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    Posts: 5203
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The WWGHA Administrative Team has approved the following rules for this Forum

Initial 3-Post Rule:
  • Although new members can respond to any existing topic immediately, they will be required to post a minimum of three (3) quality, thoughtful responses to existing topics to earn the privilege to create their own new topic or Introduction topic
Registration and Access
  • Multiple accounts are not allowed. Users should also inform the staff if more than one household member has an account.
  • Account sharing is not allowed. Each member of a household must have their own account.
  • The use of automated software applications ("bots") or anonymous proxy servers to access this forum is not allowed.
  • Do not post material which is illegal, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate. This includes (but is not limited to) child pornography, threats of physical harm, instructions for making bombs or other improvised weapons, instructions for producing and using controlled substances, libel, racist, sexist, and homophobic comments, and excessive vulgarity.
  • Do not post SPAM, advertisements, porn, chain letters, warez, executable programs, or other content that would be destructive or disruptive of the Forum's function.
  • Do not cross-post, i.e. post the same material in more than one thread.
  • No Preaching - For the purposes of this forum, preaching is defined as the posting of religious proclamations/texts or inculcated religious doctrine without intent to engage members on its validity or support with evidence. The staff will determine if a member is engaging in preaching by using this definition as a baseline aided by the support of past experience.
  • Responses to a thread must be on-topic and should contribute constructively to the discussion at hand. New threads must be in line with the description and/or FAQ of the board in question, as well as these Rules.
  • Plagiarism is not allowed. Material from an external source must be cited by providing a Web link or an adequate reference to the relevant publication.
  • Trolling other forum members, grudge matches, soap-opera dramas, and other actions that staff members deem to be designed to disrupt threads or provoke hostile emotional responses from other forum members will not be tolerated.
  • In particular it is prohibited to call someone a liar, or to say that a statement a lie, or accuse a poster of lying. If you suspect someone of lying, you should report the post and show, by follow-up PM, beyond all reasonable doubt that something that is not in accordance with reality was stated with the specific intention of deceiving the reader and if believed, would be to the advantage of the writer or their cause and was done at a time when the writer positively knew that what they wrote was not a representation of reality.
  • Discussion threads are for discussion of the topic at hand, not simply advertising one's opinions. As such, forum members are expected to back up assertions they make, and not engage in stonewalling, shifting goalposts, changing the subject, the use of logical fallacies, or employing similar tactics to avoid addressing points raised against their arguments.
  • To this end, posting links to things like Youtube videos or online articles as part of an argument is insufficient.  First, the person making the argument must explain in their own words what is being conveyed and how it is related to the argument.  And second, due to the time-consuming nature of such things, the link must to be to the relevant part(s) of it.  Do not expect other members to read articles or watch video links unless there is real relevance that you can point out in your own words along with the video.
  • Members may use the Report to Moderator (RTM) link seen in every post to report legitimate concerns to the staff. Frivolous use of the RTM system is prohibited.
  • All strictures on appropriate content in the "Posts" section above also apply to all user-defined content in user profiles. Further, user profiles should not be used as a vehicle for airing grievances or personal disagreements.
  • Avatars must be no larger than 100 x 100 pixels.
  • Signature images must be of a reasonable size and content so as not to disrupt the flow of the posts, such as no larger vertically than ~60 pixels - some leeway is allowed. Signature text should follow all other rules of the forum.
  • Animation and content of these images must not violate any other rule and not distract from the main purpose of the forum - reading text. No business advertising is allowed in any form anywhere in your profile or posts. The staff will be the final judge on these determinations.
  • Staff may, at their sole discretion, modify any member's profile in any manner needed to force compliance with the rules of the forum in a timely manner.

  • Karma is for members to give feedback for other members' posts by awarding Darwins (positive) or smites (negative).  When registering karma, members should include a comment explaining why karma was awarded.
  • Members shall not abuse this feature.  If a member is deemed to be applying karma abusively, or is using abusive language in the comments, his or her ability to give karma may be revoked without notice. 
Personal Messages
  • Personal Messages (PMs) are expected to remain private, save with the permission of all the parties concerned.
Personal Message Exceptions
  • Members may forward inappropriate content received by Personal Message (PM) to a Global Moderator or Admin for further action.
  • Personal Messages sent to any staff member may be forwarded to other staff members.
  • Personal Messages sent to any staff member by ER guests may, at the discretion of a Global Moderator or Administrator, be copied into their ER thread if deemed pertinent to their case.
  • Staff consists of the Administrators , Global Moderators , and Board Moderators that maintain and run the forum.
  • Staff may intervene in threads and take action in order to ensure that the Rules are followed. This includes managing (splitting, merging, or moving) threads to ensure that topicality is maintained, removing inappropriate material from the forum, issuing instructions to forum members to adhere to the Rules, and issuing warnings or bans. Moderator instructions may be in a green font to emphasize that they are official guidance.
  • Staff instructions must be followed. In-thread discussion of staff instructions or any Moderator action relating to a member is not allowed. Flames, abuse, and impersonation of staff will not be tolerated.
  • Staff decisions/warnings are either posted in-thread or sent via anonymous system messages. To protest an in-thread ruling by a Board Moderator, take it up with any Global Moderator via PM, expressing the nature of the appeal. To protest an in-thread ruling by a Global Moderator, take it up with a different Global Moderator. In the case of system warning messages, take up the grievance with any Global Moderator - the grievance will be forwarded to a neutral party. The outcome of an appeal is considered final.
Disciplinary Actions
  • To enforce the rules, a series of warnings will be issued via the system.
  • A first tier warning means that the member is being watched only. This state is indicated by the icon shown, in your online profile, against a forum member who violates the Rules. The system warning will include a statement describing the violation.
  • If an initial warning is insufficient to deter a forum member, his/her account may be set to a second tier state called Moderated, with the associated icon shown. This means all further posts will have to be approved before appearing on the Forum.
  • If the forum member still refuses to follow the rules, their account may be set to the third tier Muted state, which is a read-only state not allowing any posts or PMs to be submitted for review.
  • If a member complies with staff instructions, and does not further violate the rules, the warning state will eventually be reduced to Zero. The time period required for this varies from days to weeks, depending on a review of the member's behavior, taking into account all aspects of the situation.
Disciplinary Options
  • Bans of increasing duration up to a permanent ban.
  • A period of lock down in the Emergency Room to discuss the reasons for the suspension and action that is required in order for the forum member to be reinstated to the forum.
  • Due to the voluntary nature and time constraints on the staff of this forum, any repeat offender will be dealt with harshly, up to and including a permanent ban.  It is no one's "right" to be a willful disruption and for good or for bad, the forum must be run to the benefit of the many, not the few. This is not a perfect policy but the perfect should not be the enemy of the good.
Where any conflicts arise between these official rules and other Guidelines, FAQs, or Help Notes posted elsewhere, these rules will prevail. Finally, any situations not covered by these rules will be dealt with as they arise, using the best judgment of the forum staff.

Last change - No Preaching rule added - Karma rule added - no other changes

Last Rules modification date shown below

08/06/2016 Paragraph in maroon above added in clarification of the paragraph immediately above that insertion: particularly in clarification of "other actions that staff members deem to be designed to disrupt threads or provoke hostile emotional responses from other forum members will not be tolerated."
Changed Change Reason Date