Thank you for visiting our forum policy page, also known as "The FAQ". We hope you find it informative and entertaining! If you find something that seems incorrect or confusing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can fix it. Other than that, we're glad you're here and hope you stay a long time, all our members are very cool and we like new members.
This is sort of a cultural page about how we feel regarding behavior. For a basic technical explanation of how the forum works (how to login, what's a smiley) visit the boring generic phpbb faq page. It's called "Frequently Asked Questions" but honestly, the questions in there aren't asked all that frequently because most people know how a forum works now. We don't care if you read that page or not.
But you should read this, or at least scan it. If you are cool a lot of it will seem obvious. If you're not, we'll remind you kindly to read this page.
A really good place to come say hi is our chat room, which is now a discourse channel.
Please, no! The occasional "lol" is okay, but we strongly discourage using the letter u for the word "you" and things like that.
Making a lot of really short posts when you have very little to say will certainly get our attention, and not in a good way. We'll probably ban you.
If no one has posted to a thread in the last week, it's considered 'dead'. Please do not post in it unless you really have something to say. A real opinion, some insight, constructive criticism that we haven't seen before, a valid addition to the conversation are worth bumping the thread. A simple 'lol ohmigod that happened to me 2!' is not. Repeating an opinion that someone else has already stated is also not worth bumping the thread. We delete these posts to keep things down.
If you run across a thread that's more than a year old, but you think it's really interesting, it's usually okay to re-post the topic and get some fresh opinions.
We don't delete accounts based on stupidity, we just inactivate them. Any account with more than three posts is never deleted because that would mess up the database. Accounts with less than three posts, however, are deleted after thirty days. This means if you join up, post five times, then go on a month long vacation, you're safe. If you only post twice, you're not.
We have also deleted accounts as requested by their owners for privacy reasons.
There are substances that probably make you a better poster here, but alcohol is not one of them. If your blood alcohol level is above 0.08%, you are only allowed to post in hell. Okay, actually, you're encouraged to post in hell, so we can laugh at you.
Freedom of Speech
Our moderator team here reserves the right to delete posts that we consider a violation of the policies here. This is not a violation of your free speech. We do love freedom of speech, which allows people to express their opinions without fear of penalty from the government, but from a legal standpoint freedom of speech just means you can say what you want on your own website. Not ours.
Hell is our forum for pointless or stupid threads. Topics in hell are pruned after three days (or when Storage feels like it), at which time any posts you had in there are removed from your post count. If you must post a quiz result or thoughtless link, please do so in hell. If you are drunk, go straight to hell. You can come out later.
We are tired of new members joining our forum just to post up a survey or ask questions for a paper you're writing about how feminists are. If you want to join our community, reply to some threads, be one of us and still have questions or want us to help you with a project, that might be okay. Please join for a week and get 8-12 posts under your belt before asking us for something. Also, the forum does have a search box that works quite well.
Mindless Link Propagation (MLP)
If you find a website that's just a page or a stupid quiz or something else that's funny, but doesn't really inspire any deep thoughts, post a thread about it in hell. If we're bored, we'll check it out. We're usually bored so you've got that going for you.
Actual Link Propagation
If you don't want your link to go to hell, post it as its own topic and add your own commentary and thoughts. Summarize the link, add some quotes, make it possible for us to know what the main idea is without actually clicking the link.
If your thread is just a link and "what do you think?" it will definitely get moved to hell.
If you post something you shouldn't have posted, a moderator will let you know with a PM. Most people react to this with a quick "Okay, cool, I get it" but every once in a while we get the Moderator Martyrs - people who must advertise to the forum that one or more moderators hate them, they are being oppressed, we are all cruel and evil, etc. They PM moderators with flamatory remarks ("you can't control me!!!") and never talk about anything relevant again. These people have control issues, and even though we try to rehabilitate them, most of them end up getting banned very soon after starting their Martyrdom campaign.
