Forum Rules

The following rules govern use of the forums. You are also responsible for observing the Registration Agreement, which you agreed to when registering. Members should observe both the letter and the spirit of these rules.

Each member is responsible for only his or her own posts. If another member breaks rules, you may ignore them or report the problem to the moderators, but you may not use it as an excuse to break rules yourself.

Volunteer moderators help us manage the forums and enforce the forum rules. The moderators cannot read every message, so they rely on members to report problem posts that they encounter. The point of moderation is not to limit discussion, promote or suppress points of view, or any other secret agenda. The goal of moderation is to keep the forums enjoyable and free from problems that detract from the experiences of our users.

These offenses can result in temporary forum suspensions or permanent bans.

  • Insults. Direct personal insult of another forum member and other name-calling. People should be able to discuss or even dispute other’s posts without insulting people. You may dispute somebody’s opinion but not attack/flame the person who stated it. There are a lot of other non-direct-personal insults that won’t necessary get you banned instantly, but depending on the context/nature may lead to post editing, post deletion, warnings, or time-outs.
  • Harassment. Purposely intimidating a particular member, harassing them, sending them rude or unwanted private messages, etc. This includes personal attacks on moderators for doing their jobs.
  • Threats. Any threat or intimation of a threat.
  • Registration rules. Violation of the rules you agreed to when registering for the site: that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.
  • Hoaxes. Purposely misleading other members to their detriment. Giving advice you know to be incorrect or harmful. * Trolling. Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions. For a given post, this can be a subjective call, but a pattern of such posting or an especially egregious case will get you banned.
  • Advertising. Using the forums for advertising, site or product promotion, or for business deals and offers. You may not make posts to promote commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites, products, or services. Threads will be deleted if their purpose is to advertise, announce, or promote products, services, or organizations, build traffic at other websites, carry out business activities, or for similar purposes that do not benefit our forum community.

Things Not to Do

These habits can produce warnings and repeated violations can produce bans.

  • Inappropriate posting in a debate. The Rules for Appropriate Debate apply when users disagree with each other. We insist on a certain level of respect and civility toward other users, even when your viewpoints differ, and prohibit posts that attack posters personally or serve only to anger others (see “trolling” above).
  • Reposting. Please don’t repost entire articles from other sites. To initiate a discussion about an article, post a link to the article, quote a bit of it if you like, and include your own comments or questions so people know why you think it’s worthy of discussion.
  • Off-topic posts. Off-topic posts will be deleted/edited.
  • Profanity. The profanity filter is there for a reason. Do not circumvent it by using the language we intend to exclude or disguising those words.
  • Repeated problems. Any ongoing actions that make more work for the moderators and administrators or regularly annoy other members and require moderator action.