Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Here we have compiled the answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you need here, just write us: community@publixphere.de

What are issues?

Issues are topics of interest that receive particular attention on our site. The idea behind Publixphere is that those topics that receive the most attention on our platform receive editorial support: we compile background information and reach out to stakeholders and experts around a particular issue to involve them in the discussion and answer your questions. This is what happens on our German-speaking platform Publixphere.de, for instance.

In English, we currently host a platform for the Network of Centers (NoC) that focuses mainly on Internet & Society issues (the first big “issue” being “the evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem”, which is also the title of a conference organized within the NoC). We therefore do not have the means to provide an open, user-driven platform. But we’re working on it!


What are discussions?

A discussion may be started by a user or by the editorial team of Publixphere. Discussions may deal with any issue. Within individual issues, however, discussions should orient themselves along this issue. All users that are registered within an instance – i.e. noc.publixphere.net or publixphere.de – may take part in the discussions.


Who can start a discussion?

All users that are registered within a particular instance can start discussions.


How can a discussion be rated as relevant or not relevant?

A discussion can be rated as being relevant by clicking the upward arrow that may be found next to or above a discussion. A discussion may on the other hand be rated as not being relevant by clicking the downward arrow. The result of this evaluation is supposed to mirror the relevance of a discussion as perceived by the community.


How can I start my own discussion?

You can start a new discussion by clicking the button “new discussion”. You can choose to clarify what your discussion deals with by choosing Tags.


How can I find a discussion?

Discussions can be found by a number of ways: using the tags they refer to, using the list of all discussions or using the search bar at the top right hand corner of the page. They may however also be found via the discussants themselves. If you choose to “follow a discussion” by pressing the button on the right hand side next to the discussion itself (in the details view) you will automatically be kept up to date in your watch list in the dashboard.


What can you see in the “history” of a discussion?

Under “history” you can see which changes have been applied to a text, and when these changes were committed. Older versions of a discussion can be viewed here.


Can I edit my discussions and/or comments after posting them?

Yes. You may edit your discussions and comments once you are logged in. However, please note that you may not delete your contributions entirely; only admins can do that.


Why can I “report” discussions and comments?

As described in our Netiquette we do not want racist, offensive or destructive content on Publixphere. When we notice such content, we will of course take care of it. However we are of course unable to see everything. If you notice individual comments or discussions that violate our terms of use, just contact us using the “report”-button.


What are badges?

Badges function as a kind of name tag and help to provide further information regarding individual users, issues or discussions. Badges may contain an explanatory text that appears when the mouse rests on the badge.


What are tags?

Tags are keywords that assist in the classification of discussions. All users have the option of allocating tags to individual discussions, and to filter existing discussions according to these tags.

Tags are an excellent instrument for grouping and referencing discussions to one another. One advantage of tags is that they may be chosen at will; users determine the categories used.


How can I allocate or delete tags to a discussion?

When choosing a discussion or page, existing tags show in the column on the right hand side. The last point in this list says “add tags”. A new tag may be created simply by inserting it here. Once a tag has been created it cannot be deleted again.


I have registered successfully but am getting a message saying “invalid username or password”. What’s wrong?

Please make sure that you use the same user name for logging in that you used when registering. This also applies if you have changed your user name in your profile after registering - to log in you must always use the original user name that you chose when originally registering.  

Should you have forgotten your password, you may request a new one by pressing the button at the bottom of the log-in window. You must enter your email address, then we will send you your new password.


How can I delete my profile?

Should you no longer wish to be a member of the Publixphere community, please send a short email with your user name to community@publixphere.de and we will delete your profile immediately. We would be grateful for a short explanation of why you no longer want to be part of Publixphere – as we can only keep improving Publixphere with the help of your feedback.


Can I get in touch with other users directly?

Yes, you can write them a private message over their profile. IMPORTANT: Please note that your email address will be disclosed to them if you write a private message, as Publixphere does not have its own messaging system!


Do I have to register to be able to read content on Publixphere?

No. Only when you add or rate content, participate in a discussion or start one do you need to register and/or log in.


Which rules and guidelines apply to Publixphere?

The rules of conduct that apply to Publixphere are explained in our Netiquette.


What can I do if I’m being offended/ feel offended?

Let us know! community[at]publixphere.de


Who is behind Publixphere?

Publixphere is being run and administered by the non-profit association Publixphere e.V.. More information is available in the “About Publixphere” section.


Does Publixphere support a particular political view?

No. We are neutral, non-partisan and independent of political parties, companies or governments.


How is Publixphere being financed?

Publixphere financed exclusively through donations. Main supporter of Publixphere is the Mercator Foundation which is based in Essen, Germany.


What is Adhocracy?

Adhocracy  is an open participatory platform that is being operated by the non-profit association Liquid Democracy e.V.


I didn’t find the answer I want.

Write us! We’ll answer as soon and best as we can: community[at]publixphere.de.