You can only have one account. If you feel the need to start over, e-mail spacefem and talk about it. Don't just start lots of accounts because you're bored, we'll ban them all.
Anyone with less than 9 posts is really a newbie, with the word newbie appearing under his or her name. You should take extra steps to be nice and welcoming towards these people. Anyone with less than 256 posts, or who's been here less than two months, is an unofficial newbie... we're still nice and welcoming, but we don't let them get away with stupidness either. After the two months/256 posts, a lot of people feel like they're really one of us. You're allowed to apply for the members only forum after that.
Newbies can't make topics
Members with less than four posts can only create threads in New Members to introduce themselves, or Hell. People who don't care about introducing themselves, reading previous threads, or posting replies tend to be the kind who aren't here to be productive members of the community anyway... so they might as well post in hell, it saves us some trouble. After a few days and replies you will be able to start your own topics.
New topics are very good, they give us something to talk about.
Newbies are required to have at least three posts before posting new topics in any forum besides the New Members one. We feel like this forces them to get a tiny sense of what's going on here first, and maybe introduce themselves in the newbie forum.
Like every website, we encourage constructive discussion that makes everyone feel involved. Debate sometimes falls into that category. Other times, it doesn't. This page lists some general guidelines that are good ideas for all online discussion, not just here.
- Always ask questions. Maturity isn't knowing what's right and what's wrong 100% of the time, maturity is understanding that you have things left to learn. This is also known as the Stephen Covey rule... seek first to understand, then be understood.
- Let someone else have the last word. If you absolutely can't, it's a sign that you're not handling this well.
- If you feel yourself getting angry, stop. This is supposed to be fun and educational. Your anger will inevitably come through in your writing and cloud how others perceive your ideas.
- Don't get into long two-person debates. You are dedicating too much time to something that makes others in the community feel afraid to jump in. If you post something, person A responds, you respond, person A again... wait for someone else to join. If no one ever does, it's not worth it. Taking time to let other people in also gives you a chance to read a third party perspective.
- The track coach rule: Understand that you have something to learn from everyone, even if they don't always say it nicely or use the types of words you'd prefer that they use. You can only control how nice you are. If you ask others to change their tone, they'll only get defensive.
Back-and-forth conversations between two people are discouraged, because it's hard for new people to understand what all has been said and add something to the thread. It's also a sign that you're being trolled.
If you post in a thread, try to let a couple people reply before you post again.
You will probably be called out by a moderator if you post three times in a five post sequence, or several times within a 6-8 hour period. Go leave that thread alone and contribute to a new one.
Sending excessive unsolicited PMs, personally attacking other members, or flaming the general board population are all heavily looked down on. Treat people with respect, it's a good way to live life and last in the forums.
You may post photos in a thread, if they add to the conversation. The occasional photo thread pops up and is interesting, try not to go too crazy.
No photo-quoting. If you're going to quote another post, edit out the image.
Do not post a photo of someone else without his/her permission.
Posting articles or topics that you steal from somewhere else while passing the work off as your own will get you banned.
In addition, if you write an article or start a lengthy thread here, please do not use the same text to start an article at another website. We are not a re-hash farm for a manifesto you want spread across the internet.
There are several private forums you can join. You can only see them if you're logged in, someone has to "approve" you, and the world can't see what you're writing (it won't show up on google, so that's nice.) Private forums are:
- Borderline Legal smallerish group for anyone born before 1988
- Cosmic Mayhem smallerish group for anyone born after 1987
- Members only for anyone with two months of membership and 256 posts
- Moderators for moderators
You can join private forums through your user control panel (click the "usergroups" tab and apply for a group).
Please do not share what's discussed in private forums to anyone not in them. There's a reason they're private.
We've found that "random threads" (threads with no particular topic where people can just throw in whatever's on their minds) have a tendency to keep people from posting real threads that encourage discussion. They also make it tough for newbies to know when to jump in, because they're not sure if the need to read 10 pages of discussion or not. So a thread doesn't have a specific-enough topic we'll let it go for a little while, but count on it being locked after 5-6 pages of replies. If we lock your random thread please don't start another one right away, try to start some real topics.
