Michigan Skeptics Rules
The Michigan Skeptics Message Boards are a public forum and, while we encourage a free flow of information and ideas on the boards, we also ask that you follow a few basic rules. By using or participating on the Michigan Skeptics, you agree to the Rules of Conduct as stated below, as well as the Michigan Skeptics User Agreement.
The Michigan Skeptics Message Boards are a moderated forum. However, the moderators cannot be everywhere and see everything. Because of this, please use these rules as a guideline as to what is and is not allowed, rather than the content of other users posts. If you see something that is against the Board Rules, please report it to the Moderators. Note that the moderators have the final say-so in any situation that you report. They will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action where needed. If you feel a moderator did not handle the situation, please contact the Michigan Skeptics Administrator.
* What Is A Moderator?
A Moderator is a volunteer chosen by the Administrator from among the userbase who gives of his/her valuable time to help keep the boards a fun place for everyone. They try hard to be fair but cannot be everywhere. Because of this, please use these rules as a guideline as to what is and is not allowed, rather than the content of other users posts. If you see something that is against the Board Rules, please report it to the Contact Moderators Thread. Note that the moderators have the final say-so in any situation that you report to the Contact Moderators thread. They will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis and take appropriate action where needed. If you have an issue or question about a moderator, moderation, ban or the board rules, please contact the Michigan Skeptics Administrator.
* What Do Moderators Do?
Moderators monitor board posts and respond to complaints to keep posting free of undesirable content as described in the Board Rules and Michigan Skeptics User Agreement. They enforce the board rules, and can delete posts, edit posts as well as remove any user's ability to visit the boards. Please respect and adhere to moderators warnings, both public and private. Likewise, if your thread was deleted or locked by a moderator, do not repost or attempt to unlock the topic. They deserve respect and appreciation for their time.
If you log onto the Michigan Skeptics Message Boards and receive a message that you have been banned, please submit an unban request and wait for a Michigan Skeptics Moderator to get in touch with you. Bans are private matters between the Moderators and person banned and will not be discussed publicly or through third parties. It is not acceptable to return to the boards under another username. If you do, your ban time may be extended or made permanent.
* What If I Disagree With A Moderator?
Moderators are not perfect and are only human. Disagreements occur. Try to communicate with them first on a respectful level and settle your disagreement. They are not targets for obscenities, flames or general insults. This will only make it harder to be heard. If you do not agree with a decision, you are not entitled to start a thread arguing about the verdict or flaming any of the moderators. Any such messages will be removed. This extends to Private Messages and unban requests as well, and you are not entitled to insult moderators via either of these methods. Also note that bans are between the user banned and the moderators, and moderators cannot respond about bans publicly. Any correspondence about ban length and reason will be handled through unban requests.
If you feel a verdict or ban was unfair, please contact the Michigan Skeptics Moderators before anything else and they will work with you regarding your situation. You are also welcome to contact The Administrator, but be prepared to review the Board Rules again and know that the Administrator is able to verify your accusations. The Michigan Skeptics Administrator will not mediate opinion and will only get involved if Board Rules have been violated.
Following are some things you'll want to keep in mind while posting on the Michigan Skeptics Message Boards. Please read the rules so you will be familiar with them:
* Flaming & Bashing
Hate posts and personal attacks will not be tolerated on Michigan Skeptics. Treat others on these message boards as you would expect them to treat you. Talking trash about another user or posting topics specifically to provoke a negative response from an individual, a group or an entire community is not acceptable on the Michigan Skeptics. These posts will be deleted and will result in a ban.
Board bashing is also not allowed on the Michigan Skeptics. Please respect the various communities on the Michigan Skeptics system. If another board is not your favorite, there's no need to complain about it. Simply refrain from visiting it. Board bashing posts will be deleted.
* Pornography & Sexually Explicit Content
Absolutely no forms of pornography or overly sexually suggestive imagery are allowed on the boards, this includes links and/or posting a name of a porn site. Please see these guidelines for more detailed information on what is acceptable to post. Note that pornography is not limited to images - descriptive sexually explicit posting is also not allowed on the boards. This includes describing sexual acts in a profane manner or using sexual slang terms for body parts or actions. We allow mature discussions of sexuality, but the boards are not your bedroom, local bar, porn shop or back alley. Please keep all discussions on this subject mature and use proper terms.
* Posting "Real Life" Information
Posting any real life information about another user/person is strictly prohibited. This includes such things as full names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Purposely posting links to users social networking pages, websites, school, etc. for the sole purpose of harassment will be severely dealt with and can result in a permanent ban.
Michigan Skeptics will not tolerate hate speech in any form. This includes but is not limited to racist slang terms, hateful comments based on skin color or background, intolerance, gay bashing, sexist or misogynistic material, faith based prejudicial statements, derogatory remarks, and all poor taste jokes about these topics. Also note that using the word "gay" to describe something as stupid/lame/dumb is not allowed. Remember, these boards are open to all walks of life and with that comes the need to respect them all. So leave your hate at the door please.
A Note on Religion; There are many Skeptics who are Atheists, but not all Atheists are skeptics. It is important to respect the views of those with faith and those without. While it is fully expected for there to be lively debate on the topics, remember to avoid flames.
