Author Topic: Furtopia Forums Main Rules & Guidelines, Version 3.0  (Read 5159 times)

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Furtopia Forums Main Rules & Guidelines, Version 3.0
« on: October 21, 2011, 05:06:18 pm »
Notice: The following rules are old and no longer valid.

For furtopia's up to date rule page, please see [here].





FURTOPIA.ORG RULES & GUIDELINES, Ver. 3.0

(Revised and rewritten during September/October, 2011)

Table of Contents: (Click each word link below to be taken to the appropriate section.)




INTRODUCTION

Post as quoted from WhiteShepherd on July 5, 2006.

Quote
July 5, 2006

Why are Furtopia's rules different from other forums?

Furtopia was created as a place where furs/individuals regardless of differences can come together to share discussion through the requirement of "shared respect".  I.e.: you are free to share and you are free to disagree here provided you ALWAYS respect the feelings/opinions of those you discuss with here.

Tones must be kept civil, arguments should be asked without baiting/flaming, jokes are welcome but may not make someone a target/put down. So if a joke or comment is at someone else’s expense (makes a target of them), then it doesn't belong.  This kind of action or "bullying" will NEVER be permitted here.

We "require" the rule of respect here because it is a tool if used properly allows people/furs of many differences to hold GOOD discussions and share opinions/differences.

All public "discussions" in the main forums will remain family friendly. *I.e.: It's always possible to emphasize your words in more eloquent and intelligent ways, and the fact that it’s almost always inappropriate to use swearing when trying to discuss and keep respect to other members.  So best advice is “talk smarter, not harder.”

Again, Furtopia is a place of "discussion through required respect". So understand that Furtopia is NOT like most other forums on the Internet as our standards of conduct ARE different.

Sincerely,
WhiteShepherd (Furtopia.org System Administrator/Operator)

The Furtopia.org forum is a bulletin board that was built with the aim of bringing the furry community a bit closer together in a safe, protected location free from external antagonisms (Trolling, Bashing, Insulting, etc.). The following consists of a few things that we would like the users here to keep in mind as they post in these forums.


Staff Note:  For an up to date listing of amendments, additions, deletions, etc. in future days/weeks/months, then please also review this thread here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,39275.0.html 
Also, some forums may have slightly different rules and exceptions from those listed in the main rules below. Please be sure to read any pinned threads in various forums for revisions/amendments. If members have any questions/problems about a rule, then please PM a Mod or Admin and we will answer any questions you have. :)



1. Be respectful of the staff and your fellow members at all times. Insulting or bashing other users will quite possibly get you a warning and/or a ban.

2. The main theme of this board is "furry" (Anthropomorphics). It is very important to maintain this theme, as simple as it is. This includes, but is not limited to: politics, artists, community projects, culture, literature, costuming, fandom, lifestyle, and spirituality. (EXCEPTION: This rule does not apply to the General Non-Furry Discussion Forum, the Adult General Discussion Forum, and the Debate Forum.)

3. This is a PG rated (Family Friendly) board. Topics that are NEVER allowed on ALL forums are:
a) Any sexual content between members, whether over 18 (adult) or under (minor), regardless of whether that person is human or acting as their fursona. This includes, but is not limited to: Art, Literature, Pics/Vids, Role-playing games, etc.
b) Hatred/Slander/Harassment of individuals or a group of people.
c) The encouragement/advocation (Possession, Use, Sale, Distribution, Promotion, etc.) of drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances/items, and the encouragement of acts (violent content, hacking, vandalism, etc.) which could harm a person’s health/safety and/or get them into trouble.
d) No swearing of anything harsher than “damn” and “hell”. Please don't try to bend the rules by using creative spelling (fsck), acronyms (WT F), censoring, insinuation, or other tricks. Talk smarter, not harder.
e) Some exceptions to the above items (a - d) may be found in pinned threads in the various adult forums Furtopia has which are described in Item # 14 further below.)

