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Thread: Cyburbia Forums rules and guidelines

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    Cyburbia Forums rules and guidelines

    Executive summary
    • Be excellent to each other. Alternatively, don't be a jerk.
    • Keep a working email address that doesn't block mail from cyburbia.org.
    • Don't share \accounts or make sockpuppets.
    • Don't spam, astroturf, troll, try to convert non-believers or believers, or approach sensitive topics in a self-righteous or toxic manner.
    • Don't make ad hominem attacks. Criticize ideas, not people.
    • Make posts with meaningful content. Don't post pad.
    • Make your posts safe for work.
    • Don't hack the forum or site.
    • Respect copyright, intellectual property rights, and other peoples' privacy.
    These rules are in place to:
    • Keep the Cyburbia Forums useful, fun, and welcoming for as many people as possible.
    • Maintain a civil, constructive, and creative space.
    • Encourage the free flow of ideas and discussion from a broad spectrum of experiences and viewpoints.
    • Discourage disruptive or toxic behavior that can undermine the above.
    These rules are general guidelines and are very flexible. We use an egalitarian, common sense approach to interpret and administer them. They cannot cover every possible situation. Do not try to creatively evade or interpret them. The rules will evolve and change as new issues and situations emerge.

    Please discuss and ask questions about board rules and guidelines in this thread.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    1 Accounts

    1.1 Accounts
    •  A person may have only one account. Only one person may use an account.
    •  Users may have a second account only for front page articles they publish under their real name. Otherwise, users may not have sockpuppet or second accounts.

    Sockpuppets may be permitted on special occasions, for example April Fools Day, by Forums staff after a formal announcement.

    If you have a Cyburbia Forums account and can't remember its user name or password, do not create a second account. Email staff at cyburbia (at) cyburbia (d0t) org.

    1.2 User names
    User names may be a real name or an anonymous handle. They must not be confusing, misleading, offensive, or inflammatory; advertise products or Web sites; or include a domain name.

    1.3 Email addresses
    Email addresses must be current and working, and able to receive email from cyburbia.org without sending a rejection or challenge/response notice, They cannot be from disposable or receive-only accounts (DEAs).

    Cyburbia will never spam users, non-users, or distribute user email addresses to others. Never. Please read our privacy policy.

    1.4 User profile details
    •  Avatars: Avatar images may be non-animated, ≤80 pixels in any dimension, and ≤3 KB.
    •  Profile images: Profile pictures may be non-animated, ≤250 pixels in any dimension, and ≤25 KB.
    •  Signatures: Text signatures should be short (preferably three lines or less), with a font size of ≤3.
    •  Profile details in general: Profile details must not be misleading, offensive or inflammatory.

    You may have a signature and avatar after they have made 25 posts. If your signature is too long or distracting, staff may ask you to change it and/or change it for you. .

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    2 Posting

    2.1 Language
    Posts should be in intelligible English, so moderators can read and understand them.

    2.2 Thread titles
    Thread titles must be descriptive and meaningful; not ambiguous or misleading. Teaser titles may only be in the Friday Afternoon Club subforum.

    2.3 Threads and interactivity
    New threads should elicit member participation and discussion. They should not be one-way announcements (utside of planning-related job listings or announcements in the appropriate subforums).

    2.4 On-topic posts and threads
    Threads should be in the subforum most appropriate for the topic. Followup posts should remain somewhat on-topic, but natural tangents are welcome.

    2.5 Multiposting / crossposting
    A new message or thread may appear only once, in one subforum.

    2.6 Post padding / low content posts
    Post padding (a post with no real purpose or content, just to increase post count stats) is unacceptable.

    Mods allow "post parties" to honor 1000-post milestones (Teh Clube, one "b" for every 1000 posts), and on other spoecial occasions.

    2.7 Bumping
    Users may bump a thread only once.

    2.9 Advertising and spam
    Users may post job listings. RFQs, conference and seminar announcements, calls for papers, and other planning-related announcements in the appropriate subforum.

