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RULES

While the moderators and administrators of Forumosa attempt to resolve all problems in an amicable way, we reserve the right to suspend anyone for any reason, and to delete, edit, rename, or move any post for any reason, and such reason may or may not be explained to the general community.

We would appreciate your help. If you think someone is breaking any of the forum rules, please PM the moderator of that forum with a link to the offending post and a simple explanation why you object to it. If there is a Forum Rule about it, citing it in your report will be helpful.

A moderator-friendly website. We think of Forumosa as a “Moderator’s Forum”. The rules are designed to help the moderators moderate the forums. Decisions about content are ultimately made by that forum’s moderator(s), who have paramount authority in their respective forums. If you wish to appeal a decision, you may email admin (at) forumosa.com or leave us a Google Voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743 – and the admins may then choose to raise the matter with the respective moderator. However, there is no guarantee that the moderator will change their decision, and the admins are unlikely to overturn a moderator decision, except under the most extreme circumstances.

The moderators and administrators of Forumosa seek to cultivate a resource where Taiwan-oriented people can share and debate ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Despite our best efforts, some of us – regular Forumosans and moderators alike – will fall short of this ideal and even, from time to time, spoil the quality of discourse for everyone else.

DISCLAIMER OF ALL LIABILITY. NEITHER FORUMOSA.COM NOR ANY OF ITS INDIVIDUAL MODERATORS MAKE ANY WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING THE ACCURACY OF ANY INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS SITE AND YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER FORUMOSA.COM NOR ANY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MODERATORS OR ANYONE AFFILIATED WITH THEM WILL BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE RESULTS OF ANY USE OF ANY INFORMATION POSTED IN THE FORUMS.

LIKEWISE, YOU AGREE THAT NEITHER FORUMOSA.COM NOR ANY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MODERATORS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF ANY OF THE MESSAGES OR INFORMATION POSTED IN THE FORUMS OR OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF ITS AUTHORS.

1. Spirit of the Rules

1.01. Spirit of the Rules. Writing a comprehensive set of rules forbidding every type of antisocial behavior that offends us is impossible because we each have different views about appropriate behavior and different levels of tolerance about behavior we do not condone. Therefore, that the rules may not forbid a certain type of writing does not mean that such uncivil posts are acceptable, nor does it imply that the moderators and administrators approve of such disrespectful and objectionable behavior. The moderators set the tone in their forums, so are the ultimate judge of what is permitted in their forums.

1.02. Common decency. Every member of this community has a responsibility to participate in a respectful manner, and to help foster a community atmosphere where thoughtful discussion is valued. You are strongly advised to exercise a little common decency, and resist parsing these forum rules for loop holes about what antisocial behavior is not forbidden. Instead, please read recent posts in the forum you are interested to gain a sense of what that forum’s moderator(s) considers appropriate.

2. Bigotry

2.01. Bigotry defined. Do not post hateful, racist, sexist, homophobic, ethnic, or anti-religious (including anti-agnostic and anti-atheistic) bigotry. Unambiguous expressions of bigotry will be deleted, and will often result in the immediate suspension (possibly indefinite) of the individual responsible.

2.02. Least-bigoted interpretation. If it is not clear whether a comment is bigoted, we will generally give the benefit of the doubt and assume the least-bigoted interpretation. However, individuals who repeatedly post borderline-bigoted comments will be considered bigots and will be removed.

2.03. Political correctness. When discussing race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion, please exercise the appropriate level of sensitivity toward others and take extra care to clearly express your point of view in a non-hateful manner. This will help avoid misunderstandings and undeserved accusations of bigotry.

3. Personal Attacks

3.00. Big Tent. Forumosa is a “big tent” discussion forum that welcomes a broad range of opinions – Forumosans hail from many countries and cultures. From time to time you are likely to disagree with what you read on Forumosa. Please do not take these differences of opinion personally. Mere disagreement with your views does not grant you any right to lash out and break the rules of this message board. A thick skin is commonly expected when participating in Internet message boards like Forumosa. Appreciate the difference between forceful advocacy for a particular issue or point-of-view (which is encouraged) and personally attacking people with different opinions (which is forbidden). If you cannot tell the difference, you are likely to run into trouble here. If you simply dislike someone, take note that the phpBB software we use on Forumosa allows you to “ignore” that person’s posts (they will look like blank entries in the discussion).

