request what data this website collects and ask for it to be removed. You can contact me through the contact form if you have questions about this.

Comment Policy

I am very open-minded about what people can say. You are more than welcome to comment on this website, which is why I enabled comments in the first place. You are even welcome to disagree with my opinions or with other people’s. But you must do so in a respectful and civilized manner. Voicing criticism is fine, but do it in a constructive way. Explain why you don’t agree and offer a better alternative.  Be charitable and you’re fine.

What I don’t want to see are personal attacks of any kind (including name calling and slurs and gossip), flame-baits and swearing. These kind of things ruin the atmosphere and often lead to a very quick escalation of arguments. There is more than enough negativity in the world already, let’s counter it with positivism!

I have enabled moderation for comments. It can take a while before your comment shows up in public because of this. You must have a previously approved comment to comment on this site without a delay. When you comment on my blog, your IP address and email address are stored at my end of the site. I’m the only person who can see  them. They won’t be shared with anyone else. Not ever.

The comment form asks you to fill out your name and email address. It then connects to a third party service Gravatar, to check for a profile picture. You will see a white icon in a gray square if you haven’t set a Gravatar.

You can also use your WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account to comment. It will then use the profile picture you’ve set there. This also notifies these networks that you’ve visited this page. These services place cookies on your device. I don’t have any control over the contents of these cookies.

I hope we can establish a positive community around my site where I never have to wave my ban-hammer around!

Comments that don’t follow the rules I’ve established above will be deleted without prior notice. I consider this section of the page to be your notice. When you comment, I assume you’re agreeing with the boundaries I’ve set.

Disclosures

My blog posts reflect my (Inge Loots’) personal opinions and experience. These are neither endorsed by nor reflect the policies or opinions of any company or organisations I’m employed at or otherwise affiliated with.

I am writing articles on this blog because I want to give back to the community I’ve learned so much from, not to make money.  I may set up a coffee fund in the side bar at some point.

Sometimes I will link to Amazon with affiliated links that benefit the charity I work for. When I use affiliated links they are clearly marked as such. Any product I recommend is one I have used myself. I do not receive any financial compensation endorsing products or services.

My Colophon

Articles
All written articles are copyrighted by me, the author. I don’t give permission to re-publish my content in any way, the main reason for that is that Google’s page ranking algorithm punishes for duplicate content. It can’t determine which content is the original, so it will both hurt my and the other source’s ranking.

I do give permission to share excerpts of my posts, with a maximum of 20% of the post’s length, on other websites and social networks provided that you link back to the page where it came from.

Images
The images used on this blog are either my own photos and Canva creations or third party images via Morguefile, FlickrPixabay and Unsplash. External images are either licensed public domain or creative commons, with the exception of reviews.

When I review movies, TV series, books or games, I sometimes use logos and images from other sources as an illustration to my blog post. I always state the source and link back to the original, using it under the exceptions and limitations of the EU Copyright Directive.

I try to link back to the source wherever I can, even when it’s not needed, so it’s clear where they come from. My own images are watermarked and intended for usage on this blog only. You can’t link to them from here or re-upload them to your site or social media. I have uploaded some images you can use to Pixabay.

If you find an image you think doesn’t belong here, please contact me, so I can correct the issue.