    Otherwise, users may not post advertising. Unacceptable advertising includes spam and general advertising, guerilla/stealth marketing, marketing, astroturfing. black hat SEO, profile spam, hidden text and links, chain letters, and other messages and solicitations intended to promote a cause, venture, event (except Cyburbia and other planning and urbanism-related events), or Web site not related to planning. Staff will ban users that post inappropriate advertising.

    Posts from new users are looked at more critically than those from regular or established users If you're a new user, and want to post 8a link to a planning, architecture or built environment-related Web site, please e-mail or PM a mod first.

    2.10 Bigotry and hate speech
    Bigotry, and comments in a spirit that demeans or marginalizes a particular race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, or sexual orientation, are unacceptable.

    This rule is not meant to stifle sincere and civil discussion and debate of issues and themes related to race, gender, religion, class, sexual orientation, cultural values and practices, and so on.

    2.11 Politicized, controversial, and sensitive topics
    Threads about sensitive topics may get heated. Users are free to express their views with passion and vigor, as long as they remain civil and respectful towards other users. Followup posts should add value and different perspectives to the conversation. One-way lecturing, where reasoned counter-arguments are dismissed or shut down ("Shut up and listen!", etc), is unacceptable.

    Moderators may selectively remove content or close threads when people get so angry about a topic, they can't have a reasonable discussion about it; or where anger, animosity, or bitterness could spread beyond the thread.

    2.12 Toxicity
    Actions and tactics that can silence discussion and debate, reinforce groupthink, increase divisiveness, create an environment where members feel like they have to "walk on eggshells", or otherwise hurt the sense of community and camaraderie on the Cyburbia Forums, are unacceptable. This includes:

    •  Ad hominem attacks. Consider and criticize the idea, not the person presenting it.
    •  Flaming, name calling, negative labeling, or other kinds of personal attacks.
    •  Smearing, libel, or slander.
    •  Belittling, condescension, or censoriousness.
    •  Bullying, mobbing or shaming those who express certain viewpoints, including those that are contrarian, unpopular, or against a prevailing ideology.
    •  Taking a post out of context or twisting its message, to invalidate it, frame it in an unrelated context, or attack its author.
    •  Crybullying, safebaiting, or kafkatrapping,
    •  Other forms of psychological manipulation, intellectual dishonesty, or toxic behavior.

    2.13 Single issue posters / one-trick ponies
    Cyburbia is not here to furnish people with a venue for single-mindedly promoting their personal agenda. Staff may ask users to limit or refrain from posting on a certain topic.

    This rule is intended to keep people from derailing or hijacking threads by constantly posting about or steering threads towards their pet topic, not to stifle discussion and debate.

    2.14 Trolling
    Trolling is posting with the intent to incite controversy or cause offense. Trolling is unacceptable. Polemic and devil's advocacy are welcome, if discussions remain civil.

    2.15 Cranks
    A moderator may suspend or ban a user who exhibits crank-like or kook-like tendencies (posting about conspiracy and tinfoil hat theories, ludicrous beliefs, and so on). Cranks also include those who are virulently opposed to the planning profession, or who incorporate planning into other conspiracy theories. ("Commie planners are freedom-hating social engineers who want to take away our cars and guns and force us to live in apartments", etc )

    2.16 Profanity
    Cyburbia does not (normally) censor profanity. However, users should limit or refrain from profanity or offensive language in thread titles and posts outside the Friday Afternoon Club.

    2.17 Sexual content
    Sexually explicit or pornographic text is unacceptable. The medical approach is okay, the Penthouse Letters approach is not.

    2.18 Religion, proselytizing and witnessing
    Discussion and debate of religion and personal spiritual beliefs are welcome. Theistic and atheistic/anti-theistic proselytizing and evangelism are unacceptable.