Just go to your User Control Panel at the top right-hand side of the page. From there, go to the “Options” index on the left-hand side and click on “Friends and Foes”, and then on “Manage Foes”. Add the name of the person you wish to ignore in the space provided. (You can also remove names from this list if you wish.)

There are no exceptions to these civility rules. You cannot attack someone because they attacked you first, or because that person “deserved it”, or because you think someone is being disruptive. We consider it a personal attack to call a liar a liar, to call a moron a moron, or to call a jerk a jerk.

3.01. Personal Attacks. Do not post personal attacks or engage in name-calling against other Forumosans. We disapprove of any behavior intended to discourage discussion, or preemptively label a particular point-of-view as inappropriate or unwelcome. Such behavior makes thoughtful and open discussion virtually impossible.

3.02. Name Distortion. Do not distort another Forumosan’s name for the purpose of insulting or ridiculing him or her.

3.03. Mocking the Messenger. If you disagree with someone, please stick to the message rather than mock the messenger. For example, if someone posts factually incorrect information, it is appropriate to say, “your facts are wrong,” but it is inappropriate to say, “you are a liar.”

3.04. Name-calling. Do not disparage another Forumosan as a liberal, a conservative, a troll, or any other label used pejoratively. Do not try to come up with cute ways of skirting around the Spirit of the Rules. On the flipside, if you think someone is being disruptive, PM the moderator(s) of that forum with a link to the offending post and a brief explanation – then, let the moderators handle the matter and do no more to further incite the situation.

3.05. Sweeping Statements. Strictly speaking, sweeping statements about entire groups of people are NOT considered personal attacks. However, they are often inflammatory and counterproductive and the moderators have broad discretion to remove such posts in the interests of keeping the peace on the message board.

3.06. Stalking. Do not “stalk” another member from one discussion thread to another. Do not “follow” someone into another thread to try to continue a disagreement you had elsewhere.

3.07. Back talk. Do not talk negatively about a Forumosan in a thread where they are not participating.

3.08. Flame-baiting. Do not start a new discussion thread with the purpose of “calling out” another Forumosan or to pick a fight with a Forumosan. Exercise judgment when starting threads; inflammatory rhetoric has rarely been observed to lead to productive discussion.

4. Harrassment

4.01. Harassment. Do not send Private Messages (PMs), e-mail, phone, or other messages to anyone if your intent is to threaten or harass, and do not encourage others to do the same. (See Private Messages)

4.02. Graphic violence. Do not post graphic images of violence. If you have a legitimate political purpose for posting a link to an image of graphic violence, be sure to affix the letters “NSFW” (Not Suitable For Work) on either side of the link as a warning. Many Forumosans visit the website at their workplace.

4.03. Personal violence. Do not post messages that advocate harm or death to anyone, threaten the livelihood of anyone, or otherwise harass anyone.

4.04. From Forumosa to Real Life. Do not take your disagreements off the message board and into the “real world”, and do not do anything to try to harm or harass any member of this message board in the “real world”.

4.05. Disputes IRL. Offline disputes and allegations of wrongdoing against private individuals are unwelcome on Forumosa. If you have a problem with someone in real life, do not harass them online. Sharing a grievance you have about a person is one thing, but please take care to keep their personal identity private. Forumosa is not a court of law and is not the appropriate venue for exacting revenge or indulging your personal vendettas.

5. Bad Behavior

5.01. Outing. Do not post personal information about any other person even if that information is publicly available. This includes, but is not limited, to divulging personal information such as the real-life identity of other Forumosans, telephone numbers, or sexual orientation. In addition, Forumosa does not condone or encourage efforts by individuals to “dig up” information about other visitors. You may post the public contact information for public figures, but you may not post anyone’s private information without their consent.

