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Thread Closed Thread Closed Code of Conduct, Guidelines, Policies and Rules.
04-24-2012, 02:05 PM
Post: #1 Code of Conduct, Guidelines, Policies and Rules.
Code of Conduct:

To have an account on the forums, you must agree to this Code of Conduct. This code of conduct applies in any and all areas of the forums.

The purpose of the forums is to provide a place for people who have trailer knowledge and or experience to share and help those who do not. We also want this to be a place where community can develop and we can enjoy one another's company. To achieve this, we strive to maintain an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all and we ask all members of the community to be respectful at all times. This means please use etiquette and politeness. Treat people with kindness, gentleness and respect. If you do this, the rest of the code of conduct won't need more than a cursory mention.

All posts made to these forums express the views and opinions of the author of each post. Those liable for the content of posts and private messages are the ones submitting the material, and not the administrator, moderators, webmaster, the community, or anyone else.

This is a moderated forum, but only in the sense that we act to deal with content that violates the forum code of conduct when we become aware of it. The staff of this forum attempt to edit or remove any objectionable or illegal material as quickly as possible. However, with the volume of activity we have on our site it is impossible to review every message.

Users agree not to post anything abusive, rude, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented, advertising or marketing related (unless approved by the Administrator). Material that suggests illegal activity or contains illegal content is also forbidden. Such threads will be closed and offending users will be penalized with infractions and warnings. Also, our forums are used by people at work and school and we want to ensure they will not encounter material that will cause them problems or cause their access to our site to be limited, so all content should be safe for work and school.

Users posting any content that violates this code of conduct may receive a warning or an infraction that creates a record of the behavior and will be connected to the account (this record is only visible by the member and staff), may have their posts edited or removed, may have their account or IP address banned temporarily or permanently, and could have a report filed against them to their internet access provider. The IP addresses of all users are recorded to provide evidence or assist in enforcing these rules.

Posts which violate any part of this Code of Conduct may be edited or moved to a special holding area called The Censor, where they are preserved as evidence. Posts in The Censor are only visible to staff members and the original poster. The only exceptions are spam, or advertising-related posts, which are temporarily moved to a sub forum of The Censor called The Dump, which is cleaned out from time to time.

By signing up and using this forum, you agree that forum staff have the right to remove, edit, move or close any post, topic or thread at any time they see fit following the guidelines, policies and rules outlined below. You agree that the staff of this forum have the right to send a private message with a warning and/or censor any forum user who is in violation of forum policy.

Finally, regarding "freedom of speech", is a privately owned business of which you get to use for FREE, as a guest and not some kind of democracy that you pay taxes to and are somehow entitled to some kind of rights. Nobody is asking you to like our rules or to even agree with them but, if you wish to remain a member of this privately owned forum, we do expect you to abide by them. Don't like our rules or how we choose to run this forum, nobody is making you stay. Fortunately, this is America and you do have the right to choose where you want to spend your time. Likewise, as an American owned business, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as well.

Guidelines, Policies and Rules:

1.) Respect the Forum Staff: We provide a service in our free time to keep the forums running efficiently and most are volunteers. Feedback is welcome in Forum Support and this is also the place to request assistance with forum software and operation issues. If you believe an error has been made in moderation or other staff actions, please politely email and help us understand your perspective.

2.) Adult Content, Violence, Illegal Activity: Messages containing violent, sexually orientated or illegal content or links to sites with this content will either be deleted or saved in The Censor as evidence. Messages with links to or suggesting illegal activity will also be deleted. Posting or linking to any of these could result in a ban.

3.) Trolling, Attacks and Flaming: These are always forbidden.
A.) Trolling is posting in a way that provokes emotional responses.
B.) Attacks and derogatory terms of any kind are not welcome. This includes references to other forums and the companies that produce them.
C.) Flames are messages that personally attack or call any people names or otherwise harass. These, along with any generally condescending posts will be edited or removed at the moderator’s discretion.
D.) If a thread is flame-bait (appears to be intended to start an argument or is likely to cause an argument rather than enhance discussion, as in trolling), it will be locked or removed without notice. Individual flame-bait comments in a post may be deleted or edited at the moderators' discretion.
E.) If the thread turns into an argument, it can be closed to further comment or removed without notice. Sometimes a moderator may split the thread or delete certain portions in order to keep the discussion going, but that is not always possible since we are a staff of volunteers with limited time and numbers.

