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Discussion Groups: Rules

Last updated February 3, 2009

The eBrandon.ca groups are intended as a place for free expression of thoughts, opinions and general discussion for people of all interests. We take pride in allowing as free of conversation as possible, however in order to maintain the quality of discussion (and keep ours and your butts out of jail) we ask that a few simple rules be followed.


POSTING RULES: UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Below are the specific rules this site is operated under. In nearly all situations, we are very respecting in initially communicating when rules have been broken (warnings) but have a responsibility to other members to be increasingly intollerant of repeat breakings.

Flaming: Do not post any messages that harass, insult (name calling), belittle, threaten or mock other members. Debates are fine, but critique the opinion, not the person. Personal attacks are not permitted. Do not use sweeping generalizations and plural pronouns to cloak personal attacks. For example if a poster(s) states that he thinks 'x' is a good idea, replying that "Anyone who supports 'x' is an idiot" is a personal attack.

Trolling: Do not post topics with the sole purpose of starting a dispute. Note that a person disagreeing with your opinion is NOT trolling, disagreement is a healthy part of debate and is encouraged; keep it civil, even if you're sure the other person is wrong.

Offensive Posts, Links or Images: No NSFW content. NSFW ("Not Safe For Work") is defined as anything that most people would not want seen by their bosses, parents or teachers. Do not use profanity, racial, ethnic, religious, or other slurs and stereotypes, or post sexually-oriented material or any other offensive material. This includes "Victim Pictures" of people and animals after they have been through some form of bodily trauma. Nude and semi-nude images are not to be posted here. That includes your profile picture.

We have members from different ethnicities, religions and other backgrounds. Even if you express a point of view that is very popular within your own circles, it may generate a negative reaction from members who see the world differently so please exercise tact.

Advertising/promoting: Promoting can be defined as giving addresses, phone numbers, times, places of events, businesses or organizations you have a vested interest in (owner, employee, friend or associate of owner) in order to solicit business. Posts directly promoting an event or business you have a stake in are ONLY permitted in the discussion group "The Plug Board" or at the prior approval of site administration. If you solicit in any other discussion group you will be issued a warning and your posts will be deleted. In general, if you're charging money for it, please take out an ad. If it's an event, eBrandon's events calendar is a great completely free way to get the word out. eBrandon has a ton of other great ways to promote what you do. Please contact us to discuss, or check out http://www.ebrandon.ca/advertise.aspx. You may also promote in a "soft" way. eg. "We're going to be holding Event X next month and are looking for the public's suggestions for a speaker," provided that direct contact information and/or a solicitation for business are not present.

Posting or private messaging to sell, buy, or trade products or services, links to auctions, affiliate links, links to promote personal or commercial websites, blogs, other forums and so forth is not allowed anywhere without explicit permission (please use the classifieds for buying an selling). Abuse of the PM system is based on member complaints. Unsolicited advertising may result in a permanent ban. While we encourage posters to cite sources and articles with links to websites, they are not to be posted by members with a vested interest in bringing traffic to those sites. In other words, if you work for a site (paid or not), do not post links to its articles. If you wish to advertise on eBrandon please use the contact link at the top of this page.

No Disclosure of Personal Information: Do not disclose any other member's email, real name, address, phone number, IP address, or other personal information. This includes the posting contents of emails, private messages, warnings, and bans. Do not bring personal disputes into the forums.

Copyrighted Material: Generally you can assume that anything you find online is copyrighted. We prefer you post a synopsis in your own words and the link to the article. It's permissible to quote up to 20 lines of text and you must provide commentary. Please do not copy and paste entire articles.

Warez: Do not use these forums (this includes Private Messages) to swap/sell/buy illegal software (or other illegal materials), or to arrange swapping. No linking to "underground" or "pirate" sites to get copyrighted materials, or asking for said sites. This includes FTP servers, websites, and the like. Soliciting invites to said sites is not permitted. Discussion of widely- known, established filesharing services (such as Kazaa) or websites (Digital Archive Project) is acceptable.

Off-Topic Posting: Posts are to be on the topic of the board description where they're posted, and should be related to the topic being discussed in a given thread. Off Topic posts may be removed, moved or closed at the moderators discretion.

Thread Bumping: Do not post in a thread, simply stating along the lines of "I just thought this message should be bumped up." No matter how important or honorable the subject, the intention of the "Active" topics list is to indicate to those browsing the site which threads have new posts sharing new thoughts. If you truly believe a thread should show among the active topics, please contribute a meaningful post.