4. No spamming. If you are here to engage in a race to get the most posts in as short a time span as possible, or create posts that have no intellectual discussion value whatsoever, then you are wasting valuable server resources that can be better used on people who are here for valid, constructive reasons. Posts/threads (Depending on spam content.) will be removed at staff's discretion.

5. Role-Playing  Minor Role-playing in discussion threads is permitted provided it does not disrupt or distract from the original topic being discussed.  Large RPs may be moved to a more suitable area (Role-playing Games Forum) if needed at the Staff's discretion. (EXCEPTION: This rule does not apply to the Furry Role-Playing Game Forum located here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?board=32.0 )

6. No ranting type topics. The Furtopia forums are intended to be a place where various topics can be discussed and resolved through the intelligent participation of the forum's member base.  The Staff ask that threads created in the Furtopia forums be phrased as, but not limited to: Requests for suggestions, debates, advice, guidance, or emotional support, etc. so such conversation can be facilitated.
Please do not post rants (i.e. - Angry shouts/tirades) or other similar topics that do not invite intelligent participation/discussion on the Furtopia forums, especially in the Life Problems forum. Instead, either phrase your topic as described above or use another resource such as a Livejournal or other personal blog/website. Ranting type topics will be removed at Staff discretion and treated as spam content. For a more detailed description of what is and is not considered a rant, please see this example thread: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=44695.0


7. Graphical Images (Artwork, Avatars, Signatures, etc.), and other furry or non-furry "arts".

a) The images in signatures can be no bigger than 450 pixels wide by 150 pixels high in total and must be no more than 100 KB.  This size limit is for ALL images combined, not just for individual images. This is done for the sake of modem users' bandwidth since they have enough to download as it is with the board pages and related graphics. Additionally, it becomes very ungainly to see a large picture repeated several times down the page that contains any given thread. (Note: Some website signature services generate images that are too big.  If you use a generated signature, please make sure it is within limits.)

b) Use of avatars can be furry art that you drew yourself or someone created for you, animals, or a personal pic of yourself.  Avatar sizes can be no bigger than 100 pixels high x 100 pixels wide, and no more than 50 KB. A guide to using an Avatar can be found here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=38972.0

c) Embedding images in posts. There is no set rule to how large pictures can be in a given post, though very large pictures are automatically scaled down to 700 x 700 pixels by the forum's settings.
Out of common courtesy, please consider editing your images to an even smaller size, such as 400 to 600 pixels and/or 500 KB in file size or less, as this will be helpful to our members who have slower connections or bandwidth limits. If you have any large high resolution images to show, or if you have an excessive number of images, such as more than 8 to show at one time in a single post, we ask that you please post them as links instead. If more images are needed for a specific thread (Artwork, Conventions, Tutorials, Vacations, etc.), then please PM a mod/admin with a request to post more images. A guide to putting images in posts can be found here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=45614.0

d) Copyrighted art/materials - The use of copyrighted materials (Art, Stories, etc.) made by someone other than yourself, without getting written permission from or giving credit to the original owner/creator, is discouraged. Such material will be removed if requested by the original owner. Intentionally "stealing" and using a copyrighted work, either in whole or in part, and claiming it as your own will result in removal of the item by staff.
If you see any copyrighted works (Art, Stories, etc.) that you own and that have been used/stolen without your permission or credit, you are encouraged to contact an Admin here:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=31338.0
All inquiries will be reviewed by Staff and appropriate measures will be taken to correct the offense.


8. Use of Furtopian logos, name, etc.  Individuals who wish to use either in part, or in whole, the Furtopian name, logo, or any other OFFICIAL Furtopian artwork/images located on the Furtopia.org website/forums for items including, but not limited to the following: convention badges, signs, banners, tshirts, etc., must contact a Moderator or Admin and get permission first. You must state what graphics you wish to use, How they will be used, and where they are going to be used. The staff will then review an individual's request and will contact that individual in a timely manner with a response. Any unauthorised use of the Furtopia name, logo, etc. may result in disciplinary measures as determined by staff.

