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Board Guidelines


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#1 Kevin Street

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 05:43 PM

Ex Isle should be a warm, welcoming and thriving community where all members are treated fairly and kindly by other members and by the moderators and administrators.


1. All members will treat all others with respect. Even the most confrontational poster is a person behind the screen name. Please try to assume the best possible intention in all situations and allow for the possibility of misunderstanding on your part or temporary stresses on the other party's part.  In any case, where there is a potential misunderstanding, we ask that all posters request clarification instead of assuming the worst.

1A. Healthy disagreement is welcome, as long as criticisms are focused on the ideas being expressed rather than on the people expressing them. Responding to other posters with insulting, dismissive or deliberately disruptive comments violates this spirit. Therefore, posters who make such comments may be required to edit them. A poster who persists in making such comments may be warned, and may face suspension from the forum where the behavior occurs, or further penalties depending on the persistence and/or severity of the behavior.

Note that this is cumulative: although the moderators won't keep formal score, an ongoing pattern of mild violations may earn a penalty even if none of the individual violations warrants one, because such a pattern of negativity can poison the atmosphere of the board and drive away members.

2. Posters are free to criticize shows, actors, producers, writers, executives, and any other public figure. However, please try to keep it about the person's work. For instance, it's perfectly acceptable to say "X can't write dialogue." It is completely unacceptable to say "X should be shot for the good of humanity." Obviously, most situations are grayer; please use your best judgment.

3. We all have different points of view and outlooks.  Please do not attack other posters because they differ from you.

4. Please be considerate and put "Spoiler" labels in your topics and/or spoiler spaces in your posts if you are providing spoilers for any book, film or episode of a show.

5. No pictures of nudity or sexual or obscene material may be posted. This includes cartoons and illustrations. This rule is void in any of the Creative forums, so long as the thread is clearly labeled for content and has a legitimate purpose. Art is okay; porn isn't. If you have questions about your material, please contact the moderator of the forum in question before posting.

6. Certain words are not allowed here at EI, in a game attempt to avoid blacklisting by the net nannies. You may access the list here: http://www.exisle.ne...-1093293493.jpg. There are many other words that can take their place and are acceptable.  A staff member may edit those words that appear on the list without first requesting an edit from the poster; however, in general, a mod or admin should simply replace vowels with asterisks. Note that exclusion of a particular vulgar term from the list is not a blanket license to use that term.

7. Ex Isle is an independent discussion board. Members of Ex Isle who have disputes on other boards are asked not to post here about such disputes. This includes referring to such disputes and copying posts regarding such disputes from other boards.

Example: Ex Isle Member A and B are both also members at board Omega and have a dispute at board Omega. Ex Isle Members A and B are prohibited from bringing that dispute to Ex Isle, including referring to the dispute and reposting the content of that dispute.

Posts containing such disputes will be removed by staff, and members who post such information will be reminded by staff of the board policy.  Staff will take corrective actions consistent with board policy toward any member who repeatedly (more than twice) violates this guideline.


Guidelines for Staff Actions

The key to a happy, calm, long-living community is that the Ex Isle staff should have as little work as possible. When attempting to evaluate a post, moderators and administrators will use the written word and context as their guide.

The staff will function primarily as mediators, working to resolve all possible situations as swiftly and tactfully as possible.

If a thread is getting out of control, a mod may post a reminder to keep things civil. Moderators and administrators are available to help any poster resolve problems with any other poster, mod or administrator. Members may PM the mod or admin of their choice.

When a post violates the guidelines, staff will issue in the thread a formal warning to the author. All formal warnings are public, but staff will also repeat the warning to the poster via PM which includes notification of the number of formal warnings the poster has received to date.


Grounds and Processes for Revoking Member Posting Privileges

Members' posting privileges will be suspended very rarely.  If a poster violates the guidelines spelled out above, the staff will try to resolve the situation amicably, and will treat suspension only as a last resort if all else fails to correct the poster's behavior.

However, certain actions are severe enough to trigger an automatic suspension.  They include:

1. Posting pornography or other obscene materials.

2. Posting anything libelous about or threatening specific harm to another poster.

3. Posting anything that violates Ex Isle's terms of service agreement.

4. Posting anything promoting illegal activities, or linking to sites which promote such activities: this includes cracking ("hacking"), phreaking, warez, and pyramid schemes.

5. Posting content advertising commercial services unrelated to board matters or interests.

6. Engaging in or promoting any activities which attempt to attack/compromise Ex Isle's security and/or gain unauthorized access to secured sections.

7. Spamming by posting the same content repeatedly to multiple threads in a manner that disrupts communication.

8. Posting something obviously hateful, such as addressing another poster by use of a racial, religious or ethnic slur or impugning their sexual orientation.

