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General Policy and Rules

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General Policy and Rules

Post  Admin on Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:48 am

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

Adult Content, Violence, Illegal Activity:
Messages containing violent, sexually oriented, or illegal content or links to sites with this content will either be deleted or saved in the Jail 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.
Trolling, Attacks and Flaming:
These are always forbidden.
Trolling is posting in a way that provokes emotional responses.
Attacks and derogatory terms of any kind are not welcome. This includes references to other operating systems and the companies that produce them.
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 moderators discretion.
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.
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.

Spam (unsolicited advertising):
Spam will be moved to Spamalot in the forum Jail 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.

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.

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

Thread Drifting/Steering:
Please keep discussions on topic. Topics that do not belong in the technical or 3rd party project sections belong in the Cafe, if they fit the posted rules in the Cafe.

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.

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.

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 Linux site with more information. You may also link to your personal site.

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

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 proselytising. Political avatars are not permitted at all.

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.

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.

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 jail 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.

Thread Closing:
Staff are not required to do so, but are 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:
The thread has run it's course and posts have begun repeating themes
The thread has degraded into an argument
The thread topic is a duplicate of another current and active thread
The thread is very old.

Jailing 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 jail instead.

Staff:
Staff are chosen by the Forum Council. 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 Forum Council is unlikely to comment publicly on these recommendations.

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.

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 first post in the Resolution Center and a member of the Forum Council will respond. You may appeal to the entire Forum Council if you are unsatisfied. After these avenues have been exhausted, you may open a complaint with the forum admin.

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