This is the place for Forum Rules and Frequently Asked Questions. All new members MUST read the posts in this section.
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:41 pm


Postby Schwartzritter » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:33 pm

Forum Rules

The following list reflects the rules or expected behavior for member participation on the Aquarian Community Forums. All members, by signing up for the forums, agree to comply with these rules. All members are required to read this list of rules and abide by them. Ignorance is no excuse for noncompliance. This list of Forum Rules supersedes the former Rules of Conduct from the previous incarnation of the Aquarian Community Forums.

In order to foster a friendly, open environment that encourages members to post in discussions, the following actions are prohibited on the forums. These actions are listed in tiers to reflect severity.

Tier I Prohibited Actions
• Spamming
• Trolling, Flaming or Harassing of members
• Direct threats of aggression and violence against members
• Usage of Proxy Servers*
• Proselytization
• Hate Speech or related propaganda
• Posting Pornography
• Cyberstalking (May result in legal action, as required)
• Ban Circumvention (Repeated circumventions may be construed as cyberstalking)
• Usage of the PM or E-Mail system to commit any Prohibited Action, regardless of Tier.
• Advocation or encouragement of illegal activities.

Tier II Prohibited Actions

• Disruptive behavior not consistent with any Tier I Prohibited Action
• Replying to posts made by members who are violating Tier I Prohibitions (i.e. replying to a troll)
• Necroposting
• Excessive bumping or repeatedly asking the same question.
• Multiple posts for a single response to inflate post count.
• Open requests for a Moderator or Administrator position.
• Negative, provocative criticism of the Forum Staff on the open forums (All issues should be dealt with privately)
• Thread Hijacking
• Plagiarism (May be elevated to Tier I depending upon severity)
• Propagation of Conspiracy Theories (can be elevated to Tier I at Staff discretion).
• Providing Personal Information in Forum Posts.

Tier III Prohibited Acts
• Off-topic posts.
• Repeatedly asking questions that have already been answered by Forum Staff
• Frivolous, meaningless posts to elevate post count to preemptively remove new member status.
• Asking questions that are clearly answered on the website or elsewhere in the Forums.
(It is the responsibility of members to see if a prospective question already has an answer either on the website or the forums)
• Any other disruptive action that is not expressly defined in the current or preceding Tiers.

Administrative Action Bans

Administrative Action Bans are permanent or temporary bans that are issued by the Forum Staff for the integrity of the forums. These bans are primarily issued to preempt foreseen violations of Tier I prohibited actions. Actions that result in Administrative Action Bans include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Admission or discovery of member being under 18 years of age at the time of registration
• Admission or discovery of member being a member of a group or organization that is in diametric opposition or openly hostile to the Aquarian Community Forums
• Admission or discovery of member having history of major psychological disorder.
• Admission or discovery of member having multiple, active accounts.

Administrative Action Bans are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and the permanence thereof is determined on an individual basis. In most instances, the ban is permanent. The Aquarian Community Forums reserves the exclusive right to deny membership to any new member whose posts provide probable cause of a violation of any of the aforementioned articles or Administrative Ban clauses.

Adjudication of Members who commit Prohibited Acts

Violation of Tier I Prohibited Actions: Permanent, lifetime ban of member.
Violation of Tier II Prohibited Actions: Warning issued on both open forum and on User Account page. Accumulation of three (3) warnings in a 180-day period will earn a permanent, lifetime ban.
Violation of Tier III Prohibited Actions: Warning issued in open forums. Three (3) instances of a Tier III violation result in a warning issued on the User Account page, which comply with Tier II Violation Adjudication. The user will also receive a temporary ban of 7-30 days, at the discretion of the moderator or administrator.

Ban Appeals Process

If a member is banned for any reason other than a Tier I offense, the member may contact to make a ban appeal. Each member may receive one (1) appeal for their account. In the appeal, the member may explain their actions to the staff, who will evaluate the situation and decide whether to uphold or overturn the ban. Should the ban be overturned, the member’s account will receive an annotation indicating the usage of the appeal. Should the member be banned again, no further appeals will be honored. Furthermore, should the member circumvent the ban and gain access to the forums during an active appeal process, the member will forfeit their only chance for an overturn.

Complaint Process

Should a member have a problem with either a member of the forum or a member of the staff, members are required to PM the complaint to a moderator or administrator to explain the conflict. Moderators and Administrators will take action as required by each individual situation. Should the complaint be about a specific member of the forum staff, the complaint should be made to a staff member other than the one in conflict with the member, preferably an administrator. Open complaints about staff constitute a tier II Violation.

Requirements of New Members

All new members will now be allocated to the “new member” forum group. This group is meant to ensure that any new members are aware of the rules and comply with forum protocol. New members have neither access to the PM function, nor the E-mail function. All posts from new members are placed in the moderator queue for approval before posting. ALL NEW MEMBERS ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE AN INTRODUCTORY POST. No new members will have posts approved without an introductory post. Should a new member continue posting despite not having an introductory post, the member’s account will receive an administrative ban. New members have their “new member” status lifted after 25 posts.

Personally Identifiable Information

The Aquarian Community Forums insists that members DO NOT provide personally identifiable information on the open forums. This is for one's own protection in case a malicious person joins for the sake of harassment or other digital mischief. It is permissible in private messages between two or more mutually agreeing members. Posts with personal information will be redacted and repeat violations may necessitate an administrative action ban.

*Addendum regarding Proxy Servers:
The Aquarian Community Forums is aware that some internet service providers, particularly mobile phone companies, use proxy servers to manage traffic. Situations like this force users into an unintended violation of this rule. As such, should a member who is discovered using a proxy server do so through a known ISP, particularly cellular phone companies, no violation will be levied. This provision against proxy servers is primarily for members who have taken unwarranted steps to preserve anonymity for the sake of causing trouble with a perception of impunity. The Forum Staff will view any usage of proxy servers, other than the aforementioned exception, as a preliminary step towards future rules violations, regardless of the member's past behavior by default.

*Addendum regarding Multiple Accounts:
Members who have lost access to their account MUST e-mail the Forum Staff to resolve the issue. In the event that a new account is made then the Forum Staff must be notified in the member's new introductory post, clearly stating their previous username.
Last edited by Schwartzritter on Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:07 pm, edited 6 times in total.
"One cannot reason with fanatics."
Stern, but fair.

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