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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Moderation Rules and Decisions [Rule update 20 Sep]

    This is a thread for moderators to post details of decisions made about moderation standards - may also include details of reasons for any further bannings or deletions for non-obvious reasons. This thread has been created so that there is less confusion about what the existing standards are (including for the various moderators!)

    No list of rules will be complete and the mods reserve the right to moderate anything at any stage for any reason. In general standards here are fairly liberal, however these are some of the standards that are already in place:

    * No illegal material (the main issues here are defamation, illegal vilification and threats of violence).

    * No swearing or excessive crudity. Some latitude is shown in mild cases but there is a low tolerance for crude/vulgar abuse towards other posters, particularly those who are relatively new to the board.

    * Irrelevant insults about personal attributes are not permitted. For instance, irrelevant insults related to age, appearance, weight, gender, sexuality, personal life or lifestyle will generally not be tolerated.

    * No spamming or post-flooding. Advertising coming chess events within Australia is strongly encouraged within the tournaments section, but posts advertising general chess websites from overseas will generally be deleted, especially if made by posters without previous posts. Any use of the forum's PM or email facilities to send the same unsolicited message to many users will be considered spam.

    * Please keep your posts relevant to the original topic of the thread, or at least to other posts on it, especially within chess-related sections of the board. Posts that are off-topic may be deleted or moved to new or other threads. Threadjacking (deliberately disrupting discussions with off-topic posts or irrelevant issues) is not permitted.

    * The shoutbox often provides the first impression new users receive of the Chess Chat community. Posters should therefore be respectful of other conversations and avoid even low level vulgarity. Excessive trolling may result in loss of shouting rights. Further shoutbox guidelines may be found here.

    * Attempts at circumventing the board's auto-censoring of words feature are not permitted.

    * Unnecessary thread proliferation (eg deliberately creating a new thread that duplicates existing discussion or starting multiple copies of the same thread) is not permitted. However, starting new threads to explore side-issues that are not relevant to the original subject is strongly encouraged.

    * Impersonation of other users or of Australian chess personalities generally, including via PM, is not permitted. Multiple accounts for a single poster may be permitted, or not, at our discretion. We will frequently ban anonymous accounts that are suspected of being operated by banned users, any account that misrepresents the nature of the person operating it (eg adult posters pretending to be juniors) and any account employing a proxy IP.

    * When quoting posts made on this board, please attribute them to the username of the poster who posted them, rather than the poster's real name (where different) or any other "name". The real names of posters who post under an alias may, however, be mentioned sparingly where known.

    * Links to material that falls outside the site rules must be clearly labelled "not work safe" and must contain additional warnings if the material linked to is unusually gross, potentially disturbing etc. In extreme cases links may be deleted even if a disclaimer is provided. Some links may be better posted in the Coffee Lounge rather than the main board.

    * Any user posting a link to something they have written elsewhere grants permission for CC members to quote part or all of the relevant section of the material they are referring to, on this forum. A user wishing to link to something they have written elsewhere, where the portion relevant to the thread being posted to is short (eg less than twenty lines long), should quote the part relevant to the thread instead of just posting a link. The moderators reserve the right to delete links to, or quotes of, self-written material that is out of date and of no interest to the thread at the time of posting.

    * While a poster is banned they cannot cause material to be posted on chesschat, including posting under a different account name or arranging for another poster to post material on their behalf. Any attempt to evade a ban in this manner will lead to a much longer ban. Starting a new account or using a hydra account while banned are also not permitted, even if not posting at the time.

    * While a poster is banned from chesschat it is not permitted to post on their behalf in any way, or to post links to anything they have written while banned. Quoting of banned posters is permitted only if (i) the material quoted was written before the poster's current ban commenced (onus is on the quoter to demonstrate this) or (ii) the quoting is clearly for the purposes of critical discussion (not necessarily negative) rather than deliberately helping the banned poster to circumvent their ban by having their comments appear here.

    Any post consisting largely of quoting of material by one or more banned posters with little or no original comment added will breach this rule, as will any post that quotes a banned user without discussing the comments quoted in relation to points being discussed on the thread. In any case all material quoted must be clearly within the site rules. If in doubt about this rule, please check your intended post with a moderator before posting it.

    * Issues related to suicide or depression must be handled sensitively. Also, it is not permitted to use expressions that can be reasonably read as suggesting that posters take their own lives, that posters should die, or that posters should come to serious harm, unless the context is clearly amicable and harmless.

    * The Coffee Lounge is a private bonus subforum for users with at least 500 posts. Material written there may not be republished in any other medium whatsoever, including on other forums, except with the written consent of the author(s) of all material being republished. Links to the Coffee Lounge from the main board (or posts having the same effect as links) are not permitted.