In all cases mods and admins will try to work things out with posters via PM. However, if a first offense requires a suspension, which will typically be one week, a moderator will explain to the suspended poster what specifically caused the suspension -- whether it was a single post or posts or a long-term pattern of disruptive behavior -- and why that behavior is prohibited. When the term of the suspension has expired, the member's posting privileges will be reinstated. Should the poster commit the same offense again, mods will most likely have to suspend posting privileges for much longer, although such a suspension will never occur without a three-quarters consent of the available mods and admins.

Members will always be informed of suspensions in the AQG forum.


Standards for Moderator/Administrator Behavior

1. Moderators and admins are, first and foremost, members of the board, and, as such, are subject to the above standards.

2. Mods and admins are accountable for their words and will be held to them, more so than the average poster, because of the responsibility their position entails.

3. Mods/admins will strive to be fair and impartial in every situation.

4. Mods/admins will assure that posters adhere to the standards of basic civility without in any way excessively infringing on freedom of expression or shutting down spirited debate.

5. Mods/admins will not lock threads or edit posts without the poster's consent (except for matters such as adding spoiler space or editing of words on the profanity list) unless they must because pornography or other such malice is present.

6. Mods/admins will not delete threads, except in the case of duplicate threads.



Failure to abide by these standards will constitute grounds for removal from their position.


Grounds and Processes for Regulating Mods and Admins

If a member has a situation with a moderator or administrator, he or she should attempt to settle the issue directly with that mod or admin. However, if the user is not comfortable communicating with the mod or admin, or is unable to work things out with him or her, the user should consult an admin (obviously, a different admin if the problem concerns an admin). When a member emails or PMs a problem he or she should try to include links and facts so that a proper investigation can occur. The admins will review the situation, deal privately with the mod about it, and inform the user of the outcome on a timely basis.

Two Mod Lounge Watchdogs will monitor moderators and admins in the moderator lounge forum and emergency mail group. The Watchdogs will be chosen from among those nominated by members via PM or email, and their term will be temporary (6 months). Watchdog selections will be announced in AQG.


Grounds and Processes for Removing Mods or Admins

If admins decide a mod or admin must be removed, a public announcement will be made.

Staff are expected to use their best judgement, and to balance the letter and the spirit of the guidelines in guiding their decisions. However, mods and admins are only human and may make mistakes. The staff reaches its decisions through discussion in the Staff Lounge, and due to a wide assortment of factors this may take time. We, the mods and admins, ask the membership to understand and give us that time.


Process for changing guidelines

1) An official poll should only be undertaken at the official, openly posted request of a posting member.

2) After this request is made, a minimum of 24 hours should be taken to discuss this suggested amendment before the suggestion is put to poll. This discussion shall last until a minimum of 10 posters have asked that it be put to poll.

3) If more than one alternative is put forward that a large number of people would rather vote on, or vote on in addition to the original proposed change, it should be included in the poll if a minimum of 5 posters express such a desire.

4) The administrator is not to express any personal preference to one side of an amendment vote while starting the poll. This is to ensure that there can be no accusations, rightly or wrongly, of the poster trying to influence the outcome of the vote. This includes emoticons beside the link to the polling thread, as well as written endorsements in the original post itself. In the interest of informed voting, a link to the discussion thread should also be provided in the starting post.

5) Finally, once an official poll has been undertaken, notices must be placed and pinned, in the Beach, and GMD, as well as any forum that may be directly affected by they outcome of the vote.

As with the original polling post, these announcements must be free of partisan bias.

These guidelines are subject to regular review every six months (after an initial one month trial).


All of the above is subject to common sense and inevitable incompleteness. Absence of an action or behavior from these guidelines should not be construed as an inability for moderators to act in those situations.

Edited by Cardie, 19 October 2005 - 06:05 AM.

Per aspera ad astra

#2 Kevin Street

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 05:48 PM

Now, as I'm sure you've noticed, there is a missing clause from these guidelines, namely this one:

Quote

7. Moderators are asked to refrain from making derogatory comments about other EI members in non-EI public venues. The internet, however, is a vast, anonymous medium and members are asked to recognize that this is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

That's because we are going to have a seperate, second poll, pending the approval or rejection of these guidelines, on how to best modify them to include a statement or rule about the behavior of moderators on other forums. To get an idea of what options will be included in the second poll, see this post, and this one

Remember, right now you're voting on the rest of the guidelines. The other matter will come afterward.

EDIT: Just to make it clear, this current vote has nothing to do with the later one. If we accept these proposed guidelines we can still modify them to include something like Statement #7 or Lil's rule, or anything in between. It's up to you.

Edited by Kevin Street, 23 September 2004 - 06:25 PM.