9. Advertising - Individuals are not allowed to explicitly advertise or recruit on Furtopia forums and live chat (Furtopia IRC) for other forums, communities, or projects. This rule is to prevent members from using Furtopia as a “billboard” so to speak to advertise/spam items of “questionable, unknown, or suspicious” content, and/or pulling people away ( “user mining” ) to join another site. For further information about advertising, please see this thread here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=44795.0
EXCEPTIONS:
a) Members are allowed to post a link to their FurAffinity, DeviantArt, Livejournal, Other blog, or other personal furry website in their signature and/or profile.
b) Members, after first having a minimum of 25 posts and an introduction thread in the Greetings Forum, are allowed to make threads for their own furry businesses which offer furry arts and crafts for sale or commission on the Furtopia forums.
c) Members can seek Staff permission to post advertising not otherwise exempted from this rule which can include, but is not limited to: Surveys, Questionaires, Sociological projects relating to furry fandom, Interviews, etc.
Note: When members do advertise anything, please post as much information as to Who, What, Where, When, Why, and/or How something is being advertised. The more information you provide, then the less your post/thread will look "questionable, unknown, or suspicious".

10. Drama Exits - Statements of dramatic leave will result in the closure of your account. If a member claims intent to leave permanently, or if such exit is done in a dramatic/ranting or political way, their account will be closed. The account holder can request that it be reopened after a review/vote by the Furtopian staff.

11. Every member is allowed only ONE account on these forums. To create more when banned/kicked, etc. or without permission, can result in immediate banning.
a) If you are a returning member from a long absence and have forgotten your old account/password, etc., then please contact an Admin and we will help you with your account details.
b) If you are a member who wishes to have their account/fursona name changed, then please contact one of the Admins and we will help change your name for you. Please DO NOT create a second account simply to use a new name.
c) If more than one person is in your household/office/etc. and sharing your computer, and would like to join Furtopia, then please PM a staff member first so their account will not be mistaken as a 2nd account made by the primary (main) account holder. Failure to PM a staff member may result in banning of the new account and a reprimand of the other member in the household.
d) Sharing of individual accounts is strictly prohibited. Please maintain the security of your account/password and not share it with others. The user is responsible for any use of their account by unauthorised persons, whether authorised or not, and if it is found in any way that an account is being shared between multiple users, it may be closed and subsequently banned from use.
e) For further information about accounts, Please read this thread here:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php/topic,40799.0.html

12. Gravedigging Old Topics: When posting to a topic, please be sure to check the date of the topic's creation, as well as the date of the very last post in that thread, as many topics have been dead for months and/or years.
If it has been 6 months or longer since the last post was written in a thread, then please start a new thread on the subject you wish to discuss and then contact the Mods/Staff by PM so we can close the older outdated topic. Older topics (Depending on date & subject) should probably not be posted in for the following example reasons:
a) Original poster (or other members from that thread) may be gone and not active on forums anymore to read their own thread/posts and offer advice, or they have already gotten all the info. and advice they were asking for.
b) Information/advice may be outdated, links broken, pics are gone, etc.
Some exceptions to this rule may be, but are not limited to:
a) Various pinned Important Topics in forums that members may still post to.
b) Various Word or RPG game topics in the gaming forums.
c) Members who post a "on-going" issue such as a family problem in the Life Problems forum for example, or maybe discussing a fursuit building issue in the Fursuit forum, where they may post a topic now, then come back 3 months later with an update, then maybe come back later again 2 months later, etc.
d) Personal art threads (Artwork, Literature, Poetry, etc.) are exempted from the grave-digging rule, although such threads may still be locked if members other than the original poster makes posts beyond the 6 month grave-digging limit.
Here are a couple examples of exempted personal art threads:
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=34016.0
http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=43966.0
If you started a personal art thread that has been locked due to grave-digging and you would like to continue using it, then please contact a member of the staff to have it reopened.