    Moderators will moderate the following matter within the Coffee Lounge: defamation where a risk of legal action is perceived, crude abuse, gratuitous or excessive swearing, and material likely to offend many adults. If the site owner does not approve of a poster's behaviour in the Coffee Lounge for any reason, he may take any action he considers appropriate.

    * Private communications of any sort, including but not limited to PMs, emails and letters, may not be posted or quoted publicly (including elsewhere in the case of PMs or emails from this site) without the written consent of the author(s) of all material being quoted. A communication is private if its author has, or may reasonably have, an expectation of confidentiality. Exceptions include tournament announcements, newsletters and some other materials with a wide circulation that are clearly not in confidence. Internal proceedings of chess organisations and businesses are in confidence unless stated otherwise no matter how many recipients there are.

    The onus is strongly on the poster of a communication to ensure that its posting is permitted prior to doing so, if necessary by asking a moderator.

    * No legal threats (including threatening to "seek legal advice") may be made anywhere, including outside the site, against either the site or another poster on account of material posted here without first contacting the moderators and asking that the offending material be removed. Such a request may state that material is defamatory but may not include any reference to the possibility of legal action.

    * Posters who have been repeatedly moderated will be suspended if they post while apparently drunk.

    * The moderators/admins reserve the right to take any action they deem appropriate against members who make demonstrably false or misleading claims about this site or its administration/moderation on other sites. We recommend that members having issues with administration/moderation pursue those issues on this site. Action may also be taken against members who encourage other members to break site rules or breach moderation directives, no matter where or how the encouragement occurs.

    * The site has a responsibility for posts policy to make it possible to determine when those posters who also hold formal positions in the chess community are posting on behalf of their organisations. Comments that contravene this policy (ie that accuse posters of posting on behalf of organisations when they are not, and vice versa) may be moderated.

    * Failing to follow a directive from an admin or moderator may result in immediate action being taken against the poster. If you disagree with any decision or directive from the admins or moderators, take it up by PM with the admin or moderator concerned, in the moderation discussion thread or by starting a new thread in the non-chess or Help and Feedback sections. If still not satisfied you may contact the site owner.

    * The moderators/admins reserve the right to delete any sig files they deem to be inflammatory or controversial. This includes but is not limited to criticism of other members, this site or its moderation/administration.

    * Sig files that are excessively long, garish or otherwise detract from the primary purpose of the site, will lead to the member being requested to 'tone it down'. Failure to comply with such requests may also result in the sigfile being deleted.

    * If a member sends another member any PM that the recipient has previously indicated is not wanted, then the offending member may have their PM rights revoked or other action taken.

    * Premium members who obtain information not available to other members are not allowed to reveal that information publicly. Penalties include immediate loss of premium membership rights without refund and immediate banning.

    * The use of temporary, disposable or password-unprotected email addresses to sign up is strongly discouraged. Apparently genuine registrants from such addresses will be emailed and asked to provide a permanent email address instead. No response after 24 hours will lead to the original account being banned. All such email address domains that we discover will be added to our blocked domain list.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 21-01-2014 at 10:13 AM. Reason: fix typo

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    GinoTHEStud posted a number of irrelevant posts and flooded the shoutbox and was banned indefinitely following complaints from users - this is what we would normally do when an unknown poster is postflooding until we work out what is going on (otherwise these things get out of control, eg happyfriend). Apparently however it was an unfortunate misunderstanding - he is a visitor from elsewhere and wanted to get his postcount up to gain PM rights. I didn't know that was the case and had I known I wouldn't have banned him - he has now been unbanned.

    Postflooding to gain access to PMs is generally not allowed because the post limit to use PMs exists to discourage new posters from rapidly acquiring the ability to spam - all complaints about this restriction should be addressed to Matthew Sweeney. However if a new user has a good reason to use PMs quickly then all they need to do is approach the admins or mods with a request to be allowed to do so.

    I'd appreciate it if anyone introducing visitors from elsewhere made it clear that they are not allowed to use PMs until they have made ten posts and they need to consult an admin or mod if they wish to gain access more rapidly than by posting ten "normal" posts.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 05-07-2005 at 12:22 AM.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    ChessGuru post deleted from Mt Buller bulletins thread as concerns about possible defamation of a person who doesn't post here have been raised. I'll try to find some time to look at it very carefully and if it is definitely harmless or the admin is happy to have it up, it can be restored.

