Links that you post on this site will be automatically inactivated and set to "no follow" - If you are a product spammer, please don't waste your time, and ours, filling the forum with inactive links for your products.
If you begin new threads in this forum - Please phrase your thread titles as questions e.g. "Why is the sky blue?" Posts that do not comply with this rule will be deleted.
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Acceptable Usage Policy:
- By registering to use this forum you agree to abide by the following regulations.
These are rules we have drawn up to make this forum a more comfortable place for all its users. Please abide by them. The moderators of the forum will take what action they consider necessary to enforce these rules for the benefit of all. This may include banning you from further participation.
1. Keep it legal
We are all bound by law, and we cannot host material that contravenes the law. This means we cannot, amongst other things, host material that is obscene, that constitutes harassment, that promotes terrorism, that is racist, or that constitutes a breach of copyright.
This forum is interested in promoting free science, and there are other places that are better suited for testing the limits of free speech. If the moderators fear a post might approach the limits of what is legally allowed, they will not seek legal advice to determine whether it has actually overstepped the boundary, they will simply judge that the post is too close to the boundary for comfort, and prohibit the post (and, in persistent cases, the poster).
2. Keep it friendly
Do not use insulting, aggressive, or provocative language.
If you feel another forum user is using insulting language, seek to calm things down, or if that fails, report the matter to the moderators. Under no circumstances should you seek to trade insults, or make accusatory remarks to that, or any other, forum user.
Show respect to other forum users. In particular, there are times when forum users might post about delicate personal issues. Please refrain from trivialising or making inappropriate remarks, or remarks that might embarrass the poster.
3. Keep it family friendly
This site is intended to promote science for all, from 6 year old kids to people who are retired. Please make sure that whatever you post is suitable for young children, or even old fuddy duddies. You may be very liberal and open minded, but it does not mean that all the other forum users will be just as liberal and open minded, or in the case of young children, that their parents would be. Please bear this in mind when you post material to the forum.
None of this should prevent you from discussing delicate subjects (e.g. matters pertaining to human sexuality), but it should inform you as to the tone you should take when discussing such matters, or the kind of jokes you might reasonably make on the forum.
4. Keep it science
Except for the chat section, this forum is for the discussion of science.
We will be very liberal in our interpretation of what science means, and we have a New Theories section where you are more than welcome to discus less conventional scientific theories, but the posts should one way or another be pertinent to science.
In the chat section, you may indulge in a wider range of light hearted general discussion with other users of the forum.
This site is not intended to be used as a dating or introduction agency, and while the site does provide the means for users to provide personal communication with each others, this facility should not be abused.
5. Keep it a discussion
The site is for asking or answering questions, or general discussion.
To make navigation and search functions easier, each new post should take the form of a science question. When starting a new topic, the "Your Question" field should be filled out with a short question summarizing the question(s) raised in the post. There will be some leniency in this policy in the "On the Lighter Side" and "General Discussion & Feedback" sections of the forum, but new topics in the remainder of the forum should follow this rule.
The site is not for the promotion of business interests, or other personal ventures.
There are two exceptions that are made to this:
- Where the advertisement is supplied by the owners of the forum to further their own business interests.
The site is not for evangelising your own pet theory. It is perfectly acceptable that you should post your own theory up for discussion, but if all you want to do is promote your own idea and are not inviting critical debate about it, then that will not be acceptable.
It is not acceptable simply to post material onto this forum that you have posted elsewhere, except where the post is specifically pertinent to an ongoing thread. If you start a thread with a post that is for all practical purposes the same as you have posted elsewhere, we will generally assume that you are evangelising, and will act accordingly.
6. Keep it safe.
Do not post personal phone numbers, email addresses, or contact addresses publicly to the forum. If you wish to exchange personal details with another forum user, then use the Personal Messenger facility to do so.
Nothing that a forum user should post to the forum, or send by forum facilitated personal communication, should seek in any way to misrepresent the user who is posting or sending, or to knowingly misrepresent any other person or to misrepresent any facts in their communications.