#3 GoldenCoal

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 05:55 PM

Voted. I noticed a few changes in wording that I think will probably help dissolve some concerns some people have voiced. Maybe/

#4 Cait

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 05:55 PM

Voted!! :D

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#5 Jid

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 06:02 PM

I exercized my democratic something-or-other, and voted! :D
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#6 darthsikle

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 06:18 PM

Where's abstain??
Goodbye.

#7 Kevin Street

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 06:20 PM

If you really don't want to express an opinion on this proposal, don't vote. But if you don't vote you can't complain later. ;)

#8 darthsikle

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 06:38 PM

Kevin Street, on Sep 23 2004, 11:20 PM, said:

If you really don't want to express an opinion on this proposal, don't vote. But if you don't vote you can't complain later. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


LOL.  That's what I tell people when I hear they don't vote for real.  I don't wanna hear ya complain
Goodbye.

#9 Bad Wolf

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:18 PM

Well I voted no on account of the whole cumulative thing which is imo an invitation for trouble but que sera sera...;)

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#10 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:38 PM

Voted!!!!!! :D Obviously 'for' :wink:.

#11 GiGi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:45 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Sep 23 2004, 07:18 PM, said:

Well I voted no on account of the whole cumulative thing which is imo an invitation for trouble but que sera sera...;)

Lil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I think that is something subject to interpretation, which may be what you have an issue with.  It isn't so much "cumulative" it is more if a poster is inflaming a thread without "actually" going over a line in a specific post the mods can respond to a pattern of disruptive behavior and not wait and hope that an actual line is crossed in a singular post.  Anyway that is how I interpret it.  

No one I know of is keeping some kind of track of "cumulative" offenses.  Notice we don't even have that ban/warning tracking thing that they had at SSBBS.
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#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:47 PM

Well  it is what it is.  I personally think that if the word "cumulative" is in there then it simply will end up being a matter of score keeping.  I hope I'm wrong though.:)

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#13 GiGi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:09 PM

^ I am kind of tired right now so I may be missing the word "cumulative"  where is it?

This is what I am seeing as the pattern thing I spoke of earlier -

Quote

whether it was a single post or posts or a long-term pattern of disruptive behavior

If by it saying "posts" you think tabs are being kept, again it is in response to some posters who can disrupt a thread with a series of posts that while none of the posts violate a guideline per se, the poster is violating the spirit of the guidelines by upsetting others who are posting in the thread.  Believe me there is no "tally sheet" that I know of.  We would really rather just sit back and eat popcorn than to do something like that which would require such serious effort!  ;)
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#14 Bad Wolf

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:18 PM

^

Quote

Note that this is cumulative: although the moderators won't keep formal score, an ongoing pattern of mild violations may earn a penalty even if none of the individual violations warrants one, because such a pattern of negativity can poison the atmosphere of the board and drive away members.

I think this is a bad idea (as I said in the other thread) but I can't think of an alternative other than not to do it, so I voted no (as I said I would).  Like I said, it is what it is and what will be will be...:)

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#15 GiGi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:36 PM

Thanks Lil, I didn't see that.  I can see where the language used could be interpreted the way you see it.   Is there a way to get the same idea across with out the word cumulative?  Because it does connotate score keeping, even if the next statement says we aren't keeping score.

GiGi
who hates rules, legal language and other such headache inducing things but is so glad folks like Lil can understand it!!
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#16 Bad Wolf

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:40 PM

I tried to think of a way to get the idea across without the cumulative stuff and couldn't think of one.  To me saying there is no score keeping on the heels of saying it's cumulative is just not convincing.  There's no way (in my mind) for it to be cumulative *absent* some kind of score keeping.  It need not be formal ala Slipstream, it's still score keeping.  It's an invitation for grudges, for not letting things go, and for...well, holding people to different standards.  But hey, it's a vote thing and all I can do is vote so I did and that's that.  

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#17 GiGi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:32 PM

Understood Lil, I just know the spirit in which it was written (having been there) and I didn't get a sense at all of score keeping or grudges (which the Watchdogs are there to look out for).

That and that whole laziness thing....

;)
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#18 Bad Wolf

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:40 PM

Oh I don't question any good intentions here.  As I said when these proposed guidelines first came out I fully get what is being got at here.  I just don't agree.  It's all good.:)

Also I'd like to know if this "cumulative" thing is going to be retroactive or what?  Someone raised that point on another thread but it may have gotten buried in other discussion.

Lil
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#19 GiGi

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Posted 23 September 2004 - 11:47 PM

I seriously doubt it is retroactive, as I said we don't have any tallies or anything.  All it is supposed to do is give us the ability to respond if we get mulitple complaints about a poster in a thread even though no one post crosses the line. If a poster doing this backs off then all is good.  At least that is how I understand it.
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#20 FnlPrblm

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 12:52 AM

Yeah, thanks for the discussion.  Its helped make up my mind.
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