Ignorance of the rules herein is no excuse. Feigning ignorance of the rules will not protect you from punishment. New users who accidentally violate a rule and are judged to have acted without malice may be exempt from as harsh a ruling as one imposed on an older member, or a member who deliberately damaged the forums.
Boldface has been added to statute which may not be typical of those at other forums, or rules that are important to acknowledge.
These are the general rules. Moderators and priveleged users are entitled to warn you (or worse) for these behaviors.
Against the Law
- No illegal content. This will result in a permanent ban, not a warn. Depending on the content, your ISP may be contacted.
- No posting content of dubious legality. If the staff cannot determine whether the content is legal or not, then you may be warned and your content may be removed.
- No viruses, adware, or other harmful software. Linking to these or discussing their implementation is against the law, and will get you permanently banned. Depending on the nature, your ISP may be contacted.
- No death threats. Do not directly claim a threat against another user's life. Your ISP will be contacted and authorities may be informed of your activity. At the very least, you will be permanently banned.
- No personal information. Addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal details are against the rules--whether or not the parties consent to it. Even giving out fake information is discouraged. These behaviors will result in permanent bans.
- No engaging in file-sharing, piracy, or other forms of intellectual property infringement. Do this on your own time if you must. Because we will not protect you if an organization subpoenas a list of names and IPs from us, we'll use preventative measures (such as warns) to curb this behavior.
- No offensive images, pornography, or content legal only for certain age groups.
- No incoherent posts or purposeful spamming.
- No posting simply to boost Post Count.
- No proxy-using.
- No complaining about warns from other members, or begging the staff to lift a warn. This behavior is annoying and we will automatically lift warns over time. Threads made to this effect will be removed; if it keeps up, the member may be warned more. (See "Get Over It".)
- No dodging suspensions, bans, or warns; or attempting to skirt the rules to "test the mods." This is a form of trolling.
- No additional accounts, unless they are service accounts allowed by a moderator. Each person using these forums is limited to a single account. Mods and privileged users may have multiple accounts, if they can describe the purpose and intent of these accounts prior to their creation (if they have already been made and are discovered, the accounts will be deleted).
- No trolling. Trolling is irrelevant or controversial content posted simply to provoke a negative emotional response. Don't feed trolls (give them any "ammo"; that is, respond to their statements strongly) because it promotes more trolling. This includes trolling elsewhere in the name of Metanet. We're better than that.
- No excessive profanity. (Some swearing is okay, but unnecessary use of the F word, the S word, "see you next Tuesday," etc. may be cleaned by mods.) If you keep it up, you may be warned.
- No flaming or flamebaiting. This includes attacks against someone's character when it is unnecessary for the conversation.
- No embedding malicious or annoying links into posts or signatures. Depending on the maliciousness, you may receive warns or bans.
- No harassing or stalking other members, either openly on the forums or by PMs.
- No hateful, sexist, or discriminatory language.
The following are codes of conduct and guidelines to help you on the forums. These are not overtly against the rules, and mods will not warn you for them unless you get out of hand or refuse to change to fit the conduct of the forums:
- No attempting to skirt the rules. Users are expected to obey the spirit of the rules and members who are deemed to mean harm in their actions on the forums, as implicitly and technically fine as they may be, are subject to warns from mods as if they had broken a rule. Implicitly: If you mean harm, you can be warned even if you do not break the rules.
- No non-English posts. These are English-speaking forums. Try using an online translator if you cannot post in English. If you as a user see a non-English post, try to post a translation for yourself or others to properly respond to. This won't get you warned, though.
- No chatting about engaging in illegal activities, outside of a serious debate and its context.
- No discouraging newbies. Communities thrive on new members. People who act poorly towards newbies may be warned.
- No annoying tags or text. Giant fonts, aLtErNaTiNg CaPs, and use of excessive l33tsp34k is highly discouraged and, if you keep it up, you'll get warned.
- No grammar nazis or spelling nazis. If a post is clear—whether or not it is spelled and punctuated correctly—just read it and go on. Mods may quietly revise spelling, if they desire, but it's really not worthwhile that they waste their time on it. Deliberately obscured text might get you warned, over time.
- No resurrecting ancient topics, if you do not have anything important to add. If the topics are old enough, this breaks the "no-Post Count-boosting" rule.
- No double-posting or "bumping" your threads. If a thread needs to die, it must be allowed die naturally. Multiposting and bumping might get you warned.
- Try not to tell spoilers about Metanet's games. If you simply must talk about a secret, use a spoiler tag for it.
- No big signatures. Sig. length may be trimmed down by mods (usually, large images will simply be converted to URLs; the staff member may leave a note inside the signature). 600x200 pixels is rather large, and could be considered an upper limit to sig size. Spoilers can help conceal some of the signature. All images in a sig should be under 500kb to be respectful to those on slower connections.
This section details a particularly important aspect of forum conduct. When something happens on the forums, you should, first and foremost:
Get over it! If you got warned or banned, move on. If someone else bugged you some time in the past and the issue was settled, move on. If you see someone accidentally double-post, don't worry about it! The problem will get fixed (usually, a staff member may simply delete the accidental post). Overlook mistakes. If someone on the forum makes a mistake, they probably don't need a warn, since they weren't actively trying to harm the forums or another member. In some instances, careless mistakes might be worth a warn to encourage more attentiveness from the member. However, don't get zealous, don't get worked up, don't get overrighteous, don't overmanage. Just let things go, as there are plenty of staff members flowing throughout the board who can later spot and target an event if it needs attention.
Users who don't know how to let things go are prone to adminitis, flaming, and a generally pessimistic mood that will get them warned even more. Oftentimes, issues unworthy of attention blow up into unnecessary threads, feuds, and staff interventions. Some things not to get worked up about include, but are not limited to: one-time spamming, multiple posts, mild jabs and insults, sarcasm, warnings, people who disagree with you, people who misspell, people who rarely post, people who constantly post, and foreigners. Bring up such issues in a PM addressed to a staff member only if it persists.