Misleading Titles: In eBrandon discussion groups, the subject line of the post should be as informative as possible about the content of the post. This makes it as easy as possible for everyone to follow what's going on, while at the same time reducing duplicate posts.

Duplicate Posts: Please check the currently active topics to ensure that a discussion does not already exist on the topic you are starting one one. A list of active topics can be viewed by hovering your mouse over top of "Discussion Groups" in the top navigation bar and selecting "New/Active Discussions." Duplicate or similar threads are subject to being merged, closure or deletion at the discretion of the moderator.

Libel: Any posts libeling local people, businesses. It's not acceptable to post that you heard Business Owner X has a drinking/drug/sex/personal problem from a "good" source. Do not post information which can be considered defamatory without a link to a credible media source. Other forums, personal websites, hearsay, and personal testimonials are not considered credible. This is not to be confused with an opinion on the job performance of local politicians, athletes and other known public figures. As the public has a stake/interest in their performance, one is entitled to state opinions (positive or negative) within respectible bounds so long is it is related to that job performance.

Business complaints: Considering this site's large local audience, it may be tempting to make use of it to embarass a business in a specific situation where you perceive to have been wronged. Because of potential legal implications, complaints about specific business dealings are not allowed (eg. "I went to Joe's Diner last night and there was a hair in my soup! Nobody should ever eat there!"). In general, the topic of a new discussion should not be "Do not support business X." Not to be confused with debating known and generally accepted facts about businesses in discussions where a poster has asked for a recommendation (eg. This is okay: "I don't like shopping at Widget Mart, their location is too far from home." Or "Widget Service Inc is owned by an American firm, I prefer to support Canadian"). Should it be interpreted that you have a vested interest in a competitor to a business (owner, employee, friend or associate) any post interpreted as criticizing a competitor with malicious intent will be removed.

Playing the Role of Moderator: Please do not correct other posters as if you were a site moderator. If a thread or post violates the rules use the "Report This" link.. Editorial comments such as "useless thread", "in before the lock", "this thread should be closed", etc. on the value of a thread or post are not welcome. This may also be considered spam as it adds nothing to the discussion as well as thread-hijacking as it takes the thread off topic. If you don't like a thread and it doesn't break any rules don't reply to it! More often than not, that causes more problems than it fixes. Let us handle what is ours to handle.

Moderator Abuse (Attacking/Disobeying the moderators): If you disagree with something the moderators did, fine, disagree and let us know, but do it politely through PM or email ONLY. Complaining on the forums is not permitted. If your thread or post was moved/closed/removed there was a good reason for it. Do not start a new one. Attacking or flaming a moderator may result in loss of the use of this site. Be respectful and considerate. Profanity and abusive conduct isn't tolerated.

Do not cite your right to free speech or call censorship. It does not apply to the private sector. We take pride in allowing as free of conversation as possible, but this is a privately owned website with a fairly standard set of rules in place to ensure a positive, respectful environment for all and to ensure it stays a responsible member of the real world community it is a part of.

Spamming: Please do not double post or cross-post the same message in multiple discussion groups.

Do not post on behalf of someone who's banned. That'll probably get you banned, too. The idea of being banned is that they're no longer a part of this online forum community and are no longer allowed to interact here. No making threads that give glory to banned people. It's not a violation to mention them in passing but no threads that focus on them. ("Ah, TrollDuJour, I miss him so!" "or Hey, it's TrollduJour's birthday!") Prohibited threads include "What banned member do you miss/would you bring back?" type of threads. They're banned; don't give them that attention. If a moderator gives you specific instructions in a warning, and you blatantly disregard it, you are subject to being banned.

Discussion of illegal drugs should be kept within academic or newsworthy limits only. "How to" discussions and "I'm so stoned" posts may result in repercussions ranging from a warning to immediate and permanent banning, depending on previous history, context of post and nature/content of post. Promotion of anything illegal is strictly prohibited.

One Account per User: multiple accounts are not permitted. If you have a good reason for needing more than one account, contact an administrator and ask for permission.

Thread Hijacking: taking a thread off-topic to pursue one's own agenda.

Shouting: excessive use of caps, large fonts.

Circumvention of a temporary ban, or any other moderation by registering another account will result in a minimum 30 day ban to a maximum permanent ban.

Undefined: This is a long list of rules, but obviously it can't anticipate every situation. For that reason, eBrandon reserves the right to remove any user at any time for any reason. If we think you're trying to manipulate the system, you'll be removed.

Should you notice a violation of this rules that has gone un-noticed, please contact the site administrator immediately using this form. All complaints will be dealt with as promptly as reasonable.

Thank you to all for your co-operation and thank you to all who take part in discussions in the groups.