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Terms & Conditions

VOICE is a lively and creative organization, established as a mechanism to harness the immense experience and collective wisdom of the public at scale to capture ideas, insights and vision. We welcome and will actively encourage members to get involved in discussion and debate on a range of topics by contributing in person and through the VOICE website.

VOICE is based within The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, trading as Newcastle University, therefore any references to ‘VOICE’ or ‘We’ will also refer to Newcastle University.

By becoming a member of VOICE, you agree to these terms and conditions.

Data Protection

We will never share your personal information with anyone outside of VOICE without your permission unless we are specifically required to by law or a clear safeguarding issue is identified. All the personal information that you provide is stored securely. Cookies are used to assist the functionality of the website only; personal data is not collected via cookies.

Your VOICE password is encrypted. This means that even if someone could get access to where it’s kept, it can’t be read. Your password can never be read by another person: only you can know what it is.

Advertising or recruitment - Any material or comments advertising a service, business or product, recruiting for members, gathering information for surveys, articles and research studies, or similar, is prohibited unless prior permission has been given by VOICE.

Code of Conduct

These codes of conduct guidelines are designed to balance freedom of speech with ensuring a productive and disciplined attitude is maintained. They are not designed to prevent you from having your say. Inappropriate conduct includes any activities that are judged to be:

  • Defamatory - Adversely affecting the reputation of a clearly identifiable person, company or organisation
  • Personal - Including private information about yourself or other people
  • Offensive - Material or comments that might reasonably be expected to cause distress to others. Members agree to act in a civil, tasteful and polite manner and agree not to use vulgar language. Such material or comments could relate to gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability or other similarly sensitive issues
  • Harassing - Harassment is unwanted conduct (including insults and 'jokes') affecting the dignity of another, including written attacks on another person or aggressive pressure or intimidation. Comments should not be mean-spirited, or contributed with the intention of causing trouble. Members should show respect for users of all ages and abilities
  • Obscene - Material or comments that are offensive, indecent or pornographic, including anything of a sexual nature
  • Confidential - Any information, disclosure of which would constitute a breach of the common law duty of confidentiality
  • An incitement - Any material or comments that seek to influence another to the commission of a criminal offence
  • In contempt of court - Disclosing information about live court proceedings before that information has been heard in court or where reporting restrictions are in place. Please note that Voice North will generally bar any comments relating to court proceedings, as they cannot be expected to know or investigate the legal status of individual cases
  • Party political - Any comments that are clearly party political in nature. This is particularly relevant during elections, and those postings that canvass support for, or opposition to, any political party
  • In breach of copyright - Comments that may infringe any of the laws governing copyright. Voice North accepts no liability whatsoever for any actionable breach of such laws
  • Using multiple log-ins - If you use multiple log-ins for the purpose of disrupting the community or annoying other users you may be barred from the forum
  • Duplicate, overly trivial repetitive or trivial Postings - For instance spamming or off-topic material
  • Impersonation Postings perceived as impersonating another through user name or views
  • Using vulgar or offensive user names
  • One to one arguments
  • Messages will not be posted in languages other than English - As the VOICE community’s first language is English, comments should always be posted in English to enable all to understand, unless specifically requested to do otherwise

Online Dicussion Forums

If you take part in an online discussion forum your answers could form part of a presentation, report or study and inform and shape research. 

How to get the most from our discussion forums;


  • make sure you are familiar with the guidance on acceptable content
  • share your views and local knowledge with others
  • be patient with other users - even if someone posts in a way that annoys you (in 'txt spk' for example), try to stay polite and balanced in any response
  • be careful when making contributions to discussion forums as they may be visible to all users
  • be careful what links you use - don't post any personal links (for example, to your own website) as this will result in your post being removed, or even your account being suspended
  • report comments for moderation where you feel they have breached the VOICE code of conduct


  • give out any personal information about yourself especially contact information
  • post any personal information about others; respect other people's privacy post defamatory, harassing or unlawful comments relating to individuals, organisations or any group of people
  • copy and paste large chunks from other sites, or include copyrighted material in your post
  • link directly to any kind of media file, (eg photographs, movie clips) as these will not be accepted
  • repeatedly re-post deleted topics; this may result in your account being suspended

If you see something on that you think is offensive, infringes your or anybody else's copyright, is defamatory or is unlawful in any way the best way to let us know is by using the 'report' button located at the top of each discussion post. This will immediately remove the post for monitoring by the VOICE team who will take appropriate action. If you have a complaint or are concerned about the conduct of a VOICE member or any content outside of the discussion forums please contact us by email or telephone.

Diversity & Equality

VOICE places equality and diversity at the heart of our work and we actively seek to support inclusion of groups and individuals who are often excluded from research and innovation. We value involvement from a variety of cultures, experiences and perspectives and are guided by the principles of the Equality Act 2010. We will undertake to ensure that, wherever possible, anyone wishing to take part in VOICE activities has an equal opportunity to participate.


VOICE makes every possible effort to ensure that the information published on our website ( is up-to-date and accurate, but accepts no legal liability for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to make changes without notice.

We do not actively monitor every posting on our discussion forum pages; therefore, we make no claims as to the accuracy, integrity, timeliness or quality of such content, nor can we undertake to respond to or enter into correspondence regarding individual comments or requests.

All views and information, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted are individual and not the views, policy or advice of VOICE. Member generated content is the sole responsibility of the person from which such content originated.

We have provided a mechanism through the report function for any member to report for monitoring any comment that they feel is inappropriate. We do reserve the right to remove any contributions that break the rules or guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct and will take action to remove members who are in breach of these terms. Any removal or banning of a member or their comment is binding and the decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into nor will we be obliged to explain such actions.

VOICE is not responsible for the actions of individuals or content of third party sites.

VOICE intends to use content from discussion forums to gather insight and harness the views and experience of the public to influence research, policy and innovation. By posting information to the discussion boards, you grant VOICE a non-exclusive worldwide royalty-free perpetual non-revocable licence to use, distribute, adapt, modify, display, reproduce and transmit such information in any and all media in the manner in whole or in part without any duty to account to you.

This agreement shall be governed in accordance with the laws of England. The terms and conditions of this agreement are subject to change by VOICE at any time. Any user's usage of this site following changes shall indicate the user's acceptance of the new agreement.