5.02. Shouting. Posting in all capitals or in all bold, and using large or unusual fonts and colors can be considered disruptive or rude. Sensible use can enhance posts and is within the rules; however, excessive use may be moderated.

5.03. Duplicate posts. Do not post duplicate topics that have already been posted.

5.04. Inexplicable Titles. Members should use an appropriate, descriptive title when posting a new topic. Examples of bad titles include; “Help me!”, “I’m stuck!”, “Don’t know what to do!”, etc. Examples of good titles include; “My language school won’t refund my tuition”, “My software won’t display Chinese characters”, etc. If a moderator renames your thread, respect this decision. If you feel strongly opposed to the new title, PM the moderator(s) with your concerns and make your case. They are reasonable and welcome a well-formed point-of-view.

5.05. Incomprehensible input. As much as possible, use correct punctuation and spelling. If you are unwilling to take the effort to make your message readable, do not expect anyone to be willing to read it. Posts with little or no effort paid to be readable may be removed or sent to the Temporary Forum.

5.06. Back-seat moderating. If you notice something that is against the rules, PM the moderator of the forum in question instead of responding to such topics yourself. Or use the “Squeal” button found at the top left corner of the post. Members who consistently “act” as moderators may be warned to stop or invited to join the moderating team, depending on your way of handling things. If you have already tried to alert the moderator and have not seen any action after 72 hours, the appropriate step is to escalate it to the Forumosa Admin.

5.07. Egregious profanity. Avoid excessive profanity. Posts with egregious profanity may be deleted or moved to the Temporary Forum. Please recognize that empirical studies have proven that frequent and gratuitous use of obscene language reflects poorly on the speaker’s / writer’s credibility (SOURCES: http://bit.ly/profanitystudy1 http://bit.ly/profanitystudy2 http://bit.ly/profanitystudy3). On the other hand, thoughtful and unexpected use of profanity can have an effective, and at times, artful effect. I shit you not.

5.08. X-rated content. Do not post sexually explicit images or messages. If you wish to discuss topics of a sexual nature, please exercise an appropriate level of maturity and sensitivity. If you post a link to a sexually explicit image, be sure to affix the letters “NSFW” (Not Suitable For Work) on either side of the link as a warning. Many Forumosans visit the website at their workplace. Links to hardcore pornographic images will be deleted. Forumosa.com is not a porn site. When we launch a porn-friendly site, you can share your porn with us there.

5.09. Excessive quoting of external material. Do not post entire articles that are available elsewhere on the Internet. It is simply unnecessary and can make following the flow of the conversation difficult. Quoting a few paragraphs is better, as is posting a picture – aim to post just enough to give the gist of the article or the point you are trying to make. Provide a link at the end so that the reader can click through to the full content if they so choose. Try to keep the text relevant to the topic as much as possible.

5.10. Excessive quoting of internal material. Avoid quoting entire, lengthy posts merely to make a brief comment on them, especially posts immediately preceding yours. Please quote only as necessary to let others know which specific post or point you are addressing. We do understand that we like to quote what we might consider outrageous posts so it will be preserved from future editing by the original author. That said, bear in mind that many readers are trying to look follow the flow of the conversation, so long quotes with brief comments detract from this experience.

5.11. Link Only Posts. Except in threads expressly designed for this purpose, please do not post a link or embed a video without adding any original content. Forumosa is a forum for discussion. When starting a topic thread, be sure that you have something to say. In most cases, just linking to another discussion or news article is insufficient content, and will result in your thread being removed.

5.12. Illegal Activities. Do not promote illegal activities. Breach of this rule can lead to legal proceedings against this site, and will not be tolerated. Forumosa will cooperate with requests made to it by legal authorities. In cases where the law has clearly been broken, Forumosa may notify the proper authorities.

5.13. Identity Theft. Do not impersonate other users. If you suspect someone has hacked into your Forumosa account, alert us right away at admin (at) forumosa.com or leave us a Google Voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743 so that we can suspend the account as quickly as possible.