We are all entitled to our opinions and that may include negative opinions about anything, but if you are knowingly or purposely posting to incite anger/negativity on the board or from the community, you will be banned for trolling. These boards are meant for meaningful and sometimes lively discussions and debates, not a place for you to start trouble. Be mindful.
Offensive language is unacceptable. While we may let you get away with anything you might hear on network television (no, NOT cable) or radio, don't go overboard. Additionally, a simple rule to follow is "when in doubt, leave it out." All letters of an offensive word must be edited out. Remember, you don't have to use excessive profanity to get your point across, and it's usually better to avoid it altogether. Profanity in posts will be edited out, and repeat offenders or those who use excessive profanity will be banned. In particular, be careful when quoting outside sources or other users as you are responsible for your own post and everything inside it. When linking to external sites that contain profanity, please include a warning.
Note that as thread titles are more visible than thread content, they are held to a higher standard. Vulgar, obscene, sexual terms, slang terms for body parts, etc. that might otherwise be allowed on the boards should not be used in thread titles.
* Criminal Activity
No discussions of illegal activity will be tolerated on the boards. Any instruction on how to carry out illegal activity or admission of illegal activity will be dealt with harshly. This includes but is not limited to discussions about how to obtain drugs illegally, how to steal, fraud, how to kill someone, rape (including statutory rape), abuse of humans or animals, and auto theft. To sum up, if it's against the law, don't post it.
Purposely spamming a message board with senseless, vacuous, or empty messages is highly frowned upon! This includes such things as party posts, chain letters, two-word "I agree" or "me too" responses, merely posting an icon, one word replies, bumping old topics, +1, "didn't read" or "old", continually posting the same topic or post, posting the same question across several boards and using the Quote feature without contributing anything new to a thread.
On a similar note, participating in spam attacks (post riots, etc.) on Michigan Skeptics or planning a spam attack on Michigan Skeptics Message Boards or any other Website is unacceptable, and these actions will be reported to your ISP.
* Circumventing a Ban
Creating an alternate username and logging into the boards to continue to post will result in added ban time to your original banned account and the new username will be permanently banned.
* Advertising & Solicitation
Posting for the pure purpose of driving traffic to your own website is not allowed. This includes any pyramid schemes, free offers, other board systems, money making ventures, etc. These boards are not an advertising platform for you to use. Spam advertising via the Private Message system will result in immediate termination of your account.
* Impersonating Other Users / Accessing Another User's Account
You may not impersonate another board member or create an account specifically for the purpose of provoking other users. Also, accessing or using someone else's account or attempting to access another poster's account is strictly prohibited. If you engage in this type of behavior, you will be barred from the boards permanently.
* Altering Board Code
Altering or changing Michigan Skeptics code and/or exploiting code bugs for purposes other than what the message boards were intended to do is strictly prohibited. On a similar note, using automatic scripts on any part of Michigan Skeptics is also not permitted. Hacking, altering board code, exploiting code bugs and using scripts are all grounds for an immediate and permanent ban.
* Off-Topic Posts
Okay, so you probably won't get banned for an off-topic post, but c'mon, try to post suitable subjects on each of the appropriate boards. Off-topic posts will most likely be deleted, and further action may be taken against repeat offenders. If you think there should be a forum for the subject you had in mind please feel free to suggest it.
* Posting Huge Images / HUGE Signature Pics
Out of respect for your modem brethren, please let them know if your thread contains a number of large images. A simple **Modems Beware!** in the subject line will go a long way in helping those who are broadband-challenged know not to open a thread that might bring their web browsing to a crawl. Also, if you must use HUGE signature pictures, please limit it to one 15k or less image since huge pictures slow down the boards for everyone. Please be aware that all of the forum rules apply equally to signatures.
* Questionable Content
Since we can't have a rule to cover everything, this is the rule to, well, cover everything. There are public boards as well as member's only, so act like you would if you were in a public place. Michigan Skeptics reserves the right to choose the guidelines of objectionable content based on its knowledge of users and policy. These issues are left to the discretion of the individual moderators, but may include any material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, misleading, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, racist, sexist, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy or that otherwise violates any law or encourages conduct constituting a criminal offense.
We can't always promise you'll receive a warning every time action has to be taken. By registering at the Michigan Skeptics Message Boards, users agree that any post deemed inappropriate may be removed at the sole discretion of Michigan Skeptics. Michigan Skeptics also has the right, at its sole discretion, to revoke board privileges at any time without notice or reason. Think of these rules as a forewarning and, if you break them, you're taking your account status into your own hands.
Also note that the Board Rules extend to all areas of Michigan Skeptics Message Boards system, including but not limited to Private Messages, Signatures, and Unban Requests. This also includes asking for or offering anything against the Board Rules via Private Messages.
Michigan Skeptics is not responsible for messages posted on Michigan Skeptics or the content therein. Unless expressly stated otherwise, this includes messages posted by Michigan Skeptics personnel, agents, representatives et al. Michigan Skeptics reserves the right to reveal the identity of or whatever information we know about any user in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any message posted by said user.
Michigan Skeptics has the right but not the obligation to monitor and/or moderate the Michigan Skeptics. Michigan Skeptics reserves the right to change any or all other parts of this User Agreement at its sole discretion and without notice, including but not limited to implementing Rules of Conduct, Terms of Service and/or other measures.