Rules and Guidelines of Real Life Forums

General news, rules, and information about the forum, the IRC (chat) channel, and maybe a few extra things beside. If you're new to the forums, please come here first.
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Martin Blank
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Rules and Guidelines of Real Life Forums

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:27 pm

Learning and understanding the following guidelines and rules will help make the stays here at the forums much more pleasant for both new users and existing forumites.

New Users: Please note that this is a forum related to Real Life Comics. If you discovered this site from an internet search, you're welcome to stay provided that you understand this simple point. You will not be treated well by the community if you come in whining and emotional about something that's happened in your life. However, if you read and understand the rest of this post and are willing to abide by community standards, then you will be accepted by the community.

General Guidelines
  • If you're new here, please make any introductory posts in our introduction forum, Getting to Know You. Please avoid posting a new introductory thread in the General Forum, as such threads are generally frowned upon by the membership as a whole and will be moved anyway. The best way to become involved in the board is to post intelligently and with a reasonable amount of politeness and civility. You can be silly, but try not to be pointlessly silly, especially by starting pointless threads or by adding one-line comments like "me too!" or "Yeah!".
  • If you're unsure about where or even whether to post something, ask a member of the staff. If it is later found to violate forum rules, you will be advised of the issue but not punished in any way.
  • Obey the instructions of management, which includes any Administrator as well as any Moderator for the given forum. If you have an issue with how something is handled, take it up with the person or an Administrator in PM or e-mail. If you disagree with something that an Administrator has said or done, contact another Administrator. There are two of us (Martin Blank and Greg Dean) and we are human, so please do contact the other if you feel something was mishandled by an administrator. Mere contact will not lead to any retribution.
  • The rules contained herein are not meant to be comprehensive. There's simply no way to cover every case. The admins and moderators of Real Life Forums are the sole arbiters of what falls within community standards, and so may act on things not specifically covered by these rules in order to preserve the harmony of the board and remove disruptive behavior.
Good Things
The following are encouraged, and will help keep you in the good graces of the community and the management staff:
  • Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, or at least a healthy attempt to do so. This includes spelling out words such as "are," "you," and "{c|sh|w}would," and knowing the difference between lose and loose. The community does not suffer well those who use netspeak, AOLspeak, or textspeak, and the staff will not usually intervene except in the most egregious cases.
  • Become familiar with the various forums and create your threads in the appropriate places.
  • When creating a new thread, use a descriptive title that gives other readers a decent suggestion of what they're going to see. Avoid spoilers, however.
  • Speaking of spoilers, if you're discussing something that even could be construed as a spoiler, use the spoiler tag to hide the text.
  • Remain civil in your discussions. Courtesy rules. Differences of opinion are OK and even encouraged, but try to avoid out and out flamewars.
  • Don't take anything you read personally. We probably don't know you, and you likely don't know us, so what you read as an insult may not have been intended as such, and if it was, getting mad isn't going to change much.
  • Use the reporting feature (present on every post) when you see a post or a thread that you think breaks the rules or needs to be moved. A member of the management staff will tend to it soon enough. Do not undertake backseat moderation, and do not post in obvious spamming threads. You may post in the threads that you believe may need to be moved elsewhere, but keep it to the topic at hand -- posting that a thread needs to be moved is backseat moderation.
Bad Things
The following are discouraged, and may result in a formal warning being attached to your account:
  • Trolling, unwarranted flaming, excessive swearing, and the like
  • Nitpicking the spelling or grammar of others (spelling/grammar nazism) when the meaning is clear and the overall error rate is low, or where English is clearly not the poster's primary language
  • Replying to spam or other threads likely to be removed
  • Backseat moderation, including whether to lock something, where something should have been posted, whether something is spam, or what kind of punishment someone deserves (please report issues instead, as described above)
  • Lock racing ("in before the lock!")
  • Hot-linking (linking to images at another site) from sites not intended for hot-linking; hot-linking from your own site or from sites such as ImageShack or PhotoBucket is perfectly fine
Prohibited Things
The following are prohibited, will almost certainly result in a warning attached to your account, and may result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including bans:
  • Spamming
  • Registering for more than one account per user.
  • Remarks that are racist, libelous, slanderous, plagiarized, or derogatory.
  • Requests for, links to, or significant information about warez, cracks, hacks, serial numbers, or anything else designed to get around registration or purchase of any copyrighted work, whether that be software, movies, or photographs. Shareware is not free software.
  • Pornography, including hentai and other related material. Nudity is considered pornography for these purposes. This almost certainly WILL get you banned without notice. Note: Do not link to images at somethingawful.com or Ebaumsworld, as they are replaced with offensive images.
Discipline and Punishments
There are several disciplinary measures available to the staff, and they are listed below.
  • Informal warnings may be made via PM, e-mail, IRC, or IM. These may be reported to other staff, or they may be kept private.
  • Formal warnings may be issued via the warning system built into the forums. These are communicated to other staff members. In addition, warnings add up, and we can see how many warnings have been issued to a given user in the past 90 days. Warnings older than 90 days expire, but the reason for the warning is added as a permanent note to the user's account. Additional information may be stored as notes visible only to admins. These constitute a history that may be referenced where necessary.
  • Permission denials may be made in certain cases that do not warrant a ban, but where some corrective measure is required. This will usually be in the form of a denial to create new threads or to reply to existing threads while still being able to read existing threads.
  • Temporary bans may be set for problematic users, with bans lasting from a few days to weeks or even months. These bans will automatically expire at a set date.
  • Permanent bans are reserved for the most egregious violations, which include people who spam on their first post, or within their first few posts and who are clearly not here for anything else. This ban may extend to include entire IP subnets where feasible. Evading a temporary ban could well land the evader a permanent ban, and possibly a call to the user's ISP.
Technical limitations
  • Avatars must be 100x100 pixels or smaller, and no more than 50KB (51,200 bytes) in size. They may be uploaded to the forum through your profile or linked remotely. Motion GIFs are allowed as long as they conform to size and content limitations.
  • Signature rules:
    • 300KB maximum total image size
    • 600 pixel maximum total image width
    • 150 pixel maximum total image height
    • 500 character maximum
    • Font size extremes are discouraged. If it can't be read without modification, or if it's giant text (over 150% normal size), it may be edited to change the size.
    • Moderator discretion on total sig height
    "Maximum total image" means the total of all images as displayed in the format in which they are displayed. You can have them side by side, or top and bottom, as long as the total sizes do not exceed the numbers listed. Those found with signatures outside of these bounds will be given two days to make changes, after which the sig will be edited to remove the offending. Signatures significantly outside of the rules may be edited on sight.
  • Images displayed in posts are each limited to 800 pixels in width and 1024 pixels in height. This is checked by the forum's software, so please make sure that your pictures fit within this range.
Additional Notes
  • Accounts which are created with bad e-mail addresses are subject to deletion without notice upon receiving the bounce message.
  • Accounts which are not activated within seven days are subject to deletion without notice.
  • Accounts which have no posts anywhere, and which have not been used for a period of one year, are subject to deletion without notice.
  • Accounts which have at least one post are not deleted.
  • Accounts banned for spamming may be deleted without notice.
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