This section outlines the Goals, rules and guidelines of this forum.
Although we are a very friendly forum, and people generally do the right thing, we are growing fast and come from a wide variety of different background and cultures. What's perfectly acceptable for one person, may not be for another. So it's important to outline what
acceptable in this forum, with an explanation of why these rules and guidelines are for the good and protection of this forum and it's members.
We don't propose the run the forum any different to the way we are at the moment, so for most people, having these rules in place, will not affect you in the slightest. For some of the others we can now clearly explain why a certain action has prompted a warning or ban, so that they know exactly where they stand, and there is no confusion.
These rules are not made up from scratch, but are a pretty standard set of rules that we have derived from some other forums, and adapted to suit our own forum.
We've also taken this opportunity to put into words the goals of our forum, which outlines what we stand for, and what we hope to achieve for the good of our sport and our members.
Comments or questions on these rules, guidelines or forum goals are most welcome and can be made in reply to this post. If we feel your suggestions for changes make sense and can be justified, they will be implimented.
Forum Goals, rules and guidelines
A. Goals of the Forums
D. Warnings and Bans
E. Forum Rules and Offences
F. Things Not to Do
G. Minor Problems
H. The Other Side
I. Reporting Posts
J. Rights of the Forum OwnerK. Indemnity and WaiverA. Goals of the Forums:
These are the goals of our forum, in order of importance:
1. Discuss table tennis and share our experiences to maintain and grow a high level of technical knowledge about equipment technology and table tennis techniques, particularly in alternative styles of play where information and advice is often scarce. Accumulate this knowledge in an organised manner within the forum for everyone to use.
2. Strive to protect the rights of players at all levels by monitoring and analysing current rules and TT management structure, by questioning and taking action on issues which our members deem to be detrimental OR those deemed to be positive for our sport of table tennis.
3. Promote our sport and seek new avenues of growth, through sharing our knowledge and offering advice and help when the needed or when opportunities arise.
4. Provide a friendly and social community for people to discuss our sport and other associated topicsB. Rules:
These rules are made to protect the integrity of the forum and goals stated above, and also the site owner and members of the forum. Use of this forum implies that you accept these rules and wil abide by the decisions made by those looking after the forum. Members should observe both the letter and spirit of these rules.
Each member is responsible for only his or her own posts. If another member breaks rules, you may ignore them or report the problem to the moderators, but you may not use it as an excuse to break rules yourself.C. Moderation:
The forums are loosely moderated by the site-owner with help from a group of moderators This can be a busy forum at times, so the moderators cannot always read everything, so they rely on members to report problem posts that they encounter.
The point of moderation is not to limit discussion, promote or suppress points of view, or any other secret agenda. The goal of moderation is make sure discussion remain aligned with the forum goals, and to keep the forums enjoyable and free from problems that detract from the experiences of our users.
The moderators understand that anyone can make a mistake now and then, and they are generally forgiving of minor problems. The most common moderator actions are to correct posts or threads, issue reminders or warnings, and answer questions. They make a lot of judgment calls on behalf of our membership and they strive to treat all members fairly and equally under the forum rules.D. Warnings and Bans
Warnings may be issued in a Private Message or in the form of a reply within the thread that you have posted. Warnings may also be sent as automated "infraction" messages, notifying you of a rules violation. If you get a warning, make note of the rules violation and don't repeat it.
If rules violations are more serious, or a majority of your posts are rule violations, or you repeatedly violate even minor rules, you may be permanently banned from the forums. If you are banned, we suggest that you find another discussion website with rules that better suit you, since your continued presence would be a detriment to our other forum members.
You can contact the moderators/administrators if you have questions about specific cases of moderation. When contacting us about moderation, please identify the posts or threads in question; the moderators deal with many every day.E. Forum Rules and Offences
These offences (listed in no particular order) will generally get you at least a warning, but can be one-time bannable offenses for which you will not get a warning.
1. Insults. Direct personal insult of another member, i.e., "You are an idiot." and all the variations. Why? Because this isn't a school playground. People should be able to discuss or even dispute other's posts without insulting people. And the only purpose of a post like this is to incite other people. You may dispute somebody's opinion, but not attack/flame the person who stated it. There are a lot of other non-direct-personal insults that won't necessary get you banned instantly, but depending on the context/nature may lead to post editing, post deletion, warnings, or time-outs. They include telling people to shut up, or being extremely or repeatedly rude or sarcastic. Bottom line -- don't try to tick off others. Although we do not read Private Messages sent between forum members, the rules for appropriate and inappropriate content apply to them as well.