If you're gone from the forum for a period of time (anywhere between two weeks and one year) we'd love to hear an update on what's gone on with your life so we can welcome you back. Please post this in Random Weirdos or someplace like that. Do not post in Newbies. You are not new, you do not get the same attention, judgment, and discussion that a genuine newbie gets.
Avoid excessive quoting. Remove extra text inside the quote tags to save space.
Never quote an image. We saw it once, we don't need to see it again.
- No more than five lines.
- No images, except emoticons (keep to minimum).
- Nothing offensive, distracting, or annoying.
There isn't an automatic process that keeps these in check for us, we just ask that every member keep his/her signatures within the guidelines as a courtesy. If you mess up, one of our friendly moderators will set you straight by editing your signatures... don't be offended, it happens all the time.
Will get you banned. Duh.
If you want to link to your blog or website in a non-spammy way, you can:
- have the link in your signature
- partially cross post (ie, "here are some pants I've made, a tutorial is on my website")
You can make a post about your website, as long as we feel like the intention of the post is to facilitate discussion here and not JUST to drive traffic to your site. If you get visitors, it has to be a byproduct of the good discussion you create.
If you talk about a book, movie, or anything with a plot, it's polite to leave out any "spoilers"... tidbits of information or surprises that people are supposed to slowly figure out on their own while enjoying the plot. If possible, we encourage you to try not to post spoilers at all.
If you must post a topic with spoilers, put [SPOILERS] in the topic title so no unknowing persons fall victim by clicking.
For the text in your topic, and all other replies, use the bbcode
andaround your text so it's hidden. People can highlight it to read what you wrote.
Stars under your name are there to make you feel special.
You get a star under your name when you reach 4 posts, and another one after that whenever your post count doubles (8, 16, 32, etc)
Please use a specific, informative subject line when creating new topics. Do not make a topic called "I am so mad!" in Ranting... that's sort of obvious. Never use a subject like, "A question for you all..." or "A thought I had...". Tell us something we don't know.
Use whatever words you feel are appropriate. We don't censor swear words here, unless you're really annoying about them.
A troll is someone who makes irrelevant or purposefully offensive posts in order to invoke emotional responses. A troll is not looking out for the forum's best interest or trying to generate good conversation, just seeing who he/she can anger. The act of disrupting the forum in this way is referred to as trolling. Trolls are generally recognizable and uninteresting, although some are able to come off as sincere.
Since trolls are trying to generate lots of angry replies to posts, actually supplying those angry replies is what makes them stick around to keep trolling. Replying to a troll, especially in an emotional-sounding state, is known as feeding the troll.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not a user is a troll or just ignorant. Generally, it is best to bring it to a moderator's attention and they will discuss whether or not to ban, warn etc. Mods are usually good about getting rid of the evidence of a troll. Usually telling the troll upfront that they're trolling isn't productive. Keep in mind that with the new forum, you can add someone to your Foe list and not have to see their posts.
The golden rule is: DNFTT (Do Not Feed the Trolls)
If you have been accused of being a troll, the best thing to do is to step back and read the FAQ ten times. You could be trolling and not even fully realize it. Flame-wars only solidify your position as a troll.
Only spacefem can change your username, and she will only do it if you follow these steps:
- Post a new poll in polls with options: "Change my name to [newname]" and "Make me stick with [oldname]". You can have more than one "Change my name to [newname]" option if you're not entirely sure what the new name should be.
- Set it to last five days
- In the body of your poll, explain your reasons for wanting to change. You have to have a good reason... your existing username is crap, or too similar to someone else's, or it's different from what you're called on other websites now. That sort of thing.
- If most people support you, we'll change your name. You might have to PM spacefem to remind her that your poll is complete.