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RF Rules

Discussion in 'Forum News and Announcements' started by Rex, Nov 5, 2014.

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  1. Rex

    Rex Founder

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    3,971
    Ratings:
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    Religion:
    I won't tell
    RF 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 Religious Forums.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 RULE ENFORCEMENT

    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).

    Summary of RF Rules
    1. Personal comments about Members and Staff
    2. Discussion/Dispute of Moderation
    3. Trolling and Bullying
    4. Soliciting/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
     
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  2. Rex

    Rex Founder

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    3,971
    Ratings:
    +355
    Religion:
    I won't tell
    FORUM RULES

    All of the following rules apply to any content on the forums, including but not limited to: posts, conversations (private messages), profile messages, chat messages, signatures, home page links, etc. The staff will not patrol private messages but will apply the rules to them if and when they are reported.


    If you feel content breaks the rules of the forum, please click the REPORT button associated with the content. For rule violations in the chat room, please take screen captures and post them in Site Feedback.

    1. Personal Comments About Members and Staff
    Personal attacks and name-calling, whether direct or in the third person, are strictly prohibited on the forums. Critique each other's ideas all you want, but under no circumstances personally attack each other or the staff. Quoting a member's post in a separate/new thread without their permission to challenge or belittle them, or harassing staff members for performing moderation duties, will also be considered a personal attack.

    2. Discussion/Dispute of Moderation
    To ensure that members respect and abide by moderation decisions, and to respect the privacy and reputation of our members, there must be no discussion of the moderation of content or members in public areas. Furthermore, members whose content was acted upon (either edited or deleted) may not re-post the content anywhere on the forum without staff permission.

    In all cases of dispute, members are to create a thread in the Site Feedback forum and politely discuss their case with the staff team, rather than with individual staff members. Threads in Site Feedback will only be visible to the member who created the thread and the staff team. Site Feedback discussions are considered part of moderation between members and staff and may not be discussed in public areas. General issues and concerns about moderation can also be directed to Site Feedback.

    3. Trolling and Bullying
    Where Rule 1 covers personal attacks, Rule 3 governs other behaviors and content that can generally be described as being a jerk. Unacceptable behaviors and content include:

    1) Content (whether words or images) that most people would find needlessly offensive, especially when such content is posted just to get a rise out of somebody and/or is not part of a reasoned argument.

    2) Defamation, slander, or misrepresentation of a member's beliefs/arguments, or that of a particular group, culture, or religion. This includes altering the words of another member to change their meaning when using the quote feature.

    3) Antagonism, bullying, or harassment - including but not limited to personal attacks, slander, and misrepresentation - of a member across multiple content areas of the forums. Repeatedly targeting or harassing members of particular groups will also be considered bullying.

    4. Soliciting/Advertising and Off-Topic Spam
    Soliciting or advertising for any content outside of the forums, whether your own or that of another person or group, is prohibited, and may be deleted by the staff on sight. This rule applies to any content area of the forum, including but not limited to the chat room, forum posts, profile information, private conversations, and signatures. Special exception may be granted to promote content in keeping with the mission of RF, but requires advance permission from the RF staff.

    Spam or off-topic content is also not allowed on the forums. This includes (but is not limited to) posting links or images without discussion-promoting commentary, posts that deviate significantly from a thread topic or its intent, repetitious non-conversational posts, and any other habits deemed spammy by the staff.

    5. Obscene Language and Adult/Violent Content
    The public content areas of RF must maintain the equivalent of a PG-content rating. This means no profanity, sexually suggestive/explicit content (except in the Eros Room*), or violent/disturbing content. Automated filters catch most, but not all, profane language; members are responsible for ensuring their posts are profanity-free. Use of disturbing content may be acceptable if put in spoilers and it is relevant to the topic of discussion, but gratuitous content is never allowed and spoilered content is still subject to moderation.

    *Sexually explicit content is allowed in the Eros Room (a private group/forum restricted to members 18 years or older), but nowhere else. Pornography and sexually extreme/vulgar content is never permitted, even in the Eros Room.

    6. Illegal Activities
    Advocating or discussing personal engagement in illegal activities or criminal organizations (such as hate groups or terrorist groups) is prohibited in all areas of RF. Illegal activities are defined based on United States law, and include but are not limited to: drug use, theft, piracy, vandalism, and all violent crimes. Voicing opposition to illegal activities and criminal organizations, or debating changes to current criminal law, may be acceptable at the discretion of the RF staff.

    7. Quotations and Citations/References
    Plagiarism is illegal. All quotations, whether to posts of other members or to material external to RF, should be properly referenced or cited. When quoting other members, use the forum's quote feature so the person and material you are responding to are easily referenced (see Rules 1 and 3 for additional guidelines regarding quoting other members' posts). When quoting material external to RF, even if it is your own, always provide a citation and limit your quotation to a paragraph or two rather than quoting the entire content (see Rule 4 for additional guidelines).

    8. Preaching/Proselytizing
    Creating (or linking to) content intended to convert/recruit others to your religion, spirituality, sect/denomination, or lack thereof is not permitted. Similarly, attempting to convert others away from their religion, spiritual convictions, or sect/denomination will also be considered a form of preaching. Stating opinions as a definitive matter of fact (i.e., without "I believe/feel/think" language, and/or without references) may be moderated as preaching.

    9. Subverting/Undermining the Forum Mission
    The mission of Religious Forums is to provide a civil, informative, respectful, and welcoming environment where people of diverse beliefs can discuss, compare, and debate. Content members create while debating and discussing must be done in the spirit of productivity. Bashing other forums, creating unproductive content or responses to others, attempting to use this site as a platform for campaigning for or against or furthering a personal agenda, and attempting to undermine the forum mission may result in moderation.

    10. Debating in Non-debate Forums or Posting in DIR/ONLY Forums
    Religious forums is structured to provide spaces for many different kinds of conversations. Different kinds of conversations belong in different areas of the forum:

    1) Debates should be kept to the debate areas of the forums, including Religious Debates, General Debates, and Political Debates. Debating anywhere other than these forums may result in moderation. Same Faith Debates is governed by special rules described here. Only members of the specified groups(s) can participate in these threads.

    2) All DIR (Discuss Individual Religions) forums are for the use of members who identify with those groups or practices. Debating is not permitted in DIRs; debates between members of specified groups should be posted in Same Faith Debates. Members who do not identify with a DIR group may only post respectful questions; we recommend creating a thread in the Religions Q&A instead where there is more freedom to comment. DIR forums are not to be used as a cover to bash others outside of the DIR group.

    3) The Political World forum has several "only" subforums that are for the use of members who identify with those political leanings. Members who do not identify with those political leanings are not allowed to post there.

    The staff more strictly moderate Rule 10 violations where there is some other rule violation involved, such as preaching in a DIR or trolling a political forum a member doesn't belong to. More benign violations may be subject to informal reminders or moving threads to the appropriate location.

    Private Forums
    These are strictly for members of the indicated group. People other than members of the indicated group are prohibited. For example, to be a member of the Catholic group, you must be a Catholic. To Join a group, click on your username at the top right corner of the screen, click on "Join User Groups," and select the group you would like to join by clicking on the "Join User Group" button. Requests to join user groups must be approved by a member of the staff.

    These rules cover most common situations, but they cannot anticipate everything. Consequently, we reserve the right to take any actions we deem appropriate to ensure these forums are not disrupted or abused in any way.
     
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