2. Spam and overposting. Not just being a prolific poster, but posting the same exact post many times, posting multiple pointless posts in the same thread, making numerous posts with no real content, or posting for the purpose of gaining a higher post count. This will generally get you a warning, but when continued can get you banned.
3. Harassment. Purposely intimidating a particular member, harassing them, sending them rude or unwanted private messages, etc. This includes personal attacks on moderators for doing their jobs.
4. Advertising/soliciting. Using the forums for advertising or for commercial business deals and offers. You may not make posts to promote commercial, personal, or not-for-profit websites. Threads will be deleted if their purpose is to advertise, announce, or promote products, services, or organizations, build traffic at other websites, solicit donations, votes, or participants for surveys, contests, or product testing, carry out business activities including employment requests/offers, or other similar purposes that do not benefit our forum community. Links to table tennis sites or shops are permitted and are no problem as long as they add value to the thread and are not solely posted to promote that site or shop.
5. Registration rules. Violation of the rules you agreed to when registering for the site: that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented, hateful, threatening, discriminating or otherwise violates of any laws.
6. Multiple registration. You may register only one account, and if you were banned or given a temporary forum time-out, you may not re-register. Reinstatement can come only from an administrator.
7. Account details. Your account details and password must remain private, and must not be disclosed to others. Similarly using other people's account details and logging into their account to post, PM or perform any other action are not allowed and are likely to result in an instant ban.
8. Links: Links in signatures or in posts to certain sites are prohibited and may result in an immediate ban. These sites include those with topics related to mobile phones/ringtones, SEO, link farms, pornography, gambling, pharmaceuticals, profanity or racist content. Links posted to these types of sites are almost always from spammers. Links posted to political or religious sites or content is not allowed either, as it may be offensive to some, and will often lead to heated discussions NOT related to table tennis.F. Things Not to Do
These will likely get you edited and/or a warning and repeated warning can result in a ban.
1. Useless posts. Do not bother repeatedly
posting with only one or two words (e.g., LOL) or a smilie, or post simply to have the first reply in a thread. Such posts waste everyone's time and will be deleted. Posts saying "I agree", "+1", "me too", or the equivalent are also routinely removed, but only if they add no value.
2. Off-topic posts. Off-topic posts may be deleted/edited. If you keep doing it see #5. Threads and posts on controversial political, religious, and social issues are highly discouraged as they usually lead to forum flaming or anger.
3. "Trolling". Do not post in order to anger other members or intentionally cause negative reactions. For a given post, this can be a subjective call, but a pattern of such posting or an especially egregious case will get you banned. Basically, don't try to pick fights. Knowingly posting false information is also prohibited.
4. Any ongoing actions that make more work for the moderators and administrators or regularly annoy other members and require moderator action. If banning you is easier than dealing with the problems you are causing on a continuous basis, you may be banned. G. Minor Problems / Guidelines
1. Chattiness. Use the forums to discuss the topic of the thread, not as a substitute for Instant Messaging.
2. Profanity. The profanity filter is there for a reason. Do not circumvent it by using the language we intend to exclude or disguising those words. If a word is replaced by asterisks when you Preview or Submit a post, you know it's on the list.
3. Thread titles. Use thread titles that indicate the subject of the thread, not generic titles such as "Need help". Moderators may change thread titles that have no specifics, usually by adding something more specific in parentheses.
4. One thread. Do not post a thread more than once. Post a new thread in the proper forum. If the topic is relevant to more than one forum, pick the best fit or most specific forum and post it only once.
5. One post. Do not post multiple messages with the same content. One post in the most appropriate thread is sufficient.
6. Sequential posts. Combine your comments into one post rather than making many consecutive posts to a thread within a short period of time.
7. Signature size. Please keep your signature to a reasonable size (no more than 5 lines), so that it's not the signature but the content that stands out in a thread. Excessively large signature makes threads hard to read, and wastes bandwidth.
8. Avatar and signature content. Avatars and signatures, as well as other profile fields, must comply with all forum rules, including those against profanity, explicit sexual content, and insults against groups or individuals, and cannot be in other ways offensive. Members will be required to change avatars or signatures that are deemed too controversial or that are particularly annoying to other members.
