ALTER CONSTRAINT Terms and Conditions Forum: The Golden Rules

The OpenForum isn't run by rules, per se. Rather, it is moderated by a tight-knit group of moderators who have volunteered to put themselves in the position of making difficult judgment calls. Most of these Guidelines are geared towards just improving the state of the forum through smart tips (using good subject lines is just wise, ya know). Some of these Guidelines are more prohibitive, however, and they function as rules. The rules come in two-forms: the cardinal, and the compulsory.

Cardinal Rules


1 Cardinal Rules are rules meant to provide everyone with a level playing field and reasonable expectations for open and frank engagement. Violations of Cardinal Rules will result in Official Warnings. Accumulation of OWs will result in bans, which may be temporary or permanent, depending on the level of offense. The one exception for this is spamming. This will result in an immediate ban (for obvious reasons).


2 The Forum Usage Agreement must be respected in full.


3 Pay attention to moderation directives. Moderators can give directives in a thread (e.g., stop posting off-topic, stop bad behavior, etc). Everyone is expected to abide by such directives, but users who do not agree with the fairness of the directives may appeal such directives to the moderators corps via email. Appeals are not to be made in threads.


4 Directives may be general ("stop being so hostile") to specific ("no more talk about chili"), and are intended to keep a thread from completely derailing.


5 No trolling. Don't make posts that are inflammatory just to get people riled up. Substance is a key to not being labeled a troll, but substance alone cannot prevent you from being considered a troll. Substance with a dash of personal attacks will get you labeled as a troll.


6 Ad hominem and personal attacks are not permitted. Criticize the ideas, not the people. An ad hominem attack is a logical fallacy describing the attempt to discredit an argument by merely attacking the credibility of the arguer. Excessive flaming will not be tolerated. Users who verbally assault the character or person of other posters on a regular basis will be banned. Moderator's judgment applies here. "You are wrong" is not a personal attack; "You wrong because you are an idiot" probably. Persistent name-calling in the absence of content will likely be assessed as a violation of this rule.


7 No pornographic, sexually offensive, sexually explicit, or objectifying material.


8 Respect the privacy of others. Do not post other's private phone numbers, addresses, pictures, etc., without their express permission.


9 Abuse of editing privileges is not permitted. Editing posts for grammar or information is fantastic, but after an initial grace period of 10 minutes, users may not delete/edit content for the purpose of evading possible moderation (removing flames, trolls, etc.). Also, starting a thread, not liking how it turns out, and then deleting your own posts is irresponsible and unfair, and an actionable offense. It's simply not cool to troll users and then delete it, acting as if nothing has happened.


10 Each forum member may have only one account.


11 Each forum member must maintain e-mail. All users must provide a current, frequently read e-mail address in his/her internal profile.


12 And of course, NO SPAMMING. No commercial-oriented posts, and no flooding with useless content or content designed to engage readers into forum wars or trolling other sites. This includes signatures with links to your personal blog, project, or commercial product as well as usernames that contain URLs in whole or part.

Effective from 1st January, 2011