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Cyburbia Forums rules and policies

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Dear Leader
Staff member
Updated 23 January 2019.

Forum rules 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.
• Make new threads somewhat meaningful, and keep followup posts reasonably on topic.
• Don't spam, troll, try to shot down discussion, or try to convert non-believers or believers.
• Approach sensitive topics with civility and mutual respect.
• Criticize ideas if you must, but not other members. Unless they're really being a jerk.
• Don't spread hate, prejudice, or bigotry.
• Don't make others feel like they have to walk on eggshells.
• Make content safe for work.
• Try to treat everybody as if they're part of the "in group", even if they don't share all your beliefs.
• Respect copyright, intellectual property rights, and other peoples' privacy.
• Don't hack Cyburbia.

These rules help:

• 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 range of experiences and viewpoints.
• Discourage disruptive or toxic behavior that can undermine these goals.

Forum rules aren't meant to micromanage posting activity, or cover every possible situation. We use a flexible, yet rational common-sense approach for interpretation and administration. Do not try to creatively exploit or evade these rules, or play "rules lawyer".

1 Accounts

1.1 Accounts 🖥
You may have one account on Cyburbia. You can create a second account (1) to post about problems you have signing into their original account, or (2) on special occasions (April Fools Day, etc), when Cyburbia staff allows it.

When we find multiple accounts from one person, and there is no evidence of the other account(s) being used to "sockpuppet" or deceive other Cyburbia users, we may merge the older account(s) into the newer account.

1.2 Email addresses 📧
A user account must have a working email address, which can get email from cyburbia.org without bouncing it or sending a challenge/response notice. An email address must not be from a disposable or receive-only email service.

1.3 User names 📛
Your user name may be a real name, nickname, or anonymous handle. Your user name can't be inflammatory, or take the form of an ad.

1.4 Avatars 🖼
Avatar images must be static, and safe for work.

1.5 Signatures in posts 🖊
User post count is the basis for the ability to have a signature, its length, and whether it can have links to other Web sites.

2 Content

2.1 Language 🔠
Posts should be in English, so moderators can understand them. You can post in another language if you want, but keep in mind other users may not understand.

2.2 Thread titles 🏷
Threads in Planning and the Built Environment subforums must have descriptive, accurate titles.

2.3 Threads and interactivity 💬 🗨
Threads should elicit member participation and discussion. New threads should not be one-way announcements, outside of job listing and announcement subforums.

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

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

2.6 Post padding / low content posts ⚪
Don't make a post with no content, just to increase your message count. Exception: special occasions, such as threads to celebrate 1000-post milestones by other users, and New Years Eve.

2.7 Old threads and posts 🕸
You may post a message in an old thread at any time. However, you may only bump a thread (make a short "bump" post to bring it to the top of the subforum front page) once.

2.8 Advertising and spam 💩
Users with 20 or more posts may post job listings. RFQs, conference and seminar announcements, calls for papers, and other planning-related announcements in the appropriate subforum.

Otherwise, don't post advertising, whether it's in a message or somewhere else on Cyburbia. This includes (but is not limited to) general advertising, spam, guerilla marketing, astroturfing, "black hat" SEO (search engine optimization), hidden text and links, and chain letters. If you post spam; or your registration information, history on another message board, or inclusion in a forum spam blacklist shows evidence that you're a spammer. we will ban you.

2.9 Bigotry and hatred 😠
Don't post messages or have profile content in a spirit that demeans or marginalizes a particular race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, or sexual orientation, whether the content "punches up" or "punches down". This rule does not intend to stifle sincere, civil discussion and debate of issues related to identity, class, cultural values and practices, and so on.

You have the right to define your own experiences and feelings. However, moderators are not thought police. When judging whether or not something is demeaning or marginalizing, we'll consider context and intent, and err on the side of caution and reason.

2.10 Politicized, controversial, and sensitive topics 🔥
Discussion about sensitive topics should generate more light than heat. Users may express their views about sensitive topics with passion, if they remain civil and respectful towards other users. Followup posts should add value and different perspectives.

Cyburbia will not be a culture war battleground, nor territory to be claimed by one group or another. Our aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. This does not mean we "tolerate intolerance" or "include non-inclusiveness", though.

