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New Board rules - August 28, 2017; last amended on January 18, 2018
Topic Started: Aug 28 2017, 12:57 AM (303 Views)
rhombus
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The Friendly Parallelogram

Good evening, everyone. Due to both recent events in this forum and certain problems that have arisen in other forums, we admins have decided to make some minor revisions to the forum rules. For the most part these are minor adjustments and in keeping with the arrangements that have existed since 2005, but there are a few changes that needed to be made to clarify account name policy, the use of another author’s original characters, intellectual property issues due to certain LBT files being released online by official sources, and the role of specific rules in games and roleplays. We hope that these modifications will ensure that the forum remains a welcoming and civil place while avoiding some of the problems that have arisen in other forums.

The rules of the forum are as follows, with substantive revisions to the previous rules noted in yellow.


Section 1 (general attitudes):

1. No flaming and no trolling of other members. This includes any direct attacks on a different user of the board that is clearly just that, an attack. If one disagrees with a different member it is perfectly fine to say so, and to bring up the own arguments on why you think the other member is mistaken. Just calling him or her names or the like is totally off limits.
2. We will not accept any deliberate discrimination of any member based on race, gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or any personal views that to not seek to cut down the rights of others or foster intolerance.
3. Always keep the difference between facts and personal opinions apart. Do not present your opinion as fact.
4. The GOF is a place open to all age groups, including the youngest. We therefore strictly prohibit the posting of pornographic or other inappropriate material.
5. Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.
6. When posting in a roleplay or game on the forum the established rules of the game or roleplay should be adhered to unless those rules are mutually changed by the participants. The intentional or repeated violation of the rules of a game or roleplay shall be prohibited.
7. In the After Midnight Section special scrutiny may be imposed on posts. If a member posts anything listed on the "Rules and Regulations" topic then special action may be taken against them in order to comply with our legal requirements.


Section 2 (accounts):

1. Each member of the GOF may only have one account and must not assume any additional "fake identities". Violations of this rule will result in banning of the alternate account, and sanctions for the poster, up to and including suspension.
The only exception to the one account per member rule are those testing accounts which may be necessary for admins to test functions of the board. These however must be clearly and publicly be linked to the person holding them (as of now the accounts Petrie and Petrie.) and must never be used to pretend being a different individual.
2. Only one name change shall be permitted per account. Name changes are only permitted if:
a.) An account is less than two weeks old; OR
b.) A person's new name has the same root as their old name (Hypnobrai to Hypno, for example, or Snik to Sneak)

3. Account names will not be permitted which are overtly partisan, racist, sexist, or obviously created for the purpose of trolling. This determination will be made at the discretion of the admins, but it shall not affect any account names created prior to the enactment of this rule (ie. before August 28, 2017).

Section 3 (language):

1. The Gang of Five is a very international community with members from all over the world. With English being the most commonly known language shared by most users of the internet it is also the official language of the GOF. So please don't start entire threads or long messages in languages which would exclude most GOF members from the content of the message (no problem with greetings or jokes that wouldn't work out in other languages, but be ready to translate for everyone else).
2. Avoid the use of offensive or derogative language and don't ever direct it towards other members.

Section 4 (spam & editing):

1. Don't create entirely random/pointless topics which offer no room for any meaningful discussions (e.g. bragging about post counts).
2. Spam by definition means stupid, annoying, pointless messages, so that would definitely not include certain messages even though they would rarely spark in depth discussion (e.g. birthday congratulations, or messages which for themselves don't have much meaning but are part of a game or the like).
3. The content of messages once posted should not be changed. We strongly discourage anything but typo correction in messages more than a day old. If you change a previous viewpoint or want to clarify something that was ambiguous or difficult to understand in a previous message please do so in a new post. Just deleting entire messages and replacing them with something along the lines of “nevermind” or “ignore” can be considered a breach of the rules.

Section 5 (file sharing):

1. Sharing and requesting copies of both the original LBT film and its direct-to-video sequels is strictly prohibited on the Gang of Five.
2. The following files may still be shared:
a.) TV episodes (low quality only)
b.) Songs/music (low quality only)
c.) Screenshots
d.) Music Videos
e.) Links to such audio or video as is openly shared by Universal studios on its official website or official social media accounts

Section 6 (fanart and fanfictions):

1. Though fanart and fanfictions are welcomed and encouraged on the forum, the use of another author’s original character in those works shall require the express consent of the creator of the original character.
2. The posting of another artist’s work is to be expressly identified as such and may only be posted with the consent of the original artist, giving them credit for the artwork in the post. The same policy shall apply to re-tracings of another artist’s work.


Section 7 (actions unbecoming of a forum member):

1. If all admins of the GOF unanimously agree that the attitude or actions of a member are harmful to the community or compromising the peace among the community in spite of being no outright violations of the points listed in sections 1 to 6 and if the member continues that kind of attitude or actions the staff reserves the right to impose those sanctions on the member which are felt to be necessary to put an end to the harmful attitudes.

Section 8 (consequences):

1. The consequences for rule violations depend on a number of factors the most important of which are severity, deliberateness and frequency in case of repeated violations. Sanctions imposed are never the judgment of one admin only (excepting cases of first time post commercial spammers or porn posters which we will get rid of right away).
2. Consequences can range from PM notifications about problematic behavior, about a rise of the warning level which may be combined with temporary suspensions. We are not eager for this but if the majority of the admin staff agrees that the attitudes of a member result in him or her causing more harm than benefit to the community the last measure would be a total and permanent ban from the GOF.
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