If swearing is an offensive act here on this forum, it would be helpful to be thorough. I got a shock to see the word bloody used when others are not allowed.
yep, I know, bloody is a word that is in the english dictionary and has a specific meaning, but one would not think so when used in a sentence such as "the bloody mongrel dog ate my paper!"
I've been meaning to collect various ideas on forum nettiquette and rules that exist around the net. Some things that bother long term forum posters, seem to not bother people here, other things, it would help if every newbie knew before they started posting. And there is a little bit of forum specific culture here.
Examples. These are not rules - they're ideas / guidelines and might give some people a clue why they don't get a positive response like they expected.
1. posting in old threads - this can annoy longer term forum members who have already had the discussion. I now have to check the dates on some familiar looking threads before I post, before I post the same as I posted the last time. Some old threads are suited to being resurrected - like "what's your favourite breed" and some are not like "my dog got stolen/sick anybody help?" - from 12 months ago.
2. Not reading the whole thread, and then posting the exact same thing that other people have already posted - like it's a new idea. This goes hand in hand with example number 1. This lowers a newbie's credibility and sometimes gets them on the ignore list because they're not posting anything new. If you can't be stuffed reading the whole thread it might be better not to post in it.
3. This is a local forum culture - we're not that fond of unregistered / back yard breeders or people who support the puppy mill industry by buying cute dogs from pet shops or online ads or newspaper ads. If you want a bitsa, we'd prefer you got your dog from the rescue places. Details about why are in a sticky thread in the puppy section.
4. Another local forum culture: We're not fond of anyone who uses physical violence to correct a dog. This includes hitting dog with rolled up newspaper. We've got mixed feelings on the use of "adversives" like jets from water pistols or electric training collars or even choke collars. Mere discussion of the pinch collar evokes extreme emotional responses in some people because they look like medaevil torture devices. So you'd need to be able to back up your discussion with a lot of strong reliable research and a thick skin. Morgan might want to ban the topic to avoid work for moderators.
These are some from my old forum, which did allow some swearing and "robust" arguement but tried to stop the personal abuse. Ie abusing people for things about themselves they can't change as opposed to abusing their opinions. But it covers some of the stuff we'd come up against as moderators. There were some more related to the forum topic, eg discussion of other sports was ok in the other sports section so those who wanted to avoid the cricket season could do so. But threads on other sports in the main forum would get deleted. And there were some more rules about posting only to promote your own website / product. But that seems more accepted here, so long as it is a doggy product. Eg Lisa and her 1fittmutt posts.
2. Disagreements. Disagreements between members (and moderators) is par for the course. We encourage robust discussion but you should not engage in a personal attack on someone that is obscene, defamatory or incites violence against them. Bear in mind how others will read your post, if you need to resort to calling someone a f***ing c*** to make your point, you've already lost the fight.
3. Language. Some robust language is permitted, but it is not a free-for-all. If you are warned to moderate your language, pay heed. The moderators reserve the right to delete any posts for any reason, so don't scream "free speech" if something you wrote is deleted. By the same token, this is not the place for you if you are easily offended.
4. Personal information. The amount of personal information you reveal about yourself is up to you. Please remember that this is a public group, so posting your phone number, address or other details is not advised. You MUST NOT reveal ANY personal (contact) information about other people.
5. Rumours. This is not gossip central. You CAN talk about the fact that somebody is in the news. You CANNOT spread rumours about people. This is serious. We'll ban you if we catch you doing it and drop you in it if lawyers come knocking.
6. Copyright. Do not post news stories or pictures from other sources in this group. You CAN link to a news story on another website but you CANNOT copy the text of that story into a message you post here. Don't become a copyright lawyer and start arguing the point, we wont listen so don't do it. The same applies to pictures. The basic rule is that if you didn't take a photo with your camera, you don't own the picture. The moderators have the right to delete any content without giving a reason. So just bear that in mind if you upload something and it vanishes.
The list of stuff is a lot longer but I will leave it for now. And also a list for newbies needs to list the most important stuff at the top because otherwise they don't bother reading it all.
Excellent reading, Hyacinth.
Some members have been put on ignore to minimise obvious and ongoing conflict. I refuse to get into back and forth bantering because simply...you are not worth it IMO.
I can't help wonder though...Mal was banned for swearing and/or for using excessive language right? How many of us swore in the troll thread? Mal wasn't even a part of that thread except for ONE comment the day after and then he sent his "Goodbye" thread.
From what I can understand in an email from Mal today...he has been really "down" lately (like he told people)...a bit of understanding and tolerance could have gone a long way here. A cyber pat on the shoulder...an encouraging word...an understanding PM.
If rules are put in place...then they need to be fair. They need to be followed towards all member...trolls...advertisers...spammers etc.
Oh yes and the bit about condescending or offensive.
There are things that anybody would consider offensive or the law would consider offensive, and then there are things that only some people consider offensive and everybody else is surprised when they express being offended.
Personally, so long as the wording is not "illegal" offensive eg racist / sexist / religious offensive / picking on physical challenges - I'd allow. Especially if the wording was all about the idea not the person. It really is up to us individually to choose to be offended by some things. So we can't really expect the writer to be held responsible for the reader's personal reaction on some of the more specific stuff.
I also think as a forum group of people / posters, readers and lurkers that we need to decide if it is appropriate to attack a person who posts something outrageous or to merely post "I disagree - here's why" instead of "you are a horrible person for writing that".
I'm all for writing "what you write is illegal in all states and territories of Australia and your computer connection details and the contents of your post have been reported to your ISP and the police/RSPCA". That would go with the forum rule that says "promoting illegal activity is not allowed on the forum" - all forums should have that rule. And remember there is a law againt using the internet to abuse or threaten people. So I guess it's clear we need to go with the "I disagree with what you wrote" instead of "You're horrible".
Why can't I write a short post.
Great two posts Hyacinth. I agree with it all.
People seem to be over-reacting to the idea of Morgan clamping down on nasty posts, especially over what people find offensive or not. Morgan, I'm sure is a very reasonable person and will not be banning people for disagreeing with another person even if it gets heated. I'm sure all will be fine as long as the posts do not get personally abusive and have excessive swearing. I'm sure the odd bleeped out swear word doesn't offend but mostly we can work out what swear words are being used and there is no need to use them every other line.
As my old boss used to say (not that I liked it at the time):
"If you don't like it, you know where the door is"
I am looking forward to getting back into posting on here. I have been very reluctant to recently, as have a few other previous regulars. Hopefully they will also return when things settle back down.
The best things in life, aren't things
Verbal swearing is actually an offence under law also, although I am not sure where it stands on internet forums.
A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
An optimist sees the glass as half full;
A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.
Well I seem to have been away way tooooo long. I seemed to have missed something here.
Anywho I did pm Morgan ages ago about the possiblity when new members join they get the "Rules" with their Welcome and log in details. That way no one can say that they don't know where they are or have not been made aware of them IYKWIM?
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