February 14, 2018 at 4:51 am #1755
The following rules govern use of the forums. You are also responsible for reading and abiding by the HOBY Code of Conduct and the Social Media Code of Conduct. Members should observe both the letter and the spirit of these rules. Users are also responsible for following forum-specific rules posted at the tops of specific forums. Failure to do so could result in your termination from the forums and could impact your ability to participate in future HOBY NY East events.
Each member is responsible for only his or her own posts. If another member breaks rules, you may ignore them or report the problem to the moderators, but you may not use it as an excuse to break rules yourself.
Volunteer moderators help us manage the forums and enforce the forum rules. The moderators cannot read every message, so they rely on members to report problem posts that they encounter. The point of moderation is not to limit discussion, promote or suppress points of view, or any other secret agenda. The goal of moderation is to keep the forums enjoyable and free from problems that detract from the experiences of our users.
Instantly Bannable Offenses
These offenses can result in temporary forum suspensions or permanent bans. If you get a warning, heed it!
- Insults. Direct personal insult of another forum member (e.g., “You are an idiot.”) and other name-calling. Why? Because this isn’t grade school. People should be able to discuss or even dispute other’s posts without insulting people. You may dispute somebody’s opinion but not attack/flame the person who stated it. There are a lot of other non-direct-personal insults that won’t necessary get you banned instantly, but depending on the context/nature may lead to post editing, post deletion, warnings, or time-outs. They include telling people to shut up, describing a member as an ignorant person (rather than ignorant about a particular topic), and being extremely or repeatedly rude or sarcastic. It’s not your place to tell other users they are not welcome; if they follow the rules, they are welcome. Bottom line — don’t try to tick off others and don’t make discussions unnecessarily personal. If somebody else insults you, report their post; their post does not give you a license to break the rules by returning their insults. Although we do not read Private Messages sent between forum members, the rules for appropriate and inappropriate content apply to them as well.
- Harassment. Purposely intimidating a particular member, harassing them, sending them rude or unwanted private messages, etc. This includes personal attacks on moderators for doing their jobs.
- Threats. Any threat or intimation of a threat.
- Registration rules. Violation of the rules you agreed to when registering for the site: that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violate any laws.
- Multiple registration. You may register only one account. Reinstatement of banned or cancelled accounts can come only from an administrator.
- Hoaxes. Purposely misleading other members to their detriment. Giving advice you know to be incorrect or harmful. Sensationalism.
- Trolling. Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions. For a given post, this can be a subjective call, but a pattern of such posting or an especially egregious case will get you banned.
- Advertising. Using the forums for advertising, site or product promotion, or for business deals and offers. You may not make posts to promote commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites, products, or services. Threads will be deleted if their purpose is to advertise, announce, or promote products, services, or organizations, build traffic at other websites, carry out business activities, or for similar purposes that do not benefit our forum community.
- Shilling. If you pretend to be a consumer who recommends your own product(s) or favors your own product(s) over others, without admitting your affiliation, you will be banned. Vendors who post in threads only to criticize a competitor’s product while promoting their own will also be banned.
- Soliciting. You may not use the forums to solicit donations, votes, or participants for surveys, contests, petitions, or product testing.
- Self-promotion. Self-promotional links to your blog, video channel, product, business, etc. are limited to your forum signature and your profile, even if you have a wonderful and useful site, blog, product, or business.
Memberships created solely for these purposes will be banned.
Things Not to Do
These habits can produce warnings and repeated violations can produce bans.
- Inappropriate posting in a debate. The Rules for Appropriate Debate apply when users disagree with each other. We insist on a certain level of respect and civility toward other users, even when your viewpoints differ, and prohibit posts that attack posters personally or serve only to anger others (see “trolling” above).
- Frivolous and one-word posts. Such posts waste everyone’s time and will be deleted. Examples includes posts with only one or two words (e.g., “cool”, “LOL”, or a smilie), posts celebrating being the first post in a thread, posts saying “I agree”, “+1”, “this”, “me too”, or the equivalent, posting overused memes, or making posts with images or videos that contain no relevant, constructive text or commentary. If you aren’t interested in a thread, skip the thread; don’t post to tell us you aren’t interested.
- Overposting. Making the same post many times, making multiple pointless posts in the same thread, making numerous posts with no real content, or posting for the purpose of gaining a higher post count.
- Reposting. Please don’t repost entire articles from other sites. To initiate a discussion about an article, post a link to the article, quote a bit of it if you like, and include your own comments or questions so people know why you think it’s worthy of discussion.
- Referral links and pyramid schemes. HOBY does not condone multi-level marketing schemes (e.g. free iPods or Macs if you refer X number of people). Members who post referral links to these or other sites will have their posts/signatures edited and may be warned. New members who post solely for this purpose will be subject to bans under the Advertising rule.
- Instructing other members to search. Instructing members to search themselves for an answer or responses such as LMGTFY (“Let me google that for you”) are experienced as rude and condescending. We don’t have an issue with people linking to Google search results, although we prefer that members also link to a specific page that addresses the question being posed. A few words explaining how you got your search results makes your response even more helpful.
- Warez/Serials/Keys. Do not post software serial numbers or keys or refer people to specific websites, software, or techniques whose purpose is to break or bypass software licensing methods, distribute cracks, or obtain or use commercial software or media in violation of its license and/or for copyright violation. Do not ask for or give such help.
- Shared accounts. Accounts are to be used by only one person, and not shared between family members, friends or any other people. Registration is free, so there is no reason not to create a unique account for each person. You are responsible for any posts made with your account.
- Profanity. The profanity filter is there for a reason. Do not circumvent it by using the language we intend to exclude or disguising those words. If a word is replaced by asterisks when you Preview or Submit a post, you know it’s on the list.
- Repeated problems. Any ongoing actions that make more work for the moderators and administrators or regularly annoy other members and require moderator action. We have hundreds of thousands of forum members to serve and can’t spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with problems caused by any one member. If your membership is an ongoing detriment to our community then your membership may be terminated.
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