    2.19 Message board invasions and email campaigns
    Starting or encouraging a malicious message board invasion, or email or phone campaign; or posting a link to or on another Web site which could potentially incite their members to maliciously invade the Cyburbia Forums, are unacceptable.

    2.20 Homework
    •  Users may post specific questions about parts of a homework assignment, and requests for general advice and/or guidance.
    •  Users may not post requests to complete homework assignments.

    2.21 Personal information
    Users must respect the privacy of other Cyburbians. Users must not reveal personal information of another user, or the content of email or private messages, unless that other user give permission, or repeatedly or recently made the information public on Cyburbia.

    2.22 Linky linky
    •  Not safe for work (NSFW) sites: Users may not post direct links to potentially not-safe-for-work (NSFW) content. A URL of the NSFW content with no hypertext link, or a link to a page that has another link to the NSFW content, either with a warning that the end destination is NSFW, is acceptable.
    •  Intrusive sites: Links to pages with sound and/or pop-up windows must include a courtesy warning.
    •  Prohibited links: Links to sites featuring primarily racist, bigoted, or hateful content; screamer or shock sites; warez sites; or sites spreading viruses and/or malware, are unacceptable.

    2.23 Forum-specific rules
    The Job Board and Announcements forums have additional rules and guidelines.

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    3 Images

    (This section does not apply to the Cyburbia Gallery.)

    3.1 Attached images
    One to four images may be attached in a post. Attached images may be deleted after the thread has been inactive for more than three months.

    3.2 Hotlinked/leeched images
    •  Hotlinked images (displayed with the vBcode [img] tag) should be smaller than 800 pixels horizontal.
    •  Hotlinked images should be hosted on Web space controlled by the user, or an image hosting service that allows hotlinking. If not, the Web site hosting the images must allow leeching, or permission to leech from that site's owner must be granted. Without permission, the [url] tag must be used instead of the [img] tag, so an image does not load every time the thread is read.
    •  Hotlinks to Web bugs are not permitted.

    We do not approve of bandwidth leeching and forcing other people to pay for bandwidth consumed by images in your post. Imgur, Photobucket and other free services should be used instead of leeching.

    3.3 Cyburbia Gallery use
    Gallery rules are linked from the Gallery Web page.

    3.4 Animation
    Animated images are allowed only in the Friday Afternoon Club (off-topic forum).

    3.5 Work-safe images
    All images displayed in posts must be safe for work (SFW). Images not safe for work (NSFW) in the typical workplace are not permitted. This includes nudity, adult themes, graphic and macabre content, and inflammatory content. Goatse, Tubgirl, or similar images in a message or profile field, whether intentional or accidental, will result in immediate long-term suspension or banning.

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    4 General behavio(u)r

    4.1 HaCk0rZiNg!!!!!1!!!one
    Hacking, flooding, vandalizing, or otherwise screwing around with Cyburbia will not be tolerated. Cyburbia staff will ban malicious hackers, and report them to their Internet service provider and local law enforcement agency.

    4.2 Harassment
    Harassing other users on or off the site is unacceptable, and will result in immediate banning

    4.3 Scamming
    Scamming or deceiving other users, phishing, or persuading another user to reveal their password for any reason is unacceptable, and will result in immediate banning

    4.4 Misrepresentation
    Impersonating or fraudulently representing another user, person, or party is unacceptable, and will result in immediate banning.

    4.5 Spam outside of posts
    Sending spam (unsolicited multiple commercial and non-commercial advertising, announcements, and other one-way messages akin to broadcasting) to other Forums users through private messages, or email targeted to other Forums users, is prohibited and will result in immediate banning.

    4.6 Creating an inclusive community
    Cliques are natural, but should not intimidate new users or make others feel like they're "on the outside looking in." Popularity contests, revealing members of a friends or blocked user list, and similar posts that may make some feel like "less of a Cyburbian" than others are strongly discouraged.