2.11 Toxicity ☢
Actions and tactics that disrupt or silence discussion, foster groupthink, increase divisiveness, or otherwise hurt the sense of community and camaraderie on the Cyburbia Forums, are unacceptable. Some examples of toxic forum behavior are:

• Ad hominem attacks.
• Posting with the intent to start flame wars or antagonize others.
• Attempts to break down our "big tent", and build or enforce ideological conformity.
• Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.
• Using rhetorical tactics that shut down discussion.
• An overly confrontational or incendiary discussion style.
• Taking message content out of context; or over-analyzing it to find some malicious hidden meaning..
• Trolling, flaming, and name calling.
• Shaming (including privilege shaming) or condescension towards other users.
• Pile-ons.
• Bullying and crybullying.

2.12 Obsessive single issue posting 🚇 🚇 🚇 🚇 💤
Cyburbia is not a venue for single-mindedly promoting a personal agenda. Moderators may ask you to limit or stop posting about a certain topic.

2.13 Kooks and 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 believe planners have a role in some conspiracy theory (Agenda 21, etc).

2.14 Profanity and not-safe-for-work content 🍆
Limit profanity in thread titles and posts where appropriate. Don't post content that isn't safe for work.

2.15 Religion, proselytizing and witnessing 🛐
Don't proselytize or "witness". Otherwise, we welcome discussion and debate of religion or personal spiritual beliefs.

2.16 Homework 🏫
You may post specific questions about parts of a homework assignment, and requests for general advice and/or guidance. Don't post requests to complete homework assignments.

2.17 Revealing personal information / doxxing 🕵
Don't reveal personal information of another user, or the content of email or private messages, unless the other user gives permission, or repeatedly or recently makes the information public on Cyburbia.

Don't doxx another Cyburbia user, or promote doxxing someone else.

2.18 Links to other Web sites 🔗
Spam: see 2.8.
• Don't post direct links to potentially not-safe-for-work (NSFW) content.
• Links to pages that automatically play sound must have a courtesy warning.
• Don't link to hate sites; screamer or shock sites; warez sites; or sites spreading viruses and/or malware.

2.19 Copyrighted material ©️
• Respect intellectual property rights. Don't post copyrighted material from a source without giving citation or specific references. Posting of copyrighted content should follow the spirit of the Fair Use doctrine in United States law.
• Don't post copyrighted materials that are otherwise being sold in their digital form by their copyright holders.

2.20 Forum-specific rules
There are forum-specific rules in the Job Board and Announcements forums.

3 General behavior

3.1 Malicious hacking 💣
Don't try to malicious hack, overload, vandalize, or otherwise screw around with or harm Cyburbia. If you do, we will ban you, and report you to your Internet service provider and local law enforcement agency.

3.2 Harassment
Don't harass other users on or off the site. If you do, we will ban you.

3.3 Scamming 💸
Don't scam or deceive other users, phish, or persuade another user to reveal their password. If you do, we will ban you.

3.4 Misrepresentation 👹
Don't fraudulently impersonate or represent another user, person, or party.

3.5 Spam outside of posts
If you send spam to other Cyburbia users through private messages, email, or another method, we will ban you..

3.6 Creating an inclusive community 🍻
We want every user to feel welcome, and a part of our community. Cliques are natural, but should not intimidate new users or make others feel like they're "on the outside looking in." We strongly discourage popularity contests, revealing members of a friends or blocked user list, and similar posts that can make someone feel like an outsider or less of a Cyburbian.

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 and social media sites, 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. We want to avoid these dynamics. Cyburbia 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. However, we won't "tolerate intolerance", either.

Speak your mind. Just don't be a ass about it. Remember, there's a living, breathing human at the receiving end.


Dear Leader
Staff member
General forum policies

Ownership and reuse of user-generated content

Ownership of user-generated content is shared between its authors/creators, and the Cyburbia Forums.

Authors/creators have the right to republish and profit from their own work.

Cyburbia (and any successor Web site) has the right to reuse user-generated content in any manner without notice or compensation. Cyburbia may keep a post online forever, or until staff removes them. Cyburbia also has the right to remove, hide, move, modify for content (but not context), or quote any post or thread.

