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Rules & Guidelines

Mission Statement

As a community of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, our aim is to provide a civil environment, informative, respectful and welcoming where people of diverse beliefs can discuss, compare and debate religion while engaging in fellowship with one another.

Policies

Comments made by any member of ReligiousForums.com do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ReligiousForums.com, its owner, or staff.

Each member is allowed one login account. Registering with multiple accounts is not permitted and the multiple accounts will be removed. If the creation of multiple accounts continues an IP ban can result.

The ReligiousForums.com staff has the unlimited right to edit, delete, split, merge, move or make any other changes to threads and posts that violate Religious Forums rules, cause confusion, are off topic, or warrant a thread of their own. The author might or might not be notified of changes.

The ReligiousForums.com staff try to ensure that posts that break the rules of the Forums are dealt with quickly and fairly, however we do not always see these posts immediately. If you feel a post breaks the rules of the forum, please use the REPORT button (a red triangle icon) found in the upper right corner of all posts. This will alert all Religious Forums staff on duty that there is a post that needs attention. We will then take such action as is necessary and/or appropriate. You will receive a PM from a member of staff confirming the receipt of the report. Please be patient and refrain from replying harshly to posts you find offensive or inappropriate, or from commenting on the need for moderation in the open threads.

We reserve the right to ban anyone who willfully, repeatedly, or maliciously violates the forum rules. ReligiousForums staff will be the sole arbitrator of whether or not a rule is violated, as well as the sole arbiter of whether a rule has been willfully, repeatedly, or maliciously violated.

We will always aim to remain unbiased when applying the rules.

Remember, topics of faith and religion can be very personal and emotional. While we welcome vigorous and earnest debate, please keep in mind that even though the posts may appear as words on your monitor, there is a very real human person on the other side of those posts who may be emotionally invested in what he or she writes, and may respond accordingly.

Forum Rules

  1. Personal comments about Members and Staff
  2. Discussion/Dispute of Moderation
  3. Trolling and Bullying
  4. Solicity/Advertising and Off-Topic Spam
  5. Obscene Language and Adult/Violent Content
  6. Illegal Activities
  7. Quotations and Citations/References
  8. Preaching/Proselytizing
  9. Subverting/Undermining the Forum Mission
  10. Debating in Non-debate Forums or Posting in DIR/ONLY Forums

Banning and infraction procedures:

The usual course of action is gradual. Typically, a member is first warned by a PM from a moderator explaining the rule they broke. The next step, if the member violates the rules in their next posts, is an official warning. When these do not work, infractions are issued.

Typical infraction is 1 point, lasting for 30 days. The infractions are only visible to the user who got them and the staff. Each next offense costs another point.

4 active points put a member on a restricted status for one week. While restricted, the member can view the forums but is not authorized to post, except in a PM.

The restricted status may also be used as a means to immediately stop a poster spamming the forums. In a situation when a moderator's warnings are being ignored, a poster may be instantly put on restricted status. Such restriction will be verified by the staff within the next 24 hours and the poster will be informed of the decision to keep it or reverse it without the need to appeal. Depending on the final verdict, their deleted posts may also be brought back.

When the restriction expires and the member continues to violate the rules, they are next banned for a month. During that period, they do not have access to RF website.

Up to this point (temp ban), at any level, communication with moderators via PM is recommended to ensure mutual understanding of the violation and the course of action. If the member feels they have been treated unfairly, a PM to a smod or an admin can be sent with complaint. The issue will be investigated and the member informed of the result. Offensive, abusive PMs are treated the same as personal attacks on the public boards and are also subject to infractions.

Temporary ban expires after 1 month. If the member again violates the rules, they will be banned permanently.

Each decision is reached by a consensus between several mods so as to avoid any bias and reach a better understanding of the issue at hand. Each moderator's action is logged for the whole staff to see.

Serious offenses are treated more severely: certain steps can be skipped in the above procedure depending on the amount of damage to the forums inflicted by violations. For example, it is possible to be banned immediately for spamming the forums or be restricted for a third trolling post. Decisions to take the faster track are voted on by the whole staff with the exception of obvious spam (selling Nokia and the like).