7. Keep it easy to follow.
The forum is an English language forum, and while we welcome the fact that we have many contributors from around the world, and for many we recognise that English is not their first language, but nonetheless posts to the site should be in English. This does not mean it has to be perfect English, and we are very tolerant of mistakes that might be made, either because English is not the primary language of the poster, or because of the young age of the poster, or because of any number of other issues that might cause a forum user to write less than perfect English.
In the Chat section we are a little more tolerant to the odd post that has a substantial foreign language content, but we reserve the right to ask that posters cease using a foreign language if we feel that it is excessive or provides difficulties for us to moderate its content.
New threads should be started in the appropriate section of the forum. It will be understood that new forum users might not be wholly familiar with the correct section for their given topic, and even long established forum users may not always be clear where a particular thread should be placed, and if it is felt that the forum user has acted in good faith, the moderators will not act against the forum user for starting a thread in an inappropriate section, but may themselves move the thread to where they think is more appropriate.
Type to make the contents and title of the post clear and unambiguous. In particular, if you have a question or topic to discuss, then making the title clear will increase the likelihood that those people who are most able to address the question or topic will be able to easily see the relevance of the topic to their body of expertise, and so will maximise the chances of your obtaining a meaningful response. In some cases, where the moderators judge the title or contents of the post to be too ambiguous, they may choose to edit the title or body of the post in order to improve its readability.
Where a forum user has a matter that they think might be of interest arising from a thread, but fears that posting it within the same thread might disrupt the intent of the thread, they should seek to start a new thread, and post links from the original thread to the new thread, and vice versa.
8. Links should be clear, and appropriate.
Any link from a post to another site should explain within the body of the post what the link will lead to.
A link may not, under any circumstances, refer to a target location that contains material that would not itself be acceptable if it had been posted directly to the forum.
9. Do not abuse Personal Messaging or other private means of communications with forum users.
Personal communications facilitated by the forum may not be used for commercial or other advertising, or for the transmission of material likely to be offensive to the recipient.
Personal communication facilitated by the forum should not be used to contact large numbers of forum users with unsolicited communications of any kind.
Where a forum user wishes to send an unsolicited personal communication to another forum user, they should do so with the utmost politeness, and aware of the possible sensitivities of the recipient. If the recipient does not wish to engage in further contact by way of personal communication, this should be respected, and to do otherwise will be interpreted as harassment.
There may be circumstances where the forum moderators or the forum owners may have need to act contrary to the above prohibitions. This is permitted so long as it is action taken in the interests of the forum or its owners.
10. The moderators are the final arbiter.
If a moderator requests that a forum user change a post that they have submitted to the forum, or that they alter the nature of future posts, then a failure by the forum user to abide by the request made of them will itself be regarded as a serious breach of the rules, and could lead to the user being suspended or banned from the forum forthwith.
A moderator may choose, where they feel it appropriate for the good order of the forum, that they should themselves edit or delete a post submitted by a forum user. If the forum user has a problem with this action, they should contact the moderator and explain why they believe the change the moderator has made is inappropriate, but they should not seek to reverse that change themselves without first obtaining the consent of the moderator to do so. Any attempt to reverse such a change without such authorisation will itself be regarded as a serious breech of the rules, and could lead to the user being suspended or banned from the forum.
Any forum user that substantially violates the forum rules on their first post will be banned from the forum immediately.
Any forum user who is a regular poster, and has never previously violated the rules, will normally first be issued with a warning. If, after receiving a warning, the forum user continues to act in contravention of the rules, the moderators will normally suspend or ban the forum user from the site. If, upon receiving a warning, the forum user heeds that warning immediately after having received the warning, but subsequently breaks the rules again, the moderators will seek to assess whether the forum user is acting in good faith, in which case they will seek to help the forum user stay within the rules; but if the moderators judge that the forum user is acting without good faith, the forum user may be suspended or banned forthwith.
In all matters, the moderators' judgement is final.
Finally, the moderators are merely volunteers trying their best, and while we will do the best we can, we cannot be everywhere all of the time, and we cannot get everything right all of the time, so we would appreciate your understanding if maybe things don't happen with the perfection you might desire.
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