    4.7 Threats to Cyburbia
    Users threatening action against Cyburbia and/or its staff, including legal action, will be banned. This does not to apply to polite and reasonable DMCA takedown requests.

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    5 Intellectual property

    5.1 Copyrighted material
    •  Intellectual property rights must be respected. Plagiarism or posting copyrighted material from any source without giving citation or specific references, or in a manner not in the spirit of Fair Use doctrine in United States law, is not permitted.
    •  Quotes from published material (newspaper articles, etc) should include only a paragraph or two (per Fair Use doctrine in United States law), credits to the original author and source, and a link to the article if it is available online.
    •  Users must not freely share copyrighted materials that are otherwise being sold in their digital form by their copyright holders.

    5.2 Member postings and copyright
    •  All postings in the Cyburbia Forums are the copyright of their authors. Users keep the right to republish their own work.
    •  Cyburbia Forums users grant Cyburbia and its successors a nonexclusive irrevocable right to reuse threads and posts, in any manner, without notice or compensation. Forums users also grant Cyburbia the right to publicly display posts forever, or until staff removes them. Forums users also assign to Cyburbia the right to remove, delete, hide, move, modify for content, quote, or edit any post or thread.
    •  Forums users assign to other Cyburbia users the right to reference or quote the content of their posts.
    •  The content of posts is solely the responsibility and liability of their authors, and not that of Cyburbia.
    •  The Cyburbia Forums is meant to be a useful resource for planners and those interested in the built environment. Content from knowledgeable, altruistic users is the most important part of that resource. Cyburbia is not responsible for defending alleged copyright(s) if someone else copies content from the site and uses it elsewhere.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    General forum policies

    User name changes

    Minor user name changes that still leave the online identity of the member recognizable (e.g. minor typo correction, simplification of long usernames, etc) are permitted anytime.
    Major user name changes that leave no trace of the original username may be granted for users with 25 or more posts, and once for users with 25 or more posts.
    Emergency name changes (e.g. evidence of cyberstalking) are permitted anytime.
    Requests for a major name change are at the discretion of staff, and may be denied. Repeated name change requests may not be granted.

    Because it will take hours, if not days, of tedious editing, we will NOT change messages that reference an old username. Sorry.

    Account deletion

    Accounts with zero posts may be deleted only at the request of the user to Cyburbia staff.
    Accounts with one post or more will not be deleted, to preserve the context of threads; however, all contact information and personally identifying information will be removed from the user profile upon request.
    Accounts that Cyburbia staff suspect are fraudulent or created by a likely spammer will be banned.

    Crisis situations

    Suicide notes and/or threats of violence will be removed immediately. While we take such things seriously, Cyburbia cannot take responsibility for anyone else's life-threatening behavior. We urge anyone who feels compelled to harm themselves or others to contact qualified emergency personnel immediately. In the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.8255, the National Hopeline Network: 1.800.784.2433, or call 911 for local emergency services. Information on crisis centers in Canada is here. In the United Kingdom, call the Samaritans at 08457 90 90 90. In Ireland, call the Samaritans at 1850 60 90 90.

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries

    The First Amendment and private message boards

    Contrary to popular belief, "freedom of speech" does not give one the right to say anything they want, anywhere they want. While we encourage free expression, there are topics and behaviors that are inappropriate for this message board. As on most message boards, staff can delete content they find inappropriate, and suspend or ban troublesome users. The First Amendment does not obligate us to provide unlimited access for everyone to voice their opinion on any subject, or promote their personal agenda.

    That being said, we've noticed that on many message boards, there's a growing sense that one has to walk on eggshells to avoid the fallout from disagreeing or not marching lockstep with some dominant or right thinking view. Cyburbia will not be among them. It will not be an environment where members are overly cautious about what they say and how they say it, for the sake of accommodating easily offended people.

    Speak your mind. Just don't be a ass about it.

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