While we do take pride in allowing as much free speech as possible in this group, we must also have rules in place. This is not unlike any normal society, where we enact laws which govern our behavior. In order to keep this forum operating in an atmosphere that is acceptable to the majority, it has been decided that the following rules will apply until further notice.
Please read, understand and follow the rules carefully. If you have a question about a rule, feel free to ask a group manager to clarify.
- Remarks that are threatening or grossly obscene will not be allowed. This does not include the type of debate/language one would normally expect to see on a political forum.
- Though we do not discourage 'colorful language,' the use of the words "nigger" and "fag" may get you banned, if you use it as a global insult to blacks or gays, or in reference to a member of this forum. Same goes for "camel jockey," "raghead," and so forth - characteristics that refer to culture or dress rather than ability to reason, or comprehend. Try to limit yourself to personal epithets referring to a specific person's intellect, arrogance, ignorance.. as in "idiot," "moron," or "fucktard." Do not bring a member's family into an insult match. This may lead to your getting banned. Restrict yourself to the characteristics of your opponent. Discussion of the words themselves is allowed, of course.
- Free speech is certainly allowed. Everyone is free to express their opinion as desired as long as it does not violate any other rule. While this forum is not registered as 'adult' only, no persons under 18 are allowed on the board. A post/thread will not be removed simply because it contains language which may be considered obscene. Use common sense.
- Personal harassment and/or stalking is not allowed. Threatening a member in the forum, in email or on a blog will get you banned. Personally identifiable information should never be disclosed to other members in the open forum for any reason.
- Pornographic material and/or related links are not allowed in any form. Files uploaded to the group, which contain pornographic material and/or links to such material or viruses, will be deleted and the offending member will be banned immediately.
- This is an open forum. The general topic of the forum is politics. However, most everything does relate to politics in one way or another. We encourage free postings of any nature, including off-topic posts, news articles and personal exchanges between members.
- Do not attempt to destroy the assets of this forum and/or disrupt the routine maintenance, management and operations. This does not mean you cannot openly discuss the board rules or make helpful suggestions. Do not repeatedly complain and nag about the board management or its operational standards. If you dislike the board enough to complain about how it is operated, you may be better suited by using another group.
- Spamming the group is forbidden. While the definition of spam may vary depending on an individual's perception, this generally relates to commercial material, unwanted links to other sites, and repeated and unnecessary posts to the open forum. The group management will decide what is or is not spam.
- All members are responsible for understanding and following all standard Google Group guidelines. These guidelines can be found within the Terms of Service and these are the same rules you read about when you first signed up for your membership. Here is a link to the Google Groups Terms of Service. Only the owner and managers report offenses to Google. Getting a member Google banned by reporting him yourself will get you banned.
- Do not change thread titles for any reason. This includes any thread you may have started. If a genuine topic needs updating, start a new thread. Do not spam the board and do not use this rule to try and circumvent other rules.
- Banned members are not participants in this forum, therefore, in the interest of not allowing them to participate "in absentia" members are not allowed to speak about or for them.
- The Google Groups 'email all messages' feature is not allowed in this group. The reasons are too complicated to list here, except to say that the feature can be abused. If a member turns on the 'email all' feature, it will be turned off by the board management and the member will be warned. If this is repeated, a member may be banned. If a new member joins with the feature turned on, it will be turned off by management and they will be subject to a warning on the second attempt to turn the feature on. If a member absolutely needs to use this feature, send an email to the owner of the group and discuss the matter. Exceptions may be made under certain circumstances.
- Hostile or attack threads should be kept to a minimum. There should be no more than a few of these threads on the first page of the 'Topic list' view, with no more than one thread initiated by a given member. These are usually off-topic threads, where the purpose of the originator is to attack another Google Group member, even if that member is not subscribed to this group. This rule does not preclude any 'banned member' provisions of rule #11. This rule does not apply to ordinary, on-topic, heated discussions between members, except for the ordinary 'spam' provisions of rule #6.
- Members may notify one or more members of group management by email or in the open forum, if they feel another member has violated a rule, or to provide additional information about a violation. Any such information provided by email will be kept confidential, when possible, to the extent provided by Google Groups Terms of Service. There should be no continuing discussions on the specific incident in the open forum, including any reference to group management or group member(s).
Any violation of these rules may cause a message or thread to be deleted and/or the thread closed. Any offending member(s) may be placed in temporary moderation or banned from participating in the group entirely. Any and all group management tools may be used, with or without any warning, or explanation provided. Under most circumstances, a manager will usually warn an offending member, prior to taking any other action.
Depending on the violation, banning a member from the group is usually done as a very last resort, after all other moderation options have been exhausted. The decision to ban a member from the group is solely the responsibility of the group owner. In rare cases, delegation of this authority to group managers may occur.
Once a member has been banned, it is permanent and under most circumstances, the member will not be allowed back into the group. In the case of a misunderstanding, an appeal may be sent to the group owner via form email. Do not involve other managers or members in the appeal. The group owner will consider any and all information and may or may not allow a banned member to return to the group. Any decision made on the appeal is final.
Group managers will be fair and impartial when enforcing the board rules. Because many rules may be interpreted differently, the decision by the manager on whether or not a violation exists, and any action taken or not taken to remedy any perceived violation is final.
Under normal circumstances, a manager should rarely be seen or heard from in the discussions, except when participating as another group member. While managers do sometimes participate in group discussions, the management duties are separate from any 'member' participation in the discussion. If a manager warns a member about a violation of group rules, they are acting as a manager and not as another member in the discussion. Managers will usually refrain from further 'member' participation in a discussion, should any conflict of interest arise, however they may continue to act as a manager.
The current management team for the group is shown below:
We believe this group is one of the least restrictive of its kind in Google Groups. However, if you do find the rules are too restrictive here, you may be better suited in finding another Google Group. While we will be sorry to see you go, we also understand and respect your decision. It may be better to remain a member of this group and break away now and again to a less restrictive atmosphere.
We are happy you have decided to join us. If you have any questions about these rules or the operation of this forum, please feel free to send an email to the owner of this group.
Thanks and enjoy your time on the Political Forum!
Revised: 12/03/2010 (reformatted)