13. Banned Subjects – It's very rare that a subject will need to be banned on the forums. However, the following items are currently banned.
a) The subject of hypnosis is banned on Furtopia. Anyone who wishes for further clarification regarding this ban is welcome to PM a mod or admin for details.
b) No posting in black colored text on the forums.
EDIT - Although there is no rule against using other darker text colors or really small font sizes, The staff ask out of "common courtesy" to all our members to please refrain from excessively using very dark colors/small font sizes, and making posts hard to read and enjoy by the forum membership. Thanks. :)
c) In regards to trolls and/or any other troll/hate websites, it should be said that discussing trolls only invites them. So the discussion of trolls and troll/hate websites is banned on the forums.
d) Items that are not necessarily banned, but are highly moderated are: Leet Speak, and Posting in foreign languages. If a member posts in leet speak or a foreign language, they MUST provide a translation.

14. Adult Forums Section: While the majority of the Furtopia forums are rated “PG/Family Friendly”, Furtopia does support adult discussion topics and artwork on the following forums:
* Adult Artwork Showcase
* Adult Literature & Poetry
* Adult-rated General Discussions
By default, access to the adult forums is blocked to all users.  Furtopia forum members if of at least 18+ years of age may request access to be added (or removed) from these additional adult forums. Adult Forum access is described here: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=35800.0


15. Other Staff Administration Notes.
* Using the "Report to Moderator" function: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=37714.0
* Where do I post a topic? - http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=39036.0
* Taking arguments to PM’s: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=40675.0
* Notes on Controversial Topics: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=31933.0

In the case of abuse
If a user has any complaints regarding another user's (or staff’s) behavior on this bulletin board whether it be on the forums, Furtopia IRC, or through the PM (Private Messaging) system, they should contact a staff member about the problem immediately, via either IM or PM and the staff will look into the issue. In the event of malicious posting by trolls, spammers, or members who may not be following the Furtopia rules when making posts and threads, there is a "Report to Moderator" button/link (See Item # 15 above.) found in the lower right corner of a person's post. You can click on that and you will be taken to a screen where you can post what you found, and that information is submitted to all the Mods and Admins who will then take care of the situation as soon as possible.
Please do not retaliate or otherwise take matters into your own hands.
As a safeguard against any perceptible prejudices, at least three staff members must agree to take action against a user's membership status in any case where such action would be deemed appropriate. The exception to this rule comes in cases where the abuse may harm or otherwise impede the services offered here at the furtopia.org forums.

Member rights
When not stated clearly in the rules, sometimes the mods/staff must make judgment calls on what they feel is in the best interest of the forum membership. If an action is taken against a member, that member has the right as a sole remedy to request a review (Appeal) and vote of said action by the entire staff/mod team. If declined by vote, a reason shall be given to the member from the staff/mods. If the appeal is approved, the post shall be restored. Public displays and parades (Complaints/Rants) on the forums are NOT permitted for or during mod/staff action disputes.
ALL instructions and warnings from Moderators and/or Administrators are to be obeyed. The decisions of staff are to be considered final unless a member has requested an appeal as mentioned above. Do not argue the rules or technicalities with the staff in any public forum or other place. Being technically within the letter of the law is no protection if your attitude is overall rude, annoying, abusive, and/or disruptive, and ignoring a warning will result in other disciplinary measures regardless of it being technically a violation of a written rule or not.
All messages sent by a staff/mod person during a dispute with or as a reprimand to members are considered private communication between the staff and the receiving member, and will be logged for "record keeping/reference" purposes by the staff. Members are also asked to keep logs if you are going to bring something to the staff for review: I.e. You either have a problem with another member or a Mod/Admin. So many times in the past, members come to the staff with a situation, but they don't explain very well what the problem is or keep logs of the communication, etc. If members have a problem with somebody or something, then please provide logs with as much info. as possible so the staff can take care of the issue. Posting or discussing the contents of said message from a staff/mod person in public may result in a warning and/or other disciplinary measure.  If you have an issue with a message you've received from a staff/mod person you may bring it up with a different staff/mod person for review. Messages may be sent out via email, Furtopia private message (PM) or instant messenger (YIM,AIM,ICQ,MSN)

Staff Roster
Staff Contact Page: http://forums.furtopia.org/index.php?topic=31338.0
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 12:55:47 am by Storm Fox »
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