10 simple rules...
1. Be clear
2. Play the ball, not the person
4. No trolling, no sock-puppeting
5. Don't post up large 'copy and pastes'
6. Spamming/direct linking
7. No adverts
8. Have a look at these tools which may come in handy for the forum
9. Moderation policy
10. Overview & legal bit
Start new threads in the appropriate forum. Give relevant, precise titles, don't capitalise every letter ("LOOK @ TH1S!!" - is not acceptable). Give meaningful post content which gives people something to discuss - relevant? coherent? formatted?
Play the ball, not the person
The internet is not as far removed from real life as you'd like it to be. People are real, have real feelings and thoughts. Do not abuse people because of their ideas and beliefs for no reason. Be aware that not everyone has read as much Bakunin as you. Be nice to new posters and people developing their ideas. ANY KIND of oppressive, sexist, racist, unreasonable personal abuse, discrimination etc. is not allowed and threads will be removed and offenders banned. Please respect people's privacy and refrain from posting up personal details without their permission. Untrue smears or allegations against other forum users or related individuals or organisations are not permitted.
Cyber-bullying/harassment can be as simple as continuing to send private messages to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels, ganging up by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation or defamation. Cyber-bullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g. real name, address, or workplace/schools, photos) or may pose as the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them. Some cyber-bullies may also send threatening and harassing messages to the victims, while other post rumours or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target. Please report malicious PMs to the admins via the contact form.
No trolling, no sock-puppeting
From Wikipedia: "a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion." Trolling is not allowed, and may lead to posts being deleted, users warned and persistent offenders banned. Sock-puppetting is setting up multiple accounts to agree with yourself, to create a false impression that more people are expressing a certain view, to try and evade an account ban, or to make posts the perpetrator doesn’t want associated with their ‘real’ pseudonym. Sock-puppetting is not allowed, and may lead to ALL associated accounts being banned. Multiple accounts are allowed in some circumstances, e.g. a shared account to upload library articles from a group or publication, or to maintain a collaborative blog. If in doubt, ask in the feedback forum.
Copy and pastes
Do not post up large chunks of cut and paste text to the forums, but make things easier for others by summarising the article and including a link to the unabridged version. If your text is not available elsewhere online you need to find somewhere to host it - perhaps our library or news section if it is relevant, otherwise use one of these sites to paste the article in then use the link to it - http://docs.google.com (free registration), http://writer.zoho.com (free registration) or http://paste.turbogears.org (no registration required). Post a comment on your summary in order to arouse interest in discussion around the article. What is a long piece of text? Think - would anyone be prepared to sit and read it in the context of a discussion forum?
Flooding the boards with links to your site is considered spamming. If you want to link to a relevant article provide a short summary or quote to describe what's contained in the link. This will help readers know if it's relevant and moderators to distinguish it from spam. Do not directly link to 'hostile' websites (leave gaps in the URL if you wish to refer to them or prefix the URL with http://anonym.to?). Anyone found posting up malicious links on other sites and/or trying to stir up 'board wars' will be banned.
Any form of commercial or personal advertisements will be removed and the poster dealt with. Relevant adverts should be posted in the announcements forum. This is a discussion forum, not a free advertising resource and offenders will be warned and then banned. Signature files/avatars are disabled and putting in links to your own website with every post isn't permitted either: we want to hear your opinions, not see the same link with every post!
Useful forum tools
All tools are free and nothing to do with libcom.org, where free registration is required look for the [R].
- http://www.box.net - upload any kind of files publicly and link to them from the forum [R].
- http://imageshack.us - upload, resize and link to images.
- http://docs.google.com - upload long text files (articles, pamphlets) here for referencing on the forums [R].
- http://tinyurl.com/ - turn long web addresses into short ones, or just use the URL button above the comment box.
Ordinarily we have a policy of one thread per topic. Duplicate threads may be locked, with a link given to the main discussion. If your thread or post goes against any of these guidelines it is likely to end up in the bin, unpublished (hidden from non-admins) or deleted. Infringement may lead to a temporary ban (typically 72 hrs), or in serious cases and/or serial infringement a permanent ban. Abuse of the report function, e.g. mass reporting posts which don't breach the site guidelines will result in a ban. You have been warned. Old threads may be deleted without warning. PLEASE MAKE COPIES OF THREADS IMPORTANT TO YOU.
If your post is moderated or you are banned, an explanation should be edited into the post or posted on the thread. You should first check these posting guidelines if you have any questions. Failing that, you can start a thread in feedback, or if banned, use the contact form to contact the admins. Querying moderation decisions on-thread derails discussions and such posts are likely to be removed. Repeatedly doing so will attract further moderation up to and including a ban. Please only query moderation decisions, using the feedback forum, if they do not appear to conform to this policy, not just because you don't agree with them. Reposting anything that has already been edited or removed by admins will usually result in an immediate ban.
Overview & legal bit
Please remember we run this website out of our own time and money. Please respect the site and forums and people putting effort into them. This is not a haven of free speech for some wackos with weird ideas, we have clear aims and ideas about what we are trying to encourage with this project and will strive to maintain those ideas. Posts represent the views of the respective posters, we do not take any responsibility for the contents of posts and cannot be held responsible for any information in a post or any actions and events resulting from information within posts. All opinions stated on the forums or in comments are those of the individual authors and are not the responsibility of libcom.org.
Last revised December 2011.