5.14. Trolling. Trolling is not permitted. Trolling is the deliberate posting of inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. Trolling does not encourage further discussion in the long run, it only encourages personal attacks (if left unchecked). Substance is the key to not being labeled a troll. We ask that you do not make postings which are deliberately intended to upset other Forumosans, to start inflammatory arguments, or to interrupt legitimate discussion.

5.15. Ad blockers. Please do not post workarounds that allow users to block ads from our sponsors when they use the forums. Forumosans who disregard this rule may find themselves suspended or even banned from the forums.

5.16. Stay on topic. Do not jump into an unrelated discussion and introduce a barely-relevant tangent.

5.17. Deleting Posts. Please do not edit the content of your posts to the point that replies to that post become meaningless – this diminishes the value of the entire thread. For the same reason, deleting entire posts is strictly verboten, (unless one is removing an accidental duplicate post).

5.18. Smurfing (Multiple Accounts). Each Forumosan is permitted one forum account. If you have reason to require more than one account, please discuss this with the admin at admin (at) forumosa.com or leave a Google Voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743. Sponsors of Forumosa are encouraged to use a Forumosa ID for their business or service distinct from their personal Forumosa ID.

6. Spam

6.01. Multiple back-to-back posts. If you wish to add to a post you just made, please go back to that post and use the edit function to add the additional information. Do not create a new post immediately after it.

6.02. Cross-posting. Cross-posting the same or similar messages in different forums or topics is spam. Post a topic once in the most appropriate forum. If a moderator moves your post to what she feels is a better forum, respect that decision. Cross-posted messages will be deleted or moved to the Temporary Forum. If you feel strongly that your post needs exposure in more than one forum, contact the admin and state your case – a link to your topic could be made in additional forums. You can reach the admin at admin (at) forumosa.com or leave a Google Voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743.

6.03. Quoting without a comment. Try to keep the text relevant to the topic as much as possible. See Excessive quoting of internal material.

6.04. Insubstantial posts. Do not make Emoticons the sole substance of your posts. Posts that consist mainly of Emoticons may be deleted or moved to the Temporary Forum.

6.05. Deliberately incorrect forum. Messages deliberately posted in an inappropriate forum. These will be removed or moved to the Temporary Forum. Post in the correct forum. If you are not sure which forum to post in, then state so in your post and leave it up to a moderator to move it for you, if necessary.

6.06. Posting utterly unrelated material. Such off-topic posts will be removed or moved to the Temporary Forum. Digressions from the topic are allowed so long as they are in direct reply to a previous post, or there is, even, a nominal link to the conversation.

6.07. Gravedigging. Gravedigging is replying to old topics when you have nothing substantial to add, or just to “bump” the topic back up to the top of the forum. Such acts are considered to be spam. Gravedigging replies may be removed or moved to the Temporary forum.

6.08. Valueless posting. Posts deemed by a moderator to have no value to the forum they are posted in may be removed or moved to the Temporary forum.

6.09. BlogSpam. Posting a link to a blog entry or back to your own website without adding original and/or relevant content is uncool. Examples of BlogSpam are posts like, “I went to Restaurant X last night. Click here to go to my blog for the review.” Or, “Did you hear what Obama did? Outrageous! Click here for more info, and my outraged reaction!”

If you are posting original, relevant content and want to post a link to your own site, consider posting an abstract (200 words) and invite Forumosans to read the all the details at your own blog. A reciprocal link back to Forumosa somewhere on your site would show good form. You can also send a note to admin (at) forumosa.com to invite us to exchange links or leave us a Google Voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743.

7. Forumosan Etiquette

7.01. Avatars. Forumosans are encouraged to use an avatar in their profile. This avatar will be displayed next to all their posts. Avatars that stretch the margins of topic pages may be removed. Avatars that are pornographic, obscene, or offensive will be removed – if you object to someone else’s avatar, alert the admin at admin (at) forumosa.com or leave a voice message at +1 (413) 248-7743. Repeated attempts to display unacceptable avatars will result in the poster’s avatar function being disabled.