4.) Spam (unsolicited advertising): Spam will be moved to The Dump in the forum Censor and the account posting it will likely be banned. You are allowed to have links to personal sites in your signature and in your profile, and may post them in threads on occasion (just not often, please) as long as the content of the site linked does not include material that violates this code of conduct and if you are not posting any other form of advertising.

5.) Profanity: We have users of all age groups and of all tolerance levels where profanity is concerned. A language filter is in place to catch most major forms of profanity that may accidentally be used. Do not attempt to circumvent the language filter by using variations or slight misspellings of profanities.

6.) Politics and Religion: These two topics have caused serious problems in other forums in the past and are forbidden topics in these forums. Please find another venue to exercise your freedom of speech on these topics.

7.) Thread Drifting/Steering: Please keep discussions on topic and placed with the correct forums.

8.) Report Posts: If you have found a post or receive a private message that you feel is inappropriate or that violates the forum code of conduct, please use the report function to notify staff. Do not attempt to moderate discussions or correct other users yourself.

9.) Images: Be prudent in your use of images; they may help to explain something more clearly or indicate a problem you are experiencing better but you have to remember that not everyone has the same bandwidth. If an image is the best way of handling the information, please use thumbnails or keep your image to a small size and less than 100kb.

10.) Links: You may post links to sites with content that is acceptable according to this code of conduct. This is most useful when giving tech support and explaining a topic and then linking to a wiki page or other site with more information. You may also link to your personal site.

11.) Signatures: Forum signatures are limited to three lines of text, 10pt maximum font size. Signature content must conform to the same guidelines as all content in this code of conduct.

12.) Avatars: Images must comply with the content guidelines of this code of conduct. A discreet image from your religion is permissible if it is not ostentatious, disruptive, provocative, or for the purposes of proselytizing. Political avatars are not permitted at all.

13.) Multiple Accounts: Users may only have one active account. If you feel you have justification for requiring a new account, please contact an administrator to discuss your situation. Users who have multiple accounts without approval of an administrator may be penalized or banned.

14.) Private Messaging: Asking support questions via private messages is strongly discouraged. It is unlikely that users will respond to these requests and it defeats the secondary intent of the forums to be a resource for people seeking assistance using internet searches and forum searches.
15.) Editing of posts: When a post breaks guidelines and requires editing in order to bring it back under compliance with this Code of Conduct, the moderator should generally copy the un-edited post to The Censor first or issue an infraction which will keep a copy of the original post in the staff area. Only after the original post is preserved as evidence should the original post be edited. In the private message automatically sent when the infraction is issued the moderator should specify or describe which part of the Code of Conduct was broken.

16.) Thread Closing: Staff is not required to do so, but is requested to post an explanation in a thread that is closed when time permits. This is a non-exhaustive list of reasons a thread may be closed, but will give the general idea:
A.) The thread has run its course and posts have begun repeating themes
B.) The thread has degraded into an argument
C.) The thread topic is a duplicate of another current and active thread
D.) The thread is very old.

17.) Censoring of posts/thread: If a post/thread would require a lot of work to bring it into compliance, or if editing the violations would result in a nearly blank post/thread, the post/thread should be moved to The Censor instead.

18.) Staff: Staff is chosen by the Administrator of Users who have demonstrated a consistent attitude of friendliness and kindness and who have shown a pattern of helpfulness in their posts may be contacted and invited to serve. Recommendations are made by current staff in the staff forums or other users by private message. All recommendations are considered. Due to time constraints and privacy issues the Administrator is unlikely to comment publicly on these recommendations.

19.) Staff posting and moderating in the same thread: This is generally discouraged. Exceptions include when no one else is available or when content very clearly violates the code of conduct.

20.) Appeals: If you have a complaint about a staff action or believe an action was taken in error, the process for dealing with that is to email the forum Administrator who will respond with a final answer.
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