A Note about the Forum

As many of you have already noticed, we recently added additional Forum moderation privileges to members of fully registered Google Lunar X PRIZE teams (these individuals were already moderators of their own team's sections of the forum). This change was done in accordance with the posted rules of the Forum, and in response to numerous and repeated requests. As fully registered competitors, our team members clearly have a stake in insuring the highest possible quality of discussion on our forum. They can and will play a helpful role in doing so, especially at a time when we are understaffed and overburdened. We have already and will continue to reserve the rights to extend moderator privileges to others, always with the same goal of achieving the highest quality of discussion on the forum.

The purpose of the Google Lunar X PRIZE community forum is essentially two-fold: to provide a place for education and inspiration, and to establish a climate that will increase the likelihood of one or multiple winners. The majority of posts on the board, I feel, contribute to those two causes. However, other threads and posts on the forum--including but not limited to some discussion of so-called "moon hoax" issue--have been counter to these purposes. I have received a high volume of offline requests to lock or delete those threads, and to ban users. Many of these requests have been repeated publicly on the forum itself. Finally--and worst of all--I know that some of these discussion on the forum have driven away potential team members and journalists considering writing about the PRIZE. This clearly defies the goals of the community and, I'm sure, the goals of the forum members who made those posts.

If that problem were to persist, we'd be left with no choice but to shut down the forum: it cannot be allowed to have a negative impact on the prize program. But I'm confident that with additional moderation and a firm commitment to quality on behalf of all of the members, we can turn the forums into an unquestionably beneficial resource. This moderation may involve the locking of threads or the deletion of posts, if necessary. We can and we must keep conversations on the forum on topic, productive, and beneficial to the broader community. There are a number of other websites and offline communities that make for appropriate places to discuss claims about the Apollo program, but the Google Lunar X PRIZE community forum is not such a place.

I thank you in advance for helping us make the forum a better, more fun, and more educational place! There already are a large number of extremely interesting and useful threads on the forum, so I hope that you will surf over there now, read through the messages left by your peers, and add your own voice!

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