7.02. Private Messages are private. Private Messages received on Forumosa are to be considered private and are not to be posted publicly unless the sender of the PM agrees. PMs are private and will not be moderated. The admin will only be involved in the moderation or access of PMs under the direst circumstances, for example, if a request by legal authorities is made and deemed reasonable and appropriate. You are, therefore, asked to take great care and respect when using this function.

7.03. Signatures.

7.03.1. Defined. Forumosans are encouraged to display a personal signature at the end of their posts. This signature can be a motto, a quotation, a life philosophy — whatever you think is “you”.

7.03.2. Graphics. Please do not include more than one graphic in your signature at any time. That graphic should be in either .jpg or .gif format, and should not exceed 500 pixels wide, 60 pixels tall. Please keep the file size of any signature images reasonable so as to facilitate easy loading of the page for Forumosans with slower Internet connections.

7.03.3. Links. Please do not include more than two links in your signature.

7.03.4. Offensive signatures. Signatures which contain text or images that are pornographic, obscene or offensive will be removed.

7.03.5. Length. Text in your signature must not exceed six lines in length (plus one image that conforms to the above size restrictions, if desired).

7.03.6. Decorations. You may change the color and font of your signature line text, but we would prefer that you not increase the text size.

7.03.7. Signature line abuse. Do not use your signature line to draw negative attention to another member of the board, or to their current status. Let suspended members serve their time-out in peace.

8.Moderators
8.01. Treat the moderators with respect. All of the moderators at Forumosa are volunteers. They provide their time and their good judgment to this website free of charge.

8.02. Broad discretionary powers. We avoid deleting threads as much as possible, even those some Forumosans may consider to be “flamebait”. However, the moderators and administrators may remove threads which are deemed, in our discretion, to be too rhetorically hot or too inflammatory.

8.03. Enforcement. In the event that these guidelines are breached, a poster may be warned or suspended. We recognize that the degree, or even commission of, a “posting offence” is often subjective, and the moderating team is fully empowered to deal with breaches of these rules.

  1. Failure to adhere to these rules may result in the offending posts being removed or moved to the Temporary Forum, where they will automatically be removed after a period of 15 days, if no replies have been made.
  2. Violation or repeated violations of these rules may encourage a moderator to suspend your Forumosa ID. Every moderator on Forumosa has the power and authority to suspend any Forumosan in any forum (not just in their own forums).

8.04. Suspensions. If you are the type of person who simply cannot get along with other people, and if you seem to repeatedly cause trouble, eventually we will decide that your presence is undesirable and you will be suspended, even if you are a long-term member of Forumosa.

8.05. Suspensions are indefinite. The moderator who has suspended you has the discretion to assign a length to your suspension (typically are up to 2 weeks). Beyond this length of time, a panel of moderators will decide when to end a suspension.

8.06. Supermods. Supermods are moderators who have moderating capabilities throughout the forums. They cover forums that do not have any assigned moderators, and are mindful of any special rules that a particular forum may have. If moderation is needed in a forum, and the regular moderator is unavailable, a Supermod might help.

8.07. Amending the rules. The rules are designed to help the moderators moderate the forums. From time to time, some rules may seem antiquated, or new rules may need to be considered that reflect the reality of moderating on Forumosa. All discussion topics relating to Forumosa’s policies, procedures, enforcement, etc. belong in the Feedback forum and specific comments for each rule are welcome in the Forum Policy Blog.

If you think something requires the attention of the moderators, please PM them with a link to the post in question and a brief explanation why you are writing to them. If you send a PM or an e-mail to a moderator, please give that moderator sufficient time to respond. Please be aware that moderators are not expected to be online all the time, and therefore are not likely to respond to every problem that is reported on Forumosa or to act immediately. Do not assume that a moderator is ignoring your concerns merely because she has not responded as quickly as you would like. Moderators have access to a private moderators-only discussion forum, where they discuss issues relevant to this discussion board.