User-generated content is available to others under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) license. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit the creator, and license their new creations under identical terms.

User-generated content is the responsibility and liability of its author/creator, not Cyburbia.

User name changes
We consider requests to change a user name on a case-by-case basis. User name changes are at the discretion of Cyburbia staff. These are guidelines; not hard-and-fast rules.

• Minor user name changes that keep online identity of the member recognizable (examples: correcting a typo, making a long username simpler) are permitted anytime.
• Major user name changes that leave no trace of the original username are permitted (1) anytime for users with less than 25 posts; and (2) once every two years for users with 25 or more posts.
• Name changes to remove personally identifiable information, and emergency name changes (for example, when someone is stalking a user), are permitted anytime.

Because it will take hours, if not days, of tedious editing, we can't edit messages that reference an old username. Sorry.

Account locking and removal
We consider requests to lock or delete a user account on a case-by-case basis. Our guidelines for account locking and removal are:

• Accounts with no posts may be removed 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, we will "soft delete" it -- remove all contact and personally identifying information, and make the account inactive (scramble the password, delete private messages, and prevent new incoming or outgoing private messages) upon request. We may also change user names with personally identifying information or characters we no longer allow (punctuation, etc.).
• We reserve the right to purge spammer accounts, and old inactive accounts, with no posts.

Spam prevention
The forum software queries the Stop Forum Spam database as part of validating new user registration. If there is a match, the forum software rejects the registration. We report all spammers, including profile spammers, to Stop Forum Spam. We may also ban new users whose registration details are typical of spammers.

Unfortunately, we don't allow new user registration from certain countries or IP blocks that, in our experience, have a high ratio of spammers to potential legitimate users. We know we're missing out on some potentially great new members from the countries we now block. However, the alternative is spending hours every day cleaning up spam -- time that we'd rather spend doing something else.

Crisis situations
If you threaten suicide, self-harm, or harm to others, we have the right to contact authorities for a wellness check. Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe. -- Talmud Sanhedrin


Dear Leader
Staff member
Cyburbia user privileges

Registered users (≦ 4 posts, user title: Member) can:
• Have an avatar picture.
• Start and post in threads (moderator approval if it has a link).
• Edit a thread title or post content ≦ 30 minutes of posting.
• Like / upvote posts.
• See user profiles.

Registered users (5 - 19 posts, user title: Member) can also:
• Start and post in threads, with no moderation if the post has a link.
• Start a poll (≦ 20 choices).
• Edit thread titles or post content ≦ 60 minutes after posting.
• Upload attachments (≦ 1 MB each) to a post.
• Start or participate in conversations (private messages) with one member (recipient) at a time.
• Have a signature with ≦ 400 characters and ≦ 3 lines.

Cyburbian users (20 - 199 posts, user title: Cyburbian) can also:
• Edit thread titles or post content ≦ 480 minutes (8 hours) after posting.
• Start or participate in conversations (private messages) with ≦10 recipients per conversation.
• Have one link in their signature.
• Post and like messages on someone else's profile page.
• Receive messages on their profile page.

Cyburbian Plus users (≥ 200 posts) can also:
• Change their user title from Cyburbian to something else.
• Edit thread titles or post content, or delete one of their posts, ≦ 48 hours after posting.
• Start or participate in conversations (private messages) with ≦ 50 recipients per conversation.
• Have a signature with custom colors and fonts; and ≦ 4 lines, ≦ 2 links, and ≦ 2 smilies.
• Access to the Safe Space for Planners and Confidential Career Advice forums. (The forums are for confidential discussion about sensitive issues; not gossip.)

Banned users don't have any of these privileges.


Dear Leader
Staff member
Points (trophies)

Cyburbia users get one point or "trophy" for each of these milestones.

Posts or threads: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, and every additional 1,000 posts afterwards.
Posts with likes: every 50 likes. (Example: 150 posts with likes = 3 points.)
Years of membership: 1 year + 50 posts, and every additional year + 50 posts. (Example: 4 years + 200 posts = 4 cumulative points. 4 years + 180 posts = 3 cumulative points).
Birthday login (must set their birth month and date in their profile).
• More to come, depending on future XenForo capabilities.
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