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*** Forum Rules of Conduct *** (Last updated: 20170927)

Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:58 pm
by jacob
It seems to help on the admin work to post these "laws of the land" once in a while. It's almost always the same issues, so just consider this a reminder. MY apologies that this will probably sound harsh ... for the most parts/with extremely few exceptions, this forum is still running GREAT and it's one of the best forums on the internet!!

Seriously!!! The forum is 95% of the reason that still exists, so let's keep the standards high!

1) DEAR POTENTIAL SPAMMERS! There are tons of eyes on you on this forum. DON'T WASTE OUR TIME! Typically spam will be deleted within the hour. Sometimes we catch you within 5 minutes! If you think you can sneak in five links for SEO purposes by hiring some copywriter to post human-sounding messages, you just wasted whatever you paid them or 10 minutes of your life. They will be deleted.

2) DON'T USE THE QUOTE FUNCTION AS A REPLY BUTTON! Some people use phones or textreaders to keep up, so please don't abuse the quote function. Don't quote the entire post you're responding to. Because if you do, people have to scroll through all that only to learn that you're just responding to the post above :( However, feel free to use the quote function to respond to specific paragraphs or sentences while editing out the nonrelevant parts.

3) DO NOT SIGN YOUR NAME [or URL] AND AVOID HEADERS/FOOTERS on your posts. Again ... it's annoying to have to scroll through that. I will edit this out manually and I don't like to do that. People already know who you are from your username and/or profile details. You don't have to say "hello" or "thanks" or "best wishes" at the beginning or end of every single post you make. It's a forum post. Not a a handwritten letter.

4) DO NOT CROSS POST to multiple forums. Seems like a great idea right ... until people figure out what you're doing and start ignoring you because they figure that maybe the thread is active on another forum. Tragedy of the commons and the Boy who cried wolf combined.

5) DO NOT INSTIGATE! Deliberately trying to piss people off is juvenile, so just don't. If someone is trolling or acting like a 12-year old sociopath, please try to ignore it the first time around rather than escalating it. If they do it repeatedly, you have my permission to fire back ONCE! If they keep doing it, PM me and I'll ban them for life. I will sacrifice the one to protect the many. A lot of effort is focused on keeping this forum in the style of a rational debate amongst adults.---Which kinda makes it an oasis of reason on the interwebs. Don't destroy this culture! It's a rare thing in these days!

6) NO LYNCH MOBS! Because I've been on the receiving end of this more than once I'll allow no social media mob behavior on this forum; that is, negatively discussing anyone who is not present to defend themselves. In my experience such things don't help anyone. Basically, if you don't want to say something to somebody's face (presuming they're a heavyweight UFC fighter/not smaller than you), don't say it at all. Furthermore, if you don't want to say it for the public record without the benefit of anonymity.---Don't say it either. This is not for the purpose of being politically correct. It is because such opinionating tends to be misinformed and stupid.

7) FOLLOW OLD SCHOOL NETIQUETTE! Read this if you haven't already: --- it pretty much covers everything. It's how the net used to operate before Eternal September. Let's keep this forum the way the net was before Eternal September. 8) NO MEMES, NO MISINFORMATION, NO SHITPOSTING! This forum mainly exists as a high quality source of information and discussion. While some think that memes are artistic or that misinformation is just an opinion or that shitposting is "fun lulz", one would be hard-pressed to make the argument that any of these contribute quality insights or that posting them adds to any discussion in an intelligent manner.

9) NO URL-SHORTENERS AND NO AFFILIATE TAGGING! The reason why user-based affiliate tagging is strongly discouraged is to prevent bad-faith posting and spamming (see rule 1). The problem with URL shortening (using,,, etc.) is 1) that many users will not click when they can't see exactly what they're clicking on due to the potential for sketchy redirects; 2) if the account or service associated with the shortener dies then those shortened URLs become void consequently borking forum/hyperlink integrity; 3) Old URLs tend to rot over time and not being able to see the original makes it harder to recover it from various "wayback" archives. 4) URL shorteners can hide malware. This is mainly a problem with spam accounts that haven't been removed yet. Similar to Rule 3 I will try to clean things up by editing out problems manually and I don't like to do that.

10) UPHOLD THE PRINCIPLE OF CHARITY. The principle of charity presumes that
  • The other uses words in the ordinary way;
  • The other makes true statements;
  • The other makes valid arguments;
  • The other says something interesting.
The applies to reading posts as well as writing posts. This is yet another way of phrasing the kind of personal behavior that preserves and creates a high standard of online behavior which is becoming ever harder to find. This rule is more of a guideline but notice how it confirms and reinforces many of the previous rules. Practically this suggests striving to avoid using rhetorical tricks to trap whomever one disagrees with. Aim to inform (a win-win outcome) rather than debate (typically a win-lose).

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct Reminder ***

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:50 am
by jacob
Dear Spammers! Due to the recent increase in comment spam, I have highlighted the relevant part for your convenience :x

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct Reminder ***

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:15 pm
by cmonkey
Are the spammers bots, or are these actual people?

I know on blogs you can install spam filters, not sure on forums.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct Reminder ***

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:43 pm
by jacob
Human spammers looking for SEO juice.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct Reminder ***

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:29 pm
by jacob
Reminder: Forum posts containing fighting words will be deleted! See (5) above.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct Reminder ***

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:53 am
by jacob
Reminder: 5 again! ... Also 2.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct ***

Posted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:05 pm
by jacob
Just a reminder to new users! (See rule 1 above)

Because of a recent resurgence in spam, it's a really risky move on your part if your very first post on the forum links to some product or service that you somehow recommend.

Even if it such posts are genuine, they're often hard to tell from spam-bots or spam-humans!

Spamming usually leads to deleting the entire account + all its posts, but if I'm even some doubt, I will just delete the post and let the account live or even just delete the links in the post.

Therefore, I highly recommend not posting product links for the first 10+ posts on the forum.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct ***

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:09 am
by jacob
I updated rule 7 with a sub-list and added rule 8.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct ***

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:54 am
by jacob
Added rule 9.

Re: *** Forum Rules of Conduct *** (Last updated: 20170927)

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:11 pm
by jacob
Added rule 10. I apologize for the recent rapid fire. In an ideal world, there would be no need for rules.