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> Posting Guidelines, A guide to interpreting the rules
dwb
post 4 Feb 2013, 19:58
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Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,501
Joined: 17-January 06
From: Central southern England
Member No.: 507



GENERAL

We consider this a "family site" and the guidelines we use to moderate the discussion forums are loosely based on the "12" rating for films. Therefore, profanity should be avoided, as well as any other inappropriate conduct, as outlined in the general site rules.

The MRF membership reflects a wide variety of ages, native languages, nationalities and cultures. One of the most common causes of conflict is simply the failure to understand and respect their differences so please keep this in mind when posting.

Relationships develop here that result in some degree of banter between members. These may appear to be personal attacks but they are acceptable as long as they are made in good fun and not in poor taste. If you are not the member being addressed in these situations then please do not report these posts unless, of course, their content is particularly offensive and/or violates any of the other general site rules.

There are some terms which have become highly emotive in model railway discussions; "Train set", "box openers" and "rivet counters" are probably top of the list. Whilst there are occasions when using these terms in a self deprecating way is humourous, a lot of the time it just looks like a sly dig at people in another camp. This goes against the inclusive intent of the Forum so their use is discouraged.

FREE SPEECH

This is a constitutional right afforded to citizens of most countries in the world and while you are free to say what you want, you may NOT do so where you want. The Model Rail Forum is a privately owned forum, funded with private funds and legal advertising that go toward paying for bandwidth, software licenses and servers. As a privately owned and financed forum we are not subject to "Freedom of Speech" legislation. With that said, we will allow "free speech" insofar as that free speech does not contravene our forum rules. The rules of the forum are in place to protect the forum and the environment where all our members interact.

DEBATE
Everyone enjoys a good debate; it's one reason for joining the Forum. The difficulties start when emotions are roused and reason takes a back seat. Unlike an argument "down the pub" where hasty words are soon forgotten, an angry post remains unchanged and as stark as when the reply button was hit in the heat of the moment. Few apart from the antagonists enjoy it and there are always more observers than active participants.

Signs that say it's time to call it a day
  • You find you have run out of objective evidence / experience to make your point
  • You have made the same point several times but it's apparently being ignored
  • Nothing you have said has changed your antagonist's mind and you begin to wonder if they're rational
  • You feel hot under the collar and are hammering the keyboard
  • The debate, now an argument, is going round in circles
  • Your opponent appears to enjoy arguing for its own sake and is not interested in the subject at all and has probably shifted the grounds for debate several times
  • One or both sides have started to play the man not the ball

The moderators reserve the right to terminate any debate that is showing one or more of the signs above. Circular bad tempered debates show the Forum in poor light. In normal circumstances a warning that the debate is deteriorating will be given. If there is no sign of improvement then the debate will be locked. This provides a breathing space for people to reflect and collect themselves.

Locking a debate does not make it inaccessible. The debate remains available to be read; no one has been censored. The moderators may re-open the thread if a reasoned case can be made to do so supported by objective evidence that the moderators consider adds to the debate. Repeating previously made points will not be accepted. One way to ensure the debate remains locked is to dispute the decision on the Forum.

Attempts to restart a terminated debate in another topic will be deleted without notice.

ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS

Should you find a post objectionable or offensive, do NOT address the poster in question on the boards. This is inflammatory posting and only serves to incite retaliation and escalate the situation. Please use the report button to notify the moderators of the situation and they will take any action that's deemed necessary. However, please be sure not to abuse the report button by overusing it or making unfounded and/or frivolous reports.

Moderators and Administrators are not obliged to explain or justify any actions or decisions imposed although they do generally post the reason for any such action in the thread in question as a courtesy and to avoid any confusion.

Under no circumstances shall any action, decision or rule change made by the administration (moderators and/or administrators) be discussed, argued or criticised on the message boards. Any such posts or threads will be promptly deleted without notice or explanation.

Any disparaging or disrespectful remarks regarding this site and/or its Moderators, Administrators, rules and/or actions taken will not be tolerated in order to preserve the integrity and mutual respect within the community that we all enjoy.

Members are welcome to contact a Moderator or an Administrator for clarification or to express their concerns and/or appeal any action taken for review.

ADMINISTRATORS and MODERATORS

While our rules cover the majority of incidents that may occur, we cannot anticipate all circumstances, and as such, the Administrators or Moderators of The Model Rail Forum reserve the right to adjudicate, and take ANY actions we deem appropriate, in any circumstances. This is to ensure that the forum is not disrupted or brought into disrepute, either willfully, or by association with a member. An Administrator's decision in any matter referred to him/her is final.

We further reserve the right to take any of the following actions, either ourselves, or by other staff members who are empowered to do so i.e. Administrators or
Moderators:

  • To remove or modify offensive posts without notice.
  • To restrict the permissions of a user, or their ability to access any specified forum.
  • To ban anyone who violates the forum rules.
  • To delete any thread which is in breach of the rules, without notice.

The Administrators and Moderators also reserve the right to share e-mails, personal messages and information from users relating to forum management issues, among themselves, for the purpose of decision making. If you feel that your issue is too personal to be shared or discussed, please stipulate this fact in your correspondence clearly, and in ALL subsequent correspondence.


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