  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Link to Matthew Sweeney's blog provisionally deleted as blog contained a fair amount of Matthew's usual grossness and questionably adult content but he made no real attempt to warn the reader in providing the link.

    Links to dodgy stuff should at minimum be labelled "not work safe" by the poster and should also warn if the material linked to is unusually gross, potentially disturbing etc. Links without such warnings will be deleted - it's the poster's responsibility.

    In extreme cases links may be deleted even if a disclaimer is provided. Some links may be better posted in the Coffee Lounge rather than the main board.

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    One post has been deleted from one of the Sydney grade matches threads. While the basic point it made (that the SAC team's withdrawal from the event could create negative publicity for the SAC as a business) was fine I reckon it went too far and became a bit legally dodgy. Post's still under review but be surprised if it returns.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Several posts from George Howard CDs thread moved offline as they contained accusations of criminal activity.

    As a general rule accusations of criminal activity will not be tolerated here and those who repeatedly post them may be banned. If you have strong evidence to back such accusations the place to take them is your local police station, not here. If you don't have strong evidence then your comments may be defamatory.

    However claims about criminal activity will be permitted where the person referred to has been convicted in a court of law.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Thread by antichrist attacking SGCC deleted. Complex case because we think it is fairly unlikely that the thread was actually defamatory, but it was certainly a trashy piece of unsubstantiated slagging and the points concerned really would have been best left in the several original threads concerning the issues raised - starting a new thread was unnecessary and malicious. Plus there were inaccurate claims about PMs and comments that could become defamatory towards a given player.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Bunch of off-topic nonsense deleted after Sweeney called a new poster a bastardised version of that poster's username. As far as I can tell (following the trail of posts) this was completely unprovoked since the new poster had made no posts other than four moves in a correspondence game in the Correspondence Games section. Matt then tried to portray the new poster as a troll and hydra after the new poster, in retaliation, spread to having a go at him in turn on various other threads. Fooled me until I checked the timing of the various posts.

    Assuming the above account is correct, Matthew is now on a severe warning and any further vulgarising of people's usernames may lead to at least a week in the tank.

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Reminder to several posters: wishing other posters dead, encouraging other posters to kill themselves, threats of violence (implied or explicit) and other things like that are not allowed and will be deleted - even if there was serious provocation.

    Issues related to suicide and depression are sensitive for several posters on this board for a variety of reasons. Please try to be tactful when discussing them.

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    antichrist banned for one day by Rincewind for posting dodgy/vulgar content in the shoutbox.

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    There have been several spammers and flooders signing up in the last week or so. Rincewind has been banning them all immediately, so that explains what's going on with new signups being immediately banned. The flooder attacks are coming from the UK. If necessary, moderator vetting of new signups will be introduced, but it has not come to this yet.

    (Flooders are trolls who sign up and bombard the site with dozens of inane or idiotic posts in a short space of time.)

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Site owner has asked me to post the following:

    Legal Threats

    We would like all posters to be able to post here without being threatened with legal action for defamation or anything else, on the understanding that posters who repeatedly and/or severely defame others will be dealt with harshly by the mods and admins.

    Therefore we have made the following new rule - from now on, any poster who threatens or takes legal action (including threatening to "seek legal advice") against either the site or another poster on account of material posted here without first contacting the moderators and asking that the offending material be removed, will be suspended or banned. This applies even if the threat is made entirely outside the site.

    A post can be reported to all admins and mods for consideration for moderation by clicking on the ! button in the lower-right hand corner of the post. Please remember to explain why you want the post moderated and think about whether it is any worse than anything else you might have said to the same person.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 03-11-2005 at 10:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I've suspended Matthew Sweeney for one day for vulgar attacks on various posters in the amswartz flamewar. Matthew has had a previous warning by PM since his return to the board that vulgar attacks on posters would result in suspension.

    There is no connection between this suspension and his flamewar with Bill over moderation of the same thread, which he will be free to resume losing when he returns.

  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I've suspended Sweeney, probably for another three days although that's still being discussed, for a few more instances of crude abuse towards various people he disagrees with (not only mods) in the last day or two. None of these were particualrly severe violations by Sweeney standards, which is why the suspension isn't much longer, but it's obvious that he is continuing to push the boundaries in spite of numerous warnings and I see no reason why we should put up with it.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 11-11-2005 at 11:12 AM.

  15. #15
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    I've created a new group for users who are banned at their own request. This is to avoid confusion with those users who are banned for reasons of unacceptable behaviour.

    Suspended Users have the same rights as Banned Users, the only difference is their User Title says "Account Suspended" and their User Name appears in italics instead of being struck-through.
    We may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of “faith.” We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. - Bertrand Russell

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