10. Buying and Selling goods. All threads offering items for sale or trade, asking to buy items, or asking for pricing advice on items to be sold must be posted in the Buy & Sell section forum. This section is meant for personal items only, and should not be used for advertising or commercial reasons.
11. Bumps. Excessive posts or bumps that bring a thread to the top of the New Posts list but add no content to the thread are not recommended. This applies not only to posts that say "bump" but to those with the intent to bump, e.g. posts saying "anyone?" or the equivalent.
12. Corrections. There is no need to point out another poster's spelling or grammatical errors unless you think it is causing confusion. Remember that not all members are native English speakers. Communication, not correctness, is our goal.
13. Failing to search. If you have a question, it may already have been asked and answered in the forums. If you have an issue to discuss, there may already be a discussion about it. Set a good example by searching for existing threads before starting a new thread. When other people (especially new members) fail to search and start new threads on old topics, don't scold them or make them feel unwelcome. The best way to be helpful is by posting a link to a previous relevant thread.
14. Common sense. In the end, use common sense. When you are about to post messages just to increase your post count, or post something you think is funny at someone else's expense, or just to make the first post in a news thread, think to yourself "Is this annoying?" If the answer is yes, don't do it. H. The Other Side
One thing to remember is that moderators are people too. Although moderators are chosen because they are deemed to be fair and level-headed, it is possible to tick them off. This isn't being unfair; it's being human. When members assume "it's personal" or "I'm being singled out" when their posts are moderated, they are usually wrong. Still, we take all complaints seriously. Trying to stir up a public outcry is frowned upon, so let us know your concerns directly.
Sometimes moderators dealing with reported forum posts can be quick to the trigger, as it's hard to see the context of certain posts. We try for consistency in enforcement of the rules, but with multiple moderators we can't be 100% consistent when judgment calls are required.
Our moderators to do their best, and they put tremendous effort into helping the site. Still, we rely on checks and balances to avoid moderation problems. The moderators work as a team and generally know of each other's actions. Administrators may review moderation and help establish and interpret site policies. If an administrator or moderator has acted mistakenly or inappropriately, we'll correct it. If you've been timed-out or banned by mistake, we will reinstate your account. If your posts or account have been handled in accordance with our rules, policies, and moderation guidelines, moderation decisions will stand.I. Reporting Posts
Posts that violate any of the forum rules should be reported to the forum moderators by clicking the Report Post icon (Exclamation mark on the bottom left of the offending post). You will be given a form in which to describe the problem.
Tips for reporting posts:
1. To report a problem with a thread, report any post in the thread.
2. If you are unsure whether a post should be reported, report it anyway; the moderators will decide whether action needs to be taken.
3. If you are reporting a duplicate thread, please provide a link to the previous thread.
4. You will not receive a reply to a Post Report, but every report is reviewed. If you require a reply, use the Contact form.
5. After reporting an offending post, avoid replying to it, so you don't give it more exposure or make more work for the moderators.
Thank you to those who report posts needing moderator attention. Your work improves the quality of the forums.J. Rights of the Forum Owner
The Forum Owner reserves the right to monitor all postings made by Users and to delete or amend such postings as it sees fit and Users shall have no claims whatsoever against the Forum Owner in such regard. Further, the Forum Owner reserves the right to permanently block access to the Forum to those Users who repeatedly or severely violate the provisions herein. The Forum Owner has the right to make changes to the forum rules at any time, without notice. Any Users who wish to register a complaint about postings made to the Forum may write to the Forum Owner at firstname.lastname@example.org
, clearly explaining the nature of the complaint. The Forum Owner’s decision in relation to complaints received shall be final and not open to review or appeal.K. Indemnity and Waiver
Each User agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified the Forum Owner and its directors, officers and employees from and against any and all liability, damages, losses, claims (including reasonable legal fees) resulting in any way from his use of and from any postings made to the Forum or from any other matter relating thereto including but not limited to use of the information posted on the Forum. Further, each User waives any right to bring any claim or action against the Forum Owner for any loss, damage or injury arising from use of the Forum or any material posted on the Forum or from this Policy.L. Forum posts and ownership
Posts made on this forum become the property of the forum.